An inspection report, especially on an older home can be quite extensive. It usually carefully designed to be clear, easy to understand and helpful to the buyer.
There can be several symbols included in the report. A warning symbol signifies it could be a potentially serious issue that needs to be addressed. An upgrade symbol which recommends remediation but is not required and doesn’t affect the functionality of a home.
Their report is an overview of conditions observed.
A report can be 50+ pages long depending on the age, size and condition of the property.
Introductory notes stipulate what home inspectors cover and do not cover and other limited liabilities when inspecting properties. For instance, they do not review permits, plans, municipal documents, recalled appliances, etc.
- Exterior/ Site/ Ground: They inspect the site grading, topography, driveway, walkways, exterior finishes, balconies, railings and exterior window conditions, etc. And provide condition, type, style, and functionality assessment for each of the points listed above.
- Structure: This includes foundation, footings support framings, wall framing and roof framing assessments.
- Garage / Vehicle Storage: Main items inspected are electrical receptacles, GFCI protection, electrical garage door opener (forward and reverse mechanisms), concrete slab, and safety features.
- Roofing: They give the basic information of slope, materials used, flashing, chimney flues, skylights, roof drainage and what type of inspection method was used. He will only inspect the accessible areas of the roof and provide an inspection method
- Electrical Systems: The examine the exposed and accessible conductors, circuitry, panels and random sampling of outlets. They check for adverse conditions such as improper installation, exposed wires, etc.
- Plumbing: They are limited to visible faucets, fixtures, valves, drains, traps, exposed fittings and checked for proper function, unusual wear and tear, leakage and general state of repair. Their inspection doesn’t include landscape watering, fire suppression systems, and private water/ waste disposal systems.
- Water Heater: This inspection includes the tank, water and gas connections, electrical connections, venting and safety valves. It is examined for proper functionality, leakage and general state of repair. Tankless on-demand systems typically require a specialist due to the hidden nature of the piping and venting.
- Heat: The inspector will examine heating equipment, operating and safety controls, venting and the means of distribution. They do not dismantle or uncover any part of the system but conduct a noninvasive functional review only.
- Bedroom and Baths/ Laundry Room: Washer dryer hookups, electrical outlets, surface ceilings, floor coverings, and surface cabinets and walls, windows, all plumbing, surfaces, enclosures for all the toilet and baths, ventilation and countertops are assessed.
- Kitchen: The dishwasher is inspected, sink, plumbing and gas supply, electrical, walls, floors, cabinets, countertops and appliance functionality.
- Locations of Emergency Controls: In case you need to know where to shut off the gas, water or electrical systems. They provide you with the location for your convenience.
The inspection report is a “snapshot” of the property on that date of inspection, along with the home inspector’s comments on conditions observed.
Contact the inspector for any questions and clarifications to protect yourself as the buyer. Remember, he works for you.