What is a Residential Inspection?
During a real estate transaction, the home buyer has an opportunity to have their new home inspected by licensed home inspection company to find any potential defects or issues that they may wish to have repaired prior to completing the purchase of the home. During our Residential Inspection, we will perform a visual inspection of all of the major components of your home and generate a report of our findings. You will be able to use that report to request repairs from the seller or to negotiate a better deal for the home! In addition to finding potential issues, the report will also include useful information about the components of your home that will help you learn more about the property you are in the process of purchasing.
What is included in a Residential Inspection?
Our Residential Inspection includes a visual inspection of all of the major components of a home. We will examine everything from the roof to the foundation, both inside and outside! The following list of components will give you an overview of the systems we will inspect. You can more about the inspection of each system below!
- Structural Components
- HVAC System
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The roof is one of the most important systems to have inspected when purchasing a home. It is easily one of the most expensive components of the home to replace when it has become worn out or damaged. Ensuring that the roof on your new home is in good condition, or negotiating to have it repaired if it is not, will save you from a surprise expense of replacing your roof right after moving in.
During the roof inspection, we will examine your roof to determine the general condition of the components and to look for signs of damage or leaks that could affect the rest of your home. We will inspect each of the following components and include an overview of their conditions in our report.
- Condition of the roof coverings such as shingles
- Flashings around vent pipes
- Roof penetrations such as skylights and chimneys
- Roof drainage systems such as gutters and downspouts
- Ventilation of the attic space
- Trim along the edge of the roof such as the eaves, soffits, and fascia.
Like the roof, the exterior components of your home are designed to protect against moisture and other elements that can cause damage to your home. Many exterior components, such as siding, require regular maintenance to keep them in top shape. During our inspection, we will examine the entire exterior of the home to look for signs of damage or anything that would prevent the exterior from adequately protecting the rest of the home. We will also examine other exterior components that tend to degrade over time due to constant exposure to the elements. The following list of components will give you an idea of what we will inspect.
- Condition of the wall coverings and siding such as bricks, stucco, or vinyl siding
- Exterior doors
- Steps, porches, patios, and balconies and railings
- Driveways and sidewalks
- Property drainage
- Vegetation near the home
Often referred to as the “bones” of your home, the structural components are usually not easy to examine, but are critical to keeping your home a safe place to live. We will perform an inspection of the attic space to get a look at the roof and ceiling structure where possible. If your home has a crawlspace, we will crawl under the house to examine the foundation components and the supporting structures such as columns and beams, as well as the floor structure. If you are purchasing an existing home, many of the structural components cannot be examined in a nondestructive manner. However, we will look for signs that could indicate some of the structural components have been compromised. If you are building a home, check out our New Construction Inspection for more details on what we will look for during construction. The following items will give you an idea of what the structural inspection includes.
- Roof and attic structure
- Settling or shifting of the foundation
- Crawlspace including beams, columns, and floor structure
- Structural wall components such as masonry block or bricks
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Living in Florida, the air conditioning system is one that you will definitely want to keep in good condition! Though, keeping your house cool is only one of the functions that the HVAC system serves. Proper air flow and ventilation is critical to keep moisture levels in check and to maintain good air quality. The HVAC system is one of the major systems in the home that can be quite costly to repair or replace. We will thoroughly inspect the HVAC system to ensure it is in good working order and to suggest repairs when they are necessary. The following list of items will give you an idea of what we look for during the HVAC inspection.
- Condition and age of the air condenser
- Refrigerant lines and insulation
- Condition and age of air handler and evaporator coils
- Air filters
- Condition of the ductwork
- Presence of heating and air in living spaces
- Gas-fired heaters and boilers
- Gas and solid fuel fireplaces and chimneys
- Bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room ventilation
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The plumbing system is another major component of your home and one that can be costly to repair if needed. Many of our home’s systems are designed to protect our home from moisture and, as you might expect, that includes the plumbing system. The plumbing is responsible for bringing clean water into your home, as well as carrying used, dirty water safely away from your home. The primary concern with the plumbing in your home is the possibility for leaks to occur. Moisture can cause significant damage to a home so it is important to find and stop leaks as soon as possible. During our plumbing inspection, we will examine all visible plumbing and look for signs of leaks that could be coming from hidden pipes. We also look for outdated piping systems that are prone to issues, especially in older homes. The following items are included in our plumbing inspections.
- Water supply and drain lines
- Main water shutoff valve
- Main plumbing clean out
- Water heater
- Bathroom and kitchen fixtures such as sinks, showers, tubs
- Washing machine supply and drain lines
The electrical system is the foundation for most of your home’s modern comforts and amenities. It is also one of the most hazardous systems in the home. Our primary concern during the electrical inspection is safety! We will inspect the service entrance to ensure enough power is being delivered to the home. We will remove the main electrical panel cover, as well as any sub panels, to inspect the condition of the breakers and wiring. Throughout the inspection, we look for safety issues such as exposed wires and presence of working GFCI-protected outlets in high moisture areas. While our primary focus is on safety, we will also inspect the functionality of electrical fixtures such as lights, fans, and receptacles. The following list is an overview of the components inspected during our electrical inspection.
- Electrical service entrance and grounding, including over-head service drops
- Main panel breakers and wiring
- Sub or distribution panel breakers and wiring
- Exterior and interior outlets
- Electrical connections to major appliances such as water heater, air conditioning, and dryer
- Lighting, fans, and receptacles throughout home
- Kitchen and bathroom GFCI outlets
- Wiring in attic and crawlspace
Many of the issues found during the interior inspection can seem like minor or inconsequential issues, and that can be true. The interior inspection often reveals cosmetic issues with the walls, floors, and ceilings but can also show the only signs of larger issues. For example, a stain on the ceiling might be the only indication of a leaking roof. For this reason, we are sure to take our time when inspecting the interior of the home. Most of the time, we find issues that are comparatively less significant and less costly than with other components of the home, but we always have our eyes peeled for subtle indicators of larger problems. The list below will give you an idea of what we look for during the interior inspection.
- Condition of walls, floors, and ceilings
- Interior doors
- Functionality of windows
- Counters and cabinets
- Caulking and grout in wet areas such as in showers and around sinks
- Kitchen appliances
- Stairways and railings