Along with the roof, the exterior of a home is the most directly impacted by the weather and the surrounding environment. A home’s exterior has several aspects an inspector has to check, ranging from the siding down to the vegetation and surface drainage.
The first thing an inspector will normally check on the exterior of a home are the wall-covering materials. This includes the siding, trim (around doors and window frames), and flashing. The inspector is going note the material type (vinyl, brick, wood, stucco, aluminum, etc.) and check for signs of rot, misalignment, curling, bowing, potential cracking, paint bubbling, rust, and acceptable clearance between wood siding materials and the ground (normally a minimum of 6”).
Exterior Doors and Windows
The inspector will provide a count of all exterior doors and windows, noting any observable damage including cracks, rot, and decay. Please note that the inspector is only required to inspect items readily accessible and visible from the ground, and is NOT required to operate or inspect screens, storm windows, shutters, etc. (see InterNACHI Standard of Practice).
Stairways, Walkways, and Driveways
There are a few important components for an inspector to check when it comes to the pathways of a home, such as driveways and walkways. Normally, an inspector will check for structural integrity and stability, especially on a home’s stairways. This includes checking for cracked/rotted steps, overgrown vegetation, level terrain, sturdy and secure handrails with acceptable baluster spacing, and that all walkways, driveways, and stairways are pitched away from the home.
Decks and Balconies
Decks and balconies are subject to both the weather and wear-and-tear from home owners. A fresh coat of paint or texturing material can make deck and balcony issues difficult to detect. Inspectors will thoroughly check both the topside and underside for any potential structural issues such as sagging, improper attachment to the home, unacceptable joist hanger installation, rotted boards, and unsecured/substandard guardrails.
Grounds – Vegetation, Drainage, and Property Grading
Poor landscaping, uneven grounds, and poor surface drainage can be very harmful to the structural integrity of a home. The inspector will check for signs of standing water, if the grounds are graded to draw water away from the house, the general state of the landscaping, if any trees or branches are touching the house or hanging over the roof, and the general state of any exterior features such as fences, detached garages, etc.
Schedule Your Home Inspection Today!
Buying a house is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. While a home may look perfect on the outside, there could be a lot of potentially expensive issues hiding under the surface that you need to know about before closing. Don’t leave anything to chance; get your home inspected.
Yes. Just because a home is new doesn’t mean it won’t have problems; it just means that someone hasn’t lived in it yet to discover any of its potential defects.
While it is not a requirement for you to have your home inspected prior to putting it up for sale, a pre-listing home inspection can be beneficial. It reveals the true state of your home and allows you to identify and repair potential deal-breakers prior to being discovered by the home buyer inspection.
Normally you would contact a home inspector after a purchase agreement has been signed. To protect your best interests, we highly recommend that you make sure there is an inspection contingency clause in the agreement prior to signing, specifying buyer and seller obligations after the completion and findings of an inspection.
On average, you should expect the inspection of a typical single-family home to last between 2-3 hours. For larger properties, it may take longer, and require an additional inspector onsite.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to be there. As a prospective home buyer, the purpose of our inspection is not just to inspect the home, but to also educate the buyer and make sure you are the most informed about a property prior to moving forward with a purchase.
Our inspector provides a comprehensive report in line with the InterNACHI Standards of Practice that identifies material defects of the components and systems of a home along with our recommendations for repairs. Usually, the full report is ready for you within 24 hours of the inspection! For a sample of our reporting, click here.
No home, new or old, is going to be free of problems. However, not all problems require major fixes. Having a home inspection helps you identify possible issues before they potentially become bigger and costlier.
No. A home inspection is not the same as an appraisal or municipal inspection. A home inspector reports on the physical condition of the home, and any possible material defects in need of repair or replacement. It’s not pass/fail; it’s just the facts.
In compliance with the InterNACHI Code of Ethics Article I, Section 11, we, as InterNACHI certified inspectors, are prohibited from performing or offering any repairs or related services to any home for which we have prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months. For any suggested repairs, we recommend consulting a specialist.
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