In any industry we see a variety of experience, ability and thoroughness, and when it comes to home inspectors you can expect the same. A good inspector will examine certain components of the home you’re seeking to purchase and produce a report including photos and sometimes even video. They’ll also provide a good explanation of their findings so that you understand what areas need immediate attention, what the future maintenance items are, most importantly if there are any areas in which the cost or concern may be too high to continue moving forward with the purchase. A home inspector does not “pass” or “fail” a property, but steers you in the right direction to make that decision for yourself, as everyone has different expectations and comfort levels.
Inspections usually last for 2.5-3.5 hours for a typical residential property and are approximately $450-550. For rural properties, it can take upwards of 4 hours and cost $600+. Rather than allowing the cost to deter you, consider it a small investment for the protection and safety for your family and your future. When possible, it’s best for you to attend the inspection, or at least the final 30 minutes so that you can get a face-to-face explanation of the inspector’s findings and ask any necessary questions.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll share with you typical areas home inspectors cover to give you an idea of what to expect. For today we’re focusing on the exterior of the property. Keep in mind that our list is limited, as we simply cannot include everything that an inspector’s detailed report would include.
GROUNDS – Inspectors look for proper grading and downspout drainage away from the house. This includes ensuring walkways, patios and driveways are sloped away from the property. They ensure trees are a good distance from the house, noting any that are hanging over the roof, causing extra wear and tear. It includes exterior structures such as fences and decks. Here they look for damaged or rotting wood and report on any structural deficiencies that could make the deck unsafe. They also ensure railings on decks or stairs are adequately constructed and secure. Inspectors also check garages for rotting wood, foundation cracks, insulation, shingles, windows, electrical etc.
STRUCTURE – Inspectors ensure the sides of the home are straight, and not bowed or sagging. They ensure windows and door frames appear square. They also ensure the roof ridge and fascia boards appear straight and level. They check the foundation for any visible cracks and verify it’s also straight and in good condition.
EXTERIOR – Inspectors confirm there is adequate clearance between the ground and siding. They examine the siding for damage or missing sections that would allow moisture penetration. If the property has stucco they confirm there are no large cracks. They check exterior paint or stain for flaking and blisters.
WINDOWS, DOORS & TRIM – Here, inspectors are looking to see if all wood frames and trim are secure with no cracks, rotting or decaying. They want to ensure all areas around frames are properly caulked or flashed to avoid water or insect intrusion. They’re also looking for broken glass, damaged or missing screens, condensation inside sealed units, or missing panes.
ROOF – Inspectors cover many areas of the roof, starting with the shingles. Here they’re looking for curling, damaged, missing and improperly installed shingles. They confirm there is properly installed flashing around roof penetrations and verify there’s no decay or stains around the soffits and fascia. They check for adequate attic ventilation. They verify the gutters are attached securely to the home, with no sagging or missing sections, the joints are sealed and they’re clean and sloping correctly to ensure proper water flow. They also ensure that chimneys have proper flashing, no evidence of damaged bricks, cracked or missing mortar and that the crown and flue are in good condition.
Next week we’ll discuss more about the interior aspects of a property an inspector examines. If you don’t already have a property inspector for your future purchase, our highest recommendation is Craig Wagner with Platinum Home Inspections. We’ve worked with Craig for years. He’s a thorough, professional, honest businessman who’ll have the protection of your investment and peace of mind as his highest priority. You can contact Craig at 780-940-0287 or at email@example.com
Jason Rustand with RE/MAX Real Estate serves with the highest level of integrity and excellence every time. For more info on this topic or others follow and Instagram, call Jason direct at 780.919.0004, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit WeSellLeduc.com
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