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The Inspection Report

Your inspector should give you a written report about the house and some information about home repair and maintenance.

Most home inspections include:

The Big Picture
The first step in inspecting a home is to look at the neighborhood. Are there other homes of similar age and construction details similar to the home being inspected? A comparison will give you a general idea of the upkeep of the home. Have there been significant modifications to the exterior of the building and if so, how is the workmanship?
The inspector will review the exterior of the home from top to bottom on each side, noting where the roof line picks up, the structure, the gutters, soffits, and fascia are. He or she will look at the lot grade and the landscaping. The report will include a review of the exterior wall coverings (brick, wood, aluminum), noting windows, doors, etc.
On the interior, the inspection will begin in the either the basement or the attic so the inspector can work top to bottom or bottom to top. This helps prevent missing anything. The inspector will look at the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and then consider any appliances or other items in the room. He will open every door, look in every drawer.

Typical problem areas:


  • Is the ridge (peak) showing a sag, or is it straight and level?
  • Is the roof sagging between the rafters or trusses?
  • Are there any signs of deterioration of asphalt shingles, such as curling, broken edges, rounded corners or key holes (slits) becoming wider than normal?
  • Any loose flashings, at the chimney, roof-to-wall connection or elsewhere?
  • Does the wooden roof deck appear rotted or delaminated under the last row of shingles?
  • Are there any roof vents visible?


  • Is the masonry cap cracked or broken?
  • Are any bricks flaking or missing? Mortar missing?
  • Is the chimney leaning?

Soffits and Fascia

  • Are the soffits and fascia of wood, aluminum or plastic?
  • Any loose or missing sections?
  • If wood, are there any paint problems?
  • Any visible rot?

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure that gutters slope down toward downspouts
  • Any rust or peeling paint?
  • Apparent leaks or loose/sagging sections?
  • Are the downspouts extended away from the foundations?

Wall Coverings

  • Look for missing mortar.
  • Are the bricks flaking or cracking?
  • Look for loose, missing or rotted siding, deteriorated paint.
  • Does the siding appear new? Does it hide the foundation wall?
  • Exterior walls bowed, bulged or leaning?

Windows And Doors

  • Identify problems with paint or caulking.
  • Look for rotted wood components.
  • Are the windows new or old?
  • Are they the original windows?
  • What condition are they in?

Porches And Decks

  • Cracking or flaking masonry?
  • Check for paint problems, rotted wood, and wood-earth contact.
  • Note any settlement or separation from the house.
  • Inspect the underside, if accessible.


  • Check for cracks, flaking or damaged masonry.
  • Note any water markings.
  • Any bowing or other irregularities?
  • Soft mortar?

Lot Area

  • Does the grade slope away from the house?
  • Any settled or low areas next to the foundation?
  • Any cracked walks or driveway?
  • Is the property lower than the street or neighboring properties?


  • Any evidence of water penetration
  • Any stains, mildew, odors, loose tiles etc.


  • Check for deteriorated coverings or cracked ceramics.
  • Any water staining or other damage?
  • Sloping or sagging?


  • Randomly sample to check that the windows and doors work.
  • Are the walls straight vertically and horizontally?
  • Look for cracked or loose plaster.
  • Note any stains, physical damage or evidence of recent repair.
  • Any drywall seams or nails showing?


  • Check for cracks in the plaster or loose, sagging plaster.
  • Look for stains, mechanical damage or evidence of previous repair.
  • Seams or nails showing?

Bathrooms and Kitchens

  • Check that all fixtures are secure.
  • Are there any cracks in the fixtures?
  • Note the condition of the tiles and caulking in the tub/shower area.
  • Are the faucets working? Do they leak?
  • Is there sufficient water pressure?
  • Look for staining and rot under the counter-tops.
  • Randomly sample the operation of the cabinet doors and drawers.

Electro-Mechanical Considerations

  • Note type, style and age of heating & cooling systems.
  • When were they last inspected or serviced?
  • Note type of water supply piping and drains.
  • Any visible rust and corrosion?
  • Note size and age of electrical service.
  • Are the outlets grounded? Visible wiring in good condition?
  • Have there been any service upgrades?

What if the Inspection Reveals Problems?


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