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1234 Main St.
Defiance, OH 43512
11/16/2019 9:00AM

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Thank you for choosing us. This report is based on the inspectors observations. Not everything in the home will be observed. Additional inspections you may wish to have performed, as applicable, are: -Radon testing -Mold Testing -Asbestos Testing -Level 2 Chimney Inspection -Sewer Scope -Lead Testing -Pool Inspection  -Well and Septic Inspection -Water treatment system inspection -Termite/Wood destroying organism inspection. If you have any questions about the inspection or report, contact us at any time. 

1 - Report Navigation & Information

How/When to Read Your Report, Definitions, and Color Coding


Informational Sections of Report: These are clickable tabs that identify general specifics of the particular area or category of the property (location, condition, type, etc.) or gives general information about the report (click on Informational/Limitation tabs.) There also could be more specifics e.g. the gallon capacity, fuel type, brand, etc. of the water heater. Also listed will be any limitations/exclusions present at the time of inspection.

ReferencesThese are located in the Informational tabs and contain general, helpful information intended to help you understand the terminology of your report, best practices, limitations, etc. Not everything, but most, on these pages will generally apply to the particular property.

Narratives: These are the color coded "boxes" below the grid sections that detail the particular observation/defect and recommendations. NOTE: Sometime there will be red text which denotes potential safety issues or latent safety issues. 

Internet links: Blue writing within narratives and/or report are clickable links.

SummaryThis generally sums up the attention issues in the report, but should not be used solely as a reference on the condition of the property. Please be sure to read and understand the entire report to aid you in making an educated decision on your real estate purchase. Also, be sure read to read this.

Costs/Estimates: If included, the prices are not quotes, estimates or costs to cure. They are "guesstimates" only, based on what was seen to help you prioritize the major defects. Individual prices from contractors can vary substantially from these ranges. I advise that several bids be obtained on any work exceeding a few hundred dollars. Some situations are too complex to put a guesstimate on and/or require further, detailed assessment.  The max range should always be assumed to be higher. Click here for more info. Check out these 3 sites for prices/costs too:  $ $ $

Pictures/VideosThese are included (as applicable) to help you understand and see what was seen at the time of the Inspection. They can be clicked on within the report to enlarge/show more detail. Pics and vids are intended to show an example, graphic, or illustration of an area of concern, but may not show every occurrence and may not accurately depict its severity. Also note that not all areas of concern will be pictured (we take hundreds of pictures or multiple videos and not all come out clearly or properly.) Please do not rely on pictures or videos alone.

Taking Care of Your Property (at end)Preventative maintenance tips are a valuable aid pertaining to property ownership. 

THE ASPEC INSIGHT (at end):  This special section better explains our inspection process and provides insight on the inspection part of the real estate transaction.  We highly recommend reading, at the least, the sections marked with an *(asterisk) along with entire report before your inspection contingency expires as it will hopefully answer any questions you may have.



You should read/understand the complete report:

  1. NOW/Before your inspection time contingency period expires,
  2. Before you close escrow,
  3. After you close escrow and move in,
  4. If you have questions at anytime - See contact info


These are the grid sections at the beginning of each report area.

I = Inspected: Indicates component(s) or system were inspected and acceptable/overall intact or was functioning as intended with no significant deficiencies or anomalies, however, some exceptions may exist and/or will be listed in observations/recommendations. 

NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection:  Indicates that either part of a system/component could not be inspected/evaluated thoroughly or was limited due to applicable conditions present at the time of inspection.

NP = Not Present:  Indicates that a system or components were not present at the time of inspection. If the system or component should have been or is recommended to be present, there will be an Observation/Recommendation comment color coded box.

O/R = Observations/Recommendations/Defects: These are the narratives about your particular property are located directly below the info sections of your report. They provide more in depth explanations, comments/recommendations, or suggestions and are written exclusively for you. They will be color coded orange, blue, & red.  (See below for definitions.)


Secondary (Orange colored boxes): The majority of the items in the report will fall into this category, which denotes observations/items/components that the inspector does not deem to be overly significant at this time and are considered discretionary.  Some will be for your info/FYI .  Others will need repair, replacement, maintenance, corrective action, improvement, further disclosure or evaluation, or monitoring. Some of these observations/items/components may develop into more significant concerns/issues if not addressed or attended at some point.

Primary (Blue colored boxes): Denotes observations/items/components that, in the inspector's opinion, needs immediate repair, replacement, corrective action, further evaluation, approval by local authority, or is otherwise significant. Also includes items/systems/components that may have not been operating and/or operating properly at the time of inspection. These items should generally be addressed before your home inspection contingency period expires or the close of escrow. NOTE: If systems/components have multiple issues, repairs could become major when all said and done.

Major  (Red colored boxes): Denotes observations/items/components that, in the inspector's opinion, is a major or more significant issue and needs immediate attention or repair, replacement, corrective action, or further evaluation. These items, too, should generally be addressed before your home inspection contingency period expires or the close of escrow. 

Again, you should read the entire report to understand and keep in context all recommendations and observations, as your opinions on observations/recommendations may differ.

2 - Inspection Details

In Attendance
Client(s), Client's family member, At the end of inspection
Seller's disclosure
Did not view
Furnished, Occupied
Single story
Foundation type
Josh Frederick CPI
Temperature/Weather/Ground Status
Precipitation in last 3 days? Yes, Ground: Relatively dry
Facing direction
House faces North, For the sake of this report
Utilities and Main Shut Off Locations
All on, No gas service supplied to property, Municipal/city sewer, Water supply: Pond

3 - Property/Inspection Info

3.1 General X X X
  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
3.1.1 - General

Household Emergencies

Recommend reading & familiarizing yourself (and family) with the document "Household Emergencies". See corresponding areas of this report for locations of your main shut off valves.

3.1.2 - General

General Inspection Info

This property inspection is not an exhaustive inspection of the structure, systems, or components. The inspection may not reveal all deficiencies. A real estate inspection helps to reduce some of the risk involved in purchasing a property, but it cannot eliminate these risks, nor can the inspection anticipate future events or changes in performance due to changes in use or occupancy. It is recommended that you obtain as much information as is available about this property, including any sellers disclosures, previous inspection reports, engineering reports, building/remodeling permits, and reports performed for or by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers, and appraisers.

Property conditions change with time and use. For example, mechanical devices can fail at any time, plumbing gaskets and seals may crack if the appliance or plumbing fixture is not used often, roof leaks can occur at any time regardless of the apparent condition of the roof, and the performance of the structure and the systems may change due to changes in use or occupancy, effects of weather, etc.

3.1.3 - General

Moisture staining (mold/microbial/fungal growth)

Any black, white, yellow, green, etc. staining and/or discolored areas, that may be mentioned in this report, may include mold/fungi/microbial growth - have tested/further evaluated as needed by qualified personnel and cleaned/remediated accordingly. Condition is caused by moisture. Recommend eliminating source of moisture accordingly and regular homeowner monitoring and maintenance thereafter. More on mold

Hardhat Mold Inspector
3.1.4 - General


Repairs/improvements should be made by qualified personnel. It should be understood that upon further investigation by professional contractors or personnel, other components or items not noted in the summary and/or report may be uncovered or in need of repair for safety/integrity/compliancy purposes, especially at unseen/hidden areas. Any repairs dealing with moisture should be assumed to have further or hidden areas of deterioration/damage. 

The qualified contractors job is to perform the diagnosis and correction based on the results of a diagnostic assessment, not ours. In doing that, again, its possible the issue may turn into a bigger one or vice versa, due to a more in-depth/exhaustive review of our findings. We also may offer some opinions on diagnosis or potential costs, based on experience or common sources, but our opinions should not be construed as a professional diagnostic assessment or estimate.

Contractor Qualified Professional
3.1.5 - General

Asbestos (ACM)/Lead (pre-1980)

Structures built prior to the mid 1980s may contain lead and/or asbestos. Lead is commonly found in paint and in some plumbing components. The EPA does not recognize newer coats of paint as encapsulating older coats of lead-based paint. Asbestos is commonly found in various building materials such as insulation, heating ducts, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Laws were passed in 1978 to prohibit usage of lead and asbestos, but stocks of materials containing these substances remained in use for a number of years thereafter. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is beyond the scope of this inspection. Any mention of these materials in this report is made as a courtesy only, and meant to refer the client to a specialist. Possible asbestos materials in this report will be listed as 'possible ACM' - Asbestos Containing Material.  Consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement specialists for this type of evaluation/testing and options for corrective action. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, click here and here.

Contractor Qualified Professional
3.1.6 - General

Occupied/Furnished Residence (Occupying)

The residence was furnished, and in accordance with industry standards we only inspect those surfaces that are exposed and readily accessible. Additionally, structures that are occupied and fully or partially furnished at the time of the inspection many times prevent me from seeing everything, testing everything, or having access to everything. Concealed defects are not within the scope of the home inspection. We do not move furniture, lift carpets or rugs, nor do we remove or rearrange items within closets or cabinets. It is important that you inspect the interior portions of the residence that were concealed or otherwise inaccessible (preferably at the final walk-through) and contact us immediately if any adverse conditions are observed that were not reported on in your inspection report. Along with defects that we might not have noted due to such conditions, since the structure is still being lived in and used, additional deferred maintenance items may be present themselves. It should also be noted in occupied homes that GFCI or AFCI outlets/breakers are not tested unless I am 100% sure nothing is plugged into the circuit or the devices/components plugged in are o.k. as far as cutting power for a second or two.  You should check these devices accordingly to ensure they function properly.

Mag glass Monitor
3.1.7 - General

Permits (additions/alterations/significant repairs)

Additions/alterations/significant repairs or improvements have been made to this property. Therefore, you should request documentation that should include permits and any warranties or guarantees that might be applicable, because we do not approve of, or tacitly endorse, any work that was completed without permits, and latent defects could exist. Note that the presence of non-permitted modifications or additions introduces a history that follows the home and may affect your ability to sell the property at some point in the future.

Contractor Qualified Professional
3.1.8 - General


3.1.9 - General


One or more outbuildings on the property.  Outbuildings are not included and not inspected/evaluated, unless an additional fee was paid.  Anything that may be noted in this report is noted as a courtesy and does not mean the entire building was Inspected.  Evaluate accordingly before taking occupancy.

3.1.10 - General


One or more updated/newer materials/components apparent. The seller should be consulted for information regarding any warranties that may still be in effect and whether any such warranties (if they exist) are transferable.

4 - Grounds

4.1 Grading & Drainage X
4.2 Driveways & Walkways X X
4.3 Steps, Stoops, & Railings X X
4.4 Foundation X X X
4.5 Vegetation X
4.6 Deck X X X
4.7 Antenna X X
Grading & Drainage: Misc.
Drainage - No issues noted, Flat/nearly flat/negative grading in some areas - improve accordingly
Foundation: See following sections of report for further information about foundation observations
Deck: Location
Steps, Stoops, & Railings: REFERENCES

Stair safety: Click here for information on stairs and stair safety

Deck terms
Grading & Drainage: REFERENCES

Grading and DrainageGrading, landscaping, flatwork, etc. that is ideally sloped away from the foundation, aids in preventing excess moisture and keeping foundations intact. Ideally, a rule of thumb is about 4-6 inches for the first 6 feet. Flat, nearly flat, dips, or negative grading near the foundation presents a less-than-ideal condition, which unfortunately is the case on most of the properties we visit.Additionally, standing water too close to the foundation can undermine the foundation and cause moisture damage. Standing water can also provide breeding grounds for unwanted insects. Please keep in mind, that exterior grading drainage issues are difficult to assess determined during dry weather. If ideal grading and drainage conditions do not exist at the property, some solutions include, but not limited to:

Installing/improving drainage tile, trenches, swales, sump pump/pit, drywells etc. and/or waterproofing and repairing any damaged exterior foundation walls to help control & alleviate moisture intrusion

Consult with a qualified landscaping/drainage/irrigation contractor or a foundation professional to discuss corrective options

Driveways & Walkways: REFERENCES

Flatwork/horizontal surfaces (driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.)

  • Cracks:Seal/repair cracksaccordingly to prevent subsequent damage from freezing/thawing/settlement.
  • Pitch/slope:Horizontal surfaces may crack/settle/heave toward the structure. Flatwork (patios, sidewalks, etc.) should always be appropriately pitched away from thestructure to reduce the likelihood of moisture issues. If not, provisions should be made to ensure water is properly shed away from residence/structure (e.g. drainage systems, mudjacking to re-establish proper pitch, replacement, etc.)

Vegetation: REFERENCES

VegetationVegetation in contact with the structure can cause damage to exterior components from moisture, insects, and physical damage. Keep all vegetation away from the structure a minimum of 6". Trees should be at least 10 ft. away from the structure as the roots can damage drain pipes/components and damage foundations. Practice regular homeowner monitoring & maintenance and keep vegetation cut back/maintained.

Foundation: Limitations: Visibility/Accessibility

Limited Inspection: Some areas of the exterior foundation not readily visible due to soil, vegetation, inaccessibility, siding, or other hindering conditions.

Deck: Limited Inspection: Substructure (excluded)

Substructure (underneath) inspection excluded due to access limitations and/or low clearance or obstructions.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
4.1.1 - Grading & Drainage

Condition (good)

Overall lot drainage was good

4.2.1 - Driveways & Walkways

Cracks (sealing/repair)
North .

Typical cracks present - seal/repair accordingly to prevent subsequent moisture intrusion/damage.

Contractor Qualified Professional
4.2.2 - Driveways & Walkways

Drainage/slope (drainage toward structure)
North Sidewalk

Drainage Issue: The slope/pitch is not conducive to good drainage and risks sending water towards the structure. Corrective action: Repair or have drainage provisions installed/implemented. 

Contractor Qualified Professional
4.2.3 - Driveways & Walkways

Damage / deterioration (masonry)

Damaged/deteriorated masonry materials- have repaired/replaced accordingly to ensure areas are intact.

Brick Masonry, Concrete, Brick & Stone
4.3.1 - Steps, Stoops, & Railings

Handrails (missing)
West deck .

Handrails missing/not installed. Falls, injuries, etc. could occur if not installed/corrected. Corrective action:  Ensure a stair handle exists that complies with modern safety standards.

Wrenches Handyman
4.3.2 - Steps, Stoops, & Railings

Flashing (missing/not visible)
North .

There was no visible flashing apparent where steps meet the house/structure.  This condition may allow for moisture infiltration and moisture/debris collection and damage/deterioration/rot (which I saw no evidence of.) Corrective action: Have flashing/components installed as necessary whereas the potential for moisture intrusion/deterioration is reduced.

Contractor Qualified Professional
4.3.3 - Steps, Stoops, & Railings

Risers (uneven)

Uneven risers/steps present.  This condition can be a tripping hazard. Stair risers should be consistent throughout.  Corrective action: Improve/repair as needed for safety purposes and/or use caution when using.  

Contractor Qualified Professional
4.4.1 - Foundation

Damage/displacement (minimal)
Garage Northeast .

Damaged/displaced masonry in one or more areas noted. In our opinion, conditions are not structurally significant at this time. This is not uncommon for this age and type of construction, combined with expansive soils. Corrective action:  Recommend keeping any damaged/displaced areas or cracks/gaps caulked/repaired/tuck-pointed and well sealed to be able to monitor for future movement or leaking. If either condition should ever occur, repairs could be needed.  Drainage should also be improved accordingly, as poor drainage is often the root cause.

Brick Masonry, Concrete, Brick & Stone
4.6.1 - Deck

Ledger board (flashing - 1-pc/no z-drip cap.)

Deck ledger board had a metal flashing present against house (good), however, the proper type of flashing was not present. The lack of proper 2-piece flashing system, means that moisture has the potential to collect between board and flashing, possible causing moisture deterioration/intrusion and/or potential component failure. Corrective action/best practice: The presence of a drip cap/z-type flashing, along with a lower sill flashing, at the deck ledger board is recommended.

House front 1 Deck Contractor
4.7.1 - Antenna


Antenna loose/upper brackets missing - repair accordingly to avoid damage to house/ building materials.

Contractor Qualified Professional

5 - Roof

5.1 Roof Coverings X X
5.2 Flashings/Roof Penetrations X
5.3 Ventilation X
Roof Coverings: Location
Roof Coverings: Inspection Method
Roof Coverings: Roof type
Roof Coverings: Material
Asphalt Dimensional Shingles
Roof Coverings: Approx. Age/"Guesstimate"
1 - 5+ yrs., Consult seller/owner as necessary
Roof Coverings: Five Year Replacement Probability
Roof Coverings: Visible layers
Ventilation: Type/Material
Combination soffit and ridge vents
Roof Coverings: REFERENCES

Typical life expectancy:  The life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, building and design, material quality, adequate ventilation (when applicable), and routine maintenance, but the typical life expectancy of the most common roof types are: Regular Asphalt shingle:15-20 yrs, Dimensional Asphalt shingle: 25-30 yrs., Rubber/EPDM: 15-25 yrs., Metal: 40-80 yrs.

General: Roofs in areas that experience severe weather, such as hail may also experience a shorter-than-normal lifespan overall or may incur isolated damage that requires repair in order to ensure the service life of the surrounding roofing materials.

There are many different roof types, which we attempt to evaluate by walking on their surfaces. If we are unable or unwilling to access the roof for any reason, we will indicate the method that was used to evaluate them. Every roof will wear differently relative to its age, the number of its layers, the quality of its material, the method of its application, its exposure to direct sunlight or other prevalent weather conditions, and the regularity of its maintenance. Regardless of its design-life, every roof is only as good as the waterproof membrane beneath it, which is concealed and cannot be examined without removing the roof material, and this is equally true of almost all roofs. In fact, the material on the majority of pitched roofs is not designed to be waterproof only water-resistant. However, what remains true of all roofs is that, whereas their condition can be evaluated, it is virtually impossible for anyone to detect a leak except as it is occurring or by specific water tests, which are beyond the scope of our service. Even water stains on ceilings, or on the framing within attics, could be old and will not necessarily confirm an active leak without some corroborative evidence, and such evidence can be deliberately concealed. Consequently, only the installers can credibly guarantee that a roof will not leak, and they do. We evaluate every roof conscientiously, and even attempt to approximate its age, but we will not predict its remaining life expectancy, or guarantee that it will not leak. Naturally, the sellers or the occupants of a residence will generally have the most intimate knowledge of the roof and of its history. Therefore, we recommend that you ask the sellers about it, and that you either include comprehensive roof coverage in your home insurance policy, or that you obtain a roof certification from an established local roofing company.

Visit roof for some very helpful information regarding roofs & roof maintenance.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
5.1.1 - Roof Coverings

Condition (newer - good condition)

Roof coverings were newer, looked good, appeared to be professionally installed, with no/minimal defects/deficiencies apparent. 

5.1.2 - Roof Coverings

Nails/ fasteners (exposed)
Northeast Lower .

One or more nail heads/fasteners were exposed.  All penetrations need to be appropriately sealed to avoid moisture intrusion.  Corrective action:  Have sealed accordingly to prevent potential moisture concerns.

Wrench DIY
5.1.3 - Roof Coverings


Two types of warranties are typically offered when new roof coverings are installed; The manufacturers warranty, which covers the materials/coverings themselves and varies among manufacturers (read & understand the fine print!), and the contractors warranty, which covers installation and workmanship (again, read & understand the fine print!) When a home is sold, a roof warranty may fully transfer to the buyer, may transfer for a shortened length of time, may transfer with limited coverage or may not transfer at all. PRUDENT ACTION: You should ask the seller about how the sale of the home will affect any warranty presently covering the roof and confirm any seller claims by reading the warranty.

5.3.1 - Ventilation

Condition (good/well ventilated)

Roof/attic spaces were well ventilated. 

6 - Exterior

6.1 Siding X X
6.2 Exterior Doors/Windows X X
6.3 Gutters/Downspouts X X
6.4 Soffits & Fascia X
6.5 Caulking X X
6.6 Outlets X
Siding: Type/Material
Exterior Doors/Windows: Exterior Doors
Weatherstripping: Intact, Doorbell: Operated, Patio door screen torn
Exterior Doors/Windows: Exterior Windows
Window frames: Aluminum wrapped, Screens: Present, Sills: Adequately pitched, SEE REFERENCES
Gutters/Downspouts: Misc.
Downspout extensions: Good
Outlets: GFCI protection
Present, Not all checked due to being a furnished residence
Outlets: Exterior covers
In-use/bubble covers not present (recommended), SEE REFERENCES

Siding clearance from grade/hardscapeYou should be able to see the foundation (at least 4 - 6 inches) to help avoid moisture/insect issues - improve/maintain/monitor accordingly if not.

House wrap/WRBThe wall sheathing beneath the siding may or may not be covered with a water proofing membrane, commonly called house wrap or a WRB (Weather Resistive Barrier). It is recommended, but we can't always verify its presence or absence (depending on siding type.) House wrap

Housewrap is sheathing installed on exterior walls before the siding or other cladding is attached.The term refers to all materials (made today, typically, from plastic or spun-fiber polyethylene) designed to replace tar paper, which serves the same function.Since almost any exterior finishing material will allow at least some water to penetrate it, housewrap is used underneath to guard the building envelope against water entry. Housewrap also serves to minimize air flow through walls, though it is not a vapor retarder. In fact, housewrap is designed to stop liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through.This lets moist or humid air escape from the interior and simultaneously keeps water outside. Please visit siding for more info.

Wall flashingThe proper installation of appropriate flashings is critical to water proofing the exterior walls. Missing or improperly installed flashings are the most common cause of moisture intrusion to walls and baseboards. Because these flashings are often hard to see or even concealed by the exterior wall coverings, we cannot endorse them and specifically disclaim any evaluation of these flashings if not clearly visible, and leaks may become evident only during heavy, prolonged or wind-driven rainfall.

Exterior Doors/Windows: REFERENCES

Exterior Doors & WindowsMaintain the caulking around the frames on the exterior to avoid moisture concerns.Weatherstripping & caulking is needed for preventing drafts and improving energy efficiency. If not present, deadbolt locks are always recommended on exterior doors for security purposes. Doors and windows

  • Door & window screens: If one or more screens are missing and/or not installed, make sure all are accounted for before closing. We do not evaluate window screens, because many people choose to remove them for visibility/aesthetic reasons. Also, they are easily damaged and can be removed after our inspection. Therefore, we choose to disclaim them.
  • Window sills: Sills should be appropriately pitched to shed water away from doors and windows. If flat or nearly flat, ongoing monitoring & maintenance should be practiced to deter moisture intrusion.
  • Window flashing: The proper installation of flashings around windows is critical to water proofing the exterior walls. Missing or improperly installed flashings are the most common cause of moisture intrusion to walls and baseboards beneath windows. Because these flashings are concealed by the exterior wall covering, we cannot endorse them and specifically disclaim any evaluation of these flashings, and leaks may become evident only during heavy, prolonged or wind-driven rainfall.
  • Trim flashing: The presence of trim flashing is recommended, if not present.
Gutters/Downspouts: REFERENCES

Gutters and DownspoutsKeep gutters clean and downspout extensions in place (4 or more). If no gutters exist, it is highly recommended that they be added. Gutters and downspouts play a vital role in moisture management.

  • Downspouts underground: If downspouts are discharged underground they can not be visually inspected - have evaluated/inspected as necessary by a plumber with a camera snake (or equivalent) to determine conditions and/or ensure downspouts properly discharge and/or do not tie into sewer system. 
  • Gutter Screens: If not present, IMPROVE/UPGRADE as needed by adding gutter screens or devices to keep debris out of gutters.

CaulkingMaintain all exterior finishes, caulking, and other sealants at any dissimilar material abutments and all penetrations to the walls and roof to aid in the prevention of moisture and vermin intrusion and costly repairs. Many different types of caulk are available - Click here for more information. I have used Geocel products in the past and found them to be very reliable & easy to work with.

Gutters/Downspouts: Limitations: Downspouts underground

One or more downspouts terminate underground or to a drain: Components installed underground and were not evaluated/tested/inspected. Have evaluated/tested/inspected as necessary to determine condition. 

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
6.1.1 - Siding

North . East .

There were one or more areas of siding that was missing, loose, had gaps/openings present, or was damaged/deteriorated. Siding should be intact to ensure proper protection. Corrective action: Repair/replace accordingly to ensure siding components are intact, protecting structure accordingly, and to avoid vermin/insect entry.

Siding Siding Contractor
6.2.1 - Exterior Doors/Windows

Condition (good/no defects or deficiencies apparent)

Doors/windows looked good with no/minimal defects/deficiencies apparent. 

6.2.2 - Exterior Doors/Windows

Windows (flashing - not visible)
East .

There was no visible flashing on the window flanges, which is typically required by window manufacturer and is highly recommended construction practice as a defense against potential moisture and/or air intrusion.  Due to the absence of flashing, the likelihood of eventual moisture intrusion/damage is increased.  Corrective action: Ensure that all affected windows be installed per manufacturers recommendations and/or local building practices. Consult with a qualified contractor, who specializes in window/siding installation, as necessary, for remedy recommendation. SEE REFERENCES.

Window Window Repair and Installation Contractor
6.3.1 - Gutters/Downspouts


Gutter system appeared to be in overall good condition.

6.5.1 - Caulking

Areas where caulking/sealant needed
See Photo(s)

Missing/deteriorated caulking or sealants - re-seal/replace/add accordingly and subsequently maintain. SEE PHOTOS for some locations and SEE REFERENCE.

Wrench DIY

7 - Garage

7.1 Walls/Ceiling/Structure X X X
7.2 Floor X
7.3 Overhead Garage Door/Opener X X
7.4 Electrical X X
7.5 Firewall X X
7.6 Garage to house door X
Floor: Construction/Components
Floor drain?: Not present, Sills: Elevated (ideal), Typical cracks present - seal/repair accordingly
Overhead Garage Door/Opener: Safety features/Wall button operational controls
Safety eyes present?: Yes, Safety reverse present?: Yes, Wall button less than 5 ft. from floor?: No (good)
Electrical: GFCI protection
Present, Safety feature not checked due to being a furnished residence, SEE ELECTRICAL REFERENCES
Firewall: Breaches
Attic door

Sills: Raised sills are ideal.If not raised or wall coverings extend to floor, ongoing monitoring and maintenance will be needed to prevent moisture deterioration.

Floor drains: If present, the drain function is not evaluated. 

Overhead Garage Door/Opener: REFERENCES

Overhead Door Openers: Safety reverse features should be tested now and occasionally thereafter to ensure proper operation. We also recommend the operating switches be set high enough so children cannot reach them (at least 5'.) Openers are inspected in manual and installed wall switch control operation only. Remote controls and auxiliary keypads are not inspected (consult with sellers for codes and/or to ensure these work properly.) 

Please ensure your safety systems are regularly checked/maintained for proper operation.


Firewalls: For attached garages only:The majority of older houses do not have proper firewalls and compliance is established by local requirements. Purpose: The majority of household fires start in garages, and the function of a firewall is to slow the spread of fire from the garage to the dwelling area. If not present, consult with local officials or authority having jurisdiction, and repair/install as needed.All that is needed is a layer of 5/8" drywall over the wall or ceiling surfaces that connect the garage to the dwelling. All drywall seams should be taped, and any air ducts passing through the firewall should be comprised of fire-rated materials, such as sheet metal.When this firewall does not extend into the attic, that is, when the garage attic is not separated from the house attic, then the garage ceiling becomes part of the required garage firewall. Homeowners, typically unaware of such requirements, often violate this fire separation by installing a folding ladder as an attic access. If there is a door between the house and garage, it should be fire-rated (solid-core) and equipped with a self-closing device & weatherstripping (to prevent automobile fumes from entering the living area) -Improve accordingly to ensure firewall is intact or in place (check local requirements) for enhanced safety in the event of a fire.

Walls/Ceiling/Structure: Limited inspection: Excessive storage/furnishings/components

Some areas not visible/accessible due excessive storage/furnishings/components. Any visible, detrimental conditions will be noted. Notify us immediately if any detrimental conditions are found after areas are visible/accessible.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
7.1.1 - Walls/Ceiling/Structure

Cracks (ceiling - storage)

Storage areas were being used in garage roof framing with one or more cracks/gaps present at the garage ceiling.  Typically, roof/attic areas are designed to support roof loads and building structures accordingly.  When these areas are used for storage, as in this case and many others, the design loads may be exceeded and cause flexing/cracking of building materials. Corrective action: Although no evidence of major deflection/concerns/cracking, I recommend ensuring storage is light and/or spaced accordingly (use a common sense approach) or monitoring for wood support deflection/cracks or consulting a contractor/engineer to determine proper design loads/calculations and improve as necessary if subsequently using for excessive storage.

Mag glass Monitor
7.3.1 - Overhead Garage Door/Opener

Opener (safety reverse - not operating)

Safety reverse was not present or not working properly at the overhead door when tested with slight resistance in the downward travel. The overhead door should reverse easily when coming down and light resistance is met or it contacts something to prevent potential damage or injury. Corrective action: Adjust and/or ensure safety reverse is operating properly for safety purposes. SEE REFERENCES.

Garage Garage Door Contractor
7.3.2 - Overhead Garage Door/Opener

Opener (photoelectric eyes - installed too high)

Photoelectric eyes were installed too high and/or not installed at manufacturer recommended height, which is typically 6 as a recommended height to satisfy safe operation requirements.  Corrective action: Install photoelectric eyes at manufacturer recommended height for safety purposes. SEE REFERENCES.

Wrench DIY
7.5.1 - Firewall

Not present/compromised
Attic door

Firewall was not present/compromised/not in place - potential safety concern. Firewalls are installed for fire safety/to slow the spread of fire. Corrective action: Check with local authorities for compliance and/or repair/improve accordingly to satisfy requirements. SEE REFERENCES.

Putty knife Drywall Contractor

8 - Interior

8.1 Walls & Ceilings X
8.2 Doors X
8.3 Windows X
8.4 Floors X X
8.5 Smoke alarms & CO Detectors X X
8.6 Ceiling fans X
Windows: Window Manufacturer
Windows: Window Type
Vinyl double-paned, Double-hung
Windows: Approx. Age
1 - 5 yrs.
Windows: Five Year Replacement Probability
Smoke alarms & CO Detectors: Presence
Smoke alarms present at all required areas? No, CO detectors present: None found/visible, CO detector(s) in vicinity of bedrooms? No, Fire extinguisher: Present, SEE REFERENCES
Walls & Ceilings: REFERENCES

Walls & Ceilings: More info

Cracks: There are many reasons why cracks appear, including, but not limited to, structural settling, extreme temperature changes, high winds, poor plaster mixing, and improper curing. Don't panic if your walls and ceilings have common cracks, but monitor them to determine if they are active. However, also take into account weather conditions. For example, cracks commonly widen in cold, dry weather and close during wet weather. High winds and seismic movement can also cause cracks to appear or to reappear if they were patched.It is the nature of many construction materials to crack as they age and as they expand and contract, particularly with exposure to moisture as they get wet and dry out. The more common of these include concrete, asphalt, stucco, stone, brick, mortar, concrete block, plaster, and drywall (also called sheetrock or Gypsum).

It is highly likely that your home, even if brand new, has what are considered common cracks in common areas, such as interior walls at corners of doors and windows and ceilings (usually in the middle). It is virtually impossible for me to determine whether cracks are caused by structural failure or by some other cause, or, if caused by structural failure, whether the cause is active and ongoing. In a newer home (one that is no more than ten years old), cracks typically have not developed yet, but they will. Just wait. They will, and when they do, please re-read this section on cracks, and then weatherproof the cracks and monitor them for widening or lengthening.

There are always going to be cracks in building structures, recommend reading more about cracks, causes, and repair methods here.


Door stops & closet guides/door bracketsDamaged or missing door stops can result in door knobs or handles damaging walls. All swinging doors should be checked for door stops & if missing, install accordingly.If sliding closet doors are present: check to see that closet guides are in place. Missing or damaged closet guides can damage doors or other building components.


WindowsStorm units, shutters, awnings, drapes, curtains, blinds, tint films, and associated hardware are not inspected, except for what may be noted in this report as a courtesy. In accordance with industry standards, we do not test every window, and particularly if the property is furnished. There are many styles of windows but only two basic types, single and dual-glazed. Dual-glazed windows are superior, because they provide a thermal barrier, as well as an acoustical barrier. However, the hermetic seals on these windows can fail at any time, and cause condensation to form between the panes. Unfortunately, this is not always apparent, which is why we disclaim any evaluation of hermetic seals, unless obviously compromised (which will be noted in this report). Nevertheless, in accordance with industry standards, we test a representative number of unobstructed windows, and ensure that at least one window in every bedroom is operable and facilitates an emergency exit. Please click here for helpful information regarding typical windows.

Smoke alarms & CO Detectors: REFERENCES

Smoke Alarms: They should be tested monthly. Install additional smoke alarms accordingly so a functioning one exists on each level, in each bedroom, and in common area directly outside bedrooms (typically a hallway.)

Batteries should be replaced after taking occupancy, and annually in the future. "Chirping" noises emitted from smoke alarms typically indicate thatbatteries need replacing.

If the age of this structure is older than 10 years and/or units appear to be older, new/replacement smoke alarms are recommended. According to theNationalFireProtectionAssociation nfpa, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA.

CO detectors:  If one or more fuel burning appliances are present and/or there is an attached garage, CO detectors are needed/recommended. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a by-product of incomplete combustion in appliances. CO is a colorless,odorless, tasteless gas. In other words, you can not see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, but CO is a poisonous and deadly gas.I recommend installing a quality CO alarm near all bedrooms in a common area and other areas where required (near gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, etc.). Combination smoke/CO alarms are available. I also highly recommend all fuel burning appliances be maintained and checked regularly by qualified technicians. Carbon monoxide

Smoke alarms and CO detectors are not always tested during a home inspection.

Ceiling fans: REFERENCES

Ceiling FansCeiling fans are simply turned on and off and are tested at the high speed to determine if excessive wobble is present. They are not tested at all speeds when multiple speeds are present. Reversing functions also are not tested. Remote controls are not tested/operated unless in plain view, in other words, I don't search for remotes.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
8.2.1 - Doors

Northeast Bedrooms

Door damaged/deteriorated or had holes - repair/replace accordingly.

Contractor Qualified Professional
8.3.1 - Windows

Condition (newer)

Windows were newer, good quality, and in good shape.

8.4.1 - Floors

Kitchen / Dining Room. Hall .

Sloping floor and/or bulges/dips in floor. Determining the exact cause of any sloping/bulges/dips would require removal of the floor covering or other destructive testing, which is not within the scope of the property inspection. I did not see any major concerns apparent at the time of Inspection related to conditions.  Corrective action: As deemed necessary, have further evaluated by qualified flooring professional and/or general contractor and improved accordingly.  

Contractor Qualified Professional
8.4.2 - Floors

Trim (missing/not installed)

Trim pieces not installed and/or gaps existed- repair/replace to avoid debris collection and possible flooring damage.

Flooring Flooring Contractor
8.4.3 - Floors

Gaps/holes (sealing)
Dryer vent penetration

Gaps/holes present - seal/repair accordingly.

Wrench DIY
8.5.1 - Smoke alarms & CO Detectors

Distribution/presence (missing/minimal)
Smokes not in bedrooms . No CO detectors .

Limited/minimal/missing smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors. Condition presents a safety concern to occupants in the event of a fire or elevated carbon monoxide levels. Corrective action: Recommend installing additional smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors that comply with modern standards and requirements. Current requirements:Smoke alarms should be present on every level, in each sleeping area, and in the hallway outside sleeping areas.Two carbon monoxide detectors are recommended per household - one in common sleeping areas and one near furnace room.

Wrench DIY

9 - Kitchen

9.1 Countertops & Cabinets X
9.2 Sink/Faucet/Drain X
9.3 Appliances X X
9.4 Electrical X
Appliances: Appliances present
Stove/oven, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Exhaust fan, SEE REFERENCES
Appliances: Misc.
Anti-tip bracket installed at stove/oven?: No - SEE REFERENCES, Exhaust vent type: Recirculating Filters: Good
Electrical: GFCI protection
Appliances: REFERENCES

AppliancesI do not plug in appliances to test them, do not light gas pilot lights, and do not operate electric circuit breakers. I also do not unplug equipment to test outlets, nor do I dismantle equipment.  I also do not unplug equipment to test outlets, nor do I dismantle equipment.

Dishwashers are tested to see if the motor operates and there are no leaks (full cycles only run when applicable, on lightest/quickest setting). A high drain loop should be present.

Refrigerators/ice makers/ice maker supply lines are not tested/evaluated. Trash compactors are not evaluated/tested/inspected.

The garbage disposal is turned on, but the actual working function of the disposal blades is not determined; nothing was inserted into the disposal. NOTE: Many times, the wiring to the disposal is not properly protected in conduit, which is recommended if not present to protect from potential damage.

Stoves/ovens are tested to see that burners are working and oven and broiler get hot. Timer and controls are not tested.If the stove/oven does not have an anti-tip bracket installed, I recommend installing for safety purposes.

Built-in microwaves are checked by testing light & fan. Countertop microwaves are considered personal property and are not tested. Consult with the seller concerning operation and maintenance of countertop microwaves that convey with the property.

Exhaust fans The exhaust fan in the kitchen is meant to move air that is full of moisture and grease, as well as other indoor air pollutants common in the kitchen, to the exterior of the structure. Many homes, however, now come with over-the-range microwaves that include recirculating fans instead of exhaust fans. An exhaust fan is the best fan, in my opinion, for the kitchen, so if you ever have to replace a unit that has a recirculating fan, the extra expense of installing an exhaust fan with a flue to the exterior quite often results in a more pleasant experience in the kitchen, not to mention cleaner cabinet and countertop surfaces.

Appliances are tested by operating the controls as a user would normally operate them on a daily basis. No representation is made to continued life expectancy of any appliance.

Also, click here for some helpful maintenance & cleaning tips on typical household appliances.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
9.3.1 - Appliances

Dishwasher (high drain loop - not present)

No high drain loop was present which help prevent potential backflow of water in to the dishwasher and improper drainage of water. Most manufacturers require an air gap or high loop. Though dishwashers come from factories with the drain looped high against the side of the unit, this is not an acceptable substitute for the high loop underneath the kitchen sink. Corrective action:   Install a proper high loop and/or ensure dishwasher is installed per manufacturers recommendations to rule out any issues. Watch video

Tools Handyman/DIY

10 - Laundry

10.1 Washer & Dryer X X
10.2 Dryer Vent X X
Washer & Dryer: Presence/Operation
Not tested, Washer and dryer present
Washer & Dryer: Misc.
Dryer receptacle: Older 3 prong, Washer hose type: Rubber, SEE REFERENCES, Drain size unknown
Dryer Vent: Type/Material
Metal, Vinyl (Flex), Metal (semi-rigid)
Washer & Dryer: REFERENCES

Washer & dryer: Testing, inspection, analysis, or opinion of condition or function of free-standing appliances such as washers and dryers is not within the scope of a home inspection. They are considered personal property even when they convey with real estate. This means that the washer and dryer are not turned on or otherwise inspected (unless checked in info section), so if they are conveying to you as part of your new home, you should check them to ensure that you are satisfied with them.

  • Drain pans: If you washer is located in an area where a leak can cause water damage, have an overflow drain pan installed, particularly if the laundry room is located on the second floor. In some newer homes with larger laundry rooms, a drain line exists in the floor, but an overflow drain pan always a good idea and recommended.
  • Drain size: The washer drain line should be 2 in size for proper drainage, if not, it would be prudent to improve to ensure optimal drainage.
  • Washer hoses: Stainless steel braided type hoses are highly recommended over rubber washer hoses. Rubber hoses have been known to unexpectedly burst and obviously can cause big problems if no one is home to turn off the water. 
  • Dryer receptacle: Older homes (before 1999) may have a 3-prong outlet (newer dryers utilize a 4-prong cord with a 4-prong outlet). Convert accordingly, for enhanced safety.
  • Vent duct: If the clothes dryer is equipped with a plastic or foil, accordion-type, flexible duct - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. The flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow. Duct should be a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. Most manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, which provides maximum airflow.
  • Clothes dryer vents should be cleaned or inspected annually, vent cleaning brushes can be purchased. For long or inaccessible vents call a professional vent cleaning company. Also, clean lint filter after each use; this will reduce a known fire hazard, drying time, and energy costs.

For more information on any of the topics, click here.

Washer & Dryer: Limited Inspection: Present - not tested/operated


  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
10.2.1 - Dryer Vent

Exhaust (screened)

The dryer vent was screened, which is not recommended, and potentially unsafe. Screens tend to collect lint/debris which plug the vent, and therefore becomes a potential fire/safety hazard and also greatly reduces dryer efficiency.  Corrective action: Unless you're going to be constantly cleaning (which most people don't or forget about), I recommend removing screen and/or replacing with a dryer vent that does not employ a screen, as necessary.

Tools Handyman/DIY
10.2.2 - Dryer Vent

Material (plastic corrugated/roller coaster)

The dryer vent was the plastic, flexible type for the majority of the run. This type of dryer vent is not recommended and unsafe, as far as fire safety.  Material presents a latent fire hazard. "Roller coaster" condition also present which restricts exhaust/air flow, presents water and lint "traps", and has been known to cause dryer fires - safety concern. Dryer vents should be smooth, rigid aluminum ducts, connected with appropriate tape (no screws), and vented to the exterior of the home.  Corrective action:  Have replaced with a proper material to reduce the likelihood of damage.

$100 - $200
Tools Handyman/DIY

11 - Bathroom

11.1 Toilet(s) X X
11.2 Tub/Shower X
11.3 Sink/Vanity/Cabinet/Faucet X X
11.4 Electrical X
11.5 Bath fan X X
11.6 Tiled shower X
Electrical: GFCI protection
Tiled shower: Shower pan test
Not tested

Drains: Slow drains at tubs and showers are usually related to hair, soap scum, etc. Some tubs have a spring attached to the closing lever that acts as a catch for hair. It may require removing a couple of screws to disassemble. If you cannot mechanically remove the obstruction, be kind to your pipes. Don't use a caustic cleaner. There are several bacteria drain cleaners available.They are available at hardware stores in areas where septic tanks are used. These drain cleaners take a little longer to work, but are safe for you, your pipes, and the environment.  More info.

Sink/Vanity/Cabinet/Faucet: REFERENCES

Cabinets, Drawers, & CountertopsSink cabinets are a significant area where water problems occur, and where mold and mildew are likely to be found. Storage typically prevents the inspection of all of the cabinets, drawers, closets, and shelves. Storage on the countertops typically prevent full visibility, and countertops are where a lot of minor damage occurs from dropped plates and glasses in the kitchen, hair dryers in the bathrooms, etc. Concealed damage is not within the scope of the this inspection. Unfortunately, most people store household cleaning products and supplies in the sink cabinets without realizing the possible consequences of doing so. Sink cabinets are absolutely the wrong place to store cleaning chemicals because, by their very nature, they are corrosive, so do not store chemicals in them! Additionally, children wont be able to gain access to harmful and dangerous chemicals if they are not in those low sink cabinets. 

DrainsSlow drains at sinks are usually related to hair, soap scum, etc. Most sink pop-ups can be easily removed for cleaning. If you cannot mechanically remove the obstruction, be kind to your pipes. Don't use a caustic cleaner. There are several bacteria drain cleaners available. They are available at hardware stores in areas where septic tanks are used. These drain cleaners take a little longer to work, but are safe for you, your pipes, and the environment. 


Exhaust Fans:  Bathrooms with a shower should have exhaust fans. This helps to remove excess moisture from the room, preventing damage to the ceiling, walls, finishes, & preventing mold/mildew growth. The exhaust fan should not be vented into the attic. The proper way to vent the fans is to the outside.Running the vent pipe horizontally and venting into a gable end with/under insulation is preferred.Running the vent pipe vertically through the roof may cause condensation to run down the vent pipe, rusting the fan and damaging the wallboard. Insulating the vent pipe in the attic will help to reduce this problem. Venting into a soffit is also a poor practice/not recommended due to the soffit being used for intake air and the potential for moisture laden air from the fans to end up back in the building envelope, which is where you don't want it. Bathroom ventilation

Tiled shower: Shower pan

A professional shower pan installation in a stall shower is crucial to avoid leaks/moisture concerns. Although a visible inspection was made to determine whether a shower pan is currently leaking, it cannot be stated with certainty that no defect is present or that one may not soon develop.  Shower pan leaks often do not show except when the shower is in actual use. It is imperative that shower seams/joints remain well caulked/sealed/grouted and maintained.  No representation is made to proper shower pan installation and/or deterioration. Recommend regular homeowner monitoring & maintenance.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
11.1.1 - Toilet(s)

Loose (no evidence of current leaks)
Hall Bathroom .

Toilet was loose at the floor connection. Loose bolts is usually the reason, however, other causes are possible. Loose toilets can result in damage to plumbing pipes (leaks, water damage, etc.) or the bolts, toilet, or flooring. The wax ring can also become compromised and cause leaks. Corrective action: Although no evidence of current leaks, keep it that way by properly securing/fastening to floor/ toilet flange accordingly.

Wrench DIY
11.3.1 - Sink/Vanity/Cabinet/Faucet

Drain (leaks)
Hall Bath sink

Drain/drain components leaking - have repaired/replaced to avoid moisture concerns.

Pipes Plumbing Contractor
11.3.2 - Sink/Vanity/Cabinet/Faucet

Faucet (loose/damaged)
Master Bath sink

The faucet was loose and/or not properly fastened. Damage to faucet, sink, or plumbing may result if not properly installed/fastened. Corrective action: Ensure faucet/plumbing components are properly secured/installed.

Contractor Qualified Professional
11.3.3 - Sink/Vanity/Cabinet/Faucet

Sink (loose)
Master Bath sink

The sink/vanity was loose/not properly attached.  Property/plumbing damage or injury may occur as a result. Corrective action: Properly attach to cabinet to ensure secure installation and reduce the likelihood of damage.

Pipes Plumbing Contractor
11.5.1 - Bath fan

Ventilation (not present - no fan or window)
Master Bathroom

There ws no means of ventilation present either through a window or mechanically ventilated fan, which is required. Corrective action: Installation of a ventilation means by a qualified HVAC or plumbing technician is recommended.

$300 - $400
Contractor Qualified Professional
11.5.2 - Bath fan

Hall Bathroom

Fan was noisy when operated indicating need for servicing/cleaning/repair accordingly.

Wrench DIY

12 - Fireplace/Chimney

12.1 Chimney X X X
12.2 Fireplace (solid fuel) X X
Fireplace (solid fuel): Type/Material
Pellet stoves
Fireplace (solid fuel): REFERENCES

Solid fuel fireplaces:  It is highly recommended that all solid fuel-burning appliances (woodstoves and fireplaces) be inspected now and annually by a qualified chimney service contractor and cleaned as necessary for safety purposes. For safety and liability reasons, this inspection does not include lighting a fire in the fireplace to check for proper operation, however, we do inspect it the best we can to find any issues. You should become familiar and confident with the use and operation of fireplaces before lighting a fire.

Although a Level I inspection was performed, the National Fire Protection Association (nfpa) advises that each fireplace receive a Level II inspection for Real Estate transactions. These inspections should be performed by a qualified chimney sweep/fireplace professionals certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (csia). NOTE: Level II inspection is always recommended for any type of fireplace.

Chimney: Limitations: Level 1

Limited Inspection: Level 1/basic Inspection only

Fireplace (solid fuel): Limitations: Level 1

Limited Inspection: Level 1/basic Inspection only - SEE REFERENCES

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
12.1.1 - Chimney

Screened cover(s) (missing/not installed)
Pellet stoves.

Chimney flue(s)/vent pipe(s) did not have a screened cover installed. Screened covers prevent the following:

  • Wildlife (birds, rodents, raccoons, etc.) entering flues

Corrective action: Have screened caps installed where necessary to reduce the likelihood of these issues.  Check manufacturer specs to see what type is recommended, as needed. NOTE: Also, ensure proper wall thimble is present at the SE flue pipe - check manufacturer requirements.

Fireplace Chimney Repair Contractor
12.2.1 - Fireplace (solid fuel)

Pellet stove

Proper pellet stove installations are difficult to confirm as many areas are not visible and clearances, specifications, etc. vary with manufacturer. Have further evaluated by a qualified fireplace professional before using unless homeowner has documentation regarding proper installation, servicing, etc. SEE REFERENCES. NOTE: It was apparent that the current owners used the pellet stoves as main heating source.  This may be why baseboard or electric heating was limited and/or not working properly in some areas.

Fire Fireplace Contractor

13 - Attic

13.1 Accessibility/Visbility X X
13.2 Accessibility/Visbility 2 X
13.3 Framing/Construction X
13.4 Moisture X
13.5 Insulation X
13.6 Ventilation X
13.7 Exhaust Vents/Fans/Systems X X
Accessibility/Visbility: Location
Upper/main attic
Accessibility/Visbility: Inspection Method
Traversed with limitations - SEE LIMITATIONS
Accessibility/Visbility 2: Location
Accessibility/Visbility 2: Inspection Method
Not inspected - no access
Framing/Construction: Type/Materials
Rafters, Size: 2 x 6, Sheathing: Plywood
Moisture: Indications/Evidence
No current indications or evidence visible
Insulation: Insulation Type
Cellulose, Blown
Insulation: R-Value (approx.)
R-30 to R-40
Insulation: Attic bypasses
SEE REFERENCES, None visible
Insulation: Insulation Depth
10 - 15 inches
Insulation: REFERENCES

Insulation: The recommended insulation in the attic area for our region of the country is R-49, approximately 15 inches. If insulation is added, it is important that the ventilation is proper/not blocked, attic bypasses sealed/insulated, and electrical junction boxes are located & serviceable. How to insulate attic

Attic bypassesSealing/improving/repairing/insulating attic bypasses is highly recommended as this prudent practice plays a vital role in moisture control, such as preventing ice dams, mold, & condensation issues, in addition to ensuring energy efficiency. Sealing attic bypasses

Ventilation: REFERENCES

VentilationVentilation is recommended at the rate of one square foot of vent area to 300 square feet of attic floor space, this being divided between soffit and rooftop. The best combination of ventilation is the soffit & ridge vent system - Evidence of condensation, such as, but not limited to, blackened roof sheathing, can be an indication that ventilation may have been or is blocked or inadequate (other/multiple causes are possible). Proper attic ventilation is necessary to help the roof covering meet its life expectancy. There are several different types of attic ventilation, usually used in conjunction with each other. None of them should be defeated by any means, but they should be checked regularly to ensure that they are working and not damaged/blocked or otherwise compromised. Make sure that the vent screens are in place;missing or damaged vent screens can allow unwanted wildlife to intrude into the attic space, resulting in unusual noises, damage to utilities, building components, storage in the attic, and odors and health hazards from wildlife droppings.

Accessibility/Visbility: Visibility/accessibility limitations
Accessibility/Visbility 2: Limited Inspection: No access

Attic not inspected due to no access. As necessary, have evaluated before taking occupancy to ensure that there are no major concerns.

Insulation: Limited Inspection: Attic bypasses

Uncovering/finding attic bypasses is extremely limited as majority are not visible under attic insulation.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
13.3.1 - Framing/Construction

Condition (good/no defects or deficiencies apparent)

Framing/attic substructure looked good with no or minimal defects/deficiencies apparent. 

13.7.1 - Exhaust Vents/Fans/Systems

Bath fan (termination in attic)
Hall bath .

Bath fan vented into the attic space or within the building envelope which is a poor practice. Bath fan exhaust/moisture should always be appropriately routed to the exterior to avoid moisture concerns within the attic areas/building envelope. Corrective action: Have a qualified contractor properly extend exhaust to the exterior to deter moisture/excess heat concerns.  NOTE:  Vent pipe also needs to be properly insulated when passing through an unconditioned area like the attic.

$150 - $200
Contractor Qualified Professional

14 - Crawlspace

14.1 Accessibility/Visibility X X
14.2 Foundation X
14.3 Framing/Construction/Substructure X X
14.4 Insulation X X
14.5 Moisture X X
14.6 Vapor Barrier/Ground X
14.7 Foundation vents X X
Accessibility/Visibility: Inspection Method
Foundation: Type/Material
Concrete block - CMU's
Framing/Construction/Substructure: Type/Material
2 x 10 floor joists, Plywood sheathing (ceiling)
Insulation: Type/Material
Fiberglass batts
Moisture: Indications/Evidence
Musty odor? None noticeable, Some indications/evidence present, SEE REFERENCES
Vapor Barrier/Ground: Vapor barrier
Present, Acceptable, Approx. 6 mil thick, SEE REFERENCES
Vapor Barrier/Ground: Debris
Some present, SEE REFERENCES
Foundation: REFERENCES

Foundation:  No representation is made as to the condition of walls that are finished off or covered with insulation, making areas inaccessible.Although an effort has been made to note any major inflections or weaknesses, it is difficult at best to detect these areas. In accordance with our Standards of Practice, we identify foundation types and look for any evidence of structural deficiencies. However, cracks or deteriorated surfaces in foundations are quite common. In fact, it would be rare to find a raised foundation wall that was not cracked or deteriorated in some way. Fortunately, most of these cracks are related to the curing process or to common settling, including some wide ones called cold-joint separations that typically contour the footings, but others can be more structurally significant and reveal the presence of expansive soils that can predicate more or less continual movement. We will certainly alert you to any suspicious cracks if they are clearly visible. However, we are not specialists, and in the absence of any major defects we may not recommend that you consult with a foundation contractor, a structural engineer, or a geologist, but this should not deter you from seeking the opinion of any such expert.

Insulation: REFERENCES

Insulation:  Properly insulating crawlspaces is very important and highly recommended to ensure energy efficiency and reduce the likelihood of moisture issues. We recommend insulating walls & sills (more important) with either foamboard, spray foam, or similar. We do not recommend fiberglass batts, as more harm is often caused rather than good.If not present or damaged/missing areas, install insulation as applicable and that is sufficient for the area to improve energy efficiency and reduce the likelihood of moisture concerns. 


MoistureFailed footing drainage tiling, deteriorated/damaged exterior parge coatings or waterproofing materials, and exterior foundation cracks are often the root causes of moisture. These conditions should all be addressed from the exterior,and are usually more expensive to fix. This course of action is almost always the best solution and is recommended.However, previous mentioned deficiencies are by no means intended to be an exhaustive list of causes and solutions regarding the presence of moisture. Sellers/property owners will often have the most intimate knowledge of moisture intrusion, which should be listed in the property disclosure. We can not predict if moisture may appear in the future. We also cannot comment about the existence or condition of drain tile, as it cannot be visibly inspected.

Encapsulation & ventilationThe prevailing theory was to vent crawlspaces, and many inspectors still note this as a defect if not well ventilated. In the summer, it is said that vented crawlspaces can allow hot humid air into the crawlspace, and vice versa in the winter, promoting moisture concerns. Through experience and numerous crawlspace inspections throughout NW Ohio, I agree with these statements. I am a firm supporter of encapsulation, which entails the following procedures: Ensuring a professional grade vapor barrier exists, closing off/sealing the vents, conditioning space and/or leaving ductwork uninsulated, and properly insulating the crawlspace walls and sills. Proper drainage around the structure also needs to be in place and/or moisture/drainage issues addressed where applicable. A qualified contractor should always be consulted before making any changes/improvements. Encapsulation

Vapor Barrier/Ground: REFERENCES

Vapor barrierA professional-grade vapor barrier is highly recommended as it will deter moisture vapor migration from the ground that causes a host of moisture concerns. Vapor barriers also help control radon transfer from the ground, that may be present.

Floor debris:  Wood and/or construction debris/materials should not be present in a crawlspace. Wood  materials present a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and other moisture concerns and building materials can damage vapor barrier- remove/have removed if present.

Foundation vents: See References

Crawlspace ventilation can lead to/promote moisture issues - SEE REFERENCES for further information.

Accessibility/Visibility: Not Visible/Accessible: Insulation
Insulation between floor joists and at rim joists

Installed insulation made certain areas of the crawlspace not visible or accessible or otherwise difficult to inspect. These areas are excluded from this inspection.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
14.2.1 - Foundation

Condition (Looked good with no defects/deficiencies apparent)

Visible areas of the foundation looked good and no major defects/deficiencies were observed. 

14.3.1 - Framing/Construction/Substructure

Shoring (sub-standard)
Kitchen area .

Shoring designed to support some sagging floor joists appeared to have been installed by persons lacking in knowledge of good building practice. Although this shoring may not last as long as professionally-installed shoring, it appeared to be adequately supporting the floor at the time of the inspection. This condition is not uncommon in homes of this age, of this quality, built in this area. Monitor and/or have improved/repaired as necessary.

Contractor Qualified Professional
14.3.2 - Framing/Construction/Substructure


Although a common construction practice in the time period when the home was built, there were one or more
missing/improper floor joist headers above crawlspace openings. Openings should have adequate support/headers in these areas to ensure structural integrity of framing components. There was no evidence
of joist of obvious deflection/bowing, etc. Recommendations: You should monitor for changes (cracks, settlement, etc.), which if ever occurs, stabilization will be needed or have repaired/replaced/stabilized accordingly by a qualified

Contractor Qualified Professional
14.4.1 - Insulation


Insulation damaged/deteriorated/loose/missing/not present at some areas.  Insulation needs to be intact and in place to be effective and avoid by-passes. Corrective action: Repair/replace accordingly and/or properly insulate for energy efficiency purposes and to avoid any potential moisture concerns.

House construction Insulation Contractor
14.4.2 - Insulation

Fiberglass batts (sills/rim joists)

Although sills/rim joists were insulated, fiberglass batts are used which is not the best method and/or a best practice (sometimes does more harm than good.) Air leakage is very difficult to combat when using fiberglass and these areas will often exhibit elevated moisture content, although no current evidence in this case. Corrective action/best practice:  Remove fiberglass batt insulation and replace with spray or rigid foam. SEE REFERENCES. 

House construction Insulation Contractor
14.5.1 - Moisture

Discoloration/blackened staining (minimal/elevated moisture content not detected)

Moisture content in wood structures was measured at < 20%. No decay as a result of humidity/elevated moisture levels was observed, but some discoloration was noted on floor framing (minor). Wood will decay at moisture levels > 28% and will support fungi growth at levels in the low-20s. There was also some evidence of wood damage repairs in the middle at a few joists (repairs appeared satisfactory.) Corrective action: Take appropriate measures to eliminate the environment conducive to fungi growth. Options to reduce the moisture levels often include, but are not limited to: elimination of water intrusion into the crawl space, limiting/ceasing ventilation, installation of a professional grade vapor barrier and/or improving existing vapor barrier, installation of a humidistat controlled fan, improving insulation, etc.

Contractor Qualified Professional
14.5.2 - Moisture

Seepage/moisture evidence (medium/moderate)
Misc. perimeter areas. Addition.

Moisture/Seepage Evidence  Crawlspace was overall dry at the time of inspection, however, some staining/seepage evidence was present. There was no major evidence of prolonged moisture intrusion or adverse conditions noted as a result of this observation. In other words, it appeared that the crawlspace has a higher probability of experiencing some moisture intrusion during periods of extended inclement weather, but may dry up or drain relatively quick. You should ask seller for any helpful insight they can provide about this. Condition can be the result of, but not limited to: Less-than-ideal exterior moisture control practices, failed/missing drain tiling, compromised foundation waterproofing, etc. Although no evidence of, prolonged moisture presence can cause structural damage, deterioration to building materials, and support mold growth.I did not note any musty odors at the time of inspection.

Future Seepage Probability - Medium/moderate, Occasional seepage/damp wall possible during inclement weather.

The probability of future seepage after all recommended changes have been made is medium to high (due to most of the exterior conditions being satisfactory). Changes/improvements are listed in this section and the GROUNDS & EXTERIOR section(s) of this report.

If possible, you should observe the crawlspace during a period of heavy or prolonged rain prior to the close of escrow or within the contingency period.  Corrective action:  Consult seller's disclosure regarding this (or what was exactly done for drainage/moisture control) and/or have source(s) of moisture eliminated and/or control moisture accordingly to rule out the potential for future issues. NOTE: Sump installed at east side.  Some drain tile visible at addition area.

Contractor Qualified Professional
14.7.1 - Foundation vents

Screens (torn/damaged/missing)
West . Northeast .

Vent screens torn/damaged/missing - repair/install to prevent vermin/insect entry.

Contractor Qualified Professional

15 - Plumbing

15.1 Exterior Faucets (Hose Bibs) X
15.2 Water Supply/Distribution Systems X X
15.3 Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems X X
15.4 Water Heater X X
15.5 Gas Service/Distribution X
15.6 Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening X X
15.7 Sump Pump X X
15.8 Water Pump/Well/Pressure Tank X X
Exterior Faucets (Hose Bibs): Anti-siphon device
Water Supply/Distribution Systems: Type/Material
Pex, Main: Polyethylene
Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems: Type/Material
Plastic-ABS, Main: Plastic - ABS
Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems: Overall Drainage
Water Heater: Brand
Water Heater: Type/Size
40 gal., Electric
Water Heater: Age
2 yrs
Water Heater: Misc.
Water temperature: Good
Water Heater: Location
Bathroom closet
Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening: Brand
Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening: Misc.
Components: Appeared to be properly installed and operational, No evidence of leaks or deficiencies
Sump Pump: Location
Sump Pump: Misc.
Back up system: Not present
Water Supply/Distribution Systems: Overall Static Water Pressure
40 to 60 psi (ideal)
Water Pump/Well/Pressure Tank: Type/Material
Jet pump (shallow well), Pressure gauge: Present/operates, Components: Appeared to be operational/properly installed
Exterior Faucets (Hose Bibs): REFERENCES

Anti-siphon hose bibs/backflow preventersIf any exterior faucets are missing backflow prevention devices, it would be prudent to install. These devices reduce the likelihood of polluted or contaminated water entering the potable water supply. This condition can occur when an outside faucet is left in the "on" position with a hose connected and the sprayer head turned off. When pressure in the system fluctuates, water can be drawn back into the water supply pipes from the structure. If a chemical sprayer is being used with the hose, those chemicals can enter the water supply pipes. IMPROVE as necessary by installing backflow prevention devices on all exterior hose bibs, laundry sinks, etc. where missing or at the main water line. They are available at most home improvement stores and are easily installed.

Water Supply/Distribution Systems: REFERENCES

Water Service: 40-60 psi is ideal. Water pressures higher than 80 psi can result in advanced deterioration of water supply system components; premature failure of faucets, connections, and water-using appliances; and water leaks. Water pressures lower than 40 psi can result in poor water flow at shower heads, water faucets, and water-using appliances, particularly when several components or appliances are being use simultaneous (such as a shower, a toilet, and the dishwasher).Most people increase the water pressure when they are unhappy with the water flow in the shower, particularly in multi-story buildings. Before increasing the water pressure, though, I recommend having your shower head cleaned or replacing it with a more efficient one. The chemicals in Northwest Ohio's water result in various mineral deposits building up on, or inside of, the shower head and faucets, resulting in a decreased water flow.

Corrosion: Although corrosion is common, it can indicate leaks, static electric charges on metal pipes, connections between two different metals, and/or chemical storage nearby, particularly in sink cabinets; other causes or multiple causes also possible. Corrosion or hard water mineral build-up can cause water-using components such as shutoff valves to fail when used.Corrosion build-up in all visible areas might not be noted in your inspection report because it is so common. However, a significant build-up of corrosion could be concealing an active leak, although the leak in such cases usually is minor. Remember, though, that neglecting a minor leak can result in a major leak.What might have been considered light corrosion at the time of the inspection could have been the start of a problem and a more serious build-up of corrosion could be present by the time escrow closes. Any pipes that have corrosion should be cleaned and inspected. Check the pipes and valves in the sink cabinets before storing items in those cabinets.

Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems: REFERENCES

Drains: Even if draining properly at the time of the inspection, it is impossible to determine the condition of the underground sewer pipe without conducting a procedure in which a camera is run through the system to determine the internal condition. This procedure must be performed by a licensed plumbing contractor and is beyond the scope of a basic home inspection. If slow or clogged drains are persistent, or as a prudent action right now, especially with older piping, I recommend contacting a licensed professional plumbing contractor to discuss your options on this issue.

Cleanout capsNo attempt was made to locate drainage cleanout caps. They typically are located in the garage; in sink cabinets; on exterior walls near the kitchen,laundry, and bathrooms; or in the ground near those same rooms. There can be more than one. If you do not find any drainage cleanout caps, have a licensed plumbing professional find them. Sometimes they have been patched over on exterior walls, and sometimes landscape professionals cover them up when they are in the ground. A licensed plumbing professional will also be able to remove the cleanout caps and determine the overall condition of the interior of the drainage system pipes. Some even have remote-control video equipment to check out the interior of inaccessible drainage pipes, particularly those near trees that might be blocked by tree roots.

Water Heater: References

Water Heater: The normal life expectancy of a water heater is 12-15 years.  Water heaters generally need not be replaced unless they leak.  It is a good maintenance practice to drain 5-10 gallons from the heater several times a year.

  • Water temperature Water over 120 degrees can cause scalding, especially with children and the elderly. However, water at or around 120 degrees may not kill all bacteria, especially legionella.   NOTE: 140 degrees with a thermostatic tempering valve is best/ideal.
  • TPR valves/extensions or discharge pipe If missing an extension/discharge pipe, extend a properly sized pipe from the TPR valve to 4-6 off the floor as a safety precaution.  Any time a relief valve is showing signs of leaking, a licensed plumber should be contacted to replace it. 
  • Expansion tanks If not present, consider IMPROVING system to include an expansion tank for additional safety and improved water heater operation. 
Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening: Limited Inspection: Water Treatment/Conditioning

Examination of treatment systems, softeners, tanks, etc. was not included in this visual inspection. The water softener/filtration systems/components are inspected for adverse visible conditions/obvious leaks and that they were plugged in and in operation. No inspection was made to determine the operation of effectiveness of the units/components. Have water checked for purity by the local health professionals, and anything else of local concern, by a qualified lab, as necessary.

Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening: Limited inspection: Accessibility

Limited visual inspection due to limited accessibility / visibility

Water Pump/Well/Pressure Tank: Limited Inspection: Wells

Examination of wells is not included in this visual inspection. We do, however, check condition of visible components, pressure, adverse conditions, etc. It is recommended that you have well water checked for purity by the local health authorities and, if possible, a check on the flow of the well in periods of drought. You also should research the well's history, as applicable. (how/when constructed, how/when maintained or repaired, past performance, past health issues, etc.) Also, you should consider documenting the current well capacity and water quality for future reference.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
15.2.1 - Water Supply/Distribution Systems

Condition (good/no defects or deficiencies apparent)

Water piping/fittings looked good where visible, along with adequate pressure, and no or minimal defects/deficiencies apparent. 

15.2.2 - Water Supply/Distribution Systems

Condition (leaking)
Kitchen bar sink - hot side faucet . Well pump line/fitting beside pressure tank in garage .

Water lines/valves/components were leaking (SEE LOCATIONS). Corrective action:  Have a qualified plumber repair/replace to avoid moisture concerns associated with leaks/moisture.

Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.2.3 - Water Supply/Distribution Systems

Installation (improperly supported)

Plumbing pipes, were not properly supported/braced/attached to the structure. Damage or other concerns may occur as a result.  Corrective action: Properly secure pipes/fittings/components accordingly to avoid any potential damage.

Tools Handyman/DIY
15.2.4 - Water Supply/Distribution Systems

Distribution (unconditioned areas)
Garage . Deck - back hose bib .

Water lines or components installed in unconditioned areas, which may be subject to freezing during periods of sub-freezing temperatures.  Corrective action: Insulate or equivalent to reduce the potential of freezing/water damage.

Tools Handyman/DIY
15.3.1 - Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems

Drain (leaking)
Toilet pipe/fitting in crawlspace .

Drain/fittings/components leaking. Corrective action: Have repaired/replaced accordingly to avoid moisture concerns associated with leaks/moisture.

$100 - $200
Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.3.2 - Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems

Drain (S-trap)
Master Bath sink . Kitchen bar sink.

One or more "S" trap drain configurations were observed.  Although allowed in the past, "S" traps are no longer accepted by accepted plumbing codes/practices, as these traps tend to easily siphon dry even when well-vented, therefore preventing a proper trap seal. Corrective action: It is recommended that S-traps be repaired/replaced to P-traps whereas the chance of sewer gasses entering the living area is reduced.

Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.3.3 - Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems

Drain (improperly pitched)
A few in crawl.

Drain and/or vent improperly/negatively pitched. One quarter inch of fall per foot of run is recommended as this ratio provides for excellent and/or ideal drainage. Corrective action: Repair/replace accordingly to ensure proper drainage.

$100 - $150
Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.4.1 - Water Heater

TPR valve (extension below floor/not visible)

The drain line from the water heaters temperature and pressure relief valve was not visible and/or not 4 - 6 inches off the floor (where pipe is readily visible for routine monitoring). Corrective action: Cut off line 4-6 inches from floor whereas it can be routinely monitored from above. NOTE: Install a drain pan as applicable to reduce the risk of finished building material damage.

Tools Handyman/DIY
15.4.2 - Water Heater

Unit (sizing/type)
40 gal. Electric

Water heater size & type may not be adequate, based on typical manufacturer charts, number of bathrooms, hot water using appliances, etc. Usage, size of family, # of bathrooms, etc. also factor in.  As necessary, UPGRADE to a larger unit and/or different type based on personal preference/usage.

Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.6.1 - Water Treatment/Conditioning/Softening

Drain (sewer line)

The water softener/treatment drain was directly tapped into a wastewater/sewage/drainage pipe/fitting, which is not allowed, potentially unsafe, and/or recommended without an air gap. This is considered a cross-contamination/backflow practice in the plumbing trade. Corrective action: Ensure the line is properly terminated to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination/backflow

$50 - $150
Pipes Plumbing Contractor
15.7.1 - Sump Pump

Discharge (municipal sewage system)

Sump pump discharge routed into sewage/wastewater system.  Sump pumps are for dispersing rainwater and pumping it into the municipal wastewater system is not allowed and illegal. Please keep in mind, higher homeowner sewer bills result from this practice due to having to treat (cost of chemicals, electricity, etc.) storm water that doesn't need to be treated. Corrective action:  Have discharge rerouted to the exterior grounds well away from the house (this also allows for routine monitoring) or into approved storm sewer. NOTE: Temporary, flexible, corrugated tubing used for sump discharge - not recommended. Piping is cheap plastic material that is subject to deterioration. Recommend replacing with PVC or similar to rule out any issues.

$200 - $300
Pipes Plumbing Contractor

16 - Heating

16.1 Electrical Baseboard Heat X X
16.2 Distribution X X
Electrical Baseboard Heat: REFERENCES

Electric baseboard heatersElectric baseboard heat is easy to control, requires little or no maintenance and provides clean, quiet, comfortable, draft-free heat. Unless you have a problem, the heating units require no professional maintenance.

Electric baseboard systems convert electricity to heat by forcing large amounts of electricity through a thin, highly resistant wire, causing the wire to become warm. The wire, or heating element, runs through a ceramic-lined metal tube surrounded by metal fins. A natural draft draws air through openings at the bottom of the baseboard units exterior housing. The air flows over the finned tube, picks up heat and rises through openings at the top of the housing to heat the room.

  • Controls:Thermostats control the flow of electricity to the baseboard units. Each unit has its own thermostat built into the units housing or mounted on a wall. The individual thermostats allow rooms to be heated as needed. This zone heating is more efficient than heating rooms that are not being used.Most electric baseboard units have a temperature cutoff control. This safety device prevents the heating element from burning out when obstructions block air flow to the unit.

Home Owner Maintenance:Electric baseboard heaters require little maintenance. However, you should do the following once each month when your baseboard heaters are in use for heating:

1. Dust. For efficient heat transfer, remove the baseboard units cover and dust the inside surfaces, the heating element and the radiator fins with a soft brush.

2. Obstructions. Remove any drapes, furniture or other objects blocking baseboard units. An obstruction can interfere with the efficient flow of heated air and heat from the units can damage the obstructing item.

3. Problems. Electric baseboard heaters are very reliable. If you ever have a problem with a baseboard unit, call a professional electrician.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
16.1.1 - Electrical Baseboard Heat

Thermostat (not found)
Master Bathroom

A thermostat could not be found to test the unit - consult with seller on it's location and/or ensure the unit functions as intended.

Electric Electrical Contractor
16.2.1 - Distribution

Distribution (limited/minimal)

Heating distribution appeared limited and/or insufficient. It should be noted that pellet stove more than likely heats the area when working. Corrective action:  

  • Consult with sellers/owners for any helpful insight and/or
  • Ensure habitable areas are able to maintain a consistent temperature of 70 and/or install heat sources accordingly
  • Make your own determination on sufficient conditioning of habitable areas as perceptions on adequate air flow/conditioning varies among individuals and/or
  • Consult with a qualified HVAC technician or electrician to determine corrective options.
Fire HVAC Professional
16.2.2 - Distribution

Thermostat/heat source (not operating)
Hall bath.

Heat source not operating when thermostat was tested/operated - have repaired/replaced accordingly. NOTE: Unknown what type of heat source - ceiling heat? baseboard heater removed during renovations? Consult seller for helpful insight.

Contractor Qualified Professional

17 - Cooling

17.1 Window/through the wall units X
Window/through the wall units: Not tested/operated

Not considered permanent fixtures.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects

18 - Electrical

18.1 Exterior Service Components/Wires X X
18.2 Main Panel (service equipment) X X
18.3 Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices) X X
18.4 Lighting Fixtures/Switches X
18.5 Outlets/Receptacles X X
18.6 GFCI & AFCI X
18.7 Grounding/Bonding X X
18.8 Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels) X X
Exterior Service Components/Wires: Electrical Service Conductors
Overhead, Grounded?: Yes
Main Panel (service equipment): Location
Main Panel (service equipment): Panel Manufacturer
General Electric
Main Panel (service equipment): Panel Capacity/Type
200 AMP, Breakers
Main Panel (service equipment): Wiring
Main wires: Copper, Main wires: Stranded aluminum, Anti-oxidant paste present
Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices): Type/Material
Copper, Romex
Lighting Fixtures/Switches: Misc.
One or more rooms have switched lighting
GFCI & AFCI: Presence
Not at all currently required areas, GFCI's: Some present, AFCI's: Not present, SEE REFERENCES
Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Location
Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Panel Manufacturer
Square D
Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Panel Capacity/Type
100 AMP, Breakers
Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Wiring
Main wires: Stranded aluminum
Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Misc.
Properly labeled? No - SEE REFERENCES
Main Panel (service equipment): Misc.
Properly labeled? For the most part - SEE REFERENCES, Some cover screws missing - replace, Pointed screws present - SEE REFERENCES, Accuracy of any labeled circuits was not verified unless noted in this report
Main Panel (service equipment): REFERENCES

Anti-oxidant paste: Conductors/connections can oxidize over time and cause corrosion resistance which then may cause conductor(s) to overheat. If missing and/or not present have a qualified electrician apply as necessary. Importance

Panel labelingAll electrical panels should be provided with a label with legible writing describing which electrical circuits are controlled by each of the breakers for safety/repair reasons. We do not validate proper circuit labeling as it would be well outside the scope of a typical Inspection. 

Panel screwsInstall any missing screws/fasteners at cover(s) if needed. Fasteners should have blunt-tipped ends as to not penetrate/damage wires.

Outlets/Receptacles: REFERENCES

Testing Electric Outlets: I test electrical outlets for common problems by using a simple 3-bulb outlet tester available almost anywhere. Note that these simple outlet testers are not outlet or wiring analyzers in that they won't detect uncommon problems or problems involving multiple causes. Although there are very expensive outlet testers/wiring analyzers on the market, I don't use them because buying such equipment would result in higher inspection fees in order to recoup my costs. Additionally, the types of problems that they are designed to detect are quite rare. Also note that electricians are licensed in Ohio whereas property inspectors are not, so a property inspector who intrudes too far into the jurisdiction of the licensed electrician could be subject to severe civil or criminal penalties for practicing as an electrician without a license. If you have any question about the outlet where you're planning to plug in your computer that is loaded with hundreds of thousands of music, picture, or video files, or sensitive business or personal data; or where you're going to plug in that brand new flat screen television, have that outlet and circuit analyzed by a licensed electrician. 

Cable outlets and telephone jacks: Testing, inspection, analysis, or opinion of cable outlets and telephone jacks is not within the scope of a property inspection. I do not note the location of cable, cable outlets, telephones, telephone wire, or telephone jacks. Installation sometimes is through a simple hole in a ceiling, wall, or roof for older structures. In our Internet- and computer-dominated world, you might need specific outlets or jacks in specific locations for your computers, phones, fax machines, and television. If you need cable or telephone service in any specific room, you should check that room yourself once all furnishings and storage have been removed. The cable company or telephone company can also help you determine where cables and wires have already been run and whether or not they are active. They can also run cables and wires to other locations where you want such service.


GFCIWe highly recommend that ground fault circuit interrupters (G.F.C.I.) be connected to all outlets around water and at all currently required areas. This usually includes moisture areas, such as garage outlets, unfinished basements, exterior, etc. This device automatically opens the circuit when it senses a current leak to ground.

If you do have G.F.C.I.s, it is recommended that you test (and reset) them monthly. When you push the test button, the reset button should pop out, shutting off the circuit. If it doesnt, the breaker is not working properly.If you don't test them once a month, the breakers have a tendency to stick, and may not protect you when needed.

Arc Faults (AFCIs)AFCIs are electrical devices designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in the structures wiring (since 2002). Arc faults can be created by damaged, deteriorated, or worn electrical plugs, cords, and/or branch circuit conductors. AFCIs are required in new construction under current building standards which have been adopted in most jurisdictions across the country. AFCIs are currently only required for certain circuits but may be required for whole buiding protection in future updates of building standards and regulations. Older properties with aging and deteriorating wiring systems can especially benefit from the added protection of AFCIs. You may wish to consult with a qualified electrical contractor concerning options and costs for updating branch circuits to AFCI protection for safety reasons.

NOTE: If the residence is occupied/furnished, GFCI and/or AFCI safety function may not be confirmed - test/verify operation accordingly when vacant.

Grounding/Bonding: REFERENCES

Grounding/bonding requirementsGrounding requirements has undergone numerous changes since the beginning of wiring properties. Whenever possible it is a good idea to upgrade the grounding of older systems for safety. Newest grounding requirements call for ground rods and bonding of metal piping systems (hot and cold water pipes, drains, heating systems and gas pipes, etc). When the licensed electrical contractor is at the property for other reasons, I recommend that proper grounding be evaluated and corrections made as necessary.

Exterior Service Components/Wires: Electrical - General

Load calculation are not performed to determine service capacity adequacy. The inspection does not involve any electrical stress tests on the system to determine if a breaker trips properly. Labeling of electric circuit locations on electrical panel are not checked for accuracy. Electrical components concealed behind finished surfaces are not visible to be inspected. Determination of the type of branch circuit wiring used in this home was made by inspection of the electric panels only. Inspection of the wiring in or at the receptacles, switches, fixtures, junction boxes, walls, ceiling, floors, etc., is beyond the scope of a home inspection and were not inspected. Only a representative sampling of outlets, switches and light fixtures were tested. The inspection does not include remote control devices, alarm systems and components, low voltage wiring, systems, and components, ancillary wiring, systems, and other components which are not part of the primary electrical power distribution system.

Lighting Fixtures/Switches: Light switches (representative number/operation)

We try our best during the course of the inspection, but typically, not all light switch functions can be determined and/or not all were tested/evaluated due to time constraints and/or other restrictions. If a light switch doesn't "function", possible reasons include, but not limited to: Switches controlling outlets that weren't found and/or accessible, lights on timers/sensors, lights/fans remote controlled, switches wired for a different area of property or non-visible area, bulbs not installed/burned out, switches improperly wired, etc. If you have any questions regarding light switch functions/operation, noted or not noted in your inspection report, consult with sellers as necessary and/or have a qualified electrician evaluate, as needed. Lights & switches

Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels): Not Inspected: Cover caulked/sealed

The dead front cover was caulked/sealed and therefore not inspected.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects
18.1.1 - Exterior Service Components/Wires

Components (meter base tag cut/removed)

The exterior electrical meter base tag or seal had been cut or removed suggesting that electrical service may have been tampered with and electrical providers strictly prohibit this. Corrective action: Contact local electrical service provider to inform and have them come out to replace, evaluate components, and/or follow their recommendations.

Contractor Utility Company
18.2.1 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Condition (good/no or minimal/typical defects or deficiencies apparent)

Panel in overall good condition. 

18.2.2 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Breakers (back fed - retention device)
100 amp breaker in garage panel (feed breaker for sub panel)

Back-fed breakers apparently missing retention clips/screws/devices, which ensures breaker can't be easily removed and a secure connection which reduces the potential of arcing.  Corrective action:  Repair/install/replace accordingly to rule out any issues.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.2.3 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Breakers (different manufacturer than panel brand)

Some breakers manufactured by a company other than the panel manufacturer, which warn that the use of other types of breakers "voids the warranty, may void the UL listing, and could result in property loss and personal injury." Sometimes off-brand breakers are suitable, however, they must be UL listed and/or compatible (outside the scope of a Home Inspection.) Corrective action: An evaluation of the acceptability of the breakers by a licensed electrician is recommended.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.2.4 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Breakers (tandem - not allowed)
A couple in garage panel.

Tandem breaker(s) installed in the panel that are prohibited by the manufacturer.  This condition presents a potential safety concern related to connections and panel loads.  Corrective action: A qualified electrical contractor should repair/replace accordingly to ensure proper/compliant/safe electrical practices.  

$50 - $150
Electric Electrical Contractor
18.2.5 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Cover (open slots)

Open breaker panel slots present at the panel.  Breaker panel slots should be covered/protected for safety purposes.  Corrective action: Install panel fillers/blanks accordingly for protection against exposed bus bar.

Wrench DIY
18.2.6 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Panel (restraints missing/open holes)

Wire restraints missing and or open holes present.  Wires can pull loose by not being secured or openings can promote contact with energized areas. Openings also present a potential entry point for vermin and/or building materials (which can present safety issues). Corrective action: Install proper connectors or covers accordingly to ensure proper/ideal/safe installation and have any building materials or other foreign objects removed accordingly.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.2.7 - Main Panel (service equipment)

Wiring (color/labeling)

Colored wiring used that was not appropriately marked (white wires on neutral bus bar only and black, red, or equivalent on breakers/lugs).   Corrective action: Ensure proper/safe wiring practices by properly identifying wires.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.3.1 - Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices)

Junction box (cover missing)
I saw one in attic packed full of insulation. Crawlspace - a few.

Junction box cover(s) missing/not installed. Covers are needed for safety reasons such as containing any potential arcing/sparking within the box and protecting boxes from debris, vermin, etc.  Corrective action:  Install covers where necessary to ensure proper installation and reduce potential safety issues.

Tools Handyman/DIY
18.3.2 - Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices)

Junction box (missing/exposed connections)
Attic - doorbell transformer .

Electrical splice(s) not contained/secured in a junction box which help contain sparks/damage and secure splices. Corrective action: Have wire connections/splices properly contained in a junction box with cover for safety/integrity purposes where applicable.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.3.3 - Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices)

Wiring (missing bushings/restraints)

Wire penetrations with no protection from abrasion.  Wire(s) can become cut or abraded on sharp edges or be a entry point for vermin. Corrective action: Have wiring properly protected/secured/restrained from potential damage for safety purposes.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.3.4 - Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices)

Wiring (extension cords-permanent wiring-garage door opener)

Extension cord(s) were used as permanent wiring at the garage door opener. This is an unsafe practice and strictly prohibited by most cord manufacturers. Corrective action: Have repaired/replaced by an electrician accordingly so no extension cords are needed. Some possible solutions may include:

  • Replacing the cord on the device/component with a longer cord
  • Moving the existing outlet closer to the opener
  • Install an additional grounded outlet closer to the opener
$150 - $250
Electric Electrical Contractor
18.3.5 - Branch Distribution (wiring & wiring practices)

Wiring (hanging)

Wire(s) were loose/hanging and/or not properly attached to structure.  Wires should be secured to structure accordingly per current building/electrical practices. As a rule of thumb, electric cables are typically required to be supported overhead/where applicable, about every 4.5 feet. Corrective action:  Have wiring properly attached/secured/installed where applicable.

Tools Handyman/DIY
18.5.1 - Outlets/Receptacles

Baseboard heaters

Outlets installed above some electric baseboard heater(s), which is a poor/potentially unsafe practice.  Most manufacturers of electric baseboard heaters prohibit the installation of electrical outlets above the heaters, along with accepted electrical practices/guidelines as an electrical cord near the front of a baseboard heater could potential melt or start a fire. Corrective action: Have outlet(s) relocated or use caution when using outlets (ensure cord is out of the way) or dont use at all.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.5.2 - Outlets/Receptacles

Covers (missing/damaged/not installed)
Exterior North . Interior - random areas.

One or more covers missing/damaged/not installed - repair/replace for safety purposes.

Wrench DIY
18.5.3 - Outlets/Receptacles

Not present
Exterior east .

Outlet not present/installed - install accordingly. NOTE: Wire was not live.  Consult seller for helpful insight regarding this.

Electric Electrical Contractor
18.7.1 - Grounding/Bonding

Bonding (not hooked up)
Main panel in garage .

Bonding device was not present/installed at main panel/service disconnect. This "joining" or bonding forms a continuous electrical path that ensures that any errant electrical power will be safely conducted back to the ground. Corrective action: Ensure bonding device is installed and in place for proper installation and for safety purposes.

$50 - $100
Electric Electrical Contractor
18.8.1 - Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels)

Location (safety clearance)
Laundry closet.

Proper clearances and/or clear space was not present. Clearances are established by industry professionals whereas an emergency disconnecting means and servicing clearance is non-restricted or hindered. Corrective action: Have repaired/replaced/improved as necessary to ensure compliance and/or ideal clearances exist to rule out any issues.

Contractor Qualified Professional
18.8.2 - Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels)

Wiring (neutral/ grounds combined - 3-wire)
Feed from main to sub

There was only a 3-wire feed present. A 4-wire feeder is needed/recommended for this application as the panel is not equipped with an equipment grounding conductor supplied from the service panel, which is required and should be installed by a qualified electrician.  Once panel is accessible,  the electrician should ensure that the neutral and grounding conductors aren't connected together as the grounds need to be separated and be bonded to the enclosure accordingly and the neutral bus bar isolated from the panel. Corrective action:  A qualified electrician should repair/replace accordingly to ensure proper/safe wiring practices.  

$150 - $300
Electric Electrical Contractor
18.8.3 - Sub Panel(s) (remote distribution panels)

Cover (sealed/finished over)
Laundry closet sub panel .

The cover was sealed/finished over and was therefore not inspected/evaluated.  When repairs are being made, have further evaluated by the electrician when panel is made accessible. NOTE: There is no really good reason to caulk/seal a panel like this and covers should be readily accessible.

Electric Electrical Contractor

19 - Summary Information

Information about the Report Summary

The Summary's intention is mainly geared toward the real estate transaction as a summary of the more pertinent information and/or defects/issues for you and/or your Real Estate Professional to use with emphasis on the more significant repairs and major & safety issues and possible non-functional items, non-accessible/ areas, etc.  The summary is a brief review of certain items, conditions, or material defects, noted during the Inspection, that in the Inspectors opinion, either need attention or are worthy of your attention. These items have either failed in service; pose a health, safety, or environmental concern to the occupants of the property; present a mechanical or structural defect; presents a latent condition that may cause future and/or subsequent issues; is a repair that typically requires reasonable skill/experience/equipment/tools/etc. to perform, or may affect the habitability of the property and/or the function of its systems. REPAIR/SAFETY items may affect the health, safety, or welfare of the occupants, as well as a systems integrity. It should be understood that upon further investigation by professional contractors, other components or items not noted in this summary and/or report may be uncovered or in need of repair for safety/integrity/compliancy purposes. Additionally, the qualified contractors job is to perform the diagnosis and correction based on the results of that diagnostic assessment, not ours. In doing that, its possible the issue may turn into a bigger one or vice versa. We may offer some opinions on diagnosis or potential costs, based on experience or common sources, but our opinions should not be construed as a professional diagnostic assessment or estimate.

Items/Issues on the SUMMARY PAGES will NOT be the ONLY items that need attention in the dwelling, but are simply those of most significance to the Inspector. Please remember though, YOU are the buyer and will be occupying the property, NOT us. So please try and read our report in its entirety, along with any property disclosure issues, and then decide what is important to you prior to making any purchase decisions. Please also understand that, all, a few, or even none of the mentioned items in the summary and/or throughout the report may or may not be significant, in your opinion, taking into account your own personal factors. Please try to keep things in perspective and use all the information, provided to you at the inspection and in the report, to make educated decisions.

Have any noted repairs or defective items completed by licensed, insured, and bonded professional contractors. All repairs should adhere strictly to manufacturer installation specifications, national, state, local codes, and/or the AHJs (Authority Having Jurisdiction) requirements. Also note, that the AHJs requirements/standards may vary from national/state standards. We recommend that you get at least 3 bids for any major repair work, and that all scope of work documents, warranties, or receipts for the work be provided to you, the buyer (Also, SEE THE ASPEC INSIGHT at the end of the report for more information.) Also, a final walk-through inspection should be carried out the day before closing by the new owners to double check the condition of the property, using this report and/or property disclosures.

Any use of this report by unauthorized parties is strictly prohibited. This report is the private and sole property of the client(s) and inspection company documented in this report and the signed Agreement and is not transferable. Any responsibility to third or unauthorized parties, who have not signed the Agreement, is denied right here and now by the inspector and/or the inspection company.

20 - The ASPEC Insight

1. *Inspection Information (Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics)

The InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) promotes high standards of professionalism, business ethics, and inspection procedures for it's inspectors. As an InterNACHI member, we abide by their Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in our business. 

2. *Introduction

Your Inspection Report is intended to help you resolve real estate problems, those that happen in the daily course of owning property, those that a friend or relative asks you about, or any other problems or concerns at any time. At any time in the future, you can reference Your Inspection Report to find information about aspects of real estate and your specific property. Your Inspection Report is produced to educate you about the property, real estate in general and common conditions and problems concerning real estate, particularly in Ohio. It also contains various information related to home inspections, such as general information about homes, general safety and maintenance information, safety and maintenance tips and tricks, and reference information. As stated in your Inspection Agreement, the purpose of the property inspection is to document the general, overall condition of the structure and to identify visible defects that are present and visible at the time of the inspection. The property inspection itself is essentially visual and abides by generally accepted standards of practice within the property inspection industry. To that end, Your Inspection Report will not be comprehensive it is not the purpose of the property inspection to compile a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list of items that need repair. Although minor flaws and cosmetic defects might be noted in Your Inspection Report, a list of the minor flaws and cosmetic defects noted should not be considered a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list, and should not be relied upon as such. Occasionally I will recommend further evaluation by licensed specialists, the most common of which are electricians, plumbers, roofing contractors, heating and cooling technicians, pest control professionals, and engineers. Because I am trying to help you protect your investment in your property, I ask only that you give serious consideration to employing those specialists when I recommend them. Notwithstanding any contingencies relating to time, escrow, loans, and purchase contracts, I do not condone trying to save a few hundred dollars by foregoing additional inspections and advice from recommended specialists. Please consult with your Realtor for options available to you under the terms of your purchase contract and any loan applications. I highly recommend that you completely read Your Inspection Report before close of escrow and contact us if you have any questions or concerns, or if anything is not completely clear to you. I am here to help you, but I can't do that if you don't ask questions.

3. Blame The Home Inspector

Home inspectors nationwide get blamed for a lot of stuff that goes wrong after the property inspection (See When things go wrong section), especially when the residence is occupied and fully furnished, and even when the residence is vacant and unfurnishedin other words, all the time. A home inspection is essentially a visual inspection of the structural and mechanical components. A furnished home presents problems for home inspectors because many areas typically are not visible due to floor coverings (carpet, tile, area rugs, etc.), storage, furnishings, packed moving boxes, wall hangings and mirrors, etc. Electric outlets in use typically prevent home inspectors from testing every electric outlet because were not going to unplug equipment that belongs to someone else to test an outlet. Interior furnishings and storage many times prevent access to, inspection of, or ability to actually open and close every window, cabinet, closet, or door. Only limited inspection or testing is done when there is not full access. Heres what typically happens with occupied and furnished residences. Since the residence is being lived in and systems are being used on a daily basis, it is probable that something will be damaged or fail during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process, especially when children are present. Homeowners rarely damage something during escrow and file a claim against their home-owners insurance policy because, hey, they (incorrectly) think its not even their home anymore. And if they damage something on the last day when they were moving out, do you really think that they're going to file a claim on it to get it fixed? At that point, they think that you own it, why should they fix something that belongs to you? Some sellers actually do not understand (or do not care) that they still own the home during the escrow period and even up until all the escrow papers are signed and escrow is closed and that they should continue to take care of it. In fact, most purchase contracts state so in all that fine print. Selling a home and leaving after several years can be a stressful event, especially if the sellers raised a family in the home. To help relieve that stress, sellers typically have moving parties and last parties. Buyers typically have first parties or housewarming parties. Or they move hurriedly so they don't have to take too much time off from work or use up vacation days or sick leave. The actual days of moving are when most post-inspection damage occurs, and usually it is by the guests (or movers) helping the owner (seller or buyer) move, so the owner may not even know anything about the damage that has occurred. In both these instances, sellers, when confronted with the damage, like to say, Your home inspector must not have seen that. Buyers, upon finding the damage, like to say, Our home inspector missed that. But here's what we know through experience: Windows and window screens, and doors and door screens, are easily damaged during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process, especially in a home with children. Light switches and electrical outlets can be damaged while moving the over-sized sofa or bed out the door, or pulling the vacuum cleaner plug out. Light bulbs will burn out or might not work because the light switch was damaged. Because of the location of water supply and drainage pipes in our sink cabinets, where we start cramming things immediately upon move-in, plumbing pipes are easily damaged during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process, possibly causing loose pipes and leaks. Lights, wall switches, and outlets (electrical, telephone, and cable) get a lot of use during the escrow period, during the move-out/move-in process, and for those various parties, and thus are easily damaged. In other words, by the time the buyer is completely moved in, there could be just about anything that isn't right or isn't the same as it was on the day of the inspection. That, of course, is the nature of real estate. Also read the special section on When Things Go Wrong. So how do you remedy all this post-inspection damage? There are a couple of ways. First, I believe the purpose of your final walk-through is not only to make sure that any requested items have been repaired, but also to make sure that additional damage, deterioration, and destruction beyond normal wear and tear has not occurred. I recommend a careful, slow, and thorough observation with your Realtor at your final walk-through to ensure your satisfaction.

4. Building Codes

A property inspection is not a substitute for a building inspection or a code compliance inspection, and I do not interpret or cite building codes. The main reason for this is because of the many codes involved in a property inspection. For example, the licensed plumber is only required to know the plumbing codes, and the licensed electrician is only required to know the electrical codes. If youve ever seen either of those two code books, youd under-stand why property inspectors dont cite codes. Obviously, a working knowledge and a basic understanding of the many codes is a basic knowledge requirement for property inspectors, but inspecting for code compliance and interpreting building codes is the sole and legal responsibility of municipal authorities. A property inspector inspects the visible and accessible areas of a home in accordance with generally accepted national inspection standards. General code guidelines typically state that building codes are not retroactive in most situations, that buildings are required to be maintained under the code that was in effect at the time of original construction, and that such requirements remain true as long as the building is used for its original intended purpose. However, theres no way that any property inspector anywhere is going to know all the various codes for as long as codes have been in existence. Therefore, theres no way a property inspector can comment on codes that were in existence when a home was built in 1955 since codes get updated very two or three years. However, we can use whats in the current codes as a basis for recommending various upgrades. After all, if it is in the current codes, but its not in the property were inspecting, we can normally presume that it was not in the codes at the time the property was built. Of course, general guidelines also state that alterations or repairs must conform to the various building codes required for a new structure without requiring the existing structure to comply with all of the requirements of the codes. Those guidelines go on to state that additions, alterations, or repairs must not cause an existing structure to become unsafe or adversely affect the performance of the building. So if anyones response to an area of concern or a recommendation in Your Home Inspection Report is, Well, they didnt have that (or they didnt do that) when the house was built, I know that. However, during the ensuing years, our knowledge has increased considerably concerning safety in the home, and I believe that you should be safe in your home and that taking care of your home should be as easy as possible. So I will recommend things that they didnt have or didnt do years ago simply to keep you safe or help you take care of your home. Remember that building codes are developed by nationwide experts in particular topic areas. They are then sent to the state where some home builders, a few experts, and politicians decide what is going to be enforced in the state. They are then sent to the local level where mostly home builders and politicians decide whats going to be enforced locally. They are then given to the code enforcement inspectors to interpret according to how they read the code. In addition, the local code often lags several years behind the national codes. Building codes are not lofty standards. They are the bare minimum legal standard that a home builder, electrician, plumber, etc., must comply with. To do anything less would be illegal. ASPEC Residential Services, LLC serves a large area of Northwestern Ohio with many different building code enforcement authorities, each with their own individual interpretations of the national and state building codes based on their local politics and beliefs. I cannot be completely conversant with each and every building code enforcement authoritys interpretation of the national building codes; therefore I do not perform code compliance inspections nor do I guarantee that all items are in compliance with governing codes, regulations, ordinances, statutes, covenants, and manufacturer specifications. My references and sources for calling out different items as a safety concern, or defective, or marginal, or in need of repair may include the national building codes (International Residential Code, National Electric Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, etc.), manufacturers instructions, the building industrys standards, continuing education, and personal experience.

5. Cost to Repair

I often get asked How much does it cost to repair that? Quite frankly, I dont know all the time. I am a full-time, professional home inspector, and my Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice prevent me from working on properties that I have inspected, so I might not have all the necessary repair experience concerning how much it costs to fix something that I inspected. I do have a construction/repair background, however, but times change and so do costs & pricing, just look at gas prices for example. Sometimes there will be cost estimates provided in the report, but understand, each home and circumstance is different, and a licensed expert at something surely will discover some additional problems that a generalist and unlicensed home inspector cannot (Ohio has no licensing for home inspectors). And I have yet to have any Client or Realtor call me and say, Hey, it cost $248.17 to fix that doohickey. So Im not being stubborn or anything like that; its simply that I really may not know or do not wish to know. Remember, my focus is inspecting, not repairing. Estimates: There are several ways to get good estimates: First, call three repair specialists for the work you need to have done (e.g., plumber, electrician, etc.) and get an estimate from them. Most licensed professionals charge by the hour, so it truly will be an estimate until they actually do the work. However, once you get three estimates, pretend like you are a judge at the Olympics: Throw out the high and the low and take the middle. That tactic typically (but not always) ensures good materials, good workmanship, and good service without being taken to the cleaners (with no actual clothes involved) by those who would prefer to overcharge you for poor materials, poor workmanship, or poor service. Second, Your Inspection Report contains some links that provide you information about costs to repair just about anything in your home. Note, however, that, again, they are only estimates, and you'll find some estimates that say something like $2,500 and up. Well, your and up might come in at $10,000 when all is said and done, so its still better to call around and get some repair estimates for your specific situation and for the area where you will be living. Many Realtors or their offices also maintain lists of professionals who have provided quality service to their agents or Clients at some time in the past. I also often get asked, Who should repair that? Since I do not know the qualifications of other people (seller, you, your Realtor, friends, family, etc.) to do repairs, I recommend that you hire a qualified and/or licensed professional in the appropriate trade. You have to decide for yourself if your qualifications, experience, and knowledge, or that of any other person, would result in the repair being done properly. Keep in mind that some sellers tend to repair things using the quickest and least expensive method, sometimes doing it themselves on a weekend (what I call the Weekend Warrior), because they just want to sell the house without investing any more money in it. As quite often happens, that quickest and least expensive method, or an unproven or unapproved method by an unknowing individual, leads to premature failure of the repair. Also keep in mind that while many people outside of the professions might be able to make repairs, unless they are licensed in those professions, they typically cannot provide any warranty or guarantee concerning the work. So it still is best to require the seller to use appropriate professionals who can then provide you with receipts and warranties or guarantees concerning their work. Also, SEE REPORT INFORMATION, at the beginning of report, about costs/prices.

6. *Discussions Prior To Report

Information in Your Inspection Report shall always supersede any and all discussion and/or communication (verbal, email, written, and other forms) at the time of the inspection and prior to the report being issued unless such discussion is specifically included in writing. I often get into discussions about various things with my Clients and their Realtors at the time of the inspection. Please remember that discussions are simply that, discussions. Any verbal discussions are not the actual report, and, in all likelihood, many discussions may not appear in the report. Read completely read Your Inspection Report immediately regardless of what you heard, or think you heard, at the inspection. Read about your prospective property before it becomes your property. Not completely reading Your Inspection Report  immediately is a mistake that could have significant financial repercussions for you in the future. If you have any questions about any discussions at the time of the inspection, you should try and clarify those discussions with me now, not later. I will try to help you to the best of my abilities.

7. Errors, typos, and missing items

As much as I hate to admit it, yes, I am human. And while I do make an occasional error, I'm sure they are caused by my computers and the software. In all seriousness, though, if you believe that there is a mistake in Your Inspection Report, please contact us immediately. I do understand the time contingencies inherent in real estate transactions, and I can get a correction letter to you or our Realtor immediately upon notification, as long as I agree that there is an error. If I need to revisit the property, Ill be happy to do that at no inconvenience to you, although you should always feel free to go with me. Occasional typographical errors will occur in Your Inspection Report. I apologize for those in advance. Plurals and singulars are used interchangeably throughout the report and should not be taken to specifically indicate only one or the presence of more than one. When items are naturally grouped together (e.g., lights and switches), it is NOT an indication that all items in the group were present or observed, functioning or not functioning, or did or did not exhibit problems or concerns. Items that were not present, were not inspected, or had no visible major defects associated with them might not be listed in Your Inspection Report. They are not necessarily missing items. If I were to put everything in your report that was working, your report would be extremely long. Consequently, if something appears to be missing from your Your Inspection Report, then it was either working at the time of the inspection, was not present on the property, or I was asked not to inspect it. I wont always tell you that I didn't have access to a drawer or a closet, but I will tell you when I didn't have access to the attic, the roof, the furnace, the water heater, the garage, etc. If you have any questions about something that appears to be missing from Your Inspection Report, again, please contact us immediately.

8. Excessive deferred maintenance, storage, & debris

Excessive deferred maintenance, both inside and outside, often present difficult and dangerous work conditions for me. In most cases, where I find excessive deferred maintenance, I also find excessive furnishings and storage, both inside, in the garage, and outside. While I strive to prepare an accurate report of the condition of the property at the time of the inspection, it is virtually impossible to do so in such circumstances due to the time-limited nature and generalizations inherent with a property inspection, as well as areas of the property not being visible, not being accessible, or being considered dangerous and unsafe. So be careful while on the property until conditions are improved. The information contained in Your Inspection Report should not be construed as an exhaustive, complete, or definitive list of defects and areas of concern under any circumstances since that is not the purpose of a property inspection. However, simply moving into a structure that has been subject to excessive deferred maintenance for any significant period of time means that renovation of any part of the property will expose additional defects which were not noted in Your Inspection Report because they were not visible at the time of the inspection. In other words, I'm just not going to find everything under these conditions. If you have any concerns about things that might have been missed under the conditions present at the time of the inspection, you should schedule a re-inspection after all the furnishings and storage have been removed from the property, as well as thoroughly checking everything during your final walk-through. If you plan on doing any renovation, you should increase your budget to account for unexpected and unforeseen circumstances due to conditions at the time of the inspection. Additionally, before you close escrow, create a list of service professionals (plumber, electrician, etc.) to call in an emergency situation.

9. Fire Safety

The installation of smoke alarm(s) is required inside of all bedrooms and in any rooms designated for the purpose of sleeping, and outside within the proximity of the doors to those rooms. Test all alarms and detectors weekly or monthly per manufacture instructions. The installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detector(s) is required in homes with fuel-fired appliances at every floor elevation and any areas where fuel-fired equipment is located. The installation of Type ABC fire extinguisher(s) at the kitchen, laundry, and garage, if applicable, is also advised. Test all of these devices monthly. Install new batteries yearly. Initiate and practice plans of escape and protection for all occupants in case any emergencies arise. Failure to repair defective or install absent alarms, detectors, and other safety equipment immediately can result in serious injury or death. For further information about fire safety and CO poisoning, consult your local fire department and your equipment manufacture(s).

10. Indoor air quality

I do not test for indoor air quality or pollution. However, indoor air pollution ranks very high on the list of health problems associated with our homes, especially with the advent of vinyl dual-pane doors and windows. Previously, there could be some leakage expected around doors and windows, resulting in the house breathing. With better windows, insulation, weather stripping, sealants, etc., our homes are not allowed to breathe anymore, resulting in our breathing in many of those contaminants that once leaked to the outdoors. If you or anyone in your family, or circle of friends who might visit, have allergy problems or breathing problems such as, but not limited to, asthma, you should have the indoor air quality tested and abatement procedures implemented as necessary. If children under the age of six, any elderly persons, or anyone with a compromised immune system (such as those having had recent surgery, or those with any immune suppressing disease) will be living in or visiting the residence, please consult with a licensed environmental hygienist to help you protect the health of those individuals.

11. *Is my report a guarantee, a warranty, or insurance?

NO! Your Inspection Report IS NOT a guarantee that things wont break down or otherwise become problematic during escrow or at any time after the inspection took place. In many cases, people continued to live in and use the property on a daily basis for many days after the inspection, sometimes as long as several months when rent-back situations are involved. And for vacant residences, well, there wasn't anyone around to take care of things, so things deteriorated and fell apart. Things fall apart just as much from non-use as they do from daily use or from excessive use. I don't know if there was a haunted house in your neighborhood when you were growing up, but those haunted houses typically were vacant and were deteriorating due to lack of maintenance and lack of care. So beware of conditions that might have been caused by the sellers during their move-out parties or because they simply believed that they didn't have to take care of things anymore since they were under contract with you to sell you the property. Sellers many times wrongly believe that they don't have to take care of things once they are in escrow with you. Pay special attention during your final walk-through and look for damage that was not visible or was not present at the time of the inspection. Consult with your Realtor now to determine your options for protecting your financial interest in the property, particularly if it has been vacant for any period of time.

Your Inspection Report also IS NOT a warranty on anything. After all, the manufacturers and home builders typically only provide a one-year warranty on things that are brand new. So how could I possibly provide a warranty on something that usually is many years old, that I looked at for only a few minutes, and for which I used the operator controls to simply turn it on and off? I don't. Additionally, Your Inspection Report IS NOT insurance of any kind whatsoever because I am not licensed in the State of Ohio as an insurance provider. Providing insurance without a State of Ohio insurance license could result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Your Inspection Report is simply a documentation of the conditions of the property that existed AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION. It is a snapshot in time, and any implication that the report is or might be a guarantee, a warranty, or insurance of any kind on your property and its systems and components is expressly denied by me right here. Therefore, I shall not pay for repairs or replacement of items or components just because they broke down or are causing problems after the inspection. That's part of home ownership. So probably the best thing you can do is to make sure that you get a good insurance policy covering everything about your house (roof, walls, foundation, plumbing, electricity, etc.) and everything in your house (dishwasher, heating and cooling system, etc.). Many sellers provide such a policy for their buyers, but note that sellers are inclined to buy the least expensive policy they can find, with high deductibles and lots of exclusions. I personally believe that insurance definitely is one of those industries where you get what you pay for. So read your policy carefully and take immediate action if the policy is not acceptable to you.

12. Older Structure

Any renovation, remodeling, refurbishment, or rehabilitation (hereafter, renovation) of an older structure, or any part of an older structure, might expose defects which were not noted because they were not visible at the time of the inspection. It is highly likely that an older structure has had problems associated with it in the past, such as roof leaks, plumbing leaks, drainage leaks, and damage by wood-destroying pests and organisms. While I strive to prepare an accurate report of the condition of the property at the time of the inspection by visual means only, it is virtually impossible to do so on an older structure, especially one that either has deferred maintenance or has furnishings and storage in it due to areas not being visible, not being accessible, or being dangerous. Other problems come about when an older structure has undergone renovation since the very nature of such renovation obscures the visible clues that I am looking for about how the structure has reacted to its environment over the years. The information in your Your Home Inspection Report should never be construed as an exhaustive, complete, or definitive list of defects and areas of concern for any structure, much less an older structure, since that is not the purpose of a property inspection. Many older structures have various items in them that are no longer used because they are known to present health hazards. Such items include, but are not limited to, lead or polybutylene plumbing pipes; asbestos ceiling and flooring tiles, as well as various types of insulation; and knob and tube electrical wiring. In some cases, when such items are located in attics, it is virtually impossible for me to determine their presence since doing so would require removing all the insulation in the attic, as well as any storage, a task that would be time-consuming and expensive, and thus is not within the scope of the property inspection. I do look around where conditions allow me, and if I find such items, Ill note them in Your Inspection Report. Newer technology has resulted in certain items that make our homes inherently safer, such as GFCI outlets and AFCI circuit breakers. When I find such items not present, Ill note that fact in Your Inspection Report and recommend that you upgrade your property to include them. Recommendations: Adjust renovation budgets for unexpected or unforeseen circumstances, and create a list of service professionals (plumber, electrician, etc.) for use in an emergency situation.

13. Ongoing monitoring

Your inspection is like a snapshot of the propertys condition on a specific date and time. Those conditions will change, so you need to keep inspecting your property during the time you own it. Verify that the air conditioning condensate water is draining properly to the exterior or other source after operation on a hot day. Verify that the dryer vent is exhausting properly. Verify that the gutters and downspouts are performing during a hard rain. Verify that no water is ponding on the property after a hard rain. Verify that no dimming or flickering of lights occurs. Verify that no repeated resetting of any circuit breakers is necessary. Verify that the quantity of the hot water supply is adequate. Verify that the performance of the HVAC systems are adequate. Verify that any thermostat controlled electric attic fans are operating. Verify that no leaking is present in the attic area during a hard rain. And inspect or monitor any of the other concerns that were mentioned in Your Inspection Report.

14. Personal property

Certain appliances are considered personal property, even when conveying with real estate. Testing, inspection, analysis, or opinion of condition or function of personal property is not within the scope of a home inspection.  Such personal property includes, but is not limited to, space heaters, window air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, washer/dryer combination units, televisions, and countertop microwave units.

15. Property inspectors as movers

I often get asked why I didn't move something during the course of my inspection, and every answer I give always comes back to insurance concerns. I do not know whats in the boxes, how much an item might have cost, or the special sentimental history of any item, so my insurance precludes me from moving something and possibly damaging it. Even the unlikeliest-looking item could be a priceless heirloom, or a priceless heirloom or artifact could be in that common cardboard box. I don't like to damage things (I would feel pretty bad if it happened), but even when I do, I still don't like paying for it. So I don't want to be paying for something that someone said I broke or damaged (it might already have been broken or damaged), like the last known picture of someones grandmother or the priceless Ming vase from China (whats it doing in the attic if its so priceless?). Unfortunately, there are plenty of horror stories in the property inspection industry about inspectors moving things and damaging them, and my insurance premiums are already too high, so I just don't move things. Additionally, if I were to move only one item, I might be asked why I didn't move every item. Where do I draw the line? Obviously, time constraints preclude me from moving every item, so, again, I just don't move things; its either all or none. Remember, property inspectors are not movers, and I do not know of any movers who are property inspectors. They are two different professions. If you have any concerns about an area that was not visible or accessible at the time of the inspection, which is pretty common in furnished homes, you should make sure that those areas are looked at again before close of escrow. A good time to do that is at your final walk-through. I am available for re-inspections when conditions warrant it, remember that I am a professional, so I do charge for my time.

16. *Questions about Your Home Inspection Report

Buying and selling real estate is a very complicated process. I highly recommend that you use a Realtor to help you with your transaction. Realtors are like home inspectors. They come from various backgrounds but have had to go through a significant amount of training to enter their chosen profession. Realtors understand buying and selling real estate, including inspection reports. I believe their knowledge and expertise is invaluable to you in your real estate transaction. However, while Realtors know a lot about inspections and inspection reports, they are not inspectors. And while home inspectors know a lot about real estate, they are not Realtors. Seek help from the appropriate professional when you need it. If there are any questions about the information in Your Inspection Report, please call us first, and then call your Realtor.

17. Recalls

ASPEC Residential Services, LLC does not research product recalls or notices of any kind. A basic home inspection does not include the identification of, or research for, appliances and other items installed in the home that may have been recalled or have had a consumer safety alert issued about it. Any comments made in Your Inspection Report are regarding well known notices and are provided as a courtesy only. Product recalls and consumer product safety alerts are added almost daily by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We recommend clicking here if recalls are a concern to you:   Item(s), brand name(s), and model number(s) will be required for proper identification. 

18. Taking care of your home

It is not easy being a homeowner, and there will be many things that will become problems while you own your home you will need to spend money on them to resolve them. I recommend proactive preventive maintenance rather than after-the-fact reactive repair. To that end, throughout Your Inspection Report you might find the phrase Recommend regular homeowner monitoring and maintenance. This phrase means that things will fall apart or become problems, particularly if you don't take care of them. The easiest way to take care of your house is to keep water and moisture away from the exterior, particularly the foundation, and out of the interior, particularly the attic, closets, and cabinets. This means regular monitoring and maintenance. What is regular monitoring and maintenance? Home ownership! Home ownership means little or no watering next to your foundation, which translates into no high-water-use vegetation next to your foundation. Whats a high water-use plant? Typically, it's big plants and plants that have large foliage, lots of roots, or lots of flowers. Keeping moisture away from the house also means regular monitoring and maintenance of the exterior walls, foundation, and roof, and the structural and mechanical components attached to them. Some items in your home need to be monitored and maintained daily (e.g., sink cabinets), monthly (e.g., GFCI outlets), or annually (roof, water heater, furnace etc.). You're investing a substantial amount of money in a home. Please take care of it or hire professional service personnel to take care of it for you.

19. *Testing methods and further evaluation

I have certain steps that I go through, my inspection protocol, to test and evaluate appliances (heating and cooling, dishwasher, etc.) and systems (showers, sinks, toilets, etc.) in your new home, and I perform these steps in a certain order to ensure three things: (1) the unit is properly tested, inspected and evaluated (2) without causing any property damage and (3) without causing personal injury to anyone near the appliance (that includes me!). 

Step one typically is a yes or no to this question: Does it look like it will work properly? If yes, I proceed to step two. If no, I quit evaluating that appliance or system and state the reason why it did not look like it would work properly. In my report, I might state, Unit not tested. Recommend further evaluation before close of escrow. This does not mean that you can simply move in and start using the appliance or the system. It means that further evaluation must be completed before the appliance or system is used. I recommend that further evaluation be completed by qualified personnel, usually licensed in their profession under State of Ohio laws (plumbers, electricians, etc.). Such professionals typically will evaluate the complete appliance or system during their evaluation to make sure that it is fully functional. 

When further evaluation is performed, that licensed professional will have their own inspection protocol, again, designed specifically to do determine what the problem is without causing property damage or personal injury. They should at least begin the evaluation process all over again and should not start in the middle of anyone else's evaluation, including mine. Additionally, that licensed professional should not rely on any statements by an individual not licensed in that profession, such as me. Keep in mind that home inspectors are not licensed in any profession, even including home inspecting since the State of Ohio does not license home inspectors. Relying on statements of others without verifying them can result in property damage, personal injury, or death, especially since no one except the person currently inspecting the appliance can possibly know what might have happened to anything since the last time someone (me!) inspected, tested, or evaluated the appliance. 

In some instances, depending on the initial problem, evaluation by the licensed professional might be much more extensive than a home inspectors evaluation. Thats why they charge more, and thats why I only recommend them when absolutely necessary. Its kind of like your family doctor, also called a General Practitioner. If you have a chest pain, you'd make an appointment with your family doctor. You've done the initial evaluation (I have a chest pain.) Upon further evaluation by the family doctor, he says you need some x-rays or an MRI. Hell send you for further evaluation to the laboratory. Once you get that done, you'll go back to him for more further evaluation. Lets say that the x-rays or MRI indicate that you have some blocked heart arteries and need surgery. Who do you think will do the surgery? Not the family doctor! He'll send you for further evaluation to the heart surgeon. When you get to the heart surgeon, hell read the family doctors report, look at the x-rays or MRI, and then do his own evaluation, perhaps even having some more x-rays or MRI taken. In every case, the family doctor is far less expensive than the heart surgeon. 

Home inspectors are like your family doctor. Were inexpensive because were General Practitioners. We know something about everything, but everything about nothing. So if I find something wrong with the electric panel, Ill recommend further evaluation by a licensed electrician, equivalent to the heart surgeon. That licensed electrician, due to his licensing and expertise, is considered by the State of Ohio to be more knowledgeable about electricity than an unlicensed home inspector.

 I'm looking for the big problems that can cost you a significant amount of money, are extremely dangerous, or, if not corrected soon, can causes significant property damage. If I find the big problem, and then there is no reason for me to try to document any other problems. The simple fact is that it doesn't look like its going to work. Many times a problem can only be detected when something is being used, so if it doesn't look like one can use it safely and for the purpose for which it was intended, I don't go any further. 

If I did try to document all the other problems, your home inspection would have lasted many more hours and cost substantially more than what you paid, and Your Inspection Report might have become unwieldy, unreadable, and/or undecipherable. So, again, I'm looking for the biggest problems first and then the more minor problems. 

Many home issues can be interpreted and acted on in different ways depending on your needs and any advice that you might solicit from third parties, especially those who were not at the property at the time of the inspection and don't know what the conditions of the property were at the time of the inspection. Additionally, your intended use of a property might result in varying opinions about what you should do about some of my recommendations in Your Inspection Report. Therefore, if you have any questions about anything, please contact me. With that said, I highly recommend that you do not summarily dismiss my recommendations in Your Inspection Report, and do not let anyone else convince you to summarily dismiss my recommendations. If you have any questions about my recommendations, you should contact the source of the recommendations: me! Please feel free to contact me at any time. I am happy to talk with you and your representatives to explain my recommendations in further detail if necessary. We are available, seven days a week by phone and e-mail. So if you get voice mail, simply leave a message, and well get back to you as soon as possible.

20. *When things go wrong (also known as home ownership)

I am a generalist 

I am not acting as a specialist in any specific trade. I know something about everything but everything about nothing, commonly know as a Jack-of-all-trades. Ohio does not have licensing for property inspectors, yet many Clients expect me to know everything that a licensed electrician knows, that a licensed plumber knows, that a licensed roofing contractor knows, that a licensed structural engineer knows, that a licensed heating & cooling professional knows, etc. The list goes on and on. If all of those licensed professionals had come out to inspect your home, yes, you would probably have received a much more detailed report than that provided by any property inspector in the State of Ohio. However, your property inspection also would have cost several thousand dollars. So, yes, those licensed professionals have more expertise than I do in their specific professions. But ask a licensed plumber about structural engineering and you're probably not going to get as much as you get from a property inspector. Ask a licensed electrician about plumbing, and you're probably not going to get as much as you get from a property inspector. So while property inspectors are expected to know heating and cooling, plumbing, electricity, engineering, roofing, etc., it is virtually impossible to know everything about everything. That's why I'm a generalist. I'm looking at the forest, not the individual trees. 

Intermittent or concealed problems 

Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house. They cannot be discovered during the few hours of a property inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak only when people are in the shower but do not leak when you simply turn on the water faucet or shower head. This is because the weight of a person in the shower will cause the shower or bathtub, or the walls, to flex slightly, perhaps causing a small separation somewhere that allows water to penetrate only during actual use of the bathtub or shower. Some roofs only leak when specific conditions exist, and we've never seen a roof that leaks during dry weather, although some conditions (like a hole in the roof) will definitely indicate that the roof will leak next time it rains. Some problems will only be discovered when floor coverings are removed (like removing the 1970s vinyl in the bathrooms to put in tile); when furniture is moved (the large hole in the wall that was concealed by the bed); when pictures are taken down (the large hole in the wall that was covered by Grandmas picture); when wallpaper, wall mirrors, and paneling are removed (revealing past or present moisture damage). 

No clues 

Problems might have existed at the time of the inspection but there were no clues as to their existence, such as when a room has been recently painted. Inspections are based on the history of the house. If there are no clues of a past problem, it is unfair to assume that I could foresee a future problem. This becomes particularly troublesome when an older home is completely renovated. Yes, it probably looks beautiful, but when all the cracks in the walls and ceilings were covered up when the new drywall was installed, it is impossible for me to tell you that there are settling issues or foundation problems. I try to find the individual problems and add them together to determine if there are bigger problems. Renovation, either partial or complete, can make that job impossible because it makes the home look like a newer home rather than an older home. New homes don't exhibit problems yet, so what you see might not be what you get months or years down the road. With older homes, what you see is what you get; now just decide what to do about it. 

I missed some minor things 

The minor problems that I identified were discovered while looking for more significant problems. I note them simply as a courtesy to you. The intent of the inspection is not to find all the problems that might cost a few dollars, or even a few hundred dollars, but to find the problems that will cost you thousands of dollars. It typically is the significant problems that affect peoples decisions to buy a particular house after they have already fallen in love with it. However, I will note minor problems or cosmetic defects because the cost of correcting all of those might be significant. For example, a hole in a screen window can be patched for $20 or so, or re-screened for $50 or so, or replaced for a $100 or so. In the overall scheme of things, that's not significant. But now take a hole in each of 17 screen windows. The cost of patching, re-screening, or replacing can now become significant. So during the inspection, since I don't know how many of those minor things I will find until I'm actually through with the inspection, I try to note them all. And then Ill note the minor problems in Your Home Inspection Report and let you decide which problems you can deal with yourself or are willing to accept, and which problems you feel are more significant. Some Clients, such as those who are going to completely gut and renovate a property, don't want to know about the minor problems. Others (such as those buying a brand new home, or those who are out of state at the time of the inspection and, in the world of virtual tours on the Internet, might never have visited the property) want me to document every last little scratch or nick. And while I don't do scratches and nicks, there are Clients who want to know about the minor problems and the cosmetic defects. 


I make recommendations for your safety and to help you with common maintenance tasks. If you disregard my recommendations, you might risk your health and safety, or risk damage to your home and possessions. Buying a home is expensive, but I cannot condone ignoring my recommendations to save a few dollars. Even if you are very capable of doing the repair work, it should be done now, before you move in. After you move in, you might forget about it because other things take up your valuable time, such as when you're going to have the house warming party, who you're going to invite, and what you're going to serve, are you going to cook or have it catered? Ignoring my recommendations is a risk that only you can evaluate. I also hope that you will not let anyone else convince you to summarily dismiss my recommendations, as happens too often. I regularly hear people say, Oh, they didn't have that when the house was built or That wasn't required when the house was built. I know that. But in the ensuing years, disasters in the form of property damage, death, and injury have convinced us that there are better ways to do things than what might have been done when the house was built. So take care of things now, while they are fresh on your mind.

 Last man in theory and most recent advice 

While the recommendations in my reports represent what I believe are the best ways to resolve problems, many contractors don't like to make repairs because of the Last man in theory. For example, a roofing contractor believes that if he is the last person to work on the roof, he will get blamed if the roof leaks, regardless of whether or not the roof leak is his fault. Home owners rarely remember that the electrician worked on electric wires on top of the roof four months ago. All they remember is that the roof leak now must somehow be related to the roofing contractor who worked on the roof a few months ago. Therefore, roofing contractors don't want to do a minor repair with high liability when they could re-roof the entire house for more money and reduce the likelihood of a callback and an unhappy customer, which makes perfect sense. It is also human nature for home owners to believe that the most recent expert has the best advice, even if it is contrary to previous advice. As a property inspector, I find myself in the position of First man in and, therefore, it is my advice that is most often dismissed when the next person comes along. In fact, many other professionals who don't want to make repairs will blame the property inspector and try to make me look like an idiot: Oh, there's nothing wrong with that. I cant believe your property inspector said there was. As a generalist, I have to defer to opinions and recommendations of experts who are licensed. So in those cases where those licensed professionals state something contrary to what I said, all I ask is that you have them do the same thing I did: put their opinions in writing on their company letterhead and sign/date it, as I did with Your Inspection Report

Contractors advice and why I didn't see it 

A common source of dissatisfaction comes from comments made by contractors, which often differ from mine. Don't be surprised when someone says that something needed to be replaced when I said it needed to be repaired or replaced. Having something replaced makes more money for the contractor than just doing a repair. Contractors sometimes say, I cant believe you had this house inspected and they didn't find this problem. There are several reasons for these apparent oversights, as explained below: 

Conditions during inspection 

It is difficult for home owners to remember the conditions in the house at the time of the inspection, so I doubt that any contractors you hire will know what the circumstances were when the inspection was conducted. And home owners seldom remember that there was storage everywhere, making things inaccessible, or that the air conditioning could not be turned on because it was 40 degrees outside. I do take many pictures at the time of the inspection to remind you of the conditions at the time of the inspection. If a picture is not included, I typically will tell you in words what I did and didn't do, what I could and could not do, and what I will and will not do when it comes to property damage and personal safety. Many times the conditions at the time of the inspection can be embarrassing to the seller, so I don't include all pictures. 

Lengthy inspections

 If I spent half an half an hour under the kitchen sink or an hour disassembling the furnace, an hour disassembling the cooling condenser, several hours removing all the covers for electrical outlets and light switches, I'm sure I would find many more problems than those I found and noted in Your Inspection Report. Unfortunately, the inspection would take several days and would cost a few thousand dollars. In most cases, though, I try to do in the course of a few hours everything that a home owner would do in the course of many months.

Invasive or destructive testing 

I could have done invasive or destructive testing for you if you had requested it of me, had agreed to pay for any damage that I might have caused, and had the Sellers written consent to invasive or destructive testing. With all of that done, I might have found all sorts of problems, but I don't think you would have liked it when you were presented a bill from the seller for hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage that I caused during my invasive and destructive testing, especially if you decided not to buy the property for whatever reason. And I sure don't want to pay for that damage myself. Remember that the property at the time of the inspection didn't belong to you or me; it belonged to someone else. As a property inspector, I really do try to be respectful during the performance of my job while I'm on someone else's property. I can only do so much. 

The wisdom of hindsight 

When problems occur, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight. Anybody can say that the roof is leaking when it is raining outside and the roof is leaking. It is virtually impossible in the midst of a hot summer heat wave condition at the time of the inspection to say that the roof will leak the next time it rains, unless there are obvious signs. Predicting problems is not an exact science and is not part of the property inspection process. I am only documenting the condition of the home at the time of the inspection. Your Inspection Report is merely a snapshot in time. 

I hope this has helped you understand what I have tried to do for you, and why problems occur after the property inspection.

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects

21 - Taking Care of Your Property (Preventative Maintenance Tips)

Immediately after close of escrow
  • Review Your Inspection Report for any items that require immediate improvement or further investigation. Address these areas as required.
  • Change the locks on all exterior entrances for improved security.
  • Check that all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as necessary.
  • Security rods can be added to sliding windows and doors. Also consider a security system.
  • Install smoke alarms where applicable. Replace batteries on existing smoke alarms and test them.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms where applicable, especially if there are gas-using appliances, fireplaces, attached garage, etc.
  • Create a plan of action in the event of a fire. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in every room where applicable. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and what to do in the event of fire.
  • Find where the main shut-offs are for the water, gas, and electrical systems, noted in Your Inspection Report.
  • Examine the interior areas for trip hazards. Repair loose or torn carpeting and flooring.
  •  Examine hardscape (driveways, walkways, patios, etc.) for trip hazards. Have repairs made where necessary. Make sure that exterior walls are not in contact with the soil.
  • Have improvements made to decks, porches, stairways, and landings where there is a risk of falling or tripping.
  • Install rain caps and wildlife screens on all chimney flues, attic vents, foundation vents, and garage vents, as necessary.
  • Don't store household chemicals in your sink cabinets. Chemicals are corrosive to your plumbing.

Regular maintenance every month
  •  Check that your property has at least one fire extinguisher and that it is fully charged. Re-charge if necessary.
  • Check the heating/cooling air filter and replace or clean as necessary. Inspect and clean humidifiers and electronic air cleaners.
  •  If the property has hot water heating, bleed radiator valves.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Ensure that downspouts are secure, and that the discharge of the downspouts is appropriate. 
  • Remove debris from window wells.
  • Carefully inspect the condition of bathtub and shower enclosures. Repair or replace deteriorated grout and caulk. Ensure that water is not escaping the enclosure during showering. Check below all plumbing fixtures for evidence of leakage.
  • Repair or replace leaking faucets or shower heads.
  •  Secure loose toilets and repair troublesome flush mechanisms.
  • Test all ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) devices.

Spring and Fall
  • Examine the roof for evidence of damage to roof coverings, flashings, and chimneys.
  • Check the attic to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed. Check for evidence of leakage, condensation, or wildlife activity. Level insulation if needed.
  • Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the property.
  • Ensure that the grade of the land around the structure directs water flow away from the foundation.
  • Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking, or movement. 
  • Watch for bird nests or other wildlife activity.
  • Survey the basement and/or crawl space walls for evidence of moisture seepage.
  •  Look at overhead wires coming to the property. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions.
  •  Inspect driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for evidence of deterioration, movement, or safety hazards.
  •  Clean windows and test their operation. Improve caulking and weather-stripping, as necessary. Watch for evidence of rot in wood window frames. Paint and repair window sills and frames, as necessary.
  •  Shut off isolating valves for exterior hose bibs in the fall.
  •  Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR) valve on water heaters for leakage and note where the drain pipe terminates. Call a plumber if water drains from the pipe.
  •  Test the garage door opener to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is working properly. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers, and tracks.
  • Replace or clean exhaust hood filters. (Bath fans, Kitchen fans, etc.)
  • Clean, inspect and/or service all appliances as per the manufacturers recommendations.

  • Have the property inspected by a licensed pest control professional.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Have the heating, cooling, and water heater systems cleaned and serviced.
  •  Have chimneys inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and wildlife screens are secure.
  •  Examine the electrical panels, wiring, and electrical components for evidence of overheating. Ensure that all components are secure. Flip the breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.
  • If the property uses a well, check and service the pump and holding tank. Have the water quality tested. 
  • If the property has a septic system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed)

Please contact us at any time should you have any questions regarding the operation or maintenance of your property, we're always here to help!

  • IN = Inspected
  • NP = Not Present
  • NI/LI = Not Inspected/Limited Inspection
  • O/R/D = Observations/Recommendations/Defects