Skip to content

What's Included in a Typical Home Inspection? [Infographic]

Kevin 12/9/19 12:23 PM
typical home inspection graphic

A home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make, and a home inspection is always recommended before buying a home. It's important to realize the condition of your investment, as well as anticipate hidden costs.

While some little quirks may be nothing to worry about, there may be more serious issues that only a professional home inspector can assess. (Click here to find a home inspector in your area)

A large part of surviving the home inspection is understanding what to expect from a home inspection in general. Here’s some helpful info and an infographic that shows you what’s covered in a typical home inspection.

1. Roof

This includes the condition of:

  • The roof coverings
  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Vents
  • Flashings
  • Skylights
  • Chimney
  • Roof penetrations and the general structure

Note that a home inspector may or may not walk on your roof. In many cases they can perform a visual inspection from a ladder.

2. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

The home inspector will look at the insulation and ventilation of unfinished spaces, including:

  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces
  • Foundation areas
  • Exhaust systems

3. Exterior

  • Siding
  • Windows
  • Exterior doors
  • Flashing & Trim
  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Stairs
  • Patios & decks
  • Drainage

4. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

  • Foundation movement
  • Cracks
  • Structural concerns
  • Indication of water penetration

5. Cooling

The condition of the cooling system, location of thermostat, energy source and the type of cooling system you have in the home.

6. Heating

The condition of the heating system, location of thermostat, energy source and the type of heating system you have in the home.

7. Fireplace

The home inspector will inspect:
  • The visible portions of the fireplace & chimneys
  • Lintels
  • Damper doors
  • Cleanout doors & frames

8. Plumbing

Plumbing tends to get the most attention due to the impacts a water penetration can have on a home. The home inspector will check:

  • Main water & fuel supply shut-off valves
  • Water heater
  • Interior water supply
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Tubs
  • Showers
  • Drains
  • Waste & vent systems

9. Electrical

This section includes:

  • The service drop (where the electrical company connects to your home)
  • Conductors
  • Service head and mast
  • Electrical main
  • Panelboards
  • Grounding switches
  • Light fixtures
  • Outlets
  • The presence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

10. Doors, Windows & Interior

This includes a representative number (some inspectors check all) of:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Stairs
  • Railings
  • The garage door and openers

Your home inspector will deliver findings from all of these areas in a home inspection report. Depending on which home inspection software they use, it may look different than a Spectora sample home inspection report. Regardless, you should have high-quality images and descriptions that help you work with your real estate agent to negotiate fixes and/or concessions from the seller.


Common Extras and add-ons

Most home inspectors will have options for what they call add-on services that are related, but not required for an inspections:

  • Mold tests will sample air in an area of the house. They can often be left for a brief period and picked up by your inspector and taken to a lab. You'll usually get a result within days. Other test may use swabs, but only if the mold is visible (in which case, you probably don't need a test!)
  • radon tests also use air samples to check for dangerous particles in the air caused by contaminated soil.
  • sewer scope tests involve using a small camera to look for clogging or damage to your sewer lines. There can be some telltale signs of sewer issues that your inspector can see in your home or yard, prompting them to recommend a sewer scope test.

What's included in a home inspection?

Leave a Comment