A home is likely the largest purchase you’ll ever make. To ensure you are making an informed home buying decision, Craig Farmer should be your first call when it comes to determining the condition of the home. A home inspection report documents the findings of a thorough inspection of the major elements and systems of a home. It’s a truly objective look at a house by a trained professional.

What’s covered in the inspection?

Structure & Site:
A house has a skeleton that gives it support, shape, and a framework for outer coverings. This structure is called the frame. Though some new homes utilize steel framing, most houses built since the 1920s are made out of wooden beams, floor joists, wall studs, roof rafters, and related components. Some modern homes are made of SIP’s (Structurally Insulated Panels).

9 Point Inspection of Structure

  1. Siding
  2. Beams & Columns
  3. Windows
  4. Window Wells
  5. Outside Stairs not part of Deck
  6. Facia
  7. Soffit
  8. Eves
  9. Doors

Site is most often concerned with location; it is related to the verb situate “to locate” and situation “a position.” A building site is the place where the building is, or will be, located. And also included everything around the site.

10 Point Inspection of Site

  1. Paving Condition
  2. Gutters & Downspouts
  3. Patio
  4. Painting & Calking
  5. Fences & Gates
  6. Retaining Walls
  7. Hose Bibs
  8. Proper Water Drainage
  9. Utility Service
  10. Gas Service

Foundation & Landscape:
There are the three main types of house foundations that you will encounter in residential construction. Full basement, crawlspace or slab-on-grade. The foundation is extremely important because it supports the entire structure of the building. Shear force starts at the highest peak of a building & forces itself down to the lowest point of a building, the foundation. Shear is defined as a strain in the structure of a substance produced by pressure, when its layers are laterally shifted in relation to each other. It is extremely important that the foundation is solid & level.

8 Point Inspection of Foundation

  1. Movement
  2. Structural Components
  3. Shearing
  4. Water
  5. Vegetation
  6. Vents
  7. Cracks
    • Vertical cracks are considered non-structural
    • Horizontal cracks are considered structural
  8. Insect Spraying

Because decks appear to be simple to build, many people do not realize that decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other house or building, a deck must be designed to support the weight of people, snow loads, and objects. A deck must be able to resist lateral and uplift loads that can act on the deck as a result of wind or seismic activity. Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable. Most Deck failures are improper solidifying ledger to the house. And, finally, deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing (4”).

14 Point Inspection of Decks

  1. Ledger Board (Secured to House)
  2. Joist Hangers (Proper Size)
  3. Hurricane Plates (Present & Correct Size)
  4. Other Hardware (Proper Hardware Used)
  5. Drip Edge\Flashing (Present)
  6. Blocking (Present)
  7. Corbels (For Support)
  8. On-Center Spacing (Proper Spacing)
  9. Beams (Proper Size)
  10. Girder (Attached Properly)
  11. Footings (Present)
  12. Rust\Wood Rot (Present)
  13. Railing (4” Between Spindles, Attached Properly)
  14. Stairs (With Proper Hand Rail per Code)

A roof is the top covering of a building, including all materials and constructions necessary to support it on the walls of the building or on uprights, providing protection against rain, snow, sunlight, extremes of temperature, and wind.

12 Point Inspection of a Roof

  1. Roof Covering
  2. Drip Edge
  3. Rubber Boots
  4. Storm Collars
  5. Gas Flue Vent Pipes
  6. Plumbing Vent Pipes
  7. Flashing
  8. Gutters & Down Spouts
  9. Valleys
  10. Ridges & Vents
  11. Chimney
  12. Skylights

A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are completely or partly below the ground floor. … In cities with high property prices, such as London, basements are often fitted out to a high standard and used as living space.

11 Point Inspection of Basement

  1. Stair Case to Basement (hand rails, rise\run)
  2. Walls\Ceiling\Baseboard\Trim
  3. Carpet\Other Flooring
  4. Bedrooms
  5. Bathrooms
  6. Laundry
  7. Living Room & Any Other Rooms
  8. Utility\Electrical Room
  9. Walk Out Basement
  10. Windows (32” Egress)
  11. Radon

A fireplace or hearth is a structure made of brick, store or metal designed to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used for the relaxing ambiance they create & for heating a room. A fire is contained in a firebox or firepit; chimney or other flue allows exhaust to escape. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure it is safe in the home. As you know, fire can be created by wood, gas, pellets, etc.

13 Point Inspection of Fireplaces

  1. General Condition
  2. Electric\Gas Connections
  3. Gas Leak Test
  4. Lintel (Check Horizontal)
  5. Hearth (Condition)
  6. Flue Damper (Does it Work)
  7. Clean-outs (Present)
  8. Gas Valve 4’ from Fireplace
  9. Combustion Outside Air Vent
  10. Chimney
  11. Creosote
  12. Smoke Detector (Working)
  13. CO2 Detector (Working)

Crawl Space & Attic:
A crawl space is essentially a hollow area under the floors of some homes between the ground and the first floor. It’s usually roughly 1 foot to 3 feet high—just high enough for someone to enter by crawling, as its name implies (low ceilings!).

12 Point Inspection of a Crawl Space

  1. Vapor Barrier
  2. Electrical\Extension Cords
  3. Duck Work
  4. Clean\Dirty
  5. Pest Activity\Insect Spraying
  6. Sub-Floor Insulation
  7. Blocking
  8. Wall Insulation
  9. Plumbing
  10. Vents
  11. Mold\Water Intrusion
  12. Conditioned Crawl Space

An attic (sometimes referred to as a loft) is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a sky parlor or a garret.

10 Point Inspection of Attic

  1. Overall Condition
  2. Insulation
  3. Ventilation (Roof)
  4. Structural
  5. Vents (Plumbing, Dryer)(To Outside)(6” Clearance)
  6. Electrical (Exposed)
  7. Trusses
  8. Mold\Water Intrusion
  9. Insect Problem
  10. Proper Venting of Plumbing & Fireplace

A home’s electrical system includes incoming power lines, an electric meter, a service panel, subpanels, household wiring, electrical boxes, receptacles (outlets), switches, and, of course, the appliances, lights, and equipment that put the power to work.

7 Point Inspection of Electrical

  1. Switches & Fixtures
  2. Electrical Outlets
  3. Smoke Detectors
  4. CO2 Detectors
  5. Door Bell
  6. Central Vacuum
  7. Exterior Lighting

Breaker Panel:
A distribution board (also known as panelboard, breaker panel, or electric panel) is a component of an electricity supply system that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits, while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure.

12 Point Inspection of Breaker Panel

  1. Service
  2. General Condition
  3. Matching Breakers
  4. Proper Size Gauge Wire on Individual Breakers
  5. Empty Spaces
  6. Double Taps
  7. Proper Grounding
  8. Green Bonding Screw
  9. Heat Test
  10. Legends
  11. Main Circuit Rating
  12. AFCI

Breaker Panel cannot be located in Clothes Closet, Bathroom or over Stair Way.

Air Conditioner & Furnace:
Air conditioning (often referred to as AC, A/C, or air con) is the process of removing heat and moisture from the interior of an occupied space to improve the comfort of occupants. Air conditioning can be used in both domestic and commercial environments. … Some AC systems reject or store heat in subterranean pipes.

9 Point Inspection of Air Conditioner

  1. General Condition (Is it Level)
  2. 65 degree (Can’t check if 65% or <)
  3. Sound (Listen to it Run)
  4. 3” Above (Needs to be 3” Above Grade)
  5. 12”\24” Clearance (12” Around, 24” Between if 2)Ou
  6. Disconnect (Present)(Not needed if next to Breaker Panel)
  7. Outside Connections (Refrigerant, Cold & Hot Lines)
  8. Fins (Check for Damage)
  9. Data Tag (Take Picture

A furnace is an appliance that heats houses and buildings by burning fuel or circulating hot water. … Furnaces also have industrial uses, like burning trash or extracting ore from metal. If someone says, “It’s as hot as a furnace in this classroom!” they mean that it’s extremely hot.

10 Point Inspection of Furnace

  1. General (Is it Level)
  2. Sound\Test Unit (Listen to It)
  3. Gas\Electrical Lines (Gas Leaks, Electrical Connections)
  4. Shut-Off Valve (Present)
  5. Disconnect (Present)
  6. Condenser Line (Check)
  7. Flues (Check)
  8. 30”x30” (Need 30”x30” Access)
  9. CO2 (Check)
  10. Air Filter\Data Tag

Water Heaters/Tankless Water Heaters:

12 Point Inspection of Hot Water Heaters

  1. General Condition (Is it Level)
  2. Connections (Gas & Electrical)
  3. Venting (12” Vertical before Elbow, ¼” Rise\ft. on Horizonal Vent)
  4. Attic (At least 6” Clearance on Vent Pipe in Attic)
  5. TP Valve (TP valve must have a Drain Pipe)
  6. Rust\Corrosion (Check for Rust & or Corrosion)
  7. Drain Pan (Not necessary, but suggested)
  8. Straps (May or may not be necessary)
  9. Anode Rod (Just explain to Client)
  10. 120 degrees (Shouldn’t be any higher)
  11. Gas (Check for Gas Leaks)
  12. Data Tag\CO2 Check

The life of a hot water tank varies by manufacture. But generally, 7 to 10 to 12 year’s. 60% efficient, meaning for every $1 you spend, you lose $.40. Annual maintenance of draining water tank is suggested.

7 Point Inspection of Tankless Water Heater/On Demand Water System

  1. General Condition (Is it Level)
  2. Connections (Gas & Electrical)
  3. Venting (Proper intake & exhaust. Area properly vented)
  4. TP Valve (TP valve must have a Drain Pipe).
  5. Gas (Check for Gas Leaks)
  6. Proper Venting
  7. Data Tag/CO2 Check

Tankless water heaters only operate when you need hot water. 96% efficient, meaning for every $1 you spend, you only lose $.04. Therefore, the life of an On-demand water heater, with proper maintenance, could last 4x longer than a conventional hot water tank. Annual maintenance is to flush out with vinegar. Check YouTube.

Other Areas:
Kitchen, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Laundry, Garage, Other.