What a home inspection covers and what it does not cover

What home inspections cover

Home inspectors typically evaluate structural components (floors, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, installed appliances and other major components of the property.  The Home Inspector Licensure Board's Standards of Practice do not require home inspectors to report on wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, pools and spas, detached structures and certain other items listed in the offer to purchase and contract form.  Always ask the home inspector if the covers all things, which are important to you.  If not you may want to consider arranging for an inspection for these items by the appropriate professionals.  If you need any help with that we can discuss this.
For a description of the services to be provided by the home inspector (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the home inspector must give you and which you must sign before the home inspection can be performed.
  • Siding:  Look for dents or buckling.
  • Foundations:  Look for cracks or water seepage.
  • Exterior Brick:  Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks.
  • Insulation"  Look for condition, adequate rating for climate (the higher the "R" value, the more effective the insulation is.)
  • Doors and Windows:  Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, and condition of weather stripping.
  • Roof:  Look for age, condition of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts.
  • Ceilings, walls and moldings:  Look for loose pieces, dry wall that is pulling away.
  • Porch/Deck:  Loose railings or step rot.
  • Electrical:  Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room.
  • Plumbing:   Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust pots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient
  • insulation.
  • Water heater:  Look for age, size adequate for the house, speed of recovery, energy rating.
  • Furnace/Air Conditioning:  Look for age, energy rating.  Furnaces area rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs.  However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
  • Garage:  Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floors -cracks, stains etc.; condition of door mechanism.
  • Basement:  Look for water leakage, musty smell.
  • Attic:  Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
  • Septic Tanks (if applicable):  Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in the specific municipality and the size of your family.
  • Driveway/Sidewalk:  Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges and stains.
Be sure to consider having a home inspector inspect your new home purchase in Lynchburg Va.