No house is perfect. Not even the brand new ones. To avoid selecting a property with issues, looking for big-ticket items when previewing properties with your agent is important to make the investment worth it.
A home inspection checklist is a valuable tool to help look at and document certain features of the home when previewing. Do note that a home inspection checklist should not be mistaken as a report, nor should it be a substitute for a professional home inspection. Rather, it is a way to document the features and issues of the homes you are considering that will help you compare these homes at the end of the day.
Here’s an example of items that should be included in a home inspection checklist that you can take to the previewing of homes that you are considering:
THE BIG PICTURE
Take the time to check out the homes in the neighborhood that were constructed around the same time as the home you’re previewing. This will give you a general idea of the condition of your house. Pay attention to big-ticket items like the roof, siding, and foundation. The severity of major issues that can be seen are items that can be deal-breakers.
A simple visual evaluation of the roof should be good but pay attention to:
- Any noticeable damage such as broken tiles or missing shingles.
- Noticeable or obvious roof patches/repairs?
- Are you able to observe the chimney and flashing? Can you tell if there are missing and damaged bricks, siding or do you notice cracked joints?
- Check the gutters and downspouts? Are they attached securely to the home? Damaged in any way? Are there any signs of bending or sagging?
- Check for noticeable wood rot or other roof penetrations.
There is a lot of siding on a home and we recommend taking a pen and pad of paper with you to log any type of damage you may see as well at its location.
Depending on the type of siding you could be looking for wood rot, nail pops, cracks, open joints, bricks falling away from the side, peeling paint, loose boards, or panels. Anything that doesn’t look correct needs to be noted.
- Does the foundation appear to be in good condition? Are there damaged bricks, masonry, or cracks in the concrete or blocks? Do you notice any flaking components?
- Check for noticeable foundation and supporting wall issues. Is there evidence of bowing, bulging, or other irregularities?
- For wooden components, are there signs or indications of damage from insect or termite infestation, or rot?
- Are there large trees growing near the property’s foundation?
- What flooring materials are used? Carpet, hardwood, tile. stone?
- Are there stains or signs of damage?
- Will the floor need to be repaired, restored, or replaced?
- Check the interior and exterior walls. Are they bowed, sagged, bulging, or leaning?
- Are there cracks? Note that cracks in the wall may be caused by several factors, from shoddy construction to inevitable movement over time.
- Is there any flaking or mismatched paint?
- What is the condition of the wall covering?
- For brick walls, check for any loose brick, cracks in mortar or spaces.
- Are the ceilings smooth, and intact?
- Are there stains or signs of previous water damage?
- Will any of the ceilings need repainting? Repaired?
- Note any significant cracks.
WINDOWS and DOORS
- Check out the condition of the windows and doors? Do they operate and latch?
- Do the window and door frames appear square?
- Are the frame joints caulked? Well painted? Chipping paint?
- Are there any cracks, rot, or decay?
- Do the locks work?
- Do the windows and doors have weather-stripping? Are they in good condition?
KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS
- Are the plumbing fixtures or faucets loose?
- Are there cracks on the fixtures? Broken down caulking?
- Is there adequate water flow and water pressure at all fixtures?
- Do the sinks, tubs, and showers drain properly?
- Note the condition of the tubs and shower tiles.
Are the commodes loose on the floor?
- Note any leaking, rust, unusual noises when running the water or draining, or any other signs of neglect.
When testing electrical elements, make sure that all necessary safety measures are taken.
- Are there indications of exposed wiring?
- Are cables secured and protected?
- Can you tell if the fuses or breakers are overheating?
- Test electrical receptacles and switches for functionality.
- When was the last time the heating and cooling (HVAC) system was inspected? Or Serviced?
- Have upgrades been done?
- No home is complete without appliances. Check that all appliances are working properly.
Inspect and determine if the system has been serviced lately. Look for upkeep by the owner, is dust there, dirt around the system, are air vents dusty/dirty.
The water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home and often, taken for granted. When looking at the water heater, is there evidence of rust, any leaking at the top or the bottom of the water heater? Cracks? Does it make noises? Do you notice smelly water or discolored water?
For many good reasons, a home inspection checklist can be a valuable tool to help make previewing many properties more organized so you know what features and issues went with which home. This information may later help to decide which home to choose to make an offer on which will likely prevent a lot of stress.
Click here to download and print our Columbus OH Home Inspection Checklist. Print and take one to each home you preview so you can jot down the things you find during the home visit. This way you can keep track and know which home has what features and/or issues.
And when you’re ready for your home inspection, be sure to give us a call at (614) 328-5105.
We are recommended as one of the most trusted home inspection companies in Columbus and the surrounding areas. Our licensed professionals will thoroughly evaluate all aspects of the home or property you are looking to buy.
Since 2012, Master Building Inspectors has been committed to providing home inspection services, nothing short of professional. Our onsite verbal delivery and the emailed report will be delivered following the home inspection. Our inspection report will alert you of any health, or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to purchase.