Use a checklist like this to make sure that you are looking at all parts of the house. Check off those items that are in good condition and make notes about those that are not.
Note: This checklist should not be relied upon as a home inspection report, nor should it be considered a substitute for a home inspection. This list is representative, but NOT exhaustive.
If you require a home inspection contact a qualified, educated, licensed, experienced ASHI certified home inspector in your area.
Grounds ____ Proper grading drainage away from house ____ No evidence of standing water ____ No leaks from septic tank or leech field ____ Yard, landscaping, trees and walkways in good condition ____ No branches or bushes touching house or overhanging the roof ____ Exterior structures (fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls, detached garages) in good condition, no evidence of termite damage or rotted wood ____ Railings on stairs and decks are adequate and secure ____ Driveways, sidewalks, patios, entrance landings in good condition, and pitched away from structure ____ Downspout drainage directed away from structure
Structure ____ Ridge and fascia board lines appear straight and level ____ Sides of house appear straight, not bowed or sagging ____ Window and doorframes appear square (especially bowed windows) ____ Visible foundation in good condition - appears straight, plumb, with no significant Cracks
Exterior Surfaces ____ Adequate clearance between ground and wood siding materials (6" minimum); no wood-to-earth contact ____ Siding: no cracking, curling, loose, rot or decay ____ Masonry veneers: no cracks in joints, no broken, spalling or flaking components ____ Stucco: no large cracks (discuss all stucco cracks with a professional inspector) ____ Vinyl or aluminum siding: no dents, damage, no bowing or loose siding ____ No vines on surface of structure ____ Exterior paint or stain: no flaking or blisters ____ No stains on exterior surfaces
Windows, Doors and Wood Trim ____ Wood frames and trim pieces are secure, no cracks, rot or decay ____ Joints around frames are caulked ____ No broken glass (window or storm panes) or damaged screens, no broken doublepaned, insulated window seals. ____ Muntin and mullion glazing compound in good condition ____ Storm windows or thermal glass used ____ Drip caps ins talled over windows
Roof ____ Composition shingles: no curling, no cupping, no loss of granulation particulate, no broken, damaged or missing shingles, no more than two layers of roofing ____ Wood shingles or shakes: no mold, rot or decay, no cracked/broken/missing shingles, no curling ____ Flat roofs: no obvious patches, no cracks or splits, minimal blisters/"alligatoring" and wrinkles, no silt deposits (indicates improper drainage), sealed tar at flashings ____ Flashing around roof penetrations ____ No evidence of excess roofing cement/tar/caulk ____ Soffits and fascia: no decay, no stains ____ Exterior venting for eave areas: vents are clean and not painted over ____ Gutters: no decay or rust, joints sealed, attached securely to structure, no bending or sagging, no sections of gutter or downspout missing, gutters clean, no mud deposits ____ Chimneys: straight, properly flashed, no evidence of damaged bricks or cracked joints, mortar/cement cap in good condition
Attic ____ No stains on underside of roofing, especially around roof penetrations ____ No evidence of decay or damage to structure ____ Sufficient insulation and properly installed insulation (moisture barrier installed closest to the heated area of the house) ____ Adequate ventilation, clear path into attic for air entering through soffit vents, adequately sized gable end louvers, all mechanical ventilation operational ____ No plumbing, exhaust or appliance vents terminating in attic ____ No open electrical splices
Interior Rooms ____ Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight and plumb and level ____ No stains on floors, walls or ceilings ____ Flooring materials in good condition ____ No significant cracks in walls or ceilings ____ Windows and exterior doors operate easily and latch properly, no broken glass, no sashes painted shut, no decay; windows and doors have weather-stripping, "weep holes" installed ____ Interior doors operate easily and latch properly, no damage or decay, no broken hardware ____ Paint, wall covering, and paneling in good condition ____ Wood trim installed well and in good condition ____ Lights and switches operate properly ____ Adequate number of three pronged electrical outlets in each room ____ Electrical outlets test properly (spot check) ____ Heating/cooling source in each habitable room ____ Evidence of adequate insulation in walls ____ Fireplace: no cracking or damaged masonry, no evidence of back-drafting (staining on fireplace façade), damper operates properly, flue has been cleaned, flue is lined
Kitchen ____ Working exhaust fan that is vented to the exterior of the building ____ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter ("GFCI") protection for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s) ____ Dishwasher: drains properly, no leaks, baskets, door spring operates properly ____ No leaks in pipes under sinks ____ Floor in cabinet under sink solid, no stains or decay ____ Water flow in sink adequate ____ No excessive rust or deterioration on garbage disposal or waste pipes ____ Built- in appliances operate properly ____ Cabinets in good condition: doors and drawers operate properly
Bathrooms ____ Working exhaust fan that doesn't terminate in the attic space ____ Adequate flow and pressure at all fixtures ____ Sink, tub and shower drain properly ____ Plumbing and cabinet floor under sink in good condition ____ If sink is metal, it shows no signs of rust, overflow drain doesn't leak ____ Toilet operates properly ____ Toilet stable, no rocking, no stains around base ____ Caulking in good condition inside and outside of the tub and shower area ____ Tub or shower tiles secure, wall surface solid ____ No stains or evidence of past leaking around base of bath or shower
Miscellaneous ____ Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where required by local ordinances ____ Stairway treads and risers solid ____ Stair handrails where needed and in good condition ____ Automatic garage door opener operates properly, stops properly for obstacles
Basement or Mechanical Room ____ No evidence of moisture ____ Exposed foundation; no stains no major cracks, no flaking, no efflorescence ____ Visible structural wood: no sagging, no damage, no decay, no stains, no damage from insects, sills attached to foundation with anchor bolts ____ Insula tion at rim/band joists
Crawl Space ____ Adequately vented to exterior ____ Insulation on exposed water supply, waste and vent pipes ____ Insulation between crawl space and heated areas, installed with vapor barrier towards heated area ____ No evidence of insect damage ____ No evidence of moisture damage
Plumbing ____ Visible pipes: no damage, no evidence of leaks, no signs of stains on materials near pipes; drain pipes slope slightly down towards outlet to septic/sewage system ____ Water heater: no signs of rust, vented properly, sized to produce adequate quantities of hot water for the number of bedrooms in the house. ____ Water pump: does not short cycle ____ Galvanized pipes do not restrict water flow ____ Well water test is acceptable ____ Hot water temperature between 118 - 125 degrees Fahrenheit
Electrical ____ Visible wiring: in good condition, no "knob-and-tube" wiring, no exposed splices, cables secured and protected ____ Service panel: adequate capacity, all cables attached to panel with cable connectors; fuses or breakers are not overheating ____ No aluminum cable for branch circuits
Heating/Cooling System ____ Appears to operate well throughout (good air flow on forced hot air systems) ____ Flues: no open seams, slopes up to chimney connection ____ No rust around cooling unit ____ No combustion gas odor ____ Air filter(s) clean ____ Ductwork in good condition ____ No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes or air ducts ____ Separate flues for gas/oil/propane and wood/coal