All of our home inspectors are members of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. As such, we abide by the ASHI Code of Ethics, as well as the ASHI Standards of Practice, which sets the minimum requirements for a home inspection. The list below incorporates the ASHI Standards of Practice, but also incorporates part of AT HOME INSPECTIONS list of Best Practices for a home inspection. This list is written in the same order as our inspection reports. We think this is a pretty boring list, but we occasionally get asked about some of these specific items, so here are the items included in our inspection of a single family home, townhome and mobile homes:
- Cooktop, Oven, Range.
- Exhaust IE hood, fan, ducting
- Waste disposal.
- Clothes washers and dryers (if staying with the home).
- Any either appliances that are installed IE trash compactor, wine cooler.
- Drain, waste, and vent pipes.
- Water distribution pipes.
- The visible portion of the water main, which is the water supply pipe that brings water into the home.
- Exterior faucets
- Water heaters.
- Water heater vents.
- Floor drains.
- Showers – tiled showers are flood tested.
- Gas lines. (visual)
- We report including photos, the locations of the Gas main and water meter shut off valves.
- Exterior electrical components, including the service drop, service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways.
- The main panel and any subpanels.
- We remove panel covers to inspect the wiring inside. For the record, this is not something that sets us apart from our competition; every ASHI inspector in California should do this as standard practice, and any home inspector who claims to follow ASHI’s Standards Of Practice should do this.
- Service grounding
- Interior electrical components, including the majority of outlets, switches, and lights.
- Ground fault circuit interrupters. (GFCI outlets)
- Arc fault circuit interrupters. (AFCI breakers)
- Smoke and CO alarms are required when not present.
- Installed heating equipment such as furnaces, boilers, and space heaters. Carbon monoxide testing of heating plants is standard for us.
- Furnace filters are inspected.
- Ductwork (what can be seen)
- Registers are all checked for operation temperature difference measured.
- Vent connector and vent.
- Central and permanently installed cooling equipment (wall and window units excluded).
- Temperature difference testing is used to determine if cooling equipment is operational.
- Condensate disposal
- Overhead doors.
- Garage door openers.
- Auto-reverse safety systems
- Wall coverings (aka ‘siding’)
- Guards (aka ‘guardrails’)
- Drainage and grading that is likely to affect the building
- Retaining walls
- Vegetation that is likely to affect the building
- Foundation walls
- Vent terminals and air intakes
- Foundation walls
- Basement floor
- Crawl spaces
- Sump Systems, including the sump basket, sump pump, sump cover, and extension piping.
- Floor structure (posts, beams, joists, etc.)
- Basement insulation
- Signs of basement moisture / water intrusion are always a concern for buyers, and we always inspect for this.
- We use moisture meters to check for elevated moisture levels when they’re suspected.
- We walk roofs to inspect them. Some common-sense exceptions would be unsafe roofs (pitch), roofs not accessible ladder, rain/snow covered, etc.
- Gutters and roof drainage systems. We’re big proponents of gutters
- Flashing. IE valleys, roof penetrations, drip edge.
- Skylights, roof caps, roof vents, plumbing vents, and other roof penetrations are inspected.
- Chimney, Fireplaces
- Chimney crowns
- Chimney walls
- Chimney flashing
- Fuel-burning fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts. This usually means wood burning fireplaces or gas fireplaces.
- Fuel-burning accessories installed in fireplaces, such as gas logs.
- We access as much of the attic space to inspect them as possible, If we can walk or crawl through the attic without trampling the insulation, we’ll do so to inspect the attic.
- Framing and sheathing
- Exhaust fans and ducts
- Stairs, handrails, and guards
- Counters and cabinets
- Vent fans