Cheap Homes for Sale
House Buying Tips

Home Inspection Checklist
Mortgage Refinancing

Investing in Real Estate
Alternative Housing

Site Map
Profit from Real Estate

Home Inspection Checklist

By - 2006

Here's a fairly extensive home inspection checklist. Not all of it will apply to every house, but it is comprehensive enough to be useful for both single family homes and apartment buildings. Some things are listed without much explanation, because this isn't a tutorial on all the building trades. Look at the wiring and plumbing, for example, but only to spot obvious problems. Hire an experienced plumber to inspect for hidden leaks if you suspect problems. The "other" entry on each of the lists is for your own notes if you decide to print this checklist.

Outside Inspection Checklist

___Propane Tank. See if it is securely mounted, and the line isn't where people will trip on it. If it is near the driveway, it should have posts or other safety barrier.

___Grading and Drainage. Does the lot slope towards the house, potentially causing water to enter? Are there any spots where water collects and causes problems?

___Landscaping. Are trees too close to lines or roofs? Are there any dead trees that will have to be removed for safety? What other work will the landscaping need? Are flower beds trapping water against the house?

___Building Exterior. Is the paint in good condition? Any cracked or crumbly stucco? Are there any obvious signs of rotting trim? Are gutters clogged or coming loose?

___Roof. How long before the shingles will need replacing? Are there more than two layers of shingles? Any obvious sagging in the roof? Any gaps around chimneys and pipes? Is the trim rotting? Are the soffits sagging?

___Doors. Are the doors in good shape? Are they misaligned (this may indicate settling of the walls or foundation)? Do the locks work?

___Windows. Are windows in good condition? Any broken glass? Any rot around the edges? Do they all have screens?

___Foundation. Are there any visible cracks in the foundation (over 1/8" or cracks that are misaligned are a potential warning sign)? Is the top high enough off the ground so insects can't easily reach the wood?

___Driveway. Will it need any resurfacing or repairs?

___Porches. Are the porch boards solid? Does it need paint or stain? Are the supports sufficient?

___Sheds. Are the shed doors working? Can you see light coming in anywhere when you are inside?

___Electrical. (See the electrical checklist below.)

___Fences. Are the fences in good condition? Are the bases of the fenceposts rotting?

___Other.

Garage Inspection Checklist

___Firewall. Is there a firewall (usually 5/8" taped-joint drywall) between the garage and the house?

___Floor. Is the floor level? Is it cracking badly? Is there a drain, and does it work?

___Walls. Are the walls in good condition?

___Doors. Does the garage door work? Are the other doors in good working condition?

___Other.

Living Room, Dining Room And Bedrooms Inspection Checklist

___Walls. Are there any cracks, bulges, peeling paint or wallpaper? Are there any water stains?

___Ceiling. Is there any peeling paint? Is the ceiling sagging?

___Floor. Does the floor feel level? Is the carpeting pulling lose anywhere? Are there any large stains or damaged areas?

___Lights. Test all light switches.

___Electrical outlets. Test all outlets (Get a little tester at a hardware store). Are all outlets working and anchored firmly to the walls?

___Windows. Can the windows be opened and closed easily? Are the blinds and curtains functioning?

___Other.

Kitchen Home Inspection Checklist

___Walls. Are there any cracks, bulges, peeling paint or wallpaper?

___Ceiling. Is there any peeling paint? Is the ceiling sagging?

___Floor. Does the floor feel level? Is there any loose or bulging linoleum? Loose flooring tiles? Are there any large stains or damaged areas?

___Lights. Test all light switches.

___Electrical outlets. Are all outlets working and anchored firmly to the walls?

___Windows. Can the windows be opened and closed easily? Are the blinds and curtains functioning?

___Appliances. Check any appliances included in the sale,to see that they are working.

___Exhaust Fans. Does the fan work?

___Faucets, Sinks and Drains. Turn on any faucets, watching the color of the water, how long it takes for hot water to get there, and whether the sink drains easily. Check under the sink for any moisture from leaky drains.

___Other.

Bathroom Home inspection Checklist

___Walls. Are there any cracks, bulges, peeling paint or wallpaper?

___Ceiling. Is there any peeling paint? Is the ceiling sagging?

___Floor. Does the floor feel level? Is there any loose or bulging linoleum? Loose flooring tiles? Are there any large stains or damaged areas?

___Lights. Test all light switches.

___Electrical outlets. Are all outlets working and anchored firmly to the walls?

___Can the windows be opened and closed easily? Are the blinds and curtains functioning?

___Exhaust Fan. Test the fan. Does it sound normal?

___Faucets, Sinks and Drains. Turn on any faucets, watching the color of the water, how long it takes for hot water to get there, and whether the sink drains easily.

___Bathtub and Shower. Does the shower work? Does the tub drain easily? Is there any damage to walls around the tub? Are there heavy mineral stains in the tub?

___Toilet. Flush the toilet to test it. Is there any dripping from valves behind the toilet? Can you still hear dripping after the tank is full?

___Mirrors. Is the mirror delaminating? Are there any cracks?

___Other.

Attic Inspection Checklist

___Insulation. Is there sufficient insulation, and is it in good condition?

___Wires. Is the wiring updated (no bare wires on insulators)?

___Roof. Can you see light coming in through the roof anywhere? Is it sagging? Do the supports look normal and sufficient?

___Vents. Are there air vents? Are they properly screened?

___Pests. Is there any sign of animals (droppings, fur, chewed wood)?

___Other.

Electrical Inspection Checklist

___ Mast. Is the electrical connection (the mast) attached solidly to the house? Are the wire ends bare? (They need to be re-taped.)

___Outside wires. Are any wires rubbing against the house? Is there a proper drip-loop, to keep rain water from entering into the service panel? Are the lines more than 10 feet above the ground or driveway? Are there any lines going to exterior lights? Do these lights work?

___Breaker Box. Are there breakers, and not fuses (some insurance companies won't insure a house with fuses)? Are they labeled? Are the breakers the right size (no 40 amp breakers with 30 amp wire)? Is the breaker box covered? Are any of the terminals corroded?

___Wiring. Does the wiring look normal? Is copper wire mixed with older aluminum wire? Are there any exposed splices?(These need to be in junction boxes.) Are there any wires with evidence of burning? (Fire hazard.) Is there exposed wiring? (Needs to be in conduit.) Any exposed wire ends? (Need to be capped.) Wiring in open framing (garage) is supposed to be 7 feet above the floor.

___Outlets. All should have undamaged covers. Outdoor outlets should have weather protection.

___Other.

Basement Home Inspection Checklist

___Water. Is there any standing water? Are there any stains indicating there is water at times?

___Floor Joists. Do the floor beams look good (no sagging or rotting or insect damage)?

___Walls. Are there any large cracks in the walls? Do they bulge in anywhere?

___Supports. Do the supports look good? Are any of the supports new? If so, ask the seller why.

___Faucets, Sinks ad Drains. Try any faucets and rains.

___Sump Pump. Does the sump pump work?

___Floor. Are there any large cracks in the floor?

___Other.

Fireplace Checklist

___Damper. Does the fireplace damper open and close easily?

___Structure. Are there any gaps or cracks? Is there a spark-arrester screen?

___Chimney. Is the chimney in good condition? Are the bricks coming apart? Is the chimney pulling away from the house? Is there creosote build-up?

___Other.

Home Inspection Checklist - All the Rest

___Entry. Is the entry well lit? Is there any damage to the floor or walls?

___Furnace. Is the furnace working (turn down the thermostat to get it to turn on)? Does the fan sound smooth when it's on? Is the flame blue (best) or orange? (Yellow is a problem.) Are the ducts firmly attached? Is there any smell of gas?

___Water Heater. Is the hot water hot? Is the water heater in good condition? Is there any staining around it that indicates leakage? Are any of the fitting rusting? Is there a water shut-off valve?

___Crawl space. Are the crawl spaces big enough to actually crawl in? When you look into them, is there any standing water? is there any sagging in the floorboards, or any damage?

___Stairways. Are the stairs comfortable and safe for walking on? Any loose steps? Any broken edges?


If you found this useful or interesting, please share:


Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Home Inspection Checklist