Inspection Basics

What is a Home Inspection?

Inspecting the roof from a ladder

Inspecting an attic

It is a non–invasive, non-judgemental examination of the condition of a home and its systems. Decorating and cosmetics are not the focus of an Inspection, we are looking for signs and symptoms of bigger issues or signs of costly repairs.

Below is a brief outline of some of areas covered in a home inspection.

Roof and Upper Structure

We get up on the roof when it is safe to do so to do a physical examination. If the roof is too steep, we will assess it in other ways; using vantage points, binoculars, or views through windows. We inspect the attic for structure, insulation, and ventilation.

Exterior and Interior

We look at the condition of the exterior as well as the type of material used, looking for penetration, cracks, or breaks in the envelope. We open exterior doors and windows checking for fit - "stickyness" - which may be a sign of concern. The interior condition tells a story of the exterior, or structural problems, where we look at the walls and ceilings for cracks and moisture signs.


We use test equipment, checking for safety issues and looking for wiring problems. We inspect panels – but we do NOT open or remove the covers, we are not certified by law to do so. In older houses we look for knob and tube, and aluminum wire, and we check ground fault interrupter receptacles and circuits.

Plumbing and Heating

We will run the plumbing fixtures, observe distribution piping, check the hot water supply system for age, look at ducting and ventilation, and operate the heating components.

Foundation and Lower Structure

We will climb in crawl spaces, if we can fit, and inspect the inside of the foundation from the crawlspace or basement, when and where visible, looking for signs and symptoms of system failure.