Home Inspection Reports: What To Expect

Influenced by changes in economic and legal environments during the past 30 years, home inspection reports have been changing to accommodate the growing expectations of customers and to provide complete information and protection, both for inspectors and for Your clients.

Influenced by changes in economic and legal environments during the past 30 years, home inspection reports have been changing to accommodate the growing expectations of customers and to provide complete information and protection, both for inspectors and for Your clients.

If you are not affiliated with any professional inspection organization and your report does not meet any particular standard, another inspector should be sought.

In general, reports should describe the most important systems of a home, its key components, and its operability, especially those in which a failure can result in dangerous or costly conditions to correct.

Reports should also exclude uninspecting portions of the home. As home inspections are visual, parts of the home hidden under the floor, ceiling, or ceiling should be excluded.

Home inspectors are not experts in every housing system but are trained to recognize conditions that require inspection by a specialist.

The Standards of Practice were designed to identify the requirements of a home inspection and the limitations of an inspection.

Checklists and Descriptive Reports

Checklists are just this, very little is actually written. The report consists of a series of lockers with short descriptions to the side. The descriptions are often abbreviated, two or three words, such as “skipped paint.” The complete checklist can be four to five pages long. Today, some legal agreements are almost of the same extent!

Due to the lack of detailed information, the checklist reports may be open to interpretation, and buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, lawyers, and judges may interpret them differently, depending on their interests.

The Inspection Business

In the inspection business, the phrases that describe the conditions found during an inspection are called “stories.” Descriptive reports use descriptive language that more fully describes each condition. The descriptions here are not abbreviated.

Both checklists and descriptive reports are still used; however, many jurisdictions exclude reports type checklists because due to the limited information they provide result in legal problems.


From the point of view of responsibility, descriptive reports are considered widely safer, since they provide more information and expose it more clearly.

With the use of inspection software, in the “INTERIOR” program section, the inspector could check the box that says “some lamps do not work.” This would cause a story to appear in the “INTERIOR” section of the inspection report:

“Some lighting devices in the house seem to be inoperable. The lamps may be burned, or there may be problems with the accessories, wiring, or switches.”

If, after replacing the lamps, these lights continue to fail when the switch is operated, this condition may mean a dangerous situation, and the inspector recommends the evaluation and necessary repairs that a qualified electrical contractor must perform.”

Typical phrases and other information may be pre-selected to appear automatically in the report.

What Does A Home Inspector Review And What Is Not Included

It is important to have a home inspection before signing the papers for a new house.

A house is probably the biggest purchase you will make in your life, so when you buy a house, it is important to be sure that your possible new house has an appropriate home inspection before you sign the papers. Getting a trained home inspector can be an important first step.

You can review the report with your real estate agent to decide how the results could affect the purchase of your possible home.

What Do They Inspect

  • Structural elements: Construction of visible foundations, evidence of collapse or inclination of the structure, and alignment of windows.
  • Safety: Operation of fire alarms and carbon monoxide, of fire sprinklers; condition of stairs, handrails and railings, and garage door openers.
  • Land: Septic tank filtration, proper drainage, and condition of the entrance to the house garage, fences, and sidewalks.
  • Roof: Tile condition, any repair/patch for flat roofs, clean respirators, damage to chimneys, and gutters working properly.
  • Exterior surfaces: Adequate free space between the floor and the wall cladding material, condition of the exterior wall paint or lining, and lights and electrical outlets functioning properly.
  • Attic: Enough insulation, proper ventilation, and any signs of dripping or water damage.
  • Interior pipes: Tubes not damaged or leaking, proper hot water temperature as well as working toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
  • Electrical system: Condition and type of wiring visible according to standards and proper operation of the fuse box, plugs, lamps, and fans.
  • Appliances: Proper operation of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, clothes washer and dryer, and any other appliance.
  • Heating and cooling systems: Boiler condition, air conditioning (if the temperature allows), water heater, and fireplace.
  • Basement: Solid foundations, walls, and floors with no signs of leakage or water damage.
  • Garage: Solid foundations, windows, ceiling, frame and roof; garage door opener running; electrical system conforming to standards; and proper functioning of plugs.

What Do Not Inspect

Again, although there is a variation in what inspectors review, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problem or issue in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation of a certified specialist:

    • Pest control
    • Swimming pools
    • Asbestos
    • Radon gas
    • Lead content paint
  • Toxic mold

Tips For Inspecting The Roof Of Your House

To ensure that you and your family are protected from inclement weather, maintenance and regular inspections are essential. Here are some inspection tips for your roof.

Why should you inspect your roof?

Regular roof inspections can help identify problems before they become potentially major problems. Solving these minor problems can be easier now, and save you time and money in the long run.

How often should you inspect your roof?

Normally, your roof should be inspected at least once a year. However, you should also check your roof after any extreme weather event, such as hail, snow, or wind, and look for drips inside. Because all ceilings are different, it is important to consult with a professional to know what to inspect and how often.

Keep in mind that you should always hire a professional to inspect and maintain your roof. It is extremely dangerous to work on your roof without proper training.

What should you inspect on your roof? 

Check the flashing. The flashing is metal parts that cover the curves and edges of your roof, and water can easily seep around it if they are damaged. It may be necessary to reseal the openings around the flashing with roofing cement.

Check the gutters. If your roof is made of asphalt shingles, a professional should check that there are no pieces or grains of the shingles in the gutters. This could be a sign that your tires must be replaced.

Inspect the subsidence. If part of your roof appears to be sunken, a professional should examine it for moisture or rot, which could indicate that it is necessary to replace it.

Regular roof inspections can help identify problems before they get worse. Making sure your roof is in good condition, you can help prevent bigger problems in the future and, at the same time, keep your home and family safe.

This article shows examples of precautions that can be taken to help you take care of your personal belongings. Please keep in mind that a specific precaution may not be adequate or effective in all circumstances and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any result. We invite you to use your criteria to decide what is appropriate and always be aware of safety.