What Is A Whole House Inspection?
A whole house inspection is more or less the evaluation of every visible component of a property conducted by a qualified home inspector. The #1 priority of an inspector is to ensure the property is safe for occupants and visitors. Other factors considered are maintenance, durability, existing flaws, past problems, and livability. The home inspection goes beyond the house structure and should include an inspection of the entire lot. The most important tangible component of a whole house inspection is the report. My reports are written in like a narrative, so the observations and problems are explained descriptively, not with checkmarks or short phrases. My reports can be supplemented with digital photos when needed.
In general, areas reviewed should include:
· Lot, Landscape and Drainage
· Walks, Drive, Fences, Exterior Structures
· Roof, Gutters, Chimney, Attic Ventilation
· Siding, Trim, Windows and Doors
· Foundation and Concrete
· Framing and Insulation
· Interior Floors and Finishes
· Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
· Wood Destroying Insects
· Hazardous Materials and / or Gasses
· Safety, Security and Health Issues
Of course this is just a generalization. I should note that I, like most other inspectors, am not a licensed professional contractor, or "expert" in every construction discipline. I have a general knowledge of most every component of a house and its function, and I'm not afraid to admit to something I don't understand. It is impossible to inspect every single component of a property. As a home inspector, my goal is to address the areas most vital to the value, expense, livability and longevity of a home.
Any problems, maintenance concerns or damages are noted in the report.
My reports differentiate problems in two categories:
1. Major Defects: These are conditions or safety / health hazards that could potentially cause injury or illness to occupants or visitors. Other types of major defects are problems that are detrimental to the long-term value and condition of a house, such as ongoing leaks, rotted siding, or a bad roof.
2. Other Problems: These are issues that are less severe but nonetheless issues that might require repair.
The intention of separating these issues is to prioritize my concerns, but I think it should ultimately be up to the buyer and seller to agree on what items might require repair prior to the purchase of a house, using the home inspection report as a reference tool.