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Make Sure Your New Home Meets Proper Inspection Requirements

A Guide to Creating Your Own Home Inspection Checklist

While it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to perform a thorough evaluation of any property you’re going to be buying or selling, creating your own home inspection checklist will help you address any immediate needs or obvious shortcomings in your own property before you put it on the market. Even without home inspection training, you can create a comprehensive checklist that will help you extract the highest possible sale price for your property.

While specific items on professional home inspection checklists vary from place to place, there are commonalities among all of them. Your home inspection checklist should include all the home’s structural elements, its exterior, its roof and attic, its plumbing infrastructure, its internal systems, its electrical components and the state of its appliances (if these are to be offered as part of the sale).

Sample Home Inspection Checklist

You build a home inspection checklist by generating a list of all the individual elements, then noting the condition they are in. A complete checklist should include:

  • Structural elements. You should inspect the integrity and condition of your home’s foundation as well as its floors, roofs, walls and ceilings. Pay particular attention to load-bearing walls.
  • Exterior. The condition of your home’s exterior and the property itself have a strong and direct influence on their value. Evaluate your exterior walls, trim, windows, doors and lights as well as your driveways and walkways, fences, drainage, elevation and the quality and extent of your property landscaping.
  • Roof and attic. Check out the ventilation in your attic and the grading, drainage capabilities and condition of your roofing material.
  • Plumbing. Inspect the condition of the pipes that service all toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, faucets and drainage traps.
  • Systems. The energy efficiency and overall condition of your HVAC components as well as your chimney, fireplace and ducts should be inspected.
  • Electrical. You may need to hire an electrician to check out the condition of your electrical system; important components include the fuse box, panel, grounding, outlets, circuit breakers and exhaust fans. Make sure you know what type of wiring was used in your home.
  • Appliances. As with your home systems, the energy efficiency and condition of appliances like dishwashers, washers, dryers and refrigerators should be evaluated if they are going to be included when the home is sold.
  • Garage. If your home has an attached or detached garage, you should note the condition of its floor, walls, ceiling, vents, entryways, automatic parts and lights. Evaluate the condition of its exterior, including the windows and roof, just as you would for the house.

You can also take advantage of professional-quality tools to help you build your own list. For example, inexpensive home inspection software can be used to ensure you don’t overlook any important items.

However, for the most comprehensive service, you should turn to a dedicated home inspection business. These professionals have complete home inspection certifications that you can rely on to make improvements and highlight attractive features to prospective buyers.