At a minimum, home inspectors should visually examine the following:
- Foundation Check for cracks and any separation in the foundation.
- Doors and windows Make sure all windows and doors open and close properly.
- Roofing, chimney, gutters, vents and fans Determine whether the gutters drain properly and are in good condition, and whether the roof needs replacing or repair.
- Plumbing Check drains, water pressure, water heater, leakage, etc.
- Electrical Check wiring, fuses/circuit breakers, groundings, outlets and switches.
- Heating and cooling Check furnace, A/C, etc.
- Ceilings, walls and floors Note any cracks, moisture problems or significantly uneven walls or floors.
- Insulation and ventilation Is there enough or too much insulation?
- Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines There is usually a separate report on septic and well water because the water must be tested for bacteria.
- Exterior (decks, doors, windows) Check for signs of rot and determine whether the house needs repainting.
- Property Check garage, fences, paved areas and other outside facilities as well as drainage.
- Basement and attic Check for water damage and leaks.
In addition to the routine inspection, potential buyers can ask for other tests for an additional fee. For example, you may want to test for radon, lead paint, asbestos, hazardous waste and other environmental concerns. In my experience, I have found most basic inspections to runs somewhere between $400 and $500, but that is subject to the applicable fees charged by the individual inspector the buyer chooses.