Getting a home inspection can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make before putting your home on the market. The home inspection report, that follows, lets you know the condition of your property, which in turn gives you a better idea of how to price your home, or what home improvements to make to increase the value of your home.
But getting a home inspection is only the start—you also need to understand what’s actually in the report.. While an inspection gives you a great opportunity to receive an unbiased review of your property, reading the report of a professional home inspector can also be a challenge.
Fortunately, home inspection reports are easier to read than ever, largely thanks to the efforts of the American Society of Home Inspectors, which created guidelines for inspection report content through their industry Standards of Practice.
Still, inspection reports are packed with details, and with so much information to go over, figuring out where to start wont’ be easy. Below is a guide to help you read your home inspection report and know which parts to check.
5 Pointers for Reading and Interpreting Your Home Inspection Report
1. Be with Your Inspector During the Inspection
Being present during the actual home inspection process will allow you to understand the context of what will be written in the home inspection report. This, however, doesn’t mean you should follow the inspector like a pest, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask what the inspector is doing or writing down if you don’t know what’s going on.
Most professional home inspectors will happily answer your questions while they work, provided you don’t get in the way of them doing their job, of course.
2. Zero-in on the State of Your Electrical Status
If you want to sell an older home, be sure to check the part of the report that talks about your electrical system. If it says it’s up to code, it means it can handle modern electrical appliances. Even if you have a relatively new home, it’s not uncommon for many homes to have inadequate electrical systems, usually the result of contractors ignoring building codes or homeowners adding outlets outside an approved junction box.
3. Check Your Roof and Chimney
A problematic or dirty chimney not only reduces your home’s value, it can also be a serious fire hazard. If you have a leaky chimney or one that’s been damaged by water, your home inspector may recommend conducting the inspection when it’s raining to verify leaks and cracks. Repairing chimneys can be complicated, and often you’ll get varying quotes from people that offer to fix them, so an inspection will let you get to the bottom of the problem in an unbiased manner.
4. Check for Damage Caused by Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew damage can be a massive repair headache, especially when you catch it when the problem is already extensive. Mold and mildew not only smell bad, it can be a serious health hazard, causing asthma and other respiratory problems.
If your home has an underground crawl space or basement, be sure to check the report for any information on its condition. Selling a home with a serious mold and mildew problem can be next to impossible.
5. How’s Your Plumbing?
Be sure check what notes the home inspector took down concerning your plumbing. Faulty and leaky plumbing can lead to an expensive repair job, so be sure you know what’s going on in this area.
Reliable home inspectors won’t just check the pipes inside your home, they will also check the condition of the exterior plumbing. Seeing as how costly plumbing issues can be, it’s generally a good idea to be present during this part of the inspection and ask as many questions as you can.
And remember, home buyers expect a house’s plumbing to be in top condition before even thinking of buying it, so it’s something you need to have repaired before putting your home on the market.
If you need a professional home inspection geared towards helping you sell your home, talk to RW West Consulting and Inspection Services. We can inspect your home and provide a clear and concise report of its condition, helping you get the most out of your money before putting it on the market.