What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

What's Included in the InspectionHome inspections are a way of determining the soundness of a home in Memphis. Costing about $300, they can save a buyer a ton of time and money down the road. The final report is a detailed account of every defect found by the inspector, as well as recommendations as to whether it should be repaired or replaced. But what all is included?

What a Home Inspection Covers

Home inspections cover a wide variety of things, although they may vary somewhat from inspector to inspector. Be sure to check what your particular inspector covers. Here are elements commonly included.

Structural components are a particularly important aspect, as this covers the foundation and framing of the house. Problems with these items can threaten the very stability of the house, and repairs, if they are even possible, can be expensive.

Many outdoor elements are also included. Shingles, siding, flashings, porches, attached garages and patios are typically all included. Yard grading is also commonly included, making sure the landscape doesn't direct water back toward the home.

Plumbing and electrical systems are commonly included as well, as are heating and cooling systems.

There's also the question of how old things like roofs and appliances are. Even if things look to be in good repair, older items simply have a greater chance of failing, and that kind of information can help you budget for eventual replacement.

What a Home Inspection Doesn't Cover

It's important to note that not everything in the house, including some major things, falls under a home inspection. If the inspector cannot easily see something, they won't invade a space to investigate. That means they can only inspect pipes which are visible. Likewise, wiring won't be directly checked, although all outlets will be tested, presence of grounding will be noted, etc. Anything inside a ceiling, wall or floor is usually off limits.

Detached garages and other stand alone structures are also not typically included in a home inspection, even though attached garages are.

While major appliances are sometimes covered – stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers – smaller appliances like microwaves are not.

Inspectors may look at the roof from the ground, but they often won't get a ladder out to look at things up close due to the danger of falling.

Finally, home inspectors are not equipped to analyze a home for toxic substances like lead or radon. If you have a concern about these materials, you should call in a specialist.

You should also remember that home inspectors work in general terms. They may see a problem, but they're likely going to direct you to a professional to make a more detailed diagnosis. This is, in part, because they often can't see the root cause of the problem. Cracks in the basement floor and doors which don't close are signs of a foundation problem, but the inspector cannot inspect the foundation directly and, again, will direct you to a specialist.

Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process. However, it is vital you know exactly what is and is not covered so you can make a more informed decision about the home.

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