THE HOME INSPECTION
A standard home inspection is visual, non-destructive evaluation of a home and includes a review of the main systems, including: structural, electrical, heating/cooling and plumbing systems and most built in appliances.
Structural Inspection: The inspector will walk the roof when it is safe and accessible and will check the roofing system and roof penetrations. The inspector will also get into the attic checking for water penetration and proper framing. Walls (and associated components such as ceilings, windows, doors and floors) are checked inside and out from the top down to the foundation. And, the foundation system is evaluated for evidence of performance problems. Structurally, the inspector checks the house from top to bottom. Be aware; however, that this evaluation is visual and does not use sophisticated or specialized measurement tools. Also, if the roof is not safely accessible due to height, pitch or condition it will be evaluated without walking the surface. On pier and beam homes, when safe and accessible, the inspector will crawl below the house to check structural support, for evidence of water intrusion or damage and ventilation.
Electrical Inspection: The inspector will check the electrical service entrance (where the wires come in and meter is located) the panel (where your breakers are) and every accessible outlet, switch, ceiling fan, and light fixture that you have in the house.
Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Inspection: The inspector will visually check your air conditioners (both inside and out), the heating units as well as the filters, visible ducts and vents. A functional test is performed by turning on the systems and checking for hot and cold air at registers. Be aware that some types of heating systems, specifically heat pumps, are not tested when the weather is too warm and cooling systems are not operated when it is too cold.
Plumbing Inspection: The inspector will check for hot and cold water and proper operation of all your sinks, faucets, commodes, bath tubs, showers and jut tubs. Water heaters are visually evaluated for installation and overall condition.
Appliance Inspection: The inspector checks basic operation of most built in appliances in the house including the cooktop, oven, cooking vent, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, bathroom vents and garage door openers.
Optional Inspections: Upon your request, the inspection will also check (or have a specialist evaluate) a number of system that are considered to be optional under Texas guidelines. Some of the most common optional inspections include pool systems, lawn sprinklers and outbuildings. Other components that are less common include septic systems (visual or certified), well water systems and boat docks.
Other Inspections: There are other items / components / issues that may need to be inspected or evaluated that are outside the scope of a Home Inspection and often require a separate license to provide. The most common is a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection (often called a termite inspection), a mold inspection and environmental hazard inspection. These inspections typically require licenses beyond or outside of the Home Inspection License and are often governed by other agencies.