What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
Your home is more than just wood, brick, vinyl, or stucco. It’s a place to hang your hat, to raise your kids, to relax and play and work and entertain. It’s an investment, both financial and emotional — one that you’ll want to do your best to protect. A home inspection offers peace of mind and helps ensure your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Home Inspection Red Flags
An experienced home inspector has seen it all over the years and knows which issues are likely to arise both inside and out. Common home inspection red flags on the exterior include:
- Roof issues, including missing shingles, damaged chimney brick, clogged gutters, and flat areas that might encourage water pooling.
- Cracks or sunken areas in the foundation.
- Damaged or missing siding.
- Improperly installed flashing.
- Windows and doors that don’t close or seal properly.
- Stairs, porches, and decks that aren’t level or are missing boards or railings.
Interior home inspection red flags might involve:
- Electrical issues such as outdated wiring, improper fuses, old circuit breakers, and inoperable switches.
- Plumbing issues like pipes (rusty, clogged, or constructed of lead), poor water pressure/flow, and damaged toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
- Major appliances that are nearing the end of their lifecycle (furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and air conditioners).
- Insulation that is inefficient or made of a material that can be hazardous to your health, such as asbestos.
- Mold, moisture, water damage, and rot.
- Safety issues, including missing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Evidence of pests like termites and mice.
It’s important to schedule a home inspection as quickly as possible — ideally as soon as your purchase offer has been accepted and both parties have signed. You’ll want to have plenty of time for additional inspections or negotiations if significant issues are uncovered during the home inspection. Plan on allowing 7-10 days to schedule and complete the inspection.
How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?
The length of time it takes to inspect a home depends on a number of factors including square footage, age and condition of the home, and ease of access. In most cases, your home inspector can complete the job in two to three hours. You can expect to see a home inspection report within a few days.
It’s important to be patient and let the home inspector do as thorough a job as possible. Resist the temptation to rush them through their work, or worse yet, skip the inspection entirely. Investing a few hours of time and the nominal cost of the inspection upfront can spare you from a lot of headaches, not to mention costly repairs.
If you’re ready to schedule a home inspection in southern Wisconsin, contact us today!