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How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Is a kitchen required to have a range hood exhaust fan?

  2. The seller has to fix everything you find wrong with the house, right?

  3. Can I do my own home inspection?

  4. What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

  5. Are house numbers required by law in front of a house?

  6. What questions should I ask the home inspector during the inspection?

  7. Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?

  8. Is a home inspection required?

  9. How can I tell if a house has insulation?

  10. Do you see similar problems with houses in the same neighborhood?

  11. What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

  12. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

  13. What is the best way to negotiate repairs after the home inspection?

  14. How do you inspect a dryer vent?

  15. What should I look for when buying a former rental house?

  16. What questions should I ask a home inspector I’m considering hiring?

  17. What tools do you use for a home inspection?

  18. How do sellers try to fool the home inspector?

  19. How much does a home inspection cost?

  20. What should I wear to a home inspection?

  21. What should I look for when buying a “flipper” house?

  22. Can I do my own wind mitigation inspection?

  23. What different types of specialized inspections can I get?

  24. What are the questions a home inspector won’t answer?

  25. What is the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?

  26. What do I need to know about buying a 1950s house?

  27. Do you lift up the carpet to look for cracks in the floor?

  28. How can I know how much damage there is inside a wall if the inspector found termites in the baseboard?

  29. What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?

  30. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970’s house?

  31. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  32. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s home?

  33. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

  34. What is the average lifespan of plywood siding?

  35. What is the difference between prescriptive and performance building codes?

  36. Is painted bathroom tile acceptable?

  37. What is a “cosmetic” defect in a home inspection?

  38. How can I reduce the risk of an expensive surprise when buying a house sight unseen?

  39. I can’t find a local home inspector. What should I do?

  40. What tips do first-time homebuyers need to know to get a better home inspection?

  41. What are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at a home inspection?

  42. Can you do a home inspection in the rain?

  43. Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?

  44. How can I make sure my house doesn’t fail the home inspection?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 6)Operate any system, component, or appliance where in the opinion of the inspector, damage may occur.

  2. 7)Determine thermostat(s) calibration, adequacy of heating elements, operate or evaluate self cleaning cycles, door seals, indicator lights, timer, clocks or timed features, defrost cycles or frost free features, or other specialist features as it applies to the appliance device.

  3. 8)Determine leakage from microwave ovens.

  4. 9)Determine the presence or operation of back draft damper devices in exhaust devices.

  5. 10) Move any appliance.

  6. 11) Confirm operation of every control or feature of a system or appliance.

   A simplified explanation of this long list of exclusions is that a home inspector is not an appliance expert and is only doing a visual inspection, briefly checking to see if the appliance is functional. Verifying that the self-cleaning feature of an oven works properly or that a dishwasher adequately cleans the dishes without spots is beyond the scope of the work. A lawyer would say that the inspection is not “technically exhaustive.”

   We test the washing machine, clothes dryer, refrigerator, range, microwave/hood fan,  and garbage disposal if they are installed in the home, except when the appliances are not included in the sale. We run each appliance through a representative cycle after examining for any visual and safety defects.

    Although multiple items and situations are allowed be excluded, many inspectors opt to check a few things for their customers that are beyond the minimum scope requirements. We test microwave ovens for leakage, for example, and some inspectors offer a service that checks for manufacturer recalls on the home’s appliances, usually for an additional fee.

   Inspectors don’t do troubleshooting. If the appliance is not functioning properly or not functional at all, we simply note the nature of the defect and recommend further evaluation and repair.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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