More Blog Posts on Home Inspection:

  1. How do I clean up rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) urine and droppings in attic insulation?

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

  3. Can I do my own home inspection?

  4. Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?

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

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

  7. Should a home inspection scare you?

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

  9. We looked at the house carefully, and it seems alright. Do we really need a home inspection?

  10. What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?

  11. Are you licensed and insured?

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

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

  14. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

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

  16. How much does a home inspection cost?

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

  18. What does the VA home inspector look for?

  19. What is the difference between a home inspection and a final walkthrough inspection?

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

  21. Do you have any home inspection tips for buyers?

  22. What does “lack of tab adhesion” in an asphalt shingle roof mean?

  23. What can I learn from talking with the seller?

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

  25. What do you inspect in the crawl space under a house?

  26. Should I buy a foreclosure house if the bank refuses to turn on the utilities?

  27. What are those metal boxes on the roof?

  28. Does wood rot spread? Is it contagious?

  29. What is the difference between plywood and OSB?

  30. What is the difference between an FHA inspection and a home inspection?

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

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

  33. Should I use a contractor or a home inspector to inspect a house I’m buying?

  34. Should I get a home inspection before signing a contract to buy the house?

  35. Should I trust the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement?

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

  37. Where are the funny home inspection pictures?

  38. Should I follow the home inspector around during the inspection?

  39. What causes a lump or dip in the roof?

  40. Why are expired building permits a problem for both the seller and buyer of a home?

  41. What is the difference between roofing felt and synthetic underlayment?

  42. How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole?

  43. Do I need a home inspection to get insurance?

  44. How can I make sure I don’t get screwed on the home inspection?

  45. Do home inspectors inspect outbuildings?

  46. What inspections does a bank or mortgage lender need for loan approval?

How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
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HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

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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.

Like most inspectors, we try to examine as much of an attic as is safely possible, but there area a number of limiting factors:

  1. An extremely small attic hatch opening, or an opening in a closet or other location that is obstructed by shelving and stored items, or does not have enough headroom above the hatch opening to safely enter and exit is often a problem in older homes. We end up poking our head in the attic or, sometimes, not even that.

  2. Attics are extremely hot in Florida during the summer months, which limits the amount of time an inspector can spend in the attic. Attic temperatures of 130º F or more are typical on a July afternoon.

  3. If there are loose electrical wires, mold infestation from roof leakage, or extensive rat fecal matter, we may also choose not to enter.

  4. Large air conditioning ducts limit access to some parts of an attic. Occasionally, a duct running directly over an attic hatch makes attic entry impossible.

  5. Attics in homes with a low roof pitch do not have sufficient height for an inspector to move around. While it might be possible for a slim 20-year-old to wiggle between truss cords and ducts in a low attic, most home inspectors are neither young or trim.

   Binoculars and a camera with a long lens can help when access to an area is limited, and each inspector has personal limits as to what is considered safe and acceptable for entry. The full text of the Standards of Practice for InterNACHI are available online at: http://www.nachi.org/sop.htm.

To learn more about the home inspection process, we suggest reading several of our other blogs. Check out “What questions should I ask a home inspector I’m considering hiring?” for HUD’s ten suggested questions for evaluating a potential home inspector. To get a list of suggested items to bring with you to improve your home inspection experience, see “What should I bring to the home inspection?”. See “What questions should I ask the home inspector during the inspection?” for ways to get the information you need from the inspector. And visit “What is the best way to negotiate repairs after the home inspection?” for tips on working with your realtor to get any necessary repairs worked out with the seller.


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.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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