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What is a Home Inspection?

By Ryan Martin

What is a home inspection?
(Photo by Getty Images)

Home Inspection basics

There are many ways to answer this question. I will however stick to the fundamentals, mechanics, and physical aspects of what a Home Inspector will do during an inspection. It is important to remember the bare minimum of what a Home Inspector has to do and what they often do differs. Almost every home inspection starts with an agreement being signed by the client which will often state what your Home Inspector is responsible for. At Thumb Home Inspection we use a standard InterNACHI agreement. No matter who you choose please be sure to do your own research on the standards that your Home Inspector follows. I always recommend using an InterNACHI Home Inspector.

Home Inspection Process

When I do a Home Inspection I always stick to the same ritual I do every time. This ensures consistency in quality and makes sure I won’t forget or miss anything. I work from the outside to the inside, and from the top to the bottom. I do the outside first to ensure I get the best usage of daylight possible as I prefer natural daylight for inspections. No two homes are the same and each home requires attention in different areas. For example, some homes have pools or hot tubs. Whatever the case may be I perform the same actions every time. Below is a very simplified list of an inspection.

Home Inspection list

I start with the roof; I specifically look for areas of possible leaks and begin to access the age. Then I move on to the siding and trim. I look for rot here. Up next is conditions of doors and windows. I try to start to get a feel for age and condition here as these can be expensive fixes. Then I move onto porches, decks and coverings. This is where I find most of my outside safety concerns. Then I move inside and began checking the condition of the walls, ceilings, and floors. I am also checking doors and windows while doing this. After this I began to check the electricity. I then normally end up in the basement to check the panel. At this point I start looking at and inspecting the hot water heater and furnace. I often find structural issues here as well. Once I find the main water shut off I work my way back through the house and check the plumbing for leaks. When I make my way back to the top I end up in the attic if I have access. Again this is a very simplified list and there are more nuances to the Home Inspection.

So now you understand the basics of an inspection. My biggest concerns are safety and things that can cost my clients money. I am always looking for safety issues above all other things. Some safety issues are not an expensive fix. Some fixes are not a safety concern. Either way I always remember to be thorough and consistent with my Home Inspections.

Proudly inspecting homes in St. Clair County, Sanilac County, Macomb County, Lapeer County, Oakland County, And surrounding Areas in South East Michigan. As well as Port Huron, Fort Gratiot, Marysville, and St. Clair Michigan.


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