The average home inspection costs around $345, with condos and small homes under 1,000 sq ft. costing as little as $200. Larger homes over 2,000 sq ft. will run $400 or more.
Grounds: Home inspectors are looking for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts. They check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition (an arborist will give you a more detailed assessment); and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.
Structure: Is the house foundation solid? Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square? This part of the inspection is particularly important when you’re considering buying an older home.
Roof: The inspector’s looking for defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling drips; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.
Exterior: The home inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or flaking masonry; cracks in stucco; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture (although dirt can be in contact with the cement foundation). Window, doors, trim: If you want to keep heat in, cold out, and energy bills low, windows and doors must be in good working condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and without rot,
caulking is solid and secure, and glass is undamaged.
Interior rooms: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and insufficient heating vents that could make a room cold and drafty.
Kitchen: Inspectors make sure range hood fans vent to the outside; ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection exists for lectrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink; no leaks occur under the sink; and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly.
Bathrooms: Inspectors want to see toilets flushing, drains draining, showers spraying, and tubs securely fastened.
Plumbing: Inspectors are evaluating pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature. Electrical: Inspectors will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in good shape, light switches work correctly, and there are enough outlets in each room.
For more on what a Standard Home Inspection covers, visit our Home Inspection Services Page.
For most people, buying a house is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. It’s normal to start feeling panicky when your inspector is telling you the house has a foundation problem, a roof in need of repair, or electrical that isn’t up to code. Don’t freak out—just ask the inspector whether he thinks the issue is a big deal. You’ll be surprised to hear that most houses have similar issues and that they’re not deal breakers, even if they sound major.
And if it is major? Well, that’s why you’re having the inspection done. You can address it with the seller or just walk away.
At the end of the inspection, the inspector should give you a broad-strokes summary of what he found. You’ll get a written report later, but this is a great moment to get clarity on what the inspector thinks are the house’s biggest issues, and whether or not they require further
Often, you’ll need to call in another expert—a plumber, electrician, roofer, or HVAC professional—to take a look at anything the inspector flagged. You should walk away from inspection day with a mental punch list of things that need to be addressed by either the seller or another
In some states, there’s a limited amount of time for these negotiations to happen, so you and your agent may want to hit the ground running. Your official report will have more detail, but you should know what’s on it by the time you leave the home that day.
You definitely want to call in experts if the inspector advises you to do so. Your real estate agent will use the repair estimates to negotiate with the seller, whether you decide to seek to have the seller take care of repairs before purchase or to get concessions from the seller for the cost of future repairs.
What Our Clients Say
KC Clark was thorough, friendly and provided a very detailed inspection and report. He was professional and it was clear that he has a wealth of knowledge. highly recommend!
The inspection service that KC Clark provided was excellent! The report was detailed and he took the time to explain everything in understandable terms. The information that he provided has been very beneficial in the decision making process.