What A Home Inspection Includes- Part 2

The Home Components & Structures We Check With A Home Inspection

Parts 1, 2 & 3 are on three separate pages

Part 2 of our “What A Home Inspection Includes” informational series covers Section 4, Electrical, and Section 5, HVAC, Heating And Cooling.
Part 1 covered Section 1, Roof And Attic, Section 2, Interior, Exterior, Windows, And Doors, and Section 3, Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, And Structure.
Part 3 covers Section 6, Plumbing, and Section 7, Fireplace.

Our residential home inspection entails a comprehensive evaluation of the visible and readily accessible areas of a home. The home inspection is non-invasive, and the visual inspection of the structure and its components is conducted by Andrew Tewson, Slopeside Home Inspections’ certified and licensed professional, who will look for defects and issues with the structure and its components, then provide you with a same-day digital PDF report for your records.

Andrew will inspect the roof, attic, ventilation, and insulation. Andrew will inspect the interior doors, windows, floors, walls, ceilings, and stairs. Andrew will inspect the exterior doors, windows, decks, and cladding. Andrew will inspect the foundation, basement and crawlspaces. Andrew will inspect the electrical system and built-in electrical components, including built-in appliances. Andrew will inspect the HVAC, heating and cooling systems. Andrew will inspect the plumbing system. Andrew will inspect the fireplaces and wood stoves. Andrew will include thermal imaging, if it is needed. In all, Andrew will inspect nearly 2,000 items comprised in the structure and components of the home. Below, is a list of the seven home components and structure categories that Slopeside Home Inspections will inspect, a list drawn from InterNACHI’s Nome Inspection Standards Of Practice, InterNACHI being the world’s leading association of home inspectors, through whom Andrew Tewson was trained and is certified to conduct home inspections.

  1. Roof And Attic (Included in Part 1)
  2. Interior, Exterior, Windows, And Doors (Included in Part 1)
  3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, And Structure (Included in Part 1)
  4. Electrical (Below)
  5. HVAC, Heating And Cooling (Below)
  6. Plumbing (Included in Part 3)
  7. Fireplace (Included in Part 3)

Our standard practice home inspection covers nearly 2,000 items

Home Inspection Standards Of Practice

4. Electrical

Electrical

The inspector shall inspect:

  • the service drop;
  • the overhead service conductors and attachment point;
  • the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;
  • the service mast, service conduit and raceway;
  • the electric meter and base;
  • service-entrance conductors;
  • the main service disconnect;
  • panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);
  • service grounding and bonding;
  • a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test button, where possible;
  • all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and
  • for the presence of smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

The inspector shall describe:

  • the main service disconnects amperage rating, if labeled; and
  • the type of wiring observed.

The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  • deficiencies in the integrity of the service-entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs;
  • any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled;
  • the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible;
  • any tested receptacle in which power was not present, polarity was incorrect, the cover was not in place, the GFCI devices were not properly installed or
  • did not operate properly, evidence of arcing or excessive heat, and where the receptacle was not grounded or was not secured to the wall; and
  • the absence of smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors.

The inspector is not required to:

  • insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
  • operate electrical systems that are shut down.
  • remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.
  • operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices.
  • operate or test smoke or carbon-monoxide detectors or alarms.
  • inspect, operate or test any security, fire or alarm systems or components, or other warning or signaling systems.
  • measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly labeled.
  • inspect ancillary wiring or remote-control devices.
  • activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.
  • inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any time-controlled devices.
  • verify the service ground.
  • inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or
  • electrical storage facility.
  • inspect spark or lightning arrestors.
  • inspect or test de-icing equipment.
  • conduct voltage-drop calculations.
  • determine the accuracy of labeling.
  • inspect exterior lighting.

5. HVAC, Heating And Cooling

Heating

The inspector shall inspect:

  • the heating system, using normal operating controls.

The inspector shall describe:

  • the location of the thermostat for the heating system;
  • the energy source; and
  • the heating method.

The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  • any heating system that did not operate; and
  • if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.

The inspector is not required to:

  • inspect, measure, or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air
  • systems, fresh-air intakes, makeup air, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.
  • inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.
  • determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.
  • light or ignite pilot flames.
  • activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
  • override electronic thermostats.
  • evaluate fuel quality.
  • verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.
  • measure or calculate the air for combustion, ventilation, or dilution of flue gases for appliances.

COOLING

The inspector shall inspect:

  • the exterior wall-covering materials;
  • the eaves, soffits and fascia;
  • a representative number of windows;
  • all exterior doors;
  • flashing and trim;
  • adjacent walkways and driveways;
  • stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;
  • porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;
  • railings, guards and handrails; and
  • vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due
  • to moisture intrusion.

The inspector shall describe:

  • the type of exterior wall-covering materials.

The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  • any improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails.

The inspector is not required to:

  • inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.
  • inspect items that are not visible or readily accessible from the ground, including window and door flashing.
  • inspect or identify geological, geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions.
  • inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment.
  • inspect seawalls, breakwalls or docks.
  • inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization measures.
  • inspect for safety-type glass.
  • inspect underground utilities.
  • inspect underground items.
  • inspect wells or springs.
  • inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems.
  • inspect swimming pools or spas.
  • inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic systems or cesspools.
  • inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems.
  • inspect drain fields or dry wells.
  • determine the integrity of multiple-pane window glazing or thermal window seals.

What Is In A Home Inspection (Contents)

  1. Roof And Attic (Included in Part 1 on a separate web page)
  2. Interior, Exterior, Windows, And Doors (Included in Part 1 on a separate web page)
  3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, And Structure (Included in Part 1 on a separate web page)
  4. Electrical (Above)
  5. HVAC, Heating And Cooling (Above)
  6. Plumbing (Included in Part 3 on a separate web page)
  7. Fireplace (Included in Part 3 on a separate web page)