Things Home Inspectors Can and Can’t Do


As you get ready to have your dream home expected, keep in mind that there are certain parameters as to what the home inspector can do. Because a home inspection is mostly visual, the process is not completely fool proof and there is always an inherent risk with buying a property. As you keep this in mind, take a look at some of the things the home inspector can and can’t do during the home inspection.



A Home Inspector Can:


Visually do a thorough and professional check that all the systems in the house are working properly, including the inside and outside of the home. This includes checking water, heating/cooling, electrical systems, and turning appliances on to check if they work. This might also include crawl spaces, going on the roof or through small spaces, but not doing anything that is deemed hazardous.


Check for serious problems in safety and construction, such as amateur electrical wiring (also known as handyman wiring), cheap fixes for plumbing, safety of appliances, gas leaks, roof and attic issues, foundation problems, and the overall physical condition of the interior and exterior of the house. Another thing the home inspector can do is go into the attic and give a thorough visual check without causing damage. Basically, the idea is to alert the buyer of any safety issues, defects, and problems in need of immediate attention.



A Home Inspector Can’t:


Use invasive techniques. Things that require disassembling, going underground or causing defection to the home are not part of a home inspection. These might include checking the insulation by going within the walls or examining the pipes under the home by going underground. Nothing gets taken apart or damaged.


Note every small problem. The home inspection is for alerting the buy to major defects. Things like a small scratch on the wall or testing out an oven by cooking something inside it are not going to be noted. However, if a wall has obvious signs of water damage or the oven does not turn on or has bad wiring, those things will be noted. The home inspection is the major things that need to be repaired or are hazardous.


Turn on gas or water in a vacant home. If a home is unoccupied and gas or water is shut off, the home inspector will not test or turn these items on. This includes items that have been unplugged, such as the garage door opener, air conditioner, furnace, hot water tank, etc. The reason for this is the inspector cannot be liable for any damage that might occur.  For example, if the air conditioner was over heating and if the inspector does a test, this could cause a fire. The inspector is not trained to fix these problems, but to do a thorough check.


Getting Your Money’s Worth

A good home inspection is well worth it to make sure your dream home is ready for you. Make sure you know what to expect and ask questions to make sure you know what to expect.