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How To Read A Home Inspection Report

It’s typically an exciting feeling to be surprised – except not when purchasing a home. When you’re becoming a new homeowner, you want to be sure that you know the ins and outs of your potential new home. A big part of understanding the key traits of your new home is understanding how to read and decipher a home inspection report.

What is a Home Inspection Report?

A home inspection report is a document given to you by a home inspector after they have completed the evaluation of your house or a home you’re interested in purchasing. The report includes information about the current condition of the home and any issues with the home.

How to Read a Home Inspection Report & What to Expect

Home inspection reports are laid out cleanly and organized, but there are some tips and tricks to making a report easier to navigate and understand.

Inspection Definitions

At the beginning of a report, you’ll find a brief introduction section featuring an inspection key or definitions. These are commonly used terms in home inspection reports that you may see and what they mean:

  • Inspection Completed = Inspection of the item is complete.
  • No Exposed Defects = I visually observed the item, component, or unit and if no other comments were made then it appeared to be functioning as intended allowing for normal wear and tear.
  • Defect = As defined in section 440.97 (2m), Wis. Stats., means a condition of any component of an improvement that a home inspector determines, on the basis of the home inspector’s judgment on the day of an inspection, would significantly impair the health or safety of occupants of a property or that, if not repaired, removed, or replaced, would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the component of the improvement.
  • Needing Repair = This item, component, or unit if repaired will function as designed.
  • Needing Further Evaluation = This item, component or unit is needing further evaluation by a specialized professional for repair of that specific item, component, or unit.
  • Monitor Item = This item, component or unit is suspect and should be monitored closely for any failure.
  • Item Needs Maintenance = This item needs to be looked at and/or changed periodically for the item, component, or unit to operate properly.

Separate Inspection Areas & Details

Sometimes, less is more – not when it comes to home inspection reports. If you receive your inspection report and the contents section stretches to a second page – this is a good sign. The more detailed your inspection report is, the better. A detailed report typically showcases a well-done inspection and will be filled with important information.

Wall to Wall’s home inspection reports will showcase a series of sections spanning from the home’s exterior siding to the internal plumbing and electrical systems. Within these sections, you’ll have a fully detailed inspection list of the styles, materials, and items within that area of the home. This helps to make the inspection report easier to navigate and more simplistic to read.

home inspection report sample

What to Typically Expect in a Home Inspection Report

A typical home inspection report will feature three main categories; the home’s interior, exterior, and basement (if applicable). The specific services that fall under these three categories differ from business to business. Within the report, you’ll find the conditions of these items fully documented with supporting photos and explanations.

What Not to Expect in a Home Inspection Report

Although a home inspection report differs from business to business, there are some items and services that are typically not included in inspection reports. Some of these include:

If you suspect any problems or concerns within these areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation by a certified specialist or request additional services from your home inspection company.

Red Flags to Look for in an Inspection Report

Once you receive the home inspection report, ensure that you read it as carefully as it was inspected and written. There can be red flags that may deter you from purchasing listed throughout the report. Some red flags to look for include:

  • Excessive mildew/mold
  • Foundation issues
  • Electrical issues
  • Evidence of water damage
  • Old plumbing/wiring

Home inspections are a highly beneficial step to home buying or selling. It is important to have an inspection done and equally to understand the report. If you are interested in getting a home inspection done, Wall to Wall offers custom home inspections to ensure you get precisely what you’re looking for out of your inspection report. Have more questions on what Wall to Wall can do for you? Contact us today!

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