We inspect all the roof-covering materials; the gutters; the downspouts; the vents, skylights, chimney and other roof penetrations; and, we inspect the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs. We walk on all roofs when it is safe and conditions permit.


We inspect all wall-covering materials, flashing and trim; all exterior doors; adjacent walkways and doors; porches, patios and balconies; carports; the eaves, soffits and fascia; a representative number of windows; and surface drainage, vegetation and retaining walls of the property where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture, and we describe the exterior wall covering.

Foundation and Structure

We inspect the foundation, the basement and the crawlspace and any structural components and report any indications of water penetration. We inspect for wood in contact with near soil, and report indications of possible foundation movement such as cracks or unleveled floors. We inspect and report on any notching, cutting and boring of framing members that may represent a safety concern.


We also look at the heating systems, using normal operating controls. We describe the location of the thermostat, the energy source and the heating method. We also inspect the central cooling equipment using normal operating controls and report on cooling systems that do not function as intended. We inspect the visible distribution methods for deficiencies and visible venting methods for improper or deficient installations.


We inspect the main water supply shut off valve; the main fuel supply shut off valve; all toilets for proper flushing; the drain, waste and vent system; all sinks, tubs and showers for to ensure the drains are working; the water heating equipment, including the energy source and venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief valves, Watts 210 valves and seismic bracing; we check the interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets; all toilets for proper operation; and the drainage sump pumps with accessible floats. The inspector will describe whether the water supply is public or private; the location of the main water supply shut-off valve; the location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve; the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled. We report any in need of repair deficiencies and report any mechanical problems. We also look for and report any leaks.


We inspect the service drop; the overhead service conductors and attachment point; the service head, gooseneck and drip loops; the electric meter and base; the service mast, service conduit and raceway; the service-entrance conductors; the main service disconnect; the panelboards and over-current protection devices; service grounding and bonding; a representative number of switches; smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors; a representative number of lighting fixtures and receptacles; and all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers. We will describe the main service disconnect’s amperage rating, if labeled; and the type of wiring observed. We will also report any deficiencies in the integrity of the service entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop and vertical clearances from grade and roofs; any unused circuit-breaker panel openings that were not filled; we will report on the absence of smoke detectors; the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if visible; and any tested receptacle in which power was not present or the polarity was incorrect.

Insulation and Ventilation

We inspect the insulation of unfinished spaces, the ventilation of attic spaces, mechanical ventilation systems, and report on the general absence or lack of insulation and ventilation in unfinished spaces.


We inspect a representative number of doors, windows and cabinets; floors, wall and ceilings; stairs, steps, stairways, landings and ramps; railings, guards, balconies and handrails; garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers. We report on signs of abnormal water penetration or harmful condensation on building components. And we also report on any need of repair in any installed electronic sensors that are not operable.