What is a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an independent, objective examination of the structure, systems and components of a home - from the foundation to the roof.   It is also your first opportunity for you to really get a feel for what you are buying.


 No house is perfect.  Each home has its own particular quirks as well as its own particular charm.  After all, that is what attracted you to it in the first place.  A Home Inspection is your first and best chance to find out all you can about what you are buying.



Some of the systems and components that are evaluated include the following:

Attic, Access Doors

Exterior Siding, Brick, EIFS

Plumbing, Sump Pumps

Basement, Crawlspace

Smoke and CO Detectors

Roof, Vents, Flashings

Ceilings, Floors

Foundation and Footings


Walls, Exterior and Interior

Garage Doors, Safety Sensors

Structure, Foundation Exposure

Doors, Weather Stripping

Heating and Air-conditioning

Insulation and Ventilation

Electrical system, GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt), AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupt) outlets

Water Heater, check serial number for age and against any manufacturer or government recalls

Water Penetration / Flooding / Seepage / Foundation Damage

Windows, Caulking

Wood Destroying Insects, Rot, Fungus

Grading and Drainage


Water Heating System

Interior Plumbing Fixtures

Main Water and Fuel Shut Off

Decks, Porches, Railings

Main Disconnect and Service

Fireplace, Damper, Chimney


And much, much more.  Take a look at the NACHI Standards of Practice for a complete list.

A Home Inspection is not a means to come up with a list of 'repairs' that the seller must complete before the house can be sold, nor is it a building code inspection.  A good Home Inspector will examine and describe, in writing, the condition of the house and provide guidance on what may cause problems for the new owner.  An Inspector's main concerns should be with regards to Safety and Home Value, the two main concerns of anyone who is making such an expensive purchase.


In the Inspection Report the inspector will give you, in writing an accurate description of the general condition of your home.  The inspector will also give some recommendations as to changes or "Discretional Improvements" he would like to see done.  Not all of these will actually be done or legally need to be done.  Some of the changes recommended will probably have to be done by the buyer after the sale is complete.  The one thing to ask yourself is, how safe do you want the home that your family will be living in to be?


While a home cannot "fail" an inspection, its components can.  A Home Inspection, conducted under the Alaska Statutes for Home Inspection, provides you with a expert and independent opinion of the condition of the property at the time of the inspection.  An professional inspector typically spends two to four hours evaluating a home and may recommend further evaluation by specialists if significant symptoms or  defects are discovered. I strongly encourage you to attend the inspection so that you can ask questions and learn all about your new home.