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Total Home Inspection Checklist


Use a checklist like this to make sure that you are looking at all parts of the house. 

Check off those items that are in good condition and make notes about those that are not. (Note that this list describes an ideal house, but in our experience no house is perfect – not even brand new ones!!)


Please Note:

This checklist should not be relied upon as a home inspection report, nor should it be considered a substitute for a home inspection. This list is representative, but NOT exhaustive. If you require a home inspection, contact Total Home Inspection or another qualified, educated, licensed, experienced ASHI certified home inspector in your area.







____ Proper grading drainage away from house


____ No evidence of standing water


____ No leaks from septic tank or leech field


____ Yard, landscaping, trees and walkways in good condition


____ No branches or bushes touching house or overhanging the roof


____ Exterior structures (fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls, detached garages) in good condition, no evidence of termite damage or rotted wood


____ Railings on stairs and decks are adequate and secure


____ Driveways, sidewalks, patios, entrance landings in good condition, and pitched away from structure


____ Downspout drainage directed away from structure







____ Ridge and fascia board lines appear straight and level


____ Sides of house appear straight, not bowed or sagging


____ Window and doorframes appear square (especially bowed windows)


____ Visible foundation in good condition - appears straight, plumb, with no significant cracks





Exterior Surfaces


____ Adequate clearance between ground and wood siding materials (6" minimum); no wood-to-earth contact


____ Siding: no cracking, curling, loose, rot or decay


____ Masonry veneers: no cracks in joints, no broken, spalling or flaking components


____ Stucco: no large cracks (discuss all stucco cracks with a professional inspector)


____ Vinyl or aluminum siding: no dents, damage, no bowing or loose siding


____ No vines on surface of structure


____ Exterior paint or stain: no flaking or blisters


____ No stains on exterior surfaces





Windows, Doors and Wood Trim


____ Wood frames and trim pieces are secure, no cracks, rot or decay


____ Joints around frames are caulked


____ No broken glass (window or storm panes) or damaged screens, no broken doublepaned, insulated window seals.


____ Muntin and mullion glazing compound in good condition


____ Storm windows or thermal glass used


____ Drip caps installed over windows







____ Composition shingles: no curling, no cupping, no loss of granulation particulate, no broken, damaged or missing shingles, no more than two layers of roofing


____ Wood shingles or shakes: no mold, rot or decay, no cracked/broken/missing shingles, no curling


____ Flat roofs: no obvious patches, no cracks or splits, minimal blisters/"alligatoring" and wrinkles, no silt deposits (indicates improper drainage), sealed tar at flashings


____ Flashing around roof penetrations


____ No evidence of excess roofing cement/tar/caulk


____ Soffits and fascia: no decay, no stains


____ Exterior venting for eave areas: vents are clean and not painted over


____ Gutters: no decay or rust, joints sealed, attached securely to structure, no bending or sagging, no sections of gutter or downspout missing, gutters clean, no mud deposits


____ Chimneys: straight, properly flashed, no evidence of damaged bricks or cracked joints, mortar/cement cap in good condition







____ No stains on underside of roofing, especially around roof penetrations


____ No evidence of decay or damage to structure


____ Sufficient insulation and properly installed insulation (moisture barrier installed closest to the heated area of the house)


____ Adequate ventilation, clear path into attic for air entering through soffit vents, adequately sized gable end louvers, all mechanical ventilation operational


____ No plumbing, exhaust or appliance vents terminating in attic


____ No open electrical splices





Interior Rooms


____ Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight and plumb and level


____ No stains on floors, walls or ceilings


____ Flooring materials in good condition


____ No significant cracks in walls or ceilings


____ Windows and exterior doors operate easily and latch properly, no broken glass, no sashes painted shut, no decay; windows and doors have weather-stripping, "weep holes" installed


____ Interior doors operate easily and latch properly, no damage or decay, no broken hardware


____ Paint, wall covering, and paneling in good condition


____ Wood trim installed well and in good condition


____ Lights and switches operate properly


____ Adequate number of three pronged electrical outlets in each room


____ Electrical outlets test properly (spot check)


____ Heating/cooling source in each habitable room


____ Evidence of adequate insulation in walls


____ Fireplace: no cracking or damaged masonry, no evidence of back-drafting (staining on fireplace façade), damper operates properly, flue has been cleaned, flue is lined







____ Working exhaust fan that is vented to the exterior of the building


____ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter ("GFCI") protection for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s)


____ Dishwasher: drains properly, no leaks, baskets, door spring operates properly

____ No leaks in pipes under sinks


____ Floor in cabinet under sink solid, no stains or decay


____ Water flow in sink adequate


____ No excessive rust or deterioration on garbage disposal or waste pipes


____ Built-in appliances operate properly


____ Cabinets in good condition: doors and drawers operate properly







____ Working exhaust fan that doesn't terminate in the attic space


____ Adequate flow and pressure at all fixtures


____ Sink, tub and shower drain properly


____ Plumbing and cabinet floor under sink in good condition


____ If sink is metal, it shows no signs of rust, overflow drain doesn't leak


____ Toilet operates properly


____ Toilet stable, no rocking, no stains around base


____ Caulking in good condition inside and outside of the tub and shower area


____ Tub or shower tiles secure, wall surface solid


____ No stains or evidence of past leaking around base of bath or shower







____ Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where required by local ordinances


____ Stairway treads and risers solid


____ Stair handrails where needed and in good condition

____ Automatic garage door opener operates properly, stops properly for obstacles





Basement or Mechanical Room


____ No evidence of moisture


____ Exposed foundation; no stains no major cracks, no flaking, no efflorescence


____ Visible structural wood: no sagging, no damage, no decay, no stains, no damage from insects, sills attached to foundation with anchor bolts


____ Insulation at rim/band joists 





Crawl Space


____ Adequately vented to exterior


____ Insulation on exposed water supply, waste and vent pipes


____ Insulation between crawl space and heated areas, installed with vapor barrier towards heated area


____ No evidence of insect damage


____ No evidence of moisture damage







____ Visible pipes: no damage, no evidence of leaks, no signs of stains on materials near pipes; drain pipes slope slightly down towards outlet to septic/sewage system


____ Water heater: no signs of rust, vented properly, sized to produce adequate quantities of hot water for the number of bedrooms in the house. 


____ Water pump: does not short cycle


____ Galvanized pipes do not restrict water flow


____ Well water test is acceptable

____  Hot water temperature between 118 - 125 degrees Fahrenheit







____ Visible wiring: in good condition, no "knob-and-tube" wiring, no exposed splices, cables secured and protected


____ Service panel: adequate capacity, all cables attached to panel with cable connectors; fuses or breakers are not overheating


____ No aluminum cable for branch circuits





Heating/Cooling System


____ Appears to operate well throughout  (good air flow on forced hot air systems)


____ Flues: no open seams, slopes up to chimney connection


____ No rust around cooling unit


____ No combustion gas odor


____ Air filter(s) clean


____ Ductwork in good condition


____ No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes or air ducts


____ Separate flues for gas/oil/propane and wood/coal

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