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Basic Home Inspection Checklist

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Basic Home Inspection Checklist


Instructions ------------------- 1. Answer "Yes", "No", "N/A" for the questions below 2. Add any photos and notes by clicking on the paperclip icon 3. Share your report by exporting as PDF, Word, Excel or Web Link


Proper yard drainage away from house
No evidence of standing water
No leaks from septic tanks or leech fields
Yard, landscaping, trees and walkways in good condition
No branches or bushes touching the house or overhanging the roof
Exterior structures (fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls, detaches 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


Side of house appears straight, not bowed or sagging
Window and door frames appear square (especially bowed windows)
Visible foundation in good condition - appears straight, plumb, with no significant cracks
Ridge and fascia board lines appear straight and level

Exterior Surfaces

Adequate clearance between ground and wood siding materials; 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 aluminium 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 double-paned, insulated window seals
Muntin and mullion glazing compound in good condition
Storm windows or thermal glass used
Drip caps installed over windows


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
Composition tiles / shingles: no curling, no cupping, no loss of granulation particulate, no broken, damaged or missing shingles, no more than two layers of roofing
Wood tiles / shingles or shakes: no mould, 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


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


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 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


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 or approximately 50 degrees Celcius


No aluminum cable for branch circuits
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

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 odour
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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