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Methods to Inspect the Home

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Originally posted by lindl2

My biggest fears are returning from the inspection and realizing I forgot an area of the inspection. I know that practice makes perfect, but most of you have probably tried each and every one of the methods mentioned, plus several more ways to handle a typical inspection. If you were starting out, which way would you go?

I worried about that starting out too. It's a good thing to be worried about. I made my own forms in Word, including all the big sections and individual items I needed to cover to meet standards, and all the things I wanted to cover beyond that. I gleaned items and ideas from all over the place; free demo software, ready-made forms, other HI's sample reports, you name it. I set the forms up to walk me through the inspection, one major system at a time. Then I came back to the computer and did the report from the forms, photos, and voice notes. Not terribly efficient, but very effective.

Since then I've deleted various pages off the list, but I still use some of them (not for much longer though). It worked for me. I'll email you what's left if you like. They might serve as idea fodder, if nothing else.

Brian G.

Sweat the Big Stuff [:-wiltel]

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I think your chances of forgetting an area may be less in your first year or so. IMO, when you settle into a rut, your chances of missing something increase. I try to vary my inspection sequence, that way I am not "expecting" what I should see next. Some days I start with the roof, some days I start with the interior. I often ask the homeowner "where would you like me to start?" I like the variety anyway. My only hard and fast is to inspect the crawl space near the end, after I have run all the plumbing. Definitely have a checklist of some sort in the beginning. You won't need it for long. Take lots of pictures, overviews of the rooms, exterior etc. If digital cameras had been around when I started, it would have saved me lots of return trips. REMEMBER TO TURN THINGS OFF and remember that you remembered to turn things off. There is nothing worse than getting home wondering if you turned the oven off, or locked the door. I have made more return trips to be sure I didn't screw that up than to check items I forgot to inspect.

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I think Fritz's idea is good but here's an opposing view to confuse you more:

I like to establish a routine and stick to it. Kind of like learning to drive--you develop really good habits in the beginning and they become automatic which equals a good driving record.

A routine can save me if my head isn't 100% in the game. The routine is automatic, so if I'm not paying attention or I'm simply tired and getting distracted, the routine doesn't let me overlook something important.

There isn't any right way to do this. Everyone is different.

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I'm the same as Randy. I've got an established routine. It helps me spot things that are amiss. When I do things out of sequence, I feel stressed and I'm always double-checking and backtracking to make sure I didn't miss something, whereas when I stick to the routine the inspection process, my recall and my report writing process flows much better.



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Ride along with a seasoned inspector. There is no perfect way to inspect a building. You need to establish for yourself what will be your routine. It is important to include all the systems in your routine. Us "old dogs" need a routine and can get shaken when forced to deviate.

Do not start a rock fight but......

Top to bottom or bottom to top?

Outside first or last?

Walk roofs or NOT?

On and ON and ON.......

Then my friend-how do you report your findings?? oye!

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