My Home Inspector Blog: Top 10 Things Not Covered In A Home Inspection

Top 10 Things Not Covered In A Home Inspection

Top 10 Things Not Covered In A Home Inspection


Potential home inspection clients ask me, "Do you cover this? Do you cover that?". There is much confusion as to what is and is not covered in a home inspection. Since there are "Top 10" lists for just about everything else, I've made a list of the top 10 things not covered in a home inspection:


1.   Low-voltage systems

  • Computer, phone, built-in audio, intercom systems, landscape lighting, security, irrigation systems, etc. (I offer an inspection upgrade which includes evaluation of the irrigation system.)

2.   Accessory items

  • Fountains, water purification systems, shower steamer units, water circulator pumps, remote control units, mechanical driveway gates, etc.

3.   Inaccessible systems or components

  • Outside area drains, components within walls or ceilings, padlocked electrical panels, locked rooms, attic areas too cluttered for access or with limited clearance, etc.

4.   Termite/Pest inspection

  • Although I note dry rot or termite-damaged areas that I see during my home inspection, I advise my clients to refer to the termite report. A licensed pest inspection company provides an extensive evaluation and prescribes remedies for treatment.

5.   Septic and well inspection 

  • These specialized inspections are available through private contractors.

6.   Environmental testing

  • An industrial hygienist, mold, lead paint, or haz-mat specialist can be consulted for environmental testing and clean-up. (When I discover suspected environmental hazards during a home inspection, they are noted in my report. Lab testing is necessary to confirm the presence of hazardous material.)

7.   Check for permits

  • If a home has had alterations, additions, or remodeling, a check for permits is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

8.   Repair or replacement estimates

  • Licensed contractors should be consulted for repair estimates. The California Business & Professions Code prohibits a home inspector from performing any repairs on a home inspected within one year.

9.   Energy efficiency

  • Determining a home's degree of energy efficiency is beyond the scope of a home inspection. (I offer an infrared energy scan for an additional fee.)

 

10. Remaining life of components or       systems

  • One of the questions I get asked most is, "How long will this roof last?" In this case, a roofing contractor can issue a roof certification which will guarantee the roof to be leak-free for a set number of years.


 

 

So, there's my list of top 10 things not covered in a home inspection! Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.

 


             Steve Stenros, MCI         Biz card photo

             Master CREIA Inspector #0115

             ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439

             Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791

                                       FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975

                                       203k Consultant #S0611

                                     888-335-3040

 

My Recent Home Inspector Blogs:


If You Have These Smoke Alarms, Get Rid Of Them!

The Three Most Common Write-Ups At A Home Inspection

May I Get You Some Carbon Monoxide?

La Jolla Home Inspector Offers Tips On Buying A Foreclosure

Home Inspection Tech Tips: How To Clean Your Rain Gutters

Vacant Homes: Turning Utilities On- San Diego Home Inspector

Sharp-Tipped Screws Are A Hazard To A Home Inspector!

San Diego Home Inspector Goes North

Have You Checked Your Egress Windows?- Encinitas Home Inspector

The New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law In California

"Four Tips For Garage Door Safety"- Encinitas Home Inspector

My Home Inspector Said Aluminum Wiring Will Catch My House On Fire!

Does Your Weep Screed Weep?- Temecula Home Inspector

Deck Repair Gone Awry!- Del Mar Home Inspection

A Home Inspector's ActiveRain Success Story

Comment balloon 24 commentsSteve Stenros • May 22 2011 10:46AM

Comments

Hi Steve,

You are right.

The things NOT covered by a home inspection are not clear, and usually only come up incidentally, during the inspection.

Thanks for sharing the  list

Phil

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) over 7 years ago

I guess you can't expect the Home Inspector to do everything. There are times when other experts need to be consulted.

Posted by Donna Malone, Homes and Property for Sale Nova Scotia (Waterfront, Luxury, Family, Affordable, Cottage, Deals) over 7 years ago

Phil, I always include a copy of the CREIA (CA Real Estate Inspection Assoc.) Standards of Practice with every inspection agreement. It details what is and is not covered in a home inspection. Of course the client will need to actually read it!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Very true, Donna. A home inspector is a generalist. If issues are noted during a home inspection, experts in that field should be consulted for further evaluation and recommendation for repairs. If areas are not covered in a home inspection, experts can be brought in for evaluation of those components.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Great post this is good information for the home buyer to know they will still need to seek the advice of a professional in some areas.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) over 7 years ago

Pat: When you stop to think about it, there are really a lot of loose ends a home buyer needs to tie up: utiities hook-up, change of address notifications, bank loans, mountains of paperwork, inspections, etc. It can be overwhelming- especially for first-time buyers.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Hi Steve,

 Good information to know, thanks for sharing.

Posted by James Loftis, RealEstate911.com (RealEstate911.com) over 7 years ago

Steve, Thanks for posting this list. When combined with the CREIA Standards of Practice, we have great home inspection information to provide to our clients. They will be well informed...if (as you said) they read it.

Posted by Jeff Markell, Reverse / Conventional Mortgage Pro | NMLS 224196 (Back Bay Funding) over 7 years ago

Jeffrey: A well-informed client is a satisfied client!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Thanks good and useful blog.

Steve, I know we can never cover it all --- if you could do another blog on the Top 10 min. essentials

this would be great !

cheers

Nor

Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) over 7 years ago

Steve- this is a handy list to remind clients what is not covered, Especiially the state of what's behind walls. I had a recent client purchased a home and stripped the walls to the studs to find out that the structure was termite infested.

Posted by Anne Lok, Toronto Modern Real Estate (Blue Elephant Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Nor: That's a tall order, Nor! There are so many components to a home inspection. A problematic component at one home may not be at another. They are all different- so many variables. I just posted a blog titled My List of Top 10 Home Inspection Defects. It points out the most common issues I find at home inspections. Check it out!

 

Anne: That's a perfect example, Anne. I feel sorry for your clients, but how was anyone to know? Another similar component is the outside area drains. If it is not pouring rain during a home inspection, we Inspectors have no way of knowing whether or not tree roots have invaded.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Hi Steve, an excellent list for home owners to review before they 'read' the home inspection.

A home inspection does generally provide information on potential major disasters.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) over 7 years ago

Very true, Dan. That's why you give your clients the natural hazards disclosure, right?

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

Steve - Great post...First time homebuyers seem to think that the home inspector is going to go through the home with a fine tooth comb.

Posted by Goran Utvic, We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast (606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656) over 7 years ago

Goran: I really appreciate the Realtors who educate their clients as to the parameters of a home inspection!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 7 years ago

It is just as important to know what was not inspected as well as what was checked out.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 7 years ago

I dont think they do roof certifications anymore. At least not in Minnesota.  Otherwise its good for people to know what is covered and not covered.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 7 years ago

The disappointed home buyer is usually the one with the home inspector that did not explain the process throroughly before the inspection.  Good points, Steve, thanks for sharing.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 7 years ago

Steve, a great list to be aware of and to ask your home inspector, thanks for putting it together.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 7 years ago

Gary: These items are usually all mentioned in most inspectors' service agreements, but we both know the documents are not always read before they are signed by the client!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 7 years ago

Chuck: I don't do the roof certifications myself, but I always let my clients know about them if they have roof concerns.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 7 years ago

Lisa: I agree. Those clients who are first-time buyers, especially, may not be aware of exactly what a home inspection covers. It definitely helps when this is discussed with them prior to the inspection. Most inspection agreements do a good job of describing these issues. My insurance carrier requires a signed agreement for each inspection, and I always have the client read and sign prior to the inspection, if possible.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 7 years ago

Thanks David! Of course, some inspectors may decide to inspect some or all of the items I listed. It's an individual business decision.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 7 years ago

Participate