Types of Home Inspections

Personal Finance

Home inspections are generally performed in conjunction with the sale of a home. They are performed by a well-trained, certified home inspector and simply involve investigating the safety and condition of the house. Here’s a look at the different types of home inspections.

Home Inspections for Specific Needs

The specific kind of home inspection you need depends on whether you’re buying or selling a house  or simply reassessing the condition of your own home. Home inspections can be performed for a variety of reasons. In some instances, a general inspection may not be enough; there are more in depth options available, which utilizes a team of specialists to be more thorough.

Home Inspection Add Ons

A general home inspection is the bare minimum and includes a noninvasive inspection of the plumbing, electrical, roof, structural aspects, and insulation. For example, you may wish to make sure none of the paint used in the home contains lead, particularly in homes built before 1978. Other types of additional inspections include:

  • Heating and Air: An HVAC specialist can double check furnaces and a/c units to figure out what’s wrong, if it’s fixable, and if you need a replacement.
  • Roof: A roof certification lets you know how the roof if there are loose shingles, the status of gutters, drains, etc.
  • Chimney: A special inspector can make sure it is in good condition, emitting smoke correctly, and has appropriate flue liners.
  • Well Water: It’s important to test the depth of the well, if the materials are sturdy, and to make sure the water is safe to drink.
  • Pest Inspection: This inspection lets you know if there is any wood rot, and any other droves of unwanted guests.
  • Radon: Radon is a natural and radioactive gas that develops as uranium decays that can build up in homes, particularly basements, and cause major health issues. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages all homes be tested for radon.
  • Formaldehyde: Mobile homes tend to be especially at risk because of some of the products used in their design. It too may cause health issues, and some people have formaldehyde allergies.
  • Mold: Mold can lurk everywhere. Specialists detect different types of molds in different areas and help you decide if an infestation is more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Arborist: Arborists can make sure the trees in the area are healthy, and let you know if there’s a greater than average chance of one falling on your roof.
  • Pool: A pool or spa area seems like a great addition but can wind up costing a great deal for repairs and replacement parts. Having the pool area specifically tested helps you find leaks or pieces that are likely to pass their usefulness soon.
  • Foundation: You’ll need a foundation engineer to tell you more about your foundation than what it is made of—such as if it is going to crumble in the next year.
  • Soil: Depending on the shape of the property you are purchasing, it can be important to make sure your soil is stable—so it doesn’t go sliding down the hill in an avalanche. Additionally, steel fuel oil tanks used to be buried in yards; if there is or used to be one in yours, the soil should be tested for petroleum hydrocarbons.


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