Home Inspection List – A Guide to Making Home Exterior Improvements

The roof, windows, doors and exterior walls of your house work together to create a shield that keeps your home healthy and protects your family from the elements. When it comes to making timely repairs and home exterior improvements, a home inspection list can serve as a great guide in early detection and prevention of more serious and costly home repairs down the road.

If you use a home inspection list, routine maintenance checks of the exterior of your house are much less time-consuming. If you know what to look for and where to look, a semi-annual home inspection could be done in 30 minutes.

By conducting your inspection in a logical sequence, you will save even more time. A good strategy is to simply start at the top with the roof system and work your way down and around the house, finishing up with your foundation, driveway and sidewalks. Do not forget to make important interior inspections like looking for water damage and checking insulation and weatherstripping.

Home Inspection List:

Roof, Gutters, Soffits and Fascia

Regular inspections are essential to maintaining a healthy roof system. More can go wrong in the roof area than in just about any other part of your house. Most roof damage is due to water either from precipitation or condensation below the roof materials.

Shingles – Inspect for buckling, cupping, wear, damage, missing shingles, leaks and exposed nails.
Flashing – Look for gaps, leaks, damage, rust, corrosion and bad seals.
Chimney – Examine flashing, mortar joints and bricks for loose or crumbling masonry. Look for soot buildup and check for pests.
Ventilation – Check for obstructed vents and damaged covers or turbines.
Gutter and downspouts – Check for leaks, holes, rust, clogs and sagging.
Soffits and fascia – Look for signs of rot, damage, paint failure and cracks. Check for pests.

Siding and Trim

The first step in inspecting and evaluating siding and trim is determining the material type of your house’s exterior. Common siding types are lap siding, shakes and shingles, vinyl siding, brick, metal and stucco. Once you have determined the material, you will have a better idea of how to fix problems you may uncover.

Siding – Look for gaps, paint failure, rot, damage, and dirt buildup. Make note of popped nails, buckling and missing sections.
Trim – Check for signs of rot, damage, cracks, splits and paint failure.

Doors and Windows

Regularly inspecting doors and windows for gaps and drafts is vital to minimizing home heat energy loss. More home thermal energy escapes through these areas than any other part of the house. The good news is that making home exterior improvements to windows and doors is fairly straight-forward and easy to do.

Weatherstripping – Check to see if damaged or missing.
Hardware – Examine for rust, corrosion, paint failure, sticking and misalignment.
Glass and screening – Check for broken panes, torn screening, and deteriorated glazing or retaining strips.
Frames and wood – Examine for rot, damage and paint failure.

Foundation

Leaks – Look for water in the basement and condensation on interior walls.
General condition – Check for cracks and deterioration.

Decks, Porches and Patios

Wood surfaces – Inspect for rot, damage, paint failure and loose boards.
Masonry surfaces – Look for cracks, stains and concrete failure.
Railings, trim and accessories – Check for rot, damage, rust, and paint failure.

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