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Property Inspection Checklist

Step Back, Then Move Closer

This outlines a basic checklist or procedure for examining the exterior in a home inspection. Typically, home inspectors initiate their inspections by evaluating the roof and exterior components.

Initiate the exterior inspection by observing the home from the street or the end of the driveway. Examine the entire house, paying attention to aspects like alignment, verticality, and symmetry. Some significant structural issues may only become apparent when the property is viewed from a distance.

Step Back

Upon closer inspection, the house may appear satisfactory, but a different perspective emerges when viewed from a distance. Take a step back and allocate a few moments to assess the entire structure. Examine its overall shape, primary design, and structural elements. Gain insights into various components by creating distance. Identify the placement of key systems, such as the electrical service, central cooling unit, egress opening, chimney structures, garage, parking area, side doors, fences, plumbing entrance, exterior structures, landscaping features, property boundaries, shared utilities, driveways, sidewalks, inspection restrictions, obstacles, prevailing wind direction, southern-facing side, and more. Evaluate large trees in proximity to the structure. From a distance, the inspector may discern different siding materials used on the house, providing a comprehensive view.

Move Closer

Subsequently, approach the house for a closer and more intricate examination. As inspectors advance, they often follow the front walk or driveway leading to the house. Choosing a clockwise direction, the inspector circumvents the house’s perimeter. During this close-up exterior inspection, attention is focused on intricate details by manoeuvring behind vegetation, inspecting beneath objects, crawling under structures, reaching upward, scrutinising interiors, tactile assessments, measurements, and probing


A significant portion of the overall home inspection duration may be dedicated to examining the exterior, encompassing the roof system. The home inspector should effectively allocate their inspection time to benefit themselves, their client, the real estate agent, the occupant, and the property owner.

Damage or Deterioration

The exteriors of all residences and structures undergo a gradual process of decay and aging, influenced by factors such as sun exposure, wind, rain, and temperature variations. It is essential for the home inspector to assess the building’s exterior, focusing on its overall condition and weather resistance. A thorough examination of exterior-covering materials is necessary to identify potential signs of emerging patterns of damage or deterioration.

In regions susceptible to gale force winds, scrutinise screen and jalousie enclosures, carports, awnings, canopies, porch roofs, and roof overhangs to assess their condition and the stability of their fastenings. Additionally, concentrate on evaluating the condition and strength of the following four critical areas: roofs, windows, doors, and garage doors.

In areas prone to wildfires, some jurisdictions may impose restrictions on the use of flammable exterior-covering materials. It is advisable to consult with the local building official or fire marshal, or both, for detailed information on compliance and regulations.

written by Property Inspect 4u

Aerial View of House
Facade of House
External wall of House

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