If you’re considering buying a home, having an Illinois home inspection checklist can make the process easier. A pre-purchase inspection is an essential precaution that can help identify hidden issues. It can also save you money by increasing your negotiating power. According to Porch, home inspection reports help buyers save an average of $14,000 when purchasing a house.
You can also get an inspection before listing your home for sale. This will help you identify hidden issues, allowing you to get in front of repairs. An inspection can also be handy before remodeling by identifying areas of your home that you should focus on.
Top 10 Things to Look For During Your Illinois Home Inspection
During a home inspection, you want to ensure that you cover all the essential items, which is where a checklist comes in handy. Below are some of the top things to consider for your Illinois home inspection checklist:
1. The Roof
A roof inspection is an essential item you should have on your Illinois home inspection checklist. If you’re considering buying a home, a roof inspection can save you from investing in a house with severe roofing issues.
Roof inspections are also essential for homeowners as they can save you from costly roof repairs. You can also get a new roof inspection after a replacement to ensure the new roof is structurally sound.
When it comes to the roof, a home inspector can assess the condition of your roof as part of the overall home inspection. However, according to InterNACHI, inspectors are not obligated to walk on the roof’s surface. Therefore, hiring a professional roofing contractor, such as a local roofing business, might be advisable to allow for a more extensive inspection.
During the roofing inspection, the contractor you hire should be on the lookout for various signs of roof issues. These include missing shingles, cracks or leaks, curling shingles, and sagging roofs. Other essential items to check include damaged flashing, mold or algae growth, gutter damage, and pest infestation.
2. The Plumbing System
Plumbing is another important to have on your Illinois home inspection checklist. Plumbing issues are inconvenient and can occur at the most inopportune times. On top of that, they can lead to extensive damage to your home, for example, mold, water damage, and foundation damage. Therefore, plumbing inspection is vital as it helps detect any issues early on, saving you money on costly repairs.
A plumbing inspection is an extensive process that involves assessing all aspects of your plumbing system. The pipes are a major area to consider, and your inspector will examine all the pipes to ensure that there are no cracks or leaks. This is mainly done through a video pipe inspection, which helps to identify issues with your pipes, including ones hidden by the walls.
Besides pipes, the inspector you hire will also check for any issues with your fixtures. These include water faucets, sinks, toilets, shower heads, and bathtubs. They can also conduct a heater inspection to ensure your water heater system is in perfect condition.
Drainage and septic inspection are also vital when conducting a plumbing inspection. Like with your water pipes, drainage line, and septic tank issues can be very inconveniencing. Additionally, they can be a health hazard. Therefore, it is vital to check them out, ensuring no hidden problems might crop up later.
3. The Electrical System
According to Angie’s List, electrical repairs, such as rewiring your house, can cost up to $10,000. Besides the expensive repairs, a faulty electrical system is a safety hazard, which can damage your appliances, spark fires, and cause severe injuries or death. Therefore, an electrical inspection is another essential item that you should have on your Illinois home inspection checklist.
During an electrical inspection, the contractor you hire will assess your electrical system for various issues. These include damaged or exposed wires, faulty meter sockets, electrical panels, switches, electrical outlets, and electrical fixtures. They will also check on other issues such as grounding, condition of the circuit breakers, and surge protection.
Besides the above issues, inspecting any electrical appliances in your home is also a good idea. These include ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and others. Having these appliances checked out identifies any potential problems early on, saving you from costly repairs in case of breakdowns.
4. The HVAC System
The HVAC system is another essential item to cross off your Illinois home inspection checklist. An HVAC inspection can help to identify issues with your system early on, thus preventing you from running into costly repairs. This is especially important if you’re purchasing a home, as HVAC repairs or replacements are expensive.
Another benefit of an HVAC inspection is that it allows you to perform necessary tune-ups to improve its efficiency. As a result, this can help to reduce your energy bills significantly. Additionally, a well-functioning and efficient HVAC unit can help improve the air quality in your home, making it more comfortable.
During the inspection of your HVAC system, there are several things you should be on the lookout for. These include dirty or clogged filters, leaking refrigerant coils, imbalanced heating or cooling, and loose wiring. The HVAC contractor should also check your thermostat(s) to ensure it functions properly. After all, a faulty thermostat can lead to overheating, overcooling, and inefficient HVAC running, which can significantly increase your energy bills.
5. The Foundation
According to Houzz, the average cost of foundation repairs is $5,500, but it can go up to $7,000 or more. Therefore, the foundation is one of the critical items that you should have on your Illinois home inspection checklist.
A foundation inspection is essential when selling or buying a home, as it will identify any issues that need fixing. But, even after purchasing a home, periodic inspections of the foundation are vital because they ensure your home remains in good condition.
You can have your home inspector assess the foundation’s condition during a home inspection. However, you can also hire a separate professional, such as a foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer.
The professional you hire will assess your home for signs of foundation problems, such as cracks, sinking ground, separating walls, warped floors, and others. They will then make a recommendation about necessary actions that you should take if they find any problems.
6. The Garage
It might not seem like it, but a garage inspection is an essential item on your home inspection checklist. First, the garage can be used as an entry point to your home, making its safety and security paramount. Secondly, garages have several safety issues, which could cause problems for you and your family if left unchecked. Lastly, during a garage inspection, you may come across signs of other issues with your home – for example, cracks in the floor indicating foundation problems.
During a garage inspection, there are several things that you should be on the lookout for. These include the structural integrity of the floor, wall, and ceilings. Your home inspector should also check that there is a firewall between your garage and the living spaces in your home. Lastly, they should ensure that all the fixtures and appliances in your garage (heaters, furnaces, and electrical panels) are functioning correctly.
The garage door is another important area you should consider during your inspection. Garage door inspections can help identify issues with your door, allowing you to fix them on time before they become expensive breakdowns. Problems uncovered during the inspection can also help to prevent serious injuries that a faulty garage door can cause.
7. Insulation and Ventilation Systems
Insulation and ventilation are two other essential items you should cross off your Illinois home inspection checklist. These two can significantly impact the quality of your indoor air, thus affecting how comfortable your home is. Poor insulation and ventilation can also cause problems in your home, including mold growth and increased energy bills.
During the inspection, the contractor should check whether your home has insulation, especially in the attics, crawl spaces, and exterior and foundation walls. They should also check that the right type and size of insulation has been used. Lastly, they should be on the lookout for insulation issues such as insect damage, pest infestation, and mold growth.
When inspecting the ventilation system, your contractor should check that your insulation is adequately ventilated. They should also check that your vents and ducts are not clogged or leaking, especially those leading in and out of your air conditioning unit. In addition, they should ensure that critical areas such as the bathroom and laundry room are ventilated, thus preventing moisture buildup.
Lastly, you should have your home’s chimney inspected if you own a furnace or a fireplace. A chimney inspection can identify ventilation problems, such as blockage, creosote buildup, and leaks, which can be a safety hazard. Additionally, the inspection can help expose structural issues such as cracks in the chimney or missing mortar or bricks, allowing you to fix them on time.
8. The Home’s Exterior
Your home’s exterior is another item you should have on your Illinois home inspection checklist. The exterior significantly impacts your home’s curb appeal and value. Therefore, it is essential to have it inspected, especially if you’re planning to purchase or sell a house.
During your home inspection, there are several areas of your house’s exterior that you should have examined. These include the exterior walls and coverings, where the contractor should check for signs of damage such as cracks, holes, swelling, water damage, etc. You should also be on the lookout for cosmetic damages to your wall (peeling paint, damaged siding, etc.).
Besides the walls, your inspector should also assess other areas, such as gutter drainage, downspouts, exterior windows and doors, driveways, and walkways. Additionally, they should check that your patios, deck areas, and essential features, such as swimming pools and fountains, are in good condition. It’s also good to check the yard and garden for dangerous vegetation and overhanging tree limbs.
9. The Water Quality
Water quality is another item to have on your home inspection checklist, especially if you’re buying a house. Testing for water quality can help identify contaminants and pollutants such as lead, bacteria, excessive minerals, radon, and others that can make your water unsafe for drinking. It can also help to determine if your water is safe for other uses, such as showering, laundry, and gardening.
If your water comes from a well on your property, having the well inspected is also a good idea. Besides water quality, a well inspection will also look at the water level and output quantities (flow), thus ensuring your well is functioning optimally. In addition, it will help detect signs of contamination from flooding water, fertilizers, pesticides, and unclean water from drainage systems and septic tanks.
Lastly, inspecting your well can help identify safety issues such as poor covering, which can cause severe injury. Your inspection can also reveal mechanical issues, such as a faulty water pump or problems with its structural integrity. Therefore, you can conduct necessary repairs and maintenance to improve the safety and functionality of the well.
10. The Home’s Safety and Security
Safety and security are essential, especially if you want to buy or sell a house. Also, as a current homeowner, having your home safe and secure improves the well-being of your family. Therefore, these are two other vital items that you should have on your Illinois home inspection checklist.
During your home inspection, there are several safety and security items that your inspector should assess. Starting with security, the contractor you hire should ensure that the house does not have entry points that can offer easy access to burglars. They should also check for features such as a burglar alarm, CCTV, and secure door and window locks.
For safety inspection, the home inspector should check for safety hazards such as asbestos, mold, lead, rodent and pest infestations, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as radon. And with fire being a considerable safety hazard, the inspector should also conduct a fire alarm inspection to ensure the home is well protected.
A home inspection is an essential service, whether buying a house, selling one or if you’re a current homeowner. The inspection can help identify issues with the house, allowing you to fix them early on or, when you’re a buyer, protect your investment. However, knowing what to look for is the only way to get the best out of your home inspection. If you’re considering hiring a home inspector, the above are some top items you should include in your Illinois home inspection checklist.