Home Inspection 101

Welcome to Decoding a Home Inspections report with Wolf Home Inspections! On this page, I share with you some articles that are very helpful and resources about home inspection.

Please note that my home inspection services are available to clients in San Antonio and Houston, Texas.

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One of the challenges every home inspector faces is to translate what they see to a report that makes sense to the person reading the report.

The Home Inspection Report is designed to inform the client about the overall condition of the home. With this information, the client, with advice from their Realtor, can determine how to proceed. They may accept the condition of the home, negotiate for some of the repairs, negotiate the purchase price, or they may decide to withdraw the purchase offer and continue looking for a home.

Common use color code:

Blue: inspector comments about the condition of the item inspected. These appear when there is an issue with the item.

Red: inspector comments concerning safety issues for the item inspected.

Black: standard TREC LIMITATIONS

* Note each report may use different color codes, but all follow the Standards Of Practice

Inspection Report Codes

There are several inspection report codes that appear under each section of the Home Inspection Report.

 (I)=Inspected (item was present and inspected to extent allowed by Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)

(NI)= Not Inspected (item was present, but not inspected usually due to limitations of access or at the request of the Client)

(NP)= Not Present (item was not present; therefore, not inspected)

(D)= Deficient (item was present, inspected, and found to be deficient)

To be inspected, the inspector must open accessible service panels. If he is not able to open inspection panels, then it should be marked as not inspected and comment as to why.

To be Deficient, the item must not be functioning as designed or have some defect that affects the performance of the item. A window that is fogged would be marked as deficient because the escape of argon gas, which caused the fogging and makes it unattractive, is also making the window to be less energy efficient.

Here is where it gets tricky. A home has a roof in good working order; however, there is a tree with branches touching the roof. Some inspectors will mark it as Deficient. Others will not mark it as deficient, but will include a comment about it.

To protect themselves from litigation, most Home Inspectors will mark the item as deficient.

So being marked deficient does not necessarily mean that the inspection item is broken or in need of repair. It does mean that the Home Inspector found an issue that needs to be addressed.

Inspectors may check off one or more of these boxes. For example, NI and NP may be checked off or NP may be checked by itself. If the item is not present, then it cannot be inspected. This is up to the individual inspector on how they mark their report.

I, D combination indicates the item was inspected but the item was found deficient. As we stated above, this can be a confusing. If the inspector finds something wrong, he may write a comment about it but mark it as deficient or -not deficient. Unfortunately, there is not a consistent practice amongst Home Inspectors.

Home Inspection Reports can be lengthy and confusing. The report can contain anything from a missing window screen to a cracked foundation. When reviewing the report with your client how can the realtor and the client identify truly critical items? This document is designed to teach what is covered in a home inspection and how to read and decipher the report for the Realtor and the Client.

The format of the Home Inspection Report is mandated by the State of Texas in order to provide uniformity and consistency in reporting. The Home Inspector is not allowed to add or remove sections or to rearrange the order of sections.

Report Structure

The TREC Home Inspection Report contains the following:

• Purpose, Limitations and Inspector/Client Responsibilities

• Texas Real Estate Consumer Notice Concerning Hazards or Deficiencies

• Additional Information Provided By The Inspector

• Six Home Inspection Sections

The Home Inspection Report is then broken down into six sections.

        I. Structural Systems

        II. Electrical Systems

        III. Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning               (HVAC)

        IV. Plumbing Systems

        V. Appliances

        VI. Optional Systems (aka Add-ons)

Each section is broken down into subsections to which the Inspection Report Codes apply. See Appendix A to get the full list of sections and subsections.

The top 3 items which can be very costly to repair are foundations, roofs, and HVAC. Foundations and roofs are covered under Structural Systems. A quick glance at these sections will inform the Realtor about critical repairs that may be required.