Most home inspectors check most things most of the time
Most home inspectors do a really good job. The ones I work with take as long as it takes to get the job done. They will answer all of my buyer’s questions, go over everything in detail and give their honest opinions about what they see, what they find, what they think.
At the end of the home inspection, the home buyer will have the information that they need to make an educated decision. That is the goal. With a good home inspector, homebuyers will come away thinking. “That is the best $400 I ever spent!”
For example, mold and mildew, radon, and asbestos requires special equipment and lab testing. Most (but not all) home inspectors do not have that kind of equipment, time and resources. But there are other things that many home buyers think home inspectors will check but many don’t.
Electrical outlets behind furniture
Home inspectors will not move the hutch or the sofa to check the electrical outlet behind. If the attic hatch is hard to access, the inspector may not check that either.
Home inspectors will not go up on the roof if it is icy, snowing, raining, dark outside, very steep or three stories off the ground. Falling off a roof, they say, will ruin your whole day!
Fireplace and chimney
Inspectors will normally open and shut dampers to make sure they’re functioning, and shine a flashlight up the chimney to look for obstructions but that’s where it ends. They will not certify that it is safe to use.
Under the foundation
If you are worried about the structural integrity of the land under the foundation, you are going to need an engineering company for that.
Pools and hot tubs
Home inspectors don’t normally look at these items. If the home you are purchasing has a swimming pool or hot tub, interview inspectors to see if checking them is part of their normal inspection. That may also apply to other “specialty items” like saunas and spas, home theatres, security systems and other electronic items.
Wells and septic systems
These are specialty items too. If the home you are purchasing has a well or septic tank, interview inspectors to see if checking them is part of their normal inspection.