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Rhode Island Home Inspection Checklist

By Tabitha Naylor

Whether you are in the process of buying or selling a home most lenders require a home inspection in order to receive a mortgage or get homeowners insurance. Even in cases where an inspection may not be required it is a good idea to have one for your own protection as a buyer or a seller.

The role of a home inspection is to make sure you understand what you are buying so you are protected from buying a home with a lot of visually undetectable faults. It checks to make sure the house in soundly built and alerts you to any existing or potential problems.

It includes a visual inspection of all accessible systems of a property including heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. Other items inspected include:

  • The roof - The roof is inspected for the condition of the shingles, flashings and gutters.
  • The site- The site is inspected for grading, and the yard for any hazards.
  • Outdoor inspection - Decks, patios, retaining walls, walkways, stairs, vegetation and any outbuildings for functionality, defects, repairs and safety issues.
  • The garage - It is inspected the same way as the rest of the house and all systems in the garage are also tested.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms - Both rooms are inspected for cabinetry, all fixtures, and appliances to make sure everything is functioning properly.
  • Attics - The attic is inspected for insulation, the underside of the roof, chimney, and venting.
  • The foundation and structure - The home is inspected for signs of shifting, settling, water penetration, cracks and any repairs.
  • All doors and windows - These items are inspected to make sure they are working correctly. Moisture levels are checked if there are any visible wall or ceiling stains.
  • Safety checks are made throughout the house including floors, stairs and walls.
  • Exterior trim, soffits, fascia, doors, windows and bulkheads are all inspected for functionality, and overall condition.

The inspection is a snapshot of the property at a given point in time that helps you understand the condition of the home you are selling or buying. It provides important information in terms of necessary repairs that need to be made as well as information you can use in your negotiations.

In Rhode Island there are no laws that mandate exactly what must be included in a home inspection, so inspectors can provide a legal home inspection but vary considerably in the quality of the inspection report and the items inspected. Many home inspectors affiliate with the national professional inspectors association and work to set standards but you should always check a home inspector's certification, affiliations and experience.

Your local realtor can help you with recommendations of home inspectors hey have worked with previously that they like and feel offer a quality service. Generally the buyer pays for the inspection unless different terms have been agreed upon with the seller.

Often times it is best for the buyer to pay the costs because the inspector is then working for you and has your best interests at heart. No matter who pays, the important thing is to make sure you have a home inspection completed before you buy a home.

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