close
Protecting your investment
Our Standard Home Inspection Process

Below is a comprehensive list of the items that Maxxwell Inspections will inspect on every TREC regulated home inspection. Each item will be itemized within your personal inspection report.

Structural Systems
Foundation

On every standard inspection, a comprehensive analysis of your home’s foundation system will be conducted. The primary goal of a structural analysis is to provide our clients with a written opinion of the performance of the foundation at the time of inspection. In the event that any signs of adverse foundation performance are discovered, your inspector will provide you with a clear verbal and written description of the identified visible conditions discovered. These conditions include:

Drainage

Grading and drainage is a critical component for proper foundation performance and stability. Poor soil conditions are the leading cause of foundation repair. Controlling surface runoff in conjunction with implementing a proper swale will help extend the life of your home’s foundation over time.

Your inspector will be evaluating the home’s potential drainage configuration and the home’s guttering system for adverse conditions.

Roof Covering Materials

Your roof’s primary purpose is to shield the interior of your home from precipitation, heat, cold, and high winds. It must also be engineered to properly distribute the live and dead loads to the foundation. Residential home’s mostly use a sloped roofing system with an approved covering. Asphalt shingles, wood, tile, concrete, and metal are among the most popular and economical choices in this region. The roofing system will be inspected for defects related to the adhesion of shingles, water penetration, and flashing systems that are failing.

Your inspector will always strive to physically climb and inspect your roof. This cannot, and at times should not be performed. If your inspector determines that physical access is not suitable, an alternative method of ground surveillance using a telephoto lens will be incorporated.

Roof structure and attic

The roofing structure and attic components are observed for defects related to the attic framing, attic ventilation system, insulation levels, and attic access. Additionally, your Inspector will be evaluating the attic for signs of wood rot, moisture intrusion, and fire damage.

Walls (interior and exterior)

The Interior and exterior walls are examined for signs and symptoms of adverse structural integrity and water penetration. Exterior walls are visually inspected for adverse performance issues, particularly at supporting members and common installation failures. Moisture intrusion is virtually impossible to detect if there are no active and visual signs. Therefore, your inspector will inspect for flashing deficiencies and common problem areas for signs of moisture damage. The interior is generally always obscured by wall coverings and paint. Insulation, plumbing, and electrical items behind these walls cannot be inspected. Your inspector will primarily focus on structural movement and installation deficiencies. Cosmetic items are not considered or annotated in the report unless they correlate to a more significant problem.

Ceilings and floors

Examination of the ceilings and floors for structural integrity and water penetration is the primary focus for your inspector. Cosmetic items are not usually reported unless they appear to affect the previous two categories.

Doors (interior and exterior)

Exterior doors should be installed to provide Weather tightness and reliable security. Weather tightness, locking mechanisms, glass panes, thresholds, and the overall condition of your doors are inspected. In addition, garage doors are inspected for fire safety compliance. Interior doors provide privacy and noise reduction. They may also be an indicator of structural movement within the home. Interior doors should also allow for the adequate flow of conditioned air between passages. Interior doors are inspected for movement free of binding and proper latching. Mechanical hardware is also inspected.

Windows

Your home’s windows provide many passive features ranging from aesthetic value to emergency egress. Composed of varying materials and methods of operation, your home’s windows are an important component to the overall building system. Once fully installed it is not possible to determine proper flashing details and framing practices. Therefore, your inspector will rely on visual indicators to assist in determining the performance of your home’s windows. Your inspector will be observing for deficiencies in the glazing, weather-stripping, safety glass locations, emergency egress compliance, and the condition of the hardware and operability.

Stairways (interior and exterior)

Evolving building standards have been established in order to effectively limit the amount of injuries worldwide that are directly related to stairways and their components. Residential homes are the number one source for stairway injuries worldwide. Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths in the home and community; resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. To help ensure that the home that you’re going to occupy is safe, we inspect the interior and exterior stairways visually for deficiencies in the railings, balusters, spindles, guards, treads, risers, lighting, and clearance. Defects observed in the visible portions of these components are noted in the report.

Fireplace and Chimney

The chimney’s primary purpose is to dispel the bi-products from burning fuels safely out of the home as well as containing its fire within the hearth. The primary items to be inspected on the chimney include the visible and accessible components of the firebox, hearth extension, fuel source, combustion air source, doors, circulating fan, lintel, damper, flue, fire blocking at attic penetration, chimney crown, cap and spark arrester. Defects observed in the visible portions of these components are noted in the report. No testing of the draft performance is performed.

Porches, balconies, decks, and carports

Porches, balconies, decks, and carports are an important accessory to any home. These additions are prone to improper installation methods that can be costly to repair, and potentially unsafe. These areas are inspected at the visible attachments and for safety issues related to balusters, spindles, rails, and stairs.

Electrical Systems
Service entrances and panels

The electrical system has many components that must work in harmony in order to provide your home with electricity. The vast majority of residential homes are supplied with power via two 120 volt wires and one neutral wire, giving your modern home the much needed 240 volts necessary to power appliances like the stove, range, dryer, and HVAC system. Generally, homeowners are responsible for everything that happens after the attachment to the meter. The outlets, switches, fixtures, and grounding system also play a key role in your home’s electrical system. Your inspector is limited by many factors on what can and cannot be properly inspected. However, safety of your home and family is of highest priority. We will report every defect that we can verify.

Branch Circuits, receptacles, switches and fixtures

The home’s Branch circuit wiring exits the main and sub panels of your home to a point of connection for occupant use. Lights, plugs, switches and appliances should all be installed safely and by a qualified licensed Professional.

Your inspector will be evaluating the home’s potential drainage configuration and the home’s guttering system for adverse conditions.

Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling
Heating Equipment

A proper functioning HVAC system is vital for the home. Hot humid air creates moisture conditions within the home that are conducive to poor air quality and physical discomfort. A proper functioning system should extract humidity while conditioning your homes air as efficiently as possible.

Your inspector will always strive to physically climb and inspect your roof. This cannot, and at times should not be performed. If your inspector determines that physical access is not suitable, an alternative method of ground surveillance using a telephoto lens will be incorporated.

Cooling Equipment

Your cooling system is an integral part of your home’s overall efficiency and level of comfort. many factors contribute to the heat load in a home, including; outdoor temperatures, humidity levels, amount of insulation, air-sealing, window locations and types, and the direction the home is oriented.
The cooling system is inspected for its ability to adequately cool the home, demonstrated by its performance during the cooling cycle. Also, primary and secondary pipes and drain pans are inspected for previous leaks and current condition.

Duct Systems, chases, and vents

Ventilation is very important for all buildings. Good ventilation yields a healthier living environment as it reduces the accumulation of offensive and/or toxic fumes. Interior ventilation and circulation can be significantly improved by keeping interior doors open whenever possible. Most residential homes employ flexible dust systems for the distribution of air through the house. Improperly installed ductwork increases friction in the ducts and reduces air flow and efficiency. Inadequately sealed ducts and return registers can allow unconditioned air to enter the system and conditioned air to leak out of the system and may have a substantial detrimental impact on comfort and heating/cooling costs. The Department of Energy estimates that the typical duct system loses 25-40% of the energy used for heating and cooling. Installations where the ducts are routed through hot attics, as most residential homes employ, lose significantly more. Poorly installed and sealed ductwork can be one of the biggest causes of energy loss in your home

Plumbing Systems
Plumbing Supply, Distribution, Systems and Fixtures

Plumbing supply systems are composed of three relational components, the water supply (aseptic), the fixture components, and the gas supply system.

Supply Piping: Must sustain a flow of clean potable water and not have any cross-connections that would introduce contaminants. Piping systems must be protected against damage and supported. Modern plumbing systems often use plastic tubing and in some systems, the branch piping originates from a central manifold, rather than a traditional series system when a mainline and branches.

Fixtures: Composed of all the end-user devices such as commodes, sinks tubs and showers.

Gas Supply System: Much of the gas delivery system is typically concealed from inspection underground, inside walls, under attic insulation, etc. This inspection is restricted to only those components that are readily visible and accessible at the time of the inspection.

Drain, Waists and Vents

The drain, waste, and vent piping’s (septic) primary purpose is to collect and remove the solid, liquid, and gas waste from the home to an approved collection point. The primary components that are inspected include the drain piping, traps, and the venting system.

Water Heating Equipment

The water heater is the second largest energy expense in the home at roughly 18% of your total energy bill. With proper care and maintenance, you can not only extend the service life of your water heater, but also the efficiency. Simple steps like manually decreasing the water temperature, insulating the water lines, and water heater tank can help to reduce your monthly cost. Maintenance of the water heater can help extend the life of the system and keep it functioning more efficiently as well. Consider flushing the built up sediment within the tank annually, as well as inspected the anode rod within the tank.

Appliances

*All work is done at a minimum according to the TREC standards of practice. It is certainly our goal to exceed that in every conceivable way. However; exceeding the agreed upon standards of practice is not always possible. There are inherent limitations that cannot be overcome and that differ from one inspection to the next, based on the home.