Home Inspection 101

Upon talking to my clients they will ask me what exactly is it that I do on a Home Inspection? What will I be looking for?

Well, this is what I do……

Lot grading and drainage

The first thing I do is to take a step back and take a macro view of the property. I evaluate the overall lot grading, asking myself these questions:

  • Does it have a steep slope?
  • How is the home affected? Is the home sitting proud or are there areas sloped towards the building?

From a distance, I also look at the building itself, noting:

  • How is the roof water managed?
  • How is the roof vented?
  • Are there any poor design elements that may be problematic? (i.e. decks built over living areas).

As I move closer I look at the buildings perimeter drains.  Are they older?  Although I cannot see what is going on under the ground, the pipes that can be seen around the building will often tell me what kind of system is present.


The next thing I look at is the home’s decks. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes; attached, detached, and cantilevered. I look at their structure, how they are attached and at what stage of deterioration they are in. Safety is the number one priority when looking at these.

Building Exterior

This is the homes rain jacket. These elements include the cladding. Taking note if it’s Stucco, wood, hardi plank, etc. I look at the windows, doors, and many, many flashing details. While looking over these areas, these questions are noted:

  • Is everything nicely buttoned up to prevent pest entry?
  • Has the home been maintained, does it have deferred maintenance or require repairs?


The condition of the roof always relies on the type of roof covering. I determine its age, how well it was installed and it’s flashing details. This is also the time I look at the chimney, if present and accessible.

Building Interior

As I move inside the home, I address the interior with a room by room approach. The condition of walls, ceilings, and floor covers are all looked at while assessing other items. For example, the laundry and kitchens appliances are checked for their connections*. Windows and doors are checked. Ceilings are scanned for signs of leakage. Floors are inspected for overall condition, ie: installation, level, and bounce. Safety items include stair layout and handrails, smoke alarms and fire egress.

*There are many reasons why I do not test appliances. For one, they could be working perfectly fine upon the inspection but by the time the new owner moves in, they may not be. Also to start a dishwasher, washer, and dryer there may be items in them which I can not remove.

Heat source

Each room should have a permanent heating source present and overall the home has to be able to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. In Victoria BC Canada we are fortunate to live in a fairly mild climate. Heating sources include oil and gas furnaces, heat pumps, radiant floor heating and electric baseboards.


Attic inspections include looking at the:

  • Roof structure
  • Type of insulation
  • Signs of leakage
  • Ventilation and any signs of elevated moisture
  • Rodent activity

Sometimes electrical issues are quite often discovered here as well.


Plumbing is also looked at room by room. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry and basements all have plumbing. The hot water tank is examined for age and condition.

The type of service plumbing is also noted (i.e. poly b, copper, pex etc)


Moisture intrusion is the biggest concern in the lower levels of a home and I use a moisture meter which helps determine the level of moisture in these areas.

Crawlspaces are quite often difficult to navigate, which in most cases requires considerable effort to crawl through. This is where I will properly suite up before entering these areas. Again any signs of rodent (or other!!!??) activity?


Again a room by room approach. The main panel is inspected. If I notice any signs of handy person or non-professional work it is noted with recommendations to have an electrician to inspect it and make repairs.


I take digital photos throughout the entire inspection. When it comes time to go over the home, my clients and I will do a “walk through”. This is where we will review the photos, giving me a chance to fully explain the condition of all of the areas noted. Clients always appreciate being able to see pictures of the harder to get to areas such as the roof, attic, and crawlspace.

Upon Completion

I write a full narrative style report for each home which is provided along with the digital pictures shortly after the inspection. The report has a summary of the main items of concern and explains all areas of the home in layman’s terms.

Myles Braid AHI