What Your Property Inspection Does Not Cover

What Your Property Inspection Does Not Cover

The property inspection may feel like one of the last lines of defense when purchasing a home. While a property inspection does protect and prepare you for upcoming life as a homeowner, it is important to know all the items your property inspection does not cover so you may stay protected during this critical step of a transaction.
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The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) was founded in 1976 and formed a standards of practice that has become the standard to follow in many states now. These standards help add consistency and keep the inspection focused on major home systems such as the heating, cooling, electrical systems, and plumbing systems. This may leave you to believe that everything has been inspected. “People forget that a home inspection is a review of major systems to ensure sure they are functioning properly on that specific date,” according to Bob Jennings, ASHI Certified Inspector for Homeview Inc., located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Even with multiple licenses and certifications required, there are still many items not required to be inspected by the home inspector. In a recent property inspection, I counted over 105 items listed within the inspection report that are not required to be inspected. Here are a few of the major items you may still want to request to be additionally repaired or inspected that are not part of the majority of standard home inspections:

Chimneys and Roofing Systems

When inspecting the roofing and chimney systems of the home remember that almost all vent systems and flues will not be accessible and the inspector will most likely not have the ability to inspect the inside of the chimney nor are they required to do so. You will want to bring in a chimney sweep company to inspect and preferably clean the interior of the chimney to save you the headache and cost of doing so in the future.


Inspecting the exterior of the property does not require the exterior irrigation systems, screens, shutters, awnings, fences, and boundary walls to be inspected, but just because it is not classified as a major component of the property does not mean you forfeit your ability to negotiate that these items be repaired.


The interior of the property has many different items not required to be inspected. Just a few of these items are;  carbon monoxide alarms, security systems, solar energy systems, window cooling units, and central vacuum systems.

Am I suggesting you bring your magnifying glass to inspect every window screen? No. I’m simply suggesting that if you find yourself concerned about an item that is not required to be inspected, ask about it. In my experience most property inspectors will gladly spend the time necessary to help explain any concerns you may have and recommend a local specialist for any items that may not be required to be inspected. No buyer wants to find something missed only to discover it was never inspected at all.