A home inspection is one of the most important parts of the home buying process. Without one, you’ll risk investing poorly in a home that needs a lot of work.

There’s a lot involved in a home inspection. You want to check every aspect of the house to make sure there are no major issues. Here is a brief overview of what goes into inspecting a home:

Home Inspection Checklist:

Foundation

The foundation needs to be checked for visible cracks or damage on the outside walls. Take note of any trees near the foundation.

Yard

Check the lot to ensure proper drainage and grading, making sure drainage slope is away from the house. Look for any soggy areas. Assess condition of sidewalks and driveways.

Exterior

Siding, windows, and doors, and other exterior components are checked for quality and integrity.

Roof and attic

Check for missing shingles. Inspect the flashing and trim. Look for any signs of leaks. Take note of condition of roof and when you think it might need to be replaced. Make sure there is proper insulation and ventilation.

Interior

Check for damage to light fixtures, outlets, switches, doors, and other interior elements.

Related: Home Inspection 101: What You Need to Know


Basement

Check basement for water damage, mold, or leaks. Gas and plumbing lines may also need be inspected.

Plumbing

Inspect all sinks, toilets, faucets, and showers are working properly. Ensure adequate hot/cold water and water pressure. Take note of any unusual noises.

Electrical

Check to see if all the switches work. Make sure each outlet is grounded properly. Inspect all basic electrical elements such as the fuse box and examine for any possible faults or code issues.

Major appliances

See if the appliances appear to have been well-maintained. Check age of freezers, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers. Examine and test appliances as necessary.

HVAC systems

Check the furnace and air conditioning to ensure they are functioning properly. Note the condition and age of each system.

Related: The 5 Most Common Home Inspection Findings

You’ll want to hire a certified home inspector to perform these tasks for you so that you don’t miss anything. With an investment as large as a house, you really don’t want to risk any issues as they can be quite costly. Read more on what’s included in a home inspection.