While I pride myself on being thorough and detailed in all my inspections it is simply impossible to catch every small detail, especially when the previous owner/tenant’s belongings are still in place. Here are some examples of areas a home inspector generally doesn’t focus much attention to:
I make it no secret that I am big on energy efficiency and am a huge fan of Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. Simply put, LED bulbs are brighter, last longer, don’t fade with age and generate very little (waste) heat. In fact, the very first thing I did upon moving into our home was replace almost all our (mostly incandescent) lighting with LED. However, this is not someone I check for because:
Not only are cosmetic finishes excluded from a standard home inspection, but in most cases the flooring, if it isn’t brand new, almost always has defective areas. It can be very difficult to identify the quality of a flooring installation from look alone and in many cases new homeowners prefer to change the flooring style anyway. I do look out for major safety issues but normal wear and tear, scratches, dents etc. are normal in a lived-in home and to be expected.
I am generally not worried about holes or dents in drywall as, like most homeowners, I have created more than one moving furniture or carrying a large, pointed object. In fact, it can provide the inspector a way to see in behind the walls even if just a small area. Drywall is generally easy to patch and repair and I have done this myself without issue for a very low cost.
While outbuildings are not included in standard home inspections if I could sum up my observations on sheds I have inspected, I could simply just say “recommend complete replacement” as the cost is usually cheaper than doing necessary repairs. In my experience, sheds have a shorter life expectancy, are generally not maintained or properly footed as they aren’t designed for living and are rightfully not a priority for homeowners on a limited budget.
I have discussed previously that as a professional home inspector, one of the most important skills to be successful in this field is discretion about what is really important and not just filling in lines on a boilerplate. Roofing, HVAC and structural systems are three such areas that can be very expensive to repair/replace and are the focus of the majority of our efforts.