Windows contribute to the characteristics of a home and provide light and ventilation. For safety reasons and to conserve energy, it is important for windows to properly seal and to be fully functional.
Readily accessible windows are inspected during the exterior inspection. Windows on the second and third floors are not accessible and therefore are limited to the interior inspection. If accessible, the window is inspected from both sides. The inspector will focus on the locking mechanisms, condition, operation, and weather-stripping of the window, shutters, and awnings while checking for any physical or water damage.
Some of the more common window issues include:
Putty or glazing problems
Doors provide the access to and from the outside of a home, or between rooms inside the house. When closed, doors can secure entry with a lock, provide noise reduction, or prevent the spreading of fire. When open, doors allow for ventilation and light. There should be at least one egress door provided, regardless of the size of the house, to provide access to the living quarters, without the necessity of entering the garage.
Doors are inspected from both the exterior and interior sides. Additional examination is given to the egress door to ensure it can be readily opened from the inside (without a tool, code, key, or effort), and that the measurements of the door and landings meet the requirements. The inspector will focus on the locking mechanisms, condition, operation, and weather-stripping of the door, and sill slope.
As with windows, common door issues include:
Putty or glazing problems
Even though some degree of movement is unavoidable in a house, noticeable cracks in the walls should not be ignored. It is possible that a structural component has failed, or alterations were made that could have weakened the structure, or added loading/stress was imposed. While examining the walls, the inspector will carefully note of any bowing walls, cracks, lack of visible support under load-bearing walls, bulging paneling, waves and bows, walls that are not plumb, and rusty nail heads.
The inspector will also carefully examine the following:
Unwanted daylight penetrating though windows, doors, and moldings
Windows and doors that stick or are difficult to operate
Big gaps at molding and trim joints
Door frames that are not plumb
Planed doors and doors cut after the home settled
Uneven floors are frequently caused by shifting or settling of the foundation beneath the floors. Changes in the foundation can cause wood floor beams and joists above crawl spaces to bend. It can also cause masonry foundations to crack and break.
During the inspection, the inspector will focus on:
Signs of wood-destroying organisms
Evidence of missing joists
Signs of deflection and bounce
Wood in contact with concrete
Inappropriate notching in joists