Last updated on September 15th, 2023 at 03:41 pm

Home inspections are an essential part of the home buying process. They help buyers identify any potential issues with the property before making a purchase.

There are certain things that home inspectors don’t look for. In this blog post, we will cover what exactly home inspections are and why they are necessary.

We will also discuss what home inspectors don’t cover, including common misconceptions about their scope. 

Understand that while home inspectors do not cover everything, they do inspect areas including structural components, plumbing systems, and electrical systems.

We will also touch upon the importance of a comprehensive inspection and when to hire a specialist. 

Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from a home inspection and how it can help you make an informed decision on your next real estate investment.

Quick answer

Here are some examples of items not covered in a home inspection.

  •  Home inspections don't include an inspection of the home’s HVAC system, unless it is visible and accessible.
  •  Nor do home inspections include an inspection of the home’s electrical wiring, unless it is visible and accessible.
  •  Home inspections will not include an inspection of the home’s insulation, unless it is visible and accessible.
  •  And home inspections won't include an inspection of the home’s septic system or any underground utilities. 

Understanding home inspections

It is necessary for both buyers an sellers  to understand the importance of a home inspection. A home inspection is a non-invasive evaluation of the condition of a property, focusing on visible defects and safety hazards.

Home inspectors may not inspect hidden areas or components, such as the septic system, underground pipes, and mold.

Buyers should consider additional inspections for specific areas of concern, such as the roof or foundation. 

You may need to hire a specialist if you need to inspect the chimney or the roof!

By understanding what is and isn’t covered in a home inspection, buyers can make better-informed decisions when making an offer on a property.

What is a Home Inspection

When purchasing a home, it’s essential to ensure that the property is in good condition and free of any hidden issues. 

That’s where a home inspection comes in – it’s an evaluation of the home’s major systems and visible defects, such as the roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.

Here is what a home inspection costs

A home inspection has limitations. Home inspectors do not typically look for pests or environmental hazards like mold or asbestos. 

For these issues, homeowners should hire specialized inspectors and disclose any known problems to potential buyers. 

By understanding the scope of a home inspection, both buyers and sellers can make informed decisions about the property.

Why Do Buyers get one

Buyers want to ensure that their investment is sound. Home inspections are an essential part of the buying process as they can help identify any potential issues with the property. 

Inspectors evaluate the major components of the house, including the structural, mechanical, and safety concerns. 

Buyers should communicate any specific concerns to the inspector to ensure they are addressed adequately. 

While a home inspection cannot guarantee that there won’t be any future problems with the property, it can provide valuable insight into its condition and help buyers make informed decisions about their investment.

Who Orders and Pays for these

When it comes to ordering and paying for a home inspection, it’s typically the buyer who takes the lead. After all, they want to make sure that the property they’re investing in is structurally sound and free of any major issues. 

However, there are situations where sellers may choose to have an inspection done before listing their home for sale. 

In either case, keep in mind that while home inspectors can provide valuable insights into a property’s condition, they are not responsible for making any necessary repairs or upgrades. 

It’s ultimately up to the buyer to review the inspection report and decide how best to proceed with their purchase.

What Inspectors Don't look for

When it comes to home inspections, there are certain things that inspectors don’t typically look for.

  • For example, pests or mold may not be included in a standard inspection.
  • Additionally, inspectors do not evaluate cosmetic features such as paint color or interior design choices.


Understanding the limitations of a standard home inspection and consider additional inspections if necessary to ensure all aspects of the property are thoroughly evaluated.

By doing so, buyers can make informed decisions about their investment and avoid surprises down the road.

Defining the Scope of

Home inspections are a often necessary step in the home buying process, but it’s essential to understand their limitations. 

Home inspectors are not required to look for issues that are not readily visible or accessible. 

For instance, some areas of the property, such as the roof and septic system, may require additional inspections by specialists. 

Additionally, inspectors do not test for environmental hazards such as radon or asbestos and do not inspect appliances or systems that are not permanently installed in the home. 

It’s vital for homebuyers to comprehend these limitations before finalizing their purchase and consider additional inspections as necessary.

Common Misconceptions about Home Inspections

Let’s address some common misconceptions about home inspections. 

  • Firstly, home inspectors are not required to look for issues that fall outside of their scope of expertise.
  • They are not environmental specialists and do not test for hazards such as mold or radon. Additionally, home inspectors do not inspect for pests unless they are visibly apparent. 

There are  limitations of a standard home inspections and consider additional evaluations if necessary to ensure complete peace of mind regarding your new property investment.

Areas Not Covered

When it comes to home inspections, there are certain areas that inspectors won’t cover.

Buyers should know what these areas are and how to address them. 

For example, swimming pools and septic systems are not typically covered by home inspectors, so buyers may need to hire separate professionals for these evaluations. 

Additionally, inspectors may not check for pests, mold, or asbestos, so be aware of these potential issues and take action if necessary. 

Understanding the limitations of a home inspection can help buyers make informed decisions and ensure they are getting a comprehensive evaluation of their potential new home.

Areas Covered by an inspection

When it comes to home inspections, there are specific areas that inspectors will focus on. 

Structural and mechanical components of the home take priority, such as roofing systems, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. 

While home inspectors may not typically inspect for pests or mold unless it is specifically requested, they will ensure that the foundational elements of the home are functioning properly. 

It’s worth noting that cosmetic issues like peeling paint or outdated fixtures will not typically be included in a home inspection report

Ultimately, a comprehensive inspection can help provide peace of mind when purchasing a home.

Structural Components

Structural components of a home are some of the most critical aspects that home inspectors scrutinize. 

They examine foundations, walls, roofs, and other structural elements to determine if they are safe and stable. 

Any hidden structural components behind walls or under floors may not be entirely inspected. 

Additionally, while home inspectors may give indications of potential problems, they do not typically test for things like mold or asbestos, which require specialized equipment and training. 

Therefore  buyers should have a comprehensive understanding of what is covered and not covered by a home inspection before making any purchase decisions.

Exterior Components

The exterior components of a property are just as important as its structural and mechanical elements.

 A thorough inspection typically includes an assessment of the roof, gutters, siding, foundation, windows, and doors. Home inspectors are trained to identify any issues that could affect the performance or longevity of these features. 

They may not look for issues with outdoor structures such as decks or sheds or assess the condition of landscaping and other similar features. 

It’s essential to be aware of these limitations and consider hiring a specialist for more in-depth inspections.

Roofing System

The roofing system is one of the most critical components that inspectors review. 

While inspectors typically examine the roof covering and look for signs of damage or wear, they may not be able to inspect every aspect of the roofing system. 

This means that hidden damages or defects may go unnoticed, which could lead to costly repairs in the future.

To ensure a comprehensive assessment of your roofing system, have a separate inspection by a certified roofing professional who can identify any underlying issues. 

Regular maintenance and upkeep can also help prevent problems from arising in the future.

Plumbing System

Home inspectors typically examine the plumbing system to identify visible leaks, water pressure issues, and signs of damage or deterioration.

There are certain areas that may not be covered in a typical home inspection. For example, inspectors may not inspect the sewer line or septic system unless specifically requested by the client. 

Furthermore, hidden leaks behind walls or underground pipes may also go unnoticed during a standard home inspection. 

Hire a licensed plumber for a comprehensive inspection of the plumbing system if any issues are suspected to avoid potential costly repairs down the line.

Electrical System

Home inspectors typically assess the visible wiring, outlets, and fixtures for any obvious signs of damage or malfunction within the home’s electrical system. 

They are not licensed electricians and may not be able to identify every electrical issue.

Inspectors may also be limited in their ability to inspect behind walls or in other inaccessible areas. 

To ensure that your home is safe and up to code, it’s recommended that you hire a licensed electrician for a more comprehensive inspection of your electrical system.

This can help prevent potential hazards and provide peace of mind for homeowners.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System

Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home is essential, especially during extreme weather conditions.

Home inspectors typically evaluate the HVAC system’s overall condition and operation to ensure that it is functioning correctly. 

They may not inspect every component of the system, such as individual ductwork or air filters.

For example, they won’t disconnect the dryer vent and inspect it.

Regularly maintaining and replacing air filters is vital to ensuring proper indoor air quality, which can help prevent health issues like allergies. 

If you have concerns about specific components of your HVAC system, it may be necessary to hire a specialized contractor for further inspection.

Interior Components

Homeowners may be curious about what is included in the interior component evaluation.

Home inspectors generally focus on major systems and components of the home, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and structural elements. 

They do not typically inspect cosmetic features or minor issues that do not affect safety or functionality.

This means that interior components like appliances, window treatments, and built-in furniture are not usually inspected by home inspectors. 

Homeowners need to be aware of what is and isn’t included in a home inspection so they can address any concerns with a specialist if needed.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Inspection

A comprehensive home inspection is an essential part of the home buying process.

It provides buyers with valuable information about the condition, safety, and functionality of a property. 

Home inspectors are trained to evaluate all visible and accessible areas of a home, including structural components, exterior features, roofing systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and interior components. 

By identifying any existing or potential issues, a comprehensive inspection can help buyers make informed decisions and avoid repairs down the road.

Understanding the limitations of a home inspection; and consider other inspections as well.

Supplemental Inspections and Services

Home inspections can provide valuable insights into the condition of a property, but they may not cover every potential issue. 

Supplemental inspections and services can help fill in gaps and provide a more comprehensive assessment of a property’s condition. 

Mold testing, radon testing, and pest control inspections are examples of additional services that home inspectors may not include in their standard inspection. 

Discuss any concerns with your inspector beforehand and consider adding on these services if needed. 

Remember that a comprehensive inspection can help identify potential issues and provide peace of mind for homeowners.

When to Hire a Specialist

In some cases, a home inspection may not be enough to identify all potential issues with a property. That’s when it is time to consider hiring a specialist. 

These experts have advanced training and knowledge in specific areas such as pests, mold, and asbestos.

While home inspectors are adept at identifying general issues, specialists can provide more detailed inspections and recommendations for remediation if necessary.

 Ignoring potential problems can lead to repairs or even health hazards for you and your family.

Hiring a specialist may require additional fees, but it could be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Final Thoughts

While home inspectors are trained to inspect various components of a home, there are some areas they don’t cover. 

Have a comprehensive inspection done with supplemental inspections and services as needed. Common misconceptions about what home inspectors cover can lead to misunderstandings and potentially costly mistakes. 

As a buyer understanding the scope of a home inspection and what areas may not be covered. If you’re unsure about specific areas of your potential new home, consider hiring a specialist for additional inspections.

 To learn more about the importance of a comprehensive home inspection, read our guide on what to expect during a home inspection.