Walls and ceilings 108

Floors 111

Heat 112

Windows 112

Electrical outlets 114

Fireplace 115

Bedrooms 116

Bathrooms 117

Water pressure and flow 118

Kitchen 121

Hallway and staircase 121

Checkpoint summary 122

After inspecting the attic, you should inspect every room and closet in the house. Don’t pass a door without opening it and looking inside. If a door is open, close it to see if it operates properly. All pocket doors should be checked to see if they slide open and close easily (pocket doors are doors that when open are housed within the wall cavity). If there is a problem, it generally requires opening a section of wall to provide access to the tracks for repair.

Start your inspection of the rooms at the upper level and work your way down to the basement. As you walk from one floor to another, inspect the hallways and connecting staircase.

The problems normally encountered during an interior room inspection are usually of a cosmetic nature and are not costly to correct. Occasionally you might see cracks or uneven floors or walls that are symptomatic of structural problems, but that is rare. Usually cracks and uneven floors are caused by shrinkage, warpage, or slight movement of the house. Slight movement is considered quite normal. Few people realize that a house is constantly in motion. As the outdoor temperature and humidity vary with the season and the time of day, they cause differential expansion, swelling, and contraction of the various structural and nonstructural elements. This movement, although slight, is very often enough to cause cracks at points of stress concentration, such as over windows or doors.

When you walk into a room, try to look beyond the cosmetics. Don’t dwell on the position of the furniture or the pictures on the walls. Look at the walls, the floor, ceiling, and trim, but do not be concerned about minor cosmetic problems. Hairline cracks, small holes, chipped sections, dirty and marked-up areas can all be corrected easily by spackle, wood filler, paint, or stain, depending on the finished surface.

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