The Operating Systems, Lower Level, Interior and Exterior Inspection sections are EXTREMELY condensed versions of those found in our home inspection book: Home Inspection Business From A to Z
Real Estate Appraisers are not required to be home inspectors. However, I will include these sections anyway to give you some basic details about home inspections.
Gas Utility Service
If the house is connected to the local gas utility lines in the street, check the condition of the gas meter and gas lines. If the house isn't connected to any gas service lines, recommend to the client that they check with the local utility company. They'll need to find out what the costs are to hook up or if it's even possible to get gas service in the house. Some areas don't have natural gas service and the client might not know this. Don't just assume your client is aware of the lack of gas service lines in the street. You don't want him to be confronted with any surprises after he moves into the house.
The gas meter is usually located in the lower level or just outside the house next to the foundation. All gas service lines should be approved black iron gas piping. There should not be any copper or other types of metals being used for gas supply lines. If there are, then you should recommend that they have a licensed plumber make any necessary repairs to bring the gas lines up to the building codes.
If the gas lines are rusty, recommend that they be painted. Make sure that there's a main shutoff valve near the gas meter for safety. You might want to purchase a hand held combustible gas detector to check the visible gas lines and the meter for any gas leaks. If you smell or detect any gas leaks IMMEDIATELY ell the client, all third parties and the homeowner to contact the local utility company to make repairs. Any leaking gas will explode!!! Don't take any chances.
Natural gas is colorless and odorless when it comes from the earth. The gas utility companies put the odor into the gas before it reaches your house. The reason they put the odor in the gas is so that it's easier to detect a gas leak. If you couldn't see nor smell a gas leak, then you wouldn't be aware of a problem until after an explosion occurred.
Some houses have Propane Gas or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) service. This is similar to getting oil deliveries because the tanks are filled by a local LPG gas supplier. Check the condition of the LPG gas tanks for any rust or corrosion. Also, make sure that the tank is properly leveled on a sturdy foundation. Recommend that the client check with town hall to make sure all valid permits are on file for the LPG tanks on the site.
Also, remind the client not to bring any gas tanks into the house, such as barbecue tanks or automobile gas cans. Barbecue gas tanks are under extreme pressure, like scuba diving tanks. If they ever exploded, they would cause extensive damage and probably kill someone!!