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.
The siding on a house is used to provide weather protection. The siding doesn't support the house structurally. A load bearing wall is what provides the structural support of the house. If you find a building constructed of brick, stone or masonry, then these materials aren't considered the siding since they are load bearing walls. Check these types of structures for problems with bulging or leaning walls and deteriorated mortar joints. The different types of sidings that you'll generally encounter are:
- Wood Boards (often called Clapboard Siding)
- Wood Shingles and Wood Shakes
- Plywood Panels
- Aluminum Siding
- Vinyl Siding
- Asbestos-Cement Shingles
- Asphalt Siding
- Veneer Walls
All siding should be at least eight inches above the soil all around the structure. This will help prevent termite and rot problems. You'll often find siding too close or touching the soil. The moisture in the soil will rot out the siding. Also, when the siding is in contact with the ground, wood destroying insects can get behind the siding very easily.
Check with the seller to see if they've replaced any siding or if there's an underlying layer of older siding on the house. You want to try to find out what's underneath the exterior layer. The exterior maintenance of condo units is usually paid for by a monthly charge assessed to all of the condo owners in the complex. Recommend that the client check with the Condo/Owner's Association to find out what the fees and responsibilities are for each owner in the complex. We will discuss this topic of condominium units further into the book.