Home Inspectors:
An Overview of Deciphering the Inspection Report


When purchasing or selling a house, one crucial step not to be missed is the home inspection. It is vital to hire a knowledgeable home inspector to uncover any property issues. Following the inspection, you will receive a report summarizing their discoveries. However, comprehending this report may pose challenges for homeowners with no experience in construction terminology and jargon. In this guide, we aim to lead you through the elements of a home inspection report, equipping you with the understanding to interpret it confidently.


Home inspector in yellow vest and yellow hard hat. Image by Pexels


The Summary

The summary segment of the inspection report serves as your reference point and should outline concerns identified during the inspection. If you have recently hired home inspectors in Massachusetts, this section will highlight any issues or safety risks requiring attention or further assessment at your Massachusetts residence. The summary functions as a guideline for prioritizing repairs and negotiating them with the seller prior to closing.


Exterior Elements

The initial part of the inspection report typically delves into the exterior components of the property. Your inspector will evaluate features such as materials, gutters, chimneys, siding, windows, doors, and external structures like decks or patios. The inspection report may discuss findings related to aging roof shingles or gutter leaks that could potentially cause water damage. Issues concerning the anchorage points for deck railings or safety concerns regarding stairs might also be noted.


Foundation and Structure

Moving on to the evaluation of the property's foundation and structure, critical areas ensuring its long-term stability and integrity are examined. Home inspectors in Massachusetts meticulously check foundation walls for cracks, signs of movement, or water infiltration problems that may indicate issues like settlement or decay due to moisture damage.


Electrical Systems

When moving indoors for an inspection, the focus shifts to the electrical systems. Inspectors assess the types of service panels, checking for any covers and signs of damage. They also evaluate the overload protection capacity of circuits, grounding, and the functionality of receptacle outlets. The examination includes looking at fixtures and switches to ensure they're working correctly. Common issues found involve wiring problems or outlets that are improperly wired, which could affect the safety and functionality of the electrical system in the house.


Plumbing System

The plumbing system, which includes water supply lines, waste disposal systems, fixtures, drainage systems, and hot water heaters, is thoroughly inspected. The inspector carefully examines pipes for leaks or insufficient water pressure and checks fixtures for functioning.


HVAC Systems

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for maintaining a comfortable environment in your home throughout the year. Your inspector will assess the condition of furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps to check their safety features. They may also inspect the air handler for any dust accumulation and provide recommendations for filters. Upgrading to energy-efficient systems can enhance the value of your property.


Interior Components

This section focuses on elements like walls (noting any cracks or water stains), ceilings (looking for cracks due to settling or potential leaks), and windows & doors (checking functionality). Inspectors equipped with tools such as imaging cameras may uncover hidden water damage or insulation issues that are not easily visible during a standard visual inspection.



Preventing heat loss in winter months is crucial for improving energy efficiency and reducing utility costs. Therefore, it is important to inspect the space and evaluate the insulation R-value based on building codes. Ensuring that your property meets code requirements can lead to cost savings over time after purchasing the property, especially if problem areas are identified and addressed effectively.



It is essential to grasp the content of your home inspection report in order to make informed decisions about your property. By understanding the sections and terminology used, you can prioritize repairs, negotiate effectively with the seller, and ensure that essential maintenance tasks are taken care of. We trust that this guide has equipped you with the tools needed to interpret your home inspection report confidently and establish a foundation for homeownership. Remember, if you have any uncertainties, seek guidance from your inspector or a professional who can help clarify any sections of the report.