Common Building Inspection Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


A building inspection is a critical part of the property buying process. It ensures that the property is in good condition and that you’re aware of any potential issues before you make a purchase. However, even the most experienced building inspector can make mistakes that can have significant consequences for buyers. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common building inspection mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Inspecting the Roof

One of the most significant and costly mistakes that can be made during a building inspection is not inspecting the roof. A building’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements, and if it’s not in good condition, it can lead to significant problems down the line. Unfortunately, many inspectors don’t take the time to climb onto the roof and do a thorough inspection, instead relying on binoculars or simply visually inspecting it from the ground.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, make sure that your building inspector climbs onto the roof and conducts a thorough inspection. They should be looking for signs of wear and tear, damage, and potential leaks. If the roof is too steep or too high, the inspector can use a drone to inspect the roof from a safe distance. It’s also a good idea to request a written report that details the condition of the roof, as well as any recommendations for repairs or maintenance.

Mistake #2: Not Inspecting the Electrical System

Another common mistake made during building inspections is not inspecting the electrical system. Faulty electrical systems can be extremely dangerous, and if left unchecked, can lead to house fires and electrocution. Unfortunately, many building inspectors only conduct a visual inspection of the electrical system, checking for exposed wires or overloaded circuits.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, make sure that your building inspector conducts a thorough inspection of the electrical system. This includes checking the wiring, circuit breakers, and outlets, as well as testing the electrical current to ensure that it’s within safe limits. If the building is older, it’s also a good idea to check for outdated wiring and knob-and-tube systems, which can be extremely dangerous and costly to replace.

Mistake #3: Not Inspecting the Plumbing

Plumbing is another critical system that should be inspected during a building inspection. Issues with plumbing can lead to water damage, mold growth, and even structural damage if left unchecked. Unfortunately, many inspectors only conduct a visual inspection of the plumbing system, which may not uncover hidden leaks or other issues.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, make sure that your building inspector conducts a thorough inspection of the plumbing system. This includes checking for leaks, testing the water pressure, and inspecting the pipes for signs of wear and tear. It’s also a good idea to request a sewer scope inspection, which can uncover issues with the sewer line that may not be visible during a visual inspection.

Mistake #4: Not Checking for Pest Infestations

Pest infestations can cause significant damage to a building, and they can be difficult and expensive to eradicate once they take hold. Unfortunately, many building inspectors don’t have the expertise to identify pest infestations, which means that buyers may be purchasing a property with hidden pest problems.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, make sure that your building inspector checks for signs of pest infestations. This includes looking for visible signs of pests, such as droppings or nests, as well as checking for evidence of damage caused by pests. If your inspector does identify a pest problem, it’s essential to have a professional pest control company evaluate the issue and provide recommendations for eradication.


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