Holistic Home Inspection?

A holistic approach to performing home inspections is always best.

What does “performing a holistic home inspection” mean to you??

What do you think of when you hear these terms?

1 Like

The whole is a sum of it’s parts, all interconnected. And I agree, it’s the right approach.

Example: an inadequate vapor barrier may increase moisture/humidity which may promote damage to the structure as well as effect the health and comfort of the occupants.



How can a home inspection be holistic when it is a non-intrusive visual only inspection of the home?


All home inspections are holistic. Everything in connected and interacting in a home. When you find moisture in the corner of a basement, you have to think about everything: plumbing leaks, condensation, downspouts, exterior grade, sump pumps, water proofing systems, well windows, ventilation, vapor barriers, etc.


At first I was kind of laughing at this thread thinking it was not all too serious but after reading some posts I tend to agree. Whatever word you want to use to describe an inspection it is most definitely a collection of systems, data, etc. that are used to arrive at a conclusion. The worst home inspectors I’ve tried to train have been ultra black/white type guys. They just want to look at one thing and make a call. Inspecting is much more fluid than that. It’s collecting a ton of input and arriving at your recommendation. This is why I’m often slow to say too much initially. I like to be onsite for a bit so I can really take it all in before saying too much.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not all that “ooga-booga”, “psycic”, etc. but I do often find myself catching “energy” from houses or just picking up on clues from past owners and it’s a huge help inspecting. Putting yourself in the shoes of the people that have lived there can help for sure. For example, a neighbor tells you the owner of an 80 years old house had lived there for 60 years and he was an electrician. It explains why the house was rewired three times but the plumbing, siding and roof look like crap.


The tradesperson house I see are at one extreme or the other. Either perfect plumbing, or the plumber never bothered to get to his own house…


I took this quote right out of one of the courses offered to InterNACHI members. I didn’t quite understand the use of the word holistic. I wished to ask the seasoned inspectors how they apply this to their own work, perhaps, hoping, to receive some real-world and applicable examples.

Are there methods one can employ to a non-intrusive visual-only inspection to make it more holistic, or perhaps more in-depth?

What would you recommend?



It’s all about this:



Have you ever seen “metal guy’s” house? EVERYTHING is welded/metal - cabinets, stairs, railings, counters, etc. It’s as though they have some grudge against wood.

Or, I had one once where in a 1990s sub-division full of Natural Gas houses the one I was inspecting was on oil. VERY odd for that age. As I was going through inside I noticed some letterhead in the office from “Baldwin Oil Co.” - Made sense then.

There are definitely a lot of clues to be had. I especially like the locks on the outside of the kids’ rooms (not really). Gives me assurance that it’s not just my kids that don’t want to go to sleep. Although I’d usually just read to them or something :slight_smile:

You’re a riot, man! I laughed out loud!

No one hire this guy! There’s no telling what you’ll get in your report!


Asks: “Should I convey to the homebuyer just how much of a piece of crap this home is?”

Answers: “No

I like this; this is cute; a good one!

Giggled on this one! I can definitely see the merit of the locks! Maybe to just a certain age. Then, I just remove the locks altogether on their door. You ain’t about to break my door down because you don’t get your way! Or because I don’t get mine!

1 Like

You know, I’ve looked for Youtube video, and Google search. I can’t seem to find what you might be referencing. I’m extremely curious

I was just speaking in general about a guy that does EVERYTHING with metal. Although I’m surprised there’s not anyone named “metal guy”. I suppose if there is it’s probably some guy living in his parent’s basement listening to Ozzy Osbourne and Motely Crue cassettes.

1 Like

or Iron Maiden

1 Like

Or Steel Pulse

As for me, even though the failure of one component or system (normally) doesn’t constitute failure as a whole for the entire structure, I inspect components and systems of a structure and put them all together in a report, which IMO is the “holistic” part of the inspection.



characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

1 Like