QUESTION - about Home Inspection Reports

I will soon be doing Home Inspections.
Question - I feel it is better to just list the major issues, and to not list the cosmetic issues. Do you feel that I should list all of the cosmetic issues?
I have recently seen a Home Inspection Report from someone claiming to be a certified Home Inspector thru another company (he has not actually taken their classes yet, and is not Certified even though his Home Inspection reports state that he is) who left out the majority of the major issues and did not even go into the crawl space even though it was probably 4 to 4 1/2 feet of clearance and in some areas I could almost stand up. He listed items like cracks in the sheetrock that were nowhere near doors or windows, and just basic cosmetic issues. It took him an hour to do the Home Inspection on an older home with a small house in the back. There was another Home Inspection done in that same area where the Home Inspector had put down that the floor squeaks.
Question - I feel it is better to just list the major issues, and to not list the cosmetic issues. Do you feel that I should list all of the cosmetic issues?

I never list cosmetic issues unless they could turn into a problem. Such as peeling paint on the exterior that is exposing the wood to rot. If the wood is not rotted yet then it is technically a cosmetic defect. I will also report on holes in one side of the door panel. Though this does not effect the function of the door I still put it into the report.

I also report on sheetrock cracks that were caused by structural movement. I say that there was various cracks in the drywall throughout the home. It is recommended to repair for cosmetic reasons after all foundation concerns have been addressed. See the foundation section of this report for more details.

According to State Law (I don’t know where you are, hint…) you are only required to report “significant” issues.

However!!! Many of these seemingly small issues are sometimes indicators of “Significant Problems”. If you do not determine if these small issues are part of a bigger problem, you are walking away from a “Big Problem” which will eventually show up when someone moves in. Then what happens?

#1 If you want to “Disclaim” **** (like too many Inspectors want to do), write them all up. Don’t try to find out why. And you will successfully piss people off and cost them lots of money. Their $200 inspection jumps up to $1200 for no reason.

#2 You can use due diligence and try to connect the dots. If you can’t, you can simply mention that there are small issues of some sort, but that no “Significant” structural issues were observed at the time of inspection. This puts the potential issue out of your area of responsibility because a Home Inspection has Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions that are expected because of the type of Inspection this is.

#3 You can blow it off and hope another inspector (like yourself) doesn’t show up till after your dead and gone.

I am working an open multi-million dollar lawsuit (2 1/2 years old) that has flood damage (he didn’t go in the crawlspace), a sagging roof because of broken rafters (he didn’t go beyond the attic stairs). Even though he wrote syndicated news paper articles and could write great reports, he couldn’t inspect. In court today, he is not the knight in shinning armor so many Realtors and Attorneys initially perceived him to be.

You seem to be a #2 guy…

You are making a decision for your client about “what is” and “what isn’t” important to them. What may seem insignificant to you may be a greater issue for your client. There could be hundreds of items you deem to be unworthy of comment, but when added together, could cause great time and money expenditures for your client. Don’t you feel your client is entitled to that information?

A crappy paint or patch job to me should not be in a Home Inspection report. I don’t understand the need to mention items that are just cosmetic, and not caused by something that is not of structural concern. I feel that the severely cracked concrete floor that is of various heights in several locations both inside and out should have been mentioned even though it was not. I feel that with the floor in the bathroom appearing to be soft that someone should have went underneath to check. I feel that the missing GFCI’s in the kitchen should have been in the report. There were several missing junction box covers and none of this was in the Home Inspection Report. There were drain lines lose, reversed sloping, and bad sloping. No vapor barrier, Insulation hanging. and that was just from glancing underneath when I was checking to see if the bathroom floor was in need of repair for a client. There were also several wires just hanging underneath. There were broken outlets without covers throughout the home that were not mentioned.

So… Watt’s up with your website?

Yep, apparently licensing means nothing to handymen in Georgia. If he did all of that stuff in Florida, he’d be in jail.

Exactly the type of “handyman” that keeps true inspectors in business. :roll:

What caused your cosmetic issues ?

If taping is popped or bulging it is a cosmetic issue ?
Missing baseboard quarter round sections at kitchen cabinets can be called cosmetic so leave that out of the report ?

Does the overall condition in a home effect amount of so called cosmetic issues reported ?

Does client expectations effect what you report on ?

This is true.

I had a client not care the roof was leaking, and a different client freak out over a bathtub diverter. I would have thought the other way around, but everyone is different.

I had a client not care that the foundation needed serious work but walk away from the house after she found out that there was no gas service. Go figure.:roll:

If one is a Chef, or aspiring to be, cooking without gas is not an option!

I suspect the OP is a bit pizzed off because an inspector nit picked the hell out of one of his projects! Sour grapes!!!

I stated the question at both the beginning and the end of the Original Post.
It appears I need to get completely off topic, and explain because no one is actually answering the question and instead it is like being in a room full of bullies.
I have a client that I work for who was selling her home, and purchasing another home. She had asked me to do a Home Inspection to assist her obtaining a loan, and I told her that I was not certified yet, and would not do it. She later asked me look at her Home Inspection Report and the new home that she is purchasing. That is how I noticed that the Home Inspector was had put that he is “Certified” and had only put minor cosmetic issues on his report, and left all of the major items off of the report. I had noticed that he was not certified when I had looked to see what his membership fees to the organization he belongs to, as well as their training and I looked to see how they listed their Inspectors. Anyhow… As I will soon be doing Home Inspections myself, and I do not feel that a lot of minor issues are relevant.
The question I believe was do you feel that I should list every minor issue? Including a crappy interior paint job. A stain on the carpet. A poor patch job. A small hole in the wall possibly cause by moving out. Things that are “cosmetic”. Thank you.


Business decision. Your company, your decision. Feedback from your clients and your favorite realtors will dictate if you stay your course.

The type of client you are dealing with can also make a difference. If they purchased the home from out of state and haven’t personally toured the home, the “cosmetic issues” could make a difference in their decision. I have many inspections where one spouse may not have seen the house due to being out of the area. The OP was asked a question earlier: Don’t you feel your client is entitled to all the information about the home they are purchasing? Or should they just be surprised the carpets need to be replaced, the whole interior needs to be repainted and they have to spend thousands of more dollars on things you considered “insignificant”? :shock:

I’m retired from home inspections, but in my 11,900+ inspections from October 15 2001 to December 31 2015, I listed cosmetic issues for my PREMIUM and TECH inspections. For BASIC and STANDARD inspections, I did not.

One answer is yes, it will help you avoid phone calls from upset buyers.

From my State requirements.
I think this is the jest of all SOP’s.