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Home Inspection Reports- Which is The Best?

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By : Hank Jaworowski    99 or more times read
There are basically two different types of home inspection reports on the market today. The checklist report and the narrative report.

Checklist Report

The checklist report list inspected items and usually consist of some type of condition word following the item such as “fair ”, “good”, or “needs replacement”. This is usually the depth of the report. This type of report usually does not state the exact problem when one exists. They tend to be too brief in their “descriptions”. This type of report usually leaves the client asking a lot of questions that this type of report is unable to answer, such as why is something labeled fair, good, or needs replacement?

Narrative Reports

The narrative type report consists of a variety of short paragraphs or statements on items inspected

The narrative report requires more words to communicate both good and bad parts of the property. The reason more words are needed is due to the need to use complete full sentences in order to make the reading material flow in a professional manner. (The whole sentence needs to be read to fully understand the condition.)

At times these reports read more like a novel and the reader quickly loses interest.

Reports Which Utilize Diagrammed Pictures

“Pictures can be worth a thousand words” is a saying we have all heard over the years. In the case of a home inspection report this is exactly the case. One must remember that most home buyers are in the dark about what certain items are in a home therefore to say that there is a crack in the air handler in the burner means very little to most home buyers. They have no idea what an air handler in a burner is. But if they were to be shown a picture of the air handler with an arrow pointing to the crack that was found they would know exactly what an air handler is and exactly where, in this case, the crack is.

Home inspection reports should be both accurate and concise. The inspector's client should be fully informed of the condition of the property in an effective manner and be easily understood. This type of report can only be accomplished with numerous diagrammed pictures with short non-technical explanations of the items inspected. This type of report takes longer to prepare and that is why you should always ask any home inspection company you are thinking of using what type of report they generate. You should also request to see a sample of one of their reports.

If you cannot find a sample home inspection report that reflects diagrammed pictures accompanied by short non-technical statements you can visit and click on “Free Sample Report” on the left hand column of the home page.
Hank Jaworowski is co-owner of Precision Home Inspection of America, a Long island based home inspection company. You can read more about Mr Jaworowski and his company at

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