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What Home Inspectors Look For in a Kitchen

House Pro Home Inspection Inc.   |  

A modern, contemporary kitchen setting.

There's no need to emphasize that a home inspection is one of the most critical steps in buying or selling a home. It is absolutely necessary, and it will help both sides of the transaction (one more than the other) negotiate the best price. So, what room will home inspectors give the most attention to? One might guess the kitchen, and they would be pretty close to the truth. In this article, you'll find out what home inspectors look for in a kitchen! 

What’s a home inspection?

First things first, let’s set the terminology straight. As we’ve said, a home inspection plays an important role in the process of buying/selling a home. It helps both sides (the buyers and the sellers) negotiate the price so it satisfies everyone. A home inspector will do a thorough check of a home and see if there are any issues the buyer (intentionally or not) forgot to mention. And just like you’ll need a moving company to provide their services and help with anything you need, you’ll want a top-notch home inspector taking a look at the home you’re planning to sell/buy. There’s no other way around it (in most places the law requires you to conduct a home inspection). 

1. Kitchen electrics, wiring, etc.

Would you be surprised if we were to tell you the kitchen is probably the place where folks spend most of their time at home? If something's awry with the electrical wiring inside the kitchen, there's no denying that it represents a severe hazard. If the wiring in the kitchen's not sufficiently thick, these wires could be nothing less than life-threatening. GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters) protection doesn't have any other option than to be robust inside your kitchen since the room deserves thicker, well-thought-out wiring placement. It goes without mentioning that wiring should be far from plumbing areas.

A woman sitting behind a kitchen counter.

The kitchen's the room where wiring needs to be thicker and placed with care. A home inspector will pay close attention to that.

2. The cabinets

Even though this might seem like an optional item on the house inspector's to-do list (and it doesn't appear on the expensive repairs checklist), it's necessary to mention it. Most home inspectors will want to look at the kitchen cabinets inside one's home to see if the doors open correctly or if there's mold or mildew inside the cabinets. Also, they'll check if the lights and electrical outlets around the kitchen cabinets work fine. As we've already mentioned, these outlets will have to be GFCI. If they're not of the GFCI kind, there's a good chance the owner will have to repair the issue. Lastly, let's talk about what meets the eye. The overall condition of the kitchen cabinets (including, of course, how they look) will have a significant effect on the home's appeal to buyers. 

3. Plumbing issues

It's only natural a home inspector will want to check the plumbing inside the kitchen. There are many issues a professional might stumble upon while inspecting the kitchen: everything from tiny drops from the kitchen sink faucet to serious problems like leaks causing rotting. Now, if the inspector notices these issues early on, there's a good chance the owner will avoid coughing up some bucks for major repairs. At least that is what the people from Pack & Go Movers tell us; they're in business long enough and moved many satisfied and not-so satisfied buyers to be trusted.

Here are the common issues they've added to the homes inspection list: 

  • Water heater issues
  • Good ol' leaky pipes
  • Outdated or damaged plumbing materials
  • Plumbing vents issues or clogged drains

You could've probably guessed some of these yourself. These are the issues that have become commonplace for home inspections. 

A professional checking out if the plumbing system works.

It's not surprising that a home inspector will want to check how the plumbing system works inside the kitchen.

4. What about the range vent?

 You'll want to know that the vent range is one of the essential items a modern kitchen must possess; it's there to collect all the cooking steam and grease that can represent a serious fire hazard. Unfortunately, the reality's a bit different: this item doesn't play a more significant role other than the one of cool kitchen decor in most kitchens. However, a top-notch home inspector will check the range vent. Aside from figuring out whether the item actually works, an inspector will also check if the range vent ventilates all that cooking air outside the house.

5. The right-number-of-outlets-issue

The "right number" of outlets a kitchen will have to possess varies from place to place; it depends on the city's building codes. Each area determines the minimum number of electrical outlets a room should have. Most homes need to have at least one outlet per wall/kitchen island, and there are rules on how much they should be apart from each other. Of course, the home inspector you hire will know these rules.

Two electrical outlets

A home inspector will know how many electrical outlets should each wall in your home have. 

6. Mold & mildew combo

Last but not least, an inspector will check the kitchen for mold and mildew. Real estate experts say that mold is probably the biggest turn-off for buyers when they're searching for an ideal home. It can really do some good damage to the home's value. Not to mention the fact that any hint of black mold appearing might signify a serious and life-threatening health hazard present inside the home's premises! 

A word or two before the end

That’s pretty much it on what home inspectors look for in a kitchen! Now you know what an expert home inspector will want to check inside your soon-to-be old/new kitchen! Whatever the case (whether you’re selling or buying a new home), repairing kitchen issues ASAP is highly recommended (just so you don’t end up coughing up extra bucks in the long run).

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