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Appliances? Are they inspected?

Understanding Appliance Inspection During Home Inspections

When purchasing a home, one of the critical steps before finalizing the deal is the home inspection. A home inspection is a thorough examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. But do home inspectors check appliances? The answer is yes, but with certain limitations.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), home inspectors typically operate and examine built-in appliances in the kitchen, such as wall ovens, ranges, surface cooktops, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. These appliances are checked for their basic operation, ensuring they perform the functions they are intended to do. However, there are aspects that home inspectors are not required to verify, such as the calibration of appliance thermostats, the adequacy of heating elements, self-cleaning oven cycles, indicator lights, door seals, timers, clocks, and other specialized features.

It's important to note that removable appliances like refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers may not be included in the inspection. These items are often considered personal property and may not be part of the home purchase unless specifically negotiated. If these appliances are included in the sale, it's possible to request their inspection, but this is not standard practice and is up to the discretion of the individual inspector.

Home inspectors focus on identifying safety concerns and major defects that could affect the homeowner negatively. Their primary concern is the home's structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, and other safety issues. While appliances are a part of the inspection, they do not receive the same level of scrutiny as these other systems.

For those looking to have a clear understanding of what will be inspected, it's advisable to refer to the InterNACHI or Arkansas Standards of Practice, or to directly communicate with either of us (Daniel or Scott). Knowing what to expect can help manage your expectations and prepare for any additional inspections you might want to arrange independently.

Finally, while home inspectors do check certain appliances, their inspection is not exhaustive and does not cover every feature or removable appliance. As a homebuyer, it's crucial to understand the scope of a home inspection and to clarify any concerns with your inspector beforehand. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions and ensure that your new home is safe and functional.

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