Your NAHIPA Member Home Inspector will evaluate a number of
features on the exterior of the home.
In addition to doors, windows, and the roof which are covered in
other sections of this site, your home inspector will
also comment on other components of the house itself, such as
the building's walls, decks, balconies, handrails, fascia and trim.
We also evaluate some items that are not part of the house itself
such as the driveway, walkways, yard walls and grading.
However, exterior buildings such as sheds, and landscape components
to include trees, shrubs, ponds, and low-voltage lighting systems
are not evaluated as part of the home inspection.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau for the period from 2000 to
2005 show that about 40% of all new homes constructed had
vinyl siding with stucco just over 20%. This wasn't always
the case. The same report showed that as late as 1990,
wood siding was the most popular with brick running second.
There are trade-offs regarding costs, maintenance,
ease of installation and longevity for each.
Traditionally, brick requires little maintenance but is
labor intensive and expensive to install, while vinyl siding
is less expensive and much easier to install but will not
last nearly as long.
Some newer homes employ an "Exterior Insulation and Finish System"
also called an EIFS. It is a composite stucco covered panel
system designed to significantly reduce air infiltration when compared
with conventional sidings.
However, numerous problems have been reported as the
result of improper installation of EIFS and you may wish to
have a certified EIFS inspector examine the installation.
As you would expect, the most common problems noted are
related to the handling of moisture.
Although some moisture problems inside the house may be
related to condensation, many moisture problems inside the
house result from a variety of interrelated factors that
begin outside the house.
When moisture intrusion is not self evident inside the dwelling,
it can be inferred by number of means including musty odors,
peeling paint, rust on metal components, and wood rot.
Common sense dictates that moisture should be handled before
it even enters a residence and potentially becomes a health
Where appropriate, the residence should have roof gutters and
downspouts that discharge to areas that carry the water to hard
surfaces and away from the house.
The grading of the property can play a significant role as well.
Soil and hard surfaces such as the driveway should slope away
from the residence to a distance of at least six feet to keep