How to Read a Home Inspection Report

A home inspection is a crucial step in the home buying process, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where properties can vary significantly in condition and age. It helps buyers understand the state of the property and any potential issues. At Semper Fi Home Inspections, we provide detailed reports, now including videos, to ensure our clients in the DFW metroplex have all the information they need. This guide will help you understand how to read and interpret these reports.

Understanding the Basics

What is a Home Inspection Report?

A home inspection report is a comprehensive document detailing the condition of a property in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It covers various systems and components, highlighting any deficiencies or potential issues specific to homes in this region.

Why It’s Important

The report plays a vital role in making informed decisions about purchasing a home in DFW. It helps identify problems that could affect the property’s value or safety, ensuring you know exactly what you’re buying in the competitive Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market.

Structure of a Home Inspection Report

Header Information

  • Inspector’s Details and Credentials: Information about the inspector, their qualifications, and contact details.
  • Inspection Date and Property Details: The date of the inspection and specific details about the property being inspected.

Detailed Findings

  • Breakdown by Sections: The report is divided into sections covering various components of the home such as:
    • Structural Components: Foundation, framing, and other structural elements.
    • Exterior Features: Siding, porches, balconies, walkways, and driveways.
    • Roof: Shingles, flashing, and skylights.
    • Plumbing Systems: Pipes, drains, and water heating equipment.
    • Electrical Systems: Service panels, breakers, and fuses.
    • Heating and Cooling Systems: Condition and functionality of HVAC units.
    • Interior Features: Walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors.

Summary Section

In the last pages of the report, you’ll find a summary of the identified issues accompanied by a symbol or rating. It makes it easier to refer back to a reported issue without having to dig through dozens of pages.

  • Overview of Major Findings: A brief summary highlighting the most critical issues found during the inspection.
  • Key Areas Needing Immediate Attention: Specific areas that require urgent attention and potential safety hazards.
  • Categorized Into Areas: Safety, Repair, Improve, or Monitor.  Home buyers and Realtors like our summary at the end of the report as they can copy and paste these items right into the contract repair amendments.

Key Household Systems to Focus On

Here’s an overview of what you can expect to see in your home inspection report:


  • Roof: Inspect for missing shingles, leaks, or structural damage.
  • Gutters: Check for proper drainage and signs of blockage.
  • Walls: Look for cracks, damage, or signs of water infiltration.
  • Foundation: Identify cracks or shifting that could indicate structural issues.


  • Walls, Ceilings, and Floors: Check for cracks, stains, or uneven surfaces.
  • Windows and Doors: Ensure they open, close, and seal properly, and check for drafts or damage.

Electrical System

  • Wiring: Look for outdated or damaged wiring.
  • Outlets and Switches: Test for functionality and check for any signs of wear or overheating.
  • Electrical Panel: Ensure it’s up to code and has no visible issues.

Plumbing System

  • Pipes and Faucets: Check for leaks, corrosion, or low water pressure.
  • Water Heater: Inspect for age, condition, and proper functioning.
  • Drainage: Ensure proper drainage in sinks, tubs, and showers.

HVAC System

  • Heating and Cooling Units: Check for efficiency, age, and any visible issues.
  • Ventilation: Ensure proper airflow and check for any blockages or damage.


  • Major Appliances: Verify condition and functionality of items like stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers.

Items not included in the inspection report will be the condition of the inside of walls, and other items – such as lawn sprinklers or pools – may require an additional inspection and would not be included on a standard home inspection report.

By focusing on these key sections, you can prioritize areas that may require attention or repairs, ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition.

How to Interpret the Findings

Interpreting a home inspection report involves understanding the terminology, the severity of issues, and the color-coded system used by Semper Fi Home Inspections.

Common Terminology

  • Deficient: Indicates a significant issue that requires immediate attention or repair.
  • Fair: Points to areas that may need maintenance or repair soon but are not urgent.
  • Good: The component is in good condition and does not require immediate action.
  • Needs Repair: Specific issues identified that need professional repair.

Severity of Issues

Understanding the severity helps you prioritize repairs:

  • Major Issues: Structural problems, electrical hazards, or plumbing failures that need immediate attention and can be costly.
  • Minor Issues: Small repairs or maintenance tasks that do not impact the safety or functionality of the home significantly.
  • Monitor: Areas that do not need immediate action but should be watched for future maintenance.

Semper Fi Home Inspection Reports Include:

Color-Coded System

Our home inspection reports provide a full summary and notes about specific systems as needed, and where appropriate these notes will contain a color-coded marking system which provides a quick visual reference of these categories:

  • Red (Safety): Immediate correction needed for safety reasons.
  • Yellow (Repair): Professional repair recommended but not urgent.
  • Blue (Improve): Suggested upgrades for better functionality or efficiency.
  • Green (Monitor): Requires future maintenance or repair.

Video Enhancements

In addition to photos which are right next to almost every section of the report, our home inspection reports also now include video where appropriate to provide a clearer understanding of issues, offering a visual context that complements the written descriptions and photos.

By familiarizing yourself with these issues, you can effectively prioritize actions and make informed decisions about repairs and negotiations.

Repair Addendum

Semper Fi Home Inspections includes a Repair Addendum feature, allowing you to create a Repair Request List using comments and photos from the inspection report. You can select specific comments and photos, add notes, assign dollar amounts, and save the report as a PDF. This makes it easy to generate a detailed and organized repair list.

Next Steps After Receiving the Report

Consulting with Your Inspector

  • Ask questions for clarification
  • Understanding recommendations and potential costs

Getting Estimates for Repairs

  • Seeking professional opinions for major issues

Negotiating with the Seller

  • Using the report in price negotiations
  • Requesting repairs or concessions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What if the report indicates major issues?
    • If your home inspection report highlights major issues, it’s essential to consult with your inspector and real estate professional to fully understand the severity and potential costs involved. You may need to get estimates from professionals for necessary repairs. Use this information to negotiate with the seller for repairs or price concessions. In some cases, you might decide to walk away from the deal if the issues are too significant.
  • Can I rely solely on the home inspection report for my buying decision?
    • While the home inspection report is a critical tool, it should not be the only factor in your decision. Consider other aspects such as the property’s location, market conditions, and your financial situation. Additionally, you may want to seek advice from real estate professionals, contractors, or other experts to get a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition and potential future costs.
  • How often should home inspections be conducted?
    • Home inspections are typically performed when buying or selling a home. However, regular maintenance inspections annually can help identify issues early and prevent costly repairs. If you own a home, consider scheduling inspections before major renovations or if you notice any signs of potential problems, such as leaks or structural changes.

Understanding your home inspection report is essential for making informed decisions. At Semper Fi Home Inspections, we are dedicated to providing thorough and informative reports to ensure your peace of mind. Contact us for any questions or to schedule your inspection today.


By understanding how to read your home inspection report, you can confidently proceed with your home buying process, knowing you have all the necessary information at hand.

For a professional home or commercial inspection in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that will provide you peace of mind, schedule your inspection now



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