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Understanding a Home Inspection Report

Understanding a Home Inspection Report

Written By: Joy Stanton-Hirst

We understand that the homebuying process can be overwhelming and the tasks feel never-ending. Home inspections can often be more troublesome than helpful, especially when you don't understand the intricacies of the home inspection report. Being present at the walk-thru, combined with understanding how to read your report as a reference guide, will ensure you have the utmost confidence in your purchase.

Learn how to read a home inspection report and leverage it as a continuous resource with these 3 tips:

Read it. Thoroughly. (seriously)

There's a lot packed into each report, some of which is skimmed or skipped over when reviewing on your own. Digging through the mountains of information can take a little bit of work, but the payoff is peace of mind. Fully reading and understanding your report will help you create a priority checklist that makes the process more manageable and gives you time to enlist the help of contractors or partners like Cingo.

It's okay to still have questions after reviewing your report. We understand that homeowners aren't experts - that's why your Cingo home inspector will review your report with you following your inspection and highlight any key areas. Still have questions? That's okay too - Cingo's Care Team is available 24/7 to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

Understand the Classification Rating

Every home inspection company has different naming conventions that can mean different things in various circumstances. View a sample report and familiarize yourself with the classification ratings used in your home inspection report to get the most informed insights. Here are the most common ratings used in reports:

  • Concern: a system or component which is considered significantly deficient or is unsafe. Significant deficiencies need to be corrected and, except for some safety items, are likely to involve significant expense.
  • Safety Issue: denotes a condition that is unsafe and in need of prompt attention.
  • Repair: denotes a system or component which is missing or which needs corrective action to assure proper and reliable function.
  • Improve: denotes improvements which are recommended but not required.
  • Monitor: denotes a system or component needs further investigations and/or monitoring in order to determine if repairs are necessary.

Each component of your report will include a classification rating that can help you prioritize urgent vs. non-urgent next steps. Before leaving your property, your Cingo home inspector will review the report with you to address issues that require immediate attention, answer any questions you may have, and provide resources to help ensure your home is move-in ready.

Break it down by area

Every home inspection company tackles your home in different ways, but all follow a basic guideline to group together areas in your home. Kitchen, basement, electrical...the list goes on and on, depending on the layout of your home. When conducting the inspection, our Cingo pros always work from the outside in, starting at the exterior of your home. This process generally addresses key issues first, like structural damage or areas that aren't up to code, that are safety threats or expensive endeavors to fix.

Moving inward, your report will then examine other key components in your home like plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. At the end of your report, we set you up with best practices, expert suggestions, and resources to help secure your home.

Use the inspection report as a guide leading up to and during your move-in process, as well as a continuous resource to refer to while living in your home. Understanding the important features of your home ensures peace of mind whether you're living in a brand new space or a weathered 40-year-old home. Contact us to learn more or schedule your next inspection today.


About Cingo: The name Cingo means to surround and secure, conveying the company's commitment to home protection. The company has been protecting families in the Southeast since 1974. It provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.