Structural Inspection

Structural Components Covered in a Home Inspection

A professional building inspector makes a very studied and detailed evaluation of hundreds of components during the course of an inspection. Most of those elements belong to either the structural or mechanical aspects of the home inspection.

The structural inspection examines the elements that hold the house upright. Frame elements such as joists, rafters, beams, and floor sills are considered. The foundation is an important part of the structure, as is the roof. The exterior of the home is evaluated as the well as the interior structures.

Frame and Roof

A roof is one of the more costly elements of a home to repair, for this reason it is often one of the most anticipated parts of the final report. Inspectors are not required to climb onto a roof, but a visual inspection should be attempted. The underside of the roof, visible from the attic space reveals exposed joists and rafters. Occasionally there may be a cracked element. The underside of the roof often reveals water stains—either from active leaks or those that are old and repaired.

Foundation and Basement

The foundation and basement are essential elements of the home’s structure. Not only does the foundation support the weight of the home, but it also likely provides the space for mechanical systems, such as the HVAC system, the plumbing and the electrical system.


The exterior of a home can offer clues to the structural integrity of a home. The cladding or siding is made of various types of materials including wood, stone, brick, clapboard, vinyl and aluminum, or a combination of these. The condition of the cladding and any defects are evaluated. A sample selection of windows is tested for function. Doors are inspected. Any outside buildings are inspected as well. Often evidence of moisture around windows and doors may lead to clues regarding mold and mildew. Dry rotted or damaged wood elements may further indicate wood destroying insects. The general landscape is observed for proper drainage.


The interior structures of the home include floors, ceilings, walls, closets, stairs and banisters, railings or exposed beams, rafters or columns. Also kitchen cabinets and counters are evaluated. In an older home, a concern on the interior of a home is the presence of lead-based paint. Where paint is chipping and peeling a home inspector may recommend that the paint be tested for lead.

First Choice Inspectors, LLC carefully inspects all your home’s components. We provide full-service home and commercial inspections and deliver a comprehensive, concise final inspection report. Our home inspectors serve Chicago Illinois and the surrounding area including Elmhurst, Illinois. Click here to request a quote or schedule an inspection.