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Inspection Basics

How to Read an Inspection Report.

By April 7, 2022January 6th, 2023No Comments
Home Inspection Report

Getting the Report

After the inspection, the buyers will receive the home inspection report. The inspection report covers the repairs and maintenance of the house as found by the inspector. When attending the inspection, the inspector typically explains the report to the buyers. Once the report is received by the buyers, it is up to the new home buyers and their real estate agent to review the report and make any necessary decisions about the property. Decisions such as repair requests, backing out of the deal, or proceeding to purchase the house.

Sections of the Report

Blue Crab Inspections constructs all of our reports to have three sections. The first two sections a summary sections of the marginal and defective items, or all of the repairs and maintenance items. Following the summary sections is the third section, the full report. The report section is where all of the systems throughout the house are listed. Even though going over the summary sections can appear to be all the information you need, it is not. Major subjects of interest and importance are present in the third section. Information such as the age of systems, their locations, and how to properly operate those systems can be found in the report section.

It is also worth noting that all of the maintenance and repair items are also listed in the third section of the report. We always advise that as a buyer, you read the third section of the report first, then refer to the summary sections.

How to Read the Report

Reading the third section of the report first, and becoming familiar with this section should be your primary focus. This will allow you to understand the location of these important items, their age, and the general repairs of the systems. From there, creating a list of the most important areas of focus for repairs and maintenance is your next goal. The repairable items in the report are typically categorized as blue items and red items. We call these two sections marginal and defective, respectively.


Marginal items can often be referred to as maintenance items. A good way of looking at the report is through a timeline. Addressing marginal items quickly can typically avoid larger expenses in the next five to ten years. Some examples of maintenance items are replacing HVAC filters, caulking around windows, and replacing shower heads.


Defective items can been referred to as repair items. Similarly to the marginal section, looking at the timeline of repair can explain the defective category. Items listed in the defective category normally require immediate attention. Items such as a roof leak, an inoperable appliance, or a structural defect.

Processing Repairs and Maintenance

With all of this in mind, we recommend that buyers review the most expensive defective items and make their decision. If you know you need a new roof because of the age, it may be an expense that you are not willing to take. At the same time, if the report is mostly marginal items, do not ignore them. Addressing maintenance items quickly prevents major expenses from building up. As always, speak with your realtor about the report. If there are any questions, reach out to the inspector for clarification.

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