Professional Home Inspectors have varying opinions about whether a checklist type report should be used…or whether a narrative style report should be used. Issues or problems are communicated to the reader using checkboxes in the former (I’ve never liked referring to issues as problems, even when an issue can very well be, and certainly is, a problem for someone…) Issues are discussed using narration in the latter, with each problem being described by writing out the issues. In fact, the majority of reports are a mix of the two. I prefer and recommend the hybrid style of a report to other Home Inspectors; detailed commentary, such as materials or types of components, can be communicated using a check box, while the real problems are conveyed using narration. Learn more at

To begin any discussion about this subject, it is crucial that the Inspector be experienced, knowledgeable about most all relevant issues that may be encountered, and fully professional toward both the Home Inspection process as a whole and the client (who is likely relying on the contents of the report to make a well-informed real estate purchasing decision). This, in my view, should be taken as a given and considered a minimum requirement. The Inspector’s overall principle should be to offer not only a decent inspection experience but an outstanding inspection experience to their clients. Of course, if the home has a large number of serious problems, the experience may not appear so pleasant to the client at the time…but that is more certainly (or should be) the responsibility of the home’s condition rather than the Inspector.

In the event that a home inspection report is less than stellar, the customer should take comfort in knowing that their competent Home Inspector and they’re most outstanding and professionally generated Home Inspection report stopped them from buying the proverbial Money Pit and incurring a slew of unnecessary or unanticipated expenses as a result of their home purchase.