Outbuildings are those extra structures that are not attached to the primary residence, and are often not habitable. This includes garden sheds, carports, detached garages, greenhouses, cabins, guest houses, hobby workshops, gazebos, and other peripheral buildings. They are not part of a standard home inspection, and are inspected by default. Because these buildings are often not habitable, Washington State standards of practice exclude them from a home inspection. However, home buyers are investing in their future and their equity – so it is important to have every part of the property inspected. We offer additional inspection services for those outbuildings when our clients are ready to protect their investment, just let us know what structures you wish to have inspected when we call to review the property details!

Secondary residences that ARE habitable should be inspected as a second full inspection. Be sure to let us know if you prefer a full inspection of your outbuildings so we can schedule a second time slot – a proper inspection takes a proper amount of time! For outbuildings that are not habitable or where the extra service details are less important to you – we add sufficient time to the standard inspection.

The inspection of these structures is a different process from a home. Houses have specific requirements for how they should be built, however outbuildings are either less strict – or those requirements which do apply are less likely to be enforced. Many times, the detached structures are built by DIY homeowners. This is not bad, and is even permitted in many instances – but it does mean there is more variation. So, our inspection of outbuildings is less detailed than the primary residence to accommodate for the vast range of building techniques. What we inspect may include the visible portion of: structure, foundation, roof covering; major components like: electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. It does not inspect for minor issues that do not affect the usefulness or safety of the structure, maintenance tips, energy efficiency, or suggested improvements.

Too Long, Didn't Read Version: In addition to a home inspection, consider an inspection of extra structures around the home such as sheds, workshops, and detached garages.

-Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP

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Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Author: Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Top Notch Inspection Services llc
Serving Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho