What Is A Four Point Inspection?

What Is A Four Point Inspection?

So what exactly is the Four Point Inspection? How much does it cost? Do I need one? The four point is an inspection of the four major components of a home: roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. The inspection looks at these four areas for general function, safety issues, age, and miscellaneous issues insurance underwriters typically would want to know. While insurers come to rely on the four point inspection, it is also very useful to homeowners and some investors alike.

When is a Four Point Inspection Needed?

A four point inspection is typically very useful when your home is over 20 years old. This is the point where there may have been updates made to the four points, or some of the components could be original and working just fine. As mentioned, the four point inspection looks at the roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Let’s look into each section a little bit more to see how you can better prepare and pass the four point inspection.

The four points in a 4-point inspection
Roof

For the roof part of the inspection, the inspector will report on the roof type, roof age, approximate life left, and any damage/concerns. Investors and insurers typically like to see 5 years of life left on your roof and inspectors typically are looking for the following:

  • Excessive granule loss
  • Loose Shingles
  • Lifting Shingles
  • Cracked Tiles
  • Missing Tiles/Shingles
  • Damaged Tiles/Shingles
  • Missing fasteners
  • Roof Leaks
  • Previous unprofessional repairs
Electrical

For the electrical system, the inspector will note any repairs, the type of wiring/panel, the age, the condition, and any safety hazards. In Maryland, it is still routine to find defects and outdated electrical components in home over 30 years of age. Inspectors are trained to look for the following and report on their findings:

  • Federal Pacific, Challenger and Zinsco Electrical Panels
  • Cloth Wiring
  • Double Tapped Breakers
  • Knob & Tube Wiring
  • Two-Prong Outlets
  • Fuse Boxes
  • Aluminum Wiring
  • Neutrals & Grounds On The Same Bar in Subpanels

Most of the above-mentioned items are for older electrical systems (older than 30 years). So, if your system is newer or recently updated you should not have to worry.

There are other smaller issues that could appear on your four-point inspection as well.

  • Missing GFCI’s
  • Improper/Missing Grounding/Bonding
Plumbing

The inspector will inspect and report on the water heater, water heater age, type of plumbing, and if there are any leaks.

Here are some common issues that appear on the plumbing section:

  • Polybutylene Piping
  • Improper TPR Discharge Tube
  • Water Heater Age
  • Improper Traps
  • Any Water Leaks
HVAC

The HVAC section will include an inspection and report on the condition of the air conditioning and heating systems.

The inspector will look for functionality, any water damage around the plenum, and the approximate life left on the A/C system.

A diagram of the four points in a 4-point inspection
How Does A Four Point Inspection Differ From A Home Inspection?

The four point inspection only covers the above mentioned four components of a home in a general sense. Also, the report is built for insurance agents, homeowners, and some investors but not for homebuyers. A home inspection for homebuyers would be much more detailed and cover many other sections of the home such as, structural issues, recommendations, insulation, window condition, etc.

Summing Up
InterNACHI Certified 4-Point Inspector

A four point inspection tells insurance underwriters how well the home has been maintained and the kind of liability they are insuring. Investors can find four point inspections useful since they may be replacing and updating many of the interior components and would not be concerned about the overall condition of the home like a homebuyer would be. The inspection is typically useful for homeowners on homes after 30 years of age, but can be as soon as 5 or 10 years.

In some states, homebuyers, sellers, and owners might be required to make repairs to qualify for home insurance based on the findings of the four point inspection.

If you want to know more about our professional inspection services here at Old Line Home Inspections, please contact us at (410) 236-3027 or click here to schedule an appointment.