Comprehensive Log Cabin Inspection Checklist

This detailed log cabin inspection checklist is meant to give you a more thorough understanding of all the systems and items that require inspection. It is not a substitute for a visit by a professional home inspector but it will give you ideas for further investigation and suggested repairs. 

Log Cabin Inspection checklist - snow-capped mountains

Exterior Cabin Inspection

Site Conditions

  • Is the site sufficiently graded and drained?
  • Do large trees or limbs lean over the cabin?
  • Are there large trees or shrubs next to the cabin?
  • Does the driveway surface require resurfacing or repairs?
  • Are walkways clear?
  • Are fences in good repair and bases not rotting?
  • Is propane tank securely mounted and safe?

Roof

  • Are shingles curling, cracked, or missing?
  • Are gutters full of granules from asphalt shingles?
  • Is roof uneven indicating several layers of shingles?
  • Are there asphalt cement patches on the roof?
  • Does the roof ridge sag?
  • Are there any gaps around chimneys and flashing?

Flashing, Gutters and Downspouts

  • Is there rust, missing parts, or asphalt patches evident on any valleys or flashing?
  • Are gutters drained correctly, clean, and rust-free?
  • Do gutter connections leak?
  • Are downspouts loose, damaged, or missing?
  • Are downspouts connected to underground drains or splash blocks?

Basement and Foundation

  • Are there water stains on walls, indicating flooding?
  • Does basement smell musty?
  • Is there adequate ventilation or a dehumidifier?
  • Is there a crawlspace vapor barrier?
  • Are there any signs of sagging floors, bowed or rotten support posts, or temporary shoring to hold up weak floors?
  • Do supply and waste pipes appear in good condition?
  • Is there evidence of seepage on the foundation wall?
  • Is foundation mortar soft, crumbling, cracked, or missing?
  • Does the ground slope away from the foundation outside?

Fireplaces and Chimneys

  • Is masonry cracked, in need of re-pointing, or missing bricks?
  • Are chimney flues lined?
  • Are fireplaces usable and do they smoke?
  • Are dampers installed and operable?

Exterior Walls

  • Are log walls plumb without bowing or stepping?
  • Is masonry cracked, missing, or deteriorating?
  • Is log finish in good condition?
  • Do doors and windows fit frames squarely?
  • Does the trim need painting or staining?

Porches and Decks

  • Do porches and decks properly slope away from the cabin?
  • Is there evidence of rot around column bases, posts, stairs or balusters?
  • Are there secure handrails, posts, and railings on porches and decks?
  • Is there unusual settling of the porch foundation?
  • Is the underside of the porch or deck adequately ventilated?
  • Are railings and stairs adequately fastened to log walls?

Doors

  • Are exterior doors solid and securely hung to jambs?
  • Do doors have deadbolt locks?
  • Is there adequate weather stripping on the doors?
  • Are there storm doors?
  • Are doors misaligned indicating settling of logs?

Rot and Insects

  • Are there signs of rot or insect damage under porches or steps or on bottom logs?
  • Does wood appear spongy or brittle on window sills, framing sills, beams, or posts?
  • Is there any sign of rot from leaks on the roof decking, fascias, or overhangs?
  • Are logs or other wood less than 8 inches from the ground?




Interior Cabin Inspection

Interior

  • Are there any cracks in the drywall?
  • Are there gaps in the tongue-and-groove paneling?
  • Does the floor or staircase bounce or squeak?
  • Are all stair rails and balusters solid?
  • Is hardwood flooring in good repair?
  • Are the cabin floors level?
  • Do cabinets and built-ins work properly?

Windows

  • Do windows line up squarely in their frames?
  • Are window frames and trim properly sealed to logs?
  • Do the windows operate smoothly or bind from log settling?
  • Are the windows loose in their frames?
  • Do the windows lock?
  • Is there any fogging on insulated glass?

Kitchen

  • Are cabinets and countertops worn?
  • Do all appliances work?
  • Do exhaust fans work?
  • Is there any sign of moisture problems?

Attic

  • Is there functioning storage space?
  • How is the attic access?
  • Are there signs of leaks around valleys, dormers, chimneys, or penetrations?
  • Does light indicate missing shingles or damaged roofing?
  • Is cabin attic ventilated?
  • Is there visible mildew or damaged wood?
  • Are cabin rafters bowed?
  • Is there visible soffit and ridge ventilation?
  • Are rafter plates deteriorated?

Bathrooms

  • Does bathroom fan work and sound normal?
  • Do all faucets work?
  • Do sinks, tub and showers drain easily?
  • Is there any water damage to walls around the tub or shower?
  • Does the toilet drip from valves behind the toilet?
  • Is the mirror delaminating?

Electrical System

  • Test all light switches and outlets during cabin inspection?
  • Are there breakers and not fuses?
  • Is the service at least 100 amps, preferably 200 amps?
  • Are breakers labeled?
  • Are there GFCI outlets at all wet locations?
  • Are there enough outlets in every room?
  • Do all receptacles and switches work?
  • Is there 220 volt service for the electric range, air conditioners, and clothes dryer?
  • Are the refrigerator, micro-wave oven, dishwasher, clothes washer, and other large appliances on individual circuits?
  • Are there extra circuit breaker spaces for later expansion?
  • Are there waterproof exterior outlets?

Plumbing

  • Is piping galvanized, copper, PVC or PEX?
  • Do faucets leak or toilets run?
  • Is water pressure adequate for the entire cabin?
  • Are there basement cutoffs to upstairs appliances?
  • Does each appliance have its own supply cutoff?
  • Are drain pipes noisy when toilets are flushed?
  • What is the age of the water heater (from serial number)?
  • Are sink and tub drains slow?

Heating and Air Conditioning

  • How old is the heating and cooling system?
  • Is the furnace/air conditioner thermostat operational?
  • Is hot water capacity sufficient?
  • Is vent pipe in good condition?
  • Is there a furnace filter you can see?

Energy Conservation

  • Is there insulation between the attic joists?
  • How much insulation is in the attic?
  • Is there insulation in the exterior walls?
  • Does the cabin roof have a vapor barrier?
  • Are hot water pipes insulated?
  • Are hot air ducts insulated in unheated areas?

This detailed log cabin inspection checklist will help you evaluate a potential log home purchase by suggesting many items and systems to investigate. I highly recommend hiring a professional log home inspector who will have his own thorough cabin inspection checklist and who can use his experience and knowledge to correctly identify critical issues and major repair areas.


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Log Home Inspection

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