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.
Exterior Cabin Inspection
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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
- 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?
- 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?
- Are cabinets and countertops worn?
- Do all appliances work?
- Do exhaust fans work?
- Is there any sign of moisture problems?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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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