Introduction to 4-Point Home Inspections

Introduction to 4-Point Home Inspections

A 4pt inspection consists of examining all four important systems in your house and determining the level of risk associated with each.

Your HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roof systems are the four main systems. Older properties often require this examination, but it's simple and might provide you with other alternatives for home insurance.

In this article, we are going to explain each of the 4 steps of the four-point inspection and see why it is important.

What is a 4pt inspection?

The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, electrical wiring and panels, plumbing connections and fixtures, and the roof are the four primary elements of a property that are usually the focus of a 4pt inspection.

This kind of examination is frequently carried out to evaluate the state of these important components for insurance purposes.

Of course, home inspection is different from condo inspection. If you do not know what it is, click on the condo inspection article.

Understanding the Components of a 4-Point Home Inspection

During a 4-point house inspection, a certified inspector looks at the following system:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning): The inspector will make sure that hot and cold air is released from the vents and will search for any overt indications of leaks or ventilation system problems.
  • Electrical: Houses with copper, aluminum, and knob-and-tube wiring are frequently uninsurable due to the higher danger of fire hazards.
  • Plumbing: The inspector will look at pipes to determine how likely it is that they may break and cause water damage.
  • Roofing: Inspectors ascertain the roofing system's age, composition, and lifespan.

Below we have explained each of these 4 steps separately:

Point 1: Inspection of Electrical Systems

The electrical portion of a 4-point home inspection is generally done for insurance purposes and concentrates on evaluating the system's overall operation and safety.

Although it isn't as thorough as a comprehensive electrical examination, it nonetheless covers important areas to spot any dangers:

Examining the electrical panel

The inspector will assess the panel's general state, looking for:

  • Damage, rust, or overheating symptoms: These point to possible safety risks.
  • Matching breakers: Incorrect breakers increase the risk of fire by overloading circuits.
  • Double taps: A typical electrical danger occurs when numerous circuits share a single breaker slot.
  • Correct grounding: It is essential for safety that the panel be grounded correctly.
  • Panel type: Insurance companies may raise red flags for some older panel types, such as Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels, which are known to be problematic.

Visual Inspection of Wiring

Any exposed wire that can present a shock risk will be searched for by the inspector. The items mentioned below are also inspected through a 4 points home inspection:

  • Aluminum wire: Aluminum wire is useful, but because it may overheat and corrode, it needs to be handled carefully.
  • Knob-and-Tube Wiring: This more traditional wiring style is frequently seen as antiquated and can raise insurance company concerns.
  • Overloaded Circuits: Warm outlets and regularly tripped breakers are indicators that a circuit is overloaded.

Point 2: Assessment of Plumbing Systems

The plumbing system examination portion of a 4-point home inspection is generally done for insurance purposes and focuses on finding any flaws that might cause water damage or other difficulties.

Although it isn't as thorough as a complete plumbing check, it nevertheless covers important areas:

Visual Examination

The inspector will check over the parts of the drain and water supply pipes that are visible, searching for:

  • Material: Determining the kind of pipe material (such as polybutylene, copper, or galvanized steel). Insurance companies may have concerns about some materials since they are known to be prone to failure, such as polybutylene.
  • Leak warning signs: The process of examining the pipes themselves for damage, corrosion, or obvious leaks.
  • Installing pipes correctly involves making sure they are supported and fastened in order to stop leaks and breakage.
  • Plumbing fixtures: Checking sinks, showers, toilets, faucets, and other fixtures for:
  • Functionality: Examining each fixture's functioning and water flow.
  • Leaks: Inspect the area surrounding faucets, toilets, and drains for indications of leaks.
  • Water pressure: Evaluating the house's total water pressure.
  • Examining the water heater for the following issues: Ensuring that it warms water effectively and keeps the temperature at a safe level is properly functioning. The other issue is a leak or rust indicator signs: Recognizing any possible issues that can result in water damage.
  • Checking for the existence of pressure release valves and other safety precautions.

For more information about the plumbing system, click here.

Point 3: Examination of HVAC Systems

The HVAC system examination, which is part of a 4-point home inspection, is generally done for insurance purposes and concentrates on the general safety and operation of the heating and cooling system.

Although it isn't as thorough as a complete HVAC inspection, it does cover important areas to find possible risks:

Visual Examination

The inspector will check the air conditioner, furnace, and other parts for:

  • Damage that is visible: Leaks, fissures, rust, or corrosion indications.
  • The equipment's age: Estimating the age aids in determining how long one may live and whether replacements are necessary.
  • Ensuring the equipment is placed safely and correctly is known as proper installation.
  • Checking for the presence of operational safety elements such as flue connections and pressure relief valves.

Checks for functionality:

  • Operation of the Heating and Cooling System: The inspector will check that the system efficiently warms and cools the house.
  • Airflow: Make sure the house's vents are getting enough airflow.
  • The functionality of the thermostat ensures that it operates correctly and efficiently controls temperature.

Point 4: Evaluation of Roofing Systems

The goal of the roof inspection during a 4-point home inspection is to evaluate the roof's general condition and spot any issues that could affect the property's insurance suitability.

Although it isn't as thorough as a complete roof inspection, it still covers several important areas.

Of course, before that you should know what a complete roof inspection is. Otherwise, click on the article roof inspection to find out.

External Inspection

The kind and state of the roofing components (shingles, tiles, etc.) will be assessed by the inspector. They'll look for:

  • Shingles missing or loose: These may produce openings through which water may seep in.
  • Broken shingles: indicators of deterioration that may cause leaks.
  • Animal activity indicators: indications of nesting or gnawing, which might harm the roof.
  • Debris was present: Debris like branches, leaves, and other things can clog gutters and cause water damage.

Because chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations are vulnerable to leaks, the inspector will examine the state of the flashing in these locations.

They will evaluate how well gutters and downspouts work, making sure that there is enough drainage to keep water damage to the foundation and roof at bay.

Strict Interior Inspection:

  • Attic Inspection (if available): The inspector may take a quick look into the attic to look for evidence of leaks, water damage, or roof-related structural problems.
  • Inspection of the Ceiling: They may search for indications of water damage or drooping ceilings, which may point to underlying issues with the roof.

Importance of a 4-Point Inspection

A four-point home inspection provides you with several advantages, including:

Home Insurance Requirements

To determine the risk they incur by insuring the property, many insurance firms want a 4-point examination, particularly for older properties.

You may get or renew home insurance at a reasonable price with the aid of a solid report.

On the other hand, a bad report with significant problems might result in increased rates or coverage denial.

Early Issue Identification

A 4-point inspection, which focuses on the four most important systems (roof, electricity, plumbing, and HVAC), may spot any concerns early on and prevent them from becoming more serious problems.

This enables you to take proactive measures to solve problems, which may result in lower repair costs and less damage being done.

Tranquility of mind

Being aware of the general state of the main systems in your house may provide you with security and peace of mind.

It supports you in making defensible choices about prospective fixes or enhancements.

Possibility of Bargaining

When selling a house, a pre-listing 4-point inspection will help you identify any repairs that need to be made and give you the opportunity to take care of them.

This shows openness to possible purchasers and might provide you an advantage in negotiations when you're selling.


A 4-point inspection is less expensive and takes less time than a comprehensive home inspection.

Restricted Scope

Although useful, it cannot replace a thorough house inspection, which offers a more in-depth evaluation of the whole asset.

All things considered, a 4-point house inspection is essential for:

  • Getting house insurance
  • Early detection of possible issues
  • Preserving your home's functioning and safety
  • supplying comfort with reference to important systems

Even if its use is limited, it's nevertheless a useful tool, particularly for older properties or when handling insurance obligations.

Conclusion and Final Considerations

A 4-point inspection refers to the inspection of the 4 most important items in a house: roofing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

If you are not 100% percent sure about getting your house inspected with the 4-point method, you should know that it provides you with different advantages.

For instance, it gives you the possibility of easier bargaining in selling or purchasing a house. Even if you have no intention to sell your house, this inspection gives you peace of mind.

5.0 points out of 1 votes