Essential Home Inspector Equipment

Please find below links to some of the equipment we recommend for new home inspectors that have gone through our Washington Home Inspector Training or Oregon Home Inspector Training programs. We do not recommend purchasing all of the equipment all at once (unless you can really afford it). For new inspectors, we recommend purchasing the bare necessities first and then expanding with other equipment as funding allows.

Essential Equipment for Home Inspections

Use a GFCI tester like this to test GFCI outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, outside, etc. Buy a couple for backup.

A non-contact voltage detector helps you determine if conductors are live at the time of the inspection. Make sure you select the correct voltage (i.e. no low voltage) when testing wiring to avoid false positives.

Checking water pressure for a home is an important component of a home inspection. Water pressure should range between 40 – 80 pounds. Water pressure that is too high can damage seals and cause hoses to break over time. Store this with nozzle down so it can drain for longest life. Buy a couple for back up.

A good moisture meter is critical for finding and documenting areas of water intrusion. This dual function moisture meter can be used on finish surfaces, but also has points for prodding unfinished surfaces as well. This model is good, but is finicky and not as nice as the one mentioned in advanced tools below.

You can’t inspect what you can’t see. Use an extremely bright headlamp like this one for inspecting attics and crawlspaces hands free. Using it during other parts of the inspection (interior / exterior) can also highlight defects that may be obscured.

This small but extremely bright (3200 lumens!) hand held flashlight is critical for finding and documenting important defects. This professional grade flashlight has 4 to 5 times the power of a regular household flashlight and is a critical component of a home inspector’s tool bag.

A torpedo level is important for checking building components (like air conditioners) for level. A torpedo level with a built in laser is a great portable alternative to much longer, cumbersome levels and can be used to highlight sloped floors that may be indicative of larger structural problems.

Ball bearings can be used to visually demonstrate that a floor or counter is out of level (possibly indicating uneven settling or structural failure). Keep one in your pocket and test areas suspected of being out of level.

A putty knife like this can be used to help verify the presence of proper flashing at the butt joints of cement fiber siding. Run the putty knife down the joint until you hear a pop at the end of the flashing. Test in a representative number of locations to verify that proper installation procedures were followed.

Extendable ladders are great for accessing attics and lower roofs. Extendable ladders can be dangerous, so be careful and don’t buy cheap knock offs. This is the larger size (15.5 feet) that we typically use for roofs on the exterior of the home.

This is the smaller version (12.5 feet) of the extendable ladder that we typically use for attic inspections. Make sure to purchase a high quality brand like Xtend and don’t buy cheap imitations.

You should add this rubber cover to the top of all of your extendable ladders so that you don’t damage the paint or finish on any surface the ladder touches.

In order to document defects for your clients, you need a durable camera. The Olympus Tough camera is our “go to” camera because it takes great pictures while standing up to the elements (and nasty crawlspaces).

A good tape measure is important for checking baluster spacing, equipment clearances, handrail height, etc.

A camera pole like this can allow you to take pictures of the roof when the roof is not safe to climb (i.e. snow, ice, too steep, etc.). Use your wifi enabled Olympus Tough Camera and a phone or tablet to get a live view of what your camera sees. Do not use this pole around power lines as it does conduct electricity.

Please note that the equipment listed on this page should only be used by properly trained professionals. Please follow all manufacturer instructions and OSHA guidelines when using this equipment. Working as a home inspector is inherently dangerous and appropriate precautions are advised.

All of the links on this page are affiliate links to Amazon meaning that we get a small payment every time something is purchased here at no additional charge to you.