The exterior walls of a house are made of wood studs; either 2×4 or 2×6, masonry, or a combination of the two. The walls are covered with siding to protect the structural wood members from wind and weather .Exterior walls are usually load bearing and sit on a sill plate which rests on top of the foundation wall.

Siding and Trim

Exterior siding may be wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberboard, asbestos‑cement, asphalt siding, stucco, or veneer brick or masonry. Each type of siding has its advantages and disadvantages. All other portions of the exterior finish that is not siding is considered trim. Trim does not serve any structural function, but provides a finish covering around doors, windows, and soffits.  All types of siding and trim require periodic cleaning and maintenance.

Utility Service Entrance

Electrical and gas service enters the house from the exterior. Meters for these utilities should be securely fixed to the exterior wall and should be kept free from obstructions such as trees and shrubbery.

Visible Foundation

The foundation is that part of the house that supports the entire structure and keep it separate from the movements of the earth. In many cases, the exterior foundation is hidden beneath the ground. The foundation if inspected for cracks, sags, distortions and separations. Minor cracks are not uncommon but should be noted so that they may be monitored occasionally.

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