Window and Door Home Inspections

These are the main issues for a home inspector to look for when inspecting windows and doors:

Home inspectors should check window and door installations from both sides and check for:

  • The operation (opening and closing of the window or door).
  • The condition of the frame.
  • Wooden frames – check for rot;
  • Steel frames – check for rust;
  • Aluminum or PVC frames – check for general damage.
  • The sealing of the frame against the reveals of the opening.
  • The condition of the window and door “furniture” – hinges, handles, stays and other metal fittings.
  • The condition of the glazing.  
  • The condition of the putty or seals around the glass.

Safety glass

The South African national Building Regulations requires that properly marketed Safety Glass must be installed in the following cases:

  • All door glass;
  • Window glass where the sill height is less than 500 mm;
  • Window glass where the pane size is larger than 2 900 mm²; 
  • Where the window is in the direction of pedestrian traffic and the sill height is less than 800 mm. 


To avoid the danger of flooding at external door thresholds the Building Regulations require that the finished floor level must be at least 150mm above the finished floor level.  

External doorway thresholds on balconies and patios should have a “weatherstep” – finished interior floor level at least 50 mm above the balcony floor level.

Checking for damp around openings

Home inspectors should check for moisture/damp on either side of the door and verify with moisture meter;

Check the skirting boards on either side of the door for moisture/damp or signs of wood rot.  Inspect the floor condition on either side of external doors and check for moisture with a meter.

Sliding doors

Aluminum and wooden sliding doors: All of the above checks plus check the condition of the track and the rollers and that the door slides smoothly.

Stack doors

Aluminum and wooden stack doors: All of the above checks (except for sliding doors) plus check that the door opens and stacks easily and that the clip stay (used to hold the opened door in place)  is functional.

Fire doors

South African national building standards (SANS 10400-T: 4.9.2,3) requires that the interconnecting door between a garage and a home must have a door with a fire resistance of at least 30 minutes.  Any solid timber door constructed with double rebated joints, that have a thickness of not less than 40 mm, shall be deemed to comply with the requirement of 4.9.2 for a rating of 30 min. 

The floor of the residence must be at least 10mm higher than the floor of an inter-leading garage.

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