In most U.S. States, there are very few standards in place to determine which items should be covered during a home inspection. In fact, only about half of the states offer specific guidelines to govern home inspections, and to ensure that critical systems like heating, plumbing and foundations get the attention they should. Rather than leave the scope of your home inspection up to the inspector, take the time to hammer out an agreement ahead of time so both parties know exactly what's covered. If you need ideas, look for free checklists provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
In addition to settling on specific items ahead of time, you can also evaluate the thoroughness of an inspection by calculating how long it takes the inspector to work his way through your home. The average home inspection should take three to four hours, and anything less may indicate a less-than-thorough job [source: Rothfeder].