When performing an inspection, KARCI members may follow “Standards” of national organizations like InterNACHI, ASHI, NAHI, ICC, FHA, ASTM, etc ……. AND the inspector should identify the “Standards” they are using in their Inspection Agreement (contract) with you. “Standards” basically tell a client what the inspector does / does not do in the inspection. If the inspector is not affiliated with a national organization or does not chose to use their “Standards” he or she may also chose to use the “Standards” of KARCI, which are attached below.
Home Inspector Standards of Practice.
PURPOSE, SCOPE AND GENERAL
1.1 The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to establish minimum and uniform standards as guidelines for Kansas Home Inspectors. The guidelines outline what the Residential Home Inspector should observe, identify, inspect and describe.
1.2 These guidelines are not intended to limit a Residential Home Inspector. If the Inspector wishes to provide additional inspection services not covered in the Standards that is up to each inspector.
1.3 Home inspectors or home inspector entities should provide a pre-inspection agreement to the client or the authorized representative prior to OR at the home inspection that includes at a minimum:
1.3.1 The date of the inspection;
1.3.2 The name, address and contact information of the home inspector or home inspector entity;
1.3.3 The fee for services performed;
1.3.4 A statement that the inspection will be performed in accordance with these Standards;
1.3.5 Limitations or exclusions of systems or components being inspected that varies from these Standards; and
1.3.6 The signature of the client or his or her duly authorized representative.
1.3.6 The inspector shall notify the client where a copy of these standards are available.
1.4 The inspection agreement will govern the conditions and the systems and components to be inspected and said contract/agreement will supersede the Standards by contract.
1.5 This departure provision does not prohibit an inspector from specializing nor require the inspector to specifically exclude other parts, components or systems not ordinarily considered a part of the inspector’s specialty. However, the inspector shall comply with the standards of practice for the items being inspected.
1.6 If an inspector excludes any part, component or system listed in the standards of practice, other than one which the client has agreed in advance is not to be inspected, the inspector shall advise the client that the specific part, component or system will not be included in the inspection by statement in the written report or in the contractual agreement.
1.7 The Standards provide guidelines to help define and clarify the purpose, conditions, limitations, exclusions, and certain terms relating to a Residential Home Inspection.
1.8 The inspector will provide a written report to the client using as a guideline the Standards of Practice the purpose of which is to assist in evaluation of the general condition of the dwelling providing, by objective information regarding the condition of the systems and components of the home as inspected at the time of the home inspection
1.9 The Standards describe those items, components, and systems included and not included in the scope of a Residential Home Inspection.
1.10 The Standards apply only to the inspection of buildings with one (1) to four (4) dwelling Units.
1.11 The Standards apply to a visual, non invasive, inspection of the readily accessible areas of the installed, listed and included items, components, and systems to determine if, at the time of the inspection, they are performing their intended function without regard to life expectancy.
1.12 The purpose of the inspection is to identify visible defects and/or conditions that, in the sole judgment of the inspector, adversely affect the function and/or integrity of the items, components, and systems of the home. Or adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling or create an unreasonable safety risk to the occupants. Or to state whether the defect and/or condition observed requires subsequent observation, or warrants further investigation by a specialist.
1.13 The home inspection will not reveal every concern that exists or ever could exist, but only those visible defects observed, by the inspector, on the day and time of the inspection.
1.14 Inspections performed under the Standards are basically visual and rely upon the opinion, judgment, experience of the inspector, and are NOT intended to be technically exhaustive.
1.15 The inspector shall report on any system and component included in these standards of practice which were present at the time of the home inspection but were not inspected and provide the reason they were not inspected. There will be no further obligations to the client, from the inspector, for any additional inspections for those items not inspected.
1.16 The inspector may exclude systems and components from the inspection if requested by the client, OR if so stated in the pre-inspection agreement.
1.17 An Inspector shall exclude from the inspection any part, component or system which the inspector, in his opinion, is not competent or qualified to inspect. Any exclusion shall be stated in the report.
1.18 Inspections performed under these Standards shall NOT be construed as a compliance inspection of any code, governmental regulation, or manufacturer’s installation instructions or procedures. In the event a law, statute, or ordinance prohibits a procedure stated in these Standards, the inspector is relieved of the obligation to adhere to the prohibited part of the Standards.
1.19 The inspection is NOT intended to be or to be construed as an implied warranty or a guarantee or any form of insurance for the adequacy, performance, or useful life of any item, component, or system in, on, or about the inspected property.
1.20 If, in the opinion of the inspector, for any reason they are NOT allowed to perform the inspection in a time period sufficient to allow compliance with the provisions of the standards of practice, then the inspector shall note in the report that due to the limited time period that the inspection will NOT be in compliance with provisions of the standards of practice. There will be no further obligations to the client, from the inspector, for any additional inspections at a different time period.
2. GENERAL LIMITATIONS, EXCEPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
2.1 The inspector is NOT required to:
2.1.1 Perform any action or make any determination not specifically stated in these Standards of Practice.
2.1.2 Identify concealed conditions, latent defects, or consequential damage(s).
2.1.3 Move furniture, personal, or stored items; lift floor coverings; move attached wall, ceiling coverings, or panels; or perform any test(s) or procedures(s) which could damage or destroy the item(s) being evaluated.
2.1.4 Use special instruments or testing devices, such as amp meters, pressure gauges, moisture meters, gas detectors, drones, IR cameras or similar equipment.
2.1.5 Provide an inspection of common areas of a condominium or multi-unit housing component, system or evaluate condominium reserve accounts.
2.1.6 Enter any premises that visibly show a physical threat to the safety of the home inspector or others NOR inspect any area or component that poses a danger to the inspector or others.
2.1.7 Inspect or enter any area not readily accessible or unsafe in his opinion including, but not limited to, crawlspaces or under-floor areas with less than 3’ of headroom, or attics with less than 5’ of headroom.
2.1.8 Include information from any source concerning past or present violations of codes, ordinances, or regulations.
2.1.9 Be responsible for any repairs or replacements with regard to the property or the contents thereof.
2.1.10 Include information from any source concerning previous property, geological, environmental or hazardous waste conditions, manufacturer recalls or conformance of proper manufacturer’s installation of any component or system, or information contained in Consumer Protection Bulletin.
2.1.11 Inspect underground items such as, but not limited to, underground storage tanks or other indications of their presence, whether abandoned or actively used.
2.1.12 Inspect decorative items and will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc.
2.1.13 Dismantle, open, or uncover any system or component, except
as explicitly required by these Standards of Practice.
2.1.14 Offer or perform any engineering services.
2.1.15 Offer or perform any trade or professional service other than home inspection.
2.1.16 Inspect household appliances, recreational facilities, alarms, Intercoms, speaker systems, radio controlled devices, security devices, central vacuum systems, lawn irrigation systems, swimming pools, spas, and items that are not permanently installed.
2.2.17 Inspect when in the opinion of the inspector there exist possibility of damage to the property or its systems or components.
2.2 The inspector is NOT required to determine:
2.2.1 The remaining life expectancy of any system or component.
2.2.2 The property boundary lines or encroachments.
2.2.3 The strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or efficiency of any system or component or any repairs made to any system or component.
2.2.4 The size, capacity, or BTU of any component or system.
2.2.4 The causes of any condition or deficiency.
2.2.5 The methods, materials, or costs of corrections.
2.2.6 The future conditions including but not limited to failure of systems and components.
2.2.7 The suitability of the property for any specialized use.
2.2.8 Market value of the property or its marketability.
2.2.9 The advisability of purchase of the property.
2.2.10 The effectiveness of any system installed or method utilized to control or remove suspected hazardous substances.
2.2.11 The age of construction or installation of any system, structure or component of a building, or differentiate between original construction and subsequent additions, improvements, renovations or replacements.
2.2.12 Operating costs of systems or components.
2.2.13 Acoustical properties of any system or component.
2.2.14 Soil conditions relating to geotechnical or hydrologic specialties.
2.2.15 The presence of potentially hazardous plants, animals or substances including, but not limited to, wood destroying organisms or diseases harmful to humans including fungi’s, molds or mold-like substances.
2.2.16 The indoor air quality or sickness of any building including, but not limited to, the presence or absence of all manner of biological activity, such as molds, insects, birds, pets, mammals, rodents and other flora and fauna, and their consequent physical damage, toxicity, odors, waste products, and noxiousness.
2.2.17 The presence of any environmental hazards including, but not limited to, lead, asbestos, toxins, carcinogens, noise, and contaminants in soil, water, and air.
2.2.18 The presence of any environmental hazards including, but not limited to, toxins, carcinogens, noise, and contaminants in soil, water, and air.
2.2.19 The effectiveness of any system or component installed or method utilized to control or remove suspected hazardous substance.
2.2.20 The condition of systems or components that are NOT readily accessible.
2.2.21 Determine the presence of or damage caused by termites or any other wood-damaging insects, organism NOR pests like mice, rats, batts, etc.
2.3 The inspector is NOT required to operate:
2.3.1 Any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable.
2.3.2 Any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls.
2.3.3 Shut-off valves or manual stop valves.
2.3.4 Remote controls.
2.3.5 Any electrical disconnect or over current protection devices.
2.3.6 Any system or component that does not appear to function properly.
2.3.7 Low voltage electrical systems or landscape lighting.
3.0 SYSTEMS FOR INSPECTION
3.1 Site & Grounds
3.1.1 Components For Inspection:
188.8.131.52 Building perimeter: land grade, and water drainage directly adjacent to the foundation that may adversely affect the structure.
184.108.40.206 Adjacent or entryway walks, grade steps, driveways, patios, and retaining walls contiguous with the structure.
3.1.2 The Inspector Shall:
220.127.116.11 Observe the building perimeter, adjacent or entryway walks, grade steps, driveways, patios, and retaining walls contiguous with the structure.
18.104.22.168 Inspect the grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls on the property when any of these are likely to adversely affect the building; and walkways, patios, and driveways leading to dwelling entrances.
22.214.171.124 Describe the type of material of the driveways, walkways, grade steps, patios, and retaining walls contiguous with the inspected structure.
3.1.3 The Inspector is Not Required to:
126.96.36.199 Inspect geological, geotechnical, or hydrological conditions; seawalls, break-walls and docks; erosion control and earth stabilization measures; or drain fields or drywells.
188.8.131.52 Inspect fences or privacy walls.
184.108.40.206 Evaluate the condition of trees, shrubs, and or other vegetation; soil or geological conditions, hydrological conditions; seawalls, break-walls, and docks; site engineering or property boundaries.
220.127.116.11 Report ownership of property, fencing, privacy walls, retaining walls, or related issues; the condition of trees, shrubs, or vegetation; soil or geological conditions, site engineering, property boundaries, easements or encroachments; the adequacy of retaining walls, sea walls, waterfront bulkhead, docks and piers; ponds, fountains or decorative water features, unless said inspections are contained within a separate contract.
3.2 Roof Systems
3.2.1 Components For Inspection
18.104.22.168 Roof coverings; roof drainage systems; flashings; skylights, roof penetrations; roof ventilation.
3.2.2 The Inspector Shall:
22.214.171.124 Observe roof coverings; roof drainage systems; flashings; skylights, roof penetrations.
126.96.36.199 Inspect from ground level, OR the eaves (if accessible with a 12’ ladder); flat roofs where internal accessibility is readily and safely available: the roof covering; gutters; downspouts; vents, flashings, skylights and other roof penetrations.
188.8.131.52 Describe the roof covering, drainage system and ventilation and report the methods used to inspect the roof.
3.2.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
184.108.40.206 Inspect internal gutter and downspout systems and related underground drainage piping, antennas, lightning arresters, or similar attachments.
220.127.116.11 Inspect underground downspout diverter drainage pipes; antennae; lightning arresters or similar attachments.
18.104.22.168 Walk on or access a roof where in his opinion it could damage the roof or roofing material OR be unsafe for the Inspector.
22.214.171.124 Remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces
126.96.36.199 Operate powered or thermostatically controlled roof ventilators.
3,2,3,6 Determine remaining life expectancy of roof coverings, their insurability; the presence or absence of hail damage; manufacturers’ defects, exceptions, installation methods or recalls; number of layers or the adequacy of roof ventilation.
3.3.1 Components for Inspection:
188.8.131.52 Exterior wall coverings, flashings and trim; primary windows and doors; garage door operators; attached garages and carports; attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, columns, areaways, and porches including handrailings and guardrails; eaves, soffits and fascias; visible exterior portions of chimneys.
3.3.2 The Inspector Shall:
184.108.40.206 Observe the visible condition of the components from the ground level and the condition of a representative number of visible windows and doors.
220.127.116.11 Inspect the visible exterior wall covering, flashing and trim; the exterior doors; attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their associated railings; the eaves, soffits, and fascias. Probe a representative number of components if deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of potential deterioration exist. Probing is not required when it may damage finished surface or where no deterioration is visible.
18.104.22.168 Describe the visible exterior wall covering and the type and material comprising the visible exterior components inspected.
3.3.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
22.214.171.124 Inspect buildings, decks, patios, retaining walls, and other structures detached from the house; inspect or test the operation of security locks, devices or systems; exterior accent lighting; or inspect for safety type glass or integrity of thermal window seals or damaged glass.
126.96.36.199 Evaluate the function of shutters, awnings, storm and/or screen doors or windows and similar accessories or the presence, extent, and type of insulation and vapor barriers in the exterior walls.
188.8.131.52 Examine the interior of the chimney flues or determine the presence or absence of flu liners.
184.108.40.206 Enter or inspect areas beneath decks with less than 3 feet of clearance from the underside of joists to grade or if otherwise inaccessible.
3.4 Basement, Foundation, Attic, Crawlspace & Structure
3.4.1 Components For Inspection:
220.127.116.11 Includes the visible structural components including foundations and other support and anchoring components; floors and visible floor framing; substructure and substructure ventilation, floor vapor retarder; walls; ceilings; stairs; roofs and visible roof framing; and foundation drainage systems; sump pumps and related equipment.
3.4.2 The Inspector Shall:
18.104.22.168 Observe structural components including foundation and framing.
22.214.171.124 Inspect the condition and serviceability of a representive number of visible, exposed areas of foundation walls, grade slabs, floor, bearing walls, posts, piers, beams, joists, trusses, sub-floors, chimney foundations, stairs, and other similar structural components; the visible condition of sub-floor crawl space ventilation and floor vapor retarders; and the condition of the visible roof structure and attic components where readily and safely accessible. Probe a representative number of components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist. Probing is not required when probing might damage any finished surface or where no deterioration is readily visible.
126.96.36.199 Describe the foundation and report the methods used to inspect the under-floor crawl space; the floor structure; the wall structure; the ceiling structure; the roof structure and report the methods used to inspect the attic. And describe the type of structure and material comprising the structure and other items inspected; the presences of or absences of foundation drainage systems; sump pumps and related equipment.
3.4.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
188.8.131.52 Enter substructure areas that are not readily accessible or where entry could cause damage or expose the inspector to a hazard; crawlspaces where the floor access opening is less than 18” x 24”or a Perimeter wall opening is less than 24”x16” with at least a full depth exterior access well with a footprint size of 16”deep x 24”wide; under floor crawl spaces when obstructed, restricted or when headroom is less than 3 feet below the floor joists; or when dangerous or adverse situations are suspected.
184.108.40.206. Enter attics when there is less than a 22”x30” access or when entry could damage the property or is contents, or when no walkboards are present, or with headroom of less than 5 feet, or when dangerous or adverse conditions are suspected. Or when the access cannot be gained safely with a 8 foot ladder.
220.127.116.11. Operate or evaluate the adequacy of sump pumps or drainage systems.
18.104.22.168 Identify size, spacing, span, location or adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists or any structural system or component.
22.214.171.124 Break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels and covers.
3.5.1 Components For Inspection
126.96.36.199 heating equipment; heating distribution; operating controls; flue pipes, chimneys and combustion gas venting.
3.5.2 The Inspector Shall:
188.8.131.52 Observe the readily visible and accessible and permanently installed heating systems including: heating equipment; normal operating controls; chimneys, flues, and combustion gas vents, clearance to combustibles; heat distribution systems including blowers, pumps, ducts, piping, radiators, convectors, registers, air filters, insulation and fan coil units; and the presence of an installed heat source in each habitable space of the house.
184.108.40.206 Inspect the condition of normally operated controls and of the systems; visible flue pipes, dampers and related components for functional operation; the condition of a representative number of heat sources in each habitable space of the house.
220.127.116.11 Describe type of fuel, heating equipment, and heating distribution system.
3.5.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
18.104.22.168 Inspect or evaluate a heat exchanger; equipment that is not readily accessible; the interior of chimneys and flues; heating system accessories, such as humidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, heat reclaimers, etc.; solar heating systems, fresh air ventilators , central solid fuel heating systems; or concealed distribution systems for any type of heating system.
22.214.171.124 Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system or adequacy of the combustion or return air.
126.96.36.199 Activate or operate heating systems that do not respond to normal controls or have been shutdown; or heating, heat pump systems, or other systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
188.8.131.52 Remove covers or panels that are not readily accessible.
184.108.40.206 Dismantle any equipment, controls, or gauges.
220.127.116.11 Examine electric heater elements or heat pump fluid/gas materials; below grade systems and components; or any solar-energy heating systems or components, UV or electronic air filters.
18.104.22.168 Light pilot flames.
3.6 Cooling and Air Conditioning
3.6.1 Components For Inspection:
3.6.2 Permanently installed cooling and air handling equipment and normal operating controls; distribution systems including ducts, registers, air filters, fans, pumps and piping, with associated supports, insulation, and fan-coil units if different than the heating system.
3.6.2 The Inspector Shall:
22.214.171.124 Observe the cooling equipment; cooling distribution; operating controls; and the presence of an installed cooling source in each habitable space of the house.
126.96.36.199 Inspect the cooling and air handling equipment and normal operating controls; distribution systems including ducts, registers, air filters, fans, pumps and piping, with associated supports, insulation, and fan-coil units if different than the heating system; and the condition of a representative number of the central air cooling outlets in each habitable space of the house.
188.8.131.52 Describe energy sources and cooling equipment type.
3.6.3 The Inspector is not required to:
184.108.40.206 Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system or adequacy of combustion or makeup air.
220.127.116.11 Inspect gas-fired refrigeration systems, evaporative coolers, window-mounted air-conditioning units or non-permanently installed cooling systems.
18.104.22.168 Operate cooling or other systems that have been shut-down or any equipment or systems if the exterior temperature is at OR has been below 60° Fahrenheit for the previous 24 hours or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment or controls.
22.214.171.124 Remove covers or panels at an evaporator or condenser, etc.
126.96.36.199 Dismantle any equipment, controls, or gauges.
188.8.131.52 Activate or operate cooling systems that do not respond to normal controls or have been shutdown; or a heat pump cooling system when the system is operated in the heating mode.
184.108.40.206 Evaluate the effectiveness or adequacy of any safety device
3.7.1 Components For Inspection:
220.127.116.11 interior water supply and distribution system including piping materials, supports and insulation; fixtures and faucets; interior drain, waste and vent systems including traps, drains, waste, and vent piping and piping supports; hot water systems including water heating equipment, normal operating controls, safety temperature-pressure relief valve and drain piping, fuel storage and distribution systems
3.7.2 The Inspector Shall:
18.104.22.168 Observe interior water supply and distribution system including piping materials, supports and insulation; fixtures and faucets; functional flow; evidence of leaks; presence of cross connections; interior drain, waste and vent systems including traps, drains waste, and vent piping, and piping supports, evidence of leaks, functional drainage, evidence of lack of drainage or leaking waste drain system, hot water systems including water heating equipment, energy source, normal operating controls; presence of safety temperature-pressure relief valve and drain piping, combustion gas venting, clearance to combustibles , fuel storage and distribution systems including, supply piping, venting, and supports and evidence of leaks, drain and waste ejector pumps.
22.214.171.124 Inspect the interior water supply and distribution systems including all fixtures and faucets; the drain waste and vent systems including fixtures; the water heating equipment; the combustion gas vent systems, flues and chimneys; the fuel storage and fuel distribution systems.
126.96.36.199 Describe drain, waste, and vent piping materials; the water heating equipment including the energy source; the location of the main water and main fuel shutoff valves if readily visible.
3.7.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
188.8.131.52 Determine if the water supply or sewage treatment system is public or private.
184.108.40.206 Inspect any system that is shut-down, winterized; any plumbing components not readily accessible; any exterior or underground plumbing components, interior fire sprinkler systems; water conditioning equipment, including softener and filter systems; private water supply systems; private sewage treatment systems, solar or geothermal water heating systems, gas supply leaks, floor drains or yard sprinkler systems / Except as explicitly required by these Standards of Practice.
220.127.116.11 Inspect drainage to or from any appliance, unit, or apparatus.
18.104.22.168 Operate any main, branch or fixture valve except fixture faucets and hose faucets attached to the building.
22.214.171.124 Evaluate the potability of any water supply system or the condition and operation of water wells, cisterns and related pressure tanks and/or pumps and related equipment; the quality or quantity or reliability of any water supply system; the effectiveness or adequacy of any safety device; or the condition and operation of any sewage disposal systems, public or private and components, such as cesspools, septic tanks, drain fields, related underground piping, backwater valves ,conduit, ejector pumps and any related equipment.
126.96.36.199 Test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds, or enclosures for leakage, or totally fill any fixture with water during an inspection.
188.8.131.52 Determine the size, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater, or adequacy of the combustion air; the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature, or adequacy of the water supply; the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back-flow prevention or any cross-connection device or drain-stop devices; whether there are sufficient clean-outs for effective cleaning of drains.
184.108.40.206 Observe or Inspect any on-site fuel tanks or fuel systems and related safety systems.
220.127.116.11 Light pilot flames.
18.104.22.168 Inspect jetted and hydro massage tubs, except as to functional flow and functional drainage; swimming pools, ponds, fountains or other water features and spas.
3.8.1 Components For Inspection:
22.214.171.124 Includes the entrance of the primary service from masthead to main panel; main and sub-panels including feeders; branch circuits, permanently connected devices, and lighting fixtures.
3.8.2 The Inspector Shall:
126.96.36.199 Observe the service line, drip loops and weather heads; service entrance conductors and their sheathing the main disconnect; panels, breakers and fuses; the grounding; the bonding; a representative sampling of switches, receptacles, light fixtures; readily accessible branch circuit wiring; GFCI receptacles and circuit breakers; AFCI breakers; smoke detectors.
188.8.131.52 Inspect by visual observation after removal of the readily accessible main and sub-panel cover(s) service entrance conductor type and condition; service equipment; grounding equipment; main over-current device; main and downstream distribution panels (sub-panels) (downstream panels are to be in inspected areas); amperage and voltage ratings of the service; branch circuit conductors, their over-current devices, and the compatibility of their ampacity and voltages; the operation of a representative number of expose, permanently installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house and attached garage, and on the dwelling exterior walls; the grounding of a representative number of receptacles ; the operation of a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) test button; the operation of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) breaker test button.
184.108.40.206 Describe service amperage and voltage; service entry conductor material; service type as being overhead or underground; location of electrical main disconnect; presence of downstream panels (if located in an inspected area); the presence of any solid aluminum branch circuit wiring.
3.8.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
220.127.116.11 Inspect ancillary systems, and any wiring that is not part of the primary electrical system, including but not limited to: timers, home protection systems, low voltage systems, relays, smoke/heat detectors, antennas, electrical de-icing tapes, lawn sprinkler wiring, swimming pool or spa wiring, time-controlled devices; private or emergency electrical supply sources, including but not limited to generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility; or spark or lightning arrestors central vacuum systems, or electrical equipment not readily accessible.
18.104.22.168 Measure amperage, voltage or impedance and continuity in any electrical system, device or appliance.
22.214.171.124 Dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove the covers of the main and downstream distribution panels.
126.96.36.199 Insert any tool, probe or testing device into the main or sub-panels.
188.8.131.52 Activate any electrical systems or branch circuits which are not energized.
184.108.40.206 Operate electrical systems or components that are disconnected or switched off at the main electrical panel.
220.127.116.11 Determine the condition, operation or adequacy of smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors.
18.104.22.168 Test or operate any over-current device except Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breakers using the installed test buttons.
22.214.171.124 Remove panel covers or dead front covers if not readily accessible,
126.96.36.199 Inspect the panel if insufficient clearance or other conditions do not permit safe access.
188.8.131.52 Evaluate the effectiveness or adequacy of any safety device
3.9 Fireplace & Solid Fuel Burning Appliances
3.9.1 Components For Inspection: Permanently installed masonry fireplaces and manufactured solid-fuel or gas burning appliances and associated system components.
3.9.2 The Inspector Shall:
184.108.40.206 Observe the visible areas of the dampers and associated system components; visible areas of the fireboxes, hearth extensions, mantles fireplace surrounds; the installation of manufactured solid-fuel or gas-burning appliances and operating controls.
220.127.116.11 Inspect the fireplace; the damper door if readily accessible and operable; hearth extensions and other permanently installed components; lintel, hearth and material surrounding the fireplace.
18.104.22.168 Describe the fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances; and the chimneys.
3.9.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
22.214.171.124 Inspect the interiors of flues or chimneys; the firescreens and doors; and the presence or absence of any seals or gaskets; glass doors; the seals and gaskets; the automatic fuel feed devices; the mantels and fireplace surrounds; the combustion or make-up air devices; or the heat distribution assists, whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.
126.96.36.199 Inspect or operate any solid fuel device in use.
188.8.131.52 Inspect or operate any masonry fireplace or manufactured solid-fuel burning system used as a central heating system.
184.108.40.206 Ignite or extinguish fires.
220.127.116.11 Determine if a fireplace can be safely used, the adequacy of draft or combustion air, perform a chimney smoke test; the structural integrity of fireplaces or chimneys; the need for a chimney sweep; if the installed system is in exact accordance with the terms of any UL Listings.
18.104.22.168 Move fireplace inserts or stoves or firebox contents.
22.214.171.124 Inspect or Evaluate the installation or adequacy of inserts, solid fuel burning stoves, or other modifications in a fireplace, stove, or chimney.
3.10 Insulation & Ventilation
3.10.1 Components For Inspection: Building insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces. Ventilation in unfinished spaces.
3.10.2 The Inspector Shall:
126.96.36.199 Observe the general presence or absence or lack of the visible building insulation and vapor retarders and the ventilation in the readily accessible unfinished spaces.
188.8.131.52 Inspect the building insulation and vapor retarders in and the ventilation in the readily accessible unfinished spaces.
184.108.40.206 Describe the building insulation or the absence of insulation; the presence or absence of a vapor retarder; and presence or absence of ventilation in unfinished spaces.
3.10.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
220.127.116.11 Report on insulation and vapor retarders concealed in ceilings or exterior walls.
18.104.22.168 Move or touch insulation or vapor retarders.
22.214.171.124 Identify the composition or the R-value of insulation material or the thermal efficiency ratings of insulation systems.
126.96.36.199 Evaluate the efficiency or adequacy of ventilation systems.
310.3.5 Operate powered or manual attic or foundation area ventilation system fans or venting equipment and fans that are integral with other household systems.
3.11 Doors, Windows & Interior
3.11.1 Components For Inspection: walls, ceilings and floors; steps, stairways and railings; countertops and installed cabinets, doors and windows.
3.11.2 The Inspector Shall:
188.8.131.52 Observe walls, ceilings and floors; steps, stairways and railings; countertops and installed cabinets, doors and windows.
184.108.40.206 Inspect a representative number of wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces; steps, stairways, balconies, hand railings and guardrails; cabinets and counters; windows and doors.
220.127.116.11 Describe the type or material of a representative number of: walls, ceilings, windows.
3.11.3 The Inspector is Not required to:
18.104.22.168 Inspect ; household appliances; elevators; remote controls; appliances; items not permanently installed; floor coverings; paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments; central vacuum systems; safety glazing in locations subject to human impact; storm or screen windows or doors; security components; equipment housed in the garage except as otherwise noted.
22.214.171.124 Evaluate : household appliances; the fastening of countertops, cabinets, sink tops and fixtures, or firewall compromises; signal lights; security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or exterior including compliance with local, state, or federal standards.
126.96.36.199 Operate: household appliances; equipment housed in the garage; any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes, combinations, or devices; or signal lights; any sauna, non-heating steam equipment; kiln, tanning beds or other small OR ancillary devices. Except as explicitly required by these Standards of Practice.
188.8.131.52 Move furniture, stored items, or any coverings like carpets or rugs in order to inspect the concealed floor and/or wall structure; drop ceiling tiles; and household appliances.
4.0 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
4.1 These terms have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
Activate: To supply power, or enable systems, equipment, or devices to become active by normal control means. Examples include turning on the gas or water supply valves to the fixtures and appliances.
Additional Inspection Services: Those services offered in addition to the home inspection as defined in these standards, including but not limited to the following examples; wood destroying insect-organism and environmental testing.
Adversely Affect: Constitute, or potentially constitute, a significantly negative or destructive impact, in the opinion of the inspector.
Appliance: A device operated by use of electricity or gas.
Central Air Conditioning: A system which is not plugged into an electrical convenience outlet, that uses ducts to distribute cooled and/or dehumidified air to more than one room at a time.
Clearance to Combustibles: The distance between a heat producing appliance, chimney, chimney connector, vent, vent connector, or plenum and other surfaces. Also, in garages, the distance between the floor and an installed source of ignition.
Component: A permanently installed appliance, fixture, element, or part of a system.
Cross Connections: Any physical connection or arrangement between potable water and any source of contamination.
Dangerous or Adverse situations: Situations that pose a threat of injury to the inspector, and those situations that require use of special protective clothing or safety equipment.
Describe: Identify a system or component by its type or other distinguishing characteristics.
Detrimental Conditions: Any conditions that, in the opinion of the inspector, may likely be unsafe, unhealthy, or in any way harmful to the inspector or to components of the property.
Dismantle: To take apart or remove any component, device or piece of equipment that is bolted, screwed, (or fastened by other means).
Engineering: Analysis or design work requiring extensive education, training, preparation and experience in the use of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the engineering sciences.
Evaluate: To ascertain, judge, or form an opinion about an item, system, component or condition.
Foundation: The base upon which the structure or a wall rests; usually masonry, concrete, or stone, and generally partially underground.
Function: The action for which an item, component or system is specially fitted or used or for which an item, component or system exists; to be in action or perform a task.
Functional: Performing, or able to perform, a function.
Functional Drainage: A drain is functional when it empties in a reasonable amount of time.
Functional Flow: Sufficient water flow to provide uninterrupted supply to the highest, unrestricted tap (faucet furthest from the source) when a single intermediate, unrestricted tap is operated simultaneously with uninterrupted flow.
Further Evaluation: To recommended examination and/or analysis by a qualified professional, licensed tradesperson, technician or specialist that is needed because: it is beyond the scope provided by these Home Inspection Standards; or to determine the presence or absence of a material defect.
Habitable: In a condition suitable for human habitation.
Habitable Spaces: Rooms or spaces used for sitting, sleeping, bathing, toilets, eating or cooking. Not considered habitable spaces by these Standards are closets, halls, storage spaces and utility areas, crawlspaces, attics, garage and unconditioned spaces.
Heat Source: A heat source may be a radiator, convector unit, radiant panel, heat pipe, ductwork, grille, register, or other device(s) from which heat is intended to be emitted.
Home Inspection: The process by which an Inspector provides a limited visual examination of 4 (four) or more of the readily accessible systems, components and structures of a property and which describes those systems, components and structures, and operates those systems then provides a verbal or a written report that summarizes the conditions observed utilizing these Standards of Practice as a guideline.
Household Appliances: Kitchen, laundry, and similar appliances.
Hazard: Danger to the health and/or safety of people.
Identify: Report in writing a system or component by its type, or other observed characteristics, to distinguish it from other systems or components used for the same purpose.
In Need Of Repair: A system or component that, in the opinion of the inspector needs repair due to affecting the value, habitability or safety of the dwelling
Inspect: To evaluate any system or component of a building in accordance with these standards of practice.
Inspector: Any person who examines any component of a building, through limited visual means and through normal user controls, without the use of mathematical sciences, in accordance with these Standards of Practice.
Inspected Property: The readily accessible areas of the buildings, site, items, components, and systems included in the inspection.
Installed: Attached (connected) to the structural, mechanical, plumbing or electrical system of the house such that the item installed cannot be removed without the use of tools.
Intended Function: Performing or able to perform the usual function for which an item is designed, or fitted; and be in a condition (state of repair) appropriate to this function, its age and location. [See Function]
Material Defect: Any condition (in the opinion of the inspector that falls within these standards) that significantly affects the value, habitability or safety of the dwelling. Style, cosmetic defects or aesthetics shall NOT be considered in determining whether a system, structure or component is materially defective.
Normal Operating Controls: Homeowner operated devices such as a thermostat, wall switch or similar requiring no special skill or tools to activate.
Observe: The act of making a limited visual examination. To see through visual directed attention.
Operate: To cause systems or equipment to function with normal operating controls. To cause equipment or systems that has been activated to perform their intended function(s), such as turning on a water faucet or turning up the thermostat on an activated heating system.
Potential Hazard: A hazard to the safety and/or health of people that has a good chance of occurring if corrective action is not taken for the condition noted.
Pre-inspection Agreement: a written contract between a customer and a home inspector to do a home inspection.
Primary Windows and Doors: Windows and exterior doors that are designed to remain in their respective openings year round.
Readily Accessible: Available for limited visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling or destructive measures, or any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property. An item or component is readily accessible if, in the judgment of the inspector, it is capable of being safely observed without movement of obstacles, detachment or disengagement of connecting or securing devices, or other unsafe or difficult procedures to gain access.
Readily Openable Access Panel: A panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance which has removable or operable fasteners or latch devices in order to be lifted off, swung open, or otherwise removed by one person (without the use of tools) and its edges and fasteners are not painted in place. Limited to those panels within normal reach or from a 4-foot stepladder, and which are not blocked by stored items, furniture, or other building components.
Recreational Facilities: Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground equipment, and other exercise, entertainment, or athletic equipment.
Representative Number: For multiple identical components such as windows and electric outlets – one such component per room. For multiple identical exterior components (like windows, etc) one such component on each side of the building. For other components (like rafters, floor joists, etc) a sufficient number, in the inspector’s opinion, to serve as a typical or characteristic example of the item(s) inspected.
Report: There are two primary types of Inspection Reports. A Written Inspection Report is a document prepared for a fee and issued after the property inspection. It identifies the systems, components and structure and summarizes the observed conditions noted during the review and evaluation process of the property. The other type of Report (a Walk-Thru) is less formal and does not require the inspector to adhere to a Standards of Practice or generate a written report. His or her observations about the property are communicated orally to the client.
Roof Drainage Systems: Gutters, downspouts, leaders, splash blocks, and similar components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building.
Safety Devices: Devices designed and installed to protect systems and components from excessively high or low pressures and temperatures, excessive electrical current, loss of water, loss of ignition, fuel leaks, fire, freezing, or other unsafe conditions.
Slab on Grade: Structures that have no crawl space and are in direct contact with the soil. Slabs may or may not have supporting piers or pads.
Shut Down: A system or equipment is considered to be shut-down when its normal control device(s) will not cause it to become activated or operational. The inspector is not required to activate or operate safety devices (fuses, breakers, etc.) in the “off” position. It is not the
responsibility of the inspector to put these controls in the “on” mode, nor to ensure that the equipment or systems to be tested are operable at the time of the inspection. A piece of equipment or system is shut down when it cannot be operated by the device or control that a homeowner would use to normally operate that equipment or system.
Solid Fuel Heating Device: Any wood, coal, or other similar organic fuel-burning device, including but not limited to fireplaces, whether masonry or factory built, fireplace inserts and stoves, wood stoves (room heaters), central furnaces, and combinations of these devices.
Structural Component: A building component which supports interior or exterior finish materials or other building components.
System: The sum total of the components that function as a whole (such as Electrical System, HVAC System, Plumbing System, etc).
Technically Exhaustive: An inspection is technically exhaustive when it involves the use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions, and recommendations. This is beyond the scope of a normal Property/Home Inspection.
Verify: To confirm or substantiate.
Unsafe: A hazard to the safety and/or health of persons that will happen unless corrective action is taken on the condition noted. In the sole judgment
Under-floor Crawl Space: The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.
Walk-Thru Inspection: The inspector typically conducts a walk-through with a client who does not (at this point) want a full home or commercial property inspection. A walk-through is less formal and does NOT require the inspector to adhere to a certain Standards of Practice or generate a written report. His or her observations about the property are communicated orally to the client. The inspector and client may OR may not have a written contract.
Water Supply Quality: Water quality is based on the bacterial, chemical, mineral and solids content of the water.
Written Report: Shall include the following: a clear identification and description of those systems, structures or components, designated to be inspected in these standards of practice; AND components or system designated to be inspected in these standards of practice that will not be included in the inspection and the reason why they were not inspected. And a clear identifications of any material defects found to be in need of repair, including any recommendation for further evaluation. The Standards of Practice the inspector is following are clearly identified and listed in the inspectors pre-inspection agreement.