Standards of Practice
ADOPTED 12/12/89 - AMENDED 10/27/92 BY
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1.1...To provide home inspectors with recommended minimum standards for home inspections.
- 1.2...To identify those components, systems, and conditions which are to be inspected.
- 1.3...To define and clarify the purpose, scope, conditions, limitations, exclusions, and certain terms relating to home inspections.
- 1.4...The Standards are not intended to limit inspectors from performing additional services.
- 2.1...A home inspection conducted in accordance with the Standards is a visual inspection of the safely and readily accessible items specified in the Standards and is not technically exhaustive.
- 2.2...A home inspection conducted in accordance with the Standards shall include a written report based on the inspectors opinion and knowledge identifying the major components inspected and documenting the significant deficiencies existing at the time of inspection.
- 2.3...The Standards apply only to the inspection of one through four family dwellings.
- 2.4...When detached buildings are specifically included in a home inspection, they should be inspected in accordance with the Standards.
- 2.5...Inspection of individual components should be inspected in accordance with the applicable sections of the Standards.
4...GENERAL LIMITATIONS & EXCLUSIONS
- Analysis or design work requiring extensive preparation and experience in the use of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the engineering sciences.
- HABITABLE ROOMS:
- Spaces in a dwelling for living, sleeping, or eating. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, kitchens, closets, halls, storage, or utility space, and similar areas are not considered habitable rooms.
- The visual examination of a dwelling and the safely and readily accessible specified components documenting the significant deficiencies existing at the time of inspection.
- A lack of firmness or steadiness.
- INSTALLED SOURCE OF IGNITION:
- Any device intended for the ignition of fuel, oil, or gas, or any heating appliance capable of generating a spark, flame, or glow.
- NORMAL USER CONTROLS:
- Those devices used by a homeowner in the normal use of the equipment.
- READILY ACCESSIBLE:
- Within the inspectors normal reach and not requiring the removal or relocation of household furniture, personal goods, or building components. Access should not involve the use of tools, the damage of finished surfaces, or the need for the inspector to wear protective clothing.
- RECREATIONAL FACILITIES:
- Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, fountains, tennis courts, outdoor barbecues, and other equipment and facilities used for health, recreational, exercise athletic purposes, or outdoor cooking.
- SAFETY DEVICES:
- Controls designed and installed to protect occupants, systems, and components from excessively high or low pressures and temperatures, loss of water, flooding, loss of ignition, fuel leaks, fire, freezing, or similar conditions.
- SIGNIFICANT DEFICIENCY:
- An adverse condition which substantially affects the normally intended function or operation of the system or component.
- A change in form or shape of a body or material.
- TECHNICALLY EXHAUSTIVE:
- The extensive use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
- 4.1...A home inspection performed in accordance with the Standards is not
- A...Provide a warranty, guarantee, or insurance of any kind.
- B...Indicate compliance with any governmental code, standard, or regulation.
- C...Address the market value, marketability, or suitability of any property for any specific use.
- D...Include any examination or evaluation of the following, including but not limited to: security alarm, and warning systems, fire, smoke, and heat detection
or fire suppression systems, anything which is underground, buried, or for any other reason is not visible,safey,and readily accessible.
- 4.2...An inspector conducting home inspections in accordance with the
Standards is not expected to:
- A...Comment on the advisability or inadvisability of purchasing any property
- B...Calculate the strength, adequacy, or efficiency of any system or component.
- C...Provide the services expected of architects, engineers, contractors, appraisers, real estate agents, or trades persons.
- D...Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage property, its components or systems or be dangerous to the inspector or others.
- E...Light standing pilots, or operate any system or component which is shut down, out of service, or does not respond to normal user controls.
- F...Offer or perform any act or service contrary to law, or beyond the scope, limitations, and exclusions contained in the Standards
- G...Perform destructive testing, dismantle mechanical equipment, disconnect or unplug any electric equipment.
- H...Move personal property, carpeting, rugs, wall coverings, window treatments or coverings, equipment, debris, insulation, snow, or any other items which
obstruct access or visibility, except as specified in 14.2 C of the Standards.
- I...Inspect for the presence or absence of any hazardous or toxic substances or any adverse environmental conditions.
- J...Inspect items which are not permanently installed.
- K...Address the life expectancies of any systems or components or the cause of or cost to correct any deficiency.
- L...Identify any components recalled by manufacturers or other agencies.
- M...Use special instruments or testing devices, including but not limited to: amp meters, pressure gauges, moisture meters, gas detectors and similar
- N...Inspect detached structures, including but not limited to: garages, carports, barns, storage buildings, etc.
- O...Determine geological hazards, proximity to flood plains,underground mining, landfills or soil stability
- 5.1...A home inspection should include the inspection of the components and conditions in Sections 6-14 of the Standards. It shoud identify the components inspected and should document the signifcant deficiencies existing at the time of the inspection.
- 5.2...The art of home inspection is not an exacting science. The specific inspection procedures are to be determined by the inspector subject to the circumstances at the time of inspection.
- 5.3...The Standards cannot anticipate all possible conditions; therefore, exclusions may occur.
7...ROOF & ATTIC
- 6.1...Exterior component and conditions to inspect:
- A...Exterior wall surfaces, including identification of type of material, i.e. brick, wood, etc.
- B...Soffits, fascia, and trim.
- C...Surface drainage adjacent to the foundation.
- D...Trees, limbs, and vines adversely affecting the structure.
- E...Patios, porches, breezeways, stairwells, decks, steps, balconies, railings, carports, and garages which abut or are attached to the dwelling.
- F...Primary doors.
- 6.2...An Inspector is not expected to:
- A...Inspect detached structures or items, landscaping, fences, or recreational facilities.
- B...Inspect for the presence or condition of accessries including, but not limited to: storm windows, storm doors, weatherstripping, screening, shutters, and awnings.
- C...Inspect for safety glazing or glass damage.
- D...Inspect sidewalks, walkways or driveways.
- E...Inspect any trees, shrubbery, or vegetation for rot, disease, or their potential for damage to structures due to age, storm, or any other reasons.
- 7.1.1...Roof components and conditions to inspect: (state method of inspection, i.e. On the roof, from ladder at eaves, from ground with binoculars, etc.)
- A...Roof covering including identification of roof covering material, i.e. composition, built-up, wood shingle, etc.
- C...Rain gutter and downspout systems.
- D...Flashings, parapet walls, copings, valleys, jacks, and penetrations.
- E...Chimneys, flues, and vents above the roof line.
- F...Skylights and hatches.
- 7.1.2...Attic components and conditions to inspect: (state method of inspection, i.e. from access opening, entered attic, etc.)
- A...Attic framing and the underside of the roof sheathing.
- B...Evidence of leakage.
- C...Attic ventilation.
- D...Attic insulation (state approximate thickness, and type, i.e. 8" loose fill, 6" blanket, etc.)
- 7.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Walk on the roof when doing so could damage the property or be unsafe to the inspector.
- B...Inspect attached accessories including, but not limited to: solar systems, antenna, lightning arresters, etc.
- C...Enter attic where access restricts entry, an adequate walking surface is not present, or when doing so could damage the property, disturb insulation, or be unsafe to the inspector.
- 8.1...Interior components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Wall, ceiling. and floor surfaces.
- B...A reasonable number of windows and doors and their operation.
- C...Stairs, balconies, and railings.
- D...Bathroom ventilation.
- E...Exhaust fans.
- F...Clothes dryer venting.
- G...Garage doors and their automatic openers.
- H...Automatic garage door auto-reverse capability (Caution: Testing could damage components. When auto-reversing is not evaluated, the report should so indicate.)
- 8.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Inspect cabinets, decorative finishes or report damage to the surfaces of walls, ceiling, floors, or counter tops which is primarily cosmetic.
- B...Inspect or operate kitchen and laundry appliances, recreational facilities, window coverings or treatments, carpeting, rugs, decorative accessries, etc.
- C...Evaluate the attachment of any item attached to ceilings.
- D...Inspect for the presence, absence, or adequacy of vapor barriers or wall insulation.
- E...Evaluate emergency exiting, fire or sound resistive requirements, materials, and assemblies.
- F...Evaluate elevators, escalators, lifts, or dumb waiters.
- G...Inspect for safety glazing.
- 9.1.1...Interior water supply plumbing components and condition to inspect:
- A...Presence of main supply line shut-off.
- B...Supply and distribution lines including identification of material.
- C...Evidence of leakage.
- D...Operation of plumbing fixtures and related faucets which discharge directly into sinks lavatories, tubs, shower enclosures, and bidets.
- E...A reasonable and unbroken flow of water at each fixture operated.
- 9.1.2...Interior plumbing, drainage, waste, and vent components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Piping, including identification of material.
- B...Traps, drains, garbage disposals, waste and vent systems.
- C...Evidence of leakage.
- D...Plumbing fixture drainage.
- 9.1.3...Domestic hot water system components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Domestic water heating equipment, including identification of type and energy source i.e. oil-fired tankless coil, gas-fired tank, etc.
- B...Presence of safety devices and cutoffs.
- C...Water and electrical connections.
- D...Venting and combustion air.
- E...Evidence of leakage.
- F...Proximity of installed sources of ignition to garage floors and carpeting.
- 9.1.4...Fuel storage and distribution components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Interior fuel distribution lines.
- B...Evidence of leakage.
- 9.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Determine water quality or quantity.
- B...Inspect private water supply systems including, but not limited to: wells, pumps, tanks, and related equipment.
- C...Inspect any water conditioning or treating devices.
- D...Inspect sewage ejector equipment, lift stations, underground distribution, storage, or disposal systems.
- E...Inspect irrigation or solar systems
- F...Inspect for existing or potential cross connections or for the presence, absence, function or adequacy of anti-siphon or backflow prevention devices.
- G...Inspect or introduce water or compressed air into any plumbing system that has been winterized.
- H...Flood-test shower pans or trays for leakage.
- I...Inspect equipment connected to timers.
- J...Operate safety devices.
- 10.1...Heating components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Heating units including identification of energy source and type, i.e. gas-fired forced-air, electric baseboard, etc.
- B...Presence of safety devices.
- C...Operation of heating units using normal user controls.
- D...Duct work and hydronic distribution lines.
- E...Venting and combustion air.
- F...Water and electrical connections.
- G...Readily accessible portions of combustion chambers and blower compartments.
- H...Circulating pumps and expansion tanks.
- I...Absence of a register or radiator in each habitable room.
- J...Proximity of installed sources of ignition to garage floors.
- 10.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Evaluate thermostat or limit control calibration or operate automatic setback devices, or digital type thermostats or controls.
- B...Operate safety devices.
- C...Inspect humidifiers, dehumidifiers, or electronic air cleaners.
- D...Inspect or operate any solar heating or air-to-air heat exchanging equipment.
- E...Operate heating equipment when it is out of service or when temperature or other conditions may damage components.
- F...Use smoke bombs, tracer gases, aromatic oils, gas detection equipment, special optic devices to evaluate heat exchangers.
- G...Determine the air flow or heat production capabilities at any register or radiator.
- 11.1...Central cooling components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Central cooling equipment including identification of type, i.e. evaporative cooling, refrigerant, etc. and energy source if other than electric.
- B...Location of condensing units with respect to air flow blockage, protection from roof runoff, stability, levelness, and the presence of a service disconnecting means.
- C...Visible refrigerant line damage and suction line insulation.
- D...Condensate drain line discharge location.
- E...Operation of cooling equipment using normal user controls.
- F...Duct work.
- G...Blower compartments.
- H...Operation of whole house ventilation fans.
- 11.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Inspect window or wall-mounted cooling units.
- B...Operate if shut-down, out of service, covered, winterized, or when temperature or other conditions may damage components.
- C...Evaluate thermostat calibration or operate automatic setback devices, or digital thermostats or controls.
- D...Evaluate, calculate, or measure electric current drawn by any unit.
- E...Inspect filter/line dryers.
- F...Inspect condensate trays, or discharge pump.
- G...Determine the air flow or cool air production at any location in the structure.
- H...Evaluate the pressure or condition of refrigerants or inspect for refrigerant leakage.
- I...Inspect gas-fired refrigeration systems.
- 12.1...Fireplace, inserts, and wood stove components and conditions to inspect:
- B...Hearth extensions.
- C...Presence and operation of manual dampers.
- D...Smoke staining or scorching.
- E...Chimneys and flues.
- F...Fuel gas supply lines and safety devices when present.
- G...Operation of blowers.
- H...The presence of fire screens or doors.
- I...Presence of solid fuel appliances in garages.
- 12.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Remove rain caps, spark arresters, hoods, or screens.
- B...Ignite or extinguish fires in any unit.
- C...Evaluate adequacy of draft, or perform a smoke test.
- D...Inspect fireplace insert connections or the interior of any flue.
- 13.1..Structural components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Structure including identification of construction type, i.e. frame, masonry, etc.
- B...Foundation including identification of material, i.e. concrete, concrete block, stone, etc.
- D...Evidence of moisture infiltration.
- E...Areas of suspected damage, rot, or deterioration (Caution: Probing may damage finished surface,)
- F...Proximity of wood components to soil.
- G...Crawlspaces, cellars, and basements.
- H...Sump, sump pump, moisture management systems, and related components.
- 13.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Enter a crawlspace where access restricts entry or where adverse conditions exist.
- B...Perform a termite, insect, or pest inspection.
- C...Inspect structural movement, strain, or instability.
- 14.1...Electrical components and conditions to inspect:
- A...Service entrance (identify overhead or underground and approximate voltage).
- B...Service disconnect (identify location and indicated amperage).
- C...Main panel (identify location) and sub-panels.
- D...Overcurrent protection devices (identify type, i.e. fuse or circuit breaker).
- E...Branch circuit wring (identify materials in panels, i.e. copper, aluminum, etc.).
- F...Grounding conductors in panels.
- G...Exposed wiring.
- H...Polarity and grounding of at least one receptacle per room, where accessible.
- I...The operation of at least one switch and fixture per room or area, where accessible.
- J...The operation of ground fault circuit interrupters.
- 14.2...An inspector is not expected to:
- A...Inspect any ancillary systems including, but not limited to: low voltage, telephone, intercom, or speaker systems, antennae, de-icing devices, sprinkler wiring, recreational facility wiring, timers,timer-controlled devices, demand controllers, or any electrical components not permanently attached to the house.
- B...Operate overcurrent protection devices other than ground fault circuit interrupter devices.
- C...Remove safety plugs or cover plates other than main or sub-panel covers.
- D...Insert any tool, probe, or testing device into main or sub-panels.
- E...Inspect exterior lighting, photoelectric or proximity sensors, remote control devices, underground wiring, etc.
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Mailto: Tom Martin: email@example.com
Tom Martin (303)674-4620
Professional Home Inspections, Inc.
Evergreen, CO 80439
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