Standards of Practice

 

 

 

 

The International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Definitions and Scope 3
2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions ……… 3
3. Standards of Practice 5
3.1. Roof 5
3.2. Exterior 5
3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure
6
3.4. Heating 6
3.5. Cooling 7
3.6. Plumbing 7
3.7. Electrical 8
3.8. Fireplace 9
3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation 10
3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior 11
4. Glossary of Terms 12
Code of Ethics 14

1. Definitions and Scope

1.1. A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a
residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify
defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed
and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector
prior to the inspection process.

I. The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection,
and not a prediction of future conditions.

II. The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist,
but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.
1.2. A material defect is a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property
that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an
unreasonable risk to people. The fact that a system or component is near, at, or beyond the
end of its normal, useful life is not, in itself, a material defect.

1.3. A general home inspection report shall identify, in written format, defects within specific
systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the
inspector. Inspection reports may include additional comments and recommendations.
2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions

2.1. Limitations:

I. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
II. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.
III. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste,
cosmetic defects, etc.
IV. An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.
V. An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.
VI. An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.
VII. An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the
inspected property.
VIII. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components or
systems therein.
IX. An inspection does not include items not permanently installed.
X. This Standards of Practice applies only to properties with four or fewer residential units and
their attached garages and carports.
2.2. Exclusions:

I. The inspector is not required to determine:

A. property boundary lines or encroachments.
B. the condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible.
C. the service life expectancy of any component or system.
D. the size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or system.
E. the cause or reason of any condition.
F. the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or component.
G. future conditions.
H. compliance with codes or regulations.
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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

I. the presence of evidence of rodents, birds, animals, insects, or other pests.
J. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
K. the presence of airborne hazards, including radon.
L. the air quality.
M. the existence of environmental hazards, including lead paint, asbestos or toxic drywall.
N. the existence of electromagnetic fields.
O. any hazardous waste conditions.
P. any manufacturers’ recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any information
included for consumer protection purposes.
Q. acoustical properties.
R. correction, replacement or repair cost estimates.
S. estimates of the cost to operate any given system.

II. The inspector is not required to operate:

A. any system that is shut down.

B. any system that does not function properly.

C. or evaluate low-voltage electrical systems, such as, but not limited to:

1. phone lines;
2. cable lines;
3. satellite dishes;
4. antennae;
5. lights; or
6. remote controls.

D. any system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls.

E. any shut-off valves or manual stop valves.

F. any electrical disconnect or over-current protection devices.

G. any alarm systems.

H. moisture meters, gas detectors or similar equipment.

A. move any personal items or other obstructions, such as, but not limited to: throw rugs,
carpeting, wall coverings, furniture, ceiling tiles, window coverings, equipment, plants, ice,
debris, snow, water, dirt, pets, or anything else that might restrict the visual inspection.

B. dismantle, open or uncover any system or component.

C. enter or access any area that may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe.
D. enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be unsafe or not readily accessible.

E. inspect underground items, such as, but not limited to: lawn-irrigation systems, or underground
storage tanks (or indications of their presence), whether abandoned or actively used.

F. do anything that may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to him/herself or
others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to: walking on roof surfaces, climbing
ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets.

G. inspect decorative items.

H. inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit housing.

I. inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security systems.

J. offer guarantees or warranties.

K. offer or perform any engineering services.

L. offer or perform any trade or professional service other than general home inspection.

M. research the history of the property, or report on its potential for alteration, modification,
extendibility or suitability for a specific or proposed use for occupancy.

N. determine 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.

O. determine the insurability of a property.

P. perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental audits.

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

Q. inspect any system or component that is not included in these Standards.

3. Standards of Practice

3.1. Roof

I. The inspector shall inspect from ground level or the eaves:

A. the roof-covering materials;

B. the gutters;

C. the downspouts;

D. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations; and

E. the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of roof-covering materials.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. observed indications of active roof leaks.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. walk on any roof surface.

B. predict the service life expectancy.

C. inspect underground downspout diverter drainage pipes.
D. remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof
surfaces.

E. move insulation.

F. inspect antennae, satellite dishes, lightning arresters, de-icing equipment, or similar
attachments.

G. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the inspector’s opinion, to be unsafe.
H. walk on any roof areas if doing so might, in the inspector’s opinion, cause damage.
I. perform a water test.

J. warrant or certify the roof.

K. confirm proper fastening or installation of any roof-covering material.

3.2. Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the exterior wall-covering materials, flashing and trim;
B. all exterior doors;

C. adjacent walkways and driveways;

D. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;

E. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;

F. railings, guards and handrails;

G. the eaves, soffits and fascia;

H. a representative number of windows; and

I. vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may
adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of exterior wall-covering materials.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. any improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or
exterior accent lighting.

B. inspect items that are not visible or readily accessible from the ground, including window and
door flashing.

C. inspect or identify geological, geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions.

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

D. inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment.

E. inspect seawalls, breakwalls or docks.

F. inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization measures.

G. inspect for safety-type glass.

H. inspect underground utilities.

I. inspect underground items.

J. inspect wells or springs.

K. inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems.

L. inspect swimming pools or spas.

M. inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic systems or cesspools.

N. inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems.

O. inspect drainfields or dry wells.

P. determine the integrity of multiple-pane window glazing or thermal window seals.

3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the foundation;

B. the basement;

C. the crawlspace; and

D. structural components.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of foundation; and

B. the location of the access to the under-floor space.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil;

B. observed indications of active water penetration;
C. observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks,
out-of-square door frames, and unlevel floors; and

D. any observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector’s
opinion, present a structural or safety concern.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. enter any crawlspace that is not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or pose a
hazard to him/herself.

B. move stored items or debris.

C. operate sump pumps with inaccessible floats.

D. identify the size, spacing, span or location or determine the adequacy of foundation bolting,
bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems.

E. provide any engineering or architectural service.

F. report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

3.4. Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the heating system, using normal operating controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the location of the thermostat for the heating system;

B. the energy source; and

C. the heating method.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. any heating system that did not operate; and

B. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspect or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers,
combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes,
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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.

B. inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.

C. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or
supply adequacy of the heating system.

D. light or ignite pilot flames.

E. activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or
other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

F. override electronic thermostats.

G. evaluate fuel quality.

H. verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or
clocks.

3.5. Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the cooling system, using normal operating controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the location of the thermostat for the cooling system; and

B. the cooling method.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. any cooling system that did not operate; and

B. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or
supply adequacy of the cooling system.

B. inspect portable window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters.

C. operate equipment or systems if the exterior temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, or when
other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

D. inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or
clocks.

E. examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.

3.6. Plumbing

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the main water supply shut-off valve;

B. the main fuel supply shut-off valve;

C. the water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections,
temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing;

D. interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water;

E. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;

F. all sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage;
G. the drain, waste and vent system; and

H. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. whether the water supply is public or private based upon observed evidence;

B. the location of the main water supply shut-off valve;

C. the location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve;

D. the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and

E. the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

A. deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated
simultaneously;

B. deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets;

C. mechanical drain stops that were missing or did not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories
and tubs; and

D. toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking, or had tank
components that did not operate.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. light or ignite pilot flames.

B. measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.

C. inspect the interior of flues or chimneys, combustion air systems, water softener or filtering
systems, well pumps or tanks, safety or shut-off valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler systems, or
fire sprinkler systems.

D. determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply.

E. determine the water quality, potability or reliability of the water supply or source.
F. open sealed plumbing access panels.

G. inspect clothes washing machines or their connections.

H. operate any valve.

I. test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage or functional overflow
protection.

J. evaluate the compliance with conservation, energy or building standards, or the proper design or
sizing of any water, waste or venting components, fixtures or piping.

K. determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back- flow prevention or drain-stop devices.

L. determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of drains.
M. evaluate fuel storage tanks or supply systems.

N. inspect wastewater treatment systems.

O. inspect water treatment systems or water filters.

P. inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps, or bladder tanks.

Q. evaluate wait time to obtain hot water at fixtures, or perform testing of any kind to water
heater elements.

R. evaluate or determine the adequacy of combustion air.

S. test, operate, open or close: safety controls, manual stop valves, temperature/pressure-relief
valves, control valves, or check valves.

T. examine ancillary or auxiliary systems or components, such as, but not limited to, those related
to solar water heating and hot water circulation.

U. determine the existence or condition of polybutylene plumbing.

V. inspect or test for gas or fuel leaks, or indications thereof.

3.7. Electrical

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the service drop;

B. the overhead service conductors and attachment point;

C. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;

D. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;

E. the electric meter and base;

F. service-entrance conductors;

G. the main service disconnect;

H. panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);

I. service grounding and bonding;

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

J. a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles
observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test
button, where possible;

K. all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be
GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and

L. smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the main service disconnect’s amperage rating, if labeled; and
B. the type of wiring observed.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. deficiencies in the integrity of the service-
entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs;
B. any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled;

C. the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible;

D. any tested receptacle in which power was not present, polarity was incorrect, the cover was not
in place, the GFCI devices were not properly installed or did not operate properly, evidence of
arcing or excessive heat, and where the receptacle was not grounded or was not secured to the wall;
and

E. the absence of smoke detectors.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards,
or electrical fixtures.

B. operate electrical systems that are shut down.

C. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.

D. operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices.
E. operate or test smoke or carbon-monoxide detectors or alarms

F. inspect, operate or test any security, fire or alarms systems or components, or other warning
or signaling systems.

G. measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly
labeled.

H. inspect ancillary wiring or remote-control devices.

I. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.
J. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any time-
controlled devices.

K. verify the service ground.

L. inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to:
generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility.

M. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.

N. inspect or test de-icing equipment.

O. conduct voltage-drop calculations.

P. determine the accuracy of labeling.

Q. inspect exterior lighting.

3.8. Fireplace

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys;

B. lintels above the fireplace openings;

C. damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and

D. cleanout doors and frames.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of fireplace.
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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. evidence of joint separation, damage or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or
chambers;

B. manually operated dampers that did not open and close;
C. the lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace;

D. the lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace; and

E. cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspect the flue or vent system.

B. inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or
mantels.
C. determine the need for a chimney sweep.

D. operate gas fireplace inserts.

E. light pilot flames.

F. determine the appropriateness of any installation.

G. inspect automatic fuel-fed devices.

H. inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.

I. inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity- controlled or fan-assisted.

J. ignite or extinguish fires.

K. determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics.

L. move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents.

M. perform a smoke test.

N. dismantle or remove any component.

O. perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.
P. perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas;

B. ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas; and

C. mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of insulation observed; and

B. the approximate average depth of insulation observed at the unfinished attic floor area or
roof structure.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. the general absence of insulation or ventilation in unfinished spaces.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. enter the attic or any unfinished spaces that are not readily accessible, or where entry could
cause damage or, in the inspector’s opinion, pose a safety hazard.

B. move, touch or disturb insulation.

C. move, touch or disturb vapor retarders.

D. break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels or
covers.

E. identify the composition or R-value of insulation material.

F. activate thermostatically operated fans.

G. determine the types of materials used in insulation or wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets,
boilers or wiring.
H. determine the adequacy of ventilation.

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. a representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them;

B. floors, walls and ceilings;

C. stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps;

D. railings, guards and handrails; and

E. garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating
controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. a garage vehicle door as manually-operated or installed with a garage door opener.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways,
guards and railings;

B. photo-electric safety sensors that did not operate properly; and

C. any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.

B. inspect floor coverings or carpeting.

C. inspect central vacuum systems.

D. inspect for safety glazing.

E. inspect security systems or components.

F. evaluate the fastening of islands, countertops, cabinets, sink tops or fixtures.

G. move furniture, stored items, or any coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in order to inspect the
concealed floor structure.

H. move suspended-ceiling tiles.

I. inspect or move any household appliances.
J. inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage, except as otherwise noted.

K. verify or certify the proper operation of any pressure-activated auto-reverse or related
safety feature of a garage door.

L. operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or
exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal standards.

M. operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes,
combinations or devices.

N. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches, or signal lights.

O. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens.
P. operate or examine any sauna, steam- generating equipment, kiln, toaster, ice maker, coffee
maker, can opener, bread warmer, blender, instant hot-water dispenser, or other small, ancillary
appliances or devices.

Q. inspect elevators.

R. inspect remote controls.

S. inspect appliances.

T. inspect items not permanently installed.

U. discover firewall compromises.

V. inspect pools, spas or fountains.

W. determine the adequacy of whirlpool or spa jets, water force, or bubble effects.

X. determine the structural integrity or leakage of pools or spas.

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

4. Glossary of Terms

accessible: In the opinion of the inspector, can be approached or entered safely, without
difficulty, fear or danger.

activate: To turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment or devices to become active by
normal operating controls. Examples include turning on the gas or water supply valves to the
fixtures and appliances, and activating electrical breakers or fuses.

adversely affect: To constitute, or potentially constitute, a negative or destructive impact.

alarm system: Warning devices, installed or freestanding, including, but not limited to:
carbon-monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors, security equipment, ejector
pumps, and smoke alarms.

appliance: A household device operated by the use of electricity or gas. Not included in this
definition are components covered under central heating, central cooling or plumbing.

architectural service: Any practice involving the art and science of building design for
construction of any structure or grouping of structures, and the use of space within and
surrounding the structures or the design, design development, preparation of construction contract
documents, and administration of the construction contract.
decorative: Ornamental; not required for the operation of essential systems or components of a
home.

describe: To report in writing a system or component by its type or other observed characteristics
in order to distinguish it from other components used for the same purpose.

determine: To arrive at an opinion or conclusion pursuant to examination.

dismantle: To open, take apart or remove any component, device or piece that would not typically be
opened, taken apart or removed by an ordinary occupant.

engineering service: Any professional service or creative work requiring engineering education,
training and experience, and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and
engineering sciences to such professional service or creative work as consultation, investigation,
evaluation, planning, design and supervision of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance
with the specifications and design, in conjunction with structures, buildings, machines, equipment,
works and/or processes.

enter: To go into an area to observe visible components.

evaluate: To assess the systems, structures and/or components of a property.

component: A permanently installed or attached fixture, element or part of a system.

condition: The visible and conspicuous state of being of an object.
evidence: That which tends to prove or disprove something; something that makes plain or clear;
grounds for belief; proof.

examine: To visually look (see inspect).

correction: Something that is substituted or proposed for what is incorrect, deficient, unsafe, or
a defect.
foundation: The base upon which the structure or wall rests, usually masonry, concrete or stone,
and generally partially underground.

cosmetic defect: An irregularity or imperfection in something, which could be corrected, but is
not required.

crawlspace: The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the
underside of the lowest floor’s structural component.
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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.

InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

functional defect: A lack of or an abnormality in something that is necessary for normal and
proper functioning and operation, and, therefore, requires further evaluation and correction.

general home inspection: The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible
systems and components of a home and operates those systems and components utilizing this Standards
of Practice as a guideline.

home inspection: See general home inspection.

household appliances: Kitchen and laundry appliances, room air conditioners, and similar
appliances.

identify: To notice and report.

indication: That which serves to point out, show, or make known the present existence of something
under certain conditions.

inspect: To examine readily accessible systems and components safely, using normal operating
controls, and accessing readily accessible areas, in accordance with this Standards of Practice.
normal operating controls: Describes the method by which certain devices (such as thermostats) can
be operated by ordinary occupants, as they require no specialized skill or knowledge.

observe: To visually notice.

operate: To cause systems to function or turn on with normal operating controls.

readily accessible: A system or component that, in the judgment of the inspector, is capable of
being safely observed without the removal of obstacles, detachment or disengagement of connecting
or securing devices, or other unsafe or difficult procedures to gain access.

recreational facilities: Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground
equipment, and other exercise, entertainment and athletic facilities.

report (verb form): To express, communicate or provide information in writing; give a written
account of. (See also inspection report.)

representative number: A number sufficient to serve as a typical or characteristic example of the
item(s) inspected.

inspected property: The readily accessible areas of the buildings, site, items, components and
systems included in the inspection.

inspection report: A written communication (possibly including images) of any material defects
observed during the inspection.

inspector: One who performs a real estate inspection.

installed: Attached or connected such that the installed item requires a tool for removal.

material defect: A specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may
have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk
to people. The fact that a system or component is near, at, or beyond the end of its normal,
useful life is not, in itself, a material defect.
residential property: Four or fewer residential units.

residential unit: A home; a single unit providing complete and independent living facilities for
one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and
sanitation.

safety glazing: Tempered glass, laminated glass, or rigid plastic.

shut down: Turned off, unplugged, inactive, not in service, not operational, etc.

structural component: A component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and
variable forces or weights (live loads).

system: An assembly of various components which function as a whole.

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

technically exhaustive: A comprehensive and detailed examination beyond the scope of a real estate
home inspection that would involve or include, but would not be limited to: dismantling,
specialized knowledge or training, special equipment, measurements, calculations, testing,
research, analysis, or other means.

unsafe: In the inspector’s opinion, a condition of an area, system, component or procedure that is
judged to be a significant risk of injury during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to
damage, deterioration, improper installation, or a change in accepted residential construction
standards.

verify: To confirm or substantiate.

These terms are found within the Standards of Practice. Visit InterNACHI’s full Glossary online at
http://www.nachi.org/glossary.htm

International Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) promotes a high standard of
professionalism, business ethics and inspection procedures. InterNACHI members subscribe to the
following Code of Ethics in the course of their business.

I. Duty to the Public

1. The InterNACHI member shall abide by the Code of Ethics and substantially follow the
InterNACHI Standards of Practice.

2. The InterNACHI member shall not engage in any practices that could be damaging to the
public or bring discredit to the home inspection industry.

3. The InterNACHI member shall be fair, honest and impartial, and act in good faith in dealing
with the public.

4. The InterNACHI member shall not discriminate in any business activities on the basis of
race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or handicap, and
shall comply with all federal,
state and local laws concerning discrimination.

5. The InterNACHI member shall be truthful regarding his/her services and qualifications.

6. The InterNACHI member shall not:

a. have any disclosed or undisclosed conflict of interest with the client;

b. accept or offer any disclosed or undisclosed commissions, rebates, profits, or other
benefit from real estate agents, brokers, or any third parties having financial interest in the
sale of the property; or

c. offer or provide any disclosed or undisclosed financial compensation directly or
indirectly to any real estate agent, real estate broker, or real estate company for referrals or
for inclusion on lists of preferred and/or affiliated inspectors or inspection companies.

7. The InterNACHI member shall not release any information about the inspection or the client to a
third party unless doing so is necessary to protect the safety of others, to comply with a law or
statute, or both of the following conditions are met:

a. the client has been made explicitly aware of what information will be released, to whom, and for
what purpose, and;

b. the client has provided explicit, prior written consent for the release of his/her
information.

8. The InterNACHI member shall always act in the interests of the client unless doing so
violates a law, statute, or this Code of Ethics.

9. The InterNACHI member shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed,
limitations of services, and fees.

10. The InterNACHI member shall comply with all government rules and licensing

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InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

requirements of the jurisdiction where he or she conducts business.

11. The InterNACHI member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs
or associated services to the structure for which the member or member’s company has prepared a
home inspection report for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to
components and/or systems that are not included in the InterNACHI Standards of Practice.

II. Duty to Continue Education

1. The InterNACHI member shall comply with InterNACHI’s current Continuing Education
requirements.

2. The InterNACHI member shall pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Exam once every three years.

III. Duty to the Profession and to InterNACHI

1. The InterNACHI member shall strive to improve the home inspection industry by sharing
his/her lessons and/or experiences for the benefit of all. This does not preclude
the member from copyrighting or marketing his/her expertise to other Inspectors or the public in
any manner permitted by law.

2. The InterNACHI member shall assist the InterNACHI leadership in disseminating and publicizing
the benefits of InterNACHI membership.

3. The InterNACHI member shall not engage in any act or practice that could be deemed
damaging, seditious or destructive to InterNACHI, fellow InterNACHI members, InterNACHI employees,
leadership or directors. Accusations of a member acting or deemed in violation of such rules shall
trigger a review by the Ethics Committee for possible sanctions and/or expulsion from InterNACHI.

4. The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI’s current membership requirements.

5. The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI’s current message board rules.

Members of other associations are welcome to join InterNACHI, but a requirement of membership is
that InterNACHI must be given equal or greater prominence in their marketing materials (brochures
and websites) compared to other associations of membership.