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TN Standard of Practice for Home Inspections

TN Standard of Practice for Home Inspections

This is the state specific Standards of Practice, the TN Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors, we pulled the info from https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/rules/0780/0780-05/0780-05-12.20141104.pdf

0780-05-12-.01 0780-05-12-.02 0780-05-12-.03 0780-05-12-.04 0780-05-12-.05 0780-05-12-.06 0780-05-12-.07 0780-05-12-.08

Purpose
Definitions
Application for License
Application Requirements
Renewal Requirements
Fees
Qualifying and Continuing Education Citations

0780-05-12-.09 0780-05-12-.10 0780-05-12-.11 0780-05-12-.12 0780-05-12-.13 0780-05-12-.14 0780-05-12-.15

Civil Penalties Standards of Practice Code of Ethics Inactive Status Insurance
Records Retention Change of Address

0780-05-12-.01 PURPOSE.

RULES OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND INSURANCE DIVISION OF REGULATORY BOARDS

CHAPTER 0780-05-12 HOME INSPECTORS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The rules in this chapter implement the Tennessee Home Inspector License Act of 2005, T.C.A. § 62-6- 301 et seq.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-301 and 62-6-303(a)(5) [effective July 1, 2006]; and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.02 DEFINITIONS.

In addition to the definitions contained in T.C.A. § 62-6-302, the following definitions are applicable to this chapter:

  1. (1)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of commerce and insurance or the commissioner’s designee;
  2. (2)  “Continuing Education” means education that is creditable toward the education requirements that must be satisfied as a prerequisite for renewal of a license as a home inspector;
  3. (3)  “Home” or “Residence” means any structure consisting of one to four (1-4) dwelling units, intended to be or used principally for residential purposes;
  4. (4)  “Inactive Licensee” means an individual who is not engaged in the business of conducting home inspections and holds a valid, current inactive license issued by the commissioner;
  5. (5)  “Instructor” means an individual who presents course materials approved for qualifying education and continuing education credit hours that has the necessary experience, training or education in the course subject matter and has been approved by the commissioner;
  6. (6)  “Licensee” means an individual who holds a current, unexpired license as a home inspector issued by the commissioner;
  7. (7)  “Provider” means an individual or entity offering courses approved by the commissioner for qualifying education or continuing education credit hours;
  8. (8)  “Qualifying Education” means education that is creditable toward the education requirements required for initial licensure as a home inspector.

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.02, continued)

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-302 and 62-6-303(a)(5) [effective July 1, 2006]; and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 3, 4, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006. Repeal and new rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.03 APPLICATION FOR LICENSE.

  1. (1)  Any person who seeks to be licensed as a home inspector shall complete an application on a form prescribed by the commissioner and submit the completed application to the commissioner.
  2. (2)  Applications for licensure are available upon request from the commissioner.
  3. (3)  Any application submitted which lacks required information or reflects a failure to meet any requirement for licensure will be returned to the applicant with written notification of the information that is lacking or the reason(s) the application does not meet the requirements for licensure and will be held in “pending” status until satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed sixty (60) days from the date of application.
  4. (4)  Any application submitted may be withdrawn; provided, however, that the application fee will not be refunded.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303(a)(5) and 62-6-305 [effective July 1, 2006]; and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.04 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.

  1. (1)  Any person who desires to obtain a license as a home inspector shall submit an application to the commissioner, along with the required application fee.
  2. (2)  An applicant for licensure shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant:
    1. (a)  Is at least eighteen (18) years of age;
    2. (b)  Has graduated from high school or earned a general education development (“GED”) certificate;
    3. (c)  Has not been convicted of a crime that has a direct bearing on the applicant’s ability to perform competently and fully as a licensee;
    4. (d)  Is not the subject of a disciplinary enforcement action by another state or a local jurisdiction in connection with the performance of home inspections or the licensing or certification of home inspectors;
    5. (e)  Has successfully completed ninety (90) hours of education approved by the commissioner in the performance of home inspections and the preparation of home inspection reports;
    6. (f)  Has passed the National Home Inspector Examination developed by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI);
    7. (g)  Has a current certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00); and

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.04, continued)

(h) Has a current certificate of errors and omissions insurance to cover all home inspection activities contemplated under T.C.A. § 62-6-301 et seq. and these rules.

  1. (3)  Reciprocity. The commissioner may grant a license as a home inspector to an individual who holds a like, unexpired license in good standing as a home inspector in that state if the requirements for licensure are at least equivalent to the requirements for licensure in Tennessee. Such applicant shall file with the commissioner the required application form and fee, along with proof that the applicant holds a current, valid license as a home inspector in another state.
  2. (4)  Temporary Practice Permit: An applicant for licensure as a home inspector, who holds an active home inspector license in another state whose licensure requirements are not considered substantially equivalent for reciprocity and whose spouse is an active member of the armed forces of the United States, who is the subject of a military transfer to Tennessee may be granted a temporary practice permit for up to six (6) months to complete specific education and/or examination requirements where the state of original licensure is not deemed to be substantially equivalent to the licensure requirements in Tennessee as specified in 0780-05-12-.04(3).

(a) In addition to the requirements of 0780-05-12-.04 (1) & (2) Temporary Practice Permit applicants must provide:

(i) Evidence that applicant’s spouse is a member of the armed forces and is subject to a military transfer to Tennessee;

  1. (b)  The temporary practice permit will expire six (6) months from the date of issuance or upon issuance of a license as a home inspector in Tennessee which ever may occur first.
  2. (c)  No renewal of the temporary practice permit will be granted.
  3. (d)  If a temporary practice permit holder’s out-of-state license is revoked, suspended, denied renewal or restricted, then the Commissioner may revoke, suspend, or restrict a permit holder’s temporary practice permit.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303(a)(5) and 62-6-305 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006. Repeal and new rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.05 RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS.

  1. (1)  A license issued to a home inspector pursuant to this chapter shall expire two (2) years from the date of its issuance and shall become invalid on such date unless renewed.
  2. (2)  A home inspector may renew a current, valid license by submitting an application form approved by the commissioner, the required renewal fee, proof of having completed thirty- two (32) hours of commissioner-approved continuing education and any other information required for renewal, to the commissioner no earlier than one hundred twenty (120) days nor later than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the license.
  3. (3)  If a course has been taken more than once during the same renewal period the hourly educational credit will be counted once for purposes of satisfying the educational requirements for renewal.

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  1. (4)  Credit shall not be granted for a repeated course within a three (3) year time period unlessthe course has undergone a significant update.
  2. (5)  A licensee who fails to pay the renewal fee, or otherwise fails to comply with any of the prerequisites for renewal of a license before the expiration date of the license will have sixty (60) days after the expiration date of the license to renew the license upon payment of the renewal fee, payment of a late penalty of $25.00, submittal of proof of compliance with any other prerequisites to renewal, and payment of an additional late penalty of $25.00 for each month or fraction of a month that renewal is late.
  3. (6)  Any person seeking renewal of a license more than sixty (60) days after the expiration date of the license is required to reapply for licensure and fulfill all of the requirements for initial licensure and submit proof of having completed thirty-two (32) hours of commissioner- approved continuing education within the previous two (2) years. In considering such reapplication, the commissioner has the discretion to:
    1. (a)  waive reexamination if the exam presented at the time of initial licensure if the exam was completed within the previous five (5) years; or
    2. (b)  reinstate a license subject to the applicant’s compliance with such reasonable conditions as the commissioner may prescribe, including payment of a penalty fee, in addition to the penalty fee provided in paragraph (5), of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per month or portion thereof from the date the license expired.
  4. (7)  A fee submitted by mail to the Commissioner for purposes of renewal will be deemed to have been submitted on the date of the official postmark.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303(a)(5) and 62-6-307[effective July 1, 2006]; and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 8, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006. Repeal and new rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.06 FEES.

  1. (1)  Non-refundable application fee is one hundred dollars ($100.00).
  2. (2)  Initial license fee is two hundred dollars ($200.00).
  3. (3)  The examination fee shall be set by the Board pursuant to its contract with the entity it designated to administer the examination.
  4. (4)  Renewal fee is two hundred dollars ($200.00) for an active license.
  5. (5)  The late penalty fee is twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per month for each month or fraction of a month that renewal is late.
  6. (6)  Application fee to place the license in inactive status is fifty dollars ($50.00).
  7. (7)  Renewal fee for license while in inactive status is fifty dollars ($50.00).
  8. (8)  Application fee for qualifying or continuing education course approval is fifty dollars ($50.00).
  9. (9)  Renewal fee for qualifying or continuing education course approval is fifty dollars ($50.00).
  10. (10)  Application for individual course approval is twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each course that is not on the pre-approved course list.

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.06, continued)

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303 and 62-6-307 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006. Repeal and new rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.07 QUALIFYING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION.

(1) Course approval requirements.

  1. (a)  Any person or entity seeking to conduct an approved course for qualifying or continuing education credits shall make application and submit to the commissioner any documents, statements and forms as the commissioner may require. The complete application shall be submitted to the commissioner no later than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled date of the course. At a minimum, a person or entity seeking approval to conduct a course for qualifying or continuing education shall provide:
    1. Name and address of the provider;
    2. Contact person and his or her address, telephone number, fax number and email address;
    3. Name of course as it will appear on course certificates;
    4. The location of the courses or programs;
    5. The number and type of education credit, qualifying or continuing, hours requested for each course;
    6. A timed outline which lists the summarized topics covered in each course and upon request a copy of any course materials;
    7. If a prior approved course has substantially changed, a summary of the changes; and
    8. The names and qualifications of each instructor who is qualified in accordance with paragraph (2) of this rule.
  2. (b)  Acceptable topics include, but are not limited to:
    1. Observing and identifying defects in structural components, foundations, roof coverings;
    2. Insulation and ventilation;
    3. Exterior and interior components;
    4. Plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems;
    5. Applicable state laws and rules;
    6. Home Inspection business management;
    7. Home Inspector Ethics;
    8. Tennessee Standards of Home Inspector Practice;

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.07, continued)

9. Home Inspection Report Writing.

(c) “Course hour” is defined as fifty (50) minutes of teaching out of each sixty (60) minute segment.

  1. (d)  In addition to accepting courses approved as described in this rule, qualifying and continuing education credits may be granted on an individual basis to an applicant or licensee if the applicant or licensee provides documentation acceptable to the commissioner that shows that the courses meet applicable requirements for the category of credit applied for, including proof that the applicant or licensee attended and successfully completed the course. To be considered for credit, the prescribed form must be received along with a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per course.
  2. (e)  The commissioner may withhold or withdraw approval of any provider for violation of or failure to comply with any provision of this rule. Such withholding or withdrawal does not constitute a contested case proceeding pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act compiled at T.C.A. Title 4, Chapter 5.
  3. (f)  No person or entity sponsoring or conducting a course shall advertise that it is endorsed, recommended, or accredited by the commissioner. Such person or entity may indicate that the commissioner has approved a course of study if that course of study has been pre-approved by the commissioner before it is advertised or held.
  4. (g)  Within five (5) working days after the completion of each course, the provider shall submit to the commissioner a list of all attendees, including, if applicable, the attendees’ license numbers, who completed the course on the course completion form approved by the commissioner. If the course is for continuing education, each licensee successfully completing the course shall be furnished a certificate certifying completion.
  5. (h)  Providers shall maintain course records for at least five (5) years. The commissioner may at any time examine such records to ensure compliance with this rule.
  6. (i)  Approval of any course(s) may be withdrawn by the Commissioner if:
    1. (i)  The conduct of a provider, an instructor, or any other school representative in either the establishment or conduct of a course violates, or fails to meet the requirements of, the provisions of this chapter of other applicable law;
    2. (ii)  The course content is based on excluded conduct of a home inspector as identified in 0780-05-12-.10.
  7. (j)  The required fee from a course provider for approval of courses for qualifying or continuing education shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) for each course. The application fee is non-refundable.
  8. (k)  If granted, course approval shall be valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of approval.
  9. (l)  The provider of an approved course who wishes to renew such approval shall submit an application, on a form approved by the Commission, along with a renewal fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each course, within thirty (30) days prior to the approval’s expiration.

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.07, continued)

  1. (m)  If a provider fails to renew course approval within thirty (30) days of the approval’sexpiration date, the provider may, upon payment of a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) penalty, apply for a late renewal. No late renewals or course approval will be granted if over three (3) months have passed since expiration.
  2. (n)  State universities, colleges and junior colleges which provide courses for qualifying or continuing education shall be exempt from the fee.

(2) Instructor qualifications and requirements. A person seeking approval as an instructor shall submit an application on a form approved by the commissioner. If granted, the approval as an instructor shall be valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of the approval.

(a)

An instructor shall have one of the following qualifications:

(b)

order to maintain approved status, an instructor shall furnish evidence on a form

1. 2. 3.

4.

In
approved by the commissioner that the instructor has taught a commissioner-approved course, or any other course for qualifying or continuing education credit that the commissioner determines to be equivalent, within the preceding two (2) year period. Any instructor who does not meet their requirements of this subparagraph (2)(b) shall be required to submit a new application in accordance with subparagraph (2)(a) above.

Three (3) years of recent experience in the subject matter being taught; or

A minimum of an associate’s degree in the subject area being taught; or

Two (2) years of recent experience in the subject area being taught and twelve (12) hours of college credit and/or vocational technical school technical credit hours in the subject being taught.

Other educational, teaching or professional qualifications determined by the commissioner which constitute an equivalent to (1) or more of the qualifications in parts (2)(a)1., 2., and 3. of this rule.

  1. (3)  In order to renew a license, and in addition to any other renewal requirements, the licensee shall submit to the commissioner a log, on a form provided by the commissioner, showing the type(s) of continuing education activity claimed, provider, location, duration, instructor’s or speaker’s name, description of the activity and continuing education units earned, along with the completion certificate(s) furnished by the provider. A licensee shall submit the log and the completion certificate(s) to the commissioner no earlier than one hundred twenty (120) days nor later than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the license.
  2. (4)  If a licensee who is not a resident of Tennessee satisfies a continuing education requirement for renewal of a license as a home inspector in the licensee’s resident state, the licensee will be deemed to have met the continuing education requirement for Tennessee; provided, the continuing education requirements in the licensee’s resident state are at least equivalent to the continuing education requirements in Tennessee. In order for the licensee to be deemed to have met the requirement, the licensee must file with the license renewal a certificate from the licensee’s resident state certifying that the licensee has completed the continuing education requirement for licensure in that state. The certificate from the licensee’s resident state verifying compliance with continuing education in the resident state must be received by the commissioner no earlier than one hundred twenty (120) days nor later than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the license.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303(a)(4), (5) and 62-6-307 [effective July 1, 2006], and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 8, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7,

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.07, continued)

2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006. Repeal and new rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.08 CITATIONS.

(1) The commissioner may issue citations against persons acting in the capacity of or engaging in the business of a home inspector without a license in violation of T.C.A. § 62-6-304. Each citation shall be in writing and describe with particularity the basis of the citation. Each citation shall contain an order to cease all violations of the applicable law, and an assessment of a civil penalty in accordance with the following schedule:

Violation Penalty

  1. (a)  T.C.A. § 62-6-304 $50 – $1000
  2. (b)  In determining the amount of any penalty to be assessed pursuant to this rule, the commissioner may consider such factors as the following:
    1. Whether the amount imposed will be a substantial economic deterrent to the violator;
    2. The circumstances leading to the violation;
    3. The severity of the violation and the risk of harm to the public;
    4. The economic benefits gained by the violator as a result of noncompliance;
    5. The interest of the public;
    6. Willfulness of the violation.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303(a)(5) and 62-6-308(b) [effective July 1, 2006], and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 8, 9, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.09 CIVIL PENALTIES.

(1) With respect to any licensed home inspector, the commissioner may, in addition to or in lieu of any other lawful disciplinary action, assess a civil penalty against such licensee for each separate violation of a statute, rule or commissioner’s order pertaining to home inspectors, in accordance with the following schedule:

Violation

  1. (a)  T.C.A. § 62-6-308
  2. (b)  Rule 0780-05-12-.10
  3. (c)  Commissioner’s order

Penalty
$50 – $1000

$50 – $1000

$50 – $1000

(2) With respect to any person required to be licensed in this state as a home inspector, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty against such person for each separate violation of a statute in accordance with the following schedule:

Violation Penalty

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(Rule 0780-05-12-.09, continued)
(a) T.C.A. § 62-6-304 $50 – $1000

  1. (3)  Each day of continued violation may constitute a separate violation.
  2. (4)  In determining the amount of any penalty to be assessed pursuant to this rule, the commissioner may consider such factors as the following:
    1. (a)  Whether the amount imposed will be a substantial economic deterrent to the violator;
    2. (b)  The circumstances leading to the violation;
    3. (c)  The severity of the violation and the risk of harm to the public;
    4. (d)  The economic benefits gained by the violator as a result of noncompliance;
    5. (e)  The interest of the public;
    6. (f)  Willfulness of the violation.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 56-1-308, 62-6-303(a)(5) and 62-6-308 [effective July 1, 2006], and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 5, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.10 STANDARDS OF PRACTICE.

(1) (2)

Standards of Practice. This rule sets forth the minimum standards of practice required of licensed home inspectors.

Definitions. The following definitions apply to this rule:

  1. (a)  “Automatic safety controls” means 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;
  2. (b)  “Central air conditioning” means a system that uses ducts to distribute cooled or dehumidified air to more than one room or uses pipes to distribute chilled water to heat exchangers in more than one room, and that is not plugged into an electrical convenience outlet;
  3. (c)  “Component” means a readily accessible and observable aspect of a system, such as a floor, or wall, but not individual pieces such as boards or nails where many similar pieces make up the component;
  4. (d)  “Cosmetic damage” means superficial blemishes or defects that do not interfere with the functionality of the component or system;
  5. (e)  “Cross connection” means any physical connection or arrangement between potable water and any source of contamination;
  6. (f)  “Dangerous or adverse situations” means situations that pose a threat of injury to the home inspector, or those situations that require the use of special protective clothing or safety equipment;

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(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. (g)  “Describe” means report in writing a system or component by its type, or otherinspected characteristics, to distinguish it from other systems or components used for the same purpose;
  2. (h)  “Dismantle” means to take apart or remove any component, device or piece of equipment that is bolted, screwed, or fastened by other means and that would not be dismantled by a homeowner in the course of normal household maintenance;
  3. (i)  “Enter” means to go into an area to inspect all visible components;
  4. (j)  “Functional drainage” means a drain is functional when it empties in a reasonable amount of time and does not overflow when another fixture is drained simultaneously;
  5. (k)  “Functional flow” means a reasonable flow at the highest fixture in a dwelling when another fixture is operated simultaneously;
  6. (l)  “Inspect” means the act of making a visual examination;
  7. (m)  “Installed” means attached or connected such that an item requires tools for removal;
  8. (n)  “Normal operating controls” means homeowner operated devices such as a thermostat, wall switch, or safety switch;
  9. (o)  “On-site water supply quality” means water quality is based on the bacterial, chemical, mineral, and solids content of the water;
  10. (p)  “On-site water supply quantity” means the rate of flow of on-site well water;
  11. (q)  “Operate” means to cause systems or equipment to function;
  12. (r)  “Readily accessible” means approachable or enterable for visual inspection without the risk of damage to any property or alteration of the accessible space, equipment, or opening;
  13. (s)  “Readily openable access panel” means a panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance that has removable or operable fasteners or latch devices in order to be lifted off, swung open, or otherwise removed by one person; and its edges and fasteners are not painted in place. This definition is limited to those panels within normal reach or from a four-foot stepladder, and that are not blocked by stored items, furniture, or building components;
  14. (t)  “Readily visible” means seen by using natural or artificial light without the use of equipment or tools other than a flashlight;
  15. (u)  “Representative number” means, for multiple identical components such as windows and electrical outlets, one such component per room; and, for multiple identical exterior components, one such component on each side of the building;
  16. (v)  “Roof drainage systems” means gutters, downspouts, leaders, splashblocks, and similar components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building;
  17. (w)  “Shut down” means a piece of equipment or a system which cannot be operated by the device or control that a homeowner should normally use to operate it. If its safety switch or circuit breaker is in the “off” position, or its fuse is missing or blown, the home inspector is not required to reestablish the circuit for the purpose of operating the equipment or system;

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HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. (x)  “Significantly deficient” means unsafe or not functioning;
  2. (y)  “Solid fuel heating device” means 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, woodstoves (room heaters), central furnaces, and combinations of these devices;
  3. (z)  “Structural component” means a component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads);
  4. (aa)  “System” means a combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions;

(bb) “Technically exhaustive” means an inspection involving the use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions, and recommendations;

(cc) “Underfloor crawl space” means the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.

(3) Purpose and Scope.

  1. (a)  Home inspections performed according to this rule shall provide the client with an understanding of the property conditions at the time of the home inspection.
  2. (b)  Home inspectors shall:
    1. Provide a written contract, signed by the client or the client’s legal representative that shall:
      1. (i)  State that the home inspection will be in accordance with the Standards of Practice promulgated by the commissioner;
      2. (ii)  Describe what services shall be provided and their cost;
      3. (iii)  State that the home inspection report will not address the items set forth in parts (5)(a)4. and 5. of this rule; and
      4. (iv)  State, when an inspection is for only one or a limited number of systems or components, that the inspection is limited to only those systems or components.
    2. Inspect readily visible and readily accessible installed systems and components listed in this rule; and
    3. Submit a written report to the client that shall at a minimum:

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11

(i) (ii)

Describe those systems and components required to be described in paragraphs (7) through (16) of this rule;

State which systems and components designated for inspection in this rule have been inspected, and state any systems or components designated for inspection that were not inspected, and the reason for not inspecting;

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. (iii)  State any systems or components so inspected that do not function asintended, allowing for normal wear and tear, or adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling;
  2. (iv)  State whether the condition reported requires repair or subsequent observation, or warrants further investigation by a specialist; and
  3. (v)  State the name, license number, and signature of the person conducting the inspection.

(c) This rule does not limit home inspectors from:

  1. Reporting observations and conditions or rendering opinions of items in addition to those required in paragraphs (7) through (16) of this rule; or
  2. Excluding systems and components from the inspection if requested by the client, and so stated in the written contract.

(4) General Limitations.

(a) This rule applies to structures that are intended to be or are in fact used as residences, consisting of from one to four (1-4) family dwelling units and their attached garages or carports.

(5) Required Reporting.
(a) The home inspection report shall include the following:

  1. A report on any system or component inspected that, in the opinion of the home inspector, is significantly deficient;
  2. A list of any systems or components that were designated for inspection in this rule but that were not inspected;
  3. The reason a system or component listed in accordance with part (5)(a)2. was not inspected;
  4. A statement that the report does not address environmental hazards, including:
    1. (i)  Lead-based paint;
    2. (ii)  Radon;
    3. (iii)  Asbestos;
  1. (iv)  Cockroaches;
  2. (v)  Rodents;
  3. (vi)  Pesticides;
  4. (vii)  Treated lumber;
  5. (viii)  Fungus;
  6. (ix)  Mercury;

November, 2014 (Revised)

12

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. (x)  Carbon monoxide; or
  2. (xi)  Other similar environmental hazards.

5. A statement that the report does not address subterranean systems or system components (operational or nonoperational), including:

  1. (i)  Sewage disposal;
  2. (ii)  Water supply; or
  3. (iii)  Fuel storage or delivery.

(6) General Exclusions.

  1. (a)  Home inspectors are not required to report on:
    1. Life expectancy of any component or system;
    2. The cause(s) of the need for a repair;
    3. The methods, materials, and costs of corrections;
    4. The suitability of the property for any specialized use;
    5. Compliance or non-compliance with adopted codes, ordinances, statutes, regulatory requirements or restrictions;
    6. The market value of the property or its marketability;
    7. The advisability or inadvisability of purchase of the property;
    8. Any component or system that was not inspected;
    9. The presence or absence of pests such as wood damaging organisms, rodents, or insects; or
    10. Cosmetic damage, underground items, or items not permanently installed.
  2. (b)  Home inspectors are not required to:
    1. Offer warranties or guarantees of any kind;
    2. Calculate the strength, adequacy, or efficiency of any system or component;
    3. Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to or adversely affect the health or safety of the home inspector or other persons;
    4. Operate any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable;
    5. Operate any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls;

November, 2014 (Revised) 13

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. Move personal items, panels, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice, ordebris that obstructs access or visibility;
  2. Determine the effectiveness of any system installed to control or remove suspected hazardous substances;
  3. Predict future condition, including but not limited to failure of components;
  4. Project operating costs of components;
  5. Evaluate acoustical characteristics of any system or component; or
  6. Inspect special equipment or accessories that are not listed as components to be inspected in this rule.

(c) Home inspectors shall not:

  1. Offer or perform any act or service contrary to law; or
  2. Offer or perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, electrical or any other job function requiring a license in this state for the same client unless the client is advised thereof and consents thereto.

(7) Heating Systems.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect permanently installed heating systems including:
    1. Heating equipment;
    2. Normal operating controls;
    3. Automatic safety controls;
    4. Chimneys, flues, and vents, where readily visible;
    5. Solid fuel heating devices;
    6. Heat distribution systems including fans, pumps, ducts and piping, insulation, air filters, registers, radiators, fan coil units, convectors; and
    7. The presence of an installed heat source in each room.
  2. (b)  The home inspector shall describe:
    1. The energy source for the system; and
    2. The heating equipment and distribution type.
  3. (c)  The home inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls.
  4. (d)  The home inspector shall open readily openable access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance.
  5. (e)  The home inspector is not required to:

November, 2014 (Revised) 14

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)
1. Operate heating systems when weather conditions or other circumstances may

cause equipment damage;
2. Operate automatic safety controls; 3. Ignite or extinguish solid fuel fires; or 4. Inspect:

  1. (i)  The interior of flues;
  2. (ii)  Fireplace insert flue connections;
  3. (iii)  Humidifiers;
  4. (iv)  Electronic air filters; or
  5. (v)  The uniformity or adequacy of heat supply to the various rooms.

(8) Cooling Systems.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect:
    1. Central air conditioning and through-the-wall installed cooling systems including:
      1. (i)  Cooling and air handling equipment; and
      2. (ii)  Normal operating controls.
    2. Distribution systems including:
      1. (i)  Fans, pumps, ducts and piping, dampers, insulation, air filters, registers, fan-coil units; and
      2. (ii)  The presence of an installed cooling source in each room.
  2. (b)  The home inspector shall describe:
    1. The energy source for the system; and
    2. The cooling equipment type.
  3. (c)  The home inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls.
  4. (d)  The home inspector shall open readily openable access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance.
  5. (e)  The home inspector is not required to:
    1. Operate cooling systems when weather conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage;
    2. Inspect window air conditioners; or
    3. Inspect the uniformity or adequacy of cool-air supply to the various rooms.

November, 2014 (Revised) 15

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued) (9) Electrical Systems.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect:
    1. Service entrance conductors;
    2. Service equipment, grounding equipment, main overcurrent device, and main and distribution panels;
    3. Amperage and voltage ratings of the service;
    4. Branch circuit conductors, their overcurrent devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages;
    5. The operation of a representative number of installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house, garage, and on the dwelling’s exterior walls;
    6. The polarity and grounding of all receptacles within six feet of interior plumbing fixtures, and all receptacles in the garage or carport, and on the exterior of inspected structures;
    7. The operation of ground fault circuit interrupters; and
    8. Smoke detectors.
  2. (b)  The home inspector shall describe:
    1. Service amperage and voltage;
    2. Service entry conductor materials;
    3. The service type as being overhead or underground; and
    4. The location of main and distribution panels.
  3. (c)  The home inspector shall report the presence of any readily accessible single strand aluminum branch circuit wiring.
  4. (d)  The home inspector shall report on the presence or absence of smoke detectors. If the smoke detector is an individual (stand alone) unit, the home inspector shall operate its test function. If the smoke detector is incorporated into an alarm system, the entity that monitors the alarm system should test the smoke detector.
  5. (e)  The home inspector is not required to:
    1. Insert any tool, probe, or testing device inside the panels;
    2. Test or operate any overcurrent device except ground fault circuit interrupters;
    3. Dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove the covers of the main and auxiliary distribution panels; or
    4. Inspect:
      (i) Low voltage systems;

November, 2014 (Revised) 16

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. (ii)  Security system devices, heat detectors, or carbon monoxide detectors;
  2. (iii)  Telephone, security, cable TV, intercoms, or other ancillary wiring that is not a part of the primary electrical distribution system; or
  3. (iv)  Built-in vacuum equipment.

(10) Plumbing Systems.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect:
    1. Interior water supply and distribution system, including: piping materials, supports, and insulation; fixtures and faucets; functional flow; leaks; and cross connections;
    2. Interior drain, waste, and vent system, including: traps; drain, waste, and vent piping; piping supports and pipe insulation; leaks; and functional drainage;
    3. Hot water systems including: water heating equipment; normal operating controls; automatic safety controls; and chimneys, flues, and vents; and
    4. Sump pumps.
  2. (b)  The home inspector shall describe:
    1. Water supply and distribution piping materials;
    2. Drain, waste, and vent piping materials;
    3. Water heating equipment; and
    4. The location of any main water supply shutoff device.
  3. (c)  The home inspector shall operate all plumbing fixtures, including their faucets and all exterior faucets attached to the house, except where the flow end of the faucet is connected to an appliance.
  4. (d)  The home inspector is not required to:
    1. State the effectiveness of anti-siphon devices;
    2. Determine whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private;
    3. Operate automatic safety controls;
    4. Operate any valve except water closet flush valves, fixture faucets, and hose faucets;
    5. Inspect:

November, 2014 (Revised)

17

(i) (ii)

Water conditioning systems; Fire and lawn sprinkler systems;

HOME INSPECTORS (Rule 0780-05-12-.10,

CHAPTER 0780-05-12

6. (11) Structural

  1. (a)  The1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  2. (b)  The 1.2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  3. (c)  The 1.2.3. 4.
  1. (iv)  On-site waste disposal systems;
  2. (v)  Foundation irrigation systems;
  3. (vi)  Bathroom spas, except as to functional flow and functional drainage;
  4. (vii)  Swimming pools;
  5. (viii)  Solar water heating equipment; or

Inspect the system for proper sizing, design, or use of proper materials.

Components and Foundations.
home inspector shall inspect structural components including:

Foundation; Floors;
Walls;
Columns or piers; Ceilings; and Roofs.

home inspector shall describe the type of: Foundation;
Floor structure;
Wall structure;

Columns or piers; Ceiling structure; and Roof structure.

home inspector shall:

Probe structural components where deterioration is suspected;

Enter underfloor crawl spaces, basements, and attic spaces except when access is obstructed, when entry could damage the property, or when dangerous or adverse situations are suspected;

Report the methods used to inspect underfloor crawl spaces and attics; and

Report signs of water penetration into the building or signs of condensation on building components.

continued)
(iii) On-site water supply quantity and quality;

November, 2014 (Revised) 18

HOME INSPECTORS
(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

(12) Roof Coverings.
(a) The home inspector shall inspect:

CHAPTER 0780-05-12

  1. Roofcoverings;
  2. Roof drainage systems;
  3. Flashings;
  4. Skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations; and
  5. Signs of leaks or abnormal condensation on building components.
  1. (b)  The home inspector shall:
    1. Describe the type of roof covering materials; and
    2. Report the methods used to inspect the roofing.
  2. (c)  The home inspector is not required to:
    1. Walk on the roofing; or
    2. Inspect attached accessories including solar systems, antennae, and lightning arrestors.

(13) Exterior Components.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect:
    1. Wall cladding, flashings, and trim;
    2. Entryway doors and a representative number of windows;
    3. Garage door operators;
    4. Decks, balconies, stoops, steps, areaways, porches and applicable railings;
    5. Eaves, soffits, and fascias; and
    6. Vegetation, grading, drainage, driveways, patios, walkways, and retaining walls with respect to their effect on the condition of the building.
  2. (b)  The home inspector shall:
    1. Describe wall cladding materials;
    2. Operate all entryway doors and a representative number of windows;
    3. Operate garage doors manually or by using permanently installed controls for any garage door operator;
    4. Report whether or not any garage door operator will automatically reverse or stop when meeting reasonable resistance during closing; and

November, 2014 (Revised) 19

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

5. Probe exterior wood components where deterioration is suspected. (c) The home inspector is not required to inspect:

  1. Storm windows, storm doors, screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories;
  2. Fences;
  3. For the presence of safety glazing in doors and windows;
  4. Garage door operator remote control transmitters;
  5. Geological conditions;
  6. Soil conditions;
  7. Recreational facilities (including spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground equipment, and other exercise, entertainment, or athletic facilities), except as otherwise provided in this rule;
  8. Detached buildings or structures; or
  9. For the presence or condition of buried fuel storage tanks.
  1. (14)  Interior Components.
    1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect:
      1. Walls, ceiling, and floors;
      2. Steps, stairways, balconies, and railings;
      3. Counters and a representative number of built-in cabinets; and
      4. A representative number of doors and windows.
    2. (b)  The home inspector shall:
      1. Operate a representative number of windows and interior doors; and
      2. Report signs of water penetration into the building or signs of condensation on building components.
    3. (c)  The home inspector is not required to inspect:
      1. Paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments on the interior walls, ceilings, and floors;
      2. Carpeting; or
      3. Draperies, blinds, or other window treatments.
  2. (15)  Insulation and Ventilation.

(a) The home inspector shall inspect: November, 2014 (Revised) 20

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

  1. Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces;
  2. Ventilation of attics and foundation areas;
  3. Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry venting systems; and
  4. The operation of any readily accessible attic ventilation fan, and, when temperature permits, the operation of any readily accessible thermostatic control.
  1. (b)  The home inspector shall describe:
    1. Insulation in unfinished spaces; and
    2. The absence of insulation in unfinished space at conditioned surfaces.
  2. (c)  The home inspector is not required to report on:
    1. Concealed insulation and vapor retarders; or
    2. Venting equipment that is integral with household appliances.

(16) Built-In Kitchen Appliances.

  1. (a)  The home inspector shall inspect and operate the basic functions of the following kitchen appliances:
    1. Permanently installed, dishwasher(s) through a normal cycle;
    2. Range(s), cook top(s), and permanently installed oven(s);
    3. Trash compactor(s);
    4. Garbage disposal(s);
    5. Ventilation equipment or range hood(s); and
    6. Permanently installed microwave oven(s).
  2. (b)  The home inspector is not required to inspect:
    1. Clocks, timers, self-cleaning oven functions, or thermostats for calibration or automatic operation;
    2. Non built-in appliances; or
    3. Refrigerationunits.
  3. (c)  The home inspector is not required to operate:
    1. Appliances in use; or
    2. Any appliance that is shut down or otherwise inoperable.

November, 2014 (Revised) 21

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12

(Rule 0780-05-12-.10, continued)

Authority: T.C.A. § 62-6-303(a)(5), (6) [effective July 1, 2006], and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.11 CODE OF ETHICS.

  1. (1)  Licensees shall discharge their duties with fidelity to the public, their clients, and with fairness and impartiality to all.
  2. (2)  Opinions expressed by licensees shall only be based on their education, experience, and honest convictions.
  3. (3)  A licensee shall not disclose any information about the results of an inspection without the approval of the client for whom the inspection was performed, or the client’s designated representative.
  4. (4)  No licensee shall accept compensation or any other consideration from more than one interested party for the same service without the consent of all interested parties.
  5. (5)  No licensee shall accept or offer commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from other parties dealing with the client in connection with work for which the licensee is responsible.
  6. (6)  No licensee shall express, within the context of an inspection, an appraisal or opinion of the market value of the inspected property.
  7. (7)  Before the execution of a contract to perform a home inspection, a licensee shall disclose to the client any interest in a business that may affect the client. No licensee shall allow his or her interest in any business to affect the quality or results of the inspection work that the licensee may be called upon to perform.
  8. (8)  Licensees shall not engage in false or misleading advertising or otherwise misrepresent any matters to the public.

Authority: T.C.A. § 62-6-303(a)(5), (6) [effective July 1, 2006], and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Public necessity rule filed April 7, 2006; effective through September 19, 2006. Original rule filed July 3, 2006; effective September 16, 2006.

0780-05-12-.12 INACTIVE STATUS.

  1. (1)  A licensee may request inactive license status by making application to the Commissioner and paying the applicable fifty dollar ($50.00) fee. A licensee whose license is in inactive status may not directly or indirectly engage in conduct or advertise or claim to be engaging in or conducting the business or acting in the capacity of a home inspector as defined in T.C.A. § 62-6-302. No continuing education shall be required for renewal of an inactive license. Licensees holding an inactive license are not required to maintain general liability or errors and omissions insurance.
  2. (2)  To reactivate an inactive license, licensee shall submit an application for reinstatement on a form as prescribed by the commissioner, accompanied by:
    1. (a)  A reactivation fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00); and
    2. (b)  A certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) and errors and omissions insurance to cover all home inspection activities contemplated in T.C.A. § 62-6-301et seq. and the rules promulgated thereunder; and

November, 2014 (Revised) 22

HOME INSPECTORS CHAPTER 0780-05-12 (Rule 0780-05-12-.12, continued)

(c)

(d)

A sworn statement that the licensee has not violated any provisions of the Tennessee Home Inspector Licensing Act of 2005, (T.C.A. 62-6-301, et seq.) or the rules promulgated thereunder while the applicant’s license was in inactive status; and

If more than two (2) years have passed since the license was placed in an inactive status, the applicant shall, in addition to the requirements set for in T.C.A. 62-6- 307(f)(2)(A), also furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant has completed thirty-two (32) hours of commissioner-approved continuing education during the twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the date of application for reinstatement.

(3) The licensing period for an inactive license shall be identical to the licensing period for the originally issued active license. Inactive licenses shall be renewed biennially.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-307 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Original rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.13 INSURANCE.

(1) All licensees, except those in inactive status, are required to maintain and provide satisfactory proof of a current certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) and a current certificate of errors and omissions insurance to cover all home inspection activities contemplated under T.C.A. § 62-6-301. The State of Tennessee shall be named as the certificate holder on the insurance documentation provided by the insurance carrier.

(2) Licensees shall notify the Board within thirty (30) days of any change to the insurance policy, including but not limited to the expiration or termination of a policy, changes in insurance carrier, term of policy, or coverage dates.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 62-6-303 and 62-6-308 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Original rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.14 RECORDS RETENTION.

All licensed home inspectors shall retain original and true copies or electronic copies of all written contracts and agreements for home inspector services and all home inspection reports for a period of at least three (3) years commencing on the home inspection date.

Authority: T.C.A. § 62-6-303 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Original rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

0780-05-12-.15 CHANGE OF ADDRESS.

All licensed home inspectors shall provide the commissioner with any address change in writing within thirty (30) days of any change.

Authority: T.C.A. § 62-6-306 [effective July 1, 2006]; Public Chapter No. 230 and Chapter 65 of the Public Acts of 2005, §§ 4, 6, 11, and 12. Administrative History: Original rule filed August 6, 2014; effective November 4, 2014.

November, 2014 (Revised) 23

InterNACHI Standards of Practice

InterNACHI Standards of Practice

Table of Contents


1. Definitions and Scope

2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions

3. Standards of Practice

3.1.  Roof 
3.2. Exterior 
3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure
3.4. Heating 
3.5. Cooling 
3.6. Plumbing 
3.7. Electrical 
3.8. Fireplace 
3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation
3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior

4. Glossary of Terms

1. Definitions and Scope

1.1.  A 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.

  1. The home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
  2. The 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 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:

  1. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
  2. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects. 
  3. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns, or what could be deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc. 
  4. An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use. 
  5. An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.
  6. An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property. 
  7. An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the inspected property. 
  8. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components or systems therein. 
  9. An inspection does not include items not permanently installed. 
  10. This Standards of Practice applies 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:

  1. property boundary lines or encroachments.
  2. the condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible. 
  3. the service life expectancy of any component or system. 
  4. the size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or system. 
  5. the cause or reason of any condition. 
  6. the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or component. 
  7. future conditions. 
  8. compliance with codes or regulations. 
  9. the presence of evidence of rodents, birds, bats, animals, insects, or other pests. 
  10. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
  11. the presence of airborne hazards, including radon. 
  12. the air quality. 
  13. the existence of environmental hazards, including lead paint, asbestos or toxic drywall.
  14. the existence of electromagnetic fields. 
  15. any hazardous waste conditions. 
  16. any manufacturers’ recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any information included for consumer protection purposes.
  17. acoustical properties.
  18. correction, replacement or repair cost estimates. 
  19. estimates of the cost to operate any given system.

II. The inspector is not required to operate:

  1. any system that is shut down.
  2. any system that does not function properly. 
  3. 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.
  4. any system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls. 
  5. any shut-off valves or manual stop valves. 
  6. any electrical disconnect or over-current protection devices. 
  7. any alarm systems. 
  8. moisture meters, gas detectors or similar equipment.

III. The inspector is not required to:

  1. 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.
  2. dismantle, open or uncover any system or component.
  3. enter or access any area that may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe. 
  4. enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be unsafe or not readily accessible. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. inspect decorative items. 
  8. inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit housing. 
  9. inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security systems.
  10. offer guarantees or warranties. 
  11. offer or perform any engineering services. 
  12. offer or perform any trade or professional service other than a home inspection. 
  13. 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. 
  14. 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. 
  15. determine the insurability of a property.
  16. perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental audits.
  17. 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:

  1. the roof-covering materials;
  2. the gutters;
  3. the downspouts;
  4. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations; and 
  5. 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:

  1. walk on any roof surface.
  2. predict the service life expectancy. 
  3. inspect underground downspout diverter drainage pipes. 
  4. remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces.
  5. move insulation. 
  6. inspect antennae, satellite dishes, lightning arresters, de-icing equipment, or similar attachments.
  7. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the inspector’s opinion, to be unsafe.
  8. walk on any roof areas if doing so might, in the inspector’s opinion, cause damage. 
  9. perform a water test.
  10. warrant or certify the roof.
  11. confirm proper fastening or installation of any roof-covering material.

 

3.2. Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the exterior wall-covering materials; 
  2. the eaves, soffits and fascia;
  3. a representative number of windows;
  4. all exterior doors;
  5. flashing and trim;
  6. adjacent walkways and driveways;
  7. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;
  8. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;
  9. railings, guards and handrails; and 
  10. 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:

  1. the type of exterior wall-covering materials.

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

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

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.
  2. inspect items that are not visible or readily accessible from the ground, including window and door flashing. 
  3. inspect or identify geological, geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions. 
  4. inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment. 
  5. inspect seawalls, breakwalls or docks. 
  6. inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization measures. 
  7. inspect for safety-type glass. 
  8. inspect underground utilities. 
  9. inspect underground items. 
  10. inspect wells or springs. 
  11. inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems. 
  12. inspect swimming pools or spas. 
  13. inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic systems or cesspools. 
  14. inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems. 
  15. inspect drainfields or dry wells. 
  16. determine the integrity of multiple-pane window glazing or thermal window seals.

 

3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the foundation;
  2. the basement;
  3. the crawlspace; and
  4. structural components.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of foundation; and
  2. the location of the access to the under-floor space.

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

  1. observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil;
  2. observed indications of active water penetration; 
  3. observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames, and unlevel floors; and
  4. 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:

  1. enter any crawlspace that is not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or pose a hazard to him/herself.
  2. move stored items or debris. 
  3. operate sump pumps with inaccessible floats. 
  4. identify the size, spacing, span or location or determine the adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems. 
  5. provide any engineering or architectural service. 
  6. report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

3.4. Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the heating system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the location of the thermostat for the heating system;
  2. the energy source; and
  3. the heating method.

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

  1. any heating system that did not operate; and
  2. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect, measure, or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, makeup air, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.
  2. inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems. 
  3. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system. 
  4. light or ignite pilot flames. 
  5. 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. 
  6. override electronic thermostats. 
  7. evaluate fuel quality.
  8. verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.
  9. measure or calculate the air for combustion, ventilation, or dilution of flue gases for appliances.

3.5. Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the cooling system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the location of the thermostat for the cooling system; and
  2. the cooling method.

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

  1. any cooling system that did not operate; and
  2. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.
  2. inspect portable window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters. 
  3. 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. 
  4. inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or clocks. 
  5. examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.

 

3.6. Plumbing

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the main water supply shut-off valve;
  2. the main fuel supply shut-off valve;
  3. the water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing;
  4. interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water;
  5. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;
  6. all sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage;
  7. the drain, waste and vent system; and
  8. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. whether the water supply is public or private based upon observed evidence;
  2. the location of the main water supply shut-off valve;
  3. the location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve;
  4. the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and
  5. the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled.

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

  1. deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously;
  2. deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets;
  3. active plumbing water leaks that were observed during the inspection; and  
  4. 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:

  1. light or ignite pilot flames.
  2. measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater. 
  3. 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. 
  4. determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply. 
  5. determine the water quality, potability or reliability of the water supply or source. 
  6. open sealed plumbing access panels. 
  7. inspect clothes washing machines or their connections. 
  8. operate any valve.
  9. test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage or for functional overflow protection. 
  10. 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. 
  11. determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back-flow prevention or drain-stop devices. 
  12. determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of drains. 
  13. evaluate fuel storage tanks or supply systems.
  14. inspect wastewater treatment systems.
  15. inspect water treatment systems or water filters. 
  16. inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps, or bladder tanks. 
  17. evaluate wait time to obtain hot water at fixtures, or perform testing of any kind to water heater elements. 
  18. evaluate or determine the adequacy of combustion air. 
  19. test, operate, open or close: safety controls, manual stop valves, temperature/pressure-relief valves, control valves, or check valves.
  20. examine ancillary or auxiliary systems or components, such as, but not limited to, those related to solar water heating and hot water circulation.
  21. determine the existence or condition of polybutylene, polyethylene, or similar plastic piping.
  22. inspect or test for gas or fuel leaks, or indications thereof.

 

3.7. Electrical

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the service drop;
  2. the overhead service conductors and attachment point;
  3. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;
  4. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;
  5. the electric meter and base;
  6. service-entrance conductors;
  7. the main service disconnect;
  8. panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);
  9. service grounding and bonding;
  10. 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;
  11. all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and
  12. for the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

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

  1. deficiencies in the integrity of the service-entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs;
  2. any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled;
  3. the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible;
  4. 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
  5. the absence of smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
  2. operate electrical systems that are shut down. 
  3. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.
  4. operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices. 
  5. operate or test smoke or carbon monoxide detectors or alarms.
  6. inspect, operate or test any security, fire or alarm systems or components, or other warning or signaling systems.
  7. measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly labeled.
  8. inspect ancillary wiring or remote-control devices. 
  9. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized. 
  10. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any time-controlled devices. 
  11. verify the service ground. 
  12. inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility. 
  13. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.
  14. inspect or test de-icing equipment. 
  15. conduct voltage-drop calculations. 
  16. determine the accuracy of labeling.
  17. inspect exterior lighting. 

3.8. Fireplace   

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys;
  2. lintels above the fireplace openings;
  3. damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and
  4. cleanout doors and frames.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of fireplace.

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

  1. evidence of joint separation, damage or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or chambers;
  2. manually operated dampers that did not open and close;
  3. the lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace;
  4. the lack of a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace; and
  5. cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect the flue or vent system.
  2. inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels. 
  3. determine the need for a chimney sweep. 
  4. operate gas fireplace inserts. 
  5. light pilot flames. 
  6. determine the appropriateness of any installation. 
  7. inspect automatic fuel-fed devices. 
  8. inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices. 
  9. inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity-controlled or fan-assisted. 
  10. ignite or extinguish fires. 
  11. determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics. 
  12. move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents. 
  13. perform a smoke test.
  14. dismantle or remove any component.
  15. perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.
  16. perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

 

3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas;
  2. ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas; and
  3. mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of insulation observed; and
  2. 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:

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

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. 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.
  2. move, touch or disturb insulation. 
  3. move, touch or disturb vapor retarders. 
  4. break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels or covers. 
  5. identify the composition or R-value of insulation material. 
  6. activate thermostatically operated fans. 
  7. determine the types of materials used in insulation or wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets, boilers or wiring.
  8. determine the adequacy of ventilation.

 

3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. a representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them;
  2. floors, walls and ceilings;
  3. stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps;
  4. railings, guards and handrails; and
  5. garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

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

  1. improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways, guards and railings;
  2. photo-electric safety sensors that did not operate properly; and
  3. any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.
  2. inspect floor coverings or carpeting.
  3. inspect central vacuum systems. 
  4. inspect for safety glazing. 
  5. inspect security systems or components. 
  6. evaluate the fastening of islands, countertops, cabinets, sink tops or fixtures. 
  7. move furniture, stored items, or any coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in order to inspect the concealed floor structure. 
  8. move suspended-ceiling tiles. 
  9. inspect or move any household appliances. 
  10. inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage, except as otherwise noted. 
  11. verify or certify the proper operation of any pressure-activated auto-reverse or related safety feature of a garage door. 
  12. operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal standards. 
  13. operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes, combinations or devices. 
  14. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches, or signal lights. 
  15. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens. 
  16. 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. 
  17. inspect elevators. 
  18. inspect remote controls. 
  19. inspect appliances. 
  20. inspect items not permanently installed.
  21. discover firewall compromises. 
  22. inspect pools, spas or fountains.
  23. determine the adequacy of whirlpool or spa jets, water force, or bubble effects. 
  24. determine the structural integrity or leakage of pools or spas.

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.
  • component:  A permanently installed or attached fixture, element or part of a system.
  • condition:  The visible and conspicuous state of being of an object.
  • correction:  Something that is substituted or proposed for what is incorrect, deficient, unsafe, or a defect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • foundation:  The base upon which the structure or 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 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:  See “home inspection.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • inspected property:  The readily accessible areas of the home, house, or building, and the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

InterNACHI Code of Ethics

InterNACHI Code of Ethics

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. 

This Code of Ethics is pulled directly from here and as an InterNACHI certified inspector I agree to abide by all of these.

  1. 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 age, race, color, religion, gender, 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:
      • have any disclosed or undisclosed conflict of interest with the client;
      • accept or offer any disclosed or undisclosed commissions, rebates, profits, or other benefit from or to real estate agents, brokers, or any third parties having financial interest in the sale of the property; or
      • 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:
      • the client has been made explicitly aware of what information will be released, to whom, and for what purpose, and;
      • 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 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.
  2. Duty to Continue Education
    1. The InterNACHI® member who has earned the Certified Professional Inspector® (CPI) designation shall comply with InterNACHI’s current Continuing Education requirements.
    2. The InterNACHI® member who has earned the Certified Professional Inspector® (CPI) designation shall pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Exam once every three years.
  3. 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.
How to increase energy efficiency by sealing and insulating your home

How to increase energy efficiency by sealing and insulating your home

Would you like to lower your utility bills, have a more comfortable environment in your home, and lower your carbon footprint? One of the most cost-effective things you can do to make your home more energy efficient and comforatble is to seal and insulate your home. Here are a few of the main culprits. Attic and basement air sealing will go a long way to improve your comfort because your house will no longer act like an open chimney.

 

 

 

Let’s start at the bottom;

In your crawl space or basement you should find the duct work for your HVAC. Sealing and insulating your ducts increases the efficiency of your HVAC, which means lowering your utility bills as well as providing a more energy efficient and comfortable environment. Ducts with holes and rips waste an incredible amount of energy. Use foil tape or mastic to repair any holes that you find, or call a professional HVAC company to do it for you. Your ducts should also be insulated, use insulation with at least a R-6 rating. Duct sealant, also known as duct mastic, is a paste, which is more durable than foil duct tape. It is available at home improvement centers. Your HVAC may be in the attic as well. If so, see below.

While you are under the house it is a great time to check for cracks and leaks in the basements as well to avoid stacking – which is when air is drawn into the house through cracks in the basement and then is drawn all the up through the attic. Look at the top of the basement wall where the floor system meets the top of the foundation wall. If you find any; a sealant or caulk are good for cracks less than 1/4 inch. Use spray foam to fill gaps from 1/4 inch to 3 inches. It is recommended that you seal penetrations that go through the basement ceiling to the floor above. These holes are for wires, water supply pipes, water drainpipes, the plumbing vent stack, and the furnace flue.

Now’s let’s look in the attic;

Do you have any can lights (also known as recessed lights) anywhere in your home? If so, make sure that the light is insulated and sealed properly to avoid energy efficiency issues as well as safety issues, like fire hazards. It may be best to consult a professional before sealing can lights or coming into contact with electrical components. Never put insulation back over recessed light fixtures or soffit vents and keep it at least 3 inches from can lights unless they are IC-rated.

Look for large holes as sealing them is the greatest bang for your buck. Look for areas where walls meet the attic floor and areas of dirty insulation, (black/brown stains on the underside of insulation indicate air is moving through it). Next look for smaller holes and seal them as well. In cold weather you can also look for frost/ which will appear stained in the same places in warm summer months. Use expanding foam or caulk to seal the openings around plumbing vent pipes. When it is dry put the insulation back over it and cover it well.

Depending on how you get access to your attic you may want to put some weather stripping around the space you enter through and insulate the back of the door.

Stay tuned for many more energy saving tips to help your home be comfortable as it uses energy and saves your money.

Feel free to let us know how this info helped you, as well as any questions.