Standards of Practice

1.  INTRODUCTION

  • The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is a not-for-profit professional society established in 1976.  Membership in ASHI is voluntary and its members include private, fee-paid home inspectors.  ASHI’s objective include promotion of excellent within the profession and continued improvement of its members’ inspection services to the public.

2.  PURPOSE AND SCOPE

  • The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to establish a minimum and uniform standard for private, fee-paid home inspectors who are members of the American Society of Home Inspectors.  Home Inspections performed to these Standards of Practice are intended to provide the client with information regarding the condition of the systems and components of the home as inspected at the time of the Home Inspection.
  • The inspector shall inspect readily accessible systems and components of home listed in these Standards of Practice.
  • The inspector shall inspect installed systems and components of homes listed in the Standards of Practice.
  • The inspector shall report on those systems and components inspected which, in the professional opinion of the inspector,are significantly deficient or are near the end of their service lives.
  • The inspector shall report a reason why, if not self-evident, the system or component is significantly deficient or near the end of its service life.
  • The inspector shall report the inspectors recommendations to correct or monitor the reported deficiency.
  • The inspector shall report on any systems and components designated for inspection in these Standards of Practice which were present at the time of the Home Inspection but were not inspected and a reason they were not inspected.

These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors from including other inspection services, systems or components in addition to those required by these Standards of Practice.

These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors from specifying repairs, provided the inspector is appropriately qualified and willing to do so.

These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors from excluding systems and components from the inspection if requested by the client.

 STRUCTURAL SYSTEM

The inspector shall:

  •  inspect the structural components including foundation and framing
  • inspect by probing a representative number of structural components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.  Probing is NOT required when probing would damage any finished surface or where no deterioration is visible.
  • describe the foundation and report the methods used to inspect the under-floor crawl space.
  • describe the floor structure
  • describe the wall structure
  • describe the ceiling structure
  • describe the roof structure and report the methods used to inspect the attic.

The inspector is NOT required to:

  • provide any engineering service or architectural service.
  • offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any structural system or component.

  EXTERIOR

The inspector shall inspect:

  • the exterior wall covering, flashing and trim.
  • all exterior doors.
  • attached decks, balconies,stoops,steps, porches and their associated railings.
  • the eaves, soffits and fascias where accessible from the ground level.
  • the vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls on the property when any of these are likely to adversely affect the building.
  • walkways, patios and driveways leading to dwelling entrances.

The inspector shall describe the exterior wall covering

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  •  screening, shutters, awning and similar seasonal accessories
  • fences
  • geological, geotechnical or hydrological conditions.
  • recreational facilities.
  • outbuildings.
  • seawalls, break-walls and docks.
  • erosion control and earth stabilization measures.

 ROOF SYSTEM

The inspector shall inspect:

  •  the roof covering
  • the roof drainage system
  • the flashings
  • the skylights, chimneys and roof penetration

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  •  antennae
  • interior of flues or chimney which are not readily accessible.
  • other installed accessories

 PLUMBING SYSTEM

The inspector shall inspect:

  •  the interior water supply and distrubution systems including all fixtures and faucets.
  • the drain, waste and vent systems including all fixtures
  • the water heating equipment.
  • the vent systems, flues and chimneys.
  • the fuel storage  and fuel distribution systems.
  • the drainage sumps, sump pumps and related piping.

The inspector shall describe:

  •  the water supply, drain, waste and vent piping materials.
  • the water heating equipment.including the energy source.
  • the location of main water and main fuel shut off valves.

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  • the clothes washing machine connections
  • the interiors of flues or chimney which are not readily accessible.
  • wells, well pumps or water storage related equipment.
  • water conditioning systems.
  • solar water heating systems.
  • fire and lawn sprinkler systems.
  • private water disposal systems.

The inspector is NOT required to determine:

  •  whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private.
  • the quantitiy or quality of the water supply.

The inspector is NOT required to operate safety valves or shut-off valves.

 ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

The inspector shall inspect:

  •  the service drop.
  • the service entrance conductors, cables and raceways.
  • the service equipment and main disconnects.
  • the service grounding.
  • the interior components of service panels and sub panels.
  • the conductors.
  • the overcurrent protection devices.
  • a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles.
  • the ground fault circuit interrupters.

The inspector shall describe:

  •  the amperage and voltage rating of the service.
  • the location of main disconnect(s) and sub panels.
  • the wiring methods.

The inspector shall report:

  •  on the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring.
  • on the absence of smoke detectors.

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  •  the remote control devices unless the device is the only control device.
  • the alarm systems and components.
  • the low voltaghe wiring, systems and components.
  • the ancillary wiring, sytems and components not a part of the primary electrical power distribution system.

The inspector is NOT required to measure amperage, voltage or impedance.

  HEATING SYSTEM

The inspector shall inspect:

  •  the installed heating equipment.
  • the vent systems, flues and chimneys

The inspector shall describe:

  •  the energy source
  • the heating method by its distinguishing characteristics.

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  •  the interiors o flues or chimneys which are not readily accessible.
  • the heat exchanger.
  • the humidifier or dehumidifier.
  • the electronic air filter.
  • the solar space heating systems.

The inspector is NOT required to determine heat supply adequacy or distribution balance.

 AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS

The inspector shall inspect the installed central and through-wallo cooling equipment.

The inspector shall describe the energy source and the cooling method by its distinguishing characteristics.

The inspector is NOT required to inspect electronic air filters or determine cooling supply adequacy or distribution balance.

 INTERIOR

The inspector shall inspect:

the walls, ceilings and floors.

  • the steps, stairways and railings.
  • the counter-tops and a representative number of installed cabinets.
  • a representative number of doors and windows.
  • garage doors and garage door operations.

The inspectors is NOT required to inspect:

  •  the paint, wallpaper and other finish treatments.
  • the carpeting.
  • the window treatments.
  • the central vacuum systems.
  • the household appliances.
  • recreational facilities.

INSULATION AND VENTILATION

The inspector shall inspect:

  •  the insulation and vapor retardersin unfinished spaces.
  • the ventilation in attics and foundation areas.
  • the mechanical ventilation systems.

The inspector shall describe:

  •  the insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces.
  • the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces.

The inspector is NOT required to disturb insulation or vapor retarders or determine indoor air quality.

  FIREPLACES AND SOLID FUEL BURNING APPLIANCES

The inspector shall inspect the system components, vent systems, flues and chimneys.

The inspector shall describe the fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances and chimneys.

The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

  •  the interior of flues or chimneys.
  • the firescreens and doors
  • the seals and gaskets.
  • the automatic fuel feed devices.
  • the mantels and fireplace surrounds.
  • the combustion make-up air devices.
  • the heat distribution assists whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.

The inspector is NOT required to ignite or extinguish fire, determine draft characteristics or move fireplace inserts or stoves or firebox contents.