Home Inspection ASHI regulation


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Home Inspection ASHI regulation

  1. 1. The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors® Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved.
  2. 2. The ASHI® Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics Home Inspection Table of Contents Home inspections were being performed in the mid 1950s, and by Page the early 1970s were considered by many consumers to be essen- tial to the real estate transaction. The escalating demand was due Standards of Practice . . . . . . . . . .3 to a growing desire by homebuyers to learn about the condition Section Description of a house prior to purchase. Meeting the expectations of con- sumers required a unique discipline, distinct from construction, 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . .3 engineering, architecture, or municipal building inspection. As 2 Purpose and Scope . . . . . . .3 such, home inspection requires its own set of professional guide- lines and qualifications. The American Society of Home 3 Structural System . . . . . . . . .3 Inspectors (ASHI) formed in 1976 and established the ASHI 4 Exterior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to help buyers and sell- ers make real estate transaction decisions based on accurate, 5 Roof System . . . . . . . . . . . .4 objective information. 6 Plumbing System . . . . . . . . .4 American Society of Home Inspectors 7 Electrical System . . . . . . . . .4 As the oldest, largest and highest profile organization of home 8 Heating System . . . . . . . . . .5 inspectors in North America, ASHI takes pride in its position of 9 Air Conditioning Systems . . .5 leadership. Its Membership works to build public awareness of home inspection and to enhance the technical and ethical per- 10 Interior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 formance of home inspectors. 11 Insulation and Ventilation . . .5 Standards of Practice 12 Fireplaces and Solid . . . . . . 5 The ASHI Standards of Practice guide home inspectors in the Fuel Burning Appliances performance of their inspections. Subject to regular review, the 13 General Limitations . . . . . . .5 Standards of Practice reflect information gained through surveys and Exclusions of conditions in the field and of the consumers’ interests and Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 concerns. Vigilance has elevated ASHI’s Standards of Practice so that today they are the most widely-accepted home inspection Code of Ethics ...............8 guidelines in use and are recognized by many government and professional groups as the definitive standard for professional performance. Code of Ethics ASHI’s Code of Ethics stresses the home inspector’s responsibility Distribution of this material is not an indication of ASHI® Membership. to report the results of the inspection in a strictly fair, impartial, For a free listing of the Membership go to and professional manner, avoiding conflicts of interest. “Find an Inspector” at www.ashi.com. ASHI Membership To obtain additional copies or request permission to reprint The ASHI® Standards Selecting the right home inspector can be as important as finding of Practice and Code of Ethics, contact: the right home. ASHI Members have performed no fewer than 250 fee-paid inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® of Practice. They have passed written examinations testing their 932 Lee Street, Suite 101 knowledge of residential construction, defect recognition, Des Plaines, IL 60016 inspection techniques, and report-writing, as well as ASHI’s 800-743-ASHI/2744 Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Membership in the No parts of this publication may be American Society of Home Inspectors is well-earned and main- reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, tained only through meeting requirements for continuing or transmitted in any form or by any education. means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior Find local ASHI Members by calling 1-800-743-2744 or visiting written consent of the publisher. the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.com 2 Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Standards of Practice 1. INTRODUCTION C. excluding systems and components from the inspection if requested by the client. 1.1 The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is a not-for-profit professional society established 3. STRUCTURAL SYSTEM in 1976. Membership in ASHI is voluntary and its members include private, fee-paid home inspectors. 3.1 The inspector shall: ASHI’s objectives include promotion of excellence A. inspect: within the profession and continual improvement 1. the structural components including of its members’ inspection services to the public. foundation and framing. 2. by probing a representative number of 2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE structural components where deterioration 2.1 The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to is suspected or where clear indications of establish a minimum and uniform standard for pri- possible deterioration exist. Probing is vate, fee-paid home inspectors who are members NOT required when probing would dam- of the American Society of Home Inspectors. age any finished surface or where no deteri- Home Inspections performed to these Standards of oration is visible. Practice are intended to provide the client with B. describe: information regarding the condition of the systems 1. the foundation and report the methods and components of the home as inspected at the used to inspect the under-floor crawl space. time of the Home Inspection. 2. the floor structure. 2.2 The inspector shall: 3. the wall structure. A. inspect: 4. the ceiling structure. 1. readily accessible systems and components 5. the roof structure and report the methods of homes listed in these Standards used to inspect the attic. of Practice. 3.2 The inspector is NOT required to: 2. installed systems and components of homes A. provide any engineering service or architectural listed in these Standards of Practice. service. B. report: B. offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any 1. on those systems and components inspected structural system or component. which, in the professional opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or are 4. EXTERIOR near the end of their service lives. 2. a reason why, if not self-evident, the system 4.1 The inspector shall: or component is significantly deficient or A. inspect: near the end of its service life. 1. the exterior wall covering, flashing and trim. 3. the inspector’s recommendations to correct 2. all exterior doors. or monitor the reported deficiency. 3. attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, 4. on any systems and components designated porches, and their associated railings. for inspection in these Standards of Practice 4. the eaves, soffits, and fascias where which were present at the time of the accessible from the ground level. Home Inspection but were not inspected 5. the vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and a reason they were not inspected. and retaining walls on the property when 2.3 These Standards of Practice are not any of these are likely to adversely affect intended to limit inspectors from: the building. A. including other inspection services, systems 6. walkways, patios, and driveways leading to or components in addition to those required dwelling entrances. by these Standards of Practice. B. describe the exterior wall covering. B. specifying repairs, provided the inspector is appropriately qualified and willing to do so. Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. The ASHI® Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics 6.2 The inspector is NOT required to: EXTERIOR 4.2, continued A. inspect: 1. the clothes washing machine connections. 4.2 The inspector is NOT required to: 2. the interiors of flues or chimneys which are A. inspect: not readily accessible. 1. screening, shutters, awnings, and similar 3. wells, well pumps, or water storage related seasonal accessories. equipment. 2. fences. 4. water conditioning systems. 3. geological, geotechnical or hydrological 5. solar water heating systems. conditions. 6. fire and lawn sprinkler systems. 4. recreational facilities. 7. private waste disposal systems. 5. outbuildings. B. determine: 6. seawalls, break-walls, and docks. 1. whether water supply and waste disposal 7. erosion control and earth stabilization systems are public or private. measures. 2. the quantity or quality of the water supply. 5. ROOF SYSTEM C. operate safety valves or shut-off valves. 5.1 The inspector shall: 7. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM A. inspect: 7.1 The inspector shall: 1. the roof covering. A. inspect: 2. the roof drainage systems. 1. the service drop. 3. the flashings. 2. the service entrance conductors, cables, and 4. the skylights, chimneys, and roof raceways. penetrations. 3. the service equipment and main disconnects. B. describe the roof covering and report the methods 4. the service grounding. used to inspect the roof. 5. the interior components of service panels and 5.2 The inspector is NOT required to: sub panels. A. inspect: 6. the conductors. 1. antennae. 7. the overcurrent protection devices. 2. interiors of flues or chimneys which are not 8. a representative number of installed lighting readily accessible. fixtures, switches, and receptacles. 3. other installed accessories. 9. the ground fault circuit interrupters. B. describe: 6. PLUMBING SYSTEM 1. the amperage and voltage rating of the 6.1 The inspector shall: service. A. inspect: 2. the location of main disconnect(s) and sub panels. 1. the interior water supply and distribution 3. the wiring methods. systems including all fixtures and faucets. C. report: 2. the drain, waste and vent systems including all fixtures. 1. on the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring. 3. the water heating equipment. 2. on the absence of smoke detectors. 4. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys. 7.2 The inspector is NOT required to: 5. the fuel storage and fuel distribution systems. A. inspect: 6. the drainage sumps, sump pumps, and 1. the remote control devices unless the device is related piping. the only control device. B. describe: 2. the alarm systems and components. 1. the water supply, drain, waste, and vent 3. the low voltage wiring, systems and piping materials. components. 2. the water heating equipment including the 4. the ancillary wiring, systems and components energy source. not a part of the primary electrical power dis- 3. the location of main water and main fuel shut- tribution system. off valves. B. measure amperage, voltage, or impedance. 4 Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved.
  5. 5. 8. HEATING SYSTEM 11. INSULATION AND VENTILATION 8.1 The inspector shall: 11.1 The inspector shall: A. inspect: A. inspect: 1. the installed heating equipment. 1. the insulation and vapor retarders in 2. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys. unfinished spaces. B. describe: 2. the ventilation of attics and foundation areas. 1. the energy source. 3. the mechanical ventilation systems. 2. the heating method by its distinguishing B. describe: characteristics. 1. the insulation and vapor retarders in 8.2 The inspector is NOT required to: unfinished spaces. A. inspect: 2. the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces 1. the interiors of flues or chimneys which are at conditioned surfaces. not readily accessible. 11.2 The inspector is NOT required to: 2. the heat exchanger. A. disturb insulation or vapor retarders. 3. the humidifier or dehumidifier. B. determine indoor air quality. 4. the electronic air filter. 5. the solar space heating system. 12. FIREPLACES AND SOLID FUEL BURNING B. determine heat supply adequacy or distribution APPLIANCES balance. 12.1 The inspector shall: 9. AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS A. inspect: 1. the system components. 9.1 The inspector shall: 2. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys. A. inspect the installed central and through-wall B. describe: cooling equipment. 1. the fireplaces and solid fuel burning B. describe: appliances. 1. the energy source 2. the chimneys. 2. the cooling method by its distinguishing 12.2 The inspector is NOT required to: characteristics. A. inspect: 9.2 The inspector is NOT required to: 1. the interiors of flues or chimneys. A. inspect electronic air filters. 2. the firescreens and doors. B. determine cooling supply adequacy or distribution balance. 3. the seals and gaskets. 4. the automatic fuel feed devices. 10. INTERIOR 5. the mantels and fireplace surrounds. 6. the combustion make-up air devices. 10.1 The inspector shall: 7. the heat distribution assists whether gravity A. inspect: controlled or fan assisted. 1. the walls, ceilings, and floors. B. ignite or extinguish fires. 2. the steps, stairways, and railings. C. determine draft characteristics. 3. the countertops and a representative number D. move fireplace inserts or stoves or firebox of installed cabinets. contents. 4. a representative number of doors and windows. 13. GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND 5. garage doors and garage door operators. EXCLUSIONS 10.2 The inspector is NOT required to: A. inspect: 13.1 General limitations: 1. the paint, wallpaper, and other finish A. Inspections performed in accordance with treatments. theseStandards of Practice 2. the carpeting. 1. are not technically exhaustive. 3. the window treatments. 2. will not identify concealed conditions or 4. the central vacuum systems. latent defects. 5. the household appliances. 6. recreational facilities. Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. The ASHI® Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS 13.1, continued B. These Standards of Practice are applicable to D. Inspectors are NOT required to operate: buildings with four or fewer dwelling units and 1. any system or component which is shut down their garages or carports. or otherwise inoperable. 13.2 General exclusions: 2. any system or component which does not A. The inspector is not required to perform any respond to normal operating controls. action or make any determination unless 3. shut-off valves. specifically stated in these Standards of Practice, E. Inspectors are NOT required to enter: except as may be required by lawful authority. 1. any area which will, in the opinion of the B. Inspectors are NOT required to determine: inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector 1. the condition of systems or components which or other persons or damage the property or its are not readily accessible. systems or components. 2. the remaining life of any system or 2. the under-floor crawl spaces or attics which component. are not readily accessible. 3. the strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or F. Inspectors are NOT required to inspect: efficiency of any system or component. 1. underground items including, but not limited 4. the causes of any condition or deficiency. to underground storage tanks or other under- 5. the methods, materials, or costs of ground indications of their presence, whether corrections. abandoned or active. 6. future conditions including, but not limited to, 2. systems or components which are not failure of systems and components. installed. 7. the suitability of the property for any 3. decorative items. specialized use. 4. systems or components located in areas that 8. compliance with regulatory requirements are not entered in accordance with these (codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.). Standards of Practice. 9. the market value of the property or its 5. detached structures other than garages and marketability. carports. 10. the advisability of the purchase of the 6. common elements or common areas in multi- property. unit housing, such as condominium properties 11. the presence of potentially hazardous plants or or cooperative housing. animals including, but not limited to wood G. Inspectors are NOT required to: destroying organisms or diseases harmful to 1. perform any procedure or operation which humans. will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be 12. the presence of any environmental hazards dangerous to the inspector or other persons or including, but not limited to toxins, carcino- damage the property or its systems or gens, noise, and contaminants in soil, water, components. and air. 2. move suspended ceiling tiles, personal proper- 13. the effectiveness of any system installed or ty, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, methods utilized to control or remove suspect- or debris. ed hazardous substances. 3. dismantle any system or component, except as 14. the operating costs of systems or explicitly required by these Standards of components. Practice. 15. the acoustical properties of any system or component. C. Inspectors are NOT required to offer: 1. or perform any act or service contrary to law. 2. or perform engineering services. 3. or perform work in any trade or any profes- sional service other than home inspection. 4. warranties or guarantees of any kind. 6 Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Glossary of Italicized Terms Alarm Systems such professional service or Readily Accessible with a chimney; or a listed Warning devices, installed or creative work as consulta- Available for visual inspec- assembly of a fire chamber, free-standing, including but tion, investigation, tion without requiring mov- its chimney and related facto- not limited to: carbon evaluation, planning, design ing of personal property, ry-made parts designed for monoxide detectors, flue gas and supervision of construc- dismantling, destructive unit assembly without requir- and other spillage detectors, tion for the purpose of assur- measures, or any action ing field construction security equipment, ejector ing compliance with the spec- which will likely involve risk pumps and smoke alarms ifications and design, in con- to persons or property Structural Component junction with structures, A component that supports Architectural Service buildings, machines, equip- Readily Openable Access non-variable forces or weights Any practice involving the art ment, works or processes Panel (dead loads) and variable and science of building A panel provided for home- forces or weights (live loads) design for construction of Further Evaluation owner inspection and mainte- any structure or grouping of Examination and analysis by nance that is within normal System structures and the use of a qualified professional, reach, can be removed by one A combination of interacting space within and surrounding tradesman or service techni- person, and is not sealed in or interdependent compo- the structures or the design cian beyond that provided by place nents, assembled to carry out for construction, including the home inspection one or more functions but not specifically limited to, Recreational Facilities schematic design, design Home Inspection Spas, saunas, steam baths, Technically Exhaustive development, preparation of The process by which an swimming pools, exercise, An investigation that involves construction contract docu- inspector visually examines entertainment, athletic, play- dismantling, the extensive use ments, and administration of the readily accessible systems ground or other similar of advanced techniques, the construction contract and components of a home equipment and associated measurements, instruments, and which describes those accessories testing, calculations, or Component systems and components in other means A part of a system accordance with these Report Standards of Practice To communicate in writing Under-floor Crawl Space Decorative The area within the confines Ornamental; not required for Household Appliances Representative Number of the foundation and the operation of the essential Kitchen, laundry, and similar One component per room for between the ground and the systems and components of appliances, whether installed multiple similar interior com- underside of the floor a home or free-standing ponents such as windows and electric outlets; one compo- Unsafe Describe Inspect nent on each side of the A condition in a readily To report a system or compo- To examine readily accessible building for multiple similar accessible, installed system or nent by its type or other systems and components of a exterior components component which is judged observed, significant charac- building in accordance with to be a significant risk of per- teristics to distinguish it from these Standards of Practice, Roof Drainage Systems sonal injury during normal, other systems or components using normal operating con- Components used to carry day-to-day use. The risk may trols and opening readily water off a roof and away be due to damage, deteriora- Dismantle openable access panels from a building tion, improper installation or To take apart or remove any a change in accepted residen- component, device or piece Inspector Significantly Deficient tial construction standards of equipment that would not A person hired to examine Unsafe or not functioning be taken apart or removed by any system or component of Wiring Methods a homeowner in the course a building in accordance with Shut Down Identification of electrical of normal and routine home these Standards of Practice A state in which a system or conductors or wires by their owner maintenance component cannot be operat- general type, such as “non- Installed ed by normal operating metallic sheathed cable” Engineering Service Attached such that removal controls (“Romex”), “armored cable” Any professional service or requires tools (“bx”) or “knob and creative work requiring engi- Solid Fuel Burning tube”, etc. neering education, training, Normal Operating Controls Appliances and experience and the appli- Devices such as thermostats, A hearth and fire chamber or cation of special knowledge switches or valves intended similar prepared place in of the mathematical, physical to be operated by the home- which a fire may be built and and engineering sciences to owner which is built in conjunction Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 2000 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.® All rights reserved. 7
  8. 8. ASHI® Code of Ethics For the Home Inspection Profession Integrity, honesty, and objectivity are fundamental principles embodied by this Code, which sets forth obligations of ethical conduct for the home inspection profession. The Membership of ASHI has adopted this Code to provide high ethical standards to safeguard the public and the profession. Inspectors shall comply with this Code, shall avoid association with any enterprise whose practices violate this Code, and shall strive to uphold, maintain, and improve the integrity, reputation, and practice of the home inspection profession. 1. Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity. A. Inspectors shall not inspect properties for compensation in which they have, or expect to have, a financial interest. B. Inspectors shall not inspect properties under contingent arrangements whereby any compen- sation or future referrals are dependent on reported findings or on the sale of a property. C. Inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate realty agents, or other parties having a financial interest in closing or settlement of real estate transactions, for the referral of inspections or for inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors, preferred providers, or similar arrangements. D. Inspectors shall not receive compensation for an inspection from more than one party unless agreed to by the client(s). E. Inspectors shall not accept compensation, directly or indirectly, for recommending contractors, services, or products to inspection clients or other parties having an interest in inspected properties. F. Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection. 2. Inspectors shall act in good faith toward each client and other interested parties. A. Inspectors shall perform services and express opinions based on genuine conviction and only within their areas of education, training, or experience. B. Inspectors shall be objective in their reporting and not knowingly understate or overstate the significance of reported conditions. C. Inspectors shall not disclose inspection results or client information without client approval. Inspectors, at their discretion, may disclose observed immediate safety hazards to occupants exposed to such hazards, when feasible. 3. Inspectors shall avoid activities that may harm the public, discredit themselves, or reduce public confidence in the profession. A. Advertising, marketing, and promotion of inspectors’ services or qualifications shall not be fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading. B. Inspectors shall report substantive and willful violations of this Code to the Society. Code of Ethics Copyright © 2003 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc® All rights reserved. Effective June 13, 2004