HOME INSPECTION CLEVELAND OHIO

ASHI STANDARDS AND PRACTICES
The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS®

www.ashi.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ASHI Standards of Practice . . . . . . . . .3

Section Description

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

2. Purpose and Scope . . . . . . . . . . . .3

3. Structural System . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

4. Exterior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

5. Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

6. Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

7. Electrical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

8. Heating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

9. Air Conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

10. Interiors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

11. Insulation and Ventilation . . . . . . .5

12. Fireplaces and Solid . . . . . . . . . . .5

Fuel Burning Appliances

13. General Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . .6

and Exclusions

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Code of Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8


HOME INSPECTION

Home inspections were being performed in the mid 1950s, and by the early 1970s were considered by many consumers to be essential to the real estate transaction. The escalating demand was due to a growing desire by homebuyers to learn about the condition of a house prior to purchase. Meeting the expectations of consumers required a unique discipline, distinct from construction, engineering, architecture, or municipal building inspection. As such, home inspection requires its own set of professional guidelines and qualifications. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) formed in 1976 and established the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to help buyers and sellers make real estate transaction decisions based on accurate, objective information.

American Society of Home Inspectors

As the oldest, largest and highest profile organization of home inspectors in North America, ASHI takes pride in its position of leadership. Its Membership works to build public awareness of home inspection and to enhance the technical and ethical performance of home inspectors.

Standards of Practice

The ASHI Standards of Practice guide home inspectors in the performance of their inspections. Subject to regular review, the Standards of Practice reflect information gained through surveys of conditions in the field and of the consumers’ interests and concerns. Vigilance has elevated ASHI’s Standards of Practice so that today they are the most widely-accepted home inspection guidelines in use and are recognized by many government and professional groups as the definitive standard for professional performance.

Distribution of this material is not an indication of ASHI® Membership. For a free listing of the Membership go to"Find an Inspector" at www.ashi.org. To obtain additional copies or request permission to reprint The ASHI® Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, contact:

The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.®

932 Lee Street, Suite 101 Des Plaines, IL 60016

800-743-ASHI/2744

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the publisher.


Code of Ethics

ASHI’s Code of Ethics stresses the home inspector’s responsibility to report the results of the inspection in a strictly fair, impartial, and professional manner, avoiding conflicts of interest.

ASHI Membership

Selecting the right home inspector can be as important as finding the right home. ASHI Members have performed no fewer than 250 fee-paid inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice. They have passed written examinations testing their knowledge of residential construction, defect recognition, inspection techniques, and report-writing, as well as ASHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors is well-earned and maintained only through meeting requirements for continuing education.

Find local ASHI Members by calling 1-800-743-2744 or visiting the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org.

ASHI STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

1. INTRODUCTION

The American Society of Home Inspectors®, Inc. (ASHI®)

is a not-for-profit professional society established in 1976.

Membership in ASHI is voluntary and its members are

private home inspectors. ASHI’s objectives include promotion

of excellence within the profession and continual improvement

of its members’ inspection services to the public.

2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE

2.1 The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to

The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to

establish a minimum and uniform standard for

home inspectors who subscribe to these Standards

of Practice. Home inspections performed to these

Standards of Practice are intended to provide the

client with objective information regarding the condition

of the systems and components of the home

as inspected at the time of the home inspection.

Redundancy in the description of the requirements,

limitations, and exclusions regarding the scope of

the home inspection is provided for emphasis only.

2.2 Inspectors shall:

A. adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American

adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American

Society of Home Inspectors.

B. inspect readily accessible, visually observable,

inspect readily accessible, visually observable,

installed systems and components listed in these

Standards of Practice.

C. report:

1. those systems and components inspected

that, in the professional judgment of the

inspector, are not functioning properly,

significantly deficient, unsafe, or are near

the end of their service lives.

2. recommendations to correct, or monitor for

future correction, the deficiencies reported

in 2.2.C.1, or items needing further

evaluation. (Per Exclusion 13.2.A.5

inspectors are NOT required to determine

methods, materials, or costs of corrections.)

3. reasoning or explanation as to the nature of

the deficiencies reported in 2.2.C.1, that are

not self-evident.

4. systems and components designated for

inspection in these Standards of Practice

that were present at the time of the home

inspection but were not inspected and the

reason(s) they were not inspected.

2.3 These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit

report:

inspectors from:

A. including other inspection services or systems

including other inspection services or systems

and components in addition to those required in

Section 2.2.B.

B. designing or specifying repairs, provided the

designing or specifying repairs, provided the

inspector is appropriately qualified and willing to

do so.

C. excluding systems and components from the

excluding systems and components from the

inspection if requested by the client.

3. STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS

3.1 The inspector shall:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. structural components including the

foundation and framing.

2. 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 or presumed to exist.

B. describe:

describe:

1. the methods used to inspect under-floor

crawl spaces and attics.

2. the foundation.

3. the floor structure.

4. the wall structure.

5. the ceiling structure.

6. the roof structure.

3.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. provide any engineering or architectural services

provide any engineering or architectural services

or analysis.

B. offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any

offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any

structural system or component.

4. EXTERIOR

4.1 The inspector shall:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. siding, flashing and trim.

2. all exterior doors.

3. attached or adjacent decks, balconies,

stoops, steps, porches, and their associated

railings.

4. eaves, soffits, and fascias where accessible

from the ground level.

5. vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and

retaining walls that are likely to adversely

affect the building.

6. adjacent or entryway walkways, patios, and

driveways.

B. describe:

describe:

1. siding.

EXTERIOR 4.2, Continued

4.2 The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

A. screening, shutters, awnings, and similar

screening, shutters, awnings, and similar

seasonal accessories.

B. fences.

fences.

C. geological and/or soil conditions.

geological and/or soil conditions.

D. recreational facilities.

recreational facilities.

E. outbuildings other than garages and carports.

outbuildings other than garages and carports.

F. seawalls, break-walls, and docks.

seawalls, break-walls, and docks.

G. erosion control and earth stabilization measures.

5. ROOFING

5.1 The inspector shall:

erosion control and earth stabilization measures.

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. roofing materials.

2. roof drainage systems.

3. flashing.

4. skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations.

B. describe:

describe:

1. roofing materials.

2. methods used to inspect the roofing.

5.2 The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

A. antennae.

antennae.

B. interiors of flues or chimneys that are not

interiors of flues or chimneys that are not

readily accessible.

C. other installed accessories.

6. PLUMBING

6.1 The inspector shall:

other installed accessories.

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. interior water supply and distribution

systems including all fixtures and faucets.

2. drain, waste, and vent systems including all

fixtures.

3. water heating equipment and hot water

supply system.

4. vent systems, flues, and chimneys.

5. fuel storage and fuel distribution systems.

6. drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related

piping.

B. describe:

describe:

1. water supply, drain, waste, and vent piping

materials.

2. water heating equipment including energy

source(s).

3. location of main water and fuel shut-off valves.

6.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. clothes washing machine connections.

2. interiors of flues or chimneys that are not

readily accessible.

3. wells, well pumps, or water storage related

equipment.

4. water conditioning systems.

5. solar water heating systems.

6. fire and lawn sprinkler systems.

7. private waste disposal systems.

B. determine:

determine:

1. whether water supply and waste disposal

systems are public or private.

2. water supply quantity or quality.

C. operate automatic safety controls or manual

operate automatic safety controls or manual

stop valves.

7. ELECTRICAL

7.1 The inspector shall:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. service drop.

2. service entrance conductors, cables, and

raceways.

3. service equipment and main disconnects.

4. service grounding.

5. interior components of service panels and

sub panels.

6. conductors.

7. overcurrent protection devices.

8. a representative number of installed lighting

fixtures, switches, and receptacles.

9. ground fault circuit interrupters.

B. describe:

describe:

1. amperage and voltage rating of the service.

2. location of main disconnect(s) and sub

panels.

3. presence of solid conductor aluminum

branch circuit wiring.

4. presence or absence of smoke detectors.

5. wiring methods.

7.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. remote control devices.

2. alarm systems and components.

3. low voltage wiring systems and components.

4. ancillary wiring systems and components.

not a part of the primary electrical power

distribution system.

B. measure amperage, voltage, or impedance.

measure amperage, voltage, or impedance.

Continued

8. HEATING

8.1 The inspector shall:

A. open readily openable access panels.

open readily openable access panels.

B. inspect:

inspect:

1. installed heating equipment.

2. vent systems, flues, and chimneys.

C. describe:

describe:

1. energy source(s).

2. heating systems.

8.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. interiors of flues or chimneys that are not

readily accessible.

2. heat exchangers.

3. humidifiers or dehumidifiers.

4. electronic air filters.

5. solar space heating systems.

B. determine heat supply adequacy or

determine heat supply adequacy or

distribution balance.

9. AIR CONDITIONING

9.1 The inspector shall:

A. open readily openable access panels.

open readily openable access panels.

B. inspect:

inspect:

1. central and through-wall equipment.

2. distribution systems.

C. describe:

describe:

1. energy source(s).

2. cooling systems.

9.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect electronic air filters.

inspect electronic air filters.

B. determine cooling supply adequacy or

determine cooling supply adequacy or

distribution balance.

C. inspect window air conditioning units.

10. INTERIORS

10.1 The inspector shall inspect:

inspect window air conditioning units.

A. walls, ceilings, and floors.

walls, ceilings, and floors.

B. steps, stairways, and railings.

steps, stairways, and railings.

C. countertops and a representative number of

countertops and a representative number of

installed cabinets.

D. a representative number of doors and windows.

a representative number of doors and windows.

E. garage doors and garage door operators.

garage doors and garage door operators.

10.2 The inspector is NOT required to inspect:

A. paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments.

paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments.

B. carpeting.

carpeting.

C. window treatments.

window treatments.

D. central vacuum systems.

central vacuum systems.

E. household appliances.

household appliances.

F. recreational facilities.

11. INSULATION & VENTILATION

11.1 The inspector shall:

recreational facilities.

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished

spaces.

2. ventilation of attics and foundation areas.

3. mechanical ventilation systems.

B. describe:

describe:

1. insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished

spaces.

2. absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at

conditioned surfaces.

11.2 The inspector is NOT required to disturb insulation.

See 13.2.A.11 and 13.2.A.12.

12. FIREPLACES AND SOLID FUEL BURNING APPLIANCES

12.1 The inspector shall:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. system components.

2. chimney and vents.

B. describe:

describe:

1. fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances.

2. chimneys.

12.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect:

inspect:

1. interiors of flues or chimneys.

2. firescreens and doors.

3. seals and gaskets.

4. automatic fuel feed devices.

5. mantles and fireplace surrounds.

6. combustion make-up air devices.

7. heat distribution assists (gravity fed and fan

assisted).

B. ignite or extinguish fires.

ignite or extinguish fires.

C. determine draft characteristics.

determine draft characteristics.

D. move fireplace inserts and stoves or firebox

move fireplace inserts and stoves or firebox

contents.

Continued

13. GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS

13.1 General limitations:

A. The inspector is NOT required to perform any

The inspector is NOT required to perform any

action or make any determination not specifically

stated in these Standards of Practice.

B. Inspections performed in accordance with these

Inspections performed in accordance with these

Standards of Practice:

1. are not technically exhaustive.

2. are not required to identify concealed.

conditions, latent defects, or consequential

damage(s).

C. These Standards of Practice are applicable to

These Standards of Practice are applicable to

buildings with four or fewer dwelling units and

their garages or carports.

13.2 General exclusions:

A. Inspectors are NOT required to determine:

1. conditions of systems or components that

are not readily accessible.

2. remaining life expectancy of any system or

component.

3. strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or

efficiency of any system or component.

4. the causes of any condition or deficiency.

5. methods, materials, or costs of corrections.

6. future conditions including but not limited to

failure of systems and components.

7. the suitability of the property for any

specialized use.

8. compliance with regulatory requirements

(codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.).

9. market value of the property or its

marketability.

10. the advisability of purchase of the property.

11. the presence of potentially hazardous plants

or animals including, but not limited to,

wood destroying organisms or diseases

harmful to humans including molds or

mold-like substances.

12. the presence of any environmental hazards

including, but not limited to, toxins,

carcinogens, noise, and contaminants in

soil, water, and air.

13. the effectiveness of any system installed

or method utilized to control or remove

suspected hazardous substances.

14. operating costs of systems or components.

15. acoustical properties of any system or

component.

16. soil conditions relating to geotechnical or

hydrologic specialties.

B. Inspectors are NOT required to offer:

1. or perform any act or service contrary to law.

2. or perform engineering services.

3. or perform any trade or any professional.

service other than home inspection.

4. warranties or guarantees of any kind.

C. Inspectors are NOT required to operate:

1. any system or component that is shut down

or otherwise inoperable.

2. any system or component that does not

respond to normal operating controls.

3. shut-off valves or manual stop valves.

D. Inspectors are NOT required to enter:

1. any area that will, in the opinion of the

inspector, likely be dangerous to the

inspector or other persons or damage the

property or its systems or components.

2. under-floor crawl spaces or attics that are

not readily accessible.

E. Inspectors are NOT required to inspect:

1. underground items including but not

imited to underground storage tanks or

other underground indications of their

presence, whether abandoned or active.

2. items that are not installed.

3. installed decorative items.

4. items in areas that are not entered in

accordance with 13.2.D.

5. detached structures other than garages

and carports.

6. common elements or common areas in

multi-unit housing, such as condominium

properties or cooperative housing.

F. Inspectors are NOT required to:

1. perform any procedure or operation that will,

in the opinion of the inspector, likely be

dangerous to the inspector or other persons

or damage the property or its systems or

components.

2. describe or report on any system or

component that is not included in these

Standards and was not inspected.

3. move personal property, furniture, equipment,

plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris.

4. dismantle any system or component, except

as explicitly required by these Standards of

Practice.

ASHI STANDARDS OF PRACTICE GLOSSARY OF ITALICIZED TERMS

Alarm Systems

Warning devices installed or freestanding

including but not limited to

smoke detectors, carbon monoxide

detectors, flue gas, and other spillage

detectors, and security equipment

Automatic Safety Controls

Devices designed and installed to

protect systems and components from

unsafe conditions

Component

A part of a system

Decorative

Ornamental; not required for the proper

operation of the essential systems and

components of a home

Describe

To identify (in writing) a system or

component by its type or other

distinguishing characteristics

Dismantle

To take apart or remove any component,

device, or piece of equipment that

would not be taken apart or removed by

a homeowner in the course of normal

maintenance

Engineering

The application of scientific knowledge

for the design, control, or use of

building structures, equipment, or

apparatus

Further Evaluation

Examination and analysis by a qualified

professional, tradesman, or service

technician beyond that provided by the

home inspection

Home Inspection

The process by which an inspector

visually examines the readily accessible

systems and components of a home and

which describes those systems and

components in accordance with these

Standards of Practice

Household Appliances

Kitchen, laundry, and similar

appliances, whether installed or

free-standing

Inspect

To examine any system or component

of a building in accordance with these

Standards of Practice, using normal

operating controls and opening readily

openable access panels

Inspector

A person hired to examine any system

or component of a building in accordance

with these Standards of Practice

Installed

Attached such that removal requires tools

Normal Operating Controls

Devices such as thermostats, switches,

or valves intended to be operated by the

homeowner

Readily Accessible

Available for visual inspection without

requiring moving of personal property,

dismantling, destructive measures, or

any action that will likely involve risk to

persons or property

Readily Openable Access Panel

A panel provided for homeowner

inspection and maintenance that is

readily accessible, within normal reach,

can be removed by one person, and is

not sealed in place

Recreational Facilities

Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming

pools, exercise, entertainment, athletic,

playground or other similar equipment,

and associated accessories

Report

Communicate in writing

Representative Number

One component per room for multiple

similar interior components such as

windows, and electric receptacles; one

component on each side of the building

for multiple similar exterior components

Roof Drainage Systems

Components used to carry water off a

roof and away from a building

Shut Down

A state in which a system or component

cannot be operated by normal operating

controls

Siding

Exterior wall covering and cladding;

such as: aluminum, asphalt, brick,

cement/asbestos, EIFS, stone, stucco,

veneer, vinyl, wood, etc.

Solid Fuel Burning Appliances

A hearth and fire chamber or similar

prepared place in which a fire may be

built and that is built in conjunction

with a chimney; or a listed assembly of

a fire chamber, its chimney, and related

factory-made parts designed for unit

assembly without requiring field

construction

Structural Component

A component that supports non-variable

forces or weights (dead loads) and variable

forces or weights (live loads)

System

A combination of interacting or

interdependent components, assembled

to carry out one or more functions.

Technically Exhaustive

An investigation that involves

dismantling, the extensive use of

advanced techniques, measurements,

instruments, testing, calculations, or

other means

Under-floor Crawl Space

The area within the confines of the

foundation and between the ground and

the underside of the floor

Unsafe

A condition in a readily accessible,

installed system or component that

is judged to be a significant risk of

bodily 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

Wiring Methods

Identification of electrical conductors or

wires by their general type, such as

non-metallic sheathed cable, armored

cable,or knob and tube, etc.

ASHI® CODE OF ETHICS

For the Home Inspection Profession

I

ntegrity, 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 compensation 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.