Scope of a Home Inspection:
What building components and systems are examined in a professional Home Inspection?
Scope of a home inspection:
What major building comonents, structures, & mechanical systems must be included in a professional home inspection?
This article lists the "significant building components and systemns" included in a professional home inspection and referred to by professional standards.
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Major Components & Systems Included in a Professional Home Inspection
The American Society of Home Inspectors - ASHI is the national testing, certification, and ethical standard professional association for home inspectors. The ASHI Standards of Practice define the minimum acceptable scope of a professional home inspection.
The intent of the inspection is that all substantive systems and components that make up the building shall be examined by the home inspector, and that significant defects and dangerous conditions shall be reported to the client orally and in writing. Some items which are numerous but of minor individual cost such as electrical outlets may be sampled using a strategy based on observation and experience.
Other numerous items, such as plumbing fixtures, must all be examined for proper operation and evidence of damage to the building. The ASHI Standard of Practice protects consumers from engaging an inspector who is unprofessional - someone who might be great at roofing but who makes no inspection of plumbing components, for example.
HOME INSPECTION STANDARDS (ASHI) and similar standards of home inspection practice published by other home inspector associations or certifying agencies typically list these major systems:
- Structural System such as foundations, wall and roof framing
- Exterior building surfaces and components other than temporary or portable items
- Roof System
- Plumbing System
- Electrical System
- Heating System
- Air Conditioning System
- Interior building surfaces and components other than temporary or portable items
- Insulation and Ventilation
- Fireplaces and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances as well as chimneys and vents for these devices.
The intention is that all of the substantive physical components and systems that make up the structure, and certain other
conditions (such as site drainage) which affect the structure, shall be examined.
Watch out: The list above is intended to give the broad scope of a professional home inspection and does not include detailed components or topics. But we do provide that detail. For extensive inspection, diagnostic, and repair advice on virtually all building components and systems, readers should note the list of building topics across the top of each page at InspectAPedia.com and also be sure to review the much more detailed building inspection topic & defect lists described at
Home buyers and home inspectors who need to know the detailed standards to which a home inspection should be conducted should examine the
ASHI Standard of Practice as well as their local or State versions of
similar home inspection laws and guidelines if such are provided in their state.
Normally excluded from a pre purchase home inspection are environmental concerns such as mold, radon, lead,
and also excluded are calculations or estimations of system capacities or adequacies, such as cooling or heating capacity.
However home inspectors are not prohibited from offering additional inspection and testing services, including but not limited to such items as mold testing, radon testing, water and septic testing, termite or wood destroying insect infestation inspections, energy audits, heating and air conditioning system inspections, other environmental tests, provided the home inspector is qualified and meets any state or local licensing requirements for those activities.
Home inspectors are (or should be) prohibited from offering to perform repair work on properties that they inspect as well as a general prohibition against any conflicts of interest among their client and other parties involved in owning, selling, or providing services to the property they inspect.
Appliances such as dishwashers, ranges, ovens, and clothes washers as well as portable or window air conditioners or air cleaners are not required to be inspected by most inspection standards, but these may be included in the practice of some home inspectors.
Continue reading at HOME INSPECTION, GET THE MOST FROM or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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INSPECTION COMPONENTS MASTER LIST at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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- HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS
- AGE of a BUILDING, HOW to DETERMINE
- AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP INSPECTION - home
- BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
- BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
- CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR - home
- CLEARANCE DISTANCES
- CRAWL SPACES
- DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
- DIRECTORY of BUILDING INSPECTORS
- DIRECTORIES of EXPERTS
- DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
- ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR - home
- ENERGY SAVINGS - home
- ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - home
- EXTERIOR INSPECTIONS - home
- FIREPLACES & HEARTHS
- FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
- HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTIONS - home
- HOME & BUILDING INSPECTION METHODS - home
- HOME INSPECTION, GET THE MOST FROM
- HOME MAINTENANCE
- HUD RENOVATION & 203 K INSPECTIONS
- INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
- INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
- INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT - home
- INTERIOR INSPECTIONS - home
- KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
- LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
- MOBILE HOME INSPECTION GUIDE
- MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
- MOLD IN BUILDINGS
- MSDS MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS
- NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
- ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE - home
- OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS
- OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS - home
- PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION - home
- PLUMBING SYSTEMS INSPECTION - home
- ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR - home
- SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE - home
- SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR - home
- SOLAR ENERGY
- STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS - home
- STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS of BUILDINGS - home
- TANK TYPES: EXPANSION, OIL, SEPTIC WATER, ALL
- TEMPERATURE MEASURING INSTRUMENTS
- VENTILATION in BUILDINGS - home
- WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS - home
- WATER HEATER INSPECTION - home
- WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM INSPECTION - home
- WATER TESTS for CONTAMINANTS
- WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS - home
- WINDOWS & DOORS - home
- FAQs below discusses field reports of problems & solutions for this topic
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Technical Reviewers & References
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- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
- John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: email@example.com
- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com 11/06
- Roger Hankey is principal of Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN. Mr. Hankey is a past chairman of the ASHI Standards Committee. Mr. Hankey has served in other ASHI professional and leadership roles. Contact Roger Hankey at: 952 829-0044 - firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Hankey is a frequent contributor to InspectAPedia.com.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
- [Information about ASHI]
- [ASHI's Association Info]
- [ASHI Headquarters Website]
- Basement Moisture Control, U.S. Department of Energy
- Building Pathology, Deterioration, Diagnostics, and Intervention, Samuel Y. Harris, P.E., AIA, Esq., ISBN 0-471-33172-4, John Wiley & Sons, 2001 [General building science-DF] ISBN-10: 0471331724
- Building Pathology: Principles and Practice, David Watt, Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (March 7, 2008) ISBN-10: 1405161035 ISBN-13: 978-1405161039