home inspection general knowledge


Prepare for your next home inspection

Our goal is to ensure your home inspection is carried out without any delays or interruptions. There are a few things homeowners need to address prior to the home inspection in order to make this process as smooth as possible. This includes:
   – Access
   – Arrange and confirm entry to the property with all appropriate parties, including the Real Estate Agent, Seller and/or Builder    – Obstruction-Free and Accessible
   – Bathroom and Kitchen
   – Water heaters
   – Furnaces
   – Electrical panel
   – Attic and crawl spaces
   – Pets are confined if required
   – Store items away from sinks and bathtubs
   – Property Status
   – If the property is newly built ensure that it is in livable condition.
   – If it is a re-sale property ensure that it is not under major renovation or construction and that is in livable condition.
   – Additional Notes
   – We require at least 24 hours notification to cancel or reschedule your appointment
   – Your inspector will arrive on time and will begin inspection of the exterior property till you or the broker arrive
   – Please be aware that if conditions are dangerous your inspector will not be able to walk on the roof.

International Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors


Duty to the Public
The InterNACHI member shall abide by the Code of Ethics and substantially follow the InterNACHI Standards of Practice.
The InterNACHI member shall not engage in any practices that could be damaging to the public or bring discredit to the home inspection industry.
The InterNACHI member shall be fair, honest, impartial, and act in good faith in dealing with the public.
The InterNACHI member shall not discriminate in any business activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or handicap, and shall comply with all federal, state and local laws concerning discriminaon.
The InterNACHI member shall be truthful regarding his/her services and qualifications.
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 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.
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.
The InterNACHI member shall always act in the interests of the client unless doing so violates a law, statute, or this Code of Ethics.
The InterNACHI member shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed, limitations of services, and fees.
The InterNACHI member shall comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction where s/he conducts business.
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.
Duty to Continue Education
The InterNACHI member shall comply with InterNACHI’s current Continuing Education requirements.
The InterNACHI member shall pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Exam once every calendar year.
Duty to the Profession and to InterNACHI
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.
The InterNACHI member shall assist the InterNACHI leadership in disseminating and publicizing the benefits of InterNACHI membership.
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.
The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI’s current membership requirements.
The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI’s current message board rules.

what is standard of practice

House Expert Home Inspections LLC. adheres InterNACHI International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Its Standards of Practice are the strictest set of regulations in the industry and includes a Code of Ethics that promotes excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.

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 general 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. The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
The general 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 general 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:
An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.
An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc.
An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.
An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.
An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.
An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the inspected property.
An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components or systems therein.
An inspection does not include items not permanently installed.
These Standards of Practice apply only to properties with four or fewer residential units.

2.2. Exclusions:
I. The inspector is not required to determine:
property boundary lines or encroachments.
the condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible.
the service life expectancy of any component or system.
the size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or system.
the cause or reason of any condition.
the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or component.
future conditions.
compliance with codes or regulations.
the presence of evidence of rodents, birds, animals, insects, or other pests.
the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
the presence of airborne hazards, including radon.
the air quality.
the existence of environmental hazards, including lead paint, asbestos or toxic drywall.
the existence of electromagnetic fields.
any hazardous waste conditions.
any manufacturers’ recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any information included for consumer protection purposes.
acoustical properties.
correction, replacement or repair cost estimates.
estimates of the cost to operate any given system.

II. The inspector is not required to operate:
any system that is shut down.
any system that does not function properly.
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.

any system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls. any shut-off valves or manual stop valves. any electrical disconnect or over-current protection devices. any alarm systems.
moisture meters, gas detectors or similar equipment.
III. The inspector is not required to:
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. dismantle, open or uncover any system or component.

enter or access any area that may, in the opinion of the inspector, be unsafe.
enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be unsafe or not readily accessible.
inspect underground items, such as, but not limited to: lawn-irrigation systems, underground storage tanks or other indications of their presence, whether abandoned or actively used.
do anything which may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to the inspector or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to: walking on roof surfaces, climbing ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets. inspect decorative items.
inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit housing.
inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security systems.
offer guarantees or warranties.
offer or perform any engineering services.
offer or perform any trade or professional service other than general home inspection.
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.
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. determine the insurability of a property.
perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental audits.
inspect any system or component that is not included in these Standards.

click to access standard of practice as pdf and new jersey administrative code

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