The International Standards of Practice for
Performing a General Home Inspection
and
The International Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors
www.NACHI.org
Effective June 2013
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Available Online in English, Spanish & French
The International Standards of Practice for Performing a
General Home Inspection is available online at
http://www.nachi.org/sop.htm
The International Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors is
available online at
http://www.nachi.org/code_of_ethics.htm
Estándares de Práctica, the Spanish version of the
International Standards of Practice for Performing a
General Home Inspection, is available online at
http://www.nachi.org/sopspanish.htm
Código de ética, the Spanish version of the International
Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors, is available online
at http://www.nachi.org/coespanish.htm
Les Normes de Pratique Internationales pour la
Réalisation d’une Inspection Générale de Biens
Immobiliers, the French version of the International
Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home
Inspection, is available online at
http://www.nachi.org/res-sop-french.htm
Code de Déontologie de l’Inspection Immobilière, the
French version of the International Code of Ethics for
Home Inspectors, is available online at
http://www.nachi.org/code-of-ethics-french.htm
InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection
3
The International Standards of Practice for
Performing a General Home Inspection
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Definitions and Scope ………………………….. 3
2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions ……… 3
3. Standards of Practice …………………………... 5
3.1. Roof ………………………...…..……........ 5
3.2. Exterior ……………………………............5
3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace &
Structure ……………………..….……..... 6
3.4. Heating …………………………………… 7
3.5. Cooling …………………………………… 7
3.6. Plumbing ……………………………….. 7
3.7. Electrical ………………………………... 9
3.8. Fireplace ………………….…………….. 10
3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation ……….. 10
3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior …………... 11
4. Glossary of Terms ……………………………... 13
Code of Ethics …………………………………….. 16
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.
I. The general home inspection is based on the
observations made on the date of the inspection,
and not a prediction of future conditions.
II. 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:
I. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
II. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent
defects.
III. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic
concerns or what could be deemed matters of
taste, cosmetic defects, etc.
IV. An inspection will not determine the suitability of
the property for any use.
V. An inspection does not determine the market
value of the property or its marketability.
VI. An inspection does not determine the insurability
of the property.
VII. An inspection does not determine the
advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of
the inspected property.
VIII. An inspection does not determine the life
expectancy of the property or any components
or systems therein.
IX. An inspection does not include items not
permanently installed.
X. 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:
A. property boundary lines or encroachments.
B. the condition of any component or system that is
not readily accessible.
C. the service life expectancy of any component or
system.
D. the size, capacity, BTU, performance or
efficiency of any component or system.
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E. the cause or reason of any condition.
F. the cause for the need of correction, repair or
replacement of any system or component.
G. future conditions.
H. compliance with codes or regulations.
I. the presence of evidence of rodents, birds,
animals, insects, or other pests.
J. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
K. the presence of airborne hazards, including
radon.
L. the air quality.
M. the existence of environmental hazards,
including lead paint, asbestos or toxic drywall.
N. the existence of electromagnetic fields.
O. any hazardous waste conditions.
P. any manufacturers' recalls or conformance with
manufacturer installation, or any information
included for consumer protection purposes.
Q. acoustical properties.
R. correction, replacement or repair cost
estimates.
S. estimates of the cost to operate any given
system.
II. The inspector is not required to operate:
A. any system that is shut down.
B. any system that does not function properly.
C. 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.
D. any system that does not turn on with the use of
normal operating controls.
E. any shut-off valves or manual stop valves.
F. any electrical disconnect or over-current
protection devices.
G. any alarm systems.
H. moisture meters, gas detectors or similar
equipment.
III. The inspector is not required to:
A. 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.
B. dismantle, open or uncover any system or
component.
C. enter or access any area that may, in the
opinion of the inspector, be unsafe.
D. enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be
unsafe or not readily accessible.
E. inspect underground items, such as, but not
limited to: lawn-irrigation systems, or
underground storage tanks (or indications of
their presence), whether abandoned or actively
used.
F. 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.
G. inspect decorative items.
H. inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit
housing.
I. inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security
systems.
J. offer guarantees or warranties.
K. offer or perform any engineering services.
L. offer or perform any trade or professional
service other than general home inspection.
M. 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.
N. determine the age of construction or installation
of any system, structure or component of a
building, or differentiate between original
InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection
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construction and subsequent additions,
improvements, renovations or replacements.
O. determine the insurability of a property.
P. perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental
audits.
Q. inspect any system or component that is not
included in these Standards.
3. Standards of Practice
3.1. Roof
I. The inspector shall inspect from ground level or the
eaves:
A. the roof-covering materials;
B. the gutters;
C. the downspouts;
D. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other
roof penetrations; and
E. the general structure of the roof from the readily
accessible panels, doors or stairs.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the type of roof-covering materials.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. observed indications of active roof leaks.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. walk on any roof surface.
B. predict the service life expectancy.
C. inspect underground downspout diverter
drainage pipes.
D. remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that
prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces.
E. move insulation.
F. inspect antennae, satellite dishes, lightning
arresters, de-icing equipment, or similar
attachments.
G. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the
opinion of the inspector, to be unsafe.
H. walk on any roof areas if it might, in the opinion
of the inspector, cause damage.
I. perform a water test.
J. warrant or certify the roof.
K. confirm proper fastening or installation of any
roof-covering material.
3.2. Exterior
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the exterior wall-covering materials, flashing and
trim;
B. all exterior doors;
C. adjacent walkways and driveways;
D. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;
E. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;
F. railings, guards and handrails;
G. the eaves, soffits and fascia;
H. a representative number of windows; and
I. vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and
grading of the property, where they may
adversely affect the structure due to moisture
intrusion.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the type of exterior wall-covering materials.
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III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. any improper spacing between intermediate
balusters, spindles and rails.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect or operate screens, storm windows,
shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or
exterior accent lighting.
B. inspect items that are not visible or readily
accessible from the ground, including window
and door flashing.
C. inspect or identify geological,
geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions.
D. inspect recreational facilities or playground
equipment.
E. inspect seawalls, breakwalls or docks.
F. inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization
measures.
G. inspect for safety-type glass.
H. inspect underground utilities.
I. inspect underground items.
J. inspect wells or springs.
K. inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems.
L. inspect swimming pools or spas.
M. inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic
systems or cesspools.
N. inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems.
O. inspect drainfields or dry wells.
P. determine the integrity of multiple-pane window
glazing or thermal window seals.
3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the foundation;
B. the basement;
C. the crawlspace; and
D. structural components.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the type of foundation; and
B. the location of the access to the under-floor
space.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. observed indications of wood in contact with or
near soil;
B. observed indications of active water
penetration;
C. observed indications of possible foundation
movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick
cracks, out-of-square door frames, and unlevel
floors; and
D. any observed cutting, notching and boring of
framing members that may, in the inspector's
opinion, present a structural or safety concern.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. enter any crawlspace that is not readily
accessible, or where entry could cause damage
or pose a hazard to the inspector.
B. move stored items or debris.
C. operate sump pumps with inaccessible floats.
D. identify the size, spacing, span or location or
determine the adequacy of foundation bolting,
bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems.
E. provide any engineering or architectural service.
F. report on the adequacy of any structural system
or component.
InterNACHI’s International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection
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3.4. Heating
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the heating system, using normal operating
controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the location of the thermostat for the heating
system;
B. the energy source; and
C. the heating method.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. any heating system that did not operate; and
B. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect or evaluate the interior of flues or
chimneys, fire chambers, heat
exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air
intakes, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air
filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating
systems.
B. inspect fuel tanks or underground or
concealed fuel supply systems.
C. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow,
balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or
supply adequacy of the heating system.
D. light or ignite pilot flames.
E. activate heating, heat pump systems, or other
heating systems when ambient temperatures or
other circumstances are not conducive to safe
operation or may damage the equipment.
F. override electronic thermostats.
G. evaluate fuel quality.
H. verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or
automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.
3.5. Cooling
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the cooling system using normal operating
controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the location of the thermostat for the cooling
system; and
B. the cooling method.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. any cooling system that did not operate; and
B. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow,
balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or
supply adequacy of the cooling system.
B. inspect portable window units, through-wall
units, or electronic air filters.
C. operate equipment or systems if the exterior
temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, or when
other circumstances are not conducive to safe
operation or may damage the equipment.
D. inspect or determine thermostat calibration,
cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or
clocks.
E. examine electrical current, coolant fluids or
gases, or coolant leakage.
3.6. Plumbing
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the main water supply shut-off valve;
B. the main fuel supply shut-off valve;
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C. the water heating equipment, including the
energy source, venting connections,
temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts
210 valves, and seismic bracing;
D. interior water supply, including all fixtures and
faucets, by running the water;
E. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;
F. all sinks, tubs and showers for functional
drainage;
G. the drain, waste and vent system; and
H. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. whether the water supply is public or private
based upon observed evidence;
B. the location of the main water supply shut-off
valve;
C. the location of the main fuel supply shut-off
valve;
D. the location of any observed fuel-storage
system; and
E. the capacity of the water heating equipment, if
labeled.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the
functional flow in two fixtures operated
simultaneously;
B. deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold
water faucets;
C. mechanical drain stops that were missing or did
not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories and
tubs; and
D. toilets that were damaged, had loose
connections to the floor, were leaking, or had
tank components that did not operate.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. light or ignite pilot flames.
B. measure the capacity, temperature, age, life
expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.
C. inspect the interior of flues or chimneys,
combustion air systems, water softener or
filtering systems, well pumps or tanks, safety
or shut-off valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler
systems, or fire sprinkler systems.
D. determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure,
temperature or adequacy of the water supply.
E. determine the water quality, potability or
reliability of the water supply or source.
F. open sealed plumbing access panels.
G. inspect clothes washing machines or
their connections.
H. operate any valve.
I. test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or
enclosures for leakage or functional overflow
protection.
J. evaluate the compliance with conservation,
energy or building standards, or the proper
design or sizing of any water, waste or venting
components, fixtures or piping.
K. determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, backflow
prevention or drain-stop devices.
L. determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts
for effective cleaning of drains.
M. evaluate fuel storage tanks or supply systems.
N. inspect wastewater treatment systems.
O. inspect water treatment systems or water filters.
P. inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps, or
bladder tanks.
Q. evaluate wait-time to obtain hot water at fixtures,
or perform testing of any kind to water heater
elements.
R. evaluate or determine the adequacy of
combustion air.
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S. test, operate, open or close: safety controls,
manual stop valves, temperature/pressure-relief
valves, control valves, or check valves.
T. examine ancillary or auxiliary systems or
components, such as, but not limited to, those
related to solar water heating and hot water
circulation.
U. determine the existence or condition of
polybutylene plumbing.
3.7. Electrical
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. the service drop;
B. the overhead service conductors and
attachment point;
C. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;
D. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;
E. the electric meter and base;
F. service-entrance conductors;
G. the main service disconnect;
H. panelboards and over-current protection devices
(circuit breakers and fuses);
I. service grounding and bonding;
J. a representative number of switches, lighting
fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles
observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit
interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test
button, where possible;
K. all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles
and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be
GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and
L. smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the main service disconnect's amperage rating,
if labeled; and
B. the type of wiring observed.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. deficiencies in the integrity of the serviceentrance
conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and
vertical clearances from grade and roofs;
B. any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that
was not filled;
C. the presence of solid conductor aluminum
branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible;
D. any tested receptacle in which power was not
present, polarity was incorrect, the cover was
not in place, the GFCI devices were not properly
installed or did not operate properly, evidence of
arcing or excessive heat, and where the
receptacle was not grounded or was not secured
to the wall; and
E. the absence of smoke detectors.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. insert any tool, probe or device into the main
panelboard, sub-panels, distribution
panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
B. operate electrical systems that are shut down.
C. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead
fronts.
D. operate or re-set over-current protection devices
or overload devices.
E. operate smoke or carbon-monoxide detectors.
F. measure or determine the amperage or voltage
of the main service equipment, if not visibly
labeled.
G. inspect the fire and alarm system or
components.
H. inspect the ancillary wiring or remote-control
devices.
I. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits
that are not energized.
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J. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing
tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any timecontrolled
devices.
K. verify the service ground.
L. inspect private or emergency electrical supply
sources, including, but not limited to: generators,
windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or
battery or electrical storage facility.
M. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.
N. inspect or test de-icing equipment.
O. conduct voltage-drop calculations.
P. determine the accuracy of labeling.
Q. inspect exterior lighting.
3.8. Fireplace
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. readily accessible and visible portions of the
fireplaces and chimneys;
B. lintels above the fireplace openings;
C. damper doors by opening and closing them, if
readily accessible and manually operable; and
D. cleanout doors and frames.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the type of fireplace.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. evidence of joint separation, damage or
deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or
chambers;
B. manually operated dampers that did not open
and close;
C. the lack of a smoke detector in the same
room as the fireplace;
D. the lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the
same room as the fireplace; and
E. cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement,
or other non-combustible material.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect the flue or vent system.
B. inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire
doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.
C. determine the need for a chimney sweep.
D. operate gas fireplace inserts.
E. light pilot flames.
F. determine the appropriateness of any
installation.
G. inspect automatic fuel-fed devices.
H. inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.
I. inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravitycontrolled
or fan-assisted.
J. ignite or extinguish fires.
K. determine the adequacy of drafts or draft
characteristics.
L. move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox
contents.
M. perform a smoke test.
N. dismantle or remove any component.
O. perform a National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA)-style inspection.
P. perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney
inspection.
3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics,
crawlspaces and foundation areas;
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B. ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics,
crawlspaces and foundation areas; and
C. mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen,
bathrooms and laundry area.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the type of insulation observed; and
B. the approximate average depth of insulation
observed at the unfinished attic floor area or roof
structure.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. the general absence of insulation or ventilation
in unfinished spaces.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. enter the attic or any unfinished spaces that are
not readily accessible, or where entry could
cause damage or, in the inspector's opinion,
pose a safety hazard.
B. move, touch or disturb insulation.
C. move, touch or disturb vapor retarders.
D. break or otherwise damage the surface finish or
weather seal on or around access panels or
covers.
E. identify the composition or R-value of insulation
material.
F. activate thermostatically operated fans.
G. determine the types of materials used in
insulation or wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets,
boilers or wiring.
H. determine the adequacy of ventilation.
3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. a representative number of doors and windows
by opening and closing them;
B. floors, walls and ceilings;
C. stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps;
D. railings, guards and handrails; and
E. garage vehicle doors and the operation of
garage vehicle door openers, using normal
operating controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. a garage vehicle door as manually-operated or
installed with a garage door opener.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. improper spacing between intermediate
balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways,
guards and railings;
B. photo-electric safety sensors that did not
operate properly; and
C. any window that was obviously fogged or
displayed other evidence of broken seals.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or
finish treatments.
B. inspect floor coverings or carpeting.
C. inspect central vacuum systems.
D. inspect for safety glazing.
E. inspect security systems or components.
F. evaluate the fastening of islands, countertops,
cabinets, sink tops or fixtures.
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G. move furniture, stored items, or any
coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in order to
inspect the concealed floor structure.
H. move suspended-ceiling tiles.
I. inspect or move any household appliances.
J. inspect or operate equipment housed in the
garage, except as otherwise noted.
K. verify or certify the proper operation of any
pressure-activated auto-reverse or related safety
feature of a garage door.
L. operate or evaluate any security bar release and
opening mechanisms, whether interior or
exterior, including their compliance with local,
state or federal standards.
M. operate any system, appliance or component
that requires the use of special keys, codes,
combinations or devices.
N. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt
guards/latches, or signal lights.
O. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from
microwave ovens.
P. operate or examine any sauna, steamgenerating
equipment, kiln, toaster, ice maker,
coffee maker, can opener, bread warmer,
blender, instant hot-water dispenser, or other
small, ancillary appliances or devices.
Q. inspect elevators.
R. inspect remote controls.
S. inspect appliances.
T. inspect items not permanently installed.
U. discover firewall compromises.
V. inspect pools, spas or fountains.
W. determine the adequacy of whirlpool or spa jets,
water force, or bubble effects.
X. determine the structural integrity or leakage of
pools or spas.
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4. Glossary of Terms
accessible: In the opinion of the inspector, can
be approached or entered safely, without
difficulty, fear or danger.
activate: To turn on, supply power, or enable
systems, equipment or devices to become active
by normal operating controls. Examples include
turning on the gas or water supply valves to the
fixtures and appliances, and activating electrical
breakers or fuses.
adversely affect: To constitute, or potentially
constitute, a negative or destructive impact.
alarm system: Warning devices, installed or
freestanding, including, but not limited to:
carbon-monoxide detectors, flue gas and other
spillage detectors, security equipment, ejector
pumps, and smoke alarms.
appliance: A household device operated by the
use of electricity or gas. Not included in this
definition are components covered under central
heating, central cooling or plumbing.
architectural service: Any practice involving
the art and science of building design for
construction of any structure or grouping of
structures, and the use of space within and
surrounding the structures or the design, design
development, preparation of construction
contract documents, and administration of the
construction contract.
component: A permanently installed or
attached fixture, element or part of a system.
condition: The visible and conspicuous state of
being of an object.
correction: Something that is substituted or
proposed for what is incorrect, deficient, unsafe,
or a defect.
cosmetic defect: An irregularity or imperfection
in something, which could be corrected, but is
not required.
crawlspace: The area within the confines of the
foundation and between the ground and the
underside of the lowest floor's structural
component.
decorative: Ornamental; not required for the
operation of essential systems or components of
a home.
describe: To report in writing a system or
component by its type or other observed
characteristics in order to distinguish it from
other components used for the same purpose.
determine: To arrive at an opinion or
conclusion pursuant to examination.
dismantle: To open, take apart or remove any
component, device or piece that would not
typically be opened, taken apart or removed by
an ordinary occupant.
engineering service: Any professional service
or creative work requiring engineering
education, training and experience, and the
application of special knowledge of the
mathematical, physical and engineering
sciences to such professional service or creative
work as consultation, investigation, evaluation,
planning, design and supervision of construction
for the purpose of assuring compliance with the
specifications and design, in conjunction with
structures, buildings, machines, equipment,
works and/or processes.
enter: To go into an area to observe visible
components.
evaluate: To assess the systems, structures
and/or components of a property.
evidence: (noun form) That which tends to
prove or disprove something; something that
makes plain or clear; ground for belief; proof.
examine: To visually look (see inspect).
foundation: The base upon which the structure
or wall rests, usually masonry, concrete or
stone, and generally partially underground.
function: The action for which an item,
component or system is specially fitted or used,
or for which an item, component or system
exists; to be in action or perform a task.
functional: Performing, or able to perform, a
function.
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functional defect: A lack of or an abnormality
in something that is necessary for normal and
proper functioning and operation, and, therefore,
requires further evaluation and correction.
general home inspection: The process by
which an inspector visually examines the readily
accessible systems and components of a home
and operates those systems and components
utilizing these Standards of Practice as a
guideline.
home inspection: See general home
inspection.
household appliances: Kitchen and laundry
appliances, room air conditioners, and similar
appliances.
identify: To notice and report.
indication (noun form): That which serves to
point out, show, or make known the present
existence of something under certain conditions.
inspect: To examine readily accessible
systems and components safely, using normal
operating controls, and accessing readily
accessible areas, in accordance with these
Standards of Practice.
inspected property: The readily accessible
areas of the buildings, site, items, components
and systems included in the inspection.
inspection report: A written communication
(possibly including images) of any material
defects observed during the inspection.
inspector: One who performs a real estate
inspection.
installed: Attached or connected such that the
installed item requires a tool for removal.
material defect: 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.
normal operating controls: Describes the
method by which certain devices (such as
thermostats) can be operated by ordinary
occupants, as they require no specialized skill or
knowledge.
observe: To visually notice.
operate: To cause systems to function or turn
on with normal operating controls.
readily accessible: A system or component
that, in the judgment of the inspector, is capable
of being safely observed without the removal of
obstacles, detachment or disengagement of
connecting or securing devices, or other unsafe
or difficult procedures to gain access.
recreational facilities: Spas, saunas, steam
baths, swimming pools, tennis courts,
playground equipment, and other exercise,
entertainment and athletic facilities.
report: (verb form) To express, communicate or
provide information in writing; give a written
account of. (See also inspection report.)
representative number: A number sufficient to
serve as a typical or characteristic example of
the item(s) inspected.
residential property: Four or fewer residential
units.
residential unit: A home; a single unit
providing complete and independent living
facilities for one or more persons, including
permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating,
cooking and sanitation.
safety glazing: Tempered glass, laminated
glass, or rigid plastic.
shut down: Turned off, unplugged, inactive, not
in service, not operational, etc.
structural component: A component that
supports non-variable forces or weights (dead
loads) and variable forces or weights (live
loads).
system: An assembly of various
components which function as a whole.
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technically exhaustive: A comprehensive and
detailed examination beyond the scope of a real
estate home inspection that would involve or
include, but would not be limited to: dismantling,
specialized knowledge or training, special
equipment, measurements, calculations, testing,
research, analysis, or other means.
unsafe: In the inspector's opinion, a condition
of an area, system, component or procedure
that is judged to be a significant risk of 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.
verify: To confirm or substantiate.
These terms are found within the Standards of
Practice. Visit InterNACHI's full Glossary online.
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International Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) promotes a
high standard of professionalism, business ethics and inspection procedures.
InterNACHI members subscribe to the following Code of Ethics in the course of their
business.
I. Duty to the Public
1. The InterNACHI member shall abide by the Code of Ethics and substantially follow the InterNACHI Standards
of Practice.
2. The InterNACHI member shall not engage in any practices that could be damaging to the public or bring
discredit to the home inspection industry.
3. The InterNACHI member shall be fair, honest, impartial, and act in good faith in dealing with the public.
4. 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 discrimination.
5. The InterNACHI member shall be truthful regarding his/her services and qualifications.
6. The InterNACHI member shall not:
a. have any disclosed or undisclosed conflict of interest with the client;
b. 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
c. 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.
7. 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:
a. the client has been made explicitly aware of what information will be released, to whom, and for what
purpose, and;
b. the client has provided explicit, prior written consent for the release of his/her information.
8. The InterNACHI member shall always act in the interests of the client unless doing so violates a law, statute,
or this Code of Ethics.
9. The InterNACHI member shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed, limitations of
services, and fees.
10. The InterNACHI member shall comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction
where s/he conducts business.
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11. 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.
II. Duty to Continue Education
1. The InterNACHI member shall comply with InterNACHI's current Continuing Education requirements.
2. The InterNACHI member shall pass InterNACHI's Online Inspector Exam once every three years.
III. Duty to the Profession and to InterNACHI
1. 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.
2. The InterNACHI member shall assist the InterNACHI leadership in disseminating and publicizing the benefits
of InterNACHI membership.
3. 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.
4. The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI's current membership requirements.
5. The InterNACHI member shall abide by InterNACHI's current message board rules.
Members of other associations are welcome to join InterNACHI, but a requirement of membership is that InterNACHI must
be given equal or greater prominence in their marketing materials (brochures and websites) compared to other
associations of membership.