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Indianapolis Home Inspections

InterNachi Standards of Practice

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 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 home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.

II. The 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 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

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. This Standards of Practice applies to properties with four or fewer residential

units and their attached garages and carports.

2.2. Exclusions:

I. The inspector is not required to determine:


A. propertyboundarylinesorencroachments.
B. theconditionofanycomponentorsystemthatisnotreadilyaccessible. C. theservicelifeexpectancyofanycomponentorsystem.
D. the size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or


E. thecauseorreasonofanycondition.
F. the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or

G. future conditions.
H. compliance with codes or regulations.
I. the presence of evidence of rodents, birds, bats, animals, insects, or other

J. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
K. thepresenceofairbornehazards,includingradon.
L. the air quality.
M. the existence of environmental hazards, including lead paint, asbestos or toxic

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:

  1. anysystemthatisshutdown.

  2. anysystemthatdoesnotfunctionproperly.

  3. orevaluatelow-voltageelectricalsystems,suchas,butnotlimitedto:

    1. phone lines;
    2. cable lines;
    3. satellite dishes;

4. antennae;
5. lights; or
6. remote controls.

  1. any system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls.

  2. anyshut-offvalvesormanualstopvalves.

  3. 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:

  1. moveanypersonalitemsorotherobstructions,suchas,butnotlimited
    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.

  2. dismantle,openoruncoveranysystemorcomponent.

  3. enteroraccessanyareathatmay,intheinspector'sopinion,beunsafe.

  4. enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be unsafe or not readily accessible.

  5. inspectundergrounditems,suchas,butnotlimitedto:lawn-irrigation

systems, or underground storage tanks (or indications of their presence),

whether abandoned or actively used.

  1. do anything that may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to

    him/herself or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited
    to: walking on roof surfaces, climbing ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets.

  2. inspect decorative items.

  3. inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit housing.

  4. inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security systems.

  5. offer guarantees or warranties.

  6. offerorperformanyengineeringservices.

  7. offer or perform any trade or professional service other than a home


  8. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. determine the insurability of a property.

  3. perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental audits.

  4. 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. theroof-coveringmaterials;

B. thegutters;
C. thedownspouts;
D. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations; and

E. thegeneralstructureoftherooffromthereadilyaccessiblepanels,doorsor 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:

  1. walkonanyroofsurface.

  2. predicttheservicelifeexpectancy.

  3. inspectundergrounddownspoutdiverterdrainagepipes.

  4. remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of

    the roof surfaces.

  5. moveinsulation.

  6. inspect antennae, satellite dishes, lightning arresters, de-icing equipment, or

    similar attachments.

  7. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the inspector's opinion, to be unsafe.

  8. walk on any roof areas if doing so might, in the inspector's opinion, cause


  9. perform a water test.

  10. warrant or certify the roof.

  11. confirm proper fastening or installation of any roof-covering material.

3.2. Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. theexteriorwall-coveringmaterials; B. theeaves,soffitsandfascia;
C. arepresentativenumberofwindows; D. all exterior doors;

E. flashingandtrim;
F. adjacent walkways and driveways;
G. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;
H. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;
I. railings, guards and handrails; and
J. 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. thetypeofexteriorwall-coveringmaterials. III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. anyimproperspacingbetweenintermediatebalusters,spindlesandrails. IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspectoroperatescreens,stormwindows,shutters,awnings,fences,

outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.

  1. inspectitemsthatarenotvisibleorreadilyaccessiblefromtheground,

    including window and door flashing.

  2. inspectoridentifygeological,geotechnical,hydrologicalorsoilconditions.

  3. inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment.

  4. inspectseawalls,breakwallsordocks.

  5. inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization measures.

  6. inspect for safety-type glass.

  7. inspect underground utilities.

  8. inspect underground items.

  9. inspect wells or springs.

  10. inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems.

  11. inspect swimming pools or spas.

  12. inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic systems or cesspools.

  13. inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems.

  14. inspect drainfields or dry wells.

  15. determine the integrity of multiple-pane window glazing or thermal window


3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. thefoundation;

B. thebasement;
C. thecrawlspace;and
D. structural components.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. thetypeoffoundation;and
B. thelocationoftheaccesstotheunder-floorspace.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. observedindicationsofwoodincontactwithornearsoil;

  2. observedindicationsofactivewaterpenetration;

  3. observedindicationsofpossiblefoundationmovement,suchassheetrock

    cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames, and unlevel floors; and

  4. any observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in

    the inspector's opinion, present a structural or safety concern.

  1. enteranycrawlspacethatisnotreadilyaccessible,orwhereentrycouldcause damage or pose a hazard to him/herself.

  2. movestoreditemsordebris.

  3. operatesumppumpswithinaccessiblefloats.

  4. identify the size, spacing, span or location or determine the adequacy of

    foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems.

  5. provideanyengineeringorarchitecturalservice.

  6. report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

3.4. Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. theheatingsystem,usingnormaloperatingcontrols. II. The inspector shall describe:

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. thelocationofthethermostatfortheheatingsystem; B. theenergysource;and
C. theheatingmethod.

A. anyheatingsystemthatdidnotoperate;and

B. iftheheatingsystemwasdeemedinaccessible.

A. inspect,measure,orevaluatetheinterioroffluesorchimneys,firechambers,

heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, makeup air, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.

B. inspectfueltanksorundergroundorconcealedfuelsupplysystems.

C. determinetheuniformity,temperature,flow,balance,distribution,size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.

  1. light or ignite pilot flames.

  2. activateheating,heatpumpsystems,orotherheatingsystemswhenambient

    temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or

    may damage the equipment.

  3. override electronic thermostats.

  4. evaluate fuel quality.

  5. verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers,

    programs or clocks.

I. measure or calculate the air for combustion, ventilation, or dilution of flue gases for appliances.

3.5. Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. thecoolingsystem,usingnormaloperatingcontrols. II. The inspector shall describe:

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. thelocationofthethermostatforthecoolingsystem;and B. thecoolingmethod.

A. anycoolingsystemthatdidnotoperate;and B. ifthecoolingsystemwasdeemedinaccessible.

A. determinetheuniformity,temperature,flow,balance,distribution,size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.

B. inspectportablewindowunits,through-wallunits,orelectronicairfilters. C. operateequipmentorsystemsiftheexteriortemperatureisbelow65°

Fahrenheit, or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation

or may damage the equipment.

  1. inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic

    setbacks or clocks.

  2. examineelectricalcurrent,coolantfluidsorgases,orcoolantleakage.

3.6. Plumbing

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. themainwatersupplyshut-offvalve;
B. themainfuelsupplyshut-offvalve;
C. thewaterheatingequipment,includingtheenergysource,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. alltoiletsforproperoperationbyflushing;
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:

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. whetherthewatersupplyispublicorprivatebaseduponobservedevidence; B. thelocationofthemainwatersupplyshut-offvalve;
C. thelocationofthemainfuelsupplyshut-offvalve;
D. the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and

E. thecapacityofthewaterheatingequipment,iflabeled.

  1. deficienciesinthewatersupplybyviewingthefunctionalflowintwofixtures operated simultaneously;

  2. deficienciesintheinstallationofhotandcoldwaterfaucets;

  3. activeplumbingwaterleaksthatwereobservedduringtheinspection;and

  4. toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking, or

    had tank components that did not operate.

A. lightorignitepilotflames.
B. measurethecapacity,temperature,age,lifeexpectancyoradequacyofthe

water heater.

C. inspecttheinterioroffluesorchimneys,combustionairsystems,water softener or filtering systems, well pumps or tanks, safety or shut-off valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler systems, or fire sprinkler systems.

  1. determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply.

  2. determinethewaterquality,potabilityorreliabilityofthewatersupplyor

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 for

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, back-flow prevention or drain-stop

L. determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of


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.
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, polyethylene, or similar

plastic piping.
V. inspectortestforgasorfuelleaks,orindicationsthereof.

3.7. Electrical

I. The inspector shall inspect:


  1. theservicedrop;

  2. theoverheadserviceconductorsandattachmentpoint;

  3. theservicehead,gooseneckanddriploops;

  4. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;

  5. theelectricmeterandbase;

  6. 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. for the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

II. The inspector shall describe:

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. themainservicedisconnect'samperagerating,iflabeled;and B. thetypeofwiringobserved.

A. deficienciesintheintegrityoftheservice-entranceconductors’insulation,drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs;

B. anyunusedcircuit-breakerpanelopeningthatwasnotfilled;

C. thepresenceofsolidconductoraluminumbranch-circuitwiring,ifreadily visible;

  1. 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

  2. theabsenceofsmokeand/orcarbonmonoxidedetectors.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. insertanytool,probeordeviceintothemainpanelboard,sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.

  2. operateelectricalsystemsthatareshutdown.

  3. removepanelboardcabinetcoversordeadfronts.

  4. operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices.

  5. operateortestsmokeorcarbonmonoxidedetectorsoralarms.

  1. inspect, operate or test any security, fire or alarm systems or components, or other warning or signaling systems.

  2. measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly labeled.

  3. inspect ancillary wiring or remote-control devices.

  4. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.

  5. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring,

    or any time-controlled devices.

  6. verifytheserviceground.

  7. inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not

    limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility.

  1. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.

  2. inspect or test de-icing equipment.

  3. conduct voltage-drop calculations.

  4. determine the accuracy of labeling.

  5. inspect exterior lighting.

3.8. Fireplace

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. readilyaccessibleandvisibleportionsofthefireplacesandchimneys;
B. lintelsabovethefireplaceopenings;
C. damperdoorsbyopeningandclosingthem,ifreadilyaccessibleandmanually

operable; and
D. cleanout doors and frames.

II. The inspector shall describe: A. thetypeoffireplace.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  1. evidenceofjointseparation,damageordeteriorationofthehearth,hearth extension or chambers;

  2. manuallyoperateddampersthatdidnotopenandclose;

  3. thelackofasmokedetectorinthesameroomasthefireplace;

  4. the lack of a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace; and

  5. cleanoutsnotmadeofmetal,pre-castcement,orothernon-combustible


IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. inspecttheflueorventsystem.
B. inspecttheinteriorofchimneysorflues,firedoorsorscreens,sealsorgaskets,

or mantels.
C. determinetheneedforachimneysweep.
D. operate gas fireplace inserts.
E. lightpilotflames.
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 gravity-controlled or fan-assisted. J. ignite or extinguish fires.

  1. determinetheadequacyofdraftsordraftcharacteristics.

  2. move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents.

  3. perform a smoke test.

  4. dismantle or remove any component.

  5. perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.

  6. perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

I. The inspector shall inspect:


  1. insulationinunfinishedspaces,includingattics,crawlspacesandfoundation areas;

  2. ventilationofunfinishedspaces,includingattics,crawlspacesandfoundation areas; and

  3. mechanicalexhaustsystemsinthekitchen,bathroomsandlaundryarea.

II. The inspector shall describe:

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. thegeneralabsenceofinsulationorventilationinunfinishedspaces.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. thetypeofinsulationobserved;and
B. theapproximateaveragedepthofinsulationobservedattheunfinishedattic

floor area or roof structure.

A. entertheatticoranyunfinishedspacesthatarenotreadilyaccessible,or where entry could cause damage or, in the inspector's opinion, pose a safety hazard.

  1. move,touchordisturbinsulation.

  2. move,touchordisturbvaporretarders.

  3. break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around

    access panels or covers.

  4. identifythecompositionorR-valueofinsulationmaterial.

  5. activate thermostatically operated fans.

  6. determine the types of materials used in insulation or wrapping of pipes,

    ducts, jackets, boilers or wiring.

  7. determine the adequacy of ventilation.

3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior

I. The inspector shall inspect:


A. arepresentativenumberofdoorsandwindowsbyopeningandclosingthem; B. floors,wallsandceilings;
C. stairs,steps,landings,stairwaysandramps;

D. railings, guards and handrails; and
E. garagevehicledoorsandtheoperationofgaragevehicledooropeners,using

normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:
A. agaragevehicledoorasmanually-operatedorinstalledwithagaragedooropener.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. improperspacingbetweenintermediatebalusters,spindlesandrailsforsteps, stairways, guards and railings;

  2. photo-electricsafetysensorsthatdidnotoperateproperly;and

  3. anywindowthatwasobviouslyfoggedordisplayedotherevidenceofbroken


  1. inspectpaint,wallpaper,windowtreatmentsorfinishtreatments.

  2. inspectfloorcoveringsorcarpeting.

  3. inspectcentralvacuumsystems.

  4. inspect for safety glazing.

  5. inspectsecuritysystemsorcomponents.

  6. evaluate the fastening of islands, countertops, cabinets, sink tops or fixtures.

  7. move furniture, stored items, or any coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in

    order to inspect the concealed floor structure.

  1. move suspended-ceiling tiles.

  2. inspect or move any household appliances.

  3. inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage, except as otherwise noted.

  4. verify or certify the proper operation of any pressure-activated auto-reverse or

    related safety feature of a garage door.

  5. operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether

    interior or exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal


  6. operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special

    keys, codes, combinations or devices.

  7. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches, or signal


O. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens.
P. operate or examine any sauna, steam-generating 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.

  1. inspect appliances.

  2. inspect items not permanently installed.

U. discover firewall compromises.

V. inspectpools,spasorfountains.
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.

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: That which tends to prove or disprove something; something that


makes plain or clear; grounds 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.

  • 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: See "home inspection."

  • 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 this Standards of Practice as a guideline.

  • household appliances: Kitchen and laundry appliances, room air


conditioners, and similar appliances.

  • identify: To notice and report.

  • indication: 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 this Standards of Practice.

  • inspected property: The readily accessible areas of the home, house, or

    building, and the 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


  • 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: Tovisuallynotice.

  • operate: To cause systems to function or turn on with normal operating


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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: Toconfirmorsubstantiate.

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