13. GENERAL LIMITATIONS
Inspections performed in accordance with these
Standards of Practice1. are not technically exhaustive.
2. will not identify concealed conditions or latent
Standards of Practice are applicable to buildings
with four or fewer dwelling units and their garages
A. The inspector is not required to perform any action
or make any determination unless specifically stated
in these Standards of Practice, except as may be
required by lawful authority.
B. Inspectors are NOT required to determine:
condition of systems or components which are not readily accessible.
2. the remaining life of any system or component.
3. the strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or
efficiency of any system or component.
4. the causes of any condition or deficiency.
5. the 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
8. compliance with regulatory requirements (codes,
regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.).
9. the market value of the property or its
10. the advisability of the purchase of the
11. the presence of potentially hazardous plants or
animals including, but not limited to wood
destroying organisms or diseases harmful to humans.
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 methods utilized to control or remove suspected
14. the operating costs of systems or components.
15. the acoustical properties of any system or component.
C. Inspectors are NOT required to offer:
perform any act or service contrary to law.
2. or perform engineering services.
3. or perform work in any trade or any professional
service other than home inspection.
4. warranties or guarantees of any kind.
D. Inspectors are NOT required to operate:
1. any system or component which is shut down or otherwise inoperable.
2. any system or component which does
not respond to normal operating controls.
3. shut-off valves.
E. Inspectors are NOT required to enter:
1. any area
which 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. the under-floor crawl spaces or attics
which are not readily accessible.
F. Inspectors are NOT required to inspect:
underground items including, but not limited to
underground storage tanks or other underground
indications of their presence, whether abandoned or
2. systems or components which are not installed.
3. decorative items.
4. systems or components located in areas
that are not entered in accordance with these
Standards of Practice.
5. detached structures other than garages and
6. common elements or common areas in multiunit
housing, such as condominium properties or
G. Inspectors are NOT required to:
any procedure or operation which 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. move suspended ceiling tiles, personal property,
furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or
3. dismantle any system or component, except as explicitly required by these Standards of Practice.
devices, installed or free-standing,
including but not limited to: carbon monoxide
detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors,
security equipment, ejector pumps and smoke alarms
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 for
construction, including but not specifically limited
to, schematic design, design development,
preparation of construction contract documents, and
administration of the construction contract.
Component A part of a system
Decorative Ornamental not required for the operation of the essential systems and components of a home
Describe To report a system or component by its type or other observed, significant
characteristics to distinguish it from other systems or components
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
and routine home owner maintenance
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 or
and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman
or service technician beyond that provided by the 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
laundry, and similar appliances, whether installed or free-standing
Inspect To examine readily accessible
systems and components 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
such that removal requires tools
Operating Controls Devices
such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to
be operated by the homeowner
for visual inspection without requiring moving of
personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which will likely
involve risk to persons or property
Openable Access Panel A panel
provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance
that is 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
communicate in writing
Representative Number One component per room for multiple similar interior components such as windows and electric outlets; one component on each side of the building for multiple similar
Drainage Systems Components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building
Significantly Deficient Unsafe or not functioning
Shut Down A state in
which a system or component cannot be
operated by normal operating controls
Burning Appliances A hearth
and fire chamber or similar prepared place in which
a fire may be built and which 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
Component A component that supports non-variable forces or
weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights
combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions
investigation that involves dismantling, the
extensive use of advanced techniques, measurements,
instruments, testing, calculations, or other means
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 which is
judged to be a significant risk of personal injury
during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due
to damage, deterioration, improper installation or a
change in accepted residential construction
Methods Identification of electrical conductors or wires by
their general type, such as “nonmetallic sheathed
cable” (“Romex”), “armored cable” (“bx”) or “knob
Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or
activities that compromise, or appear to compromise,
professional independence, objectivity, or
Inspectors shall not inspect properties for
compensation in which they have, or expect to have,
a financial interest.
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.
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
Inspectors shall not receive compensation for an
inspection from more than one party unless agreed to
by the client(s).
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.
Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade,
for compensation, systems or components covered by
ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the
Inspectors shall act in good faith toward each
client and other interested parties.
Inspectors shall perform services and express
opinions based on genuine conviction and only within
their areas of education, training, or experience.
Inspectors shall be objective in their reporting and
not knowingly understate or overstate the
significance of reported conditions.
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.
Inspectors shall avoid activities that may harm the
public, discredit themselves, or reduce public
confidence in the profession.
Advertising, marketing, and promotion of inspectors’
services or qualifications shall not be fraudulent,
false, deceptive, or misleading.
Inspectors shall report substantive and willful
violations of this Code to the Society. ASHI®
Ethics For the
Home Inspection Profession Integrity, 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.
Ethics Copyright © 2003 American Society of Home
Inspectors, Inc® All rights reserved. Effective June
[ Home ]