What gets Inspected?

ByThe Home Inspector

What gets Inspected?

Home inspections performed according to the North Carolina Standards of Practice shall provide the client with an understanding of the property conditions , as inspected at the time of the home inspection.

Structural Components

The Home Inspector shall observe structural components including:

  • Foundations
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Columns or piers
  • Ceilings
  • Roofs

The home inspector shall describe the type of:

  • Foundation
  • Floor structure
  • Wall structure
  • Columns or piers
  • Ceiling structure
  • Roof structure

The home inspector shall:

  • Probe structural components where deterioration is suspected
  • Enter under floor crawl spaces, basements, and attic spaces except when access is obstructed, when entry could damage the property, or when dangerous or adverse situations are suspected
  • Report the methods used to observe under floor crawl spaces and attics
  • Report signs of abnormal or harmful water penetration into the building or signs of abnormal or harmful condensation on building components

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to or adversely effect the health of the home inspector or other persons

 

Exterior

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Wall cladding, flashings, and trim
  • Entryway doors and a representative number of windows
  • Garage door operators
  • Decks, balconies, stoops, steps, areaways, porches and applicable railings
  • Eaves, soffits, and fascias
  • Driveways, patios, walkways, and retaining walls
  • Vegetation, grading, drainage,¬† with respect to their effect on the condition of the building

The home inspector shall:

  • Describe wall cladding materials
  • Operate all entryway doors
  • Operate garage doors manually or by using permanently installed controls for any garage door operator
  • Report whether or not any garage door operator will automatically reverse or stop when meeting reasonable resistance during closing
  • Probe exterior wood components where deterioration is suspected

The home inspector is not required to observe:

  • Storm windows, storm doors, screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories
  • Fences
  • Presence of safety glazing in doors and windows
  • Garage door operator remote control transmitters
  • Geological conditions
  • Soil conditions
  • Recreational facilities (including spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground equipment, and other exercise, entertainment, or athletic facilities)
  • Detached buildings or structures
  • Presence or condition of buried fuel storage tanks

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Move personal items, panels, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice or debris that obstructs access or visibility

 

Roofing

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Roof covering
  • Roof drainage systems
  • Flashings
  • Skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations
  • Signs of’ leaks or abnormal condensation on building components

The home inspector shall:

  • Describe the type of roof covering materials
  • Report the methods used to observe the roofing

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Walk on the roofing
  • Observe attached accessories including but not limited to solar systems, antennae, and lightning arrestors

 

Plumbing

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Interior water supply and distribution system, including: piping materials, supports, and insulation; fixtures and faucets; functional flow; leaks; and cross connections
  • Interior drain, waste, and vent system, including: traps; drain, waste, and vent piping; piping supports and pipe insulation; leaks; and functional drainage
  • Hot water systems including: water heating equipment; normal operating controls; automatic safety controls; and chimneys, flues, and vents
  • Fuel storage and distribution systems including: interior fuel storage equipment, supply piping, venting, and supports; leaks
  • Sump pumps

The home inspector shall describe:

  • Water supply and distribution piping materials
  • Drain, waste, and vent piping materials
  • Water heating equipment, including fuel or power source, storage capacity, and location
  • Location of main water supply shutoff device

The home inspector shall operate all plumbing fixtures, including their faucets and all exterior faucets attached to the house, except where the flow end of the faucet is connected to an appliance

The home inspector is not required to:

  • State the effectiveness of anti-siphon devices
  • Determine whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private
  • Operate automatic safety controls
  • Operate any valve except water closet flush valves, fixture faucets, and hose faucets

or Observe:

  • Water conditioning systems
  • Fire and lawn sprinkler systems
  • On-site water supply quantity and quality
  • On-site waste disposal systems
  • Foundation irrigation systems
  • Spas, except as to functional flow and functional drainage
  • Swimming pools
  • Solar water heating equipment
  • The system for proper sizing, design, or use of proper materials

 

Electrical

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Service entrance conductors
  • Service equipment, grounding equipment, main over current device, and main and distribution panels
  • Amperage and voltage ratings of the service
  • Branch circuit conductors, their over current devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages
  • The operation of a representative number of installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house, garage, and on the dwelling’s exterior walls
  • The polarity and grounding of all receptacles within six feet of interior plumbing fixtures, and all receptacles in the garage or carport, and on the exterior of inspected structures
  • The operation of ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Smoke detectors

The home inspector shall describe:

  • Service amperage and voltage
  • Service entry conductor materials
  • Service type as being overhead or underground
  • Location of main and distribution panels

The home inspector shall report any observed aluminum branch circuit wiring

The home inspector shall report on presence or absence of smoke detectors, and operate their test function, if accessible, except when detectors are part of a central system

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Insert any tool, probe, or testing device inside the panels
  • Test or operate any over current device except ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove the covers of the main and auxiliary distribution panels

or Observe:

  • Low voltage systems
  • Security system devices, heat detectors, or carbon monoxide detectors
  • Telephone, security, cable TV, intercoms, or other ancillary wiring that is not a part of the primary electrical distribution system
  • Built-in vacuum equipment

 

Heating

The home inspector shall observe permanently installed heating and cooling systems including:

  • Heating equipment
  • Normal operating controls
  • Automatic safety controls
  • Chimneys, flues, and vents, where readily visible
  • Solid fuel heating devices
  • Heat distribution systems including fans, pumps, ducts and piping, with supports, insulation, air filters, registers, radiators, fan coil units, convectors
  • The presence of an installed heat source in each room

The home inspector shall describe:

  • Energy source
  • Heating equipment and distribution type

The home inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls

The home inspector shall open readily openable access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Operate heating systems when weather conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage
  • Operate automatic safety controls
  • Ignite or extinguish solid fuel fires
  • Ignite a pilot light

or Observe:

  • The interior of flues
  • Fireplace insert flue connections
  • Heat exchanges
  • Humidifiers
  • Electronic air filters
  • The uniformity or adequacy of heat supply to the various rooms
  • Solar space heating equipment

 

Air Conditioning

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Central air conditioning and through-the-wall installed cooling systems
  • Cooling and air handling equipment
  • Normal operating controls

Distribution systems including :

  • Fans, pumps, ducts and piping, with associated supports, dampers, insulation, air filters, registers, fan-coil units
  • The presence or absence of an installed cooling source for each habitable space

The home inspector shall describe:

  • Energy sources
  • Cooling equipment type

The home inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls

The home inspector shall open readily openable access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance

The home inspector is not required to:

  • Operate cooling system when weather conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage
  • Inspect window air conditioners
  • Inspect the uniformity or adequacy of cool-air supply to the various rooms

 

Interiors

The home inspector shall observe:

  • ¬†Walls, ceiling, and floors
  • Steps, stairways, balconies, and railings
  • Counters and a representative number of installed cabinets
  • A representative number of doors and windows

The home inspector shall:

  • Operate a representative number of windows and interior doors
  • Report signs of abnormal or harmful water penetration into the building or signs of abnormal or harmful condensation on building components

The home inspector is not required to observe:

  • Paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments on the interior walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Carpeting
  • Draperies, blinds, or other window treatments

 

Insulation and Ventilation

The home inspector shall observe:

  • Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces
  • Ventilation of attics and foundation areas
  • Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry venting systems
  • The operation of any readily accessible attic ventilation fan, and, when temperature permits, the operation of any readily accessible thermostatic control

The home inspector shall describe:

  • Insulation in unfinished spaces
  • Absence of insulation in unfinished space at conditioned surfaces

The home inspector shall:

  • Move insulation where readily visible evidence indicates the need to do so
  • Move insulation where chimneys penetrate roofs, where plumbing drain/waste pipes penetrate floors, adjacent to earth filled stoops or porches, and at exterior doors

The home inspector is not required to report on:

  • Concealed insulation and vapor retarders
  • Venting equipment that is integral with household appliances

 

Built-In Kitchen Appliances

The home inspector shall observe and operate the basic functions of the following kitchen appliances:

  • Permanently installed dishwasher, through its normal cycle
  • Range, cook top, and permanently installed oven
  • Trash compactor
  • Garbage disposal
  • Ventilation equipment or range hood
  • Permanently installed microwave oven

The home inspector is not required to observe:

  • Clocks, timers, self-cleaning oven function, or thermostats for calibration or automatic operation
  • Non built-in appliances
  • Refrigeration units

The home inspector is not required to operate:

  • Appliances in use
  • Any appliance that is shut down or otherwise inoperable

 

 

 

About the author

The Home Inspector administrator