1. A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.
The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.
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. 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. 4. BOLD will indicate services ABOVE the Standard of Practice we think are important and perform free with every inspection.
1. Roof The inspector shall inspect from ground level or the eaves if he deems it dangerous to climb the roof: 1. The roof-covering materials. 2. The gutters. 3. The downspouts. 4. The vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations. 5. The general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs. 6. The type of roof.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Indications of active roof leaks. 2. Roof material deficiencies. 3. Indications of chimmney deficincies. 4. Downspout and gutter deficiencies. 5. Flashing deficiencies.
2. Exterior The inspector shall inspect: 1. The exterior wall-covering materials to include paint and caulk. 2. The eaves, soffits and fascia. 3. A representative number of windows. 4. All exterior doors. 5. Visible Flashing and trim. 6. Adjacent walkways and driveways. 7. Stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps; porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports. 8. Railings, guards and handrails. 9. Vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion. The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Any of the many deficiencies found during the inspection of the exterior. 2. Any improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails.
3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure The inspector shall inspect: 1. The foundation material and describe type. 2. The basement. 3. The crawlspace (if easily accessible) and describe access to under floor space. 4. Structural components. 5. Crawlspace ventilation. 6. Visible damage in crawlspace or basement. 7. Sump pump (operate if float is easily accessible). 8. Floor type (concrete, wood). 9. Framing type. 10. Presence of vapor retarder in crawlspace.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil. 2. Observed indications of active water penetration. 3. Observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames, and unlevel floors. 4. Observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector's opinion, present a structural or safety concern. 5. Excessive damp or wet conditions found during inspection other than active water penetration.
4. Heating The inspector shall inspect: 1. The heating system, using normal operating controls. 2. Visual inspection of accessible furnace components such as burners (during operation) and fan. 3. Perform a gas leak test on piping connections in close proximity to heating equipment. 4. Perform a gas leak test on gas meter. 5. Perform a non-invasive carbon monoxide test of furnace and mechanical room. *Infrared photography of furnace and available duct system for leaks is additional. See Additional Services.
The inspector shall describe: 1. The location of the thermostat for the heating system. 2. The energy source. 3. The heating method. 4. Furnace location. 5. Furnace manufacturer. 7. Input and output BTU's of furnace. 8. Age of furnace (if available). 9. Photograph of furnace information plate. 10. Filter method. 11. Output temperature of furnace measured from registers.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Any heating system that did not operate. 2. Was the heating system deemed inaccessible. 3. Any anomalies detected during the furnace exam.
5. Cooling The inspector shall inspect: 1. The cooling system, using normal operating controls (outside temperature must be over 65F). 2. The supply and return temperatures of the cooling system via plenum or ducts. *Infrared photography of cooling system and available duct system for leaks is additional. This will include condenser and motor. See Additional Services.
The inspector shall describe: 1. The location of the thermostat for the cooling system. 2. The cooling method. 3. Condenser size measured in BTU's. (such as 2.5 tons) if label is available. 4. Condenser age if label is available. 5. Condensate drain method and drain location. 6. AC supply and return temperature. 7. Air conditioning temperature drop. The inspector shall report as in need of correction 1. Any cooling system that did not operate. 2. Was the cooling system was deemed inaccessible. 3. Any anomalies detected during the cooling exam.
6. Plumbing The inspector shall inspect: 1. The main water supply shut-off valve. 2. The main fuel supply shut-off valve. 3. The water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing. 4. The interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water and all toilets for proper operation by flushing. 5. All sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage. 6. The drain, waste and vent system. 7. Test gas piping in close proximity to water heater for leaks. 8. Perform a non-invasive carbon monoxide test of water heater and mechanical room. 9. Visual inspection of accessible water heater components such as burners (during operation). 10. Bathtub, shower, sink type. 11. Bathtub, shower wall type. 12. Bathroom floor type. 13. GFCI locations in proximity to tub/shower and lavatories. 13. Ventilation in bathrooms. 14. Proper toilet connection to floor (will follow up with infrared imaging and moisture meter if found suspect). 15. Hose bibbs and design type (anti-siphon).
The inspector shall describe: 1. Whether the water supply is public or private based upon observed evidence. 2. The location of the main water supply shut-off valve. 3. The location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve. 4. The location of any observed fuel-storage system. 5. The capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled. 6. Type of water and waste material. 7. Type of disposal system. 8. Condition of water heater. 9. Washer and dryer locations. 10. Laundry tub or wet bar location. 11. Additional information on water heater such as manufacturer, capacity and approximate age.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously. 2. Deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets. 3. Mechanical drain stops that were missing or did not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories and tubs. 4. Toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking, or had tank components that did not operate. 5. Flow rates in fixtures that are deficient. 6. Any tub of shower that exceeds a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 7. Electrical The inspector shall inspect: 1. The service drop. 2. The overhead service conductors and attachment point. 3. The service head, gooseneck and drip loops. 4. The service mast, service conduit and raceway. 5. The electric meter and base. 6. The service-entrance conductors. 7. The main service disconnect. 8. Panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses); 9. Service grounding and bonding (if visible). 10. 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. 11. All ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible. 12. The presence of smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. 13. Presence of tag or tampering of tag on electric meter. 14. Operation of accessible smoke detectors using normal test methods. 15. All easily accessible recepticals. 16. A representative amount of receptacles for "false ground" using an electrical analyzing tool. * Additional analysis of electrical circuits can be purchased in "Additional Services". This is recommended for sensitive electronics.
The inspector shall describe: 1. The main service disconnect's amperage rating, if labeled. 2. The type of wiring observed. 3. Main disconnect location. 4. The type of service. 4. Service panel location. 5. Service panel manufacturer if available. 6. Service line material. 7. Service voltage.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Deficiencies in the integrity of the service- entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs. 2. Any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled. 3. The presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible. 4. 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. 5. The absence of smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors.
8. Fireplace The inspector shall inspect: 1. Readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys. 2. Lintels above the fireplace openings. 3. Damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable. 4. Cleanout doors and frames.
The inspector shall describe: 1. The type of fireplace.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Evidence of joint separation, damage or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or chambers. 2. Manually operated dampers that did not open and close. 3. The lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace. 4. The lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace. 5. Cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material
9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation The inspector shall inspect: 1. Insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas if accessible. 2. Ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas if accessible. 3. Mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area.
The inspector shall describe: 1. The type of insulation observed. 2. The approximate average depth of insulation observed at the unfinished attic floor area or roof structure. 3. Attic entry location. 4. Roof framing material. 5. Roof deck material. 6. Vent riser material. The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. The general absence of insulation or ventilation in unfinished spaces. 2. Any defects found during inspection.
10. Doors, Windows & Interior I. The inspector shall inspect: 1. A representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them. 2. Floors, walls and ceilings. 3. Stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps; railings, guards and handrails. 4. Garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls. 5. Entry door type. 6. Entry door material. 7. Wall material in every room 8. Floor material in every room. 9. Interior door material in every room. 10. Window material in every room. 11. Heat source for every room. 12. Electrical description for every room such as switches, outlets, ceiling fans, smoke detectors, light fixtures.
The inspector shall report as in need of correction: 1. Improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways, guards and railings. 2. Photo-electric safety sensors that did not operate properly. 3. Any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals. 4. Any defects found during inspection.