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ASSURED HOME INSPECTIONS

ASHI Standards of Practice (Effective March 1, 2014)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section
 1.  INTRODUCTION
 2.  PURPOSE AND SCOPE
 3.  STRUCTURAL SYSTEM
 4.  EXTERIOR
 5.  ROOF SYSTEM
 6.  PLUMBING SYSTEM
 7.  ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
 8.  HEATING SYSTEM 
 9.  AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS 
10.  INTERIOR
11.  INSULATION AND VENTILATION
12.  FIREPLACES AND SOLID FUEL BURNING APPLIANCES
13.  GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS


1.    INTRODUCTION

1.1   The American Society of Home Inspectors®, Inc. (ASHI®) is a not-for-profit professional
society established in 1976. Membership in ASHI is voluntary and its members
are private home inspectors. ASHI's objectives include promotion of 
excellence within the profession and continual improvement of its members'
inspection services to the public. 

2.    PURPOSE AND SCOPE

2.1  The purpose of this document is to establish a minimum standard (Standard) 
for home inspections performed by home inspectors who subscribe to this Standard.
Home Inspections performed using this Standard are intended to provide
the client with information regarding the condition of inspected systems and
components at the time of the home inspection.

2.2   The inspector shall: 
A. inspect readily accessible, visually observable, installed systems and components
     listed in this Standard..
B. provide the client with a written report, using a format and medium selected by the
     inspector, that states:
   1.those systems and components inspected that, in the professional judgment
      of the inspector, are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe, or are
      near the end of their service lives,
   2.recommendations to correct, or monitor for future correction, the deficiencies
     reported in 2.2.B.1, or items needing further evaluation. (Per Exclusion 13.2.A.5
     inspector is NOT required to determine methods, materials, or costs of
     corrections.),
   3.reasoning or explanation as to the nature of the deficiencies reported in 2.2.B.1,
     that are not self-evident,
   4.systems and components designated for inspection in the Standard that were
      present at the time of the home inspection but were not inspected and the reason(s)
      they were not inspected.
C. adhere to the ASHI® Code of Ethics for the Home Inspection Profession.


2.3   This Standard is not intended to limit inspector from: 
A. including other services or systems and components in addition to those
    required in Section 2.2.A.. 
B. designing or specifying repairs, provided the inspector is appropriately qualified and
     willing to do so. 
C. excluding systems and components from the inspection if requested or agreed to by the client. 

3.    STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS

3.1   The inspector shall 
A. inspect structural components including the foundation and framing. 
B. describe 
   1. the methods used to inspect under-floor crawlspaces and attics.
   2.the foundation.
   3.the floor structure. 
   4.the wall structure. 
   5.the ceiling structure.
   6.the roof structure.

3.2   The inspector is NOT required to 
A. provide engineering or architectural services or analysis. 
B. offer an opinion about the adequacy of structural systems and components 
C. enter under-floor crawlspace areas that have less than 24 inches of vertical 
    clearance between components and the ground or that have an access opening smaller than
    16 inces by 24 inches.
D. travers attic load-bearing components that are concealed by insulation or by other materials.

4.    EXTERIOR

4.1   The inspector shall: 
A.inspect : 
   1.wall coverings, flashing and trim. 
   2.exterior doors. 
   3.attached or adjacent decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their
     associated railings. 
   4.eaves, soffits, and fascias where accessible from the ground level. 
   5.vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls
     that are likely to adversely affect the building. 
   6.adjacent or entryway walkways, patios, and driveways. 
B.describe wall coverings.

4.2   The inspector is NOT required to inspect: 
A. screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories. 
B. fences, boundary walls, and similar structures.
C. geological and/or soil conditions. 
D. recreational facilities. 
E. outbuildings other than garages and carports.
F. seawalls, break-walls, and docks. 
G. erosion control and earth stabilization measures. 

5.    ROOFING

5.1   The inspector shall: 
A. inspect: 
   1.roofing materials. 
   2.roof drainage systems. 
   3.flashing
   4.skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations. 
B. describe
    1.roofing materials
    2.methods used to inspect the roofing.

5.2   The inspector is NOT required to inspect: 
A. antennae.
B. interiors of vent systems, flues and chimneys which are not readily accessible. 
C. other installed accessories. 

6.    PLUMBING
6.1 The inspector shall: 
A. inspect: 
   1.interior water supply and distribution systems including all fixtures and faucets. 
   2.interior drain, waste and vent systems including fixtures. 
   3.water heating equipment and hot water supply system
   4.vent systems, flues, and chimneys. 
   5.fuel storage and fuel distribution systems. 
   6.sewerage ejectors, sump pumps, and related piping. 
B. describe : 
   1.interior water supply, drain, waste, and vent piping materials. 
   2.water heating equipment including the energy source(s). 
   3.location of main water and main fuel shut-off valves.

6.2   The inspector is NOT required to: 
A.inspect : 
   1.clothes washing machine connections. 
   2.interiors of vent systems, flues, and chimneys which are not readily accessible. 
   3.wells, well pumps, or water storage related equipment. 
   4.water conditioning systems. 
   5.solar, geothermal, and other renewable water heating systems. 
   6.manual and automatic fire extinguisher and sprinkler systems and landscape
      irrigation systems.
   7.septic and other sewerage disposal systems. 
B.determine: 
   1.whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private. 
   2.water quality. 
   3.the adequacy of combustion air components. 
C. measure water supply flow and pressure, and well water quantity.
D. fill shower pans and fixtures to test for leaks.

7.    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

7.1   The inspector shall
A. inspect : 
   1.service drop. 
   2.service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways. 
   3.service equipment and main disconnects. 
   4.service grounding. 
   5.interior components of service panels and sub panels.
   6.conductors. 
   7.overcurrent protection devices. 
   8.a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles. 
   9.ground fault circuit interrupters and arc fault circuit interrupters. 
B. describe: 
    1.amperage rating of the service. 
    2.location of main disconnect(s) and sub panels. 
    3. presence or absence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
    4. the predominant branch circuit wiring method.

7.2   The inspector is NOT required to: 
A. inspect: 
   1.remote control devices. 
   2.or test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, security systems, and other 
     signaling and warning devices.. 
   3.low voltage wiring, systems and components. 
   4.ancillary wiring systems and components not a part of the primary electrical
     power distribution system. 
B. measure amperage, voltage, or impedance 
C. determine the age and type of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

8.    HEATING
8.1   The inspector shall: 
A. open readily openable access panels.
B. inspect: 
   1.installed heating equipment. 
   2.vent systems, flues, and chimneys. 
   3. distribution systems
C. describe: 
   1.energy source(s). 
   2.heating systems.

8.2   The inspector is NOT required to: 
A.inspect: 
   1.interiors of vent systems, flues and chimneys which are not readily accessible. 
   2.heat exchangers. 
   3.humidifier or dehumidifiers. 
   4.electric air cleaning and sanitizing devices.
   5.solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy heating systems. 
   6.heat-recovery and similar whole-house mechanical ventilation systems.
B. determine: 
   1. heat supply adequacy and distribution balance.
   2. the adequacy of combustion air components.

9.    AIR CONDITIONING
9.1  The inspector shall: 
A. open readily openable access panels.
B. inspect:
    1.central and permanently installed cooling equipment
    2.distributions systems.
C. describe: 
   1.energy source(s) 
   2.cooling systems.

9.2   The inspector is NOT required to: 
   A.inspect electric air cleaning and sanitizing devices.
   B.determine cooling supply adequacy or distribution balance.
   C.inspect cooling units that are not permanently installed or that
     are installed in windows.

10.    INTERIORS
10.1  The inspector shall inspect: 
A. walls, ceilings, and floors. 
B. steps, stairways, and railings. 
C. countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets. 
D.a representative number of doors and windows. 
E. garage vehicle doors and garage vehicle door operators.
F. installed ovens, ranges, surface cooking appliances, microwave ovens, 
     dishwashing machines, and food waste grinders by using normal operating 
     controls to activate the primary function.

10.2   The inspector is NOT required to inspect: 
A. paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments. 
B. floor coverings. 
C. window treatments. 
D. coatings on and the hermetic seal between panes of window glass. 
E. central vacuum systems. 
F. recreational facilities. 
G. installed and free-standing kitchen and laundry appliances not listed in Section 10.1.F. 
H. appliance thermostats including their calibration, adequacy of heating elements, self 
     cleaning oven cycles, indicator lights, door seals, timers, clocks, timed features, and
      other specialized features of the appliance.. 
I. operate, or confirm the operation of every control and feature of an inspected appliance.

11.    INSULATION AND VENTILATION
11.1   The inspector shall: 
A .inspect: 
   1.insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces. 
   2.ventilation of attics and foundation areas. 
   3.kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and similar exhaust systems. 
   4.clothes dryer exhaust systems. 
B. describe: 
   1.insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces. 
   2.absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces.

11.2   The inspector is NOT required to disturb insulation.

12. FIREPLACES AND FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCES
12.1   The inspector shall: 
A. inspect: 
   1.fuel-burning fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts. 
   2.fuel-burning accessories installed in fireplaces. 
   3.chimneys and vent systems
B.describe systems and components listed in 12.1.A 1 and 2.

12.2   The Inspector is NOT required to: 
A. inspect: 
   1.interiors of vent systems, flues and chimneys that are not readily accessible.
   2.fire screens and doors. 
   3.seals and gaskets. 
   4.automatic fuel feed devices. 
   5.mantles and fireplace surrounds. 
   6.combustion air components and to determine their adequacy. 
   7.heat distribution assists (gravity controlled and fan assisted). 
   8.fuel-burning fireplaces and appliances located outside the inspected structures.. 
B. determine draft characteristics. 
C. move fireplace inserts and stoves or firebox contents. 

13.  GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
13.1  General limitations: 
A.The inspector is NOT required to perform actions, or to make any determination, 
     or to make recommendations not specifically stated in this Standard.
B. Inspections performed in accordance with this Standard: 
   1.are not technically exhaustive. 
   2.are not required to identify and to report:
       a. concealed conditions, latent defects, consequential damages, and
       b. cosmetic imperfections that do not significantly affect a component's
           performance of its intended function..
C. This Standard applies to buildings with four or fewer dwelling units and their
     attached and detached garages and carports.
D. This Standard shall not limit or prevent the inspector from meeting the state statutes
     which license professional home inspection and home inspectors.
E. Redundancy in the description of the requirements, limitations, and exclusions
     regarding the scope of the home inspection is provided for emphasis only.

13.2  General exclusions: 
A. Inspectors are NOT required to determine: 
   1.the condition of systems and components that are not readily accessible. 
   2.the remaining life expectancy of systems or components. 
   3.the strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or efficiency of systems or components. 
   4.the causes of conditions and deficiencies. 
   5.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 specialized uses. 
   8.compliance of systems and components with past and present requirements and
      guidelines (codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, specifications, installation and
      maintenance instructions, use and care guides, etc.). 
   9.market value of the property or its marketability. 
   10.the advisability of purchasing the property. 
   11.the presence of plants, animals and other life forms and substances that may be
       harmful to humans including, but not limited to, wood destroying organisms, mold
       and mold-like substances
   12.the presence of environmental hazards including, but not limited to allergens, toxins,
       carcinogens, electromagnetic radiation, noise, radioactive substances, and 
       contaminants in building materials, soil, water, and air. 
   13.the effectiveness of systems installed or methods used to control or remove
        suspected hazardous plants, animals, and environmental hazards. 
   14.operating costs of systems or components. 
   15.acoustical properties of systems or components. 
   16. soil conditions relating to geotechnical or hydrologic specialties.
   17. whether items, materials, conditions and components are subject to recall, 
         controversy, litigation, product liability, and other adverse claims and conditions.
B. Inspectors are NOT required to offer: 
   1.or perform acts or services contrary to law or to government regulations. 
   2.or perform architectural, engineering, contracting, or surveying services or to 
     evaluate such services performed by others. 
   3.or tp perform trades or professional services other than home inspection. 
   4.warranties or guarantees. 
C.Inspectors are NOT required to operate: 
   1.systems and components that are shut down or otherwise inoperable. 
   2.systems and components that do not respond to normal operating controls. 
   3.shut-off valves or manual stop valves. 
   4.automatic safety controls.. 
D.Inspectors are NOT required to enter: 
   1.areas that will, in the professional judgment of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the
       inspector or to other persons, or to damage the property or its systems and components. 
   2.under-floor crawl spaces or attics that are not readily accessible. 
E.Inspectors are NOT required to inspect: 
   1.underground items including, but not limited to, underground storage tanks and
       other underground indications of their presence, whether abandoned or active. 
   2.items that are not installed. 
   3.installed decorative items. 
   4.items in areas that are not entered in accordance with 13.2.D.. 
   5.detached structures other than garages and carports. 
   6.common elements or common areas in multi-unit housing, such as condominium
      properties and cooperative housing. 
   7.every occurrence of multiple similar components. 
   8.outdoor cooking appliances. 
F.Inspectors are NOT required to: 
   1.perform procedures or operations which will, in the professional judgment of the
       inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or to damage the property 
       or its systems or components.
   2.describe or report on systems and components that are not included in this Standard
      and that were not inspected.
   3.move personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris. 
   4.dismantle systems or components, except as explicitly required by this Standard. 
   5.reset, reprogram, or otherwise adjust devices, systems, and components affected 
      by inspection required by this Standard. 
   6.ignite or extinguish fires, pilot lights, burners, and other open flames that require manual 
      ignition. 
   7.probe surfaces that would be damaged or where no deterioration is visible or presumed 
      to exist. 

14. GLOSSARY
   
AUTOMATIC SAFETY CONTROLS: 
Devices designed and installed to protect systems and components from unsafe 
conditions.
                        
COMPONENT: 
A part of a system.
                        
DECORATIVE 
Ornamental; not required for the proper operation of the essential systems and components
of a home.
                        
DESCRIBE: 
To identify (in writing) a system or component by its type or other distinguishing
characteristics.
                        
DISMANTLE: 
To take apart or remove components, devices or pieces of equipment that would not
be taken apart or removed by a homeowner in the course of normal maintenance.
                        
ENGINEERING
The application of scientific knowledge for the design, control, or use of building
structures, equipment, or apparatus.
                        
FURTHER EVALUATION: 
Examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman or service
technician beyond that provided by a home inspection.
                        
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 this Standard.
                        
INSPECT: 
The process of examining readily accessible systems and components by (1) 
applying this Standard, and (2) operating normal operating controls and (3) opening
readily openable access panels.
                        
INSPECTOR: 
A person hired to examine systems or components of a building using this Standard.
                        
INSTALLED: 
Attached such that removal requires tools.
                        
NORMAL OPERATING CONTROLS: 
Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the 
homeowner.
                        
READILY ACCESSIBLE: 
Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, 
dismantling, destructive measures, or actions that will likely involve risk to 
persons or property.
                        
READILY OPENABLE ACCESS PANEL: 
A panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance that is readily
accessible, 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.
                        
REPRESENTATIVE NUMBER: 
One component per room for multiple similar interior components such as windows 
and electric receptacle; one component on each side of the building for multiple
similar exterior components.
                        
ROOF DRAINAGE SYSTEMS: 
Components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building.
                        
SHUT DOWN: 
A state in which a system or component cannot be operated by normal operating 
controls.
                        
STRUCTURAL COMPONENT: 
A component which supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and 
variable forces or weights (live loads).
                        
SYSTEM: 
A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry 
out one or more functions.
                        
TECHNICALLY EXHAUSTIVE: 
An investigation that involves dismantling, the extensive use of advanced techniques,
measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, or other means.
                        
UNDERFLOOR 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 that is
judged by the inspector to be a significant risk of serious bodily 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.

WALL COVERING: 
A protective or insulating layer fixed to the outside of a building such as: aluminum, brick,
EIFS, stone, stucco, vinyl, and wood.
                  
WIRING METHODS: 
Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such as 
non-metallic sheathed cable, armored cable, and knob and tube, etc. 

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