The InterNACHI Standards of Practice is designed to educate a potential home buyer
on what exactly a home inspection consists of, and what it does not. Not all of it
may be relevant to every potential inspection. I have taken the beginning of it and
copied it here. The rest can be seen in this link here.
1. Definitions and Scope
1.1. A home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of a residential dwelling,
performed for a fee, which is designed to identify observed material defects within
specific components of said dwelling. Components may include any combination of mechanical,
structural, electrical, plumbing, or other essential systems or portions of the home,
as identified and agreed to by the Client and Inspector, prior to the inspection
A home inspection is intended to assist in the evaluation of the overall condition
of the dwelling. The inspection is based on observations of the visible and apparent
condition of the structure and its components on the date of the inspection, and
not of future conditions.
A home inspection will not reveal everything that exists or ever could exist, but
only those material defects observed on the day of the inspection.
A home inspection can include a survey and/or analysis of energy flows and usage
in a residential property if the client requests it.
1.2. A material defect is a condition of a residential real property, or any portion
of it, that would have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the real property,
or that involves an unreasonable risk to people on the property. The fact that a
structural element, system or subsystem is near, at or beyond the end of normal useful
life is not, by itself, a material defect.
1.3. An inspection report shall describe and identify, in written format, the inspected
systems, structures and components of the dwelling, and shall identify material defects
observed. Inspection reports may contain recommendations regarding conditions reported
or recommendations for correction, monitoring or further evaluation by professionals,
but this is not required.
An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.
An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed of taste,
cosmetic defects, etc.
An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.
An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.
An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.
An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase
of the inspected property.
An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components
or systems therein.
An inspection does not include items not permanently installed.
These Standards of Practice apply only to homes with four or fewer dwelling.