Here it is folks. The 3rd in the series of The Do’s and The Dont’s, requirements of a property inspector.  Structure = the bones of the building. If the Iron View Inspections Inc. inspector thinks  the structure is compromised and an engineer or architect is required to  investigate further, the inspector will note such on his report.

~Be As Full Informed As You Can Be~

Reporting structural observations is part of a home inspector’s job.  Offering a definitive determination as to the cause of any defects or anomalies is NOT.  So, remember:  Home inspectors are barred from providing engineering services.  The job of the home inspector is to OBSERVE and REPORT.

An inspector is required to: *Observe and Report (O&R)

  • Visible foundation walls *(O&R)
  • Floors, columns, walls, roofs, attics *(O&R)
  • Report any general indications of foundation movement observed by the inspector, such as but not limited to drywall cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames or floor slopes and concrete wall cracks *(O&R)
  • Report on cutting, notching and boring of framing members which may present a structural or safety concern *(O&R)
  • Chimneys *(O&R)
  • Wood in contact or near soil *(O&R)
  • Crawl spaces, basements *(O&R)
  • Observe and report any evidence of deterioration from insects, rot or fire *(O&R)

An inspector is not required to: *Observe and Report (O&R)

  • Inspect areas that are not reasonably accessible or visible *(O&R
  • Enter any crawl spaces that are not readily accessible or where entry could cause damage or pose a hazard to the inspector *(O&R)
  • Move stored items or debris *(O&R)
  • Identify size, spacing, span, location or determine adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist-span or support systems *(O&R)
  • Provide any engineering or architectural service *(O&R)
  • Report on the adequacy of any structural system or component *(O&R)

Performing the structural portion of a home inspection on a finished and occupied dwelling is a daunting task.  Time limitations are a reality during any home inspection.  Furniture, insulation, clutter, stored items–all present potential limitations on view and access.  Lighting, painted surfaces and edges can play tricks on the inspector’s eyes.  Distractions, fatigue and stress can all take their toll.

Throughout the home inspection, try to keep conscious of the fact that almost everything you observe provides information about the home’s structural integrity.  A holistic approach to performing home inspections is always best.

Sources: Inspect4U & InterNACHI

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