Boston Home Inspection, Inc.
 
 


Boston Home Inspection, Inc.
8930 Snow Hill Road
Ooltewah, TN 37363
(423) 802-9935

STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The standards of Boston Home Inspection, Inc.™ are among the highest in the industry. These standards provide the minimum levels of inspection practice required of our inspectors for the accessible parts, components and systems typically found in residential properties, excluding detached structures other than garages. The Standards apply to a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of the items, components and systems in order to determine if they are performing their intended function without regard to their life expectancy. Inspections are basically visual and rely upon the opinion, judgment and experience of the inspector and are not intended to be technically exhaustive. The purpose of the inspection is to identify visible defects or conditions that, in the inspector’s opinion, may adversely affect the function and integrity of the components or systems. The inspection is of conditions present at the time of inspection only. The inspector’s report should indicate if the inspected items, components or systems are not functioning or in need of repair. The inspection is not intended to be, or is it to be construed as, a guarantee, warranty, or any form of insurance. These standards are applied in conjunction with Boston Home Inspection’s Code of Ethics.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

The inspector will:

  • offer opinions only. These opinions are to be based upon a visual inspection of existing conditions at the time of inspection.
  • inspect readily accessible items, components and systems of the home.
  • report on items, components and systems that, in the inspector’s opinion, are not functioning or are in need of repair.
  • report on any item, system or component included in these standards of practice which was present but was not inspected providing an explanation as to why it was not inspected.

The inspector is not required to:

  • move furniture or personal items, lift floor coverings, remove wall coverings or do anything that will damage or destroy any element of the property.
  • perform any activity where injury to the inspector or personal property loss is likely.
  • as part of a normal inspection, inspect any unattached building except garage.
  • inspect free-standing appliances, electronic controls/timers, recreational facilities, alarms, intercoms, speaker systems, security devices or irrigation systems.
  • inspect for termites, other insects, wood or dry rot or any environmental problem(s).
  • inspect for or to identify the presence of bacteria, mold, fungi, asbestos, or any gas including radon or formaldehyde.
  • attempt to identify any waste system problem.
  • determine property boundary lines or encroachments.

GROUNDS

The inspector will:

  • inspect driveway, sidewalks, steps, stoops, porch, deck, patio, and landscape affecting the foundation.

The inspector is not required to:

  • evaluate the condition of trees, shrubs, or other vegetation.
  • inspect fences or privacy walls.
  • evaluate soil or geological conditions, site engineering, or property boundaries.

ROOF

The inspector will:

  • inspect the roof, ventilation, skylights and other roof accessories.
  • identify the roofing materials.
  • evaluate the roof’s condition.

The inspector is not required to:

  • inspect antennas, lightening rods, or similar items.
  • to determine the number of layers of roofing material.
  • walk on roof where it could result in damage to the roofing material or be unsafe for the inspector.
  • operate powered ventilation systems.
  • determine the remaining life expectancy of the roofing material, manufacturing defects, number of layers, or hail damage.
  • determine roof ventilation adequacy.

EXTERIOR

The inspector will:

  • inspect chimneys, gutters & downspouts, window frames, siding, caulking, fascia, soffits, trim, exterior walls, exterior doors, and exterior electrical service.

The inspector is not required to:

  • inspect any detached structure, except garages.
  • comment on the function of storm doors, storm windows, shutters or awnings.
  • test locks or security systems.
  • evaluate insulation or vapor barriers in walls.
  • evaluate the integrity of thermal window seals.
  • examine the interior of chimney flues or determine the absence or presence of flue liners.

GARAGE

The inspector will:

  • inspect roofing, siding, trim, floor, overhead door, service door, sill plates, electric service, firewall, and automatic opener.

The inspector is not required to:

  • inspect or operate any other equipment located in the garage.
  • verify the safe operation of any auto reverse or related safety equipment on garage doors.

ATTIC

The inspector will:

  • inspect floor, roof structure, vapor barrier, ventilation system, insulation, roof sheathing
  • inspect for evidence of condensation or leaks.

The inspector is not required to:

  • enter attics with less than five feet of headroom.
  • enter attics without flooring.
  • enter attics with truss framing.
  • break or damage the surface finish or weather seal around access panels or covers.

FOUNDATION

The inspector will:

  • identify the type of foundation (basement, crawlspace or slab) and the material (concrete, block, stone, brick, wood, etc.) of construction.
  • inspect all exposed foundation surfaces for cracks and moisture infiltration.
  • inspect all visible wooden framing members and sills for condition, moisture, stress, insect damage or other observable problems.
  • describe what he or she observes.

The inspector is not required to:

  • render an opinion as to the “condition” or “adequacy” of the foundation (Suspected foundation or structural deficiencies usually require the opinion of an engineer versed in foundation and structural problems).
  • enter a crawlspace less than 36 inches in height or where existing conditions or obstructions are not conducive to entry.
  • move personal possessions or materials blocking view to any portion of the foundation (or other house surfaces.
  • operate sump pumps.
  • enter any area that may, in the inspector’s opinion, be unsafe or contain hazardous materials.

INTERIOR

The inspector will:

  • evaluate ceilings, walls, and floors.
  • evaluate steps and handrails.
  • evaluate exterior of all cabinets, countertops and vanities.
  • inspect fireplaces.
  • evaluate a representative number or windows, doors, electrical outlets.
  • comment on the absence or presence of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • evaluate the condition of plumbing components.

The inspector is not required to:

  • start a fire in the fireplace to evaluate its performance.
  • comment on the clearance between any heat source and any combustible.
  • determine how vent fans are exhausted.
  • comment on cosmetic condition of ceilings, walls, floors or other components.

PLUMBING

The inspector will:

  • inspect and identify the type of visible water lines.
  • identify the location of the main shut off valve.
  • inspect and identify the age, capacity and manufacturer of the water heater.
  • inspect and operate all plumbing fixtures.
  • comment on the adequacy of the portion of the plumbing system that is inspected.

The inspector is not required to:

  • evaluate the quality of water.
  • inspect any plumbing component that is not readily accessible.
  • check wells or any other private water supply source.
  • check the operation of any water conditioning system or water filter.
  • check the operation or adequacy or lawn irrigation of fire sprinkler systems.
  • check any septic system.
  • test shower pans, tub or shower surrounds or other plumbing seals for leakage.

ELECTRICAL

The inspector will:

  • identify the location of the service entrance and if it is overhead or underground and identify the system’s amperage and voltages available.
  • identify the location of the service panel(s) and if it contains fuses or breakers.
  • identify the existence and location of any service grounding wire.
  • test operation of a representative number of accessible switches or receptacles.
  • test for proper operation of all GFI receptacles. Comment on presence of (or recommend future need for) GFI receptacles near plumbing fixtures.
  • evaluate the condition of all exposed wire.

The inspector is not required to:

  • insert any tool into the electrical panel.
  • activate circuits or systems that are not energized.
  • evaluate operation of fuses or breakers.
  • inspect alarms (except smoke alarms), antennae, timers, low voltage lighting systems, fountains, swimming pools or any other special or ancillary items.
  • test every switch, receptacle or fixture.
  • remove cover plates on switches or outlets.
  • evaluate continuity of service grounds.
  • inspect inaccessible electrical equipment.

HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC)

The inspector will:

  • identify the type of fuel, brand and model of the heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • operate the system using normal control devices when possible.
  • evaluate fuel lines.
  • evaluate the overall condition (not adequacy) of the system.

The inspector is not required to:

  • activate or operate any system that is shut down (this applies to water, gas, electric, or any other system).
  • activate systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or when activation could cause damage.
  • inspect or evaluate heat exchangers.
  • inspect equipment that is not readily accessible.
  • inspect air cleaners, humidifiers or solar devices.
  • evaluate any pipe wrap.
  • evaluate the capacity, efficiency or adequacy of heating or cooling systems.
  • evaluate wood or pellet stoves, space heaters, gas logs, built-in gas burning appliances, grills, or stoves.
  • evaluate clearance to combustibles or adequacy of combustion air.

DEPARTURE PROVISION

The inspector shall exclude from the inspection any part, component or system, which the inspector is not qualified to inspect. The inspector may exclude any part, component or system recommended herein for inspection, which is inaccessible, which cannot be inspected due to circumstances beyond the control of the inspector, or which the client has agreed should not be inspected. The client shall be notified at the earliest possible time that the specific part, component or system will not be included in the inspection and the inspector shall repeat that exception to these standards in the written report.

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