Monday, November 3, 2014

Changes to ASHI Standards of Practice

Effective March 1, 2014, The ASHI Standards of Practice Were revised.

These are the standards that professional Home Inspectors Follow.  As an experienced Lehigh Valley Home Inspection Company,  We have always exceeded these ASHI Standards.

Below Is a Summary of the changes and my comments in italics.Easton Home Inspection  

Changes that REDUCE the scope of a home inspection.

• Not required to probe structural members, although an inspector may probe if damage is suspected. Probing is not required but a good idea. 

  • Not required to describe electrical service voltage, since almost all homes are 240 volt o If a home has 110 volt only, this would be reported as deficient beyond describing.  
In 17 years I have never seen a house with 110 Volt Electric. Maybe in some areas of the country, but not here.  

• Not required to describe the presence of solid conductor aluminum wiring.  
No, but we are required to report on type of conductor. Solid 110Volt aluminum wire is a serious issue, It definitely is part of our report.  

• Not required to describe ALL wiring methods, only the PREDOMINANT wiring method.
 OK, This makes sense.  

• Not required to inspect floor coverings (formerly mentioned only carpeting as outside the scope)
Floor coverings are not really a home defect, however - they may indicate a defect. (ie cracked tiles) 

• Not required to describe chimneys for fireplaces and wood burning stoves.  

Describe no- point out defect yes.

  • Not required to enter crawlspaces that have less than 24 inches of vertical clearance between components and the ground or where access hatches are less than 16 inches by 24 inches.

 We get in almost every crawlspace. But if it is too small, obviously it cant be entered. Lehigh Valley Home Inspection

• Not required to traverse attic load bearing components that are concealed (insulation or other)  
This makes sense. Can cause injury or property damage.  

• Not required to measure water flow and pressure, and well water quantity.  
This Makes Sense. This requires special equipment. 

• Not required to fill shower pans to test for leaks Every home inspector should be testing tile showers. We always have and always will. This is a potentially expensive repair that a home inspector must find.  

• Not required to inspect heat-recovery and similar whole-house mechanical ventilation systems.  
We inspect them.  

• Not required to determine the adequacy of combustion air components  
Sometimes a difficult calculation is required for this.  

• Not required to check window coatings or hermetic seals between panes of window glass.  
We try to identify failed seals. Not always possible, some are only visible at certain times of the day.

  Allentown Home Inspection
Changes that INCREASE the scope

• Inspect Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (added to requirement to inspect GFCIs)
Good Idea, however there is no requirement to test AFCIs, just inspect them. 

• Inspect at least ONE function of specified built-in kitchen appliances using normal operating controls to activate primary function. Includes: ovens, ranges, surface cooking, microwave ovens, dishwashing machines, disposals  
Most inspectors already do this anyway. We do. (note other appliances such as refrigerators and trash compactors are excluded)

• Describe presence or absence of Carbon Monoxide alarms (added to the requirement to describe smoke alarms)  
good Idea to add this. 

  • Inspect distribution systems for heat  
Heat should be installed in every finished room.