SCOPE OF INSPECTION
As a Texas Real Estate Commission licensed inspector I must adhere to TREC’S Standards of Practice. This means the areas noted below is the minimum of my inspection scope. Please allow a few hours for the inspection to take place and I will attempt to inspect all of the following (where accessible):
I. STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
The Home Inspector shall observe structural components including foundations, floors, walls, columns or piers, ceilings and roof. The home inspector shall describe the type of Foundation, floor structure, wall structure, columns or piers, ceiling structure, roof structure. The home inspector shall: Probe structural components where deterioration is suspected; Enter under floor crawl spaces, basements, and attic spaces except when access is obstructed, when entry could damage the property, or when dangerous or adverse situations are suspected; Report the methods used to observe under floor crawl spaces and attics; and Report signs of abnormal or harmful water penetration into the building or signs of abnormal or harmful condensation on building components. The home inspector is not required to: Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to or adversely effect the health of the home inspector or other persons.
II. ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
The home inspector shall observe: Service entrance conductors; Service equipment, grounding equipment, main over current device, and main and distribution panels; Amperage and voltage ratings of the service; Branch circuit conductors, their over current devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages; The operation of a representative number of installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house, garage, and on the dwelling's exterior walls; The polarity and grounding of all receptacles within six feet of interior plumbing fixtures, and all receptacles in the garage or carport, and on the exterior of inspected structures; The operation of ground fault circuit interrupters; and Smoke detectors. The home inspector shall describe: Service amperage and voltage; Service entry conductor materials; Service type as being overhead or underground; and Location of main and distribution panels. The home inspector shall report any observed aluminum branch circuit wiring. The home inspector shall report on presence or absence of smoke detectors, and operate their test function, if accessible, except when detectors are part of a central system. The home inspector is not required to: Insert any tool, probe, or testing device inside the panels; Test or operate any over current device except ground fault circuit interrupters; Dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove the covers of the main and auxiliary distribution panels; or Observe: Low voltage systems; Security system devices, heat detectors, or carbon monoxide detectors; Telephone, security, cable TV, intercoms, or other ancillary wiring that is not a part of the primary electrical distribution system; or Built-in vacuum equipment.
III. HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
The home inspector shall observe permanently installed heating and cooling systems including: Heating equipment; Cooling Equipment that is central to home; Normal operating controls; Automatic safety controls; Chimneys, flues, and vents, where readily visible; Solid fuel heating devices; Heat distribution systems including fans, pumps, ducts and piping, with supports, insulation, air filters, registers, radiators, fan coil units, convectors; and the presence of an installed heat source in each room. The home inspector shall describe: Energy source; and Heating equipment and distribution type. The home inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls. The home inspector shall open readily openable access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance. The home inspector is not required to: Operate heating systems when weather conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage; Dismantle heating equipment to determine integrity or condition of heat exchanger; Operate automatic safety controls; Ignite or extinguish solid fuel fires; or Observe: The interior of flues; Fireplace insert flue connections; Humidifiers; Electronic air filters; or The uniformity or adequacy of heat supply to the various rooms.
IV. PLUMBING SYSTEM
The home inspector shall observe: Interior water supply and distribution system, including: piping materials, supports, and insulation; fixtures and faucets; functional flow; leaks; and cross connections; Interior drain, waste, and vent system, including: traps; drain, waste, and vent piping; piping supports and pipe insulation; leaks; and functional drainage; Hot water systems including: water heating equipment; normal operating controls; automatic safety controls; and chimneys, flues, and vents; Fuel storage and distribution systems including: interior fuel storage equipment, supply piping, venting, and supports; leaks; and Sump pumps. The home inspector shall describe: Water supply and distribution piping materials; Drain, waste, and vent piping materials; Water heating equipment; and Location of main water supply shutoff device. The home inspector shall operate all plumbing fixtures, including their faucets and all exterior faucets attached to the house, except where the flow end of the faucet is connected to an appliance. The home inspector is not required to: State the effectiveness of anti-siphon devices; Determine whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private; Operate automatic safety controls; Operate any valve except water closet flush valves, fixture faucets, and hose faucets; Observe: Water conditioning systems; Fire and lawn sprinkler systems; On-site water supply quantity and quality; On-site waste disposal systems; Foundation irrigation systems; Spas, except as to functional flow and functional drainage; Swimming pools; Solar water heating equipment; or Observe the system for proper sizing, design, or use of proper materials.
The home inspector shall observe and operate the basic functions of the following kitchen appliances: Permanently installed dishwasher, through its normal cycle; Range, cook top, and permanently installed oven; Trash compactor; Garbage disposal; Ventilation equipment or range hood; and Permanently installed microwave oven. The home inspector is not required to observe: Clocks, timers, self-cleaning oven function, or thermostats for calibration or automatic operation; Non built-in appliances; or Refrigeration units. The home inspector is not required to operate: Appliances in use; or Any appliance that is shut down or otherwise inoperable.