Definitions and Scope

A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector.  The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.


The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.


The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.

House Inspection

Standards of Practice

  • Roof

  1. the roof-covering materials;
  2. the gutters;
  3. the downspouts;
  4. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations; and 
  5. the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs.

  • Exterior 

  1. The exterior wall-covering materials; 
  2. the eaves, soffits and fascia;
  3. a representative number of windows;
  4. all exterior doors;
  5. flashing and trim;
  6. adjacent walkways and driveways;
  7. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps; 
  8. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;
  9. railings, guards and handrails; and 
  10. vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion. 

  • Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

  1. the foundation; 
  2. the basement;
  3. the crawlspace; and 
  4. structural components.

  • Heating

  1. the heating system, using normal operating controls.

  • Cooling

  1. the cooling system, using normal operating controls. 

  • Fireplace

  1. readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys; 
  2. lintels above the fireplace openings; 
  3. damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and
  4. cleanout doors and frames.

  • Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

  1. insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas;
  2. ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas; and 
  3. mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area.

Standards of Practice

  • Plumbing 

  1. the main water supply shut-off valve;
  2. the main fuel supply shut-off valve; 
  3. the water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing; 
  4. interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water;
  5. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;
  6. all sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage;
  7. the drain, waste and vent system; and
  8. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

  • Electrical

  1. the service drop;
  2. the overhead service conductors and attachment point;
  3. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;
  4. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;
  5. the electric meter and base;
  6. service-entrance conductors;
  7. the main service disconnect;
  8. panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);
  9. service grounding and bonding;
  10. a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test button, where possible;
  11. all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and
  12. smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

  • Doors, Windows, & Interior 

  1. a representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them;
  2. floors, walls and ceilings;
  3. stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps; 
  4. railings, guards and handrails; and
  5. garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls.