ASHI Standards of Practice were adopted by the Florida Association of Building Inspectors June, 1991, with the kind permission of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF BUILDING INSPECTORS, INC.
Post Office Box 149202
Orlando, Florida 32814
1-800-544-3224 (FL) – FAX (407) 894-7673 www.fabi.org
Standards of Practice. Effective January 1, 2000. © Copyright 1999 American Society
of Home Inspectors, Inc. ® All Rights Reserved
1.1 The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is a not-for-profit
professional society established in 1976. Membership in ASHI is voluntary and
its members include private, fee-paid home inspectors. ASHI’s objectives include
promotion of excellence within the profession and continual improvement
of its members’ inspection services to the public.
2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
2.1 The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to establish a minimum
and uniform standard for private, fee-paid home inspectors who are members
of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Home Inspections performed
to these Standards of Practice are intended to provide the client with information
regarding the condition of the systems and components of the home as inspected
at the time of the Home Inspection.
2.2 The inspector shall:
1. readily accessible systems and components of homes listed in
these Standards of Practice.
2. installed systems and components of homes listed in these
Standards of Practice.
1. on those systems and components inspected which, in the professional
opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or are
near the end of their service lives.
2. a reason why, if not self-evident, the system or component is
significantly deficient or near the end of its service life.
3. the inspector’s recommendations to correct or monitor the reported
4. on any systems and components designated for inspection in
these Standards of Practice which were present at the time of the
Home Inspection but were not inspected and a reason why they
were not inspected.
2.3 These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors
A. including other inspection services, systems or components in addition
to those required by these Standards of Practice.
B. specifying repairs, provided the inspector is appropriately qualified
and willing to do so.
C. excluding systems and components from the inspection if requested
by the client.
3. STRUCTURAL SYSTEM
3.1 The inspector shall:
1. the structural components including foundation and framing.
2. by probing a representative number of structural components
where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible
deterioration exist. Probing is NOT required when probing would
damage any finished surface or where no deterioration is visible.
1. the foundation and report the methods used to inspect the
under-floor crawl space.
2. the floor structure.
3. the wall structure.
4. the ceiling structure.
5. the roof structure and report the methods used to inspect the
3.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
A. provide any engineering service or architectural service.
B. offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any structural system or component.
4.1 The inspector shall:
1. the exterior wall covering, flashing and trim.
2. all exterior doors.
3. attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their
4. the eaves, soffits, and fascias where accessible from the
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF BUILDING INSPECTORS, INC. (FABI) STANDARDS OF PRACTICE / CODE OF ETHICS
UPDATED JANUARY 2000
5. the vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls on
the property when any of these are likely to adversely affect the
6. walkways, patios, and driveways leading to dwelling entrances.
B. describe the exterior wall covering.
4.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
1. screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories.
3. geological, geotechnical or hydrological conditions.
4. recreational facilities.
6. seawalls, break-walls, and docks.
7. erosion control and earth stabilization measures.
5. ROOF SYSTEMS
5.1 The inspector shall:
1. the roof covering.
2. the roof drainage systems.
3. the flashings.
4. the skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations.
B. describe the roof covering and report the methods used to inspect
5.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
2. interiors of flues or chimneys which are not readily accessible.
3. other installed accessories.
6. PLUMBING SYSTEM
6.1 The inspector shall:
1. the interior water supply and distribution systems including all
fixtures and faucets.
2. the drain, waste and vent systems including all fixtures.
3. the water heating equipment.
4. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys.
5. the fuel storage and fuel distribution systems.
6. the drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related piping.
1. the water supply, drain, waste, and vent piping materials.
2. the water heating equipment including the energy source.
3. the location of main water and main fuel shut-off valves.
6.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
1. the clothes washing machine connections
2. the interiors of flues or chimneys which are not readily accessible.
3. wells, well pumps, or water storage related equipment.
4. water conditioning systems.
5. solar water heating systems.
6. fire and lawn sprinkler systems.
7. private waste disposal systems.
1. whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or
2. the quantity or quality of the water supply.
C. operate safety valves or shut-off valves.
7. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
7.1 The inspector shall:
1. the service drop.
2. the service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways.
3. the service equipment and main disconnects.
4. the service grounding.
5. the interior components of service panels and sub panels.
6. the conductors.
7. the overcurrent protection devices.
8. a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches,
9. the ground fault circuit interrupters.
1. the amperage and voltage rating of the service.
2. the location of main disconnect(s) and sub panels.
3. the wiring methods.
1. on the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring.
2. on the absence of smoke detectors.
7.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
1. the remote control devices unless the device is the only control
2. the alarm systems and components.
3. the low voltage wiring, systems and components.
4. the ancillary wiring, systems and components not a part of the
primary electrical power distribution system.
B. measure amperage, voltage, or impedance.
8. HEATING SYSTEM
8.1 The inspector shall:
1. the installed heating equipment.
2. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys.
1. the energy source.
2. the heating method by its distinguishing characteristics.
8.2 The inspector is NOT required:
1. the interiors of flues or chimneys which are not readily accessible.
2. the heat exchanger.
3. the humidifier or dehumidifier.
4. the electronic air filter.
5. the solar space heating system.
B. determine heat supply adequacy or distribution balance.
9. AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
9.1 The inspector shall:
A. inspect the installed central and through-wall cooling equipment.
1. the energy source.
2. the cooling method by its distinguishing characteristics.
9.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
A. inspect electronic air filters.
B. determine cooling supply adequacy or distribution balance.
10.1 The inspector shall:
1. the walls, ceilings, and floors.
2. the steps, stairways, and railings.
3. the countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets.
4. a representative number of doors and windows.
5. garage doors and garage door operators.
10.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
1. the paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments.
2. the carpeting.
3. the window treatments.
4. the central vacuum systems.
5. the household appliances.
6. recreational facilities.
11. INSULATION AND VENTILATION
11.1 The inspector shall:
1. the insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces.
2. the ventilation of attics and foundation areas.
3. the mechanical ventilation systems.
1. the insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces.
2. the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned
11.2 The inspector is NOT required to:
A. disturb insulation or vapor retarders.
B. determine indoor air quality.
12. FIREPLACES AND SOLID FUEL BURNING APPLIANCES
12.1 The inspector shall:
1. the system components.
2. the vent systems, flues, and chimneys.
1. the fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances.
2. the chimneys.
12.2. The inspector is NOT required to:
1. the interiors of flues or chimneys.
2. the firescreens and doors.
3. the seals and gaskets.
4. the automatic fuel feed devices.
5. the mantles and fireplace surrounds.
6. the combustion make-up air devices.
7. the heat distribution assists whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.
B. ignite or extinguish fires.
C. determine draft characteristics.
D. move fireplace inserts or stoves or firebox contents.
13. GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
13.1 General limitations:
A. Inspections performed in accordance with these Standards of Practice
1. are not technically exhaustive.
2. will not identify concealed conditions or latent defects.
B. These Standards of Practice are applicable to buildings with four or
fewer dwelling units and their garages or carports.
13.2 General exclusions:
A. The inspector is not required to perform any action or make any
determination unless specifically stated in these Standards of Practice,
except as may be required by lawful authority.
B. Inspectors are NOT required to determine:
1. the condition of systems or components which are not readily
2. the remaining life of any system or component.
3. the strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or efficiency of any system
4. the causes of any condition or deficiency.
5. the methods, materials, or costs of corrections.
6. future conditions including, but not limited to, failure of systems
7. the suitability of the property for any specialized use.
8. compliance with regulatory requirements (codes, regulations,
laws, ordinances, etc.)
9. the market value of the property or its marketability.
10. the advisability of the purchase of the property.
11. the presence of potentially hazardous plants or animals including,
but not limited to wood destroying organisms or diseases harmful
12. the presence of any environmental hazards including, but not
limited to toxins, carcinogens, noise, and contaminants in soil, water,
13. the effectiveness of any system installed or methods utilized to
control or remove suspected hazardous substances.
14. the operating costs of systems or components.
15. the acoustical properties of any system or component.
C. Inspectors are NOT required to offer:
1. or perform any act or service contrary to law.
2. or perform engineering services.
3. or perform work in any trade or any professional service other
than home inspection.
4. warranties or guarantees of any kind.
D. Inspectors are NOT required to operate:
1. any system or component which is shut down or otherwise inoperable
2. any system or component which does not respond to normal
3. shut-off valves.
E. Inspectors are NOT required to enter:
1. any area which will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous
to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or
its systems or components.
2. the under-floor crawl space or attics which are not readily accessible.
F. Inspectors are NOT required to inspect:
1. underground items including, but not limited to underground storage
tanks or other underground indications of their presence,
whether abandoned or active.
2. systems or components which are not installed.
3. decorative items.
4. systems or components located in areas that are not entered in
accordance with these Standards of Practice.
5. detached structures other than garages and carports.
6. common elements or common areas in multiunit housing, such
as condominium properties or cooperative housing.
G. Inspectors are NOT required to:
1. perform any procedure to operation which will, in the opinion of
the inspector, likely to be dangerous to the inspector or other persons
or damage the property or its systems or components.
2. move suspended ceiling tiles, personal property, furniture, equipment,
plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris.
3. dismantle any system or component, except as explicitly required
by these Standards of Practice.
Glossary of Italicized Terms
Warning devices, installed or free standing, including but not limited to: carbon
monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors, security equipment,
ejector pumps and smoke alarms.
Any practice involving the art and science of building design for construction of
any structure or groupings of structures and the use of space within and surrounding
the structures or the design for construction, including but not specifically
limited to, schematic design, design development, preparation of construction
contract documents, and administration of the construction contract.
Automatic Safety Controls:
Devices designed and installed to protect systems and components from unsafe
A part of a system.
Ornamental; not required for the operation of the essential systems and components
of a home.
To report a system or component by its type or other observed, significant characteristics
to distinguish it from other systems or components.
To take apart or remove any component, device or piece of equipment that
would not be taken apart or removed by a homeowner in the course of normal
and routine homeowner maintenance.
Any professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, training
and experience and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical,
physical and engineering services to such professional service or creative
work as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design and supervision
of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance with the specifications
and design, in conjunction with structures, buildings, machines, equipment,
works or processes.
Examination and analysis by a qualified professional tradesman or service technician
beyond that provided by the home inspection.
The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible
systems and components of a home which describes those systems and components
in accordance with these Standards of Practice.
Kitchen, laundry, and similar appliances, whether installed or free-standing.
To examine readily accessible systems and components of a building in accordance
with these Standards of Practice, using normal operating controls and
opening readily openable access panels
A person hired to examine any system or component of a building in accordance
with these Standards of Practice.
Attached such that removal requires tools.
Normal Operating Controls:
Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the
Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property,
dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which will likely involve risk to
persons or property.
Readily Openable Access Panel:
A panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance that is within normal
reach, can be removed by one person and is not sealed in place.
Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, exercise, entertainment, athletic,
playground or other similar equipment and associated accessories.
To communicate in writing.
One component per room for multiple similar interior components such as window
and electric outlets; one component on each side of the building for multiple
similar exterior components.
Roof Drainage Systems:
Components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building.
Unsafe or not functioning.
A state in which a system or component cannot be operated by normal operating
Solid Fuel Burning Appliances:
A hearth and fire chamber or similar prepared place in which a fire may be built
and which is built in conjunction with a chimney; or a listed assembly of a fire
chamber, its chimney and related factory-made parts designed for unit assembly
without requiring field construction.
A component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and
variable forces or weights (live loads).
A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry
out one or more functions.
An investigation that involves dismantling; the extensive use of advanced techniques,
measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, or other means.
Under-floor Crawl Space:
The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the
underside of the floor.
A condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component which is
judged to be a significant risk of personal injury during normal, day-to-day use.
The risk may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation or a change
in accepted residential construction standards.
Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such as
“non-metallic sheathed cable” (“Romex”), “armored cable” (“bx”) or “knob and
ASHI ® Standards of Practice were adopted by the
Florida Association of Building Inspectors, Inc.
June, 1991, with the kind permission of the
American Society of Home Inspectors.
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