Home Inspection Do’s and Don’ts

While on an inspection last week, a client asked my opinion about some of the cosmetic items in the house, so I explained that I don’t include comments like that in the report.  In my 10 years as an inspector for construction defect litigation, I learned to report on material defects only because that’s what is legally relevant.  As a California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) certified inspector, I adhere to CREIA’s standards of practice to provide the “general condition of the building”.

To become CREIA certified, I passed the comprehensive National Home Inspection Exam, provided documentation of at least 250 home inspections (I’ve done 3,000), and passed an ethics and professional standards exam.  To remain in good standing, I’m held to a strict code of ethics, and I’m required to meet annual continuing education requirements.  This is a rigorous process to certify that my clients are getting a best practice inspection to help them make an informed purchase.

Here are my Home Inspection Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. I follow California standards and best practices for all of my inspections
  2. I don’t include disclaimers or recommend that clients hire experts like plumbers and electricians unless it’s related to a material defect
  3. I don’t editorialize about cosmetic and aesthetic items because they are not material defects, they are matters of personal style
  4. I use my construction background and my inspection experience to provide a fact-based report on the general condition of the home and its systems
  5. I use a best practice workflow on my tablet to make sure that I’m thorough, consistent, and in compliance with CREIA standards to create the report


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