"Relax, trust in quality and experience for your home inspection."
Calvin has decided to "retire from the rat race" of doing JUST the BUYER TYPE whole house inspections. He still does everything else listed, except for radon and lead paint.
The Indiana law for home inspectors states that "The report must include the following: 1) A report on any system or component inspected that, in the professional opinion of the inspector, is significantly deficient or near the end of the system or component's service life." Significantly deficient "means unsafe or not functioning." Unsafe "means a condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component that is judged to be a significant risk of personal injury during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to: (4) a change in accepted residential construction standards."
First, this still means a home inspection is not a code inspection. However, what was just said above clearly states that these "hazards" must be reported. This means a home inspection is gauged against the "current standards", as far as these particular safety issues go. A home inspector has to know the standards in order to perform a legal inspection and legal report to meet the State requirements. Most home inspectors are not aware of this part of the law, and then do not know many of the standards anyway. They might catch something like a missing GFCI receptacle somewhere or a missing smoke alarm, but not much more than that. THERE ARE A PLETHORA OF ITEMS. You will find numerous ones listed in my reports. The older a home gets, the more there will be. The standards mostly change every 3 years, but numerous additions are made inside that 3 year period as well.
Now, this does not mean the seller has to bring his home up to these standards for the buyer, or even to sell it. These are recommendations that are made to the buyer to consider these updates to make his home safer. This is the State's way of literally protecting the buyer by making him aware of how safe or unsafe his home is at the time of purchase, based on the current standards. The home may have been built perfectly safe at the time of construction, under the current standards at that time.
Based on all of this which has been said, a home inspection then is not just for the items that you see in the home, but for those items that are missing too, that can create the hazards. This is the hard part for most inspectors. You have to know and understand the current standards, and then stop and inspect every area of the home for those which are missing.
I hope this explanation helps clarify how this part of the inspection and report is to be conducted, to those who have not read or do not understand the State's requirements for a legal inspection and legal report. Thank you.