Are home inspectors required to inspect to code?

Home inspectors are not typically required to inspect properties to current building codes during their assessments. Home inspections are primarily visual, non-invasive examinations of a property’s accessible areas, systems, and components. The goal of a home inspection is to provide a potential buyer with information about the condition of the property and any potential issues that may need attention.

Inspectors usually focus on the property’s overall condition and safety rather than evaluating compliance with specific building codes. Building codes can vary significantly based on location, and they can change over time as new codes are adopted. Therefore, requiring home inspectors to assess properties according to constantly evolving codes would be challenging and potentially impractical.

Instead, home inspectors typically follow a set of industry standards, often outlined by organizations like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). These standards provide guidelines for what should be included in a home inspection and what areas should be assessed.

It’s important for home buyers to understand that a home inspection is not a guarantee of perfection or code compliance. It’s a way to identify visible issues and potential problems that may exist within the property. If a buyer is concerned about specific building code compliance, they might need to consult with local building officials or hire specialized professionals to assess those aspects.