Inspection Scope


A home inspection involves more than inspecting the house itself. The condition of components around the house, and the condition of the land itself, is important information for clients. The condition of components like driveways, walkways, and patios is in scope, and should be reported like any other in scope component. Grade of the land and drainage of water away from the house and ultimately off the property is essential for the long term integrity of the house and property. Home inspectors should carefully inspect these site conditions and report visible deficiencies. The condition of components like retaining walls and vegetation is in scope of a home inspection only insofar as their condition is likely to have an adverse impact on the house.

The condition of structures that are not attached to the house (auxiliary structures) is out of scope of a home inspection, except for the condition of detached garages and carports. In practice, some inspectors inspect auxiliary structures as a courtesy to their client. Some inspectors charge an additional fee to inspect these auxiliary structures, especially if the structures are served by utilities. Be sure to report if auxiliary structures are on the property, and report whether or not you inspected these structures.

Inspection of swimming pool and spa access barriers is out of scope of a home inspection; however, some home inspectors inspect these components because of the significant safety implications of absent and improperly installed access barriers. Home inspectors should either inspect these access barriers, or specifically disclaim inspection in the report and recommend that a qualified specialist inspect the access barriers.