4 point inspections

How many of you do the following for a 4 point inspection:

  1. walk the roof on?

  2. Crawl the attic?

  3. Remove panel box covers?

  4. Go under the crawl space, if present?

  5. Check all sinks, toilets, and hose connections for leaks?

Getting to where they are more like mini-home inspections - we’re going backwards on price - have to do 50% more for 50% less because of the $65 to $75.00 inspectors. Don’t even want to get me going about the North Tampa Inspectors going to Lakeland for $75.00.

I walk the roof

Look in the attic from one entry

I do remove the panel box cover

and check under all sinks and toilets.

If you are using the NACHI form, one of theitems is “missing shingles or covering”. A lot of the time you cannot see the entire roof without getting up on it. How do you answer that question?


I know you do them right. What about the crawl spaces. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone under a crawl space and find leaking pipes, either waste or supply. Can I tell you how many 4-points are missing this?

I wasn’t giving an over view of our procedure and after 15 years of performing Four Point Inspections I have not found a need to use the newer InterNACHI form. My form has more information on it and is only one page.

If we can’t see it - we get closer to it, get on it, or crawl under it.
As a GENERAL rule - no - we do not walk the roof on a Four Point.

What is this crawlspace, you speak of?:twisted:

We do not have that many. I will look under and go in but will not crawl the whole thing.

BTW, “doing them right” is a matter of opinion. Many inspectors will disagree on how to do them. After one post I had some one(Nachi inspector) call my office to tell me that I was making them more difficult than I need to. I like to think we do them well, or correctly.

Does F LNACHI have a name?

YES to 1-5 :mrgreen:
Reason why, the client observes how thorough I am & alot of times they end up wanting me to perform a complete inspection.

[quote=“wsiegel, post:1, topic:51469”]

How many of you do the following for a 4 point inspection:

  1. walk the roof on? yes if flat or shingles not tile. I do not want to have to report I broke it

  2. Crawl the attic? observe from hatch and go in if I can walk. no belly crawling.

  3. Remove panel box covers? Yes

  4. Go under the crawl space, if present? I have not had one with a crawl space yet. I would likely observe from opening. I do not mention crawlspaces on my form.

  5. Check all sinks, toilets, and hose connections for leaks? Yes

Walk on roofs- Only if they are flat or shingle, Tile Roofs are viewed from a ladder
Walk the Attic- Yes
Remove the panel box covers-Yes
Check all sinks and toilets -Yes
Crawlspaces - Yes
I like to be very thorough as most clients are on site with you.
And for that reason I get more referrals.


  1. walk the roof on? Yes, unles it appears unsafe.

  2. Crawl the attic? Only observe from around one entrance point

  3. Remove panel box covers? Yes.

  4. Go under the crawl space, if present? NO.

  5. Check all sinks, toilets, and hose connections for leaks? Yes, without fail.

It looks like 50/50 (or less) go under the crawl space. Most of the time you cannot see many of the pipes without going under. How are you going to answer your client when that old cast iron waste pipe is found to be boken or leaking (and has been doing so for some time) or the pipes are leaking, but you didnt want to crawl to see. Most of the time these conditions have been going on for a long time. You cannot use the excuse - not at the time of inspection.

Sooner or later a claim is going to be filed, either by the client or the insurance company. Who do you think they are going to come after???

What would they file a claim for? If it is leaking under the home. Who is to say what is “visible” at the time of the inspection. I consider some crawls not visible/unsafe. The nachi form states “plumbing leaks noticed” that would imply some may go unnoticed as we all know some do. I can not tell if there is a leak in the slab, for example.


Many times the waste lines or bathrooms are on the other side of the crawl area. Without going over there you cannot inspect them.

I recently just came from an inspction (actually from right before I fell) and they had had a 4-point done the day before. The entire cast iron waste line was rusted through and leaking, as were the drain pipes in the bathroom. The repair cost was a minimum of $2500.00. This guy gave everything a clean bill of health. Who do you thing the insurance company is going to go to when the owner files a claim. They now have a report that show everything is OK. Anyone can clearly see that this problem has been there for years (house has been vacant for a while). On your statement - this surely would have been visible if inspected properly. The only area where you might be able to make a case is to claim tha the area was unsafe to enter. Not too sure how well that should hold up, as we are supposed to use crawl suits and masks. The nachi form states “plumbing leaks noticed” that would imply some may go unnoticed as we all know some do. Some may go unnoticed, but this was very evident. FYI - this is not the first time I have run into this situation.

I have brought this up because too many inspector think they can just run through and do a 4-point in 15 minutes or less and because of certain wording they are in the clear. I know a lot of this has to to with pricing. When someone tells me that they have an inspector that will do the inspection for $75.00 I tell them to go ahead, you will get what you pay for.


The only problem with they get what they pay for is that is exactly what they want. The problems with the 4 points is the wrong person pays for them. I think I have had one person happy that I found something on a 4 point. All the rest are pissed and inconvenienced then have to pay to have it repaired. I believe most inspectors would do a better job if the insurance agency was paying them. I personally always act as if the agency is the one paying me and I hate doing the 4 points for the reasons mentioned.

I do not disagree with much of what you said but there are other points of view:

Who says you have to put on a suit and mask?

If water leaks under a house and it is just a crawl, how are you going to file a claim? Are you going to file the claim for the pipe? If you get the insurance company to pay for it you will have insurance problems. Insurance companies do not pay for maintenance repairs on a home. They pay for damages caused by accidents. This is why we have an insurance problems in Florida, if people maintained their homes, esp. roofs, we not even be discussing this.

I would like someone to prove to me that any inspector that was held liable for an insurance inspection. I agree the system is flawed. That is why I started the Florida Insurance Inspectors Chapter, there are no standards/definitions/expectations.

Lets try to remember…"This Four Point Inspection is being performed for your insurance company on your behalf. It will be used by your insurance company to aid in underwriting your policy. It is not intended to be a complete home inspection."

Bill, the inspector is not required and advised against entering wet crawlspaces due that being an unsafe condition. So, if the pipe was leaking heavily then he wouldn’t have entered and wouldn’t be able to report it! Kinda the old chicken and egg scenario… Just kidding poor workmanship may result in liability. We are likely going to see it in the form of lawsuits here especially since insurance companies are double checking 4 points these days. I do everything the same on a four point as I do for the home inspections but only on the four points requested. I hardly ever do one except with a full inspection anyway.

Sound like we should right a SOP for four points!

On another note, I got a compliment from underwriting for State Farm today. They said when they see our name Honor Construction they know it is correct. :mrgreen: