You’re correct in assuming that I would ask for the name of the inspector and the inspection company if anyone approached me to consult with them regarding home inspection standards in a dispute with a home inspector. I absolutely would not consider accepting such work if I knew, directly or indirectly, of the individual or company – period. I’ve done this on multiple occasions in the course of my career and in every instance I’ve declined the work because I’ve always been acquainted with the inspector and/or the company.
Other ***ProSpex ***subscribers understand and agree with the purpose of the website information. They, like I, believe that the only way to get the attention of the major professional associations for home inspectors with regard to the problems with their standards is be made aware of the potential for an inspector who adheres to their standards lose in court because of the standards and then to turn around and file a suit against the home inspection association.
This could be avoided if even one of the major associations were to adopt the ProSpex Uniform Standards of Practice for the Performance of Professional Home Inspections. The ProSpex Uniform Standards apply only to site-built and factory-built homes designed and intended to remain at a single building site and attached to a permanent foundation.
They follow the format of both industry standards and building codes by addressing and referring to actions, inclusions, limitations, and exclusions rather by referring to what is required or not required of an individual performing a home inspection. By focusing on the inspection process and not the individual home inspector, the ProSpex Uniform Standards provide true guidance rather than didactic direction for individuals who choose to apply them to home inspections.
Perhaps the single most foolish and potentially dangerous change in home inspection standards has been the incorporation of the concept that home inspectors are performing “safety” inspections and are in the business of “protecting” buyers from avaricious real estate agents, dishonest home sellers, and a myriad of “things that go bump in the night.” The ProSpex Uniform Standards intentionally exclude any reference to specific examination of any systems or components for “safety.” The inclusion of evaluations for “safety” or for “unsafe” conditions in current home inspection standards places inspectors in an untenable position. It makes them responsible for any and all actual or potential “unsafe” or “safety” related conditions. It also leads inspectors to try to perform building code compliance evaluations instead of home inspections by requiring inspectors to report as adverse conditions, “grandfathered” or intact and fully functional installations which were approved by the AHJ at the time of original construction.
Home inspections performed in accordance with the*** ProSpex*** Uniform Standards apply only to systems and components present and able to be inspected at the time of the inspection. They don’t contain the ambiguities and outright contradictions which all current standards contain. They’re written as individual standards for each major system. This permits an inspector to have and apply the applicable individual standard or standards when a client requests inspection of some but not all of the major systems.
I’m prepared to give the ProSpex Uniform Standards, free of charge, to any home inspector association that wants them and all I ask in return is that ProSpex be given attribution in the document. While I’m a retired member of ASHI, I’m not wedded to any professional association. I’d like nothing better than to see NACHI leap out in front of ASHI and NAHI because NACHI has the foresight to recognize the need for a better and a different kind of standards. Were NACHI to adopt the*** ProSpex*** Uniform Standards, they would be far ahead of the other organizations and it would make it much more difficult to use the standards against an inspector. NACHI could truly say that they were the leader in home inspection standards. Based on my own familiarity with various home inspection standards, the current NACHI Standards look like a document cobbled together from bits and pieces of other standards. Not just NACHI members but all home inspectors deserve a standard that will hold up, one that doesn’t create the potential for increasing their legal exposure.
My sole motive here is to bring these associations to their senses and to serve as a catalyst for change. Ideally, I’d like to see a groundswell among home inspectors for change. I’ve certainly got your attention. It’s always more effective when change comes from below rather than when it’s imposed by those at the top. Even though the website costs me money, I hope that I never make a nickel from consulting with a plaintiff’s attorney in a case against a home inspector. I’d like nothing better than to remove my website and never consult with anyone working against an inspector. I’d like to take my website down because one of the major home inspector associations has recognized the need for better standards and has produced standards that really protect home inspectors instead of doing what, in my opinion they’re currently doing - exposing them to potential litigation. But I’m a realist. I’ve tried for twenty years to get the attention of ASHI for twenty years but my imprecations have fallen, with a few exceptions, on deaf ears. I want to improve the profession which has done so much for me and the only way I know how to get the attention of the various associations and their members regarding their standards is to hold out the potential of hitting them where it hurts – in the pocketbook. As I said, I hope it never comes to that. I’d much prefer that one of the major associations steps up and assumes the role of visionary leadership with regard to standards instead of simply resting on the status quo.
You’re a member of NACHI. Look over the material which follows this letter and then email me. I’ll call you so we can further discuss it. It’s a critique of some, but certainly not all, of the problems with the current NACHI Standards. I’m not singling out NACHI. ASHI, NAHI, and CREIA as well as Arizona and other regulated states have just as many problems with their standards; many of them are the same ones that affect the NACHI Standards. I’ve sent you the material on the NACHI Standards because you’re a NACHI member and you apply their Standards to your work. I’d like for you to become better informed regarding some of the problems with the document that you hang your hat on. If you think that other NACHI members and, through them, NACHI itself might be interested in new standards, let me know and maybe we can work on getting them to consider the approach taken in the ProSpex Uniform Standards.
You’re young, ambitious, and smart.
Keep thinking; you do it well,