Code of Ethics Question

I am a newer Inspector, (June '09) and business is picking up. I look forward to a time when I can inspect full time, but until then, I also work as a salesman/designer for a local cabinet co.

I have been able to network with several RE agents, some who know me from kitchens that I have worked on.

I agree with the “12 month” rule regarding repairs on inspected properties, but here is my situation.

A RE agent refers a client to me for an inspection and tells the client that he should also talk to me about replacing the kitchen. When I inspect the property, the kitchen in this otherwise mostly well kept property is partially demo’ed and there is extensive and obvious termite damage. Also, the lower level apt. kitchen has been completely removed.

I feel like this is a case where I am not “selling” a kitchen, the customer already knows that they must have it replaced.

Is this a conflict of interest? I want to do the right thing.

Also, I am located in St. Croix, USVI an Island of 50,000. There are very few inspectors and even fewer cabinet shops!

Your thoughts?

Dave Schnur
St. Croix Home Inspections

Ultimately, you must do what is right for you and allows you to make a living, preferably ethically, serving the small population available to you.

However, a quick read of the Standards of Practice seems to say kitchen appliances and cabinets are specifically excluded from the Stands of Practice inspection. And the Code of Ethics section below (see bold) says if it’s not included in the Standards of Practice inspection, the provision does NOT apply.

Go forth and make a living.

The InterNACHI member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or repair-associated services to structure on which the member or member’s company has prepared a home inspection report, for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems which are not included in the InterNACHI standards of practice.

2.10. Doors, Windows & Interior
I. The inspector shall:
[INDENT]A. open and close a representative number of doors and windows;
B. inspect the walls, ceilings, steps, stairways and railings;
C. and report as in need of repair any spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles or rails for steps, stairways and railings that permit the passage of an object greater than 4 inches in diameter;
D. inspect garage doors and garage door openers by operating first by remote (if available), and then by the installed automatic door control;
E. and report as in need of repair any installed electronic sensors that are not operable or not installed at proper heights above the garage door;
F. and report as in need of repair any door locks or side ropes that have not been removed or disabled when garage door opener is in use;
G. and report as in need of repair any windows that are obviously fogged or display other evidence of broken seals.

II. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.
B. inspect central vacuum systems.
C. inspect safety glazing.
D. inspect security systems or components.
E. evaluate the fastening of countertops, cabinets, sink tops or fixtures.
F. move furniture, stored items, or any coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in order to inspect the concealed floor structure.
G. move drop-ceiling tiles.
H. inspect or move any household appliances.
I. inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage, except as otherwise noted.
J. verify or certify safe operation of any auto-reverse or related safety function of a garage door.
K. operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal standards.
L. operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes, combinations or devices.
M. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches or signal lights.
N. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens.
O. operate or examine any sauna, steam-jenny, kiln, toaster, ice-maker, coffee-maker, can-opener, bread-warmer, blender, instant hot water dispenser, or other small, ancillary devices.
P. inspect elevators.
Q. inspect remote controls.
R. inspect appliances.
S. inspect items not permanently installed.
T. discover firewall compromises.
U. examine or operate any above-ground, movable, freestanding, or otherwise non-permanently installed pool/spa, recreational equipment or self-contained equipment.
V. come into contact with any pool or spa water in order to determine the system structure or components.
W. determine the adequacy of spa jet water force or bubble effect.
X. determine the structural integrity or leakage of a pool or spa.


Next time, tell the realtor to have the owner hire you to replace the kitchen, first. There is nothing wrong with inspecting your own work.

The paper trail that you leave behind should never allow anyone to read where you reported a broken X, and charged the client to fix it. It detracts from the integrity of your report and makes it appear as little more than a method to market your contracting business.

This is just something that professional home inspectors do not do. It is what sets us apart.

Although kitchens are not specifically listed as an item in the SOP, it is part of the interior functioning components of the interior of the Dwelling.
We are hired to inspect the condition of said property and the functionality of kitchen cabinets in a habitable dwelling is part of the scope.

The InterNACHI member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or repair-associated services to structure on which the member or member’s company has prepared a home inspection report, for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems which are not included in the InterNACHI standards of practice.

Home Inspection: The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a home, and operates those systems and components utilizing these Standards of Practice as a guideline.

The SOP is a guideline.

In March of this year, I was unemployed from my regular job and was asked to go repair a house I inspected 5 months prior. The client wanted me to do the work.
As much as I needed the work at the time of the request, I denied the offer based on the Code of Ethics.
Her advisor was a Lawyer that gives me work and was the Lawyer that asked me to go do her repairs.
Now the Lawyer knows where I stand. :slight_smile:


I get it!

I consider myself a straight shooter, so I will pass the kitchen off to another salesman (I am just an employee of the cabinet co.).

Thanks for the input!

Dave Schnur
St. Croix Home Inspections

You are bound by the code of ethics to do the right thing. I don’t know how well it is enforced though. I have found disscussions here where certain people make it crystal clear they are not going to abide by these rules.

In Texas it would be agin the law.

Yeah me too! The problem is not with the rules it is the way they get bent. Fact is anyone with the conscience of mind to ask these questions is moral enough not to need them at all, pity is the ones who fail to adhere to them are least likely to perform services in a manner that will benefit the consumer.

Would’nt blatent admission be grounds to revolke NACHI benefits??? What good is a code of ethics if it is not enforced? If it’s there to read in black and white, what other proof do you need?

Sean Sean you naive young man lol

Fly me down and I will do the inspection while you quote on the kitchen(s). It will take me about two weeks to do the job properly of course and I will require a lot of time alone to process the report.

I am packed and ready for your call.