Florida SoP new thread

As requested, here is a new thread for the proposed Florida Standards of Practice.
A word version is attached.
A PDF of the entire legislation is also attached.

Thanks. I am on my phone and have no idea how to use it for this stuff…thanks

Sound very wise to me. Less is more.:smiley:

We should worry about our own businesses and should not try to tell others how to run theirs.

I don’t see a problem with it. If anything, it has less requirements for compliance than the INACHI standards of practice we are already required to follow.

With respect to the fines and all that what would you expect, I’d rather know what the fine is in advance should I be found non-compliant than to have the # and penalty pulled from a hat.

I don’t have a problem with it either.
Make up their minds on appliances and go to press.

OK here we go in little chunks…anyone have a probl;em with the definitions? OR anything in the information posted below? If so make you changes in red so we know what you want the change to be. ALL input is appreciated.

State of Florida Standards of Practice

61-30.801 Definitions
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) Alarm Systems: Warning devices, installed or free standing, including but not limited to:
carbon monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors, security equipment, ejector pumps and
smoke alarms.
(2) Architectural Service: Any practice involving the art and science of building design for
construction of any structure or groupings of structures and the use of space within and surrounding the
structures or the design for construction, including but not specifically limited to, schematic design, design
development, preparation of construction contract documents, and administration of the construction
(3) Automatic Safety Controls: Devices designed and installed to protect systems and components
from unsafe conditions.
(4) Component: A part of a system.
(5) Decorative: Ornamental; not required for the operation of the essential systems and
s of a home.
(6) Describe: To distinguish a system or component by its type or other observed significant
characteristics to distinguish it from other systems or c
(7) Dismantle: To take apart or remove any c
, device or piece of equipment that would
not be taken apart or removed by a homeowner in the course of normal and routine homeowner
(8) Engineering Services: Any professional service or creative work requiring engineering
education, training and experience and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, material
and engineering services to such professional service or creative work as consultation, investigation,
evaluation, planning, design and supervision of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance with
the specifications and design, in conjunction with structures, buildings, machines, equipment, works or
(9) Additional evaluation: Examination and analysis by a qualified professional engineer,
contractor, tradesman or service technician beyond that provided by the home inspection.
(10) Home inspection: The process by which a *home inspector *visually examines the readily
accessible systems and Components of a home which describes those systems and Components in
accordance with these Standards of Practice.
(11) Household Appliances: Ranges, cook-tops, built-in dishwashers, food waste disposers,
garage door openers, built-in ovens, built-in microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers,
clothes dryers, built-in trash compactors, ceiling fans or whole-house fans.)
(12) Inspect: To examine readily accessible systems and Components of a building in
accordance with these Standards of Practice, using *normal operating controls *and opening readily
openable access panels
(13) Home Inspector: A person hired to examine any *system or component of a building in
accordance with these Standards of Practice.
(14) Installed: Attached such that removal requires tools.
(15) Normal operating controls:
Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the homeowner.
(16) Readily accessible: Available for visual inspection without requiring dismantling or
destructive means to gain access, moving of items including but not limited to, furniture, personal property,
stored items, clothing, wall or floor covering, or debris dismantling, or any action which will likely involve
risk to persons or property.
(17) Readily Openable Access Panel: A panel provided for homeowner inspection and
maintenance that is within normal reach, can be removed by one person and is not sealed in place.
(18) Recreational Facilities: Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, exercise, entertainment,
athletic, playground or other similar equipment and associated accessories.
(19) Report: To communicate in writing.
(20) Representative Number: One component per room for multiple similar interior components
such as window and electric outlets; one c
omponent *on each side of the building for multiple similar
exterior components.
(21) Roof Drainage Systems: *Components *used to carry water off a roof and away from a
(22) Service Life: Service life is the expected lifetime, or the acceptable period of use in service
of a particular system or component. It is the time that any manufactured item can be expected to be
‘serviceable’, providing proper maintenance has taken place over the period concerned. Service life may
vary from region to region, and inspection to inspection based on the home being inspected and the
professional opinion and findings of the inspector.
(23) Significantly deficient: Not operating in the manner in which the *system *or component was
designed to operate or not capable of performing its intended function.
(24) Shut Down: A state in which a *system *or *component *cannot be operated by normal
operating controls.
(25) Solid Fuel Burning Appliances: A hearth and fire chamber or similar prepared place in
which a fire may be built and which is built in conjunction with a chimney; or a listed assembly of a fire
chamber, its chimney and related factory-made parts designed for unit assembly without requiring field
(26) Structural Component: A *component *that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead
loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads).
(27) System: A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out
one or more functions.
(28) Technically Exhaustive: An investigation that involves dismantling; the extensive use of
advanced techniques, measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, or other means.
(29) Under-floor Crawl Space: The area within the confines of the foundation and between the
ground and the underside of the floor.
(30) Unsafe: A condition in a readily accessible, installed *system *or *component *which is judged to
be a significant risk of personal injury during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage,
deterioration, improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction standards.
(31) Wiring Methods: Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such
as “non-metallic sheathed cable” (“Romex”), “armored cable” (“bx”) or “knob and tube”, etc.

I posted this in one of the other threads.

Here is a suggestion to make editing the SOP more bite size: How about having willing and active members divide the SOP up by section and a group of members tackle each section and then report their findings/recommendations back to you. You could then compile the changes and present at the next chapter meeting- as well as sending the results and recommended changes to the council.

This approach may take some pressure off you and break it down into more manageable sections.

Let’s not make this into a giant production.

The SoP mirrors NACHIS ASHIS, and others.
There may be a few things that could be tweaked and I think they were mentioned in the old thread, but I don’t think we need 20 committees to decide what needs to be changed.

One thing I don’t feel is appropriate is under General limitations 61-30.813 item # 15 states that “Inspector is not required to operate… or equipment which in the opinion of the inspector may fail during the act of inspection.”

My fear with this clause is that should an item fail during operation parties may point to this clause saying we should have been able to predict the failure and not operated it, thereby avoiding any resulting costs or damages.

Another item I noticed was with 61-30.808 item 4 states specifically what floor coverings are not required to be inspected, linoleum, tile, cork, wood and others are ommitted. I generally do comment on flooring but I am aware some others may not always. It appears as though unless the flooring is speciffically carpet that the inspector should be listing the deficiencies under this section.

Thanks Brian…,…these are the exact situations I am talking about. Lets get it RIGHT now instead of trying to change it later. I mean EXACTLY right…

I can understand the reasoning. If you see that there is a split in the top of the garage door and you test it anyway and then the whole thing falls apart, then you are in trouble. I am pretty sure that in the rest of the SoP somewhere it says items not inspected and the reason why. I think they are trying to tie everything together to let the inspector not inspect something he feels may break, but also at the same time, document it so everyone knows.

I have always mentioned damaged floor coverings in my reports as well. I think now that someone realized that in some instances, it can be a significant amount of money to repair or in some instances, replace a damaged floor.
On a home I just inspected, the laminate floor was water damaged and buckled in a bunch of areas. Three floor companies came out and all said at least 5K to replace the floor, no repair possible.
I am all for it.

It looks as good as anything other SOP.

I don’t think we should ever be required to inspect or comment on floor coverings. JMO.:wink:

The floor above was just one instance. Broken tiles that can’t be matched, wood flooring that has to be replaced, hidden damage,etc.
That can get expensive.
Then again, so can window treatments and I don’t inspect them.:wink:

I was pointing these things out so that we are aware of them. I am concerned that many may not notice the floor covering item and get stuck later. The liability issue regarding the possibility of being held accountable for “failure during testing” still exists, your’e example Eric is understood as something avoidable I am concerned about something which is undecernable until after the fact.

I also have a problem with them asking specifically for heating capability in BTU’s or kilowatts. Too often the info plate on airhandlers down here lacks the designation of a KW for the heat strip and there is no way to convert the tonnage (for heat)to BTU’s or KW without that info.

Russell, I’ll put some hours in and post all my concerns here in a few days, I just got back from a cruise to Aruba and got my hands full juggling work and a nasty case of buffett withdrawl. This having to cook and feed yourself sucks.

I agree with you that the concerns should be brought to light. Every inspector in Florida should review the new SoP and become very familiar with it. I already have it implemented in my forms ready to go when it is approved.

I do agree with you with regards to the heat strip and for that matter, the a/c tonnage. Only in the sense that we are not supposed to be giving capacities and I think that putting those numbers in the report, may give that idea to a sharp attorney.
As for the average consumer, probably not as I have been doing it for over 15 years.

It would be nice to hear from other inspectors on this matter. If you are a member then this message board, parts of it anyway, are perfect opportunities to make your concerns known.

Here are a few items to look at. Most I do anyhow, but others may not.
I do not run washer dryer unless client asks me to.

The problem with “floor coverings” isn’t carpeting a floor covering? What if it is stained? What is there is a small tear or rip? What if there is a small rip in the linoleum? I think personally as far a “floor coverings” go it should be up to the inspector and should not be mandated, but I will do as the people want…

The Standards were developed by the Florida Home Inspectors Council with input from each Association rep using some portions of each Standard of Practice, which are very similar.

Having worked at developing home inspection standards for more than 10 years, I would suggest that you aren’t going to make these any better and at the same time keep all 5000+ home inspectors in the state happy.

If you see any mistakes, suggest corrections, but otherwise, you are probably beating a dead horse.

From my understanding, the SOP is done and waiting to be signed off on.

That is what I heard as well Bill. Which is why I am not arguing with it.
The only thing I don’t do now that I guess I’ll start doing is to list the kw. I hope I can stand it!:mrgreen: