How far will you go?

Did my first “barndominium” last summer and it came back to bite me. According to a county building inspector, the elevated “parking lot” needs a railing around it to the tune of $6800. Definitely my error. I have E&O insurance and client signed the agreement. If I stick to the signed agreement then i’m worried about my reputation, but $6800 is over a month in inspection fees thst would hurt incredibly. Your thoughts?

What is this? Got any pictures?

There were no barriers for vehicles?

1 Like

Back and side of property

That’s so not enough information for anyone here to opine on anything.


Yeah… hard to advise with such random/incomplete information. Why does what a county building inspector say have any impact on you? What is an “elevated parking lot” and why does it NEED a railing (and, again, why does this have anything to do with you)? What the hell is a “barndominium”? And why do you think this is “definitely my error”? If it’s your error, write a check or call the E/O company - what’s the question here?


Makes no sense here, No elevated parking lot in the pictures :eyes:

Sorry for the confusion. If the agreement indicates we are not liable for unreported defects, how far monetarily would you go to protect your reputation? Sure we can just point to the agreement, but I also don’t want bad reviews.

You can’t say we are not liable for unreported defects. If you miss something, it’s “unreported”… if you don’t report that the roof has a leak, you would still be liable…
That’s where the “omissions” of e&o insurance comes in.
Are they threatening to sue?
The only way your agreement would help is if it said you are not required to report on parking structures

And in my opinion, a bad review for not reporting on missing barriers prob wouldn’t scare people away from using you… much better than saying you missed other common issues.

I would not have too much faith in that, at all.

A barndominium is a combination house and garage or house and barn. This does not fall under the IRC, but probably will need design plans based on IBC codes. Barns, shop buildings, etc. are not require to support design loads that house people. I would think this would fall under a commercial inspection or a special inspection involving some proof of engineering design requirements. Vehicle barriers is listed under the 2018 IBC code 406.4.2

406.4.2 Vehicle barriers. Vehicle barriers not less than 2 feet 9 inches in height shall be placed where the vertical distance from the floor of a drive lane or parking space to the ground or surface directly below is greater than 1 foot. Vehicle barriers shall comply with the loading requirements of Section 1607.8.3

Vehicle barriers for passenger vehicles shall be designed to resist a concentrated load of 6,000
pounds in accordance with Section 4.5.3 of ASCE 7. Garages accommodating trucks and buses shall be designed in accordance with an approved method that contains provisions for traffic railings.

Is your inspection agreement for commercial buildings? That guardrail requirement will likely require some engineered plans and/or approval.

Are you willing to post your agreement?

1 Like

It really depends on the terms of your contract with the client. If you agreed to perform a code inspection, I guess you’re liable. If you stuck with the SOPs you wouldn’t be liable unless you included language that included that somehow. If you’re going to expand your services, you might want to contact Joe Ferry (one of InterNACHI’s friends, he specializes in home inspection law) and let him go over your agreements. You might also contact him about this instead of asking other inspectors.

  1. Where is the elevated parking lot? Does not show in Pics.
  2. Since its obviously a rehab, WHY did the county inspector NOT call this when the seller got his permit and code inspections to start with?
  3. If no permits / code inspections were done, did the seller disclose this to the buyers?
  4. Did you tell buyers you were doing a code inspection OR a home inspection?
  5. If the code inspector decided he wanted the house painted purple - Is that your responsibility?
  6. If that garage door opens by the eating area, I’d be more concerned with no firewall and a combustible floor, etc.
  7. My pocket book is more important than a reputation for something I did not do / code inspection.