Inspector is not required?

I am going through the inter-Nachi SOP, I was wondering if I did perform some of the “inspector is not required to“ items, am I opening myself up to possible lawsuits? I am sure that my clients would appreciate some of those items performed under their basic Home Inspection, I’m just a little worried about going off the beaten path.

You’re good, Gary.

If it says that the inspector is not required to walk the roof (it doesn’t say you can not walk the roof) and it is safe to walk, the client may be a little pissed that you didn’t walk it for a closer view to see things that one cannot see from the eaves or ground.

Going the “extra mile” for your clients is what will distinguish you from your competitors!

Always be safe!


I noticed in section 3.2 of the SOP “the inspector is not required to“ “ Inspector is not required P: Determine the integrity of multiple pane window glazing or thermal window seals“.
In section 3.10; doors windows and interior, “The inspector shall report as need of correction“, III: C. “Any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals
These two statements kind of confuses me what I should do and what I should not do.
I am perplexed, What do you guys think?

This how I report it:

There were several windows that had failed thermal seals and there was moisture inside. Typically, replacing the windows is the only way to resolve this issue.

NOTE: Home Inspectors cannot determine the integrity of the thermal seal in every double-glazed window. Evidence of failed seals may be more or less visible from one day to the next depending on the exterior weather and inside conditions (temperature, humidity, sunlight, etc.).


In most cases, the sash can be removed and the glazing can be replaced so the window itself can remain intact. This can also be done on vinyl window sashes.


It just means you don’t have to perform some kind of test to determine the integrity of the seal, If its obviously bad then you report it . Like Stephen said , it can be noticeable one day and not the next or even different times of the day. You just have to make sure its not exterior moisture because a well insulated window will condense moisture if there’s no heat transfer from the interior heating the exterior pane above the dew point


Be safe, be consistent and be competent in what you do.


Thank you for the clarification, makes sense to me now…

From my take on it, Real Estate Agents/Brokers would hope/wish/want/ Inspector is not required. Lol.

I concur Marcel. Why throw the baby out with the bath water?
The window thermal glazing is replaced removing outer trim; The outer sashes.

It use to be in my neck of the woods, the window installation and repair contractors sales representatives would try to sell the window package. This was till quite recently. I talked to clients and especially real estate professionals to demand a priority from window installation and repair contractors to replace the glazing only to lower costs for home owners. By doing so that company’s name will distributed / refereed more often. Common sense! Honest companies sell you what you need.

Some window manufacturers will send you out a new sash , doesn’t really cost much more than sending a glass pack.

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Anderson Windows is excellent on this. Give them the code in the corner of the glazing and you can get any part that pertains to that window. Balances, glazing, vinyl jambs, locks, etc…



There are times when issues can be confusing. Experience helps sort this out. You are not a warranty service nor should you be fearful of frivolous lawsuits. Your job is to report conditions as they exist at the time of the inspection, clearly and with conviction from your experience and beliefs. At times this business can be frustrating because everyone likes to Monday morning quarterback your inspection and report. Contractors love to go against the findings of home inspectors because they have no one to answer to. They can say whatever they want and charge whatever they want without penalty. We are for the most part highly regulated and carefully watched by the public, by our clients, by realtors, attorneys, sellers, etc. We are scrutinized and held accountable for what we say and report. Again you report what you see.

Standards of practice and customs vary between states, parts of the country, etc. Adhere to local customs and any regulations you are required to inspect by.

Some SOP’s say you don’t have to inspect appliances which are not built into the dwelling. A dishwasher has electrical and water hookups so that is built in and should be inspected. Even where not required inspectors inspect all appliances which are to remain with the house as a courtesy to their clients. How do I know which appliances to inspect? I ask my client. If they are bringing their own washer and dryer I have them sign off on my pre-inspection agreement that I did not inspect the washer and dryer because the client agreed to omit them.

It is up to you to decide what to inspect or omit from the SOP items that we don’t have to inspect. Whatever you do standardize your inspection and use the same process on every house so you don’t miss anything.

Don’t inspect with fear. That will cause you alot of excess mental grief and stress. If you come across something you do not understand or have never seen and you do not know what to report take alot of pictures and consult with an experienced inspector in your area or research the item online. There is always a solution to any problem.

The problem clients that will call you and threaten to sue will have the same reaction to you or an inspector with 25 years experience who is an expert at this. You both get the same unreasonable reaction from a client with a sense of entitlement. Make sure your pre inspection agreement lists all of the items you inspect as well as all of the items you don’t. Your client should leave the inspection with a full understanding of what you are there for. You are not there to warranty or guaranty anything, If you don’t inspect something say why. If you find a serious problem make sure there is an action step for the client to take prior to closing. This way if the client asks the seller to fix something and the seller balks (this happens all the time) you are not caught in the loop when the seller buys the house anyway and finds out that this problem should have been addressed. .

I will reread your statement, very good suggestions “support”, thank you…