NACHI developing international inspection codes: GlobeCodes.

Although home inspectors do not check for code compliance, some of our work as home inspectors is based on standard codes, especially in the area of occupant safety (the space between railing spindles for example).

NACHI, with the help of an architectural firm and 2 in-NACHI-house architectural interns, is developing a set of international residential and commercial codes. These are all basic, universal post-construction codes (things one might check in the course of a home inspection on a property that is already constructed).

The project, inspired by a request from the Chinese Government, will be called GlobeCodes.

Anyone desiring to assist on a review committee for this project should contact me direct at


I can try to help you develop your International Codes as I am a full-tim Code Official for my local City. I do Home Inspections on nights and week ends.

I have been doing code enforcement for 10 years, Home Inspections for 18 mos. I am a NACHI member in good standing, (Cert. #06071498).

The only problem I might have is to do this long-distance, e-mail etc.

What do you think?

Tom Spoor

First of all, I would suggest that NACHI broaden its base and utilize as resources experts in plumbing, electrical and HVAC in addition to those named.

Second, what you have described ---- “universal post-construction codes (things one might check in the course of a home inspection on a property that is already constructed)” ---- is more of an SOP than a code. A “code” by definition is something that can be enforced. “Things one might check” is totally different.

See the International Code Council’s “International Residential Code: For One and two Family Dwellings” (2003).


Are we talking about the same Chinese? The same one’s that manufacture our TOYS, FISH, and millions of other recalled products?

Another reference might be the ICC’s International Property Maintenance Code-2006. It is worth the time and investment.


What does the Chinese government care about codes, if something fails just have the contractor commit suicide or execute him.

I believe the ICC already has it covered in the International Existing Building Code.

The French had a good idea of two as well.

I thought that was a Japanese practice?
Guess I better catch up on my soc studies . .


Jim B:

I’m not so sure it is an SOP thing. SOP’s describe what to inspect, but not what is correct or incorrect. For instance, our SOP talks about spacing between stair spindles but doesn’t say what exactly it should be. A Global Code would.

Seems to me a bit redundant since as we have been reading here The International Building Code…hence the name, has it pretty much covered. JMHO.

Humberto, so you agree with me that our SOP does not cover it? That our SOP tells us only WHAT to inspect, correct? It asks us to inspect stuff without telling us what is correct or incorrect. I’ll use the spindle spacing as an example again.

There’s a US organiziation that has made a pretty good impact doing just that…check out and .:wink: …I wonder why those sites refer to the International Code Council? Why try to reinvent the wheel? See R312.1 for your example. I think NACHI will get laughed at and ridiculed for attempting something like this, but that’s just me.

Sorry Humberto…I was typing as you were also.

As well it shouldn’t. I have state and city considerations I have to take into account in addition to the ICC codes. You want to throw another one in now? Makes no sense to me.

Michael, so you also agree that our SOP only tells us WHAT to inspect, and doesn’t tell us if that which we are inspecting is correct or incorrect?

Let’s say I don’t disagree with that statement but certainly don’t think a trade organization SOP should go so far as to define the specific parameters.

So it appears that no one disagrees that our SOP (actually all inspection trade association SOPs) does not provide all that is needed. It only tells us WHAT we have to look at, but not how to interpret what we see. Again, I use spindle spacing as an example.

Our SOP tells us to inspect the spacing, but we require some other document or code to tell us whether the spacing is correct or incorrect.

Anyone disagree with this statement so far?

Well, first off I think I’m the only one listening right now…but, no, I do not agree that the NACHI SOP does not provide all that is needed. In the context of this discussion I think it does. If there were no ICC then there would be a problem. However, there is an ICC.

Why, pray tell, would you not simply recommend the Chinese government embrace the ICC codes?

So if a client asks you WHY you are inspecting the spaces between rail spindles you point to our SOP. Fine. But what if the client asks you about the maximum distance allowed between spindles? What do you tell them? More importantly, from where did you draw your answer?