New Construction Inspection Requirements

I just received a call asking if I could inspect new construction. Here are the requirements they listed:

Inspector must be an ICC Residential Combination Inspector;

Inspector must maintain general liability insurance in the amount of at least One Million U.S. Dollars

($1,000,000.00); and

Inspector must have a valid business license in the jurisdiction in which the inspection is being performed; and

Inspector must be licensed in any state requiring the licensure of home inspectors.

It appears that the ICC Residential Combination Inspector requires a separate exam and certification. Does anyone have any experience in this area?


You are correct. Separate credential

1 Like
1 Like

In a nutshell, ICC is the recognized authority regarding knowledge of CODES.
Basically, when inspecting New Construction, you will expected to know and understand all CODES related to the structure you are inspecting, and be prepared to cite the code for every discrepancy that you report that is not ‘damage’ based.
Note: InterNachi courses ARE NOT a replacement for ICC Certification.

Exam ID Prerequisite Exam/Certification(s)
B1 Residential Building Inspector
E1 Residential Electrical Inspector
M1 Residential Mechanical Inspector
P1 Residential Plumbing Inspector

A few of us here at NACHI held that designation at one time, I gave it up for two reasons the continuing education requirements and no one ever cared because outside of the trades no one has ever heard of the ICC. If you could study each one then pass the exam in a quarter then it would take you about a year to accomplish. Good luck, upon completion of this journey you’ll have many of your questions answered.


Thank you for everyone’s replies. I’m glad we have specific free training on codes. ICC charges members $69 per module or $280 for the four required. I guess knowing codes can’t hurt on normal home inspections.

It may not be worth it. I wonder how many lenders require it?

I’ve never run into one yet. The list of requirements is a way for the Builder to control who steps foot on their property, and to establish the hoops an inspector and buyer needs to jump through to even “qualify” for the privilege of “inspecting and critiquing” their work! Bottom line, unless it’s a commercial property, they don’t want you anywhere near the home until after it is sold and transferred to the new owner… (after closing)!


I cannot speak for everywhere, but attaining these certs is expensive and time consuming. The builders that require this, I just pass. I do have an interest in the certs, but not to satisfy builders.


That is what I am running into here. The builder is not allowing me to walk the roof. They aren’t allowing me to open the electrical panel. I am required to report on some of the components in the electrical panel according to my states standard of practice. That’s OK I talk my buyers into doing a post closing inspection. The post closing inspection also in verifies the repairs that should have been made prior to closing were made. I haven’t had one client turn down the post closing inspection yet.


That’s precisely the wording they had. That if I didn’t meet all these requirements then I would be trespassing. So, they don’t want anyone until after closing. I will offer a post inspection. Great idea! Thank you very much.


^^^^ This mostly. However I will say in defense of Builders who want this (WOW did I just say that? LOL) some do have a semi good reason to try restricting access. I have been told by more than one they are tired of having to answer to Inspector calls when they call out something that is not required according the Building Code(s) they are required to build under and instead is a call based on an SOP not intended for new construction. Even here in Texas our SOP which covers new home finals has dumb chit in it!

As for the $1M GL requirement I have no issues with that since GL is cheap anyhow. However the ones I pass on are the ones that demand the Inspector to name them as an “Additional Insured” on the policy. Aint never gonna happen Bubba! That has the potential to cause you great grief!


You can and should offer a post closing inspection HOWEVER you better be damn careful how you push it! Read the purchase contracts and Builder warranties and the Buyer needs to have that inspection BEFORE closing. I’ve seen so many of these contracts and warranties from different Builders you can easily put your E&O on the hook.

These contracts are typically worded such that the client has to identify issues before closing and the Builder either fixes them or puts them on an exception to closing list to have them fixed after closing. If the issues are not identified and it isn’t a specific warranty coverage item then the Builder typically has a “Too Bad, So Sad it isn’t getting fixed” clause. Then you read the warranty and see where that problem is considered a “Homeowner maintenance” or “Normal wear and tear” type item. Even something as simple and stupid as FUBAR sealants around a large portion of or the whole exterior can cost a lot to properly repair.

Your best bet instead is to either turn it down without referencing a post closing inspection or get a well written contract signed before closing explaining these exclusions, or referring them to another and trying to get them to remember you for the one year warranty inspection point.


Absolutely even though you don’t reference them it can help better understand what you see as they are a good training tool for inspecting. Also the Building Codes do not create good building practices and instead good building practices are what create the building codes. Of course the codes can’t keep up with every new material or method but starting with them helps point you in that direction anyhow.

Yes I do and the R-5 certification is not a separate exam but just a separate “Designation” you can apply for. To obtain the R-5 designation you take the same 4 separate area tests and just apply it to the R-5 Designation. It’s just a shorter way of saying you took all 4 tests.

What a dumbass BB this is!! I just tried replying to posts individually and there is an automatic rule you can not make more than 3 posts in a row before someone else “Replies” to one of your previous posts. Just more stupid crap from this BB meant for Butthurt people! :roll_eyes:


That’s what concerns me. I don’t want be in the middle of that legal battle. I want to learn the codes but I can do that through our educational program.

Thanks for your reply. So, can you use our educational programs and just take the four exams? Then you just apply that to get your certification? I asked ICC for a total cost to get certified but they didn’t reply with an exact cost. Doesn’t create a lot of confidence in going through the process.

Cry me a river, lol. There are many things found that are not addressed in code. I serve multiple jurisdictions, those amendments are not listed in the ICC.

It’s a barrier to entry, nothing more nothing less. That’s my 2 cents.


I don’t know what’s in the INACHI training programs so can’t say. I obtained my R-5 in 2005, well before the INACHI training. BTW the R-5 designation is the residential side based around the IRC.

Each person needs to find the way that best works for them to train for the tests. If you need it the tests are open book although they really are simple and logical and if you become familiar with the codes you won’t need the book(s). All you can use in the test if you want it is an unmarked copy of the IRC. They will check it out at the test center to ensure it has not been marked in and does not contain additional materials. So if you are serious about it the first thing to do is order the code book itself (paper copy) so you can take it with you as they only allow paper copy in the test center (or did back then).

I found the best way to prepare was to actually read the code book and apply it as I was going through the sections. The first thing to learn is how they arranged the actual code book and then you can get into the meat of it. If your goal is to open the book during the test and you don’t know how it is arranged it can cost you serious test time. That’s why I learned it my way and never opened the book for the tests except for one funky question on a subject we never see here in Texas.

As you read the book actually apply it both to what is around you as you’re reading it and when you go on site for an inspection even though you’re not inspecting to code and won’t be referencing it in the report or briefing. If you have no opportunity to apply it and don’t understand it fully then use that topic/section/etc. as a guide for what you need to find with other materials to explain your questions. The further reading is only going to help your knowledge base grow, make you a better Inspector, and make the tests even easier.

There are many paid for training programs out there and quite frankly with one exception I see no value in them. The one exception is the ICC Boot Camp if they still offer it. It’s a one week, fast paced course that if you prepare for can be very invaluable. It isn’t cheap though. So start with the INACHI training and if you choose my method as well to see how you feel about progressing. Then you can pay the big bucks for the IRC paper copy if you want to move forward.

Remember the codes are about building from the ground up. So if you don’t do phase inspections and get to see the bones of the house, and only do new home finals and existing homes, there is a lot in the codes you would never use. At that point it might not even be worth getting your certifications. If you’re not getting the certs then just use the free online code access to go through the codes and learn but definitely use it to learn!


From the IRC, sorry for the crappy formatting but this BB has other problems and this is one with cut and paste.

Effective Use of the International Residential Code

It is important to understand that the IRC contains coverage for what is conventional and com-
mon in residential construction practice. While the IRC will provide all of the needed coverage for
most residential construction, it might not address construction practices and systems that are
atypical or rarely encountered in the industry. Sections such as R301.1.3, R301., R320.1,
M1301.1, G2401.1 and P2601.1 refer to other codes either as an alternative to the provisions of the
IRC or where the IRC lacks coverage for a particular type of structure, design, system, appliance or
method of construction. In other words, the IRC is meant to be all inclusive for typical residential
construction and it relies on other codes only where alternatives are desired or where the code
lacks coverage for the uncommon aspect of residential construction. Of course, the IRC constantly
evolves to address new technologies and construction practices that were once uncommon, but are
now common.

R101.3 Intent. The purpose of this code is to establish mini-
mum requirements to safeguard the public safety, health and
general welfare through affordability, structural strength,
means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, light and venti-
lation, energy conservation and safety to life and property
from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environ-
ment, and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency
responders during emergency operations.

R102.1 General. Where there is a conflict between a general
requirement and a specific requirement, the specific require-
ment shall be applicable. Where, in any specific case, differ-
ent sections of this code specify different materials, methods
of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive
shall govern.
R102.2 Other laws. The provisions of this code shall not be
deemed to nullify any provisions of local, state or federal law.

R102.4 Referenced codes and standards. The codes and
standards referenced in this code shall be considered part of
the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each
such reference and as further regulated in Sections R102.4.1
and R102.4.2.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would
violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or
appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer’s
instructions shall apply.

R104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of
construction and equipment. The provisions of this code
are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or
to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifi-
cally prescribed by this code. The building official shall have
the authority to approve an alternative material, design or
method of construction upon application of the owner or the
owner’s authorized agent. The building official shall first find
that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the
intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material,
method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less
than the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality,
strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
Compliance with the specific performance-based provisions
of the International Codes shall be an alternative to the spe-
cific requirements of this code. Where the alternative material,
design or method of construction is not approved, the building
official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons why the
alternative was not approved.

I can go on and on with the many similar provisions in the code. What it boils down to is that the Building Codes can not keep pace with all of the new materials, techniques, etc., that are constantly occurring and the Codes do provide leeway for this.

Now having said that there are many flaws to the Codes and IMO they do need a MAJOR makeover. They have crap in there that doesn’t apply to the South, North, or even planet Mars! The way they are written is a giant contention between those who want to use them for their altruistic purpose and those that want to ignore them altogether. They do have a process for public input but honestly it means nothing and those controlling the changes don’t want to be usurped or made to look bad which is another problem with the codes.

I can keep going on for volumes but like it or not the Codes are really all we have for any framework of order even though the framework is racked!

1 Like

Very informative. Thank you. The realtor that approached me on this inspection is someone I know personally and he sounded desperate. I’ll try to find him an ICC Residential Inspector for this one. I also have a friend that’s doing a lot of new construction so I thought might as well add some code knowledge to the toolbelt. I like your approach with the paper book. I used the same approach getting my FAA 107 certificate and that wasn’t open book. Lol. Everyone has been great on this thread and I greatly appreciate the advice everyone has offered.