No excuse for missing a structural defect in the roof

Accoring to the Res. SOP:
2.1. Roof
I. The inspector shall inspect from ground level or eaves: A. the roof covering; [and]
E. the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible
panels, doors or stairs.
So, I’m a supposed to inspect the structure of the roof from the ground or eaves; or from the panels, doors and stairs? If you read the SOP 2.1.I.A. and E. all together as a sentence, it doesn’t make sense (IMHO). There are too many vantage points.


I’m not a structural engineer. Why am I required to inspect the structure of the roof from all these vantage points? Gees. What if the slight sag is from a structural defect that is beyond my understanding as a generalist?

A judge might have the opinion: If there’s anything wrong (ANYTHING wrong) with the structure of the roof, there is no excuse for not seeing it, since the inspector is required to inspect the roof structure from all those numerous vantage points.

I believe there appears to be too much emphasis on inspecting the structure of the roof. And there doesn’t need to be.

Do you have any case history to reference, or is this just a guess?

so Ben …do you just dislike the Nachi Sop as a whole as it appears from your posts?

I probably have something to do with the SOP (since I wrote the first draft of the InterNACHI SOP.)
I am familiar with writing SOPs. Wrote the IAC2 Mold SOP and the Radon Mitigation System Inspection SOP.

My belief and sole intention is simple:

All of us inspectors should scrutinize and discuss the SOP to make it concise, effective and valuable. Among many benefits, the SOP protects us. It guides our actions as professionals. Yet, I would guess many of us professional do not read the SOP in great detail, until a client forces us. And that’s too late.


Every year, every inspector should read the SOP. Understand and make suggestions to improve it. There’s always room to improve, especially a document so important to us.

That’s my sole intention. Iron sharpening iron.

So…I take that as a “no”, meaning there are no cases to cite where a judge acted in the manner you described? Good. I didn’t think so.

One of the rules of interpreting contracts among judges and arbitrators are…where the contract is not vague, it does not require interpretation. It is to be taken exactly as written at face value.

Judges and arbitrators do very little, if any, “reading into” the contract to look for its meaning. That is what the attorneys do…and then they try to convince the judge that they are making the correct interpretation by putting their spin on it.

Since it would be illegal…and would null and void every contract…for an unlicensed person to be acting as a structural engineer, it is hardly likely that a judge or arbitrator would leap to your conclusion.

Read again.
I said… “A judge might have the opinion…” etc.

The first judge is my conscience. (soft pitch… now knock it out the park)

	Do you have any case history to reference, or is this just a guess?

Elkouri & Elkouri, How Arbitration Works, Fifth Edition, Chapter 9, Standards for Interpreting Contract Language. “There is no need for interpretation unless the agreement is ambiguous. If the words are plain and clear, conveying a distinct idea, there is no occasion to resort to technical rules of interpretation and the clear meaning will ordinarily be applied by arbitrators.” There is a footnote that refers the reader to 88 LA 1124, 1126.

As you can see…as I previously stated…it is the job of the attorney whose client would gain from an “interpretation” to make the existing language seem unclear and then to “clear it up” again with his spin. Judges and arbitrators are aware of this game.

Thanks for asking.:wink:

(Here’s another tip regarding public inquiry…when defending a point, never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to.)

The inspector shall inspect from ground level or eaves..

What about the inspector who says he did not inspect the roof because he could not reach it with his 12 foot ladder? I just read this in someones sample report from their website.

He gotcha, Ben

Ben, its just saying to also “go in the attic and look at the roof structure”.

I agree that its confusing, I tried to get some excitement going on here when I first started to improve the SOP and was met with a major lack of interest.

The INACHI sop should be tweaked to include and more resemble the NC SOP, other states have basically copied it, TN is one but they copied an old version and never updated.

The first change that is needed is the option for inspectors to do more than what is listed, that way it can not be “exceeded”. NC and SC SOP’s are like that, its impossible to legally exceed them since the option to exceed is already included within them.

NC says:
© This Section does not limit home inspectors from:

(1) Reporting observations and conditions or rendering opinions of items in addition to those required in Paragraph (b) of this Rule fyi: para b is the SOP reference

SC says:
The following Standards provide guidelines for the Residential Home Inspector.
The guidelines outline what the Residential Home Inspector should observe, identify, inspect and describe. The guidelines provide the minimum contents of a written report. These guidelines are not intended to limit the Residential Home Inspector. If the Inspector wishes to provide additional inspection services not covered in the Standards, it is up to each inspector.

I am not aware of how Nick came across or gathered the data to support his claim, nor do I know if it still holds true…but…Nick has publicly stated that there has never been a home inspector who was in compliance with the NACHI SOP to be successfully sued.

I’ll spend some time in the archives searching for his post when I have time.

I mention this because, in my opinion (as well as the opinion of others), changing the SOP should be purposeful. If it isn’t broke, it need not be repaired. If it is broken…show us where with case law…so that the proper measures can be taken to repair it.

Because some member gets a wild thought about what a judge might possibly think…or something along that line…is no reason to change a standard that tens of thousands of home inspectors have learned and used with apparent (according to Nick) success.


I believe the post you are thinking about is the one about the inachi agreement, not the SOP.

Most inspectors could follow the inachi sop without even reading it, it is very basic and has zero surprises in it.

The NC and SC SOP’s have several surprises tucked away in them, I know inspectors with 20+ years of experience that do not know about or understand all of them.

I’m not saying to make radical changes, just insert verbiage that allows inspectors to perform extra inspection/reporting as they may wish to eliminate all of this paranoia about “exceeding the sop”.

I’m glad the state standards have no limitations like that and my agreement covers any extra items that I deem important and report on.