Patio Insulated roof panels

Hi Guys!
So, I have been told “patio insulated roof panels” inspection would be outside of our scope of practice, since it is not structurally attached to the main roof. I am trying to understand why and find out if that’s true… Can someone help me clarifying when I must inspect patio roof and when not to. I am confused…I read over Florida State Standard of Practice and InterNachi Standard of practice… I could not find any clauses related to patio roof.

Thank you for your help!

Who stated that or where did you read it?

You will need to inspect the patio roof (and the rest of the patio) if you plan on inspecting in Florida, we have zillions of them.


Thank you for the response,
I heard that from a home inspector that I know. I am new to the industry and trying to get my facts straight. Can you please forward me references or links where this information is provided so I can better educate myself? Thank you.

Start with your standards of practice.

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So, how is it attached?

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What’s your goal? To inspect less or more?

You can always exceed the SOP, and would hazard to say that every inspector regular on this form does all the time.

The SOP exclusions include:

A. inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences,
outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.
B. inspect items that are not visible or readily accessible from the ground,
including window and door flashing.
D. inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment

A patio seems fully within scope to inspect, unless you want to claim it’s recreational.
If so, you must clearly state in your report that you did NOT inspect it, and frankly be prepared for blowback. You could inspect it, but disclaim expertise on the insulated panel aspect.


You do not have to disclaim expertise because we do not claim expertise on anything. We are generalist performing a visual inspection.

@jdumais Does FL have their own state SOP? If so, start there.


Hi Brian, yes I have read over Florida state standards of practice. It clearly states that we must inspect all visible and accessible roof covering systems and components. I was just trying to understand why my mentor was insisting on disclaiming the patio insulated roof panels.

Thank you Bryce, makes sense. I appreciate your help. Have a great night!

There can be a disclaimer which may be different than omitting them from the inspection. And, just because he omits it, it does not mean that it is right. He just might be getting away with it.


@mgoldenberg are prefab insulated roof panels omitted from 4-point?

We are not talking home inspection SOP here, we’re talking 4 point insurance report. :cowboy_hat_face:

@jdumais is it possible your mentor was speaking of a 4-point inspection when he discussed omitting these panels?

I cannot imagine why he would omit them from a full home inspection.

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Would include “screened” (or non) enclosures"

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For safety sake, I prefer to list anything I did not feel qualified to inspect. How would you suggest instead inspecting an X, but excluding component Y?

Excluding a component and disclaiming expertise are two different things.

You can certainly state your limitations if you so desire in order to clarify a point or to give further direction.

I inspected the pre-fab panels visually. Pre-fab panels are typically installed per manufacturer installation guidelines and I was not provided this documentation. Furthermore, review of plans or installation instructions are outside of our standards of practice. Installation of these systems may also require a work permit which can be obtained at the local building department. Recommend requesting all documentation such as invoices, scope of work, warranties and any applicable permits from the seller.

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As Brian pointed out; home inspectors are not experts, they are observers.

We may have expertise in some areas, but under the scope of these inspections we are not an expert consultant.

Home inspectors refer issues to experts (to get the liability monkey off their backs), but then like to act like they are the authority to demand repairs and upgrades. How many times are building codes cited? How many times are general contractor decisions questioned? If you plan to defer/refer issues to others, your job is done.

In the home inspection SOP’s, outbuildings are not required to be inspected. But how much time does it take to “take a look”. As far as I’m concerned, if I find electrical service in the outbuilding, it is attached to the residence and I inspect it. I do not have to be an expert in shed building to make observations and report. How much expertise is required for a patio cover? Again, your SOP states you are not required to do analytical evaluations of anything in a home inspection. If you have a question about your services, I recommend you contact your insurance provider to see if you are covered to provide a service. Swimming pools, for example, are numerous in your geographical location. My insurance provider used to send me all kinds of documents every month about how and what you are covered for, and recommended how I conduct my business to ensure insurance coverage. You can do what you want, but you better have big pockets if you do.

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