question

I’m a newbie and I have a question on what we report as needing to be upgraded dependent on industry changes. For example: all the NEC changes that have taken place in the last 30 yrs. A home that was built to standards 30 yrs ago and being inspected today (unless they have been upgraded) will have potential safety or at least recommendations to be improved. The same is the case for CO and Smoke alarms, exhaust venting and probably much more. Are these older homes grandfathered in for some things and not others? If so, does NACHI have a list of some sort that may specify some of these issues?

I may recommend an item be installed or “upgraded” for enhanced safety or such but I wouldn’t say it needs to be upgraded.

I don’t grandfather anything.

It’s a meaningless term used by some agents to discredit your findings.

Since you, as a home inspector cannot “require” anything you should not concern yourself with it.

Make your recommendations and suggest safety upgrades at will.

I am new myself. But I know as a home owner, if the home owner has any permit work done on their house on an area in question, the city inspector won’t pass it until upgrades are done.

So best to at least point it out.

This is one of the biggest things in my opinion you have to learn as a home inspector. If your doing new construction or a house that has recently been remodeled, then yes you can refer to code items. However when you get into older homes that are original are you going to point out every single thing thats not up to code? Because if you mention one item then you have to mention all items not up to code. That goes waaaay beyond the scope of the home inspection. In this type of a scenario I would only point out “code” items that are safety issues, and I would not refer to them as “code”. Instead I would recommend upgrading for “safety” reasons. For example GFCI outlets,smoke alarms, CO detectors, 2-wire branch circuit wiring and the list goes on and on.

I agree with Blake, I do not use code in my reports except on rare occasion. In NC if we include code we must print out the page and paragraph reference. Generally things are not working as intended or are safety issues. I may also spell it out that the home is an older home and there have been many changes to building practices over time but I may only focus on issues that in my judgement are important.