SOP on structural components

I’m not exactly clear on how to reconcile these three images I took from the SOP relating to structural components found here:
Home Inspection Standards of Practice - InterNACHI®

It would seem that the minimum requirement of the SOP is that I must inspect structural components and report on structural concerns while I’m also not required to report on the adequacy of structural components. Am I damned if I do and if I don’t?

First, it says we are supposed to inspect structural components:

Then it says we are to report on framing members that “present a structural concern”:

Then after all that it says we are “not required to report on the adequacy of any structural system or component”:

This is all on the same page so I’m not exactly clear on what I’ll be liable for.

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They are trying to tell you that you do not inspect for adequacy of structural components, meaning the size of members, truss design, etc… You are to express concerns, if any, like listed;


David I’ve seen you questions all over the message board and your question here is very simple to answer. My question for you is why do you want to be a home inspector?

I’m curious what your background is too.

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  1. any observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector’s opinion, present a structural or safety concern.


@mwilles In Alberta we have designation called Master Home Builder, which is recognized across the country. I suspect it’s not a big step to achieve for a Home Inspector because the education requirements seem to overlap with Home Inspector training significantly. So, it seemed like a natural move for me to start with home inspections.

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@rbleich Those are great images. Thank you. I’ve saved them into my library. Although they don’t really answer the question about whether or not we are required to report on structural components. The SOP seems to go both ways. Actually, I suspect I know the answer but I’m a noob here so I posted to get some clarification. What I think the SOP is saying is that we identify the structural concerns that require further inspection by a structural engineer. But the SOP doesn’t actually say that.

@mwilles Also, I’ve been in real estate for over 20 years, having renovated over 100 of my own houses and in the last 5 years I’ve built and sold 24 homes. I don’t actually swing the hammer though. I still have a lot to learn and becoming a Home Inspector seemed like a logical step. But my education is in computer science. I’ve been a professional computer programmer for most of the last 30 years.

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The reason I asked these question was to see first if you can respond to being asked questions. You can and clients will ask questions so that’s good.

Some of your questions seemed more like “hey I found a NACHI mistake”. All of your questions could have been answered with the smallest amount of effort on your part researching the web or IRC. As a home inspector you must know how to research the answers for your questions yourself. If you rely on this forum for your answers you may get different solutions to you questions. A good example I’d the guard rail hand rail question. I understand this forum is the low hanging fruit for someone asking a question or two so that they can get a fast answer and publish their report. That’s the whole idea but damn you have a ton of questions you could probably answer yourself with a little effort.

Always best to do your own research and reference source.

“renovated over 100 of my own houses and in the last 5 years I’ve built and sold 24 homes.”

So how is it you built and remodeled so many homes and seem to know very little of the industry?

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Just curious, why do you think I know “very little of the industry?”

Why do you think I haven’t done significant research on each of my questions before asking? I suspect you probably haven’t paid much attention to what my actual questions were, or the comments I made relating to the questions, because you probably should have noticed that I’m not so ignorant on any of the topics. I’m just ignorant on what InterNACHI expects me to answer on the exam questions when the study material shows conflicting answers.

Let’s take the “guard rail hand rail question” for example, as you did. Do you think my question was dumb or beneath you? Do you think the IRC or google was going to tell me what the correct answer would be on the exam when the study questions provided by InterNACHI couldn’t even tell me that? Can you explain to me how it’s possible to have a railing as is required for three “rises” without having a handrail which is not required for three “steps”? How would you answer that question on an exam? If you don’t think that needs clarification when studying for the exam then you probably don’t understand the question.

I may not actually be as ignorant as I pretend to be in this forum but I am very new to this forum, and new to InterNACHI so I don’t want to come across is a knowing anything until I am more comfortable inside the community. However, even if I did actually know everything there was to know about the industry, I can’t possibly know what is expected of me on the exam except for what I learn from InterNACHI. All I have to go on is the course material, the quiz questions from the material, the SOP and the 2100 practice questions. I’ve pretty much memorized all of that material and in the process I found several inconsistencies which may not be much of a concern for you as a licensed inspector but if you had to know what was expected on the exam then that’s different. This is to sort of clarification I can get from the IRC or google because the questions on the proctored exam are supposedly taken directly from the pool of questions I’m studying, not from IRC or google.

I also decided that I might as well post the questions for the benefit of many other students who might have the same questions and I was right about that because I’ve received many thanks from people who were similarly confused.

BTW, I wrote the proctored exam a couple days ago and aced it. My proctor told me that in the many years of proctoring these exams she’d never seen anyone score so high. It’s possible they dumbed down the exam just before I wrote them though, because I found it to be one of the easiest exams I’ve ever written. I finished in half the allotted time. But it could also be because I’ve spent so much time researching every questions and digging and asking for clarification. I was aiming for 100% regardless and I came damn close.

I still have lots of questions though and will probably continue to post them on the forum. You can ignore them if you think they are beneath you, but don’t assume I’m ignorant for asking questions that you think are easy. It’s possibly you might not actually have understood the question.



How can you write a proctored exam and take it too? I’ve noticed this statement a few times.


I noticed that too. Something fishy about this guy.

But he can’t Google his information and resorts to all the different opinions on this forum and claims the question was not answered.
Please, stay in the trade that you know.


that’s why he aced it!


All we are required to do is report a defect as outlined.

You could make a checklist inspection template following the SOP and not write one narrative or insert one photo and still be compliant with the SOP. Some inspectors do just that.

So read it again and decide what you must report. Though the SOP has some ambiguity, I do not think this is the section.

Keep in mind, most of us exceed the SOP in more than one area. SOP is the minimum.


I don’t understand what you mean by this. I do google the information and I still post on this forum for clarification because that’s what I was told to do by the InterNACHI education team.

What do you mean when you say I resort to all the different opinions on this forum? I don’t resort to opinions on this forum. I simply post questions to open up discussion.

I have responded to some people saying that they didn’t answer my question, but what’s your point?

Why would you ever tell anyone to stay in the trade they know? Do you think it’s a bad idea for anyone to ever learn a new trade or do you simply not like it when people ask questions for clarification on ambiguities? Why would you take issue with me learning a new trade?

So are you just the money man?

Writing an exam and taking an exam is interchangeable where I grew up. Maybe I’m just a hick to you but why would you be confused by that? I don’t think it should be confusing to a smart guy like yourself.

Yes, the money and the foreman. I oversaw every contractor through every phase on every house. I was taken for a ride on many tasks because I didn’t know enough to challenge the workers, but I learned fast enough to make it profitable. I like to dive in the deep end and learn through doing which is actually easier to do when I can rely on licensed trades people, which I can’t do has a home inspector. Becoming a licensed home inspector should really make a difference though.

Do you have any idea why some people on this forum are so hostile to a new inspector looking for clarification on ambiguous training materials?

Asking a simple question David. Don’t get your panties in a wad. I’ve never have heard “writing” as opposed to “taking”.


Lol, my apologies. I’m getting a lot more criticisms than I expected. Several people have strait up told me not to become an inspector. I’m just digging my heals in.