A home inspector’s knowledge of building codes is as definitive and as “authoritative” as a home inspector’s knowledge of law.
In neither case is anyone compelled to comply, agree or abide by them. Both are nothing more than his own limited opinion that should never find their way in writing where they could be misconstrued by anyone as being anything more than a personal opinion and not fact.
In fact, a prudent inspector would express any reference to a building code in the following manner: *“Any references made to building codes or standards in this report should not be construed by anyone as authoritative or as anything more than the inspector’s personal opinion regarding the reference and what it means to him. No official action or decision regarding the purchase of the home or professional contracts to remedy should be made without additional research with the local code authorities (AHJs) to ensure that responses are appropriate and based upon a valid interpretation…other than the mere opinion of the home inspector writing this report.”
*In the real world, as a bottom line, even a contractor who modifies his work to comply with a code official’s interpretation of the building code…is still legally responsible should there be damage to property or injury to person as a result of his modification. As a professional in his field, he…not the AHJ (who is immune from any action taken, civilly or criminally for his interpretation—right or wrong) is the one accountable to the public for the quality of his work.
Now…long after the fact…along comes a home inspector who wants to disagree with the original AHJ and the contractor? He want his interpretation of what should have been done to prevail? Yea, right. Where a contractor and an AHJ compromised a particular code issue to ensure there was a sufficient amount of air in the home, a home inspector with a code book comes along twenty years later and recommends the “code violation” be remedied to “tighten up the house” and reduce energy loss ---- creating a backdraft in the gas appliances that kill his client. Think his “knowledge” of the model building codes are going to be of any help to him, then?
I disagree with you, Chuck.
Home inspectors need to understand that, when all is said and done, they are simply providing an opinion. The value and the weight carried by that opinion is to be determined by his client. The more extra BS he throws into the report to affect a decision that his client makes from his report will be used to bury him if his opinions lead to damages.