Texas lawsuit update

Without pouring over the SOP to verify, I think the answer is Yes (though I think it’s good practice in many instances).

Great. My only problem with Willcox 22 is that it could trend to that interpretation. I think its just a typo however.



Done. Their reply will be interesting. Be patient. It can take a while for them to answer.


A General Comment -

As most know, I’m in my 34th year of residential & commercial inspecting.

I seldom clutter up a report with references to support my statements. I seldom get asked to provide written support for my comments. Maybe its how I’ve written it, I don’t know OR really care.


  1. The 120,000 Btuh gas fired furnace and 50,000 Btuh gas water heater are installed in an enclosed room of about 8’ x 8’. There is no source of combustion air for the mechanical equipment other than the air in the room itself.

In my opinion, the amount of combustion air provided in a room of this size is inadequate. This can be a significant safety hazard. I recommend having a competent and licensed professional HVAC contractor calculate the amount of combustion air needed for the systems; then install the proper amount / type of combustion air sources at correct location(s).

While present I recommend the HVAC contractor service the equipment, and correct any other deficiencies as needed.


  1. [size=2]At the time this property was built (in the 1940’s), GFCI’s (ground fault interrupter circuits) were not in use at **“wet areas” **(wet areas are locations like kitchens, baths, exterior, garage, laundry, wet bars, etc). [/size]

[size=2]The electrical outlet(s) at the **“wet areas” **of the home did not have GFCI protection. Current safety standards recommend them at these areas. I recommend that the new owner have a licensed electrician install GFCI’s at all applicable areas as a safety improvement.[/size]

[size=2]OR [/size]

[size=2]3) [size=2]In my opinion, the foundation walls have significant inward movement (over 2" measured with a laser level), large horizontal and diagonal cracks in the concrete walls (some over 1/2" wide) and is not performing as intended. In my opinion repairs are needed. [/size][/size]

[size=2][size=2]Due to the various issues we observed at the foundation walls inside and/or outside, we recommend service and evaluation by a competent and licensed foundation contractor, OR a competent licensed structural engineer. Then have any recommended repairs or modifications performed.

Note: Please be informed that many licensed engineers ARE NOT structural engineers, and although licensed as PE’s (professional engineers) structural and soil issues may not be their strengths. Verify an engineers credentials carefully before hiring.

PS -

Forgot to mention … I am code certified in electrical, building, plumbing and mechanical. I teach code classes to home inspectors and train several cities code inspectors for them. As a home inspection trainer ALTHOUGH we DO NOT do code inspections MOST of the State Licensing Exams are heavily geared around code type questions.

So to make a short answer long … We DON’T do code inspections - But we DO code related stuff (we just don’t call it by the “C” word).

Joe Ferry is coming to Dallas and Austin to give his “Law and Disorder” seminar for home inspectors.

He will be in Houston July 22nd per today’s mail.

I previously attended a Joe Ferry “Law and Disorder” seminar and walked away totally amazed with a greater awareness of the litigation process and avenues of how to defend yourself.

I encourage every H.I. (and even attorneys) to attend his seminar. This is a seminar that once you take it you will want to go back again and again.

Law and Disorder: Survival Strategies for the Professional Home Inspector in a Litigation Nation at the Courtyard Austin Airport, 7809 E. Ben White Boulevard, Austin, TX 78741 on July 20, 2010 from 6:00 p. m. until 10:00 p. m.

Details on the Houston seminar should be forthcoming.

Jim writes:

Excellent post.

I am new to InterNACHI and find this conversation very interesting. I have noticed that many of the comments are coming from different parts of the country. I have been a full time inspector in the State of Texas since 1994. I personally use code references in my reports. One of the main reason is I do a large percentage of my inspections in unincorporated areas which in the State of Texas there is no building code enforcement. We did have the TRCC for a short period of time which has been abolished for multiple reasons. I have been told by a more than qualified Master Electrician that in the State of Texas you did not have to be a licensed electrician to wire a home in unincorporated areas until 2004. (If that is not scary what is).

I constantly would have persons of trade, electrical etc coming back after an inspection with I never heard of that! Me and Pa have been doing that way for 30 years! This is the type of answers these people were telling clients along with there are no codes in the county, the inspector doesn’t known what he is talking about. We all do it that way.

One of my favorites was new $350,000.00 townhouse on lake that I was first to inspect one of the units. My first clue to issues was when I tripped the GFCI reset in kitchen and dishwasher turned off. The electrician and plumbing contractor was the same guy. There was only one 12 amp circuit for the entire kitchen. This is a case where code references are required in my opinion. If all I would have said was this was not correct have a licensed electrician correct as required to meet current NEC the same guy that did it was a licensed electrician.

This is one the reason I started adding code references to my comments, I would have person of trade calling all the time asking where did you come up with that. After I started adding reference most of this came to a halt. (I also have a statement in the report and inspection agreement that this is not a code compliant inspection but codes are only referenced to clarify opinions etc)

I now have some builder calling and asking questions as to what is right and wrong which I am happy to give to them. Saves me a lot of trouble when I have to inspection later.

I would agree that in an older home that the code reference may not be appropriate.

Another thing that I did not see addressed was a home built in 1940 etc and a furnace or water heater installed in 2004, in many cases certain items should be up graded and corrected accordingly.

These observations are not to create an argument but to give one side of a very complicated issue. I think every situation and each inspector must make the decision for themselves in each situation.

I do not think one that one method or the other is right of wrong.