Texas - Required to move items

The Texas Standards have been revised by subcommittee. They go before full committee in early April. The first example of profound change is in the definition of accessible.

The proposed standard will require the inspector, by implication, to move items of low value in order to perform the inspection. This may have significant impact on the scope of inspection.

     Review the history of this definition. The current Texas (or NACHI) standard does not require items to be moved.

  Current TREC definition: Inaccessible - Not having access without the use of special tools, equipment, or instruments, or removing doors, walls, stored items or similar obstructions, or by causing damage to a structure, finish or component, equipment or system, or by virtue of inadequate clearance, walkways, passageways, or hazardous condition. 

  No national or international inspection standard requires the inspector to move stored items. The subcommittee is proposing a significant change in the way the inspector does business.

The original revision required inspectors to move items of low value. After objections it was re-written in the inverse.

**Current proposal: ** Accessible - In the judgment of the inspector, the part, component or system can be approached, entered or viewed without moving large, heavy, fragile or valuable objects or obstacles, probing, using specialized tools or procedures, damaging property or disassembly, and without physical limitation or danger to the inspector. (current proposed wording)

  **Current proposal paraphrase**

                     Without Moving Large Heavy Fragile Valuable Objects

Implied requirement

       With Moving Small Light Durable Inexpensive Objects

This requires the inspector to move items. This radically changes 30 years of inspection fundamentals used throughout the United States and Canada.

             Comments please

Cool …

"Well Mr. Inspector, if you’d just moved that lightweight nite stand you wsould have seen the … "

God !

With this or the type garbage they’re trying to dump on us in Kansas its gonna become a real nasty business in a few more years.

As usual, there can and will be many interpretations of the words. Another way of looking at this is not nearly as onerous:

Now, that’s a totally different meaning, right? “Well, Mr TREC, in my opinion I could not view the panel without moving an obstacle.”
The definition of Accessible needs to stay the same as it has been, not just reworded for the sake of rewording it.

Judgment must be reasonable. Experts and lawyers make those arguments. In 99% of the cases the argument will never see a court. All the expert has to do is make the insurance company worry enough to settle.

And then there is the TREC open meetings paper trail and voice tapes that can be argued to prove intent. It was clearly the objective of the subcommittee to make inspectors move items of low value. The rewrite is easily argued to be a compromise and it is clearly inverse of the original requirement. Instead of a stated requirement it is implied. The tapes and 1st revisions cement that in concrete.

I feel certain that an inspector can cover their bases IF they document the obstructions and depart. If they don’t they are sunk if the item can be described as [size=2]small, light, durable or inexpensive and they did not move it or document and depart. This is very problematic in an occupied home.

All this matters little unless there is a problem in the hidden area AND the consumer or their lawyer is smart enough to know the nuances of the rule. Most consumers accept obstructed areas for what they are. The main problem I see is it requires the inspector to spend more time documenting for the sake of CYA.

I agree, the committee needs to stick with basics that work. Maybe full commitee will see it a different way. :roll: They meet next week.


As John has suggested be sure to voice your opinion to the committee members.

I’ve been offering my $0.02 on many items over the past couple of months. It’s almost like I have “auto-email” to the members.


Nolan Kienitz, PMP
Dallas Inspections
Nolan’s Inspections, LLC

Bull shot on moving anything.

Any other Inspector in any other Profession, inspects, and does not move things around.

What’s the problem? I’ve been doing this type of thing from the beginning…24 years ago. Checking 1 receptacle per room is ridiculous (unless it only has one)! I’ve checked the first one into a room to be OK while the next 3 had no power.

What about customs inspectors and border guards?

Thet are not really Professional Inspectors now are they??? :wink:

Dust and vacum while you are there also.???

More back problems in the future!

There is moving things, and then there is moving things.
I move things out of the way all the time (within reason).
But does this mean they want you to empty a closet full of crap to access the attic space. I’m not a moving company!

Now we are appraisers! What is inexpensive? Who can put on a value? A Barbi Doll could be worth thousands to some!

This is leaving too much open for the damn lawyers to play with.
If you want to move things and risk it, it’s your call. When the state says you must, if… then what exactly is it?

The state of TN says you must test garage door reversal.
The number of garage door damage has gone up 200%.
Instead of just grabbing the bottom of the door until the door shows excessive strain and let it go, you have to do the test procedure which will break something if not adjusted correctly. I’m not there to adjust the door, so these testing procedures are a liability. So now it’s the states fault when the door breaks.

HI’s are using the do not move things as an excuse and going overboard, thus the new rule. How about going overboard the other way? Ransack the house and see where it gets you!

We get crap from home owners when they have to reset the t-stat. I say if you can’t leave things exactly as they were (like putting the toaster back after checking the GFCI) nothing should be required to be moved.

Currently all of us have the freedom to go beyond SOP if we choose.

If I am curious and cautious enough, today, I can move that XXXX with no actionable ramifications from TREC or others, unless I break it or doing so causes damages.

New wording may or may not allow me this choice. Depends on who’s interpreting the item in question.

Having an SOP that sets us up for actions of neglect and incompetence is the point in question and where the ammo for further action could be nurtured.

Bite me.

I like the fewest words for each situation. :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t forget to check under those skid marked drawers.:mrgreen:

Sooo…many items…had a hard time loading these pictures. But it was all pretty well organized…And you couldn’t get to that hot water tank back in the corner?:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :twisted: :twisted: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

You must be new to this game Brian, garage slab floor could not be observed. :wink:

Much less the wall outlets to ensure GFCI protection was present :slight_smile: .

Old hand Michael. :smiley:

I have a lawsuit story to share as soon as it is finished. :frowning:

Clearing out a garage would make it more “difficult.”

I like www.nachi.org/comsop.htm 's definition:

Accessible: Can be approached or entered by the inspector safely, without difficulty, fear or danger.

I’m in Kansas. With our new bill in the senate, I can see hundreds of pictures, and hundreds of pages of documentation in an inspection report, and take days to prepare. The life of this industry, seems to me, is limited.