Every client gets a pre-inspection agreement sent out in advance. It includes the date, time, fee, and a link to the SOP including limitations. I’d like to discuss some of these and how they affect me, and you.
I arrived at an inspection last week, the seller was present. As I was completing the inspection, she questioned my going on the roof, as her realtor told her “home inspectors don’t go on the roof”. I informed her, that I’m not required to go on the roof, if its inaccessible, or not safe (for me or the structure) for me to do so. My SOP does state I’m not required to go on the roof. But, if I can safely access it, I will. There are often defects one can not see from the ground.
I entered an attic through a smallish scuttle in a pantry closet this week, the real estate agent told me that after 30 years of being in real estate she thinks every inspector would have not entered the attic, preferring to disclaim it saying attic entry isn’t required. Again, I’m not required to enter, in this case I found a leaky flashing and rodent infestation evidence.
Yesterday, I entered a crawlspace (with respirator) and found structural items, poor insulation, as well as significant mold growth. You guessed it, I am not required to enter the crawlspace either, but I did.
These limitations in my requirements are there so the client is aware that there may be areas I can not access. These areas aren’t able to be inspected. Or these areas may be inspected with slightly limited access, like a roof I do not walk on, I may still get arms length to the roof from a ladder, or I’ll at least view it with high power binoculars.
I don’t believe the SOP is there to hide behind, like some document my client signs so I can be allowed to skip areas of the house. It is in case I actually can’t inspect a portion of the home.
I guess what I’m getting at is, a good inspector (like me) should look for reasons and ways TO INSPECT everything possible in the home, not look for excuses to NOT INSPECT everything. Isn’t that what you pay me for?