CREIA Standards of Practice
Residential Standards of Practice - Four or Fewer Units

Part I. Definitions and Scope

These Standards of Practice provide guidelines for a home inspection and define certain terms relating to these inspections. Italicized words in these Standards are defined in Part IV, Glossary of Terms.

These Standards of Practice provide guidelines for a home inspection and define certain terms relating to these inspections. Italicized words in these Standards are defined in Part IV, Glossary of Terms.

A. A home inspection is a noninvasive, visual survey and basic operation of the accessible systems and components of a home, which can be reached, entered, or viewed without difficulty, moving obstructions, or requiring any action which will result in damage to the property or personal injury to the Inspector.  The purpose of the inspection is to provide the Client with information regarding the general condition of the building(s) to assist client in determining what corrections or further evaluations the Client should have corrected, evaluated or obtained estimates for repair prior to the release of contingencies. 

B. A home inspection report provides written documentation of material defects discovered in the inspected building’s systems and components which in the opinion of the Inspector, are safety hazards, are not functioning properly, or appear to be at the ends of their service lives. The report will include the Inspector's recommendations for correction or further evaluation.

C. All corrections or further evaluation, needs to be provided by an appropriate, competent, licensed and/or certified professional as stated in the CA Business and Professions Code 7195(c).

D. Client should consider all available information when negotiating regarding the Property

E. Inspections performed in accordance with these Standards of Practice are not technically exhaustive and shall apply to the primary building and its associated primary parking structure.

F. Cosmetic and aesthetic conditions shall not be considered.

Part II. Standards of Practice

A home inspection includes the readily accessible systems and components or a representative number of multiple similar components listed in Sections 1 through 9 subject to the limitations, exceptions, and exclusions in Part III.

SECTION 1 - Foundation, Basement, and Under-floor Areas- Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Floor framing    

  2. Under-floor ventilation

  3. Foundation anchoring

  4. Cripple wall bracing

  5. Wood separation from soil

 

SECTION 2 - Exterior - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Surface grade directly adjacent to the 

  2. Doors and windows

  3. Attached decks, porch, balconies

  4. Stairways that are attached to the , attached decks, or porch

  5. Wall cladding and trim

  6. Portions of patios, walkways, and driveways that are adjacent to the 

  7. Pool/spa drowning prevention safety features, for the sole purpose of identifying which, if any, are present

  8. Pool/spa drowning prevention safety features, for the sole purpose of identifying if less than two are present

 

SECTION 3 - Roof Covering - Items to be inspected/reported:

SECTION 4 - Attic Areas and Roof Framing - Items to be inspected/reported:

SECTION 5 - Plumbing - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Water supply piping

  2. Drain, waste, and vent piping

  3. Faucets, toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers

  4. Fuel gas piping

  5. Water heaters

SECTION 6 - Electrical - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Electrical panels

  2. Circuit wiring

  3. Switches, receptacles, outlets, and lighting 

SECTION 7 - Heating and Cooling - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Central cooling 

  2. Energy source and connections

  3. Combustion air and exhaust vent 

  4. Condensate drainage

  5. Conditioned air distribution 

SECTION 8 - Building Interior - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Walls, ceilings, and floors

  2. Doors and windows

  3. Stairways, handrails, and guardrails

  4. Permanently installed cabinets

  5. Permanently installed cook-tops, mechanical range vents, ovens, dishwashers, and food waste disposals

  6. Absence of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

  7. Vehicle doors and openers

SECTION 9 - Fireplaces and Chimneys - Items to be inspected/reported:

  1. Chimney exterior

  2. Spark arrestor

  3. Hearth extension

Part III. Limitations, Exceptions, and Exclusions

  1.  size, spacing, location, or adequacy of foundation bolting or bracing components or reinforcing systems

  2.  the composition or energy rating of insulation materials.

  3.  door or window screens, shutters, awnings, or security bars

  4.  fences or gates or automated door or gate openers or their safety devices, except as required by applicable law

  5. Use a ladder to   or 

  6. Walk on the roof if in the opinion of the  there is risk of damage or a hazard to the 

  7. Warrant or certify that roof , coverings, or  are free from leakage

  8.  mechanical attic ventilation systems or components

  9. Fill any  with water,  overflow drains or drain stops, or evaluate backflow , waste ejectors, sump pumps, or drain line cleanouts

  10.  or evaluate water temperature balancing devices, temperature fluctuation, time to obtain hot water, water circulation, or solar heating systems or components

  11.  whirlpool baths, steam showers, or sauna systems or components

  12.  fuel tanks or determine if the fuel gas system is free of leaks

  13.  wells, private water supply or water treatment systems

  14.  circuit breakers

  15.  de-icing systems or components

  16.  onsite electrical generation or storage or emergency electrical supply systems or components

  17.  heat exchangers or electric heating elements

  18.  non-central air conditioning units or evaporative coolers

  19.  radiant, solar, hydronic, or geothermal systems or components

  20.  volume, uniformity, temperature, airflow, balance, or leakage of any air distribution system

  21.  electronic air filtering or humidity control systems or components

  22.  whether a building is secure from unauthorized entry

  23. , test or determine the type of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms

  24.  chimney interiors, fireplace inserts, seals, or gaskets. Operate any fireplace or determine if a fireplace can be safely used

  25. Test vehicle door safety impact reversing 

  26.  systems or components of a building, or portions thereof, which are not readily accessible, not permanently installed, or not inspected due to circumstances beyond the control of the Inspector or which the Client has agreed are not to be inspected

  27.  site improvements or amenities (i.e., accessory buildings, fences, planters, landscaping, irrigation, swimming pools, spas, ponds, waterfalls, fountains, landscape stairs…)

  28.  auxiliary features of appliances beyond the appliance’s basic function

  29.  systems or components, or portions thereof, which are under ground, under water, or where the Inspector must come into contact with water

  30.  common areas as defined in California Civil Code section 1351, et seq., and any dwelling unit systems or components located in common areas

  31.  compliance with manufacturers’ installation guidelines or specifications, building codes, accessibility standards, conservation or energy standards, regulations, ordinances, easements, setbacks, covenants, or other restrictions

  32.  adequacy, efficiency, suitability, quality, age, marketability or advisability of purchase or remaining life of any building, system, or component.

  33. Conduct structural, architectural, geological, environmental, hydrological, land surveying, or soils-related examinations

  34. Evaluate acoustical or other nuisance characteristics of any  or  of a , complex, adjoining property, or neighborhood

  35. Report Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) including termites or any insect, as well as rot or any fungus, that damage wood.

  36.  or identification for the presence of animals or animal activity

  37. Evaluate risks associated with events or  of nature including (i.e., geological, seismic, wildfire, flood…)

  38. Conduct any water testing or  leakage in any body of water (i.e., shower pans, water features…)

  39.  the integrity of hermetic seals or reflective coatings at multi-pane glazing

  40. Differentiate between original construction or subsequent additions or modifications

  41. Review or interpret information or reports from any third-party (i.e., permits, disclosures, product defects, construction documents, litigation concerning the Property, recalls, insurance requirements…)

  42.  communication, computer, security, or low-voltage, timer, sensor, or similarly controlled systems or components

  43. Evaluate fire extinguishing and suppression  and  or  fire resistive qualities of materials or assemblies

  44.  elevators, lifts, and dumbwaiters

  45. Lighting pilot lights or activating or  any , , or  that is , unsafe to , or does not respond to 

  46.  shutoff valves or shutting down any system or component

  47. Dismantle any , structure or  or removing cover plates or access panels other than those provided for homeowner maintenance

IV. Glossary of Terms

IV. Home Glossary of Terms

Note: All definitions apply to derivatives of these terms when italicized in the text.

Appears: When the Inspector observes an item or defect but, cannot determine the state or cause of the item or defect, when analysis or procedures are out of the scope of the Standard of Practice, or it is beyond the Inspector's expertise

Appliance: An item such as an oven, dishwasher, heater, etc. which performs a specific function

Building: The subject of the inspection and its primary parking structure

Component: A part of a system, appliance, fixture, or device

Condition: Conspicuous state of being

Correction: The appropriate corrective action taken by the appropriate, competent, licensed and/or certified person (i.e., repair, replace, remove…)

Determine: Arrive at an opinion or conclusion

Device: A component designed to perform a particular task or function

Drowning Prevention Safety Features (as per CA Health and Safety Code 115992):

1.     Isolation barrier

2.     Mesh barrier

3.     Pool/spa cover

4.     Home exit alarms

5.     Self-closing and self-latching home doors

6.     Pool/spa alarm

Equipment: An appliance, fixture, or device

Evaluate: Form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess

Fixture: A plumbing or electrical component with a fixed position and function

Function: The normal and characteristic purpose or action of a system, component, or device

Further Evaluation: A recommendation when the Inspector can not determine the state or cause, when analysis or procedures are out of the scope of the Standard of Practice, or it is beyond the Inspector's expertise

Home Inspection: Refer to Part I, 'Definitions and Scope', Paragraph A

Inspect: Refer to Part I, 'Definition and Scope', Paragraph-A

Inspector: One who performs a home inspection

Isolation Barrier: The barrier around the pool area that isolates the pool area from the house

Mesh Barrier: The barrier around the pool area that isolates the pool area from the house of which any portion is made of mesh

Natural Barrier: A portion of the barrier that is not man-made (cliff, lake, boulder…)

Normal User Control: Switch or other device that activates a system or component and is provided for use by an occupant of a building

Operate: Cause a system, appliance, fixture, or device to function using normal user controls

Permanently Installed: Fixed in place, e.g. screwed, bolted, nailed, or glued

Primary Building: A building that an Inspector has agreed to inspect

Primary Parking Structure: A building for the purpose of vehicle storage associated with the primary building, which may be attached or detached. Only one primary parking structure may be designated as primary.

Readily Accessible: Can be reached, entered, or viewed without difficulty, moving obstructions, or requiring any action which may harm persons or property

Representative Number: Example, an average of one component per area for multiple similar components such as windows, doors, and electrical outlets

Safety Hazard: A condition that could result in significant physical injury

Shut Down: Disconnected or turned off in a way so as not to respond to normal user controls

System: An assemblage of various components designed to function as a whole

Technically Exhaustive: Examination beyond the scope of a home inspection, which may require disassembly, specialized knowledge, specialized equipment, measuring, calculating, quantifying, specialized testing, exploratory probing, research, or analysis