What to Expect from an Inspection

What exactly is a Home Inspection?
Great question! We’re glad you asked!


Sacramento Home InspectionsA home inspection examines the physical and operational condition of a property through visual means and testing of plumbing fixtures, electrical systems, as well as appliances. It also examines the heating and air conditioning systems. Inspections include the roof, foundation, water drainage, walls, floors, windows, doors, and more.
Home inspections generally do not include inspection for living organisms including mold and/or termites. However, we will comment if we see evidence of water, mold, or insect infestation and/or damage from any of those, and advise further review by the appropriate contractors.

Sacramento Home Inspections, Inc. abides by the CREIA* standards of practice (*California Real Estate Inspection Association). The CREIA document itself outlines in more detail what a home inspection covers and, just as importantly, what it does not.
All clients will be asked to review and sign the CREIA standard inspection agreement prior to a scheduled inspection.

An excerpt from the agreement that illustrates the scope of the inspection is included below:

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Residential Standards – Four or Fewer Units

Note: Italicized words in this document are defined in the Glossary of Terms at the end of the document.

Table of Contents

  1. Foundation, Basement, and Under-floor Areas
  2. Exterior
  3. Roof Covering
  4. Attic Areas and Roof Framing
  5. Plumbing
  6. Electrical
  7. Heating and Cooling
  8. Fireplaces and Chimneys
  9. Building Interior

Foundation Issues Sacramento1. Foundation, Basement, and Under-floor Areas

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Foundation system
  2. Floor framing system
  3. Under-floor ventilation
  4. Foundation anchoring and cripple wall bracing
  5. Wood separation from soil
  6. Insulation

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Determine size, spacing, location, or adequacy of foundation bolting/bracing components or reinforcing systems
  2. Determine the composition or energy rating of insulation materials


Exterior Issues Sacramento2. Exterior

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Surface grade directly adjacent to the buildings
  2. Doors and windows
  3. Attached decks, porches, patios, balconies, stairways, as well as their enclosures
  4. Wall cladding and trim
  5. Portions of walkways and driveways that are adjacent to the buildings

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Inspect door or window screens, shutters, awnings, or security bars
  2. Inspect fences or gates or operate automated door or gate openers or their safety devices
  3. Use a ladder to inspect systems or components


Roof Issues Sacramento3. Roof Covering

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Covering
  2. Drainage
  3. Flashings
  4. Penetrations
  5. Skylights

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Walk on the roof surface if in the opinion of the Inspector there is risk of damage or a hazard to the Inspector
  2. Warrant or certify that roof systems, coverings, or components are free from leakage


Attic Issues Sacramento4. Attic Areas and Roof Framing

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Framing
  2. Ventilation
  3. Insulation

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Inspect mechanical attic ventilation systems or components
  2. Determine the composition or energy rating of insulation materials


Plumbing Issues Sacramento5. Plumbing

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Water supply piping
  2. Drain, waste, as well as vent piping
  3. Faucets and fixtures
  4. Fuel gas piping
  5. Water heaters
  6. Functional flow and functional drainage

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Fill any fixture with water, inspect overflow drains or drain-stops, or evaluate backflow devices, waste ejectors, sump pumps, or drain line cleanouts
  2. Inspect or evaluate water temperature balancing devices, temperature fluctuation, time to obtain hot water, water circulation, or solar heating systems or components
  3. Inspect whirlpool baths, steam showers, or sauna systems or components
  4. Examine fuel tanks or determine if the fuel gas system is free of leaks
  5. Inspect wells or water treatment systems


Electrical Issues Sacramento6. Electrical

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Service equipment
  2. Electrical panels
  3. Circuit wiring
  4. Switches, receptacles, outlets, as well as lighting fixtures

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Operate circuit breakers or circuit interrupters
  2. Remove cover plates
  3. Inspect de-icing systems or components
  4. Inspect private or emergency electrical supply systems or components


Heater Issues Sacramento7. Heating and Cooling

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Heating equipment
  2. Central cooling equipment
  3. Energy source and connections
  4. Combustion air and exhaust vent systems
  5. Condensate drainage
  6. Conditioned air distribution systems

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Inspect heat exchangers or electric heating elements
  2. Inspect non-central air conditioning units or evaporative coolers
  3. Examine radiant, solar, hydronic, or geothermal systems or components
  4. Determine volume, uniformity, temperature, airflow, balance, or leakage of any air distribution system
  5. Inspect electronic air filtering or humidity control systems or components


Chimney Issues Sacramento8. Fireplaces and Chimneys

A. Items to be inspected:

  1. Chimney exterior
  2. Spark arrestor
  3. Firebox
  4. Damper
  5. Hearth extension

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Inspect chimney interiors
  2. Inspect fireplace inserts, seals, or gaskets
  3. Operate any fireplace or determine if a fireplace can be safely used


Interior Isuues Sacramento9. Building Interior

A. Items to be inspected:

  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, as well as food waste disposers
  6. Absence of smoke alarms
  7. Vehicle doors and openers

B. The inspector is not required to:

  1. Inspect window, door, or floor coverings
  2. Determine whether a building is secure from unauthorized entry
  3. Operate or test smoke alarms or vehicle door safety devices
  4. Use a ladder to inspect systems or components


Limitations, Exceptions and Exclusions

A. A real estate inspection excludes the following:

  1. 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 or specified are not to be inspected
  2. Site improvements or amenities, including, but not limited to; accessory buildings, fences, planters, landscaping, irrigation, swimming pools, spas, ponds, waterfalls, fountains, or their components or accessories
  3. Auxiliary features of appliances beyond the appliance’s basic function
  4. Systems or components, or portions thereof, which are underground, underwater, or where the Inspector must come into contact with water
  5. Common areas as defined in California Civil Code section 1351, et seq., and any dwelling unit systems or components located in common areas
  6. Determining compliance with manufacturers’ installation guidelines or specifications, building codes, accessibility standards, conservation or energy standards, regulations, ordinances, covenants, or other restrictions
  7. Determining adequacy, efficiency, suitability, quality, age, or remaining life of any building, system, or component, or marketability or advisability of purchase
  8. Structural, architectural, geological, environmental, hydrological, land surveying, or soils- related examinations
  9. Acoustical or other nuisance characteristics of any system or component of a building, complex, adjoining property, or neighborhood
  10. Conditions related to animals, insects, or other organisms, including fungus and mold, and any hazardous, illegal, or controlled substance, or the damage or health risks arising therefrom
  11. Risks associated with events or conditions of nature including, but not limited to; geological, seismic, wildfire, and flood
  12. Water testing any building, system, or component or determine leakage in shower pans, pools, spas, or any body of water
  13. Determining the integrity of hermetic seals at multi-pane glazing
  14. Differentiating between original construction or subsequent additions or modifications
  15. Reviewing information from any third-party, including but not limited to; product defects, recalls, or similar notices
  16. Specifying repairs/replacement procedures or estimating cost to correct
  17. Communication, computer, security, or low-voltage systems and remote, timer, sensor, or similarly controlled systems or components
  18. Fire extinguishing and suppression systems and components or determining fire resistive qualities of materials or assemblies
  19. Elevators, lifts, and dumbwaiters
  20. Lighting pilot lights or activating or operating any system, component, or shut down appliance, unsafe to operate, or does not respond to normal user controls
  21. Operating shutoff valves or shutting down any system or component
  22. Dismantling any system, structure, or component or removing access panels other than those provided for homeowner maintenance

B. The Inspector may, at his or her discretion:

  1. Inspect any building, system, component, appliance, or improvement not included or otherwise excluded by these Standards of Practice. Any such inspection shall comply with all other provisions of these Standards.
  2. Include photographs in the written report or take photographs for Inspector’s reference without inclusion in the written report. The inspector may not use photographs in lieu of written documentation.

Glossary of Terms

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

  • 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  
  • Determine: Arrive at an opinion or conclusion pursuant to a real estate inspection 
  • Device: A component designed to perform a particular task or function 
  • 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
  • Functional Drainage: The ability to empty a plumbing fixture in a reasonable time
  • Functional Flow: The flow of the water supply at the highest and farthest fixture from the building supply shutoff valve when another fixture is used simultaneously 
  • Inspect: Refer to Part I, “Definition and Scope”, Paragraph A
  • Inspector: One who performs a real estate inspection 
  • 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
  • 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 real estate inspection, which may require disassembly, specialized knowledge, special equipment, measuring, calculating, quantifying, testing, exploratory probing, research, or analysis

Do you have any further questions?

If so please call our office at (916) 374-7308 or Contact us.
Thank you for considering Sacramento Home Inspections, we look forward to providing you excellent service soon!
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