A standard home inspection is a cursory, visual inspection of the property components to determine the inspector’s opinion of general condition and operability. Only the visible and readily accessible components are inspected and reported on. Inspectors typically do not disassemble components, move furniture to gain access to components, or perform demolition to gain visible access to components. Deactivated systems are generally not activated by the inspector. Inspections are not intended to determine compliance with building codes, zoning laws, etc, unless specifically contracted for separately. A standard home inspection does not typically include environmental testing, pest inspection, measurements, cost estimates for repairs, or inspection of ancillary items such as window coverings, phone wiring, security systems, landscaping, sprinkler systems, wells and septic systems, swimming pools, detached buildings, etc.
The home inspection is typically performed by the inspector for a buyer with a contract on the property. Frequently the inspection report is used by the client as a negotiation tool in the sales transaction process. Most inspectors have their client(s) read and sign an agreement form describing the “purpose, scope, limitations and conditions” of the inspection, prior to beginning the inspection.