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The standards of practice of a real estate inspection:

is a limited visual survey and basic performance evaluation of the systems and components of a building using normal controls that provides information regarding the general condition of a residence at the time of inspection.

is not intended to be a comprehensive investigation or exploratory probe to determine the cause or effect of deficiencies noted by the inspector; and does not require the use of: specialized equipment, including but not limited to:

environmental testing equipment and devices;

elevation determination devices; or specialized procedures, including but not limited to:

environmental testing & elevation measurement; calculations; or any method employing destructive testing that damages otherwise sound materials or finishes.

These standards of practice do not prohibit an inspector from providing a higher level of inspection performance than required by these standards of practice or from inspecting components and systems in addition to those listed under the standards of practice

Higher-Level of Inspection

While the SOPs establish minimum requirements, nothing prohibits an inspector from providing a higher level of inspection performance than required by the SOPs or from inspecting components and systems in addition to those specifically listed under the SOPs. As we learned, inspectors are not limited from performing a “higher level of inspection performance than required” by the SOPs (Section 535.227(a)(4)). What are some examples of a “higher level” of inspection?

These will include:

  • pointing out or identifying items that may not be up to current code standard
  • reporting the age of a system or appliance

Examples of higher-level inspections that some inspectors perform include:

  • infrared imaging
  • thermography, to detect heat
  • mold and radon testing
  • building inspections for municipalities, warranty companies, the Veterans Administration(VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), several Texas state agencies, construction companies before buildings are significantly completed, etc.

We will use drones in our work when needed.


Texas Real Estate Consumer Notice Concerning Hazards or Deficiencies:

  • malfunctioning, improperly installed, or missing ground fault circuit protection (GFCI) devices for electrical receptacles in garages, bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior areas;
  • malfunctioning arc fault protection (AFCI) devices;
  • ordinary glass in locations where modern construction techniques call for safty glass;
  • malfunctioning or lack of fire safety features such as smoke alarms, fire-rated doors in certain locations, and functional emergency escape and rescue openings in bedrooms;
  • malfunctioning carbon monoxide alarms;
  • improperly installed appliances;
  • unstable porches;
  • excessive spacing between balusters on stairways and porches;
  • a crawl space inhabited by spiders, snakes, raccoons, or feral cats
  • a stove with a possible gas leak;
  • circuit breakers that spark;
  • circuit breakers that fall out;
  • lack of bonding on gas piping, including corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST);
  • lack of electrical bonding and grounding,