June, 2009
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Focus on Standards


Maintaining and Interpreting the ASHI Standards

The ASHI Standards of Practice Committee is charged with developing and maintaining the ASHI Standards of Practice and answering Requests for Interpretation (RFI) of it.

Your Standards Committee is always open to suggestions about improving the current home inspection Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. We encourage anyone wishing to suggest improvements to these standards to do so.

In order to facilitate evaluation of all comments, we ask that comments come in the following format:
  • The name(s) of those submitting the comment;

  • The name of the group or organization, if any, on whose behalf the comments are being submitted;

  • The proposed change to the standard, with words to be removed struck out and words to be added underlined;

  • The reason(s) why the change will improve the standard.
Anyone with a question about the intent or applicability of a current standard is invited to review past answers to RFIs on the ASHI Members Only Web site under Resources or to submit his or her question to the committee using the form in the same section. Two past
requests and responses appear below.

– Bruce Barker, chair, 2009 ASHI Standards of Practice Committee

Request for Interpretation

S070824  AFCI and GFCI devices

Is ASHI recommending that AFCIs be noted on reports as well as GFCIs?


The ASHI Standards of Practice, in section 13.1.A, does not require an inspector to perform any action not specifically stated in the Standards; therefore, inspectors are not required to report the presence or absence of Arc-fault circuit interrupt (AFCI) devices. The Standards, in section 7.1.A.7, require inspection of overcurrent protection devices, which includes AFCI devices. Inspectors are required to inspect AFCI devices, if they are present, in the same manner as other overcurrent protection devices.

Request for Interpretation

S080815 Windows with tilt function

Does the SoP require inspectors to test the “tilt” functionality of windows equipped with such a feature?


The ASHI Standards of Practice does not require that inspectors inspect the tilt function of windows.
The Standards, in Section 2.2.C.1 state, in part, that inspectors shall report those systems and components inspected that, in the professional judgment of the inspector, are not functioning properly. An operable window has up to three primary functions. One function is to provide light and ventilation to a room. Another function is to act as a barrier between the interior of a home and the exterior.  In certain rooms, a third function is to act as an emergency escape opening.  Any other functions, such as a tilt function, are secondary functions that are usually not involved when a window performs its primary functions.

Secondary functions are provided for convenience and/or for aesthetics.