How to Become a Home Inspector: NHIE Categories


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Exterior Systems

Vegetation, grading, drainage, and retaining walls, including:

• typical vegetation and landscape conditions, and maintenance practices and how they may affect the building

Driveways, patios, and walkways

Decks, balconies, stoops, stairs, steps, porches, and applicable railings

Wall cladding, flashing, trim, eaves, soffits, and fascia, including:

• common types (e.g., plywood, aluminum cladding, step flashing, composite siding, SIPS [Structural Insulated Panel Systems], EIFS [Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems])

• typical defects (e.g., nailing, water absorption)

• appropriate inspection tools and their uses (e.g., probe, awl, moisture meter)

Exterior doors and windows

Structural Systems

Foundation, including:

• common foundation types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

• typical foundation system modifications, repairs, upgrades, and retrofit methods and materials

• common foundation conditions and defects (e.g., cracks, settlement) and their common causes and effects

• soil types and conditions and how they affect foundation types

• applied forces and how they affect foundation systems (e.g., wind, seismic, loads)

• safety issues, applicable standards, and appropriate terminology

Floor structure, including:

• common floor system types (e.g., trusses, concrete slabs, joists), materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

• typical modifications, repairs, upgrades, and retrofits methods and materials

• typical defects (e.g., improper cuts and notches in structural members)

• limitations of framing materials (e.g., span)

• applied forces and how they affect floor systems (e.g., wind, seismic, loads)

Walls and vertical support structures, including:

• seismic and wind-resistant construction methods and hardware

• fire blocking

Ceilings, including:

• acceptable truss and ceiling structural-member modifications, repairs, upgrades, and retrofits methods, and materials

• limitations of framing materials (e.g., span)

• applied forces and how they affect ceiling structures (e.g., wind, seismic, loads)

Roofing Systems

Roofs, including:

• limitations of framing materials (e.g., span)

• seismic and wind-resistant construction and hardware

• insufficient ventilation and how it affects roof structures

• applied forces and how they affect roof structures (e.g., wind, seismic, loads)

• cathedral ceilings and how they affect roof framing

• effects of moisture on building components, occupants, and indoor air quality

• moisture control systems

• appearance or indications of excessive moisture

• likely locations for condensation to occur

Ventilation systems of attics, crawlspaces, roof assemblies, and interior spaces, including:

• typical ventilation defects and how they affect buildings and people

• theory of air movement

• theory of relative humidity

• air movement in building assemblies

• interdependence of mechanical systems and ventilation systems

• appliance vent systems requirements (e.g., dryers, range hoods)

• screening, sizing, and location requirements for vent openings

Plumbing Systems

Water supply distribution system, including:

• common water pressure/flow problems and how they affect the water distribution system

• pipe deterioration issues (e.g., PVC, galvanized, brass)

Fixtures and faucets

Drain, waste, and vent systems, including:

• theory and usage of traps and vents

• acceptable piping, materials, and applications

• indications of defective venting or drain slope

• identification of public or private disposal (when possible)

• joining dissimilar pipe materials

• proper support spacing

Water heating systems, including:

• typical water heater defects (e.g., improper vent/flue materials, condition, unsafe locations, connections)

• accessory items (e.g., drain pans, seismic restraints)

• connections to and controls for energy source

• combustion air requirements

• vent exhaust air spillage

Fuel storage and fuel distribution systems, including:

• defects in above-ground oil/gas storage tanks

• fuel leak indications, repairs, and remediation methods

• basic components of gas appliance valves and their functions

• tank restraints and supports

• underground storage tank indicators and reporting requirements

Drainage sumps, sump pumps, sewage ejection pumps, and related piping, including:

• sump pump location significance

• pump discharge location significance

• wiring installation methods

Interior Systems

Walls, ceiling, floors, doors, and windows, including:

• types of defects in interior surfaces not caused by defects in other systems

• typical defects in interior surfaces caused by defects in other systems

Walls, ceiling, floors, doors, windows, and related fire/life safety equipment, including:

• egress requirements

• applicable fire/safety and occupancy separation requirements (e.g., smoke detectors, window bars, ladders, fire walls, fire doors, and penetrations)

• operation of windows, doors, window bars, and other fire/life safety equipment and components

Steps, stairways, landings and railings

Installed countertops and cabinets, including:

• common cabinet and countertop types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

Garage doors and operators

Fireplace and Chimney Systems

Fireplaces, solid-fuel burning appliances, chimneys, and vents, including:

• common manufactured fireplaces and solid-fuel-burning appliance types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

• common manufactured fireplaces and solid-fuel-burning appliance chimney, vent connector, and vent types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques of direct-vent and non-vented fireplaces

• common masonry fireplace types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

• common direct-vent fireplace vent types, materials, applications, installation methods, and construction techniques

• chimney terminations (e.g., spark arrestors)

• chimney height and clearance requirements

• theory of heat transfer and fire safety fundamentals

• effects of moisture and excessive heat on fireplaces

• fuel types and combustion characteristics

• combustion air supply requirements

• operation of equipment, components, and accessories

« Basics (part 2): How Do You Learn This Stuff?

Tools of the Trade and Start-up Costs »

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Monday, 2008-09-22 23:02 PST