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ASHI® Inspection Standards

Consumer Protection for New Homebuyers

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI®) is the oldest and largest professional association of home inspectors in the world. Certified ASHI inspectors must comply with the strictest inspection standards including the industry’s highest code of professional ethics. ASHI was founded in 1976 by a group of inspectors who were dissatisfied with the lack of standardized reporting, and in some cases, unethical inspection procedures. Today, ASHI boasts thousands of certified inspectors with hundreds more undergoing the certification process which can take between six months to three years to complete. In fact, if ASHI certifies your New Home (usually after the builder has made obvious repairs and modifications) you can rest more securely knowing the very best in the business have stamped the ASHI seal on what is likely one of the largest financial investments in your life… Your New Home! If the builder does not comply with ASHI minimum standards, we recommend settlement be delayed until such time as your home passes inspection. If minimum standards are not met, every effort will made to ensure compliance by using both oral and written documentation to address construction concerns.

Just what is a New Home Inspection?

According to the official ASHI glossary of terms, a home inspection is an objective visual examination and report of the physical structure and operating systems of a home. The “Standards of Practice” describe physical attributes, i.e. (structure, roofing, insulation, etc.) and systems (heating, air conditioning, plumbing, etc,) that are to be checked and included in ASHI’s comprehensive written inspection report. Your ASHI inspector should be there for you before, during and after the sale.

Do I really need an (ASHI®) Inspection for a New Home?

It is recommended. Usually, your ASHI inspector will find several minor construction flaws regardless of the builder’s good intentions. It is “better to be safe than sorry!” Furthermore, you can have your ASHI inspector re-inspect your home just prior to the expiration of the builder’s warranty period. Most construction problems will usually occur during the first year of ownership.

It’s a New Home… Shouldn’t it be Problem Free?

In a perfect world a New Home should not have problems, but that isnot realistic. The real estate market in the Washington metropolitan area is very charged and important construction details can be over-looked due to scarcity of construction workers. The region’s counties impose strict inspection standards on each stage of the homebuilding process which must pass rigorous county codes. However, county officials differ in their approach to inspection procedures. The New Home purchase and construction experience can be stressful, and most builders make every attempt to please their customers. It is important to be aware, in general, the area’s home builders are organizers of independent sub-contractors and some are more conscientious than others in meeting or not meeting builder and customer expectations. In sum, builders have a very difficult job, sub-contractor management is not easy. Be patient when something goes wrong. Be vigilant; it is recommended you secure independent counsel prior to engaging in the New Home negotiation process or with a builder you may know little or nothing about. You can choose your builder, but you can’t choose the builder’s sub-contractors or superintendent. It is the builder’s responsibility and intent to hire the highest quality contractors possible within a budget range. As is the case in all fields, people vary in talent, attitude, integrity, work ethic and approach. Excellence is a voluntary commitment.

Case in Point

The photograph below is an example of a siding sub-contractor who laid siding over several holes in a nicely built $650,000 home. The workers apparently did not care? The builder’s superintendent probably was not aware of the holes, nor was it the builder’s intent to misleador cover-up the defect. However, not all sub-contractors are as conscientious as the builder may require or the customer might expect. The siding was torn down, the holes patched, and the siding company was “back-charged” for the cost of the repair. Had the inspector not caught the holes during a routine check, the buyers mayhave had to live with cool drafts in their home for years never knowing why. It is not possible to know in the beginning of the new home purchase process what problems, errors and omissions will surface. It is wise to seek quality independent counsel prior to making your investment. BRC in cooperation with a certified ASHI inspector is indeed high quality consumer protection.

Read what a few clients have said.

This builder took the proper action, tore down the siding and “back charged” the siding company. Thanks to the inspection, our client now owns a draft-free home.


5/8” OSB sheathing

ASHI® SEAL

Contact BRC for preferred ASHI® Inspectors