Do home inspectors inspect barns and other agricultural buildings on a farm?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Home inspectors are trained in evaluating houses based on residential building standards and codes. But, here’s the catch: barns and agricultural buildings are exempt from the Florida Building Code. Florida Statue [553.73(10)(c)] states that “nonresidential farm buildings on farms” are exempt from compliance with the building code. That includes horse stables, which we are occasionally asked to inspect in conjunction with a residence on the property. 

    So, if you throw all the building codes out the window, what do you have? Not much. Plus, while a home inspector can evaluate the condition of the structure, along with any electrical and water service systems, most inspectors like us are not qualified to determine whether the building is adequate for its intended agricultural use.

   Some inspectors will do barns, and some won’t. We accept requests to examine the outbuildings on an agricultural property, but try to make our customers aware of the limitations of our inspection.

    If any part of the barn is used as a residence, such as a small loft apartment, the agricultural exemption from building code requirements is lost. Also, some jurisdictions will not allow even a bathroom or septic tank at a barn with an agricultural exemption.

    For info on what to check in a rural property, see our blog posts What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? and Are there any minimum inspection standards that a Florida licensed home inspector must meet?  

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window/wall air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to some of our other our blog posts about "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…?":

Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?

Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection? 

Does a home inspector lift up the carpet to look for cracks in the floor? 

What are the questions a home inspector won't (or shouldn't) answer?

Does a home inspector make sure the house is up to code? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

• Does a home inspector check for permits? 

• Is a home inspector allowed to open an electrical panel?

 Does a home inspector go into the crawl space under the house?

• Does a home inspector walk on the roof? 

• Does a home inspector go in the attic? 

Does a home inspector specify repairs? 

Does a home inspector reinspect to verify repairs after an inspection? 

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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