The State of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR 61-30.810(3)(d)) standards for home inspection, effective October 22, 2013, states that home inspectors are not required to inspect outbuildings. The Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) deviates slightly, by saying home inspectors are not required to inspect “outbuildings other than garages and carports,” while the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) does not address the issue directly. But, by stating that their standards apply to “properties with four or fewer residential units and their attached garages and carports,” they appear to also exclude outbuildings.
Some inspectors will inspect the outbuildings on a property, usually for an extra fee, and some won’t. We try to avoid inspecting them for our customers because the structures, other than detached garages, were often built without a permit or inspection and are in poor condition. So we end up writing up a lot of defects about sheds that were never meant to meet the building standards for a residence. Plus, most sellers consider outbuilding to be a free extra benefit of the property, and will laugh a buyer’s request to repair them or reduce the price because of their condition.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that small sheds, like the kind you can buy from the big-box home improvement stores, are not required to have a building permit or inspection in many municipalities in Florida. They only need to be placed within the zoning setbacks of the property. Also, non-residential farm buildings on farms, such as barns and stables, are exempt from the permitting and inspection requirements of the Florida Building Code, per Florida Statue 553.73 (10) (c).
Also, see our blog post Are there any minimum inspection standards that a Florida licensed home inspector must meet?
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
• The home inspector says I have construction defects. How did my home pass inspection by the building department?
• Does the seller have to make a repair requested by the homebuyer, even if the home inspector did not call it out as a defect?
• Why do home inspectors sometimes specify "further evaluation and possible repair" instead of a specific repair or replacement?
• Does a homebuyer need to ask the seller's permission to do additional inspections after the initial one?
• What is the difference between a structural defect and a cosmetic defect?
• How can I make sure my house doesn't fail the home inspection?
• Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?
• How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection?
• Can you do a home inspection in the rain?
• The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector?
• Who should pay for the home inspection?
• Do I need a home inspection to get insurance?
• I can't find a local home inspector. What should I do?
• Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?
• Should I follow the inspector around during the inspection?
• What is a "cosmetic" defect in a home inspection?
• What makes a house fail the home inspection?
• Should I get a home inspection before signing a contract to buy the house?
• Should I use a contractor or a home inspector to inspect a house I'm buying?
• Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection?
• Should I use my realtor's home inspector or choose one myself?
• How do devious sellers try to fool the home inspector?
• Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?
• Is it still possible to do a home inspection if there's no electricity or water?
• What is the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?
• What are the questions a home inspector won't (or shouldn't) answer?
• What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
• Should a home inspection scare you?
• What is the best way to negotiate repairs after the home inspection?
• Do we really need a home inspection?
• What questions should I ask the home inspector during the inspection?
• What should I bring to the home inspection?
• Does my home inspection report give me everything I need to evaluate the price of a house?
• How can I check to be sure a home inspector is licensed?
• Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?
• What questions should you always ask before hiring a home inspector?
• How can I find out if all the home improvements had a building permit?
• Does a home inspector make sure the house is up to code?
• Does the seller have to fix all defects found by a home inspector to sell the house?
• Should a homebuyer be there for the inspection?
• Will the home inspector help a homebuyer get the seller to reduce the price of the house?
• Can I do my own home inspection?
• Who can do a home inspection in the State of Florida?
• What tips do first-time homebuyers need to know to get a better home inspection?
• How can I reduce the risk of an expensive surprise when buying a house sight unseen?
• What should I wear to a home inspection?
• What happens at a home inspection?
• What different types of specialized home inspections can I get?
• Is it common for an insurance company to require an inspection?
• How do I get insurance if my home can't pass a 4-point inspection?
• A neighbor told me that the house I want to buy once had a bad mold problem. It was not in the seller's disclosure. What should I do?
• What repairs are required to be made after a home 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.