Does a home inspector test all the windows and doors in a home?
Saturday, September 8, 2018
The State of Florida’s standard for inspecting windows and doors for a home inspection (61-30.807 Standards of Practice, Interior Components) states that “when inspecting doors and windows, the inspector may inspect a representative number of doors and windows.” The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) has the same standard, but adds “by opening and closing them.”
Windows can be difficult to access and test in a furnished, occupied house. Between the window treatments, knick-knacks on the window sill, and furniture in front of the window, testing some windows is a precarious balancing act, and the industry standards recognize that.
What is a “representative number”? American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) defines representative number as “one component per room for multiple interior components such as windows and doors; one component on each side of the building for multiple exterior components.” The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) has a simpler definition: “a number sufficient to serve as a typical or characteristic example of the item(s) inspected. State of Florida does not provide a definition.
When an occupied house is being inspected, it is often impossible to test the operation of some windows due to furniture, drapes and blinds in front of the window, and precious little tchotchkes lined up along the window sill. Also, frozen thumb screws or locks due to corrosion can be a problem. Piles of boxes stacked to the ceiling in front of a door by a family that is getting ready to move can also inhibit testing a door or two.
Most inspectors, like us, try to test most of the accessible ones. If problems likes broken hardware, stuck windows, or shot springs are found, we recommend repair. Other defects, such double-pane insulated windows that have lost their gas and water stain evidence of leakage around bottom of the window can also be detected.
Also, see our blog posts Do home inspectors test the appliances? and Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?
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To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:
How To Look At A House
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