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:

What causes sweating (condensation) on the inside of windows in the winter? 

Is every exterior door of a house required to have a landing outside? 

 What are the small slots at the bottom of the outside of my window? 

Why does condensation form on the outside of some windows and not others in the morning? 

Why if the garage door track a white tube? 

What is the raised metal plate on the floor under the garage door?

 Why do I have to hold down the button to close the garage door? 

 Where is safety/tempered glass required for the windows of a house?

How can I tell if a window or glass door is safety glass? 

Should a front door swing in or out? 

Why is pressure washing double pane windows an expensive mistake? 

How many exit doors are required for a house?

 How many exit doors are required for a mobile/manufactured home? 

Are openable windows required to have window screens? Will windows with no screens pass a home inspection? 

Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

What are the building code requirements for a door from the garage to the house?

What is "low-E" window glass? 

What does ANSI 297.1 on glass mean?

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?  

What is an egress window?

How difficult is it to change a window to french doors or a sliding glass door?

How do you determine if a door is left-handed or right-handed?

Why are window security bars dangerous? 

What are the common problems you find inspecting windows?

What is causing a foggy haze on my windows? 

What do those numbers on the manufacturer's stickers in new windows mean?

What does a home inspector check on an electric garage door? 

• What is the tempered label on glass at windows and sliding glass doors called?

• Do I need to have two exterior exit doors in my house? 

• When is safety glass required for windows at stairs and stair landings?

     Visit our DOORS AND WINDOWS 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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