How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Do home inspectors check retaining walls?
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Home inspectors are required to examine and report only on retaining walls that may adversely affect the structure of the house, according to the Standards of Practice of both national home inspector associations, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), along with the State of Florida and some other states.
Here’s how it is stated by ASHI: “The inspector shall inspect vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls that are likely to adversely affect the building.” So any retaining walls on the property that are distant from the home, and their failure would not be likely to affect the house structure, are not a necessary part of the inspection.
Even if the exlusion of retaining walls not directly affecting the home is not stated directly in the home inspector’s contract agreement, one of the Standards of Practice mentioned above will be referenced as part of the contract agreement.
While the Standards of Practice set minimum standards, a home inspector may choose to exceed them and report on all retaining walls on the property. Also, the inspection may be limited to less than what is outlined in the standards when agreed to by the homebuyer and specified in an inspection agreement. A four-point insurance inspection would be example of a limited inspection.
Also, see our blog post How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?
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 •• Furniture •• Garage door opener •• 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 air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about a home’s SITE:
• What is my chance of buying a Florida home over a sinkhole?
Visit our SITE and "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…?” pages 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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