Standards of Practice

South Carolina Home Inspector Standards of Practice

These are the Inspections Standards as required by the State of South Carolina

The following Standards provide guidelines for the Residential Home Inspector and outline what the Residential Home Inspector should observe, identify, inspect and describe in the Inspection Report.

The guidelines provide the minimum contents of a written report and are not intended to limit the Residential Home Inspector. If the Inspector wishes to provide additional inspection services not covered in the Standards that is up to each inspector.

Limitations or exclusions (systems or components not inspected, identified or reported) can be found after each section.

Introduction: The purpose of the Residential Standards of Practice (Standards) is to establish a uniform guide for performing an inspection of buildings and equipment.

Procedures: The procedures are the Residential Standards that identify what is to be inspected and reported.

  • The Inspector will not disclose any information concerning the results of the inspection without the approval of the clients or their representatives.
  • The Inspector will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service without the consent of all interested parties. 
  • The Inspector will not accept, or offer commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from other parties in connection with work for which the Inspector is responsible. 
  • The Inspector will promptly disclose to the client any interest in a business which may affect the client. The Inspector will not allow an interest in any business to affect the quality or results of the inspection work, which the inspector may be called upon to perform. The Inspector may not perform any work or improvement to a residence upon which the Inspector performed a home inspection within the previous 12 months.

Purpose: The purpose of a residential inspection is to disclose the general conditions of the building, improvements, mechanical systems and appliances as they exist on the day of the inspection.

Scope: The scope of the residential inspection is a visual observation, with limited use of mechanical instruments, of readily accessible areas of the building, improvements, mechanical systems and appliances. The inspection is limited to areas and systems identified as follows: grounds and appurtenances; roofing/guttering/other roof components; home exteriors; garage/carport; electrical, basement/crawl space/slab; plumbing; heating; cooling; attic; general interiors and kitchen/appliances.

Limitations:The Residential Inspector Standards are designed to identify and disclose observed general conditions. The residential inspection is limited to readily accessible areas. No disassembly of equipment or activating of equipment that has bee “shut-down” should be performed.

  • No opening of walls, moving of furniture, appliances, stored items, walking on roofs or excavation is to be performed.
  • Concealed, camouflaged or inaccessible conditions may not be exposed.
  • Systems and conditions that are not within the scope of the inspection include, but are not limited to: environmental hazards (e.g. lead paint, formaldehyde, toxic of flammable materials, asbestos, radon); pest infestation; portable appliances (e.g. washer, dryers, window air conditioner); security systems; telephone, television systems, fire or lawn sprinklers; swimming pools; spas or jetted tubs; tennis courts; playground or other recreational or leisure appliances or equipment; below ground septic or drainage systems; water wells; zoning ordinances; or any items considered cosmetic in nature. Any general comments about these systems and conditions are informational only and do not represent an inspection.

Warranties and Guarantees: The residential inspection report is not intended to be used as a guarantee or warranty, expressed or implied, regarding adequacy, performance, or condition of any inspected building improvements, mechanical system or appliance.

The residential Inspector should take no position on value nor make any representation as to advisability of purchase or suitability to use. The Inspector should not incite or stir up quarrels or groundless lawsuits.

Licensing Requirements:  License Requirements for Persons Engaging in the Business of Inspection Practice: A state license is required for anyone offering or practicing home inspection unless that individual is a currently licensed engineer, architect, general contractor or residential builder. This requirement is based on Chapter 106, Statutory Authority: 1976 Code § 40-59-210 – 40-59-240(B).