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The Fine Print

Agreements2

Inspection Agreement

Why are they required? Your purchase and sale contract with the seller gives you the right to inspect their home. Our agreement with you gives us the legal right to do it for you. There’s no sugar-coating it – we all live in a litigious society. The agreement protects us, you, the homeowner, the realtors and protects our ability to do a fair and objective inspection. InterNACHI and the Master Inspector Ceritification Board also have ethics rules requiring the use of an inspection agreement. If you have any questions about our inspection agreements, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Standards of Practice

We perform inspections in accordance with the NH Home Inspection Standards of Practice:

Home 603.01 Report Requirements.

(a) The home inspector shall inspect readily accessible, observable, installed systems and components.

(b) The home inspector shall report those systems and components inspected that, in the professional opinion of the inspector, are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe, or near the end of their service lives.

(c) The home inspector shall make recommendations to correct, or monitor for future correction, the deficiencies reported in Home 603.01 (b) or items needing further evaluation.

(d) The home inspector shall report systems and components designated for inspection pursuant to the standards of practice that were present at the time of the home inspection but were not inspected and the reason or reasons they were not inspected.

(e) These standards of practice shall not limit inspectors from including other inspection services or systems and components in addition to those required in Home 603.01 (a).

(f) The home inspector shall exclude systems and components from the inspection if requested by the client.

(g) Home inspectors shall not have to determine methods or materials necessary for corrections.

(h) Home inspectors shall not project costs of repairs.

Home 603.02 Home Inspection Standards.

(a) When inspecting structural systems the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) The structural components including the foundation, framing, floor structure, wall structure, ceiling structure and roof structure;

     (2) A representative number of structural components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist; and

     (3) Probing shall not be required when probing would damage any finished surface or where no deterioration is visible or presumed to exist; and

     (4) Report the methods used to inspect under-floor crawl spaces and attics.

(b) When inspecting the structural systems the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) The foundation;

     (2) The floor structure;

     (3) The wall structure;

     (4) The ceiling structure; and

     (5) The roof structure.

(c) The home inspector shall not provide any engineering or architectural service or analysis unless qualified pursuant to RSA 310-A:201, IV.

(d) When inspecting the exterior the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Siding, flashing and trim;

     (2) All exterior doors;

     (3) Attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their associated railings;

     (4) Eaves, soffits, and fascias where accessible from the ground level; and

     (5) Entryway walkways, patios, driveways, vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls which are likely to adversely affect the building.

(e) When inspecting the exterior the home inspector shall describe the type of siding.

(f) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories;

     (2) Fences;

     (3) Geological and/or soil conditions;

     (4) Recreational facilities;

     (5) Outbuildings or detached structures;

     (6) Seawalls, break-walls, and docks; and

     (7) Erosion control and earth stabilization measures.

(g) When inspecting roof systems the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Roofing materials;

     (2) Roof drainage systems;

     (3) Flashing; and

     (4) Skylights, chimney exteriors, and roof penetrations.

(h) When inspecting the roof systems the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) Roofing materials;

     (2) Roof drainage systems; and

     (3) Chimney exteriors.

(i) When inspecting the roof system the home inspector shall report the methods used to inspect the roofing.

(j) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Antennae;

     (2) Interiors of flues or chimneys on or attached to the roof; and

     (3) Other installed accessories.

(k) When inspecting the plumbing system the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Interior water supply and distribution systems including all fixtures and faucets;

     (2) Drain, waste and vent systems including all fixtures;

     (3) Water heating equipment and hot water supply system;

     (4) Vent systems;

     (5) Fuel storage and fuel distribution systems within the structure; and

     (6) Drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related piping.

(l) When inspecting the plumbing system the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) Interior water supply and distribution systems;

     (2) Drain, waste and vent systems;

     (3) Water heating equipment and hot water supply system; and

     (4) Fuel storage and distribution systems.

(m) When inspecting the plumbing system the home inspector shall report the location of main water and main fuel shut-off valves.

(n) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Clothes washing machine connections;

     (2) Interiors of plumbing appliance flues or chimneys;

     (3) Wells, well pumps, or water storage related equipment;

     (4) Water conditioning systems;

     (5) Solar water heating systems;

     (6) Fire and lawn sprinkler systems;

     (7) Private waste disposal and sewer ejector systems; and

     (8) Automatic safety controls or manual stop valves.

(o) The home inspector shall not have to determine:

     (1) Whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private; and

     (2) Water supply quantity or quality.

(p) When inspecting the electrical system the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Service drop;

     (2) Service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways;

     (3) Service equipment and main disconnects;

     (4) Service grounding;

     (5) Interior components of service panels and sub panels;

     (6) Conductors;

     (7) Overcurrent protection devices; and

     (8) A representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles.

(q) When inspecting the electrical system the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) The amperage and voltage rating of the service;

     (2) The location of main disconnects and sub panels;

     (3) Wiring methods;

     (4) Service grounding; and

     (5) Over current protection devices.

(r) When inspecting the electrical system the home inspector shall report:

     (1) Presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring; and

     (2) Absence of smoke detectors and ground fault circuit interrupters.

(s) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Remote control devices;

     (2) Alarm systems and components;

     (3) Low voltage wiring systems and components;

     (4) Ancillary wiring systems and components not a part of the primary electrical power distribution system within the house structure; and

     (5) Generators and their control and distribution systems.

(t) The home inspector shall not measure amperage, voltage or impedance.

(u) When inspecting the heating system the home inspector shall open readily accessible panels and inspect:

     (1) Installed central heating system;

     (2) Distribution system;

     (3) Vent systems and chimney exteriors; and

     (4) Fuel storage and distribution systems excluding propane tanks.

(v) When inspecting the heating system the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) Installed central heating system;

     (2) Distribution system; and

     (3) Vent systems.

(w) When inspecting the heating system the home inspector shall report energy source or sources.

(x) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Interiors of heat source flues or chimneys;

     (2) Heat exchangers;

     (3) Humidifiers or dehumidifiers;

     (4) Electronic air filters;

     (5) Solar space heating systems;

     (6) Mechanical dampers; and

     (7) Propane tanks.

(y) The home inspector shall not have to determine heat supply adequacy or distribution balance.

(z) When inspecting the air conditioning system the home inspector shall open readily accessible panels to inspect:

     (1) Permanently installed central systems; and

     (2) Distribution systems.

(aa) When inspecting the air conditioning system the home inspector shall describe permanently installed central systems.

(ab) The home inspector shall not have to:

     (1) Inspect electronic air filters;

     (2) Determine cooling supply adequacy or distribution balance;

     (3) Inspect window or wall mounted air conditioning units; and

     (4) Operate air conditioning systems when the conditions adversely affect the operation of the equipment.

(ac) When inspecting the interior the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Walls, ceilings, and floors;

     (2) Steps, stairways, and railings;

     (3) Countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets;

     (4) Garage doors and garage door operators; and

     (5) A representative number of windows and doors.

(ad) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Paint, wallpaper, and other finish treatments;

     (2) Finished floor coverings;

     (3) Window treatments;

     (4) Central vacuum systems;

     (5) Household appliances; and

     (6) Recreational facilities.

(ae) When inspecting the insulation and ventilation the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Insulation in unfinished spaces;

     (2) Ventilation of attics and foundation areas; and

     (3) Mechanical ventilation systems.

(af) When inspecting insulation and ventilation the home inspector shall describe:

     (1) Insulation in unfinished spaces; and

     (2) Ventilation of attics and foundation areas.

(ag) When inspecting insulation and ventilation the home inspector shall report: the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces.

(ah) The home inspector shall not have to:

     (1) Disturb insulation;

     (2) Identify types of insulation; and

     (3) Inspect air-to-air exchangers or other similar systems.

(ai) When inspecting fireplaces the home inspector shall inspect:

     (1) Built-in fireplaces; and

     (2) Chimney exterior and vents.

(aj) When inspecting fireplaces the home inspector shall describe built-in fireplaces

(ak) The home inspector shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Interiors of fireplace flues or chimneys;

     (2) Fire screens and doors;

     (3) Seals and gaskets;

     (4) Automatic fuel feed devices;

     (5) Mantles and fireplace surrounds;

     (6) Combustion make-up air devices;

     (7) Heat distribution assists, gravity fed and fan assisted;

     (8) Solid fuel burning appliances; and

     (9) Gas appliances.

(al) The home inspector shall not have to:

     (1) Determine draft characteristics; and

     (2) Move fireplace inserts and stoves or firebox contents.

(am) The home inspector shall not have to determine:

     (1) Conditions of systems or components which are not readily accessible;

     (2) Remaining life expectancy of any system or component;

     (3) Strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or efficiency of any system or component;

     (4) The causes of any condition or deficiency;

     (5) Methods or materials necessary for corrections;

     (6) The suitability of the property for any specialized use;

     (7) Compliance with regulatory requirements including codes, regulations, laws, ordinances and manufacturers installation specifications;

     (8) The presence of potentially hazardous plants or animals including, but not limited to wood destroying organisms or diseases harmful to humans including molds or mold-like substances;

     (9) The presence of any environmental hazards including, but not limited to toxins, carcinogens, noise, and contaminants in soil, water, and air;

     (10) The effectiveness of any system installed or method utilized to control or remove suspected hazardous substances; and

     (11) Soil conditions relating to geotechnical or hydrologic specialties.

(an) Home inspectors shall not have to enter:

     (1) Any area that will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or its systems or components; and

     (2) Attics and under-floor crawl spaces which are not readily accessible.

(ao) Home inspectors shall not have to inspect:

     (1) Underground items including, but not limited to underground storage tanks or other underground indications of their presence, whether abandoned or active;

     (2) Items that are not installed;

     (3) Installed decorative items;

     (4) Items in areas that are not entered in accordance with Home 603.02 (ao) (1);

     (5) Detached structures;

     (6) Common elements or common areas in multi-unit housing, such as condominium properties or cooperative housing; and

     (7) Interiors of multi-unit housing flues, vents, or chimneys.

(ap) Home inspectors shall not be required to:

     (1) Perform any procedure or operation that will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or its systems or components;

     (2) Use a ladder;

     (3) Describe or report on any system or component that is not included in these Standards and was not inspected;

     (4) Move personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris;

     (5) Dismantle any system or component, except as explicitly required by Home 600;

     (6) Walk on roofs; and

     (7) Operate sump pumps.

(aq) Home inspectors shall not:

     (1) Report on market value of property or its marketability;

     (2) Report on the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the property;

     (3) Offer or perform additional inspectional services such as engineering, architectural, surveying, plumbing, electrical, pest control, or any other inspectional service requiring an occupational license and or registration in New Hampshire unless the inspector holds a valid registration and or occupational license, in which case he or she may inform the client that he or she is so registered/licensed, and is therefore qualified to go beyond this subdivision;

     (4) Estimate or project the cost of repairs;

     (5) Determine or verify property lines;

     (6) Operate any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable;

     (7) Operate any system or component, which does not respond to normal operating controls;

     (8) Predict future conditions and failure of systems or components;

     (9) Project operating costs of systems or components;

     (10) Evaluate acoustical characteristics of any system or component;

     (11) Determine any basement or crawlspace water tightness; and

     (12) Turn on or off any solid or liquid gas fuel burning device.

(ar) The home inspector shall not have to perform any action or make any determination not specifically stated in these standards of practice.

(as) Inspections performed in accordance with these standards of practice shall not have to identify concealed conditions, latent defects, or consequential damage or damages.

Master Inspector Certification Board Code of Ethics

The Master Inspector Certification Board promotes a high standard of professionalism, business ethics and inspection procedures. Certified Master Inspectors® subscribe to the following Code of Ethics in the course of their business:

1. Duty to the Public
The Certified Master Inspector® shall have completed 1,000 fee-paid inspections and/or hours of inspection-related Continuing Education (combined).
The Certified Master Inspector® shall have been in the inspection business for at least three years.
The Certified Master Inspector® will not engage in any practices that could be damaging to the public or that could bring discredit to the home inspection industry.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall be fair, honest, impartial, and act in good faith in dealing with the public.
The Certified Master Inspector® will not discriminate in any business activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or handicap, and shall comply with all federal, state and local laws concerning discrimination.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall be truthful regarding his/her services and qualifications.
The Certified Master Inspector® will have no conflict of interest with the client, nor will the Certified Master Inspector® accept or offer any third-party commissions, rebates, profits or other benefits.
The Certified Master Inspector® will not communicate any information about an inspection to anyone except the client without the client’s prior written consent, except where it may affect the safety of others or violate a rule or statute.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall always act in the interests of the client, unless doing so violates a law or statute.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall use a written contract that specifies the services to be performed, the limitations of services, and fees.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction where s/he conducts business.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or associated services to a structure for which the Certified Master Inspector® or Certified Master Inspector’s® company has prepared a home inspection report. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems which are not included in his/her Standards of Practice.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall submit to periodic criminal background checks and relinquish his/her Certified Master Inspector® professional designation if ever convicted of a violent crime or felony.
2. Duty to the Profession and to Other Certified Master Inspectors®
The Certified Master Inspector® will strive to improve the Inspection Industry by sharing his/her lessons and/or experiences for the benefit of all. This does not preclude the Certified Master Inspector® from copyrighting or marketing his/her expertise to other inspectors or to the public in any manner permitted by law.
The Certified Master Inspector® shall assist in disseminating and publicizing the benefits of hiring Certified Master Inspectors®.
The Certified Master Inspector® will not engage in any act or practice that could be deemed damaging, seditious or destructive to fellow Certified Master Inspectors®.
The Certified Master Inspector® will dress professionally when acting in the capacity of his/her profession.

Privacy Policy

The Policy is designed to assist you in understanding how we collect, use and safeguard the personal information you provide to us and to assist you in making informed decisions when using our site and our products and services. This statement will be continuously assessed against new technologies, business practices and our customers’ needs.

What Information Do We Collect?
When you visit our website, you may provide us with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected on an individual basis and website use information collected on an aggregate basis as you and others browse our website.

1. Personal Information You Choose to Provide
For example, you may need to provide the following information:
• Name
• Email address
• Phone number

In addition to providing the foregoing information, if you choose to correspond further with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses. We provide the same protections for these electronic communications that we employ in the maintenance of information received by mail and telephone.

2. Web Site Use Information
Similar to other commercial websites, our website utilizes a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and web server logs to collect information about how our website is used. Information gathered through cookies and web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our website, and the websites visited just before and just after our Web site. This information is collected on an aggregate basis. None of this information is associated with you as an individual.

How Do We Use the Information That You Provide to Us?
Broadly speaking, we use personal information for purposes of administering our business activities, providing customer service and making available other products and services to our customers and prospective customers. Occasionally, we may also use the information we collect to notify you about new services and special offers we think you will find valuable. The lists used to send you product and service offers are developed, managed and designed to safeguard the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information. As a customer, you will be given the opportunity to opt-out.

What Are Cookies?
Cookies are a feature of website browser software that allows web servers to recognize the computer used to access a website. Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored by a user’s web browser on the user’s hard drive. Cookies can remember what information a user accesses on one webpage to simplify subsequent interactions with that website by the same user or to use the information to streamline the user’s transactions on related webpages. This makes it easier for a user to move from webpage to webpage and to complete commercial transactions over the Internet. Cookies should make your online experience easier and more personalized.

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies?
We use website browser software tools such as cookies and web server logs to gather information about our website users’ browsing activities, in order to constantly improve our website and better serve our customers. This information assists us to design and arrange our webpages in the most user-friendly manner and to continually improve our website to better meet the needs of our customers and prospective customers.

Cookies help us collect important business and technical statistics. The information in the cookies lets us trace the paths followed by users to our website as they move from one page to another. Web server logs allow us to count how many people visit our website and evaluate our website’s visitor capacity. We do not use these technologies to capture your individual email address or any personally identifying information about you although they do permit us to send focused online banner advertisements or other such responses to you.

How Do We Protect Your Information?
We utilize encryption/security best practices to safeguard the confidentiality of personal information we collect from unauthorized access or disclosure and accidental loss, alteration or destruction.

Communication Opt Out
If you wish to opt out of receiving offers directly from Gate City Home Inspections, you can contact our customer service at info@gatecityinspection.com. We can be reached by phone at 603-508-9458.

Do We Disclose Information to Outside Parties?
We may provide aggregate information about our customers, sales, website traffic patterns and related website information to our affiliates or reputable third parties, but this information will not include personally identifying data, except as otherwise provided in this Privacy Policy. Contact information is disclosed to outside companies to provide you with ancillary services you order, such as water testing. We require these outside parties to protect your personal information with a similar privacy policy.

What about Legally Compelled Disclosure of Information?
We may disclose information when legally compelled to do so, in other words, when we, in good faith, believe that the law requires it or for the protection of our legal rights.

What About Other Websites Linked to Our Web Site?
We are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from our website nor the information or content contained therein.

No Guarantee
Despite our best efforts, no online communication is completely secure. We cannot guarantee the security of your information.