Common Home Inspection Terminology
Alarm Systems: means installed or freestanding warning devices including, but not limited to, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors and security equipment.
Central Air Conditioning: means a system that uses either ducts to distribute cooled and/or dehumidified air to more than one room of a residential building or pipes to distribute chilled water to heat exchanges in more than one room in a residential building, and which is not plugged into an electrical convenience outlet.
Component: means a readily accessible and observable aspect of a system such as a floor or a wall, but not individual pieces such as boards or nails where many similar pieces make up the component.
Dangerous or Adverse Situations: means situations that pose a threat of injury to the home inspector including, but not limited to, those situations in which the home inspector is required to use special protective clothing or other safety equipment.
Decorative: means a component or part thereof that is ornamental and not required for the proper operation of the essential systems and components of a home.
Dismantle: means to take apart or remove any component, device, or piece of equipment that is bolted, screwed, or fastened and that a homeowner in the course of normal household maintenance would not dismantle.
Engineering, Practice of: means as that term is defined in Education Law, title VIII, Article 145, Section 7201.
Engineering Study: means a study requiring engineering services.
Functional Drainage: means the operation of a drain whereby a drain empties in a reasonable amount of time and does not overflow when another fixture is drained simultaneously.
Functional Flow: means a reasonable flow at the highest fixture in a dwelling when another fixture is operated simultaneously.
Further Evaluation: means the examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman, or service technician beyond that provided by the home inspection.
Household Appliances: means kitchen and laundry appliances, room air conditioners, and similar appliances.
Inspect: means to visually examine any system or component of a building in accordance with these Standards of Practice, using normal operating controls and opening readily operable access panels.
Installed: means attached or connected such that the installed item requires tools for removal.
Mold-like substance: means it appears to have the characteristics of mold, but only a qualified mold assessor can actually determine if something is mold or "mold-like".
Normal Operating Controls: means homeowner operated devices such as a thermostat, wall switch, or safety switch.
Observable: means able to be observed at the time of the inspection without the removal of covering, fixed, finished and or stored materials.
Observe: means the act of making a visual examination.
On-site Water Supply Quantity: means the volume of water that is available for domestic use.
Operate: means to cause systems or equipment to function.
Primary Windows and Doors: means windows and exterior doors that are designed to remain in their respective openings year-round.
Qualified Contractor: one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.
Readily Accessible: means available for visual inspection without requiring the home inspector to remove or dismantle any personal property, use destructive measures, or take any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property.
Readily Operable Access Panel: means a panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance, which has removable or operable fasteners or latch devices in order to be lifted, swung open, or otherwise removed by one person, and its edges and fasteners are not painted in place. The panel must be within normal reach and not blocked by stored items, furniture or building components.
Recreational Facilities: means spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground equipment, and other entertainment or athletic facilities.
Report: means a written document setting forth findings of home inspection unless otherwise specified in these regulations.
Representative Number: means for multiple identical components such as windows and electrical outlets, one such component per room. For multiple identical exterior components this term shall mean one such component on each side of the building.
Roof Drainage Systems: means gutters, down spouts, leaders, splash blocks, and similar components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building.
Safe Access: means access free of any encumbrances, hazardous materials, health and safety hazards such as climbing and/or standing on other than the ground and/or floor which may jeopardize the inspector.
Safety Glazing: means tempered glass, laminated glass or rigid plastic.
Shut Down: means a piece of equipment or a system is shut down when the device or control cannot be operated in a manner that a homeowner would normally use to operate it. If the safety switch or circuit breaker is in the "off" position, or the fuse is missing or blown, the inspector is not required to reestablish the circuit for the purpose of operating the equipment or system.
Solid Fuel Heating Device: means any wood, coal, or other similar organic fuel burning device including, but not limited to, fireplaces whether masonry or factory built, fireplace inserts and stoves, wood stoves (room heaters), central furnaces, and any combination of these devices.
Structural Component: means a component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads).
System: means a combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions.
Technically Exhaustive: means an inspection is technically exhaustive when it involves the extensive use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
Under Floor Crawl Space: means the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.
Unsafe: means a condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component, which is judged by the Home Inspector to be of significant risk of personal injury during normal, day to day use. The risk may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation or a change in the accepted residential construction standard.
Water Supply Quality: means the quality of a residential building's water supply based on the bacterial, chemical, mineral, and solids content of the water.
Source: NYS Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors