these state agencies collectively is referred to as the Code of
Massachusetts Regulations (CMR). So, for example, as a general
contractor in the construction industry it was mandatory that I follow the rules and regulations listed in 780 CMR (Massachusetts State Building Code). If I failed to do so, the town or city Building Inspector would not provide me with a written approval of the work that I had performed. As a home inspector I must follow a different set of rules and regulations, those defined in 266 CMR, those issued by the Board of Home Inspectors. For your convenience, I have included two subsections of 266 CMR that directly impact the home inspection process as well as the components to be inspected; 266 CMR part 2, Definitions and 266 CMR part 6, Standards of Practice. The complete 266 CMR can be found at this link: 266 CMR: Board of Registration of Home Inspectors.
266 CMR part 6 (Standards of Practice) describes the purpose of the home inspection for residential buildings as well as the requirements (expectations) of the home inspector. As per 266 CMR 6.02 Purpose:
“The purpose of a home inspection for residential buildings, including their attached garages, is to provide the Client with an inspection report that forthrightly discloses the physical conditions of the systems and components listed in 266 CMR 6.04 (Scope of the Home Inspection), which are readily accessible and observable, including those systems and components, which are safety hazards as observed at the time of the inspection”
266 CMR section 6.04 lists and describes the home components and systems that are to be inspected during the home inspection process. However, section 6.04 also lists and describes those items that are excluded (Exclusions) during the inspection process. Many of these items can be included in the inspection as optional services, but several of these exclusions require licensed professional services including DIG Safe, Pest Extermination Services and Structural/Professional Engineer, etc.
Our services are listed in four categories:
Category 1 - 266 CMR 6.04 required inspections:
As listed and described in 266 CMR 6.0 Standards of Practice, and specifically 6.04 Scope of the Home Inspection, the following home components and systems are subject to a visual, non-intrusive review and inspection:
1. Roofing (including but not limited to: types of roof coverings, exposed drainage systems, flashings, skylights, chimneys and roof penetrations, and signs of leaks on building components)
2. Exterior of home (including but not limited to: wall coverings, entryway doors and windows, garage door operators, decks, balconies, stoops, porches, exposed trim, flashing, driveways, walkways and vegetation)
3. Home structure (including but not limited to: components exposed
in the basement, under floor crawl spaces, and within the attic space,
including signs of water penetration). As much as we like to see clean
undamaged floor joists that are appropriately sized for their spans,
sometimes we are surprised at what we do see. This photo illustrates
a 2x6 floor joist spanning over 12 feet with much of its center support
4. Electrical (including but not limited to: exposed service entrance conductors, exterior receptacles, the grounding system, interior of service panel, exterior of branch circuits, overcurrent devices, interior receptacles). For example the interior of a service panel should be clean and free of dangling circuit wires (just to name a few common issues that we find - photo left). And spliced wires belong in a clearly visible and accessible junction box, not concealed within a wall in a block of plaster! Photo right
5. Plumbing systems (including but not limited to: interior water supply and distribution system, hot water systems and normal operating controls, drain and waste systems)
6. Heating systems (including but not limited to: heating components and systems, normal operating controls, type of energy source, type of heat, manufacturing date of equipment, exterior of chimney, thimbles and vents). We hardly expect to find coal/hard wood burners any more (although they are making a comeback in some areas of the country). The photo below (left) shows a coal burner that was retired many years ago in favor of an oil fired boiler. At one time, the coal burner was responsible for heating a 4000 square foot home! However, even modern day heating systems are not without their problems. The photo below (right) shows a gas furnace (hot air) system with rust on the gas burners.
7. Central air conditioning systems (condition of condenser and air-handling unit, manufacturing date of equipment, insulation on exposed supply ductwork, the return and supply air distribution ductwork)
8. Interior of home (including but not limited to: walls, ceilings, floors, staircases, handrails, countertops, cabinets and doors and windows)
9. Insulation and ventilation (including but not limited to: exposed insulation in unfinished spaces, type of insulation in attic and bathroom venting system)
Category 2 - Wood destroying insects:
As an integral component of the home inspection process, Total Home Inspections of New England is certified by the New England Pest Management Association (NEPMA) to provide wood destroying insect inspectional services.
Category 3 - Radon testing:
As an optional service, we offer Radon in air testing as a component of the inspection process. Additionally, for those homes supplied by well water we offer both radon in water testing as well as water purity testing. In the very near future we will be offering both radon in air and radon in water as stand alone tests (separate from the home inspection process).
Category 4 - Optional inspections:
Please call us regarding other required services
Homes up to 2000 square feet = $350.00
Antique homes (pre 1940) up to 2000 square feet = $375.00
Condominium units = 325.00
Condominium town houses = $350.00
Radon testing (air) = $100.00
Radon testing (water) = $125.00
Water purity test = $200.00
For homes greater than 2000 square feet, or for other optional services (unattached buildings, swimming pools, etc.), please call for pricing
Please call to schedule a home inspection or to obtain and/or confirm inspection pricing
Total Home Inspections
of New England, LLC
Photo taken in 1967, Bellmore, Long Island, NY
Copyright © Total Home Inspections of New England, LLC | 2015 All rights reserved.