An inspector cannot possibly critique a home’s, a builder’s or contractor’s performance under the adopted building codes if he or she is not intimately familiar with those codes. Building codes are not taught to TREC inspectors and building code compliance is not the aim of the TREC inspector SOP.
While code compliance is (supposedly, at least according to the Texas Real Estate Commission) not the primary focus of a home inspection, almost all property defects have their basis in code-related standards. To be certain that your Inspector is proficient in this area of knowledge; seek someone with membership and full certification in the ICC (International Code Council. You can verify this certification at:
Texas Inspector takes a completely different approach to inspecting older homes than his licensing agency prefers or other inspectors do. The Texas Real Estate Commission specifically excludes any requirements to address building code issues in the inspection of houses, regardless of age. Most inspectors are not code-certified and cannot inspect to code, but rather merely offer specious, subjective opinions.
The building code represents the minimal construction standards necessary to protect life, limb, and property. Any house that does not meet these standards is, by definition, substandard. Homebuyers need to know that their houses are safe to live in and that they are not paying top dollar for substandard construction.
The real estate brokers, agents, and sellers will all chant the “grandfathered” mantra when confronted with code violations in their homes. This term indicates that the house was approved by someone whenever it was built and that it is still OK by today’s standards. Say what? We have made much progress in the past 100 years in making houses safer. Homebuyers need to be made aware of those advances.