At the beginning of 2015 the South Carolina Builders Commission announced they were adopting the Standards of Practice from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The news came as a great surprise to all licensed home inspectors in the state as well as ASHI. At a recent inspectors conference in Columbia, state and regional directors of ASHI were as surprised as anyone the commission had finally moved on ASHI's request to update the state standards.
All inspectors in South Carolina, regardless of their relationship with ASHI, are now obliged to use the ASHI standards as the foundation for all their home inspection reports.
While not startling different, the ASHI standards clarify many items that were considered "fuzzy" in the original state standards written by the builders commission in the 1990's. The most significant change from the old standard is the type of reporting that is now required; according to Bruce Baker, past chairman of the the ASHI Standards Committee, the ASHI standard is a "negative" standard which in effect means inspectors are no longer required to document many of the common elements of a property such as interior or exterior components of a structure like roof type, wall type, the presence of decks porches and patios; the presence or type of garage; the presence of GFCI protection and smoke detectors; doors, windows, flooring, etc.. ASHI standards require notations be made when there is a negative issue regarding any item in the property, i.e. problems, damage or deficiency.
Confused? So were we. The recent conference in Columbia hosted by ASHI and lead by Bruce Baker himself was attended by fewer than 40 of the nearly 1000 licensed inspectors in the state - only 3 inspectors from the Hilton Head/Bluffton/Beaufort market were in attendance, including your's truly. Hearing the changes directly from the man who wrote the standards was very helpful in understanding the purpose for the change and the impact the change will have on inspectors and their clients.
To read the 2014 ASHI standards of practice visit the SERVICES page of our web site.