Excluded, If You Please

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Sometimes, as a Bellingham and Whatcom county home inspector, simply trying to navigate around a house can be death-defying. I know this is a problem for all inspectors. A while back I had a sore back and, of course, then I got super busy. I had a heck of a time resting the back because my job entailed trying to push things around to get to furnaces, electric panels or even just to make my way up stairs or to get into an attic.

We inspectors face this all the time at any occupied home. It is worse when someone is moving because, then, they store everything in the garage and in every available space. Often a spare bedroom is full of stuff, you cannot even get inside the door. Problem is, a month later after closing, the person moving in to an empty house might find some things that the inspector did not see because he or she had no access. If a remodel takes place, that probably doubles the chances of some hidden problem being found when walls or ceiling surfaces are opened. For that reason, most of us take lots of photos for the file and, also, put an exclusionary statement of this type in the report.

Furnished home/general limitations:

This home is furnished; therefore, numerous counter, under sink, closet, window, wall, floor, and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by personal effects, blinds, drapes, rugs, carpets, collectibles, furniture and other items, limiting the inspection of some areas. Appliances and furniture are not moved and belongings stored on window sills are not moved. Insulation, when present in crawl space and attic areas, obstructs visibility, therefore areas that are not visible or accessible because of impeded visibility or objects are excluded from the inspection.  

The photo above is one of the "less problematic" homes, so you can imagine the access issues at some of the houses we inspectors literally "wade" through.

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith


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Comments 9 New Comment

Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

That is really hard to do and hardly seems worth the effort:)

October 18, 2009 10:43 PM
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

We all have our exclusionary statements!

October 19, 2009 06:05 AM
Erby Crofutt
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)

These are the sellers that REALLY need some professional staging advice, but WON'T ever get it!




October 19, 2009 08:32 AM
Brian Burke
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
Kenna Real Estate

Steven - you would have loved this one house we had listed then. There was stuff nobody knew even existed. ~Rita

October 19, 2009 10:40 PM
Paul Duffau
Caring for People, Educating about Homes
National Property Inspections in SE Washington

I've had houses where I can't even enter the room without walking on a 1' or 2' of personal possessions.

The client is usually really understanding.

October 20, 2009 10:57 AM

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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Additional Information

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.