Steve illustrates a real problem here in his recent post. He thinks that sellers "are out to get him" with some of the situations he encounters.
He's not the only one who is put in peril. Have you ever found a keysafe box put in an unusual or inaccessible location? We actually have written rules about keysafe placement. Like a lot of rules, almost no one evidently reads them!
How To Kill A Home Inspector
I am sometimes amazed at what I see during a home inspection. For example, take a look at the electric service panel I tried to inspect the other day. I think I'm going to start packing a machete in my vehicle so I can get access to these things! Per the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) Standards of Practice a home inspector is not required to put his life in danger to inspect a component. I always try to work around obstacles as much as possible to perform a thorough inspection for my clients, but home sellers should always keep in mind that they can help the inspection process by simply making sure all components of their home are accessible.
An electric panel is required to have a 30" wide by 36" deep by 6 1/2' tall clear space in front of it according to the National Electric Code standards. This provides a safe working space in front of the panel board. It is not uncommon at all to see vines or tall shrubs growing in front of or over top of electric service panels. If maintenance or inspection of the panel is being performed and there is not the required clearance, the technician or inspector could fall into the panel and be electrocuted. If safe access cannot be made, the home inspector may have to return another day to complete the inspection and re-visit fees may apply. The listing agent of a property can help a home inspection go smoothly by reminding the seller that all components must be accessible and ready for inspection.
Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. They also receive our bi-weekly "Tech Tips"- simple do-it-yourself tips to beautify your home and make it more efficient. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.
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