Glossary of Terms

Adjacent

Nearest in space or position; immediately adjoining without intervening space.

Alarm Systems

Warning devices, installed or free-standing, including but not limited to; carbon monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage detectors, security equipment, ejector pumps and smoke alarms.

Architectural Service

Any practice involving the art and science of building design for construction of any structure or grouping of structures and the use of space within and surrounding the structures or the design for construction, including but not specifically limited to, schematic design, design development, preparation of construction contract documents, and administration of the construction contract, adequacy of design for the location and exposure to the elements.

Automatic Safety Controls

Devices designed and installed to protect systems and components from unsafe conditions.

Component

A part of a system.

Confined Spaces

An enclosed or partially enclosed area that:

  1. Is occupied by people only for the purpose of completing work.
  2. Has restricted entry/exit points.
  3. Could be hazardous to people entering due to:
    1. Its design, construction, location or atmosphere.
    2. The materials or substances in it, or
    3. Any other conditions which prevent normal inspection procedure.
Decorative

Ornamental; not required for the operation of the essential systems and components of a building.

Describe

To report a system or component by its type or other observed, significant characteristics to distinguish it from other systems or components.

Determine

To find out, or come to a conclusion by investigation.

Dismantle

To take apart or remove any component, device, or piece of equipment that would not be taken apart or removed by a homeowner in the course of normal and routine home owner maintenance.

Engineering Service

Any professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, training, and experience and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such professional service or creative work as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design and supervision of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance with the specifications and design, in conjunction with structures, buildings, machines, equipment, works or processes.

Functionality

The purpose that something is designed or expected to fulfill.

Further Evaluation

Examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman or service technician beyond that provided by the home inspection.

Home Inspection

The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a building and which describes those systems and components in accordance with these National Standards of Practice.

Household Appliances

Kitchen, laundry, and similar appliances, whether installed or freestanding.

Inspect

To examine readily accessible systems and components of a building in accordance with these National Standards of Practice, where applicable using normal operating controls and opening readily accessible panels.

Inspector

A person hired to examine any system or component of a building in accordance with these National Standards of Practice.

Installed

Set up or fixed in position for current use or service.

Monitor

Examine at regular intervals to detect evidence of change.

Normal Operating Controls

Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the homeowner.

Operate

To cause to function, turn on, to control the function of a machine, process, or system.

Probing

Examine by touch.

Readily Accessible

Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property.

Readily Openable Access Panel

A panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance that is within normal reach, can be removed by one person, and is not sealed in place.

Recreational Facilities

Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, exercise, entertainment, athletic, playground or other similar equipment and associated accessories.

Report

To communicate in writing.

Representative Number

One component per room for multiple similar interior components such as windows and electric outlets; one component on each side of the building for multiple similar exterior components.

Roof Drainage Systems

Components used to carry water off a roof and away from a building.

Sample

A representative portion selected for inspection.

Service Life/Lives

The period during which something continues to function fully as intended.

Significant Deficiency

A clearly definable hazard or a clearly definable potential for failure or is unsafe or not functioning.

Shut Down

A state in which a system or component cannot be operated by normal operating controls.

Solid Fuel Burning Appliances

A hearth and fire chamber or similar prepared place in which a fire may be built and which is built in conjunction with a chimney; or a listed assembly of a fire chamber, its chimney and related factory-made parts designed for unit assembly without requiring field construction.

Structural Component

A component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads).

System

A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions.

Technically Exhaustive

An inspection is technically exhaustive when it is done by a specialist who may make extensive use of measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, and other means to develop scientific or engineering findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Under-floor Crawl Space

The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the floor.

Unsafe

A condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component which is judged to be a significant risk of personal injury during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage, deterioration, missing or improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction Standards.

Vapour Barrier

Material used in the building envelope to retard the passage of water vapour or moisture.

Visually Accessible

Able to be viewed by reaching or entering.

Wiring Methods

Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such as “non-metallic sheathed cable” (“Romex”), “armored cable” (“bx”) or “knob and tube”, etc.

Note – In these National Standards of Practice, redundancy in the description of the requirements, limitations and exclusions regarding the scope of the Home Inspection is provided for clarity not emphasis.

(CAHPI acknowledges The American Society of Home Inspectors®, Inc. (ASHI®) for the use of their Standards of Practice (version January 1, 2000))
(Avelar Home Inspection acknowledges CAHPI and ASHI for the use of their Standards of Practice)