bakersfield home inspector

CREIA Standards of Practice

Residential Standards – Four or Fewer Units

  • Originally Adopted September 13, 1983
  • Revised November 1, 1996
  • Revised April 15, 1999
  • Revised July 12, 2003
  • Revised April 15, 2006 — Effective July 1, 2006

Note: Italicized words in this document are defined in the Glossary of Terms.

Download the CREIA Residential Standards of Practice (PDF: 110KB)

Table of Contents

I. Definitions and Scope

These Standards of Practice provide guidelines for a real estate inspection and define certain terms relating to these inspections. Italicized words in these Standards are defined in Part IV, Glossary of Terms.

  • A. A real estate inspection is a survey and basic operation of the systems and components of a building which can be reached, entered, or viewed without difficulty, moving obstructions, or requiring any action which may result in damage to the property or personal injury to the Inspector. The purpose of the inspection is to provide the Client with information regarding the general condition of the building(s). Cosmetic and aesthetic conditions shall not be considered.
  • B. A real estate inspection report provides written documentation of material defects discovered in the inspectedbuilding’ssystems and components which, in the opinion of the Inspector, are safety hazards, are not functioning properly, or appear to be at the end of their service lives. The report may include the Inspector’s recommendations for correction or further evaluation.
  • C. Inspections performed in accordance with these Standards of Practice are not technically exhaustive and shall apply to the primary building and its associated primary parking structure.

II. Standards of Practice

[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Foundation, Basement, and Under-floor Areas[/tabtext] [tabtext]Exterior[/tabtext] [tabtext]Roof Covering[/tabtext] [tabtext]Attic Areas and Roof Framing[/tabtext] [tabtext]Plumbing[/tabtext] [tabtext]Electrical[/tabtext] [tabtext]Heating and Cooling[/tabtext] [tabtext]Fireplaces and Chimneys[/tabtext] [tabtext]Building Interior[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]

A. Items to be inspected:

Foundation system

Floor framing system

Under-floor ventilation

Foundation anchoring and cripple wall bracing

Wood separation from soil


B. The inspector is not required to:

Determine size, spacing, location, or adequacy of foundation bolting/bracing components or reinforcing systems

Determine the composition or energy rating of insulation materials



A. Items to be inspected:

Surface grade directly adjacent to the buildings

Doors and windows

Attached decks, porches, patios, balconies, stairways, and their enclosures

Wall cladding and trim

Portions of walkways and driveways that are adjacent to the buildings

B. The inspector is not required to:

Inspect door or window screens, shutters, awnings, or security bars

Inspect fences or gates or operate automated door or gate openers or their safety devices

Use a ladder to inspectsystems or components


A. Items to be inspected:






B. The inspector is not required to:

Walk on the roof surface if in the opinion of the Inspector there is risk of damage or a hazard to the Inspector

Warrant or certify that roof systems, coverings, or components are free from leakage

A. Items to be inspected:




B. The inspector is not required to:

Inspect mechanical attic ventilation systems or components

Determine the composition or energy rating of insulation materials

A. Items to be inspected:

Water supply piping

Drain, waste, and vent piping

Faucets and fixtures

Fuel gas piping

Water heaters

Functional flow and functional drainage

B. The inspector is not required to:

Fill any fixture with water, inspect overflow drains or drain-stops, or evaluate backflow devices, waste ejectors, sump pumps, or drain line cleanouts

Inspect or evaluate water temperature balancing devices, temperature fluctuation, time to obtain hot water, water circulation, or solar heating systems or components

Inspect whirlpool baths, steam showers, or sauna systems or components

Inspect fuel tanks or determine if the fuel gas system is free of leaks

Inspect wells or water treatment systems



A. Items to be inspected:

Service equipment

Electrical panels

Circuit wiring

Switches, receptacles, outlets, and lighting fixtures

B. The inspector is not required to:

Operate circuit breakers or circuit interrupters

Remove cover plates

Inspect de-icing systems or components

Inspect private or emergency electrical supply systems or components



A. Items to be inspected:

Heating equipment

Central cooling equipment

Energy source and connections

Combustion air and exhaust vent systems

Condensate drainage

Conditioned air distribution systems

B. The inspector is not required to:

Inspect heat exchangers or electric heating elements

Inspect non-central air conditioning units or evaporative coolers

Inspect radiant, solar, hydronic, or geothermal systems or components

Determine volume, uniformity, temperature, airflow, balance, or leakage of any air distribution system

Inspect electronic air filtering or humidity control systems or components



A. Items to be inspected:

Chimney exterior

Spark arrestor



Hearth extension

B. The inspector is not required to:

Inspect chimney interiors

Inspect fireplace inserts, seals, or gaskets

Operate any fireplace or determine if a fireplace can be safely used



A. Items to be inspected:

Walls, ceilings, and floors

Doors and windows

Stairways, handrails, and guardrails

Permanently installed cabinets

Permanently installed cook-tops, mechanical range vents, ovens, dishwashers, and food waste disposers

Absence of smoke alarms

Vehicle doors and openers

B. The inspector is not required to:

Inspect window, door, or floor coverings

Determine whether a building is secure from unauthorized entry

Operate or test smoke alarms or vehicle door safety devices

Use a ladder to inspect systems or components

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III. Limitations, Exceptions and Exclusions

A. The following are excluded from a real estate inspection:

Systems or components of a building, or portions thereof, which are not readily accessible, not permanently installed, or not inspected due to circumstances beyond the control of the Inspector or which the Client has agreed or specified are not to be inspected
Site improvements or amenities, including, but not limited to; accessory buildings, fences, planters, landscaping, irrigation, swimming pools, spas, ponds, waterfalls, fountains or their components or accessories
Auxiliary features of appliances beyond the appliance’s basic function
Systems or components, or portions thereof, which are under ground, under water, or where the Inspector must come into contact with water
Common areas as defined in California Civil Code section 1351, et seq., and any dwelling unit systems or components located in common areas
Determining compliance with manufacturers’ installation guidelines or specifications, building codes, accessibility standards, conservation or energy standards, regulations, ordinances, covenants, or other restrictions
Determining adequacy, efficiency, suitability, quality, age, or remaining life of any building, system, or component, or marketability or advisability of purchase
Structural, architectural, geological, environmental, hydrological, land surveying, or soils-related examinations
Acoustical or other nuisance characteristics of any system or component of a building, complex, adjoining property, or neighborhood
Conditions related to animals, insects, or other organisms, including fungus and mold, and any hazardous, illegal, or controlled substance, or the damage or health risks arising there from
Risks associated with events or conditions of nature including, but not limited to; geological, seismic, wildfire, and flood
Water testing any building, system, or component or determine leakage in shower pans, pools, spas, or any body of water
Determining the integrity of hermetic seals at multi-pane glazing
Differentiating between original construction or subsequent additions or modifications
Reviewing information from any third-party, including but not limited to; product defects, recalls, or similar notices
Specifying repairs/replacement procedures or estimating cost to correct
Communication, computer, security, or low-voltage systems and remote, timer, sensor, or similarly controlled systems or components
Fire extinguishing and suppression systems and components or determining fire resistive qualities of materials or assemblies
Elevators, lifts, and dumbwaiters
Lighting pilot lights or activating or operating any system, component, or appliance that is shut down, unsafe to operate, or does not respond to normal user controls
Operating shutoff valves or shutting down any system or component
Dismantling any system, structure, or component or removing access panels other than those provided for homeowner maintenance

B. The Inspector may, at his or her discretion:

Inspect any building, system, component, appliance, or improvement not included or otherwise excluded by these Standards of Practice. Any such inspection shall comply with all other provisions of these Standards.
Include photographs in the written report or take photographs for Inspector’s reference without inclusion in the written report. Photographs may not be used in lieu of written documentation.

IV. Glossary of Terms

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