The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) designates accepted codes of ethics and standards of practice that qualified home inspectors typically use as guidelines when defining their services. According to ASHI, a home inspection is restricted to conditions which are visually discoverable. Issues that exist within walls, ceilings or floors or which are underneath the ground are excluded from the scope of examination. Under ASHI standards, inspectors are not required to record conditions that would require the dismantling of construction or excavation of ground services.
When reviewing an inspection report, buyers should note the scope and limitations defined by the inspector. Generally, inspectors will outline the parameters of the home inspection performed in either the initial contract or the report. The majority of inspectors will use ASHI standards as the basis for their services and the inspection will be limited to discovery of conditions that are normally visible.