System: Site Characteristics

American Institute of Inspectors Standards of Practice


4.1The Inspector shall observe and describe:

  • Site grade and surface water drainage characteristics at the foundation if observable. Most buildings have shrubbery or other growth around the property that limit or eliminate the ability of the inspector to visualize the drainage or grade of the property.
  • Condition of walkways and exterior stairways, stoops, landings, patios and decks.
  • Condition of driveways and other paved or masonry areas.
  • Visibly accessible retaining walls and rockeries.
  • Earth to wood proximity.

4.2 The Inspector shall NOT report the following unless said inspections are contained within a separate contract:

  • Ownership of property, fencing, privacy walls, retaining walls, or related issues.
  • Condition of trees, shrubs, or vegetation.
  • Soil or geological conditions, site engineering, property boundaries, encroachments or easements.
  • Adequacy of retaining walls, sea walls, waterfront bulkhead, docks and piers.
  • Ponds, fountains or decorative water features.

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