ASHI New England Glossary

We've all heard these terms before. Indeed, we use many of them in our everyday speech. But, what do they mean in the context of a home inspection? This glossary is provided to facilitate your understanding of the Standards of Practice subscribed to by your ASHI New England home inspector.

Alarm Systems Architectural Service
Component Decorative
Describe Dismantle
Engineering Service Further Evaluation
Home Inspection Household Appliances
Inspect Inspector
Installed Normal Operating Controls
Readily Accessible Readily Openable Access Panel
Recreational Facilities Report
Representative Number Roof Drainage Systems
Significantly Deficient Shut Down
Solid Fuel Burning Appliances Structural Component
System Technically Exhaustive
Under-floor Crawl Space Unsafe
Wiring Methods  
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. top
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. top 
  A part of a system. top
  Ornamental; not required for the operation of the essential systems and components of a home. top
  To report a system or component by its type or other observed, significant characteristics to distinguish it from other systems or components. top
  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. top
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. top
Further Evaluation
  Examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman or service technician beyond that provided by the home inspection. top
Home Inspection
  The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a home and which describes those systems and components in accordance with these Standards of Practice. top 
Household Appliances
  Kitchen, laundry, and similar appliances, whether installed or free-standing. top 
  To examine readily accessible systems and components of a building in accordance with these Standards of Practice, using normal operating controls and opening readily openable access panels. top 
  A person hired to examine any system or component of a building in accordance with these Standards of Practice. top
  Attached such that removal requires tools. top
Normal Operating Controls
  Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the homeowner. top
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. top
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. top
Recreational Facilities
  Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, exercise, entertainment, athletic, playground or other similar equipment and associated accessories. top 
  To communicate in writing. top
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. top
Roof Drainage Systems

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

Significantly Deficient
  Unsafe or not functioning. top
Shut Down
  A state in which a system or component cannot be operated by normal operating controls. top
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. top
Structural Component
  A component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads). top
  A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions. top
Technically Exhaustive
  An investigation that involves dismantling, the extensive use of advanced techniques, measurements, instruments, testing, calculations, or other means. top 
Under-floor Crawl Space
  The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the floor. top
  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, improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction standards. top
Wiring Methods
  Identification of electrical conductors or wires by their general type, such as “nonmetallic sheathed cable” (“Romex”), “armored cable” (“bx”) or “knob and tube”, etc. top
The Glossary is published, with permission, from the "The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors®" of the national organization.