Excluded, If You Please

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Sometimes, as a Bellingham and Whatcom county home inspector, simply trying to navigate around a house can be death-defying. I know this is a problem for all inspectors. A while back I had a sore back and, of course, then I got super busy. I had a heck of a time resting the back because my job entailed trying to push things around to get to furnaces, electric panels or even just to make my way up stairs or to get into an attic.

We inspectors face this all the time at any occupied home. It is worse when someone is moving because, then, they store everything in the garage and in every available space. Often a spare bedroom is full of stuff, you cannot even get inside the door. Problem is, a month later after closing, the person moving in to an empty house might find some things that the inspector did not see because he or she had no access. If a remodel takes place, that probably doubles the chances of some hidden problem being found when walls or ceiling surfaces are opened. For that reason, most of us take lots of photos for the file and, also, put an exclusionary statement of this type in the report.

Furnished home/general limitations:

This home is furnished; therefore, numerous counter, under sink, closet, window, wall, floor, and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by personal effects, blinds, drapes, rugs, carpets, collectibles, furniture and other items, limiting the inspection of some areas. Appliances and furniture are not moved and belongings stored on window sills are not moved. Insulation, when present in crawl space and attic areas, obstructs visibility, therefore areas that are not visible or accessible because of impeded visibility or objects are excluded from the inspection.  

The photo above is one of the "less problematic" homes, so you can imagine the access issues at some of the houses we inspectors literally "wade" through.

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith


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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

No kidding....many a home will have so much clutter you folks can't even get into anything to inspect. How about under the sinks? Cluttered with old bottles of no good cleaning products...dirty mildew rags....ugh.

Oct 18, 2009 06:36 AM #1
Theodora Wu
TJ Investments - Burien, WA

I am sure you run into some very interesting situations.  Perhaps even homeowners that deliberately try to conceal something. 

Oct 18, 2009 08:49 AM #2
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Steve---that place sure looks a lot neater than your office.

Oct 18, 2009 10:54 AM #3
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Sally, that is correct.

Theodore, thanks for the comment.

Charlie, come back when you are not being silly.

Oct 18, 2009 10:58 AM #4
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

That is really hard to do and hardly seems worth the effort:)

Oct 18, 2009 03:43 PM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

We all have our exclusionary statements!

Oct 18, 2009 11:05 PM #6
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

These are the sellers that REALLY need some professional staging advice, but WON'T ever get it!




Oct 19, 2009 01:32 AM #7
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Highlands Ranch, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Steven - you would have loved this one house we had listed then. There was stuff nobody knew even existed. ~Rita

Oct 19, 2009 03:40 PM #8
Paul Duffau
Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington - Asotin, WA
Caring for People, Educating about Homes

I've had houses where I can't even enter the room without walking on a 1' or 2' of personal possessions.

The client is usually really understanding.

Oct 20, 2009 03:57 AM #9
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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