As inspectors we see and hear a variety of different things, such as the famous saying "its been that way for years" to "that's grandfathered." As a home owner, the decision can be made in most areas to make what we think are acceptable home improvements/ repairs. Such as adding a deck that has minimal support by spanning the joist supports beyond the recommended load capacity creating an unsafe deck, or simply deciding that the step height should be 10" verses the recommended max of 7 3/4" height. While the existing home owner could very well have an idea of what works or have legs longer than average to accommodate these 10" steps, on average over-spanning the joists creates support issues and step heights above average pose a trip hazard while negotiating them. Simply put, we inspect to ensure things are the way they are intended to be to ensure added safety and longevity. Although inspectors do not inspect to code we follow a very stringent standards of practice set forth by the Texas Real Estate Commission to ensure your home is performing as intended.