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Hay guys, Im new to the site and the business. I am a reflection of the bad economy and recently got laid off. I dont really know where to start but am wanting to buy some software to do home inspections.

Any recomendations would be appreciated. I have also signed up to take an 80 hr class this May to get my qualified.

Any help woiuld be appreciated. Thanks

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Hay guys, Im new to the site and the business. I am a reflection of the bad economy and recently got laid off. I dont really know where to start but am wanting to buy some software to do home inspections.

Any recomendations would be appreciated. I have also signed up to take an 80 hr class this May to get my qualified.

Any help woiuld be appreciated. Thanks

80 hrs to qualified? Which line of work are you coming from?


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Im sorry for that. Virginia, from what I understand does not presently require a person to have a state license to do home Inspections. However they do offer one. Its my UNDERSTANDING that you have to have at least 50 Home Inspections and 80 hours of class room time from an acceptable course.

I am an Engineer by education with a MBA. My back ground is in local government management. I was also part owner of a General Construction ESOP comp which I recently implimented a Buy/Sell agreement with my partner.

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I worked in the constructionfield from the time I was 14 years old till I was......well, always. My Dad made me go to work during summer school breaks which i now greatly appreciate. Im now 42 and reciently sold out my share of a GC company to me partner due to the economy.

Most of my DESK work was estimating jobs and construction path management.

Other than that Im new at this Inspection thing, However I am a good listner and quick learner.

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Todd, you're not ready to buy software if you "dont really know where to start".

First you have to get a clue so you do "know where to start". You can get a lot of that here by reading the forums on running a home inspection business, marketing, etc. For example, you're asking about software in a General Chit Chat forum instead of the Reporting Systems Forum.

First, focus on reading the message threads in the General Chit Chat, Insurance, Training, Reporting Systems, Advertising, Legal, Marketing, and Miscellaneous forums. This is where you can learn about the risks and rewards and "how to's" of starting a home inspection career. There is a lot of great advice in those messages from Inspectors who have made it, and Inspectors who have failed to make it. It will likely never be adequately repeated anywhere else.

You need to know how to RUN the business BEFORE you start worrying about doing the actual inspection.

Search the archives for specific questions or answers BEFORE asking questions. A LOT of good advice is contained in the archives that will probably never be repeated. When you do start asking questions, have a thick hide. It can be kind of brutally honest.

If you truly want to become a Home Inspector, you'll have to work hard at it. Digging thru this advice in the message board archives (searching) is just the start of the hard work to become successful.

If you still want to do it after reading those threads, then read the Specific Topic threads, such as Electrical, Plumbing, Structural, Roofing, etc.

If you REALLY want it, it can be done. Most home inspectors are one person shops that don't have room to hire anybody, including myself. Plan on doing it all by yourself. Of course, if you have $15,000 or $20,000 you could buy a franchise and get their support in getting started.

There is still a high failure rate. But, if you work hard at it, it can be done.

It is NOT as easy and simple as the "Become a Home Inspector, make $500 - $800 a day" ads from the Home Inspection Schools make it look. They are rather self serving to get new students in the door. There is a high failure rate, some estimate as high as 75 - 80%, for starting a home inspection business. The schools don't mention this because the students would not come in the door and give them bucks.

While the ads are accurate in that you CAN make $500 - $800 a day, what they don't tell you is that those days are few and far between. You'll be lucky to do one or two inspections a week for the first year or two, and it's kind of tough living on $500 a week. Better have some money in savings or another job.

I will point you to the best resources on the internet for getting the advice. It will take you some work to dig it out though. See links at bottom of this message.

Here are some quick message board links to topics about becoming a home inspector.

These are all valuable must read topics

https://inspectorsjournal.com/forum/top ... IC_ID=2250

https://inspectorsjournal.com/forum/top ... IC_ID=2251

https://inspectorsjournal.com/forum/top ... IC_ID=2252




You should get, if you don't already have, specific knowledge & education about proper application, installation, performance characteristics and failure causes for all the different types of:

1. The way the Lots & grounds & grading affect the structure;

2. Old and New Exterior surface materials and the various components thereof, wood lap, cement asbestos, vinyl, brick, log, masonite, etc;

3. Old and New Roofing materials, including gutter systems, downspouts, and leader extensions;

4. The complete electrical system from the Service Drop to the outlet, including the different brands & models of panels, wiring types & sizes & ampacity, required locations for the different types of switches & outlets, etc. (all systems from Knob & Tube to present day systems)

5. Structural components of the home from the roof framing to the foundation walls (including crawling thru the attics and crawl spaces);

6. Heating Systems, including flues and ductwork requirements;

7. Air Conditioning Systems;

8. Fireplaces / Wood Stoves / Chimneys; (are you familiar with Trimmer Arch Supports? It raised heck with me on the testing I took, i.e. the NHIE - National Home Inspectors Examination).

9. Plumbing Systems; (Complete DWV - (Drain, Waste, Vent) requirements)

10. Water heaters.

11. Kitchen Appliances;

12. Interior construction materials;

13. Laundry Room Applications.

14. Business Management

15. Marketing

16. Taxes & accounting

17. Insurance

18. and I'm sure there's more I'm missing off the top of my head.

Anyway the resources: (These are nationwide message boards for Home Inspectors.)


Residential Message Boards


The Inspector's Journal Forum


NACHI Message Board Current


NACHI Message Boards Archive

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It can be a very rewarding career, but it is a LOT of hard work to get started, be successful, and avoid being sued for sloppy inspections.

Do a LOT of reading in the message archives, did I say a LOT of reading in the archives, before you spend any money on schools or equipment.

Good luck, I hope it works for you.

Oh, and put a signature line in your profile here so people know your name is Todd. Don't get much response with meaningless usernames.

I use HomeGauge software, by the way.

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When an issue comes up, whether after an inspection or when you're just wondering about something related to home inspections, do a search on this forum first to find relevant information. If you don't find it, then open a new thread and post your question. Keep in mind that when you post, you're standing in front of a big, big classroom full of top inspectors from all over the country, so...make it brief and interesting if you can (not like me [;)]).

This forum beats any resource I've used in my 8 years inspecting. Both in breadth of topic and in speedy answers.


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Nah, Mike O didn't hack anything. It's something I wrote a long time ago when I was getting a lot of questions, in my role as KREIA Webmaster, about how to get started. I took some time, dug up some stuff, spoke to a few others, thought about what I wished I'd known when I started, and then put it together.

The above is mostly just a copy and paste of that.

But Kurt added a great one too! Learn how to price your services. Do you really want to be the cheap guy in town as your reputation.

Provide quality AND charge for it.


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