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Hi all-

I have a question for all you vetran inspectors out there.

I would like to become a home inspector and incorporate that into my business. I have been in the home construction, and remodel field for some time and have come across alot of people who ask if I know a good inspector, so I know there is a high demand in my area.

My question is, My state does not require a formal license to be an inspector, but I want to take some training to know details. I have seen several courses you can take online here and through home study but who do I go through.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to who I should use for the education programs? Is one more respectable that the other?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



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ITA is pretty good. The ASHI @ Home study course is decent for home study.

Beware the plethora of new home inspection training schools; for that matter, beware some of the old one's also. Many of them are pathetic. I'll be glad to discuss it further via private email; if I start naming names of pathetic organizations, I'll be in trouble.

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The ICC certification route is pretty good too. Their training sessions aren't cheap, the tests average 30% passage rate, so it takes an average of three tests to get the certs, but when you get one you've been thru the paces pretty well.

If you're a "do-it-yourselfer", just buy the books, take the tests and the knocks on the head.

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I agree that that the ICC classes and certifications are good for an inspector to have, but when you are starting out and have little knowledge of what a home inspector does I would stay with one of the major training schools or at home programs.

Defect recognition is not taught by any of the ICC classes, and this is what the HI schools are teaching over the ICC. After you have learned what a home inspector should do, then get your ICC certs.

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It's a crappy Wednesday in Mich and I'm feeling nasty, so here goes: I have been inspecting houses for a loooong time and want to incorporate remodeling into my business. I know there is a demand, as me and everyone that works for me get asked every day who is a good builder/remodeler. Can I get some training to start doing bath remodels? My state requires a license, but I have had one for twenty years along with 263,000 other people in Mich. Any ideas?

Seriously Brian, I am not as sarcastic as I seem and applaude you for asking the question. The answers above are all good, but I agree with Scott. Also, Kurt had an excellent suggestion for a private conversation. We are somewhat limited on the board by manners and decorum. ICC and ITA are good. With your background, likely the most important thing is to learn to think like an inspector. During the past ten years, I have had 6-8 people come from building backgrounds and most have to learn to inspect and not estimate. Schools and training can "learn" you that.

Good luck!!

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I have to agree with Les and Scott. A building background helps a little, but building is a totally different mindset. If you're going to get into this business you need to think more analytically like an inspector and not necessarily in terms of construction and codes.

My father has been a custom builder since 1951 - the year I was born. He's nearly 80 years old and right now he's right in the middle of a new home in upstate New York that he started for a guy in October.

When I was getting ready to retire from the military he asked me if I was going to stay with law enforcement, which is what I did in the Army, or if I was going back to construction. When I told him I was planning to open my own company as a home inspector his response was, "Your gonna be one of those sons-a-bitches!!??!! What the hell do you want to do that for? I wouldn't give you a nickel for the whole passel of 'em. They come onto my site, walk around with a clipboard for half an hour, soak my buyers for $500 and then they give 'em a report full of a bunch of crap - most of which is perfectly acceptable and the customer ends up trying to nickel and dime me to death over stupid stuff. These guys don't even know the local code and they try to tell people whether things are right or not! What's up with that? I think these guys will write anything in a report just to justify their fee."

That was late winter 1996. He came out here to Seattle a few years ago and I had him ride along with me on a couple of inspections. I asked him to just sit back, watch and listen, withhold judgement and not to comment until the client had left and we were on the way home. So, on the first one, he followed the client and I around, watching and listening and never uttered a word.

It was a 2800 square foot house. After the client had paid me the check and we were driving back to my place he was real quiet. About halfway home he cleared his throat and asked, "Is that how you do all of your inspections?" "Yep," I answered, "Pretty much."

"That's a lot more involved than I thought it was," he said. "I thought it was all about knowing how to build a house and codes, but it isn't. You've got to know a whole lot of other stuff like building science, electricity, and heating systems, and such. Then you've got to make the customer understand what's wrong with the house and what it all means. Hell, you've practically got to be a teacher. Even I learned a thing or two!"

That night, he watched as I put the report together. Over the next few days he went out on a few more jobs and spent some time going through my references and doing some reading about the business. A couple of weeks later he went back to the East coast. When he was packing, I shoved some more references into his suitcase.

That winter, I sent his name as a lead to a national company that was looking for draw inspectors. The following spring when he came out here for my cousin's wedding, we were walking to my car in the airport parking garage when he handed me a business card - Lone Elm Inspections, Hugh O'Handley, Inspector. "'Course, I ain't as good at it as you are," he said, "I can't do that teaching bit - talking to customers and listening to their yammering drives me nuts - but I'm doing some draw inspections for that company you referred me to and a couple of local banks, and I'm learning."

It was all the vindication I needed.

Clear your mind of all preconceptions, go to a decent school and then learn to immitate a sponge.



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