Jump to content

Should I get certified?


Recommended Posts

I am in the process of starting a home inspection business and I am wondering if I should get certified. I don't mean to offend anyone but I am not impressed with certification. I have 20 years of experience dealing with every aspect of houses. If you don't know the difference between a door and a window you can hand one of these private organizations 1,000 dollars, they send you a home study course and tell you you can run through it in a day if you want to. Or you can take a 3 to 5 day class and bam your certified. I think this is as close to a farse as you can get. I talked to a home inspector in my area that had a ton of clients and he never got certified for the same reasons, he had lots of real experience with homes and thought that mattered more than paying 1,000 bucks to get a word attached to his name. I am wondering how other inspectors feel about this. I don't like the idea of getting certified just so an ignorant public will think it means I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm doing I've been working in every aspect of home building and repair for 20 years. I really need some advice on this, I obviously want this business to work, but I don't want to throw out my principles to do it. Considering that just a few years ago no states required state licensing and now going on half of them do, I would say that the certification is failing anyway, at least going on half the states in the country seems to think so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Bach, it's up to you.

I wouldn't spend my money on a hollow certification either. Consider this, you can be the best hammer mechanic in the business but that doesn't make you a home inspector.

You have to:

- Communicate what you know

- Make sure the client understands what you mean ( did I mention Communicate)

- Understand marketing

- Understand advertising

- Understand selling

- Be a curb stone lawyer

- Understand accounting and bookkeeping

- Understand insurance

- Understand report writing (did I mention Communicate)

- Be able to schedule your time wisely

- Be a server of people

- Have the right tools and how to use them

- Know where to find help when you need it ( here is a good place)

Did leave anything out guys?

As far as certified goes, it sounds like you should pick the toughest certification out there. One that will really challenge you and make you work for it. That way you will learn something in the process and you can check a few off of the above list.

Just because you can build a house doesn't mean you can inspect it in front of a live client and write a report to back up what you said to them.

Bruce

PS from the attitude in you post, you'll do fine

[^]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would recommend that anyone who is new to home inspection, no matter what else they have done with houses, to take a course or two from the best HI schools they can find. Not for the "certification" they offer, but for the education they offer in home inspection. The one I attended didn't offer any certfication when I went, but they do now just because so many people mistakenly look for that.

The HI organizations...the higher the bar the better. Do not be seduced by the dark side, young Skywalker. [;)]

Brian G.

Certified, Dried, and Laid to the Side [^]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to my website, copy my address, send me a check and I'll certify that you did.

Or, do an excellent job, be committed to learning, be ethical and build your business through competence.

Still send me a check either way, just let mee know if I have to certify that you did. Don't forget to enclose a SASE for the certificate if you'll be needing one.

The other thing you could do to help you decide is call George Moomaw. He's in your neck of the woods and he has an opinion on this matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My gut is telling me not to get certified this first year and not at all if I don't need to. I have experience with most of what I need to know, the rest I can pick up on the way or get advice hear. It sounds like so far I'm getting mixed opinions on this, so I hope I get some more opinions. I have most of what I need without being certified. I know houses inside and out, understand age related issues, I already have a business where I have to market and advertise and deal with customers. I hate to spend money on certification if I don't need it, but if your not certified but still know the job how do you explain not being certified to a customer when they think it really means something? I wonder if you lose work for not being certified or if you can just explain why your not certified to a customer and will they understand? The last 10 or 20 percent of knowledge I may need I would rather get on my own, but not if it means this business failing. Tough call!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bach, I was in the trades for 25 years. At the start of my first year working for an established inspection firm I realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.

I learned on the fly from my fellow inspectors and posters on the boards. I had even taken a short home inspection course, but If I had to do it over I would have taken a much longer class from one of the established, respected schools. Associate with the toughest meanest inspectors you can find.(This is a good place to meet some of them) Become active in an association that is the hard to be a member of and has high standards.

Don't take the easy route and coast on what you know today. That harder road will train you well and prepare you for the time when you might want to slack off.

It's a tough and costly business to get started, but if you make it through the first two or three years while getting clients you have a good chance of making it. Don't forget to attend every educational program that you can make, and study on your own in between as you find the material that explains something you don't know a lot about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

My father has been building since 1951. He's one of the best custom builders I've ever seen. When I was getting ready to retire from the military and get into this business and told him, he had nothing bus scorn for the business. He likened all inspectors to a bunch of scam artists and said that he'd forgotten more about houses than any home inspector would ever learn. I let it roll of my back like water off a goose, but it stung.

A few years later he came to visit and I dragged him along on a few jobs, so he could see for himself what it was about. That was when he found out how much he didn't know about homes. He said after the first inspection that he hadn't realized how much stuff, besides swinging a hammer, was involved in the inspection process and how much stuff related to electro-mechanical systems and building science inspectors have to know.

Come into this business thinking that a background in construction is all that you need and you're liable to fail. If you want to learn to do this business correctly, thoroughly and honestly, you've got to dispense with any preconceived notions about homes and start learning all over again.

It's that simple.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bach

I am in the process of starting a home inspection business and I am wondering if I should get certified. I don't mean to offend anyone but I am not impressed with certification. I have 20 years of experience dealing with every aspect of houses. If you don't know the difference between a door and a window you can hand one of these private organizations 1,000 dollars, they send you a home study course and tell you you can run through it in a day if you want to. Or you can take a 3 to 5 day class and bam your certified. I think this is as close to a farse as you can get. I talked to a home inspector in my area that had a ton of clients and he never got certified for the same reasons, he had lots of real experience with homes and thought that mattered more than paying 1,000 bucks to get a word attached to his name. I am wondering how other inspectors feel about this. I don't like the idea of getting certified just so an ignorant public will think it means I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm doing I've been working in every aspect of home building and repair for 20 years. I really need some advice on this, I obviously want this business to work, but I don't want to throw out my principles to do it. Considering that just a few years ago no states required state licensing and now going on half of them do, I would say that the certification is failing anyway, at least going on half the states in the country seems to think so.

It sounds like you need to work on understanding your limitations rather than boasting about your strengths at this point in your career.

Ok, you've got 20 years in the trades. Now that you've gotten that out of the way, you can start learning how to apply that knowledge to the completely different profession that is home inspection.

Most of the certifications out there are crap. But a couple of weeks at ITA might be just the thing you need.

You might want to brush up on your writing skills as well.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How good is ITA's Home Study Course? I am leaning towards it because I'm sure it's true, no matter how long you work in the trades it still isn't the same as home inspection work.

The cost of ITA's Home Study Course is about $1,200, and I have a feeling I wouldn't regret it. They also give you the choice of ordering only certain modules if you like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bach

How good is ITA's Home Study Course? I am leaning towards it because I'm sure it's true, no matter how long you work in the trades it still isn't the same as home inspection work.

The cost of ITA's Home Study Course is about $1,200, and I have a feeling I wouldn't regret it. They also give you the choice of ordering only certain modules if you like.

My hunch is that someone with your experience will be disappointed in the home study stuff. It'll mostly be telling you what you already know.

You want the interactiveness of an instructor.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I am a recent graduate of AHIT and was amazed at the amount of information that was provided. Sitting next to me in class was a contractor of thirty years and has over 130 employees and subs. Imagine my surprise when he got half way thru class only to find out he didnt know crap about inspecting houses.

I also thought I knew a lot until I took my first test. certified or not go to class, learn, grow, I highly recomend AHIT, They help you from start to finish, from set-up to full blown marketing programs. Ahit also has a great reporting software.

check them out www.ahit.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...