Jump to content

NOOBIE


Recommended Posts

To make a long story short, Ive been in the construction industry for about 4 years, understand basics of new home construction, and I really want to be a professional home inspector in Texas, I have someone who wants to hire me in March and he owns a very successful inspection business, has anyone used or can recommend this school?

http://www.home-inspect.com/campuses/te ... sp#premier

Im hoping I can do it all correspondence and pass my test, does anyone have any experience with this school?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Morgan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morgan,

I have never gone thru a Kaplan program, but thousands have, including some of the best on this forum. I do know the founders and am fairly aware of home inspection schools across the nation.

I happen to be a fanatic about education and knowledge regarding houses and buildings and a little lite about marketing and the business of home inspection. I note the course of study seems to be at least 33% marketing stuff and a day of individual components.

If the inspector wanting to hire you is an astute person, he/she would want you to tag along for a few inspections before even thinking about employing you, I'd think. This is a very strange business; this forum participants are about as ecletic a group as you will ever find and every sucessful participant will tell you it ain't about knowing and building, it is about knowing and showing and writing and biting your tongue, learning, learning, and learning. That is all done while you slowly realize how much you don't know and how important your inspection is to the client.

All that being said - I would not change any part of the last decades and still like to "perform".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Les, I would prefer to take the 11 day course but I dont get vacation until February, and hes looking to hire me in March. Im really quite anxious but scared stupid in taking a leap of faith into a job with NO guarantees as far as money goes, but Im 30 years old and hopefully my wife will find a good job with benefits which will allow me to make the switch. The person looking at me knows me quite well, I work with active adult homeowners and Im very good in a face to face meeting and have a good base knowledge of inspections, I do 11 month inspections everyday for cosmetic items and try to envision myself as an inspector (although I am aware I have no training) Im also wondering how much of this correspondence can I do after work and on weekends and still retain it after coming home from a high stress job as it is![:-crazy]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morgan, you are a leg up on most if you already have a promise from an inspection business. He has probably already told you this, but check out the requirements directly from the state since they seem to change rapidly. It is my understanding that many of the graduates of the local schools were left with nowhere to go when the experience rules changed right before they graduated. You must have verifiable experience acceptable to TREC in ADDITION to the required education hours. The way I read and understand, there is no "fast track" that allows the substitution of education for experience anymore.

I have been an inspector in Texas since 1995 and things change at every whim of the legislature and staff attorney with TREC. If your future employer is qualified to sponsor you, that might be the best track to take. Don't believe everything any school tells you about the licensing process, etc. research it for yourself.

Good Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morgan

I took the Kaplan 11-day program. During the class, it quickly became clear that they would not be preparing me to be a good home inspector. Instead, they were preparing me to graduate from their class. The instructors were generally intelligent, generous, helpful people. The program simply did not provide enough time to teach what you need to learn. They also preached extremely conservative inspections, a lot of referring-to-an-expert, cover-your-ass reporting, etc. They have to, because that's the only way to get a meter maid(for example) to do home inspections in two weeks. The shorter correspondence course can't be any better. If you read every book and handout they provide, it still isn't close.

That said... I did find the class helpful. It provided a starting point. With that, and going out on a few(about 100) inspections with someone who wants to teach and knows what he's doing, you'll start to feel like you know what you're doing. Until then, you probably won't be helping your clients much.

Good luck. Read everything you can, especially here on this forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to stick to my usual script, and say that a prospective HI would learn much more of what he needs to learn by reading everything the JLC ever published, reading the building codes that apply to his area, studying manufacturer's specifications, studying trade-association specs, and learning how to communicate effectively in written and oral communication.

HI school sucks money out of your wallet; the instruction is mostly folklore (BS learned from other BSers); the reporting systems the schools sell are lame; and, the whole dog-and-pony show is designed with the full knowledge that virtually all students will be out of business very quickly, and a new crop of newbie HIs will show up to be BSed out of cash that they'd probably use better buying lottery tickets.

If HI-school instructors were effective educators, home inspection would be an actual profession by now, not the semi-skilled-laborer job that it's been for 30 years.

Of course, I could be wrong,

WJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact is, it's a licensing course. It meets state requirements. You have to take a course, so you may as well take Kaplan's.

Ask your instructor point blank: "will this course teach me everything I need to know to be an excellent home inspector?"

If the instructor answers "yes", ask for your money back and ask the school when will there be a different instructor.

the instruction is mostly folklore (BS learned from other BSers);

It's an issue.

Every time we hear some full of crap, misinformation spewing, foolklore spreading, reeltor's medusa cacking out untruths like so much phlegm, we should slap him. Create and adhere to a zero tolerance policy. Try to be diplomatic, but if that doesn't work just tell the person they don't know their ass from a boiler.

It's harder to do at an association meeting than online, but it's necessary just the same.

Someone needs to do it, it may as well start here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 2 cents. Go to inspector rants on this forum and read it several times. I got a head start in a University course. Then I spent a couple of years "home schooling". Join a good national organization and "get around" some of the pros. This business is a good business. Slow right now in New England.[:-banghea[:-banghea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been doing this ful time for right around two years. I learn something new everyday, yet I still don't know near what I thought I knew two years ago. Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions here at TIJ, you'll get smart answers. I'd rather ask a stupid question on a forum than answer a smart question in court!!

-Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been in the construction industry for a long time. I have experience in many of the trades, I've worked for companies and I have owned a few. Although I do not know "everything" about anything, I do know quite a bit about somethings and somethings about quite a bit.

I am a graduate of ITA. Before I attended the course I didn't know the first thing about inspecting a house. OK, maybe I knew the first thing, but that's about it. I was impressed with the course because they really did go over many things, and if a person could absorb everything that they taught, they could do a home inspection. When I finished the course, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be able to inspect a house.

Can a HI course turn someone into a "GURU?" Hell no. But if you are capable of learning, they can teach you the basics. What you do with it after that is up to you.

Some guys may go on their own, some may work for someone else for a while... or forever... some may fade off into the sunset. Me? Well, I didn't do my first inspection for about a year after I took the class. It seems I got very busy at work. I built a mammography/sonnography clinic, a cystology procedure room (operating room), designed and installed an instant hot water system serving 7 scrub rooms for 14 operating rooms, a few condo build outs in Manhattan... still doing it, blah blah blah blah...

I think what I'm trying to say is that sometimes I get the feeling that some of the guys come across like ..."if you ain't them, you don't have the right to be a HI".

Hey, all you guys started out somewhere, somehow.

Sure, if each of us could spend a few years with Jim, or Mike, or Les and have WJ rap our knuckles with a ruler every time we spell something wrong we would be the best of the best.

Hey Jim, can we stay at your house for a year or two? WJ, can you cook? Les... well, Les scares me so I'm afraid to ask.

But, I just realized that we are all staying with these guys... right here at Mike's house. And if someone is willing to learn, then they have the right to learn. Without being told that however they got here was worthless. It don't matter how you get here, what matters is that you are here.

Every inspection I do, just like every job I do, I think about everything that I could have done better and I try to do each one better than the one before.

Even on my very first inspection, I can honestly say that I did a good job for my client. I protected their interests. I may have forgotten to report what the front door was constructed of, and perhaps I forgot to test the doorbell. But I let them know about the serious foundation cracks, the water intrusion, the roof etc. etc., etc.

Bottom line is, just because you know how to build a house it doesn't mean you know how to inspect one.

BUT!!! If you know how to build one, it is easier to learn how to inspect one.

There were two things that amazed me about the class.

The first, was that some of the students had absolutely no experience whatsoever in any type of construction. Nothing!!! I couldn't imagine the class in itself turning them into capable inspectors.

The other was that the guy that you would have expected to know the most... an architect... didn't have a clue. It was ridiculous how little he was able to grasp. From the whole class, he caught on the least.

OK, so now that I got all of that off my chest, if you wanna get mad at me, it's ok... cuz, I'm one of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by StevenT

Even on my very first inspection, I can honestly say that I did a good job for my client. I protected their interests. I may have forgotten to report what the front door was constructed of and perhaps I forgot to test the doorbell. But I let them know about the serious foundation cracks, the water intrusion, the roof etc. etc., etc.

Better than my first. I drove home praying that the furnace I forgot to check was okay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven,

Your response is really quite good. You are right on the button.

On those slow days when we all think about what the heck we do for a living, it is good to reflect on where we have been.

There is a quality of all good inspectors that seldom gets much attention and that is our curiosity. Most of the old farts I have known, and still know, are just plain curious. Of course they also have a capacity to learn and a love of knowledge. I got a little envious of your exploits in the medical building industry. For instance, why the water system?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning Les,

Richmond University Medical Center (formally St. Vincents Hospital), Staten Island, New York.

The most immediate reason for the instant system is that operating rooms are very far away from the source of hot water and the doctors were complaining about how long it took for hot water to reach the scrub sinks, especially during operating procedures that took place in the middle of the night when water usage from the rest of the hospital was down. There was also concern about the wait time should some type of 911 catastrophe occur.

I spent a year and a half running all of the jobs at St Vincent's plus trouble shooting at Interfaith Hospital in Brooklyn and Bayley Seaton Hospital on Staten Island.

Next week I'm starting a project renovating 14 bathrooms and a nurse's station at St. John's University Hospital in Queens.

Image Insert:

2007111515038_a.jpg

46.54 KB

Image Insert:

2007111515146_b.jpg

40.99 KB

Image Insert:

2007111515214_c.jpg

45.87 KB

Image Insert:

20071115134_c.jpg

61.89 KB

Image Insert:

2007111505937_a.jpg

46.08 KB

Image Insert:

200711151519_d.jpg

62.21 KB

Image Insert:

200711151011_b.jpg

32.9 KB

Image Insert:

2007111504719_d.jpg

40.44 KB

Image Insert:

2007111504517_c.jpg

36.67 KB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by MorganSS

... Im hoping I can do it all correspondence and pass my test, does anyone have any experience with this school? ... Morgan

Morgan,

As part of Continuing Education classes I've been to Kaplan a couple of times. As with any CE classes ... some are better/worse than others.

As for jumping in the HI world ... do your research and then do it again. It is a great professional job, but you have to work and earn your niche in the market. Just because you get your TREC license does not mean that you will be fully funded for salary from day one.

If you are in conversation with someone who owns a multi-inspector firm he should be giving you all kinds of information about requirements that you will have to handle before you can legally inspect and generate a report.

As Jim, Steve, Les, Scott and many others have noted there is a lot to go through before the chute opens and you get in the race.

As Les has commented you will "never" stop learning ... if you do or if you think you know it all you are in the wrong business.

I was raised on a farm in Montana and my Dad told me (more than once) to "never - ever stop learning ... the day you do you had best be six-feet under and toes up". That lesson from my Dad has served me well and as I'm closer to 60-years of a wonderful life I am "still learning".

Do some ride-a-longs with the fellow offering you a job and see what it is about, have him explain the E&O insurance items now required in Texas and make sure you run numbers on the cost of being an HI so you can be sure of just what it takes. I still re-calc my numbers periodically to make sure I'm on track ... as best I can determine with a market that is not quite what it was in recent memory.

Check out the TREC website for the current set of guidelines on how you get your TX license. It changes, it seems often, so keep checking back. Here is their URL: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/inspector/default.asp

Don't hesitate to ask any one of us on this forum or even via pvt msg or phone call if you want more background. We are all here to help and learn ourselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Les,

If you are talking about the dark outlet in the second picture, it's probably just the results of an in house electrician that didn't care about matching the colors. But when you see a red outlet, it means that the outlet is also on the emergency backup generator circuit.

Bain, hospital grade hardware is higher grade.

You also will not see Decora switches in a hospital either, all are conventional toggles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Les,

I also think that it is easier to elbow a decora, but that is exactly the reason.

By the way, I was at the electrical supply house today. They show red as hospital, yellow as non corrosive, orange as insulated ground and grey as industrial. Having said that, the only place I ever saw red was on the emergency generator loop.

Today I was an electrician. The electrician that the office sent to me to switch a bad panel, had to leave before he even got there. I had to bite the bullet and install this.

Image Insert:

20071116164415_a.jpg

54.21 KB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven, I've been reading this, looking over the photos, and just want to say you have my profound respect. I can never fathom the folks that don't work on buildings; it's such an excellent way to understand how they work.

In my perfect little world, HI schools would have a blank slate house, and folks would spend at least a couple weeks taking them apart & rebuilding them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys thanks a TON on the helpful insight, Ive spoken with Kaplan again and Im glad I didnt buy the initial package I was looking at, because the inspector requirements just changed and they require field training before you can test, that, and the prices went up of course.

Ill keep yall updated, I dont think I can make the deadline the person who would like to hire me has set but Im still very determined to get my license and get set up. Heck I would like to do free inspections just for experience when I get that far!

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...