Ancillary Inspections

(Bryan Gifford, TREC #23391) #1

Hey, guys! I’m working on starting an inspection business and I plan on offering ancillary services, of course. Aside from the usual pool, septic, and possibly well inspections, I’m looking at offering Home Energy Assessment, IR, radon, wood-destroying insect, etc. I know additional licenses/certifications are needed for these, but I’m not sure about pool, septic systems, and wells.

I’m curious what kind of additional inspections all of you offer. How have these added services benefited you? Do your clients get value from these services (my main concern)? I’m in the Central Texas area since I know these added services can vary by region. Thanks!

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #2

Pool typical inspection no additional licensing needed

Septic systems no additional license needed unless you plan to pump it or try “certifying it per State requirements” like at least one unlicensed person in our area claims.

Wells typically not but it might depend on what you are going to do. Make sure you are aware of where the well “ends” and a plumber’s responsibility “begins” to prevent stepping on any plumbing laws. Also be careful of any water testing you might do and check with the various licensing authorities to ensure you don’t step into another licensed responsibility. Well laws cover many aspects and tend to be quirky.

Radon is not an issue in most of Texas and not in our area. TDSHS used to handle the radon program but now it is handled by Texas Tech. The EPA has good maps of potential radon issue areas in Texas. Radon is one of those ancillary services that can make you look real bad when clients who move here from high radon areas find out you’re most likely pulling the wool over their eyes for more money.

(Richard W. Washington, TREC#7238) #3


Is Radon in the DFW area and northward? I never hear it mentioned.

(Bryan Gifford, TREC #23391) #4

Thanks for the helpful info, Emmanuel. How about Home Energy Assessment? Have you seen much of that offered in your area?

(Nolan Kienitz) #5

Basically non-existant in D/FW market. I’ve “heard” that there may be ‘some’ near Amarillo, but that is getting further North and closer to areas (IE: Colorado) where it is prevalent.

When I lived in Littleton, CO our house had a fan system to exhaust the radon gases from our basement that had a floating wood floor over bentonite soil.

(Nolan Kienitz) #6

I tried such many, many years ago and it was a wasted effort. Folks were/are not excited about spending dollars on such.

There might be a few inspectors in the D/FW market who occasionally do them, but I certainly don’t hear them being excited about it … or the response (or lack thereof) from potential clients.

(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #7

Originally Posted by bgifford
Thanks for the helpful info, Emmanuel. How about Home Energy Assessment? Have you seen much of that offered in your area?

We have had many over the years try to make a living none have lasted very long . I would not recommend it even with the some times government help .

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #8

As Nolan stated it’s a non-issue here unless you want to count the extremely low and non-dangerous levels in all the granite countertops installed. :wink:

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #9

Just like Nolan I don’t see or hear of this much from Inspectors in our area. A few are using really scaled down audits as a “Draw” to their services but those are more a disservice than service. The scaled down ones offer no real evaluation of all aspects of the home and do not perform proper attempts at air infiltration, insulation deficiencies, etc.

As for full audits many of the utility companies offer them free or very low fee for their customers which literally drove out anyone trying to do them independently for existing homes. Some utilities offer similar “scaled down” audits. The utility companies also keep track of the various grant programs and offers for upgrades and provide many services for them.

All new homes the audits are run for builders by very large companies, some even from other trades companies like electrical contractors (go figure).

(Bryan Gifford, TREC #23391) #10

That’s very helpful, Emmanuel. Thanks for the input! What do you offer for ancillary inspections, or do you just stick with pool, septic, and a good ole fashion home inspection? Like I said, I’m new, and I want to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Most of the guys in my area have been around for many years.

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #11

If you want to stand out from the crowd then perform a thorough inspection, provide a detailed, accurate, and useful report, and provide exceptional pre-inspection and post inspection client support. Once you reach that point you can expand with useful ancillary services. Of course that won’t win you REA referrals but you will be able to sleep at night knowing you have done right for your clients!

If you want to jump out of the gate and get lots of referrals then offer all types of useless “FREE” stuff, obtain and market the crap out of lots of high tech toys most of which are useless to clients, perform fly-by inspections, and write sale supporting reports. That will get you more referral business than you can handle. If you choose this route make sure you have very high E&O and GL insurance coverage. :wink:

(Chris Juarez, TREC #22663 Nachi #17050428) #12

I too got certified for energy audits. Good course. Also blower door. Only one paid audit here in El Paso in almost a year. In my opinion not worth the expense and effort. Also a used blower door goes for around 2500.00.