The IR camera is the first inspection industry tool or gadget where almost the entire industry agrees on the fact that one should not attempt to use it without proper training. At first, the training available (Level #) had little to do with the camera’s application and use by home inspectors specifically. However, as the camera’s popularity grew within the inspection industry, more courses became available that were geared specifically toward home inspectors. These courses include much about building science (not just IR camera use). I believe that these courses not only teach camera use, but to a large extent, improve the student’s inspection skills, even students who never end up buying a camera. If I were hell bent against IR cameras, I’d still find educational value from the building science portions of today’s IR course offerings.
Many good things come from the IR study and building science topics. It can
be very intense and helps in many areas of the home inspection.
I think the door is just starting to be opened.
IR will make or break an inspectors with in 4 to 5 years.
Mark my words. Times are a bit slow for some inspectors the cost of a camera and tranning may be hard and yes some are dropping out. But the ones that will look forward and see the curve of IR will make there mark as the inspector to be employ.
While participating in IR training is crucial, in order to understand what you are actually looking at in the camera screen and knowing which settings need to be adjusted, I’d like to point out that the Building Science course is more geared towards the home itself and not the camera. If you are a full time home inspector and have been an HI for several years, you will not gain as much information out of the BS course than you would if you participated in the Level 1 course. Level 1 is geared towards the camera itself and how to properly read the camera screen and use the settings. The BS course teaches Building Science, which some of us already feel very comfortable in knowing how a building actually works.
The JLC has an absolutely outstanding book, “The JLC Guide to Moisture Control” that every home inspector should own. In order to be familiar with how homes are built not just today but in the past one needs the resources ON HAND so when and if they buy an IR device they will be more than familiar with the Building Sciences and where the problems are most likely to occur AND possible solutions. It goes back to the old adage, " We get paid for what we KNOW, not so much what we do". Again, this is the balance between having the technology and the knowledge, training and experience that is lacking in so many cases. BTW, if you buy it from JLC it will cost more than if you go to Amazon or elsewhere, but even then it is worth every penny.
Why limit yourself with just using Thermography for home inspection. We spend thousands of dollars (literally) for our equipment, then spend more money on training and certification (Level 1, 2, 3, or Industry specific).
With that type of significant investment, it only makes sense to branch out and market yourself as a “Thermographer”, not just a Home Inspector with a fancy tool.
There are many applications in Thermography that as Home Inspectors we already have the competitive edge. Particularly inspectors who already do commercial inspections.
A Certified Thermographer can earn anywhere from a thousand to several thousand in a given day or evening. So, I guess my point is taking a HI specific Thermography course is a great beginning (I would suggest either John M’s course or Infraspections course), but the Level 1 and 2 certifications will be more beneficial in the long run.
Here is a list of all the services I offer within my two companies:
**Pre-Purchase (Buyer’s) Inspections
****Pre-Listing (Seller’s) Inspections
****Periodic Maintenance Inspections
****Rental/Property Management Inspections
****New Construction (Builder) Inspections
****Limited General ITI Scan
ITI Moisture Survey
ITI Energy Survey
ITI Electrical Survey
Home Energy Tune-uP
Commercial and Industrial Building Inspections
ASTM E2418-06: Baseline Survey for Readily Observable Mold and Conditions Conducive to Mold in Commercial Buildings
**ASTM E1527-05: **Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process
**ASTM E1903-97(2002): Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process
** Site Commissioning Processes
Comprehensive Commercial Energy Audits
Infrared Building Envelope Surveys
Infrared Roof Survey
Infrared Electro-Mechanical Surveys
Infrared Data Center Surveys
Setting Up PdM Programs
The key is to diversify, diversify, diversify if you want to last in this industry!!!
For you to expand so quickly, are there no other professionals in your area offering IR. Up here we have roofers, the POCO, consulting engineers, insulators, true energy auditors and others already having IR so the market maybe limited. For someone to just jump in and go against some longtime pros may be a hard run and a trip downhill!!
To offer that many services, how many staff are you carryinG?
"Do your work with all your heart and you will succeed - there’s so little competition."
There is myself, an inspector in training, and my brother. Sure, there are other professionals who are offering IR services in my area, but why should that deter me from marketing my services?
Competition can be a good thing
WOW Kevin. I am diversifying myself but that is a lot. I would love to talk to you sometime about how you got to the point that you offer all those services.