Before 1st Inspection....

Hi all,

I have been considering a career change and have been looking into the Home Inspection business. After being a self employed computer technician for the past 20 years, it’s time for a change! NACHI seems to be by far the most informative and organized group I’ve seen yet, excellent organization!

Not wanting to get a “cowboy” handle, I’d like to take some formal training to prepare me for my first inspection. I have taken the NACHI inspectors Exam and passed (with 88, not bad for a newbie!), read through the SOP and have a good general understanding of role of the inspector, but not sure what the next step is.

Any training I take will have to be weekends, evenings, or online, as I currently work full time and have a mortgage to pay :slight_smile: OAHI has a defect recognition and reporting course, 4 days over 2 weekends. Would this be a good place to start? There are also online courses available at Durham College in specific areas, the ASHI@HOME online courses, AHIT and more.

Have owned and totally renovated myself a few houses over the years, I have a pretty good understanding of how everything works. From my first house built in 1928 with asbesto wrapped on the pipes and a 1950’s floor furnace to my current 1970 ranch bungalow with well and septic, I’ve learned quite a bit over the years on how everythings works and is put together, so I’d rather not spend thousands of dollars reviewing stuff I already know.

Any insight would be appreciated!


find a seasoned inspector outside of your area and see if they will let you ride with them. that’s a good first step.

I not sure I can steer you in the right direction, however maybe this will help.

I attended a HI class and it was a waste of $1500.00. Results may vary with the individual. I had an extensive background in electrical, framing, HVAC and home remodeling. The course given by AHIT was of no benefit to me. For someone with a limited back round, it may behoove you to attend a class. There is alot of quality information that can be learned right here on the message board. You may be able to contact a local NACHI inspector and ask for a ride along (before you make any big financial commitments).
One of the most needed skills would be the ability to market your Co. For that area you could do a search on the NACHI Message Board for just about anything from RRay.{marketing Guru}:wink: He also has a website devoted to marketing.

Good idea Richard, anyone within 100km of Toronto care for a tag-a-long? I’ll bring the Tims Coffee and Timbits!!

Bill, your comments hit the nail on the head, before I make any large financial commitments to training that builds on my general knowledge, I’d like to test the waters so to speak. It’s possible my market area may already be saturated with Inspectors (there’s a full page of them in the yellow pages), but it’s a large area with hundreds of new homes being built, so I think there’s room for 1 more. I would like to get some basic training to fill in any gaps in that general knowledge before I embark on my first inspection though, if anything just for the confidence factor. I do already know a number of real estate agents that might be able to steer some business my way, but would feel more comfortable with some sort of formal training under my belt.


Maybe it wouldn’t be formal training but, you could get several different report software (I like REPORTHOST) trial versions and inspect your home, your neighbors home… Just read the report template and check that item. Save the reports just in case you decide to become a NACHI member (you need to have 4 mock inspections).

Call me 613-475-1144

There are online courses at, where you can work towards a home inspector certificate through the colleges. These are Carson Dunlop training courses. I did them and do recommend them. I personally would start with the communication module and call Roy.

Hi, Jay, well I was where you are about 3 years ago. I decided a career change was in order. What do you know I was in the computer technology feild with an IBM business partener. Well I took the bait at Seneca and enrolled in the Courses and Did 10 of them for my certificate with a A avg. And wow I was done.

Now what. Well since carson dunlop runs the program I decided to go further and go on some feild training. So I ponied up 1500.00 and the feild training was actually good. I went on 18 inspection with enigneers turned home inspectors and it was well worth the money.

Now what. Here I am today and I will tell you its along road to success. Nothing overnight. You have to do a few things in order to transition.

  1. Don’t expect results with out hard work. You will have to be very proactive and search out the work.

  2. Lots of Marketing, Brochures, Business cards and good old elbow grease in talking to agents.

  3. Have a backup. I still recieve income from my old career, I tried to leave but keep getting sucked back in. But it pays the bills.

And of course NACHI… Become a Member

One thing I have found though is that it is very difficult to find someone to
ride along with.


You can always ride along with me. You wouldn’t be the first and certainly not the last! ( bit of a commute though).

I really appreciate all the input received here. I talked to Roy last night (great chatting with you Roy!) and am going to try to get out on a few inspections with him in the future. Nothing beats “in the field” experience! (will be getting in touch with you too George, no such thing as too many mentors!)

Going to look into the CarsonDunlop Courses, they are available on-line which fits into my lifestyle, and I can spread them out over the next year to minimize the financial burden, and seem to be highly recommended. Since this is a major life change (since I’ve been doing the same thing for the past 25 years) I’m not going to rush into it, spend the next year learning and making a game plan, easing into it as time permits.

Has anyone taken the OAHI Defect Recognition and Reporting 4 day weekend course? Opinions?

Thanks again!


Jay writes

Sounds like you have the perfect background already (strong technically)… your biggest hurdle will not be achieving competence at this point. It will be business survival and success. You are in a race right now, whether you like it or not. And a diploma or certificate is not the finish line, it’s the starting line.

On November 10th NACHI.TV is paying for a member we met at the recent Dallas Chapter to fly to Boulder, Colorado. We are putting him up at a hotel and paying his expenses too. Why? Because he has been in business less than 1 year and is totally booked solid every day, 6 days a week in a slow market. He’s going to explain on NACHI.TV how he achieved this success and it didn’t come from being a good inspector (which he is). His first rule is amazing. I’ll give you a preview by telling you it: He says that almost anyone can learn to do a great inspection. But that home inspectors must know that the actual home inspection is such a small part of the home inspection business that performance of a home inspection has almost nothing to do with being a home inspector.

Look forward to seeing this.
He sounds good I feel my inspection is about 40% and the balance is presentation .
Thanks Nick Great ideas like this keep NACHI number one .
… Cookie

Newbies are always shocked when I tell them that an HI school diploma or association certificate isn’t the finsh line, it’s the starting line.

But this is the truth.

All of us newbies appreciate the support! I am still amazed how strong the community is here.

I agree Glen, it is a strong community and everyone helps everyone.

If anyone ever needs help quickly, I answer every waking hour.

If anyone ever needs help NOW and needs to call someone you can reach almost everyone at NACHI staff by phone from

You can also call Bruce Kirby at our Inspector Helpline from

You can also use the InspectorNOW system to get me on my private cell phone

So I guess I’m looking at it from the right perspective…do my mock inspections, get out there with a pro, read, read, read to strengthen my knowledge, then get busy on the business plan (and the 138 steps!). Fortunately I have the luxury of time as I have a full time business already, but I’m well aware just having the skill and knowledge to be an inspector really is a small part of the business…I suspect anyone can learn to be an inspector, few can be a sucessful one!


As a “newbie” myself I appreciate all of the posts I have read tonight. I have been in the construction industry for thirty-three years and I am looking to move in a new direction. All of my experience is in commercial construction but I have long been thinking about the inspection business. I think I was lucky to find NACHI and join an organization with what seems to be a great source of knowledge and information sharing. This particular thread was exactly what I was looking for as a new member. I look forward to learning from all who post here and hopefully may offer some of my experiences in the future. Thanks to all.
Douglas Plym

Hey Jay, wanna learn a bunch? We do this trick a lot at NACHI and it works:

Hold a mock inspection at your own home (with your wife’s permission of course). Invite 6 - 12 NACHI members (veterans and newbies) to show up at 9 am. Everyone inspects your home (each using their own reporting system). Then everyone meet back in your kitchen or dining room to compare notes. I’ve been on several of these and you learn a bunch. I love it when a newbie finds something everyone else missed. Anyway, I’ll buy lunch for the event.

PS. The “138” you mention is up to 140 as of today:

141, We recently added:

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