Business Marketing-avoid conflicts

I am beginning a new venture in Oklahoma that will have 3 parts
Oklahoma Residential Inspections
Energy Audits- Blower Door Testing, Imaging
Weatherization Services- Air Sealing, and Insulation

There are some questions as to how to market these services. Oklahoma law requires that a residential inspector cannot do work on a home they inspect within 12 months of an inspection.

If I do an inspection, I can offer additional energy audit services and testing but not do the work (repairs for 12 months from real estate inspection)

If I take a job for the Energy Audit, I can do the repairs if needed.

I will have another inspector on staff mainly for real estate inspections but wonder how to properly differentiate services. I will be both licensed in Oklahoma as an Inspector but also have RESNET HERS rater and BPI Building Analyst certified. Any guidance would be most appreciated. Thank you!

Chris Coburn

The business is you the person and the name is nothing more then a dba “doing business as” It doesn’t matter is you have 100 different names it still you. Your trying to find some sort of a loophole and its dirty business.

Why am I still amazed by questions of ethics?

Because everyone thinks their ethics are just fine.

No guilty men is prison. Just ask them. :roll:


I have met a number of inspectors that work on homes they inspect(no NACHI members so far) even though state law says they can’t.

I think adherence to NACHI’s code of ethics can be used as an effective selling point as if it is explained well to a potential client they will trust you.

Someone offering repair services just can’t do that.

Ethics - You either have them or you don’t.

The whole point of the question is to be ethical. Basic Residential Inspections offer little value when it comes to home performance. Advanced testing can determine home air infiltration leakage, and issues with home performance. My goal is to help the customer. I had hoped this type of forum would be a good sounding board to ask these questions as I set out to begin business.

Perhaps someone from InterNachi would be kind enough to answer the original question. As real estate is not moving much, and the problem of rising utility rates will continue…I am trying to build a viable business and set it up within the rules. If doing the residential transactions binds me from doing the home performance testing… I need to know this in advance.

No I am not trying to find a loop hole. I am trying to fill a need in my market whether as a “home inspector” in the real estate sense or otherwise.

You can do all the inspecting you want. Its when you want to offer repairs for that which you inspected that you run into problems. If you report to your client during a home inspection that all the windows are in need of being caulked and sealed and then offer to do the caulking and sealing yourself even under a different business name that it becomes unethical.

This is why I bring these questions now. I am an energy auditor and took home inspection course for more general knowledge. It seems as though it may be more appropriate to market the testing side of the business and not “inspections” as is used in the real estate sense.

I see no clear conflict if someone hires me to do performance testing if I do not do it as an “inspector”. Perhaps then “inspectors” can refer to me for testing and/or repairs. The most comprehensive testing to prove repairs are done correctly is to test before with Blower Door and imaging, make report showing areas to be improved and test out afterward to prove results.

That seems to be the decision to make as to whether or not I want to be an “inspector” versus what I already do in the home energy efficiency market. There is a natural overlap of these services and I can see why although complementary fields there has to be some clear boundary. There are a lot of inspectors in my area, some of which are not very thorough. I am good at being thorough but perhaps it is best not to be an inspector as is commonly known.

I agree with you Chris. I am suprised more people that do both energy audits and HI or are both contractors and HI haven’t spoke up. It is ok to offer repairs on any house under any company name as long as no one in that company has contracted to do a home inspection on that individual house. It is also ok to offer an energy audit as an additional service to a home inspection, but not offer to do the repairs. I would have a separate contract for the energy audit that had some language to that effect in it.
The real question is how do you advertise all three services and make it clear to your potential clients that you can’t perform repairs on a home that you do an inspection on without a huge distracting legal disclaimer?

Thanks Loren,

I wanted to make sure how to do things properly. If being an inspector complicates things to the point that energy audits and weatherization would pose a conflict, I would probably lean to just offering the weatherization and energy audit services and leave the inspections to others.

That is what I am trying to decide and sort out.