Dear Missouri Association of Realtors....

Neither the builder or the contractors were licensed.

Where is your outrage?

So, let’s recap this for the Missouri Association of Realtors so that they can see the big picture.

OSHA Standards (codes, if you will) were established in 1971 and serve as the basic minimum safety standards for people to work under.

Builders and their contractors, responsible to ensure that the house is being built in a manner that sufficiently meets the code requirements (where they exist, even when not enforced) that will save an occupant’s life ---- cannot even be counted on to observe these standards when it comes to preserving their own life.

But then…none of this has anything at all to do with the sales commission.

You should be ashamed. Using this man’s death to further your debate about licensing.

I am.

I am ashamed that I live in a state where unlicensed contractors working for unlicensed builders must needlessly risk their lives, or forfeit their lives as this man did, in order for someone to gain a higher profit.

I am ashamed that the Missouri Association of Realtors, with the most powerful and highly financed political infrastructure in my state, uses its influence to keep buiders and contractors unlicensed — and statewide building codes off the books ---- to keep building costs low.

I am ashamed that the Missouri Association of Realtors are willing to see people die and take no action for licensing…but will spend money to fight for the licensing of home inspectors with the prospect of “losing less deals”.

I am very ashamed.

Just in case readers don’t understand what happened
Carbon Monoxide Hazards from Small Gasoline Powered Engines
click on the link above

James, I am a simple Country Boy, but I don’t see where this tragic accident has ANYTHING to do with licensing, Codes, Realtors, or anything else except for common work sense. The same thing happened in Jan of last year during the ice storm when a family put a generator in their garage and opened the door slightly, but the prevailing winds blew the fumes back into the home. Guess what, it has absolutely nothing to do with your licensing fight against the realtors either.

Common Sense does not always work .
Required in Canada is self closing gasketed doors from Garage .
I frequently find people have disconnected the closer as it is a nuisance .
Well Last Month some in A Calgary family lost their lives with car running in garage.
If they ("Jan of last year during the ice storm when a family put a generator in their garage and opened the door slightly, but the prevailing winds blew the fumes back into the home. Guess what, it has absolutely nothing to do with your ") had Auto closing gasketed doors ( code required in Canada ) they might still be alive.



It is obvious that the contractor and the builder were untrained regarding the effects of operating a gas powered saw in an enclosure. To think that the builder was aware of the danger and directed the contractor to do it in spite of the danger implies criminal negligence.

Do you think that a licensing process that would require that builders and contractors be trained in the areas of their work that could kill them might save a life?

Accordingly, do you think that a builder and contractor aware of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning would be less likely to build a bedroom with a window and door that opened into the garage, like the one I inspected in October?

If the motives of the MAR were geniune and aimed at the protection of the consumer, does it not make sense that they would be…at a minimum…*equally *as committed to licensing contractors and builders and establishing building codes, as they are in licensing inspectors?

It does to me.

Jim’s point in all of this goes to the heart of the licensing debate.

In Missouri, the push is on to license home inspectors. Ther goal is to protect the consumer, allegedly.

In the mean time, builders remain unlicensed in Missouri. In fact, they go after home inspectors. Why? Accountability and being held to a standard; ANY standard.

So, while builders and realtors argue that HI licensing is so badly needed, it is clear that some builders cant even follow some simple common sense rules for ptotecting their own. Whether protecting someone from himself is a valid point, is NOT the point here.

What IS the point is bringing this sort of thing to light. Does anyone believe for a second that, if it was a home inspector who failed to follow OSHA guidlines, and fell to his death from a rooftop he shouldnt have been on, that some builder wouldn’t mention that HIs are unlicensed and have no safety training? Wanna bet that a realtor would be asked for an opinion?

What would have happened if someone in that HOUSE got sick from the fumes? What then? Would Jim’s point be more or less valid?

Joe, I completely understand what it is that Jim is talking about; however, there are several parts of Missouri that are outside of St. Louis (contrary to what most St. Louis Folks think); that include home builders, realtors, consumers, etc. that don’t give two flips whether the home inspectors, builders, or pretty much anyone else is licensed or not. Down in my “redneck” area, licensing means nothing, word of mouth means everything.

This St.Louis inspection bus. must think licensing is important. They claim to be licensed by ASHI, NACHI and in the State of Missouri. :shock:

I, too, am licensed by Missouri…as a termite inspector.

Perhaps they are referring to something on this order taking liberty with the specifics of exactly what Missouri license they hold.:roll:

Dave, you are surrounded with anti-licensing home inspectors. In fact, the headquarters for the Missouri coalition that is leading the fight (MAREI) is but a few miles from you.

Here in St. Louis, I am in the minority…surrounded by ASHI inspectors who would sacrifice a child before making a used house salesman angry at them. Even the ASHI members who are against a licensing bill in St. Louis have to lobby against it secretly, in fear of losing their real estate salesmen referrals.

No, sir…the fight against licensing in Missouri is far, far from being a local (St. Louis) issue.

I realize that MAREI is but a few miles from me, I am a member, have known it’s founder for MANY years, and have a great deal of respect for Mark. I realize it is far from being a Local St. Louis Issue; however, it has primarily been pushed and started from St. Louis area. I am not pro-licensing; as a matter of fact, I am anti-licensing, but I don’t try to sweep a man’s death from carbon monoxide poisoning into an anti-licensing point of mine. I just don’t get the co-relation. But I didn’t always agree with a lot of things you did last year either under NACHI’s name as anti-licensing.

The law makes nothing perfect, but lawlessness doesn’t either.

I know hundreds of people in Texas who want to be home inspectors,
but cannot because the licensing requirements demand too much
education and training for them to qualify. Why is that bad? The
world is a better place here since these people are not inspecting,
trust me.

The regulation of our industry is coming and the requirements will
increase as our industry matures. Live with it. I know of many
an engineer who waltzed into the inspector education process
and exam, only to have his butt handed back to him when he failed.

The days are leaving us when unemployed laborer can hand out
business cards as a home inspector.

BTW… I do not solicit or work for ANY realtor… so don’t go there.

There are up to three reasons that a working home inspector will push for licensing: (1) he thinks it will “thin out the herd”/reduce competition, (2) he is a relatively new inspector who thinks the license will “equalize” him to the level of all of his competitors, and/or (3) he is tired of inspecting and thinks he can make more money teaching in the mandated classrooms.

All of these “reasons” have proven to fail in the states that have fallen to licensing. For this post, I will leave it at that…for the proof is already there for anyone to investigate on their own.

In my state…just like Texas…it is NOT the home inspector or the consumer behind the push. It is the used house salesman who wants there to exist (according to 2007 HB 978 )a licensing board manned by real estate salesmen and others they lobby for (some of them, even, home inspectors) who will determine whose license will be pulled whenever a deal is killed.

Real estate people rule home inspectors in Texas through an association called the “Texas Real Estate Commission”. Your suggestion that I simply “accept it” echoes citizens of third world countries living under communist dictators who are as familiar and comfortable with it as you are, now, with TREC (and your new mandated E&O).

Some of us aren’t there, yet, Mike. We are still fighting to remain independent of the used house salesman.

In my state, florists have more complaints filed against them than home inspectors. The consumers love us. Last year, many of them wrote in to their representatives to fight against HB 978 along with us.

In my state, HADD (Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings) also opposes licensing home inspectors in that we represent the one and only representative in the process that has no interest in the close of the sale. They also, as many do, find the concept of unlicensed builders and unlicensed contractors working with no agreed upon state building codes ---- all of which is protected by the real estate lobby ---- while licensing the home inspector, to be absolutely absurd.

Let me explain it to you, again.

A poorly trained and educated unlicensed builder directed a contractor to commit a deadly act. The unlicensed contractor, who was evidently as poorly trained as the builder, did what he was told, and died.

These two unlicensed people who do not know enough to protect their own lives…were in the act of building a dwelling full of electricity and natural gas…for someone else to live (or die) in.

Now, do you get the corelation?

Would you go to a dentist who removed his own teeth with dynomite?

Would you go to a proctologist who could not identify his own anus?

Neither would I.

Where is the concern that the MAR has for the “consumer” in this case? Why does the MAR fight licensing for builders who send contractors to their death? Why does the MAR fight licensing for the contractors who obviously could use a little training to protect themselves from the guys signing their checks?

There is a corelation, Dave, whether you understand it or not.

A law is good when it enables the consumer a means to prosecute
those who cause them damage.

States that create low bar requirements and no enforcement licensing
laws are the proof that those type of laws solve nothing.

That is not the case in Texas. Realtors fear me, and I fear the law…
as it should be. BTW… we are a republic (nation of law) and you
can save the canned comments about communist dictators for flag day.

Some people do not want the enforcement of the SoP (proper licensing)
because of selfish reasons too. Part time hair dressers-inspectors
do like them either.

The HI industry is birthing into accountability of a regulated, monitored,
highly qualified, well trained, professional consumer advocate. We need
to raise our prices… to reflect this higher calling… IMHO.

You’re entitled to that, as are those who disagree with you.

We need to get the standards and HI/CMI requirements much higher to demand higher prices!!!

In 2000 BC … King Hammurabi passed a law if the son of a home owner died,
because of a collapse, then the son of the builder would be sacrificed as a
restitution. This king was the greatest ruler in the first Babylonian dynasty.


Death due to typhoid - linked to plumbing.
Laws were enacted in the 1800’s.

English public heath codes - 1848

NY Metropolitan Board of Heath codes
and health laws - 1868 - 1870

Chicago fire - 1870
Boston fire - 1872
New codes passed and the creation
of the NFPA (National Fire Protection
Agency created in 1896)

1905 - Fires Underwriters Association

1930 - 1940 … National Building Code
created for the safety of occupants.

Codes and law provide a minimum standard to safeguard the public,
but do not guarantee efficiency or quality.

Now we have codes for…
Sanitary facilities, electric, ventilation, construction, materials, safety,
plumbing, energy conservation. through the ICC, ICBO, IRC, NFPA,
NEC, etc…

Regardless of the problems I have with too many laws, we live in a better,
cleaner, safer country than those areas that are lawless, unclean, and provide
no means for the consumer to be protected from damage and prosecute
those that cause the damage.

Not all laws are bad.