I am looking into the possibility of adding Infrared to my arsenal of tools and add the service.
I know I will need the training and I will get it prior to offering anything remoting close to this service.
I would like to know:
How do you charge for this service?
What is the avarage revenue for an infrared inspection service or energy audit?
How much time do you schedule for the audit or inspection?
How long did it take you to recoup the cost of your camera and training?
What are the different services you can offer with the camera and proper training?
A. Energy Audits
C. What else?
What are some of the other uses for the camera?
Any other information you can tell me?
A. Where is more information available?
What are some things to know before choosing a camera?
Do I need the camera befroe training or do training schools provide the use of a camera?
Lots of questions, I know, but I think more inspectors would be willing to fork out the money for the camera if the answers to these questions and others were readily available. Maybe they are we don’t know where to find them.
I am starting to look into this also, I sent an email to FLIR the other day to see if they will defend any patent infringement claims that I may incur while using their product for home inspections. This may be an issue, lots of info on nachi about this but nothing has been determined yet. If they ignore my email, then that speaks volumes.
added with edit: I received a reply from FLIR, they will not provide any patent infringement defense for customers.
I purchased my FLIR b60 a few months ago and completed Level 1 training at Infraspection in April. My marketing approach to date has been to include limited infrared interior surface scans at no additional fee, although I did raise my average inspection fee by about 10%. My reasoning for not initially charging a separate fee for the imaging was to gain experience for a six month period before implementing a new fee structure. The response from clients and realtors has been very positive. I know that I have booked inspections due to the infrared information on my web site. I have discovered several defects that would have been overlooked on a typical inspection.
The energy thing is very confusing and expensive. To truly compete in the energy audit field, it appears that additional training, certification, blower door, etc. will add at least $8000 in expenses that may take a long time to recover.
I do not regret making the initial investment, but investigate the entire cost of energy audits before jumping in.
Just because energy audits are becoming popular, does not mean you have to do it all! Thermal imaging finds the problems. You can find problems without doing an energy. If you can’t afford the full program, just do what you can do. Just don’t call yourself an auditor, because you’re not. Energy consultant is more in line with what you’re doing.
Bruce, let’s not be splitting fine hairs! This type of conversation is what “leads people to believe” and produces wild old wives tales that become home inspection SOP!
If you’re going to follow Henry David Thoreau’s path to civil disobedience, you must be blatantly upfront about what you’re doing and not hide behind a bush, hoping it will protect you.
There are many viewpoints on this patent, none of which are clear as the patent is not clear. This company has patented “a process” using equipment which they may or may not have designed. If your process is not their process then there is nothing to discuss.
If you elect to ignore these people and continue with your right to work, then just do it!
Having someone else turn on the HVAC? I don’t think so.
Now you’re bringing turning on an HVAC unit into their patent?
I guess we can’t test HVAC equipment has home inspector’s anymore!?
Their patent requires a 10° Fahrenheit ~T. Current standards require a 10° Celsius ~T. That’s 18°F for us Yanks!
That is a Specific element of “their process” that we do not subscribe to. The standards are not the same, the process is not the same. There are very few specific elements in their process to begin with.
(Jim Seffrin, Director of Infrared Training)
With proper care and planning, infrared thermography provides several significant opportunities for home and building inspectors.
As a home inspector, infrared thermography can help you to expand your business and increase revenue. Adding thermography to your existing services can also be advantageous in competitive situations when you are seen as being on ‘the cutting edge’ of technology.
Should you choose to go beyond home inspections, thermographic inspections for commercial and industrial facilities can provide a cash flow in excess of $200,000 per year. Typical applications for these facilities include, but are not limited to, electrical and mechanical systems, HVAC systems, building envelopes, and flat roofs.
In order to maximize your chances for success, you will need to acquire an imager sufficient to the application(s) you intend to provide. You will also need to become certified to at least Level I.
The best advice I can offer is to take your training before you buy an imager. Doing so will allow you to see the many applications of thermography and enable you to make an informed decision regarding an imager purchase.
This is definitely NOT aimed at you, my friend. I do hear what you are saying with regard to the process patent in question, and I love the following comment you made with regard to energy audits, per se:
This is so VERY important. I prefer energy assessment, because one may be held to the findings of an “audit”.
But anyway… back to my point.
Please note Mr. Seffrin’s comments. Please read them carefully. Note that he has put a potential earning figure in front of you of $200k per annum. Notice that he states to go ahead and get the training. Note the single thing he and others have steadfastly avoided: any mention of the patent in question and its applicability.
Its like saying “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”
(Jim Seffrin, Director of Infrared Training)
My previous post was an attempt to answer a fellow NACHI member’s questions with respect to income and sources of additional information. As a point of fact, Infraspection Institute has avoided nothing except offering an opinion where none was previously requested.
Since we are not attorneys, Infraspection Institute cannot offer legal advice to anyone including potential liabilities associated with patent infringement. Rather than rely on hearsay or messageboard posts, we would suggest that those concerned about patent infringement consult with their own counsel to see how their work might be affected by existing patents of any type.
While we can empathize with those who do not feel that ‘the patent in question’ should have been issued, our discussing it in public will change nothing at this time. If you or another NACHI member has a specific case that requires a qualified expert witness, I would invite you to contact me directly and privately.
Should anyone have a need for documentation of prior art, they are welcome to contact Infraspection Institute directly as our Standards, Guidelines, and publications predate any thermographic process patents by several years.
Lastly, saying nothing does not necessarily equate to “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” Where I come from, it simply means one has nothing to say.
Yet another patent thread, but what the heck I am game. Technically, David it is written “of at least 10° Fahrenheit”, which would encompass 10° C as well. And your current “standards” are ASTM standards. Not that I am saying that is right or wrong, but we could make a new standard called the DA standard that is now 14.576°F if we really wanted to. =D>
am retiring next week and have been using thermal imaging for quite some time, in my inspections, never charged extra for using it, but, you probably can…what it did fo me is add to the arsenal of credibility, and increased my business referrals trmendously, so much, that I had to stop advertising and limit myself to a small group of successful realtors that I could develop a trusting relationship with and also thru client referrals…what also helped was I could perform speciality inspections such as non-invasive EIFS inspections, log cabins, finding hidden leaks and electrical shorts, as well as determining if insulation was in walls or not…also, prior to our tough economy, small factories would hire my services to perform equipment mainternance evaluations such as finding faulty breakers, bearings, etc, that could be replaced during off hours to prevent production stoppage…I did complete an IR training course as a cetified thermographer just for credilbility…my camera was not a fancy one (bought it refurbsihed for $10000) but it was more than ample for increasing income…if you are interested in it, feel free to contact me, going ot put it and a Tramex wet wall detector (the large expensive one)on e-bay for $7000 starting bid…thanks Jack Minchey, Mid State Home Inspections
Infrared is a no brainer. Who would you hire? The guy who can see moisture and heat or the guy who thinks there might be issues? Really common sense tells me to add one, however, I’m watching all the hype about this patent issue first before I drop my change on the ground. Nick, Joe and whoever else please keep us informed.