interested in becoming an inspector

Originally Posted By: Eric Bewersdorf
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

I am thinking about becoming a home inspector. I have many questions as I want to do it right and be a professional as possible. Most of the inspectors in my area (Kansas) are ASHI certified. Which one is better I’m sure everyone here supports nachi but are there any differences? Next question what about liability insurance how much coverage is needed and how much does it cost? What software does everyone use for there paperwork? Any info on becoming a professional inspector would be appreciated as i am getting tired of being just a number for a large corporation.


Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

You should get, if you don?t already have, specific knowledge & education about proper application, installation, performance characteristics and failure causes for all the different types of:

1. The way the Lots & grounds & grading affect the structure;

2. Old and New Exterior surface materials and the various components thereof, wood lap, cement asbestos, vinyl, brick, log, masonite, etc;

3. Old and New Roofing materials, including gutter systems, downspouts, and leader extensions;

4. The complete electrical system from the Service Drop to the outlet, including the different brands & models of panels, wiring types & sizes & ampacity, required locations for the different types of switches & outlets, etc. (all systems from Knob & Tube to present day systems)

5. Structural components of the home from the roof framing to the foundation walls (including crawling thru the attics and crawl spaces);

6. Heating Systems, including flues and ductwork requirements;

7. Air Conditioning Systems;

8. Fireplaces / Wood Stoves / Chimneys; (are you familiar with
Trimmer Arch Supports? It raised heck with me on the testing I took, i.e. the NHIE ? National Home Inspectors Examination).

9. Plumbing Systems; (Complete DWV - (Drain, Waste, Vent) requirements)

10. Water heaters.

11. Kitchen Appliances;

12. Interior construction materials;

13. Laundry Room Applications.

14. Business Management

15. Marketing

16. Taxes & accounting

17. Insurance

18. and I?m sure there?s more I?m missing off the top of my head.

As any detailed advice I would give you, about becoming a home inspector, could appear to be self serving, I will give very little. But I will point you to the best resources on the internet for getting the advice. It will take you some work to dig it out though. It is NOT as easy and simple as the ?Become a Home Inspector, make $500 - $800 a day? ads from the Home Inspection Schools make it look. They are rather self serving to get new students in the door. There is a high failure rate, some estimate as high as 75%, for starting a home inspection business. The schools don?t mention this because the students would not come in the door and give them bucks. Three years ago, there were over 200 licensed home inspectors in Lexington, KY. In May of 2004, there were only 65 listed on the licensing web site. Lexington no longer offers licensing due to the new state law. Most home inspectors are one person shops that don?t have room to hire anybody. Plan on doing it all by yourself. Of course, if you have $15,000 or $20,000 you could buy a franchise and get their support in getting started. Still a high failure rate.

Anyway the resources: (These are nationwide message boards for Home Inspectors.) Search the archives for specific questions or answers before asking questions. A LOT of good advice is contained in the archives that will probably never be repeated.
NACHI message Boards
Residential Message Boards
The Inspector?s Journal Forum

First, focus on reading the message threads in the General Chit Chat, Insurance, Training, Reporting Systems, Advertising, Legal, Marketing, and Miscellaneous forums. This is where you can learn about the risks and rewards and how to?s of starting a home inspection career. There is a lot of great advice in those messages from Inspectors who have made it, and Inspectors who have failed to make it. It will likely never be adequately repeated anywhere else.

If you truly want to become a Home Inspector, you?ll have to work hard at it. Digging thru this advice in the message board archives (searching) is just the start of the hard work to become successful.

If you still want to do it after reading those threads, then read the Specific Topic threads, such as Electrical, Plumbing, Structural, Roofing, etc.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It can be a very rewarding career, but it is a LOT of hard work to get started, be successful, and avoid being sued for sloppy inspections.

Do a LOT of reading in the message archives, did I say a LOT of reading in the archives, before you spend any money on schools or equipment.

Two schools in the Kansas City Area.

Midwest Inspectors Institute
(I went here.)


Professional Inspection Training Institute
(Dan Bowers, Nachi Member teaches here.)

Don't let the big names fool you.

Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky