IR: Giving it away for free... DUMB

IR Imaging is a separate inspection, Not part of General Home Inspection!

If a home inspector is spending $5,000 on a single instrument, how can he call it just another gizmo in his bag of tricks? Are you crazy?

Moisture meters, carbon monoxide analyzers, combustible gas detectors… they’re only $350+ which I guess is a drop in the bucket, except that I keep running into realtors and clients who act like they’re seeing them for the first time. But an instrument which, by the time it’s bought and you’re trained runs around $6500… that seems like it should be billed as a specialist inspection.

If you offer IR as part of a General Home Inspection, you give away a large part of your investment. If you bought a camera for recording video of sewer pipes would you offer it as part of your General Home Inspection? …NO!

Offering Infrared imaging as part of a General Home Inspection without increasing your fee is lunacy!


I think, and I use the term loosely, think I might be able to get an extra hundred bucks an inspection, but I really don’t want to blow the $6,500.00 now guessing.

But one would certainly think buyers would go for it just by giving them a window shot or something to get them thinking.

Kevin R, gets an extra 80 bucks I think, I don’t know what others do.

I had a call today and someone asked me if an IR scan was also included in the price, I said no, it is 100.00 more, he might of been another inspector I think wondering what others are doing by the way he was asking me questions…:smiley:

So when I told him $539.00 for a 1,300 sq. ft. Condo, he said thanks, I’ll get back with you…:smiley:

Then we have the vehicle and for some it is a $4,000;00 used van and others it is a New 4*4 cost $40,000.00,
Then we have the person who has no insurance , and others pay $3,500;00
This just some more things you can add into the expense of the business.
We have the inspector who charges little and the others who charge much.

… Cookie

At the bottom of the page: about $1000 for an 8 hour inspection. Scott Wood our Building Science IR Course instructor from The Building Science Institute said about $125-$175 per hour. I doesn’t take long to scan an entire home.

Not FREE Kenton… I have built the price into the Home Inspection.I just purchased a BCAM SD and I offer a Basic Scan with all Inspections. Key word Basic. I will charge Industry rates for a full IR Inspection.

I did a Home Inspection on Wed.and Thur. using my camera and it impressed everyone! the Realtor,homeowner,and my client. I booked an Inspection for having an IR Camera [with the realtor].

I do agree with you that one has to be crazy to give our services away for nothing. We as HI’s do it all the time. Our three biggest costs in the Industry is Education,Vehicle,and Tools. Home Inspectors offer HI’s starting at $49-$500. Regardless of where one is on this scale [IMO] we are all giving away our services.

Conclusion; Based on above statement WE ARE ALL CRAZY!!!:stuck_out_tongue:



Are you certified to use the instrument?

Partial scan? What is that? If you are doing partial scans you could miss something. I would be inclined to offer full scans and seperate from inspections.


I’m not certified and I don’t have to be. I will however be certified Level 1 in Dec.
A partial scan consists of scanning known trouble spots for water intrusion.


You many not have to be certified, but you are offering a service with a piece of equipment that is highly techinical and interpretitive in nature based on the training provided by the manufacturer.

Using the scan prior to your course could leave you open to legal challenge between now and when you complete the course.

Just my opinion though. :wink:



I was given a basic course when I purchased the camera and honestly it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to operate this camera for Home Inspection purposes. Now if I was to use this for any other purpose than HI’s than I would have to agree with you. The way I look at it I have a tool that I have invested allmost $8K for and it would be a crime to leave it at home while inspecting.:smiley:


Well at least you have had a basic course, you made me think that you took it out of the package without any course and started using it. :wink:

what is a “basic course” ? manual, will deckers ppt, show n tell videos, practice at home ?

ITC [Infrared Training Center] “Introduction to Thermography” and all of the above!!:smiley:

Now back to Kenton’s original question!!!

“Operate the camera”, you mean you now know how to turn the thing on!?

So your pushing your Provence to regulate IR because of those that “think” they know what they are doing?!

I apologize in advance, but your statements like these are making the coffee in my coffee cup, that I am holding, boil!

You don’t have a freaking clue of what you’re doing! If you did, you wouldn’t make statements like this.

Not to get down on you, but I don’t want any other inspector around here thinking that they can operate one of these machines without being trained! Yes, you can use it. However, you better not rely on what your saying.

Does not apply to home inspection!?
The building science course leaves Level 1,2,&3 Thermographers (who are certified by the way) walking around with a deer in the headlight look!

I have a degree in thermodynamic engineering.
I figured with my background I would breeze right through all this stuff! Well, I was quite wrong!
There are people on this website smarter than me, and they’re not 100% correct when it comes to thermography.
Even William Decker’s fantastic PowerPoint presentation is not 100% correct, but close enough.
If you think you can go off at this half cocked, you’re extremely mistaken and I recommend you reconsider your position.

Just a moment…

Okay, now that I went and refilled my coffee cup and had a chance to cool down a little, I would like to thank you for your comments posted internationally here. It supports my marketing program which I am developing and presenting to Realtors in an attempt to market my infrared program, “The 10 most common mistakes home inspectors make with their infrared cameras”!

This program is an attempt to protect the real estate agent and their clients from rogue home inspectors and gadget gurus. I am delivering my message door to door and have no intent of posting it on the Internet at this time. I do not wish to give infrared thermography a bad name or increase the black eye home inspectors have managed to self inflict upon themselves already.

As Kenton posted “IR Imaging is a separate inspection, Not part of General Home Inspection!”
Those that feel that IR is a shortcut in home inspection, is a great eyewash marketing tool, will make them better home inspectors, take note. IR is not a shortcut. It increases your inspection time, not decrease it. It increases your report writing time. If you’re not charging for your extra time, and you’re investing $8,000 in time, education and equipment, you’re digging yourself a hole. You are also taking a shortcut that will give the rest of the home inspectors using IR technology a black eye. When you start recommending further evaluation that results in the intrusive inspection of some one’s house and you find that there is nothing wrong as you reported, you will not just subject yourself to litigation but will infect the entire industry by questioning the reliability of IR technology.

In the medical field, x-ray (and other imaging technology) they have someone taking the pictures but still as a doctor interpreting them. Why is this? Because the doctor doesn’t have the time to operate the equipment and understand the imaging technology changes and because x-ray technicians do not have the education and experience to understand what they’re looking at. I had an MRI done and the x-ray technician commented about a dozen Springs he saw in my abdomen and asked me what they were! You’re the doctor, you tell me! It turned out they were from a laparoscopic hernia repair.

If you want this industry to become regulated (which will not affect those of us that are already certified) keep on “driving without a license”!

WHAT…giving away services…NOOOO…really???..guess thats why educators are not giving away services or people cry for free online education…educators have to eat also but people still complain about spending $ 125.00 on education…guess is it not tangible enough…even if it DOES reside in the brain…:wink:

Sorry…could not resist…

Wow Kenton!

I feel you hit a nerve with me. :wink: Just in case you were singling me out, I valued my ‘infrared scan’ at only $99 since during a home inspection I’m already on site. With time, once I get ‘certified’ I will be offering IR services separate, and inclusive, and separately priced. Just right now, I’m focusing on my HI services and saving up for my IR services.

That sound like an ok short-term business plan?


Is this case of: “who’s gunna by the cow, when you get the milk free?”

BUY the cow Thomas…BUY the cow…:wink:

There are 2 areas where knowledge is required do to a proper IR inspection and interpret the results.

(1) knowlege of the tool: it’s capabilities and limitations along with the physics of IR. This is where understanding emissivity, reflections, corner reflector effects, etc comes into play. If you don’t understand the limitations of the camera, technology, and physics then you will get into trouble.

(2) knowlege of the system being inspected. OK, that corner of the wall is cold. Is that because of moisture, insulation, a breeze, etc.? I can take very good thermographs of horses but I’m not a vet and although I have learned basic horse physiology I would not attempt to interpret any but the most basic issues without a vet’s opinion. Some systems are way more complex than others. This is why the guys that have lots of IR experience in industrial situations need a building science course.

And the truth is that for home inspections, it is **not **rocket science but it **is **building science and IR science.

I don’t know what your drinking but it sure as hell is not coffee!!

You coming on to me again?