Is Infrared worth $

Is infrared camera and training worth the investment? Are you, inspectors who perform infrared, seeing a good amount of business generated by the infrared?
I am hoping the reply is an overwhelming yes, because i just laid out my Dex advertisement and have infrared listed as a service, for next years book and web stuff. Now I am getting cold feet. :shock:

Guys doing it will rave (maybe they get a commision) and the guys selling used equipment will not answer.

Hard to get a good read from this forum.

I wonder why???

Great…Bob it sounds like you are on the fence?

No it’s not a good investment…

if you use it to get home inspection work.

if you don’t charge for it.

if you don’t learn to use it properly.

if you think “because you have it, they will come”.

It’s no good.
Don’t do it.
Send me your clients that want our services and are willing to pay $150/hr.
I did a commercial infrared electrical inspection yesterday, have a moisture intrusion IR scheduled for tomorrow A.M. and one for Friday A.M. (Thanks for the referral Andrew)

Send me your business plan for how you intend to invest in your IR capability and how you intend to market and monetize that investment and I’ll let you know if I think you’ll make money.

If the answer is that you don’t have a plan, then you are destined to lose money, no matter how cheap a camera you buy.

The return on investment will be a result of your marketing and creative efforts. The thermal is just a tool in that quest. So the answer is that a thermal camera will bring you absolutely no business… But now thermal images in all your home inspection reports and a talented technician who can market to commercial feeders … That guy will trip the 6digits…

You forgot the biggest waste of money… Paying for DEX advertisements. Biggest waste of money in the industry. :roll:

Thank you for all your comments. I see that FLIR has a four day training event in Seattle (my neck of the woods-sorta) in March. Any thoughts on this manufacturer and training vs Fluke or other’s. I was also looking at the NACHI package of camera and training?

One other note; My minuscule Dex add more than paid for itself last year. It could be just my geographical area and because a lot of seniors live in this area? At any rate, it’s a small advertising cost and other than my web site,face to face marketing, business cards and rack cards it is my only advertising.

Thanks again for the advise:)

Scott Woods (John’s building science instructor) lives in Gig Harbor, Washington. You may wish to look him up as well.

Holly@buildingsciencethermography.com


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Scott Wood Associates, LLC | | holly@buildingsciencethermography.com | 38 Raft Island Drive NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

See THIS DISCUSSION for important information before you consider this route. :wink:

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Because that vast majority entered the field ill equipped, ill prepared, and inadequately trained to fully understand what it is they were getting into and the dedication required for what they needed to truly succeed.

  • Training/education
  • equipment
  • business plan
  • dedication

But not necessarily in that order.

Remove one piece or attempt to replace one with an imitation component and your hopes and dreams of success are guaranteed to crumble to the ground at your feet. That’s a cold hard fact regardless if one performs IR or not. :wink:

A generalist has no business delving into IR. There are no shortcuts to becoming competent and as with most technical specialties if you are not going to put in the time and effort to keep abreast of advancements in the field then you should not bother getting into it in the first place.

I do not understand the mentality that thinks that an inspector needs to be locked into simply doing traditional home inspections or they will lose focus and fail. If history has taught us anything it is that the markets will continue to go through boom and bust cycles. To put your entire future into one small box that will live or die based off of those cycles is short sighted at best. Diversification has helped some to survive downturns in the past. The more that you become proficient in the more valuable your time becomes to others. If you can make it as a home inspector why can’t you also learn commercial inspections? How about fire and sprinkler inspections? New construction phase inspections? Become a commercial new build QA inspector? A proficient IR technician?

Thinking outside of the box is not necessarily a bad thing. While it would be foolish to spread yourself too thin, it could be a healthy thing to diversify yourself enough that if the housing market corrects again that you still have a viable business. Everyone needs to follow the path that they think is best.

When I first started in the trades I apprenticed with an old time craftsman who repeatedly told me, “Son, there are a million ways of doing just about everything. You just have to want to do it.” I used to scratch my head over that but as I have gotten older it has made more and more sense.

Who are these people that buy and fail or as Nate says lose their butt? The ones that try to buy the cheapest equipment and cheapest training and hope to make the most money? FWIW, I do see a few people getting out of the biz selling their camera, and some selling and moving up. What would that compare to? Betcha there are more HI’s that fold up than that of people that bought IR and pitched it.

Why would that doomed plan be any different than any other doomed plan.

I bought a second IR camera about a couple months ago. Being the only Infraspection Institute Certified Level 3 Thermographer/Home Inspector/CMI in Illinois has it’s advantages.
How’s that for USP???

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Home inspectors don’t make a killing from doing IR with a home inspection.
Certified thermographers make a good income if they branch off into commercial and industrial infrared applications. We have a separate infrared inspection entity to handle those services. I had an IR inspection at a 35 story downtown high-rise yesterday morning to determine if air infiltration was causing high humidity/condensation on windows in 2 units. The building engineers were puzzled. I found the problem (non-functional bath exhaust fans) and now we will be submitting a bid to do their annual IR electrical inspections. cha ching!!

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