NACHI ./. OAHI Bashing

Once a founding OAHI member and *RHI *- I have absolutely no motivation to defend the Ontario association whatsoever. However - here are some unbiased facts which deserve to be considered.

It is the prerogative of any organization - including the OAHI - to set education standards - rules and regulations as it sees fit. Under the OAHI rules members cannot call themselves "Registered Home Inspectors" unless fully accredited - and *“Students” *are not allowed to carry out inspections unless they have concluded or fulfilled all educational requirements as stipulated.

Since no one is forced to join OAHI to perform home inspections in Ontario - anybody can offer this service to the public without any affiliation or restrictions. However - if an individual chooses to properly learn inspection skills - and wants to operate as accredited member of the OAHI - he or she has to accept and/or play by their rules.

I certainly do not advocate that the OAHI concept is the ultimate solution - but I tend to agree that the basic concept has some merit. Nevertheless - I am fully aware that the *“RHI Designation” *is not necessarily a guarantee for competence and integrity.

It seems prudent to consider that entering the home inspection business without proper training can be very risky. Lack of knowledge or practical experience can easily lead to financial hardship or even bankruptcy. It only takes one justified lawsuit and judgment against a practitioner to wipe out all savings or assets the newcomer might have had before deciding to make a living by becoming a **"*Certified Home Inspector" ***by the click of a computer mouse the fast and easy way.

RUDOLF REUSSE - Home Inspector since 1976 - TORONTO


Experience speaks VOLUMES!!!

Doing inspections incorrectly for years doesn’t count as experience. Only experience combined with means something. True with almost everything from playing football to flying a plane.

I know (or you claim) you made and saved $1,000,000 in just 6 short years of inspections…where did you get all your training/experience from? I don’t think Nachi was around then to help when something new came up or did you know it all?

I think you’ll find long term inspectors would be quite well informed and would have run into a lot of different items/situations that they would have to educate themselves to. If they were constantly doing inspections incorrectly, their business wouldn’t survive, they’d be regularly in court or they couldn’t afford E&O insurance due to the number of claims.

The answer is, according to Joe Biden’s count, three words:

Accredited Mentoring.

Bill Mullen

Spell it slower, Bill!!!

Brian asks:

I was a mediocre inspector at best. I had been a custom builder though and new my way around a house and an electrical panel, but not a strong technical mechanical inspector (my weakness). At the time there was only one big home inspection school in the country run and taught by ASHI Presidents (it has since been sold). I signed up for their 2 week course but left after day 4 as the instructors were incorrect too often and I got tired of researching everything they taught us to determine if it was right or wrong.

I knew I was incompetent mechanically and didn’t want to mess up my own market (that I eventually wanted and succeeded at dominating), so I decided to develop an initial, temporary market in the city of Philadelphia (about 30 miles outside where I wanted to end up). That’s where I got strong fast. The homes were older and rougher. I knew if I could work there for a couple months I’d come out a good inspector.

I had to fill my technical gap and did it by hiring retired HVAC contractors to go with me as assistants. HVAC contractors understand nearly everything; roofing, plumbing, heating, electrical, cooling, insulation, etc. Retired HVAC contractors make perfect inspector assistants and normally aren’t interested in starting a competing inspection company. Stay away from the young bucks.

Not only did I learn much but they impressed the clients. Remember, the inspection industry is weird in that you don’t meet your client until after they hire you. I was younger and so would down dress (sneakers and a T-shirt). I’d have my HVAC contractor dress up nice. When we got out of the truck I prohibited the retired HVAC contractor assistant from carrying any tool boxes. Instead, I would carry everything and walk behind him up to the home. The client would naturally shake hands with the older, better dressed, empty-handed HVAC contractor (my assistant) thinking he was the lead inspector or the owner (many clients wouldn’t even say hi to me)… and away they would go to the furnace where he would impress the client to the point that the client would say something like “Well, it looks like you guys know what you are doing, I’m going to measure for curtains” or something. I’d of course be free (no client hanging on me) to inspect the areas of the home I had responsibility for.

After a couple hundred inspections with well experienced HVAC contractors teaching me everything they know, on-site, in rough neighborhoods, my technical gaps got filled and I switched all my marketing over to target the town I lived in.

REALTORs are people people and have a nose for B.S. At that point I was confident… even cocky. When I walked into a real estate office and told the agents that I was the best inspector in town, I believed it to be the truth, and so they believed it to be the truth. I probably wasn’t. I (my team) was second best. Joe Hagarty, my local competitor, was probably better. But the two of us competing with each other for years made us both very strong businessmen.

Anyway, the company built-up to 4, 2-man crews. My crew worked every day except Christmas for 5.5 years and never took in less than $1,000.00 a day. Often twice that (in PA most home inspections are performed with WDO and Radon tests). My schedule stayed overbooked constantly.

Eventually I sold the company to my brother and our other lead inspector and carried the note for them. The money I saved (after business expenses and feeding my family) plus the money I sold the company for exceeded a million dollars.

Anyway, to summarize my advice… watch out for accredited mentors. It’s a phrase for “I proved to some organization that I’m experience by having done it incorrectly for years, only the organization is made up of other mentors that have been doing it incorrectly for years, and so none of us know it. and so we all think we’re great.”

I disagree, Nick. I can see the situation you are describing happening if there are no rules or regulations in place. However, if you set up a system that is rigorous and tested by independent consultants, there are ways to make it good.

I know many inspectors who are doing ‘mentoring’ after dubbing themselves with the title ‘Mentor’. They are almost all doing a disservice to the inspectors being mentored and most importantly, to the public. I would rather see mentors having to prove themselves than leaving the decision up to them.

Your supposition that everyone who has been doing inspections for years has been doing them wrong is not upheld in the real world of inspections and is simply not true. The TIPR part of the National Certification is one way we find out who can and who can’t inspect a house. It’s not perfect or foolproof, but it is a great start.

I know your mantra is that ‘if you think you’re qualified to do something, you are’, but that just won’t cut it in a world where your credentials are being more and more challenged.

Bill Mullen

Great post and right on the money. I too started out after attending a much more lengthy school for HI, part of the McGraw-Hill education systems (no longer around either) where they taught HI from a builders perspective and used those same skill sets to develop their curriculum. The mechanical section of an inspection is usually the weakest area for most new inspectors and was for me as well. Too much information with little resources at the time to learn it, so I basically suspended my business (maintained all necessary licenses to not have a gap in business) and went and enrolled in HVAC school full time. I searched around until I found a school that did not just teach theory but did live work out in the surrounding community. We would go to old peopls’s home’s who were on fixed incomes and fix their old antiquated pieces of crap HVAC systems. They only had to pay a small fee and for any parts we could not come up from the lab excess bins. This gave me the ability to see the kinds of things the HI sees on a daily basis. Too many courses show you what you want to see, not what is really out there. Nice, clean, pristine systems are rare unless the home is very new or recently built. As you said, experience is great and schools are great but the HI needs to see and learn about the nasty, poorly installed, patched up pieces of crap we typically find on previously owned homes. HI is unique in that we are not really of the building trades or at least not in the eyes of most States, therefore there is not a mentoring system in place to help develop the new inspector. I find that most inspectors do not even understand HVAC principles let alone the different and sundry types of equipment, meanwhile HI schools keep putting out bogus information about how and what needs to be inspected and to what level. I have found many inspectors who think HVAC is basically FM (freaking magic).

It was the only way I could learn. I have no patience for the yappy inspector in the front row of a classroom who keeps interrupting the course with his 15 minute long, irrelevant stories.

The pace of a classroom course is too slow for 1/2 the class, and too fast for the other 1/2.

Hence, go at your own pace, repeat if you want, break when you need to, online education:

Next best thing to a retired HVAC contractor with you, one-on-one, in an old home.

BTW… this coming:

The rules and regulations must be within the parameters of the enacting legislation and cannot run contrary to that legislation. And any such bylaws enacted must be ratified by the members, and must be followed.

Again I would be remiss not to point out that one does not have to accept and/or play by their rules if the rules run contrary to the intent of PR 158 or run contrary to other enacting legislation and or the Interpretations Act or Titles Act.

Simply put OAHI is in no position to be dictating terms to anyone considering they cannot put their own house in order.

Bill stated:

TIPR is no assurance given that the TIPR is nothing but other inspectors being approved by other inspectors and by a system which does not comply with CAN P9 the basis for National Cert. when in fact the National has not be audited as required by CAN P9 for compliance.

At no time have we ever said the NCP complies fully with CAN-P-9. However, the TIPR process and the rest of the NCP follow CAN-P-9 as closely as can be expected and that’s all we have said.

In fact, I guess you missed the part in my previous message where I said “It’s not perfect or foolproof, but it is a great start.”

You apparently prefer a system with no checks and balances or accountability.

That’s entirely up to you.

Bill Mullen

Please do not put words in my mouth. I prefer checks and balances, and CAN P9 has always been the watchword and it has been repeatedly inferred that the National is based on CAN P9, but without audit, it is somewhat moot to imply that it does meet the requirements or even to suggest it based on it.

Also CAHPI and the National are not at arms length as alluded to repeatedly in the past. CAHPI and the National is not legislated by any government body, unlike OAHI and until such time like OAHI its a self regulating body run by home inspectors without outside oversight.

I was constantly told to join OAHI when I was in College. I checked out their website and it had nothing that was of any use to me. I also could not afford their outrageous membership fees.
I’m considering joining iNachi where education appears to be of great importance and mostly FREE. As a student and a family man money is not abundant now.


Are you involved with the NCP? Your name seems very familiar.


Looking forward to this HVAC class Mr. Gromicko.
As a college student here in Toronto I attended an HVAC class at GBC that was second to none. It was just over 100 hours long and it was very educational.

Will this HVAC class be open to non-members as well?



Are you willing to take me on a ride along? I will pay you for this service.