Need advice

Hi, my name is David and I’m located in Burnaby, BC. I have 15 years experience in commercial, and residential construction. I’ve been looking at different options to get out of construction and home inspector seems so far like a great option. I have a few questions:

  1. From the research I’ve done, I’m most likely going to take the Carson Dunlop home inspection training program at home. CAHPI of BC recommends them. What would you recommend?

  2. I see there are already hundreds of home inspectors in the Greater Vancouver area. Is the market saturated or there is still room for a new inspector?

Any recommendations are highly appreciated. I’m looking for a mentor in the lower mainland area.

Thanks in advance,


Hello David, Firstly you need some financial support for two to three years if you plan on being a single person inspection company, and the reason is all the new inspectors the schools are turning out now that licensing is in effect. Anyone with no background can become a home inspector. Having a background in construction helps with learning what will be needed but remember when everyone has a license they are all equal and it becomes about marketing. You can learn a lot about marketing here and you will have some ideas yourself no doubt but it all takes time. I strongly suggest you allow for that time, set your rates as high and higher than 75% of the rest when you have a years experience and market the hell out of your web presence and yourself.
Lowballers will always put themselves out of business as they cannot maintain the cost of doing business. After three years you will find a lot of business comes from referrals and the web site. Keep on top of old clients using any marketing tools you wish but they will send you business from people who want you to do their inspection. I also suggest you form a customer response plan for the eventuality you get a complaint. It happens to the best of us and how fast and through you respond can turn an upset client into a true believer. Over all learn to sell yourself, that is the key.
Bruce Grant

C&D courses are hard copy, they have to mailed to you and the total cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3K with exams and such. After I decided I wanted to try home inspection, I called them , all I got was a machine, and it took a week or two before they returned my call.

By that time I had found InterNACHI, became a member and had a made a good start on the training I needed for the Alberta HI license. If InterNACHI was good enough for my former employers, it was good enough for me (I used to work for AB gov). InterNACHI Members get the Alberta Government approved for licensing training for free, C&D, also approved is well north of 3K once you have written the exam and obtained the AB required mentoring etc… If you follow the Alberta gov’t required training program you should have excellent training for BC. Find an inspector who is willing to mentor you and take you on ride alongs. Finding someone who is outside of the territory you plan to cover will make that easier.

I can’t help you on what you can expect re the Vancouver market. I find my clients are mostly first time home buyers who are nervous about buying their first home. There are business consultants and possibly BC gov. economic development who can advise you on how many inspectors a population base can handle. I would say based on my experience, you will need a second source of income when you start, and it may take up to a year before you make enough to live on. Having a background in residential construction is a great asset that will allow you to hit the ground running. It will take time and effort to get recognized, a web site that works is crucial to reach out to the first time home buyer. YMMV

I also agree with Erik! If you do a search you may find out how good I feel about someone taking the Carson Dunlop and someone who just wants to take all InterNachi courses for Free with membership. Spend the rest on advertising on your vehicle.:mrgreen:

InterNACHI is the better investment and with the wisdom given above, you should be on your way. It’s unfortunate that ‘‘pay per inspection’’ insurance is not available in Canada as E&O Insurance tends to get super expensive when you start out. One of the interesting features about this blog is that there is always some good advice to be had.


I’ve been looking into C&D courses as well and it’s closer to $5K here in Ontario… if you pay in full, up front.

“Complete 10 Course Program: Pay $4495 up front & save! Shipping and handling are FREE!”

C’mon. $5,000.00??? You’re kidding, right?

No he is not Nick. But if you want to go higher you can go with the endorsed one by Mike Holmes at Sault College. That one will set you back almost 10 grand for 2 years.
Then you can come out and call yourself a Home Inspector Technician/builders helper.
Then you will still need to sign up for one of the many Home Inspector Associations to gain more skills as a Registered Home Inspector or Certified Home Inspector.
Now I think the best advice is stick with InterNachi and bank your dollars.

Sadly, no. You may also be shocked to know that Carson Dunlop text books are required for HI programs at about 30 Ontario colleges.

An accredited college program with a certificate at the end will cost more than $6000 to complete, or you can purchase the program from C&D for about $5000.

Either way, it’s the exact same home-study program. There are no in-class sessions, no hands-on study, and no field training. If you want field training, you can pay C&D another $880 for 3 days or $1400 for 5 days.

I’m still learning about everything InterNACHI has to offer, but as Kevin suggests it certainly seems like a much better option.

You have 5 years at 8 hrs a day and you just might complete everything interNachi has to offer. Since roofs are very important start with the Roof Inspection Article Series.
Safety also before climbing the mountains.

Holy crap! :shock: I didn’t realize there were so many articles available. 145 in the roofing series alone and all free! I’m impressed!

Yep, here is our Mastering Roof Inspections series

Thanks Nick! I can always count on you to put a nail in the coffin of other HI training.:mrgreen:

Thanks for all your comments and sorry for the not commenting back any sooner. I’m still taking the Carson Dunlop course and so far I really like it. It will cost me more like $5500 because I didn’t want to pay it all upfront. Once I’m done with the course I will join the InterNachi and take as many courses as I can.

Hi Nick, I’m almost done reading your “How to run a successful Home Inspection Business” and will buy a hard copy. It’s a great book, well written with a load of information. So much info I will have to read again once I’m done. Thanks for the free pdf version.


David Asselin