Skip to the end for my questions on ICC Exam prep.
Well guys, I made it! I am officially up for license renewal this fall. This means two years in the business, two years of practical experience, and two years of the same ol’ question from realtors: “Do you do new construction?”
To this point my answer has always been ‘No.’ The reason being, in my fine state of Alaska, there are additional requirements to inspect a home that has not been lived in. From my research, this requirement varies from state to state. Very few inspectors in Alaska have this certification and with seemingly limitless earth to build upon the demand for these inspections will continue to grow. After a couple of years inhaling fiberglass, eating cobwebs, and wading around mystery puddles I feel I have the experience to finally take the plunge.
To be eligible for a “new construction” license in Alaska one must pass the ICC exams for:
-Residential Building Inspector
-Residential Electrical Inspector
-Residential Mechanical Inspector
-Residential Plumbing Inspector
Realistically, the biggest hurdles to gain this certification are time and money. Each test costs $230 and the reference books for each category will run roughly $130. All day I am looking at a $1440 investment. I set my timeline at one year.
What I hope to gain from this, first, is knowledge. I am going in primarily with the mindset that I will become a better inspector. Second, I will be able to set myself apart from other inspectors by holding a certification that very few have.
From my limited understanding there are two ways to go about ‘new construction’. These would be phase inspections and completed new home inspections. At this stage I would stray away from phase inspections until I am ready to take on the liability. Meanwhile, I can hone the familiar craft of inspecting completed homes. Any feedback on this logic would be appreciated!
My questions for the InterNACHI pros out there:
- For those that have taken these exams do you have any tips for preparation? Are there any resources outside of ICC materials worth considering?
- Since there is a barrier of entry to inspect new homes and so few are doing these inspections, would it be fair to assume an inspector could charge more for this service?
- What are common price schedules for phase inspections? Once again, I won’t plan on getting into these right away but I would like to see what the future may entail.
That’s it for now! I plan to write a detailed follow up post after I get this certification. I hope to consolidate any feedback from this community that has helped on the journey. There aren’t many available resources available so I would love to make a comprehensive guide for others in a similar situation. Thanks!