New Construction. More Education. Questions On ICC Exam Prep

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:

  1. For those that have taken these exams do you have any tips for preparation? Are there any resources outside of ICC materials worth considering?
  2. 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?
  3. 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!

  1. I found some ICC Exam Prep study guides put out by BGR Technical Publications ( ) to be very helpful, because they include 6 complete self-timed tests that you take as practice. I found the questions were very similar to the ICC tests. They cost about $65 for each of the four tests (Building, Electrical, Plumbing, and Mechanical), but I found them to be well worth the expense, and more thorough than even the ICC Exam Prep modules.
    Be sure to check with your local AHJ to find out what code cycle they are using, so you study the correct edition.
    And plan to take ICC accredited CEU’s in order to maintain your certifications (every three years).
  2. Yes, you can (should) charge more.
  3. Someone else will have to answer this question. I’m a city inspector. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the response! Great tip on looking into the code cycles. I’ll be sure to check out BGR for test prep. I felt that preparing for the NHIE the accessory resources (InterNACHI included) were far better at getting me ready for the actual exam.

Have you taken this NACHI course?

I have not! Thanks for pointing this out. This is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking to add to my study criteria.

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That looks like a great class and I took and passed the ICC and also found the Code Check flip charts very useful.

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