New, Free, Online "Residential Structural Design for Home Inspectors" Course

InterNACHI has released a new course, “Residential Structural Design for Home Inspectors,” which is free and online for members.

The goal of this course is to teach students how to inspect a residential building using fundamental structural principles and a comprehensive design approach that draws on existing and innovative engineering technologies in a practical manner.

**Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: **

  • present a sound perspective on North American housing relative to its history, construction characteristics, regulation, and performance experience;
  • provide the latest technical knowledge and engineering approaches for the design of homes to complement current code-prescribed design methods;
  • assemble relevant design data and methods in a single, comprehensive format that is instructional and simple to apply for the complete design of a home; and
  • reveal areas where gaps in existing research, design specifications, and analytic tools necessitate alternative methods of design and sound engineering judgment to produce efficient designs.

The course includes:

  • 19 CE credit hours;
  • 77,305 words;
  • 90 quiz questions in 8 quizzes;
  • many photos, table, and illustrations;
  • 70-question final exam (drawn from a larger pool);
  • instant grading;
  • a downloadable, printable Certificate of Completion; and
  • accreditations and state approvals.

Take the free, online “Residential Structural Design for Home Inspectors” course.

Ron Cleland
Hutchinson, MN.

Martin Price
Indianapolis IN
Merry Christmas

Oops, thought I won something for a minute there!

everyone wins

thought it was a give away but thats ok I look forward to taking it!


Sweet. I look forward to this.

This is an announcement. Not part of the Christmas party.

The course is online and free to all members of InterNACHI at

Everyone wins. Another great, free inspection course.

I believe it’s the 2nd largest course that we provide, with over 77,000 words.

Wow, thanks Ben.

Ben, this looks like its mainly the material published before but this time you are using it for a “Certified Structure and Foundation Inspector”. Is this correct?

Can you clarify some points for me Ben. Thank you.

  1. Is a “Certified Structure and Foundation Inspector” a higher category than a CMI? What is the difference.

  2. With this “Certified Structure and Foundation Inspector” would someone be able to say a structure is safe? Please clarify.

I ask because the following is from another thread. Is this individual correct? Please make it clear as to what can be done under this title.

“That doesn’t apply to ALL home inspectors. Just depends on education and background. There are some home inspectors with electrical backgrounds who can tell you everything about electricity. And there are some home inspectors, like me, with education and background in structural engineering who can tell you if a structure is safe”

From Urgent: cracks, are these a structural issue? - InterNACHI Inspection Forum

Also, from another thread the following was mentioned. What will now happen with this designation?

"For a windstorm inspection he did back in 2009 on the old two page form. He marked clips on the report. Three years later a re-inspection was done and the inspector found straps with no nails and now the credit is reduced to toe nails (none). The homeowner is suing for $5000.00 and will probably win.

This inspector has done thousands of wind mits with no problems until this one. It only takes one miss"

From Home inspector being sued - InterNACHI Inspection Forum

Will the courts assume a “greater knowledge” with this designation? Please clarify Ben.

  1. I notice this course under this designation does not address one of the largest structural problems. Namely decks.

Can you Ben, as the education consultant for this forum please illustrate how a deck ledger board is to be inspected by the inspector under this designation.

Please assume the following deck as an example so we are all on the same page. Taken from another thread to an experienced inspector to help our members.

“You are an inspector and have been hired to check out an outdoor wooden deck used by a local restaurant. This is a restaurant purchased by a new owner. The deck was built 6 months ago and appears to be OK. It is filled with tables + chairs + stations for the employees to service the customers. The deck is only 8 feet from the structure but it is elevated 10 feet off of the ground. We will assume the railings are secure and acceptable to the current codes. The owner wants to know if she can open an use this deck. You notice 1/2 inch diameter lag bolts at 12 inches OC”.

From Bad deck - InterNACHI Inspection Forum

Ben this is huge problem for home owners and business owners. It would be nice to indicate how these deck ledgers can be deemed to be “defective free”. With this “Certified Structure and Foundation Inspector” would someone be able to say a deck leger is safe? Please clarify. I mention the leger as this the cause of 90% of the failures (approximately).

  1. You state the course is to “assemble relevant design data and methods in a single, comprehensive format that is instructional and simple to apply for the complete design of a home”

Can you explain how this is “simple” to the complete design of a home? I am assuming most inspectors have not received training in engineering physics, or mathematics. How does someone with a high school level in mathematics, or less understand the concepts provided in the mathematical portions of the course? Also, if inspectors are not “code” inspectors (unless my understanding is incorrect) does this new designation allow them to inspect to the “codes” as this course refers to? Please clarify. “Sound Engineering Judgment” comes from ones understanding of the Engineering concepts (mathematics, physics, etc). The general concepts presented are OK and a good idea. Inspectors rarely get to see the structure, except in a basement (ie beams + joists), or on a deck.

Thank you for the clarification Ben.

Ron, email me. I’ll be able to sort, compress, and de-color your message via email.

CMI is not limited to Structure or Foundation. They aren’t related at all.

No. No home inspector should ever say that something is safe for certain. Home inspectors only look for defects and issues and report those they see.

That is because we already have a deck inspection course and deck inspection textbook.

Home inspectors don’t ever say that anything is “defective free.” Never do that… ever.

Also, see deck course for ledger board fastener formula.

It will be made available to members. It’s just another optional designation that means you took this course and the other required courses to earn the designation.

Yes, and more knowledge is a good thing. Being held to a higher standard with the use of the word “expert” (which has a particular meaning in the legal profession)is not a good thing. Get as much education and certifications as you can, but never refer to yourself as an expert in your marketing.