The Look of the Professional Inspector

I am curious as to the percentage of Home Inspectors who wear ties when arriving at inspections and meeting clients.

The following was added after I read the poll results.

I am really disappointed with the showing of my shirt and tie poll. First off, it was meant for Florida inspectors and that is the reason I put it in the Florida Geo area. I suppose I should have been specific in my intro to have non Florida inspectors keep away so to speak. I was also very disappointed with the flip attitudes and smartass remarks of some. Each and every day I am continuously underwhelmed by those willing to help with opinions that have absolutely nothing to do with the thread at hand and almost always colored with a fair amount of smartass bullshirt. After re-reading some of the posts I realized that anyone with such a mouth and so little to share would almost always be against wearing a tie under any circumstances. I suppose if you don’t think like a professional nothing I say will ever change that. I also was amazed at how many excuses were offered up of why it would discomforting or be a danger to wear a tie. I dont know how the hell you guys do inspections but no inspection I ever did put my neck or tie in harms way. As to the crawl space, my coveralls do a find job of protecting me and my tie. Yes I do remove my jacket. And someone even brought OSHA into the fray. FYI, most if not nearly all home inspectors are sole proprietors and therefore NOT employers and OSHA only has jurisdiction over employers.

Wearing a jacket and tie has been a personal and professional trademark of mine when doing home inspections. No Florida client or member of this group who knows me, or any other professional associate has ever seen me without a jacket and tie, EVER!. The closest any of the above has come to seeing me without a tie is my membership photo which I also copied over to my websites. In fact, I even wore a jacket and tie for the FLNachi H.I. proctored exam and the FLNachi Mold proctored exam in Orlando. Now this is my choice, I dont propose that everyone follow my lead and after viewing the poll results I can see that will never happen.

I just think that in order to offer myself up a professional inspector I need to look like one. None of my P.E. friends would ever show up on a job sans their shirt and tie and I don’t think we should feel any less professional though there is no question their educational requirement is about 10 years greater than ours and the PE exam is the mother load of exams (ask me how I know). In fact, in NJ, Home Inspectors come under the auspices of the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. So as you can see they are thought of perhaps on a little higher plain than in Florida. Perhaps we need to try and jump in bed with the engineers of Florida and totally extract ourselves from the Building and Real Estate industries & lobbies.

I’d like to close with the following observation that I experienced first hand in Florida about five years ago. I’ve had property in Florida since the early 60’s. When I semi retired in NJ I decided I might like to come down to Florida and develop some of this property. My first trip to a county building inspection office was quite an experience and I walked out of there knowing less than when I went in. I sat on a bench with a bunch of folks in coveralls, jeans and shorts. I too, wore a polo shirt and jeans and when I finally got to speak to someone I was told there was not enough time to complete my request and that I needed to request an appointment with one of the code officials. I left the office without making an appointment as I was heading back to NJ for personal reasons later that day and thought I would approach the appointment thing on my return. Anyway on my return I forgot to call and make my appointment but when I returned to the county complex I had a suit and tie on as I had gone to a semi formal luncheon with some real estate folks earlier. When I entered the office I was amazed at the difference in the attention I received. There were more than a half dozen jean and short wearing folks in the office waiting in line before me but I was almost immediately escorted into a conference room and after what seemed like only seconds was joined by a county property development coordinator who sat with me for about an hour. This by the way was in Hernando County. I was amazed.

This happened again in Pasco County when I visited an office in order that someone help me with a flood level determination code. I had been told during my initial telephone contact that it normally took three or more days and that I had to come to the office in person and fill out the form and it would be processed and mailed to me. Once I arrived in the office, yes I was adorning a suit and tie, not only was I attended to immediately, the gal who headed up that department personally disappeared into another office and five minutes later returned with my official determination.

So please, if you think that people dont take notice of your professional look, or lack thereof, you are sadly mistaken and because it is not common in Florida it is even more obvious there.

Bruce Gregory
Florida Home Inspector 1167
Florida Mold Assessor 450
InterNACHI Certified HI# 10120503

Hell, I have to decide whether to wear long pants or not on a hot day. I do wear a collared shirt though.

Florida inspectors dress more casual than other parts of the country, because it is acceptable to. This is because of temperature. In general, the less you wear, the more casual you look. It is not unusual for inspectors in Florida to wear shorts, something that would be totally unacceptable, even in the summer, in Colorado.

I don’t wear a tie. I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for an agent.:smiley: Seriously, a tie would just get in my way.

Every now and then, at InterNACHI, I come to work in a 3-piece suit. I only do this just to trick my own brain by “dressing up for work.” It really changes my thinking and production for the day. Try it sometime.

So how many crawlspaces and attics do you enter while wearing that? :stuck_out_tongue:
If I saw some guy driving up in a shirt and tie to my home inspection I would tall him to get back to the office to count beans and send out the real guy because as we all know from Holmes Inspections a professional Inspector wears OSHKOSH.

Besides the above the idea of wearing a loose dangling object from my neck sounds like a very bad idea for ladder climbing.OSHA may even fine you .

No, don’t do an inspection in a 3-piece suit of course.

But if you have to write some reports tomorrow, even from home, try writing them in a suit and tie and see what effect it has.

Oh sure.
All related to PMI (positive mental attitude)or excerpts from any Tony Robbins book such as The Ultimate Power or The Giant Within.

Not all can do it but I can use imagination without the need for props.

They say one good way to feel success is to picture your goal and then work backwards to see how you got there.:slight_smile:
No doubt wearing a suit or even breaking routine can have excellent results as what you are eluding to.

One day I was wishing I could meet an attractive girl and simply went for coffee at a different shop where an attractive lady suddenly struck up a conversation.

I had broke my normal pattern and on a sub conscience level made myself more aware of my surroundings thus causing my personality to sparkle and attract others.
Sounds crazy but how we perceive ourselves and our environment often change reality.
Yes, I see what you mean.

I normally finish my reports sitting in my under wear lolol At Home of course

Thanks for the visual…I hope Tony Robins has something to help me get that vision out of my head…

No Fear Russell it will go away after time, Now do not tell me no one else does it .lolololol Long day Late night writing .

We wear sweat wicking golf shirts with tactical pants or shorts. Some of my guys will not wear shorts because of insulation in attics. Some clients wonder why we would ever wear pants, especially near the beach. It is a Florida thing. The trick is to look neat, clean and professional.

Cotton collared golf shirt with logo. No tie. Dockers

Never shorts, to many things that go bump in the night.

I carry extra clothes when I have more than one appointment.

I always wear a collared shirt and some type of khaki work pants. Use the pockets to hold stuff when in attics.
Lots of warm weather replies; I know some of the brutal days I’ve worked outside in, it’s Muck boots, lined jeans, and layers of clothes. But the client always remembers that I was there even in crap weather!

  in Florida  :-k

I prefer a blazer, ascot and cummerbund although I have found it necessary to leave my walking stick outside when navigating a crawlspace.

I would take my walking stick with me, them freaking spider webs give me the willies…

Regular blown or batt fiberglass insulation bothered me until about 20 years ago. Now, rockwool… that’s another matter it still does.

Collared shirt and long pants. I personally prefer the pants with “Savane” or whatever the fabric is called, because not much sticks to them including dirt, insulation, and water just rolls off. Besides, Sams club has them for under 20 bucks a pair!

I do wear a tie when marketing, especially at when visiting bankers, insurance agencies, or attorneys.

If we are to claim this as a profession, we should look the part as best as we can while being able to get dirty.:wink: