Thermal Imaging... talk me out of it!

Ok, still fence riding here.

I’ve heard so much good stuff about the BCam, I think I might be in the market for one. Anyone know of a cheap(er) source for one? Or can anyone talk me out of it?



Why for or against? I am in for one too and soon. Non FLIR cam Guy wants to know! (BCAM SD for me)


I doubt that I or anyone can talk you out of it. If you’re like me, once you get a notion to do or have something then you will rationalize all arguments to resolve in favor of getting whatever it is you want. That’s how I ended up with my Harley :smiley: (but I have since sold it). My reason for not going the way of infrared imaging at this time is that I feel using such, in the normal course of business, goes outside the protocol of a visual inspection. Now, if infrared is used to ‘drill down’ on a suspected problem area that was identified by normal visual methods then that’s a different story. But, why would I need to do that? I’ve already identified an issue and conveyed that to the client. Do I need to do more? Probably not. Now, if infrared is used as an ancillary service and a significant fee is charged for it then, that too, is a different story. My quick, down and dirty payback analysis says using that approach it may take longer to return a profit on a BCAM investment than I would like. Let’s say you get an extra $200 for the use of the infrared on a specific problem area, let’s say you do 250 inspections/yr, let’s say 10% of those would need further infrared analysis, then that would result in an additional $5,000/yr income. A BCAM with training is around $10k, right? So, that results in an approximate 2 year payback on the investment. That’s surely not a bad payback but is just a little longer than I want to accept right now.

$5800 for BCAM
$1700 for FLIR Building Science Thermography Certification
$1300 for Air fare, Hotel, Misc Expense.
$XXX for missed inspection for one week out of town.

$10,000 is a reasonable figure.

If you add $50 per inspection and use it on every job then it will pay
for itself in one year (if you do at least 200 per year).

Yes, I don’t leave home without it.

I find hidden moisture problems, duct leaks, missing insulation, and
hot breakers-wires in a HUGE percentage of my inspections now.

I would be scared as hell to not have my thermal camera now.

It is not unusual to hear of reports that inspectors are using old FLIR
cameras for over 10 years. If I use mine for 10 years after I pay
it off, it will net me $100,000 in return at the current rate I charge
($50 per inspection)… not including the larger homes I inspect now,
and that adds up to alot.

BTW… I live way out in the country.

But, the big point is… I now get better customers who want the
best technology to be used on their home inspection. It separates
the men from the boys when consumers are looking for inspectors.
How much is that worth? Better customers are not price shoppers
and they buy bigger homes.

I average over $500 per inspection. Sometimes I get called
to travel a few hours and charge $700 to $900 per house.
They never blink an eye.

Security from law suite? People hire me to find all the moisture
problems the other guy did not find. I would hate to be in their
shoes now.

Of coarse, I do not solicit Realtors. So be careful… because if
you start advertising thermal imaging… not all Realtors are
keen on the idea of more defects being discovered. IMHO
If you market outside the Realtor loop, then it will help you
to increase your business, but you have to put the word out.

Can you increase your fee $50? Then it will pay for itself.

In a few years, more and more inspectors will have thermal imaging.
Don’t be left in the dust. Consumers are seeking it as the word spreads.

********( ******

Ditto to everything John said, and for me in NE with harsh winters, heavy rainy spring seasons it has already paid off for me.

I just completed a $750.00 inspection on a house that was brand new, the third floor was finished and no access to inspect the insulation. I used the camera and found two area’s completely void of any insulation what so ever, this combined with environmental test for radon and water made a significant difference in my clients view of the home.

By the way, this home was bought by a realtor, builder ran out of money, couldn’t finish and someone thought they would make a quick buck. Home has been on the market for a year.

My plan is to be the best I can be with the camera and move up to one with higher resolution in a couple of years so when everyone wants thermal imaging inspections done I will hopefully have a few years under my belt and a better camera then most.

It is the way of the future… IMOH

What John and Peter said.

Or you can look at it like this…If you don’t your competition will.

Who will be the hunter, who will be the hunted ? :shock:


Ok, so any ‘cheap(er)’ Bcams out there?


Go to
and tell them you want a NACHI discount
plus a sale price on the BCAM.

Sometimes they do nice things… don’t grow weary.

Oh I love PE, they even sent me an email saying my next order I can get an insulated screwdriver kit. However, I thought there was something about NO discount on flir products. :frowning:

Guess nothing stopping me from trying.


You have to catch PE at the right time, but you can get a discount sometimes.
They recently offered $300 of fthe BCAM for a few day.

My Inspection today. Seller had siding replaced and thinks there is still moisture behind hardie. The diverter flashing was added a couple of months ago… but the failing fiber trim boards have NOT been replaced. b.t.w., he just settled with trim manufacturer.



Were you able to confirm moisture problems with a moisture meter?s

Just wanted to make sure the dark areas were not run off moisture
from the roof that lingered on the siding exterior, or insulation anomaly
in the walls.

Yes John…confirmed… confirmed everywhere…

This should be an “IR Training Facility”.

Here is the playroom, below deck (and triple window).




  1. Permission to swipe for educational purposes?

  2. What did the client do (besides hitting their head and yelling “DO!”)?

THIS IS GREAT…exackly what I wanted to see real world finds! THANK YOU


There you go, several good reasons to get one and about 10,000 reasons not too. I have to admit, I really want one too, but I am surprised at the low fees charged for the extra service, I thought it was a lot more than $50 a pop.

I already charge $400 for a regular home inspection, so I bumped
up the charge $50 for the thermal imaging and then gleaned
the extra volume.

Most inspectors in this area charge from $175 - $300 per inspection.

People will hire me above my local competition because of the
thermal imaging. So in the clients mind, I charge approx. $150 - $275
more than the others who do not have thermal imaging.

So if I do 15 home inspections, it take them twice as many to
make the same money. I count the savings on my rural
travel time and gas at several hundred dollars a month, as well.


How much time does it add to the inspection?
on site______

Excellent catch… oh my…
would I hate to be with out my thermal camera on that baby.

Another source for cameras and info!