Thinking of the HI biz..questions on training

I have been lurking around here for about a month and have been able to learn a lot of the home inspection business because of the openness of this site. There is a lot of valuable information for aspiring home inspectors.

I have been looking at getting into the HI business for a while now and am just now getting serious about it. I do not currently work in any construction/contractor type of business but did for a while years ago. I am very handy and pretty knowledgeable about home construction, having had two homes built and following the building process. I feel I am a good candidate for this busniess. I am currently working full time and am hoping to be able to do this on the weekends to try and build a business before I lose my current position. I work in the Information Technology business and with all the offshoring and outsourcing going on that industry, there are no more guarentees. I know that trying to do this part time is not going to be easy but you have to start somewhere.

Anyway, I have been doing quite a bit of research on available home inspection training and want to get some input/opinions from the experts. I am trying to weigh the benefits of correspondence vs classroom training. There is a company here in the Atlanta area, Georgia Institute For Home Inspectors, that offers training on Saturdays for six weeks. This is nice because I work during the week. But the cost is $1900. From what I see, there instructors are experts in their appropriate fields. There are tons of home courses that are significantly cheaper and for all I know may be better. Plus, I can study at my liesure. I figure the savings from the home courses will allow me to purchase necessary equipment, etc to start my business.

I am looking for any input, pros/cons etc. from the best.

I was recently looking at the training from A Better School of Building Inspection ( Heck for under $1k, I can get their 4-point Residential Home Inspection training and their New Constructioni/Code course.

There are a lot of different home and online courses out there. Any experiences with any of them would be greatly appreciated.


I took my initial course from A Better School /Stan Harbrouck and for the price it was OK. Part of my rational was that I could drive to the class from my home in Colorado. Like you I came in with a good foundation. For the price it was worth it but you really want a strong foundation and there are schools that will provide that at a cost.

Also consider ITA or Midwest Inspectors Institute. A weeklong school is really just the begining. It doesn’t help you setup your business or your marketing plan. Pour over this board and put a business plan together before you spend your first $$$


Rick - The folks at Midwest Inspectors Institute are nice but it is the most expensive course on the shelves at about $3900 for 7 or 8 days. Lots of others with more expertise and much better fees.

If I had to do it again, I’d look for a program like this
I went to ITA’s Enhanced (2 week) course, it’s good but if you can get an in-depth program through a community college or vocational program, I think these would be better. I don’t think these kinds of programs are available in very many places however.

Thanks for all the feedback. Still trying to make up my mind.

Stay strong in the IT field as long as you can

I got cut and went into HI as a change of profession. In the IT field you work in AC


That is the plan but I want to have something to fall back on. I decided that when I lose my job in IT, I am not going back. 20-years is enough. time to move on to something else. I like the home building industry but do not want to get back into construction/remodeling work.

Spend the money for a good in class course. You will learn more, see more examples, and have a much greater ability to ask questions and get specific answers.

I just finished a 3 week program at a vo-tech and spent $369. I have been in the medical field for about 10 years and I did it as a change.



Read Nick’s posts – NACHI good and getting better in the education area

We also have the best instructors in the world


PS Hats off to our instructors – they have to put up with students like me

Midwest Inspectors Institute may be expensive when just looking at the total cost but what Dan doesn’t mention is that it includes hotel and food whereas the others don’t. In addition to the great training THEY FEED REALLY GOOD!

Out of fairness, I am a graduate of Midwest Inspectors Institute and may be somewhat prejudiced just like Dan. Once I broke down ALL the costs of attending HI Education away from home, it was the best value I found.

What Dan doesn’t mention out of politeness is that he is an instructor at a school that directly competes with Midwest Inspector’s Instute.

Find the course that is suited to your needs and budget, pore relentlessly over this BB, add as many free on-line courses as you can handle, and most importantly, IMO, locate a respected HI in your area who is willing to mentor you.

Thanks to everyone for the input.

I decided to take the local instructor training from the GIHI (Georgia Institute for Builders and Home Inspectors. It is on Saturdays so it suits my current schedule. Started the Saturday before Thanksgiving. So far so good. I figured the structured class will get me finished. If I rely on self-paced, I may never find the time to get it all completed.

Anyway, I am looking forward to this business and joining NACHI. I have learned a lot just from this forum and website. I can’t wait to get into the members forum to see what valuable information is there.

I will be signing up for the ICC Bootcamp that is here in Atlanta in preperation for ICC certification (plus from what I understand, I get my first year NACHI membership included (got to save $ where ever possible when first starting out))


Hi Ralph, I took the Carson Dunlop HI program through correspondance that was offered through a community college here in Hamilton Ontario and was granted a College Certificate for completion of the program.

I took the 10 course program part-time over a 2.5 year period at a total cost of approx $5000 Canadian (that included all the texts and CD Roms). I also went out on about 10 inspections with a local HI in my area for practical experience. In my opinion there is no substitute for proper training in this field.


Sounds like you have the basis to start, made some decisions, go for it.

Good Luck

Thanks Greg…Since we are in the same area I am sure we will eventually meet. Possibly at a training event here in Atlanta. Or just for coffee to talk HI…

Anyway, I am looking forward to this business. As I mentioned earlier, I am looking to do this on the weekends to start. I am not planning on quitting my day job to pursue this unless I can be sure I can make the same amount of $. I am hoping to get myself established in case my IT job gets outsourced. Hopefully not for a couple of years.


Ralph -

What Erby said is correct. My comments were not intended to sway you away from a course like what Erby mentioned. Its just expensive (last time I checked it was around $3,900 or so for 1 week including room and board). One of my high school buddies kids recently got into HI in another state and needed to attend a school approved in that state. ITA was approved in his state. He flew to the school (couple of states away); stayed in a newer “Extended Stay America Hotel” (with kitchenette, etc); meals while there; and paid for the tuition, books, etc for what he said was $3,150 AND he got more experienced instructors. At the school I teach at: the 8 Day Course; hotel stay (if needed) in nearby motel with kitchenette, food, tuition, books and flying in from either coast (if needed) would be about $3,200.

I was the local ASHI Chapter President when the 2 principles of the school Erby discussed were 1st reviewed for Full ASHI Membership, so I’m fully aware of who they are, etc.


Email me at if you want to get together. I’m not an instructor, I haven’t seen it all or done it all, but I 'm willing to share what I can. I love to talk, so says my wife and friends and clients about what I do.
You’re IT savey, that’s obvious, and I was going to suggest going on line with Kaplan/ITA for initial training. The also have a local Atlanta Office/Training center. I’m probably going to sign up for a couple of courses through the winter/spring.
But since you have already signed up and started, have fun.