Washington State Licensing

Apparently the home inspection board is considering requiring home inspectors to do energy audits as part of their home inspection. They have not voted on it yet but probably will in the march 7th meeting. :shock:

The Board is only considering this IF the originally proposed legislation passes. It is still in committee in both houses and has already been changed in the Senate.

You can read the Substitute Senate Bill HERE.

With this change, it goes from performing partial energy audits to only supplying the client with information developed by the State Department of Commerce. By making this change, the information regarding energy efficiency handed out by all home inspectors will be the same.

The change actually takes the Board out of it and other than having us hand out paperwork, does not require us to do anything special. If this is the case, they should require closing agents to give buyers the information at closing. That way, every property exchange, including those that do not have inspections get the information.

Well it is quite vague but the minutes appear to read mandatory energy audits. read! Maybe I misunderstand this.

It is all based on the original legislation being proposed. No new law, no new changes. The Board is just trying to stay ahead of the ever changing game.

Washington’s licensing board is in the dark ages. They still harm consumers by prohibiting superior online video courses for pre-licensing: http://www.nachi.org/classroomsharm.htm

Somalia is ahead of the Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Board when it comes to education and training.

Its funny Nick, I sent a guy to a 2 week coruse that was approved by WA and they sat in a classroom for 2 weeks with no type of hands on training!! If they allow this then they should allow NACHI online training.

Yep. Washington state is a third-world country, especially the Western 1/2. Ever fly into Seattle airport? They don’t even have internet access at the airport.

The Board has no say in pre-licensing training. NONE. It is codified in State Law and is not subject to interpretation or change by the Board. Please state facts, not falsehoods.

Wrong again. SeaTac airport started installing wireless internet in late 2002 and completed it in 2003.

If true, that’s even dumber. The board should produce a position statement asking for that to be changed. If WA’s licensing board produced such a document, I could get a Bill passed to get you all caught up 2013 and on par with other cutting-edge states such as Louisiana. :roll:


I can’t remember what meeting it was at; but I think it was back in 2008 within six months of formation of the board, we passed a motion to request the Director take the issue to the Washington State Attorneys General office in order to get an interpretation of “classroom training.” Most of us on the board at that time wanted folks on the other side of the mountains to be able to do their training via the internet. The AG ruled against it; said “classroom training” means in a brick and mortar school in front of an instructor and the only way to change that would be to change the law. Nobody has been willing to take that on.

Back to the O.P., the mandatory energy audit idea got kicked to commerce where it died after they came up with a grandois idea requiring ungodly amount of money the state doesn’t have.

There was a sub-committee meeting on this issue last week. Folks from Commerce showed up, folks from the green movement showed up, folks who do energy audits showed up and two of us non-board-member home inspectors showed up.

The lady there representing some kind of energy program wanted to expand what we do to energy audits. She got an earful from the two inspectors in the audiance who basically said, "Add a bunch of new requirements to what we do, that have nothing to do with what we do, and you’ll see inspection prices go through the roof. That will encourage those folks who you say you are trying to protect - the ones that can least afford higher energy bills - to decide not to spend the money on inspections and in the end you’ll hurt them worse than if you’d left well enough alone. Not sure she got the message - she seems to think that energy audits and home inspections are basically the same thing. She’ll bear some watching. She reminds me of the mold lady that tried to require mandatory mold inspections during home inspections a few years ago.

The energy audit guys said that their profession is still ironing out all of the parameters of what they do and that there is no one single body that “certifies” energy auditors as competent. They got an earful from the home inspectors there who said basically that if the energy audit business hasn’t got their crap together why are folks who’ve never conducted a single home inspection in their lives, and have no idea what one entails, running around trying to push their gig onto inspectors (While staring down the green lady).

The energy audit guys and the department of commerce didn’t like the sample draft for the handout that the board had (probably because it was just a bunch of stuff cobbled together off the net by guys who don’t know anything about energy audits). They wanted to write something better. They got a lot of encouragement from the inspectors attending; who basicallys said, "Hell yes. If you want to write the stupid thing and the state wants us to hand it out, we’ll be more than happy to do it as long as it is in no way connected to our inspections or our reports as our work product and we will not have to assume any responsibility for trying to figure out energy usage in our housing stock - that’s best left to the energy audit guys.

The board president was trying to reach a compromise - do the form but also have inspectors fill in some kind of blanks. Something like a form that says, “The insulation in your attic is such and such and provide an R value of such and such. You can save more energy and thus lower your energy bills by doing such-and-such.”

He was not well received by the inspectors in the audiance who rightly pointed out that though the law does require inspectors to go into attic and crawlspaces and traverse them; the AG had said that there had to be that clause in the SOP that allowed them leeway not to do that if they felt that by doing so they’d put themselves in danger or would damage the home, so how then could those inspectors inclined not to enter attics and crawlspaces then fill in those blanks? The energy audit guys were worried that if home inspectors did that folks might forgo getting an enegy audit (Hell, 99.9% of them probably don’t get one anyway.).

The whole form ideas sounds like a big waste of time. The board President looked a little bit irritated that his idea wasn’t well received by the couple of inspectors in attendance; although green lady used that opportunity to push for that idea expanded into full-blown energy audits. The sub-committee chairman shut her down and told her that as far as the board - specifically his committee - was concerned that was not going to happen.

After nearly four hours of back and forth the green lady and the energy auditors and the department of commerce guys left the roof with a clear understanding that if only two inspectors were going to be so opposed to mandatory energy audits that any attempt to push it through was probably going to result in a sh*t storm.

The energy audit guy and the commerce department guy agreed to work together to put together a non-inspector authored document that inspectors would simply have to hand out. The sub-committee chairman told them to send him the proposed draft so that he could take it to the board at the next regular meeting in June for discussion/decision by the full board.

There probably won’t be another attempt by the greenies to push this thing through until the end of the year when they are approaching the next full legislative session.

Mike O’Handley
Kenmore, Washington

Even people in India can attend Harvard and M.I.T. online. Washington State needs to catch up to the 21st Century.

You are preaching to the choir, Nick.

It’s not like we don’t have online education here; we have an entire state university that’s conducted online. It didn’t impress the AG.

We’ll just have to wait until online education becomes more widespread and then try again. Maybe the new AG will have a different interpretation; who knows?

Mike O’Handley
Kenmore, Washington



Didn’t you throw this asshole out of NACHI over licensing? :-k


Licensing harms consumers. Yes, it gives the state a mechanism to stop a bozo from continuing to offer home inspections (that’s a small plus for consumers). But it also reinforces the harmful myth that all inspectors are the same since they are all equally licensed and therefore should be shopped by price like any other commodity (that’s a huge minus for consumers).


Nope. I was never a member of iNACHI. You’d certainly know if I was an asshole or not, though. You’ve had your lips pressed to mine for years, Burkha. Get on your knees, Piglet, I’m gonna make you squeal like Ned Beatty in Deliverance.

Mike O’Handley
Kenmore, Washington

Well, if you want to talk about harmful myths - you’ve just voiced one. That never happened here after licensing kicked in.

If all consumers had seen us all as equal and then shopped price like any other commoidity, the experienced guys should have seen a substantial drop-off in business. No? Instead, most of us experienced inspectors immediately raised our prices and then found ourselves busy right through the worst of the recession while we watched as new guy after new guy fell by the wayside because he or she was pricing his services too low.

The interference by the state that was predicted didn’t materialize. The leagues of established inspectors getting rich off the back of the new guys by opening schools didn’t happen. The obstructions to new folks entering the business didn’t happen; instead, all were welcomed to the profession who were willing to invest in learning the business first and then could pass a very simple entrance exam.

If someone can’t pass that exam, that person should not be charging folks to inspect their homes. I think even you will agree with that.

We aren’t dealing with any more price shoppers than we were before the recession or before licensing - though the price shoppers that do call seem to be getting more aggressive and I suspect that’s due to the 'zoids conditioning them to expect to pay 25% to 50% less for an inspection than the current average scale here.

You were here a few months ago, remember. Did that room look like a bunch of down-in-the-mouth inspectors who felt downtrodden under the jackboots of the state?

I agree with you; inspectors should be allowed to attend training via the net. That would make it so much simpler for the poor schmoe out in eastern Washington in tiny towns like Brewster where an inspector gets to inspect twenty jobs a year if he or she is lucky, instead of having to come all the way to the left side and spend weeks in a hotel listening to some guy drone on and on.

There is something that should be cleared up though. Hands-on training. The rules requiring inspectors to attend class in a “classroom” do allow hands-on training. Instructors can take their students out to construction sites and to training houses and conduct classes at those locations - the training requirement here doesn’t prohibit that. Even if the state would allow online training, I think there’d still need to be some way for students to get out and on site to put their hands on houses or to see how things are built.

Isn’t the Burkha due for his distemper shot and to get his mange treated?

Mike O’Handley
Kenmore, Washington

I give InterNACHI a little (not all) of the credit for minimizing the commoditization effect on our fee schedules caused by us all carrying the same government-issued credential in states/provinces that adopt licensing.

Wherever states or provinces adopt licensing, it becomes an all-out marketing race. Here at InterNACHI, as soon as licensing is adopted and settles in… we flip our focus (in that state or province) and become a marketing firm for members there. Best marketer wins.

As far as membership was concerned you may be right I have no knowledge of the inner workings of NACHI, but I do remember you once had all of the privileges of a member when it came to the message board, and I also remember when and why they were revoked.

You post here now as an outsider, someone whose word is not to be trusted… Look at it this way, NACHI is the world’s largest professional home inspection association and you are not worthy to be a member… That speaks louder than anything you could ever say to me.

I know all about your failings and why you are no longer welcome here.