What is my best option?

I’m posting in here because it wont let me post in miscellanious section.

I’m getting ready to further my knowledge in the home inspection field, ( I’m not an inspector yet) and I am looking for some advice.

I’ve been in the building industry for the last 10 years mostly framing homes, and as a Superintendant for a very large home builder in my state. Unfortunatly they just aren’t building homes anymore so they had let me go recently, so I’m back to stick framing again.

In the back of my head I’ve been wanting to start my own inspection business for the last couple of years. But I just haven’t done it yet.

There are not any formal schools or anything like that around me, and taking a couple weeks off from work to go to one isn’t an option, so I’m looking to do a lot of my training online. Kaplan has an online course for $1,000 and that includes a membership here at InterNACHI. Does anyone have any experience with Kaplan? My other option was to pay the membership fee here and make my way through all of the classes here. I would prefer to do it this way and save some money if the education is comparable. Do the classes that InterNACHI offers provide good education?

I plan to work my other job until I can replace my income doing inspections, (wouldn’t take more than a couple a week). With my current job I have the freedom to leave and do an inspection and come back to finish the day.

I know you guys get tired of reading the newbie posts, but any good advice would be helpful.

If you can take a classroom option that is the best way.
Kaplan has a rep that is not bad from what I have heard however.

Kinda hard to get insider info on an e-mail however.

You need to rethink that thought. It WILL take more than a couple weeks to replace your current income.

Not sure what state you are in but my advise is real simple, considering you have been in the construction field for 10 years, simply make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and then concentrate on the weaknesses.

I am sure some of the fellow inspector / members will have a difference of opinion, I am not a great fan of home inspection schools…taking a course for 2 - 12 weeks can not compare to someone who has actually worked in the various fields for 10 years or more… you can learn some basic stuff but that is about it…as is evident by our (NC) disciplinary action.

Inspectors should be generalist…having a general knowledge of the components and systems they inspect. InterNachi has some excellent materials here…I would consider it before taking some seminar or course for 1500.00 or more…the $289.00 you spend in becoming a member is well worth it considering the advice you can get from seasoned members…schools can not offer that type of expertise.

Let me also be brutally honest, if your marketing skills are not where they should be than chances are you will not do well in this present economy.
Builders, real estate agents, and anyone associated with the building trade, which includes home inspectors, are falling like flies. Don’t think that jumping into the Home Inspection field is going to be much better.

You may want to do a little research about how many home inspectors are in your area and how they are doing…and what will set you apart from them.

Let me also say that offering cheaper services will not cut it…one thing that does piss off other inspectors off is when a newbie’s comes into the market with rock bottom pricing…not only will it guarantee a business to fail it hurts our profession. Considering that the amount of knowledge and education an inspector should possess, $300 - $400.00 is not much considering the liability you will incur. You say you have been in the construction industry for 10 years…that great but let me also say that there is greater liability in inspecting a home than in building one.

As a supervisor you are responsible for ensuring that the job is done according to code and manufacturer specs…the advantage is that you or your company decides which suppliers and subcontractor you utilize…you are thereby controlling the quality of materials and work however how would you like to inspect a home where such materials and quality are not there…especially with track builders. As an inspector you have a fiduciary obligation to your client…while you may only collect $300.00 for an inspection if you miss something that cost your client 10x that or more…chances are you will be hearing from their lawyer… I don’t care how good you think your contract is…we live in a litigious society where everyone wants to sue each other for all sort of stupid crap…even if you do win, you may end up paying out the wazoo in protecting yourself. You need only go to the legal section and read some of the stupid stuff for which inspectors were sued.

Anyway, the above is simply food for thought…

warm regards


you mis-understood my statement. It would only take a couple of inspections a week to replace my current income. Next time I will be more careful to explain myself better.

Ian, he’s saying it “won’t take more that a couple a week” not a couple “of” weeks.

It depends on what your state requirements are. If you have to show schooling hours, then yes take the class and if you have time. But you can get alot of info from this site. Watch the videos, take the tests and get lots of books.

I have a degree in HVAC/R and took classes for H.I. But its hard to absorb everything. So I do alot of reading on the areas that are my weak points.

Gotcha, I would read the above posts and take them to heart then. You don’t just get licensed(if your state requires it) or open shop and away you go. Try to get your training in line and be ready to go when you want to START inspecting. It will be very hard to get your foot in the door right now, but some will make, most won’t. Sorry I misunderstood your first post.

My state requires no training or license to operate. I don’t plan on just opening shop as soon as possible. Training/schooling is my first priority. I want to be as educated as possible before I start. I would be doing a disservice to any client to start inspecting now. I plan on doing as many “mock” inspections I can.

I thank all of you for your insights.

See if you can find a Home Inspector in your area to mentor you.

Davey, the mock inspections are a great idea. If you can find one that is willing, have another inspector review the mock reports, maybe try to find opn ethat will let you tag alnong once in a while.

Check this site out also…http://www.your-leaking-house.com/sites/your-leaking-house.com/forum/index.php

Post alot of questions you have here and there. Don’t worry about sounding dumb, there are no bad questions.

Dave, where are you located? You might want to think about finding someone in your area to do a few ride-a-longs with before you make the decission to get into the field to see what it is really all about.

Check out Allied Schools. They have a correspondence course that seems worth the money. Also, at the completion of the course it’s accepted by InterNachi for your certification and your first years membership.
With your feet already wet with your construction experience it should be a good fit.

I attended and graduated from Kaplan/ITA a few years back and the “in class portion” and “in the field inspections” were more helpful than any of the book reading. Head knowledge, application and marketting with good people skills is essential to success in this field of work. Study the Code Check book. It was available at The Home Depot in the contractor area. Try to memorize it and visualize the reasons for each code.

Best of Luck!


I agree with the above comment…and the knowledge you can get from this board is better than any class you can find. With the ability to search the forums past archives…you have a virtually endless training in this forum itself.