This is a tough one for me too. I’m coming from construction in a remote region of the country with not enough inspections to be full time. I have to stay in construction, which is fine. Inspecting is an interesting and part time business. Always will be.
I engaged in correspondence with Nick Gromicko about this, and he explained that it’s not so cut and dry as some have explained here. Having two companies, one for inspection and one for construction, separates the line somewhat.
My approach is to never mention or promote my construction company when I’m wearing my inspection hat. Because of the small community, I do get asked about construction during inspections. Some inspection clients come with knowledge of my construction businesses. My construction experience is a significant asset to my qualifications as an inspector.
My policy is to not do work on the existing buildings I inspected for a year, per ethics standards. In the 12 months from the inspection date, I will not do work on concerns that are mentioned in my report.
However, I’m open to discussing the project if an inspection client contacts me after the closing for an added building, an addition to the existing structure, or possibly a remodel. More often than not, by the time the project is contracted, it’s been a year since the inspection date.
The attitude, when wearing an inspection hat, is to be disciplined to not think of the inspection client as a potential construction client. If they ask about another contractor, recommend they contact that person. Hopefully you have enough construction work that you don’t NEED the work that can come about from a newly purchased home.