Home inspectors have a lot of ground to cover. Every reasonable, visible inch of a home is evaluated from top to bottom, and the inspector records his findings in a report for a real estate agent or other client. It’s an important job, which is why solid training is critical.
Here’s what you can expect from a career in home inspection:
What a Home Inspector Isn’t
First things first, home inspectors aren’t building code inspectors; they perform function and safety inspections to determine the fitness of a piece of real estate. Where a code inspector determines whether elements of the property meet current local code, home inspectors look for issues that could cause the home owner safety or usability problems.
That’s an important distinction. Because code can vary so much from one area to another, inspectors aren’t tasked with memorizing what’s current in every area that they service. Clients may ask whether an element of the house meets code, but that’s really a question for the building code inspector.
That said, a home inspector might offer an opinion if he sees a code issue that the home owner definitely needs to know about. Some inspectors will tell the client that part of the home doesn’t conform with current local practice. That way, the inspector has done his work and the client knows there’s a problem that he should think about having updated.
What Does a Home Inspector Inspect?
Home inspections cover nearly every element in and around a home and other structures on the property. Roofing, full exteriors, structural elements, full interiors, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and all of the components of these are subject to inspection.
The ICA program teaches the “Outside-In, Top-Down” approach, which is common throughout the industry. It’s not just a matter of preference, though. There’s a reason for this method, and it leads to a more thorough job.
Inspections begin on the outside of the property, walking around the exterior of home. Next, the roof is inspected, then the garage, and finally the inspector goes inside the home.
Once inside, the inspection starts at the top, preferably in the attic, and works down through the house, checking floors, walls, plumbing, stairs, and other elements until he reaches the crawlspace or basement. The crawlspace is last because any leaks that emerge while inspecting the plumbing inside the home have the chance to drip down and be noticed.
How Long Does an Inspection Take?
A typical home inspection is done in much less than a day, but the time involved varies by the size and condition of the property. The average full-time inspector takes on two or three inspections a day, and has time to complete the reports afterward.
The timeframe on reports is another story. Technology has overtaken old-fashioned handwritten reports, so much of this part of the job is done and digital photos added while the inspection is performed. Details about the property can be entered directly into inspection report software, so there’s less work to do at the office or at home later.
Inspection reports include the condition of every element that was inspected, so they’re comprehensive. Once a job is complete, most inspectors will finalize the report the same day and provide it to the customer no later than the next day.
What to Do Next
Home inspection is an exciting career choice because it gives you flexibility and freedom to run your own business on your own schedule. ICA School provides all the training you need to embark on your career and set up your own business. Enroll now
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