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 another 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 homeowner 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 homeowner 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 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 the 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 it Take to Become a Home Inspector?
The amount of time it takes to become a certified home inspector depends in part upon where you live or plan to work. In most states, certification training can be completed online through a state-approved school such as Inspection Certification Associates. A few states require a combination of classroom training and field experience, so check the state licensing requirements in your area before proceeding.
Regardless of the requirements in your state, becoming a certified home inspector doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time, and that’s especially true if you choose to train with Inspection Certification Associates. Receiving your certification through ICA is fast, easy and convenient. There are no time limits, so ICA students can finish the 120-hour online course working at their own pace. All training materials are available online 24/7, which means studies can be completed using a digital device such as a smartphone or tablet any time that’s convenient and any place there’s an Internet connection.
Training with ICA also means you’ll have the flexibility to continue working at your current job until you complete the program and are ready to start a new career as a certified home inspector. Some students take two or three months to complete the course, although there are others who have completed ICA’s online training and received their certifications in as little as ten days. Most ICA graduates finish our home inspector training and certification program in three or four weeks.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Certified Home Inspector?
Training to become a certified home inspector can cost $1,000 or more, depending upon the school, the course material that’s covered and any extras that are included, such as inspection reporting software and 24-hour online access to all training materials.
It’s important to shop around and compare the benefits before committing to a school for your home inspection certification training. There are lots of schools that offer home inspection training, many of which impose additional charges for training that goes beyond the basics. Here are some questions to ask before choosing a school:
- Are All Instructors Certified Home Inspection Professionals with Hands-On Field Experience?
- Can Students Complete the Training Working at Their Own Pace?
- Does the Tuition Include Additional Certifications For Mold and Radon Detection?
- Is Material on Using Drones to Inspect Rooftops Included?
- Are All Training Materials Up to Date and Assessable Online 24/7?
- Is the School Affiliated with Professional Inspectors’ Organizations Such as ASHI, InterNACHI?
- Does the Program Include Commercial Building Inspection Training?
- Is Instruction on Opening and Marketing a Home Inspection Business Included?
- Is Free Lifetime Renewal and Refresher Training Included?
All of these and more are included in ICA’s training for a one-time tuition payment of just $695.
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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