Owning your own home inspection business comes with a lot of perks. There’s nothing quite like making your own hours, setting your own policies, and paying yourself a healthy salary. Of course, there are risks associated with this lifestyle no caped crusader will step up to protect the business you’ve built. You’ve got to be your own hero from the first day. One of the best and most proactive ways to keep trouble at bay is a home inspection checklist.
There are errors of omission and errors of commission. For the latter, you need to know your stuff. That’s why you invest in your future and that of your business with a solid home inspector education. For the former, it’s not as easy. It can be difficult to identify what you don’t know, and when errors of omission become obvious to clients, your reputation may be in jeopardy. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate the impact of such omissions.
A home inspection checklist helps keep your work on track. Here’s how.
#1: Direction for a Smoother Inspection Process
Especially when you’re a newly-minted certified home inspector, you need a map, so to speak, of the work ahead. In time, you’ll develop a process. Creating a thorough home inspection checklist can help guide each job you perform while ensuring you don’t overlook anything crucial. But every home is still different.
Sometimes, your system or methods won’t work as designed. A checklist helps you navigate around unexpected issues so your work can flow more smoothly.
If you use a home inspection reporting app, a lot of this will happen for you. That’s one reason why ICA School includes Report Form Pro with your tuition. With an app, you have a checklist built-in and it was developed by inspectors who know the home inspection industry. They know what to watch out for and what to expect on an average and not-so-average job.
When developing your home inspection checklist, consider what’s included in the average home inspection. A standard inspection should cover the condition of the home’s HVAC system, its interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, insulation, as well as insight into the home’s walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, foundation and structural elements. As you create a home inspection checklist for your business, consider looking over the American Society of Home Inspectors Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. These outlines can help ensure you’re not overlooking any important elements for your inspection checklist.
#2: Fewer Chances to Forget or Overlook a System
Those errors of omission plague the sleepless, worried nights of many a certified home inspector. Did you really check the valve on the water heater? Or did you overlook it? What if it’s defective? What if it causes a flood in the basement?
After a while, inspection details tend to run together from one house to the next. If you have a thorough checklist, you can’t overlook a system unless you also overlook the list.
Here’s a brief outline of what belongs on a general home inspection checklist.
- Windows and doors
- Basement or crawl space
- Heating and cooling
- Utility rooms
- Miscellaneous systems
- Detached structures, if you inspect them
- Porches and decks
- Patios, walkways, and driveways
This list is far from comprehensive. In each category, you have lots of opportunities to add more prompts for what to inspect to prevent errors of omission. Each home inspection business owner will have important decisions to make about their organization’s commitment to their craft. While your business might prioritize radon inspections, others may not include them in their standard home inspection package at all. It’s these choices that separate you from your competition, so be mindful about your offerings when building your home inspection checklist.
#3: Evidence That You Completed the Job
Home inspections aren’t especially sexy. In fact, clients may not care about your findings at all. Most of your customers will fall somewhere between “Interested” and “Can we just get this over with?” Occasionally, you’ll have highly involved customers who pore over the smallest detail both during the inspection and on the home inspection report. Regardless of the client’s interest level, you owe each customer your full attention.
If you omit anything and it comes back to haunt them later, every type of customer will land firmly in the “highly involved” category. Sometimes, customers make that switch if anything at all goes wrong after they move in. You’ll be on the defensive.
With a home inspection checklist, you have proof of completed work. That won’t prevent a customer from eyeing you suspiciously or even threatening to sue. It will back you up with your E&O insurance provider, which can save your hide in a lawsuit or at least protect you from higher insurance rates or a canceled policy.
Phones ring, dogs bark, and customers ask questions when you’re on a ladder with a flashlight in one hand and an electrical tester in the other. If you develop a home inspection checklist, your chances of omitting something important diminish.
The best argument for a home inspection checklist is that it helps you do your best work. You’re not really a superhero even if you practically leap tall buildings to gather information for your customers. You can be your own hero and protect your business by taking steps on the front end to prevent mishaps that are bound to happen.
Education: The Best Protection an Inspector Can Have
When it comes to protecting your business from errors of omission, education is truly the best tool a home inspector can ask for. By thoroughly understanding the systems of the average home, you’ll be less inclined to forget to inspect something important. That’s why we work so hard to train ICA students to the highest of industry standards.
Are you ready for a new career where you’re in charge of success? Enroll now with ICA School. Our comprehensive education program gives you the best training and value for your investment. Don’t take our word for it – check out the testimonials of countless satisfied ICA students now!