1. Make sure he/she is an ASHI Certified Member. ASHI is the ONLY third party verified certification that a Home Inspector can obtain. ASHI Certified Members subscribe to a higher standard of Ethics and Standards than other Home Inspector organizations. More information is available at www.ashi.org.
2. Does he/she use Infrared Thermography? While a bad Home Inspector with infrared is still a bad inspector, Infrared Thermography will make a good Home Inspector significantly better. Unfortunately, most “better” home inspectors do not include the use of infrared in their inspection services. They claim that the technology is too expensive. Some inspectors even try to discourage the use of infrared, making up every excuse imaginable to explain why they do not offer this very important protection as a part of their services. Missing insulation, air infiltration leaks and water leaks are among the things we routinely see with Infrared that are not apparent using a normal visual inspection.
3. How many years has the inspector been in the business of Home Inspection? – more is better. The skills developed doing Home Inspections are not the same skills needed to build a house. Experienced Home Inspectors have demonstrated technical proficiency and report-writing skills, know what hazards and other problems to look for and they have taken years of continuing education. Construction knowledge, while helpful in learning Home Inspection, is not all you need to know to be a Home Inspector! Don’t be tricked into getting an experienced Builder that is an amateur Home Inspector to inspect your home!
4. Code knowledge as evidenced by code certifications. A big part of knowing what you are looking at as a Home Inspector is knowing how the house should have been built to start with. Granted, you can’t expect an old house to be “up to code” and any inspector who tries to do a code inspection on an old house is doing his customer a dis-service. But, because code construction is “safe construction”, many unsafe conditions can be recognized by knowing code.