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Home Inspection Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can I make as a Home Inspector?

A home inspector can perform roughly 500 inspections per year. ASHI's 2001 Business Operations Study showed an average of 269 inspections per inspector per year (including part time inspectors) and an average inspection fee of $289. At $289 per inspection, 200 inspections would result in a gross income of $57,800. Inspectors performing 500 inspections per year can gross more than $140,000.

Do I need a license to do home inspections?

The home inspection field is presently unregulated in Canada. No license is required to start a practice. In July 2006 the National Certification and Accreditation Program was established.  The program is based on existing occupational standards and may be required in the future. The Advanced Inspection Training Certificate Program meets these standards, as well as those adopted provincially and in the United States.

How big does a market have to be to support me as an Inspector?

500 house sales per year within your travel area (by car) is probably an absolute minimum. You can get information about the number of house sales from your local Board of Realtors®.

Is it good if there are no Inspectors in my area now?

Some people feel it's better to have no competition, others feel the competition will have educated the market place for them. Either way, starting a new business is a challenge.

Do I need insurance?

You will want to insure your vehicle and property, of course. You should also have liability insurance in case you damage a house or cause an injury.

You may also want to purchase Errors and Omissions Insurance that protects
  you if a client accuses you of missing a problem in the home (especially
  if the problem causes financial loss, damage or injury).
There is other insurance to consider as well, including health, dental
  and disability.

What tools do I need?

There are tool companies that specialize in providing tools to home inspectors. Click here to view a document that contains different kinds of tools an inspector will need. To view this document you will need Adobe Acrobat Viewer. If you don't have the free software, click here.

What kind of reporting do I have to do?

There are several report writing systems available to inspectors. To view a sample reporting system, HORIZON, HomeGauge, 3D

Do home inspectors work part-time, full-time, for themselves or someone else?

New home inspectors can begin working full- or part-time, for themselves or within an established business. You have an opportunity to work in a way that meets your own, unique requirements. Lots of home inspectors, for example, choose to perform only 4 or 5 inspections per week.

Can I start my own business?

Absolutely! Many seasoned home inspectors work independently in their own business. If you have little previous background you may want to buy an existing firm, consider a franchise, or look at partnering with someone who has business experience.

Can I do this part-time?

The field has both full-time and part-time practitioners. It is ideal for a retired, or semi-retired individual or anyone who wants to work part-time.

What does the future look like for this field?

Pre-purchase inspections are becoming a common part of every real estate transaction. Approximately 75% of the 5-million resale homes in North America are currently inspected!

Some home inspectors expand their knowledge and offer inspections for asbestos, carbon monoxide, water quality, lead, air quality testing and radon to name a few.

Home inspection will also evolve as construction methods and materials change. The recent introduction of metal floor joists, hydronic radiant floor heating, steel framing and use of insulated concrete are some examples.

With additional training, some home inspectors move into the commercial field.

The opportunities in home inspection are significant and will grow as this young profession mature

Do home inspectors only look at residential dwellings?

Home Inspections include one to four family dwellings. Inspections are also done commercially, by people with knowledge and skill in that area. Some home inspectors expand their business to include commercial inspections.

What are the physical demands of the home inspection field?

Home inspectors typically work during the day. The job involves standing, with some squatting, bending, reaching, climbing ladders and crawling into small spaces. The work of a home inspector is primarily visual.
Because of the limited physical demands of this work, this career appeals to semi-retired persons who can't do physically demanding jobs.

What skills do I need to be successful?

Home inspectors need a broad technical knowledge of the systems of a house, good reasoning abilities and well-developed interpersonal skills to work in a customer service-oriented profession. They enjoy working independently and have an interest in how things work. Their ability to communicate and present themselves professionally are keys to success.