January 1999 Edition

How Do You Choose A Home Inspector?

 We would like to give our clients information on how to choose a home inspector. What are the qualifications for professional inspectors and are they required to be licensed?
 It does seem everyone who has any experience in construction wants to be a home inspector. First of all there is no professional license required for home inspectors. The profession is self regulated. That is why it is very important to check the inspectors credentials.
The only nationally recognizedorganization is the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI, the industry’s oldest nonprofit professional society, suggests buyers carefully research several home inspectors before they find a house to buy. That way, they will not be pressured to find one in a hurry under a contract deadline. Once you sign a contract, call the inspector immediately to schedule the inspection.


The group recommends asking a prospective inspector these questions:
l Are you a member of ASHI? Members are required to pass two comprehensive written exams and have performed a minimum of 250 professional fee-paid home inspections. After a report review and a minimum of six months as a candidate, he or she may be granted membership.
l How long have you been in the business of home inspections?
l Are you experienced in residential inspections in particular?
l Does the company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on the inspection? This may cause a conflict of interest.
l How long will the inspection take? The average is two to three hours for a typical single-family home. Anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection.
l What will the inspection include? Get the specifics and know that specialized testing may not be included.
l Does the inspector prepare a written report? Is it available at the site?
l Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity. If the inspector refuses, this should raise a red flag.
l Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date? What other organizations are they a member of? An inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his professionalism and service.
The state of Georgia has its own organization which is called the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors. GAHI was founded in 1989 as a state-wide organization of professional inspectors dedicated to improving the service and reputation of the home inspection industry. Its primary goals are:


l Enhance the public awareness of the benefits of home inspections.
l Improve the inspection skills and the professional knowledge of each member.
l Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for its members.
Their commitment to high standards is reflected in their membership requirements which are among the highest and most challenging of all professional home inspection organizations. Members must successfully complete written exams, perform a minimum of 250 inspections and attain certification by the Southern Building Code Congress International as a One and Two Family Dwelling Inspector.


This Certification is unique to all other home inspection organizations and permits it’s members to adequately perform inspections for newly constructed residences by being “Code Certified”. Most builders require the inspectors to be CABO certified.


Few professional home inspectors, like craftsmen in other trades and professions, reach a high level of competency in a short period of time. Because of the variety of materials, construction practices and construction skills, and the time period over which communities develop, much of the necessary knowledge can only be obtained through experience and education.
Both organizations adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and are guided by a Standards of Practice. For additional information, contact ASHI at 1-800-743-2744 or http://www.ashi.com and GAHI at 770-989-2524 or http://www.gahi.com.

 Synthetic Stucco (EIFS) Class-Action Settles?

Are there any class-action law suits against any of the synthetic stucco manufacturers and have any settled?
Synthetic stucco manufacturer Senergy has settled its part of a North Carolina class-action suit by agreeing to pay $20 million to help repair one and two family homes that have sustained damage as a result of moisture intrusion around windows, doors and other openings. Only homes clad with products sold under the Senergy or Thoro Wall brands will be affected. In settling the case, Senergy denied that its product was at fault, blaming poorly sealed or flashed windows and doors. The settlement has no affect on the status of other EIFS manufacturers - Dryvit Systems, Sto Corporation, Parex, W.R. Bonsal Company, Continental Stucco Products, Thomas Waterproofing Coatings Company, United States Gypsum Company, and Shields Industries Incorporated - who were also named in the 1996 suit brought by a group of aggrieved homeowners in the Wilmington area. For more information contact 1-800-441-0282 or the website http://www.kinsella.com/eifs/.
In a related story, the EIFS industry has taken steps toward ensuring that future installations will be free of water problems by offering an education and certification program through the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries International. The EIFS training program is designed for inspectors as well as mechanics, who receive certification after completing a course of study and passing an exam. For more information about training, contact AWCI at 705-534-8300.

Source: Journal of Light Construction, Oct. 1998

 If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

“Keep trying.

It’s only from the valley that the mountain seems high.”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Ausker & Barbara Morris

Northside Realty

4177 Roswell Road

Marietta, Georgia 30062  

****Thank You****

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