How to select the right inspectors:
Home inspection is a visual and none invasive process and home inspectors are not required to inspect for code compliance. However, it is absolutely necessary to have the knowledge and understanding of residential NEC (National Electrical code) as a reference to identify visual electrical safety and fire hazards that often exist in homes. Without it, an inspector will not have the capacity to understand and identify electrical defects that may be originated from the power company transformer located outside all the way to the electrical meter, to the service panel and to all other corners of your home. Otherwise, defects will be missed, the inspector will get confused, or simply refer you to electricians. Sadly enough some incompetent inspectors will just keep quiet and never report the defects, hoping no one will ever find out. This happens every day and yet some clients prefer cheap prices over the safety of their homes. It is the worst mistake clients can make looking for cheap inspectors and those who offer discount coupons to do home inspections instead of producing credentials. Home inspection is not doing grocery shopping or ordering a pizza using discount coupons.
There are times that it may take some electrical engineering calculations to identify certain defects. Experience with single and three phase electrical systems is necessary since there are buildings and older homes with three phase systems or converted from three phase to single phase. I should know, I have inspected many of these homes when other the so called master inspectors did not have a clue.
Illegal and unsafe wiring in older homes. Electrical panel nightmares:
Many older homes, even some newer ones, have been wired wrong and mistakes have been made. During years, unqualified individuals have made electrical and structural alterations that have resulted in compromising the integrity of many homes and creation of serious structural safety and electrical fire hazards that go unnoticed everyday by incompetent inspectors.
Aside from other qualifications, it is best to hire inspectors with knowledge of residential NEC with years of hands on experience on old, new and upgraded electrical systems. This is a must and no way around it. No one should be allowed to evaluate your electrical systems without it. It is the electrical expertise that ultimately qualifies an inspector to conduct a responsible home inspection. There are major electrical fire hazard defects that are visible but will not be identified by inspectors with no electrical expertise. Memorizing answers to some limited online electrical questions to pass the licensing test will not produce competent inspectors.
Regardless of who recommends an inspector, either realtors, loan officers, mortgage brokers or anyone else, clients should demand to have an inspector with verifiable documents supporting some engineering education and experience in building and electrical construction projects.
Never be satisfied with a license, nice titles such as master inspector, super inspector and a list of paid memberships in some institutions such as ASHI (American Society Of Home Inspectors) or other organizations. Licensing is a regulation and it is required to do business and anyone can be licensed online. Paid memberships are no replacement to years of documented education and experience.
I have worked with inspectors who were members of ASHI for more than ten years. They were recommended by parties involved in the transactions, and yet unable to identify some very obvious fire hazard electrical defects.
Be aware, there are individuals with fake business cards introducing themselves as professional home inspectors, general contractors, engineers, architects and others, when they cannot even produce a GED level education. Contact your inspector ahead of time and make sure he is the one who is going to inspect your home and will introduce himself with a pictured business card, his name and phone number, license number and company name. Demand to see his credentials at the time of inspection. Make sure nothing is fake and no copy and paste method has been used to falsify documents. It is recommended that you check with your state (sunbiz.org in Florida) to see if the company is registered and active.
Should you decide to hire CHI for your inspection services, I will share unmistakable documents with clients to demonstrate how far some will go to conceal defects and create fake documents to mislead home buyers and how some irresponsible inspectors would ignore serious defects only to help transactions go through at the expense of the home buyers.
I will deliver military grade inspection reports to my clients so they could make a decision based on intelligent findings.
To the best of my knowledge, I am the only licensed home inspector and qualified licensed electrical contractor with Civil / Electrical engineering education and experience. If there are other inspectors with these qualifications, with high regards I recommend them to clients.
I separate myself from other competitors by bringing unmistakable documents to inspection sites so clients could verify my credentials. I believe in long term relationship with my clients.
We are a group of well experienced inspectors, architects, engineers, electrical specialists, contractors, computer network engineers, security surveillance camera system designers and experts in building design and construction known as U. S. Construction Experts registered in the state of Florida.
During any inspection, if I happen to run into defects that may need more expertise to be evaluated, I have the opportunity to consult with members of my expert group to come up with responsible findings to report rather than ignoring, bypassing or concealing defects.
I will share with you a wealth of information on security, maintenance, repair, remodeling and expansion potential of your home, especially on your electrical systems. My more than thirty years of engineering and construction experience is at your service.
I have no tolerance for making any shortcuts neither I can be influenced by anyone involved in the transactions. I am not in the business of appeasing anyone at the expense of my clients.
Absolute facts about home inspection and inspectors:
The information provided here is a result of more than thirty years of my involvement in variety of civil and electrical engineering construction projects. It is intended to help home buyers to hire the right individuals to inspect their homes. It is based on working with hundreds of carpenters, plumbers, inspectors, electricians, contractors, engineers, architects, and local government agencies. I have performed engineering inspections of residential subdivisions and commercial building projects. As an electrical contractor, I have done hundreds of residential and commercial electrical wiring, rewiring, panel upgrading, demolition, reconstruction and design of single and three phase electrical systems. I have witnessed buildings collapsing due to poor construction and homes catching on fire due to electrical defects that had gone undetected or ignored by irresponsible inspectors. The main cause of most building fires is electrical and I have prevented many homes from catching on fire. Under my military grade management and supervision, I have witnessed incompetent inspectors missing major structural and electrical defects and I have protected many home owners against dishonest contractors. I have been asked by some to use photos from a new roofing in my reports on a house that had roofing with expired useful life so the deal would go through.
Home Inspection Licensing Process:
State licensing board in Florida, does not require any minimum education or expertise for licensing inspectors. Not even a GED. It requires only an online test. The test consist of two hundred questions and almost all of them are available to those who take online classes offered by some financially motivated institutions at a fee of $1500.00 to $2500.00. During online training, individuals learn how to pass the licensing test by answering 120 out of 200 questions without ever having performed a single home inspection. As a result, many of the so called home inspectors today, are products of one or two weekend online training and licensing. This makes having a license almost meaningless.
Some states have absolutely no requirements at all for home inspectors. Anyone can print a business card and call himself a professional inspector.
Every few months in Florida alone, hundreds of online trained so called inspectors are produced and absorbed into the real estate market with no one questioning their credentials. Unfortunately, some with financial interests in real estate transactions, refer these inspectors to clients, hoping some major defects such as structural or especially electrical will not be identified.
Franchises Companies And Web Sites:
There are several companies in the U. S. that sell home inspection franchises to anyone for prices ranging from ten to thirty thousand dollars. The franchise companies provides the owners with generic brochures, business cards, uniforms and even a web site showing some clean cut models dressed fissionable acting as home buyers and inspectors with fake smiles and expressions of satisfactions with the inspectors. But in reality these franchise owners hire individuals with no marketable education or expertise. Train them in one or two weeks to pass the licensing test. All expenses paid for. In return, the new employees are committed to work for owners at 1/3 of the money they bring in doing inspections.
Some of these companies may be located in other states, even in other countries such as India and Philippines taking your calls, charging you full prices and assigning a local unqualified inspector on their list to do your inspection for a reduced price, making money just by taking your calls.
CHI is wishing you all the success in finding your dream homes.