ASHI Offers Tips on Selecting A Home Inspector
With more people entering the home inspection profession every day, it's more important than ever for homebuyers and sellers to choose a qualified home inspector, according to Mike Casey, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
"Not every home inspector is truly qualified to perform an inspection," said Casey, whose organization's Standards of Practice is recognized as the benchmark of performance in the home inspection profession. "And it can be tough for homeowners to judge the professional qualifications and experience of a home inspector."
Putting Experience to Work
According to Casey, the home inspector's training should combine theory and book-based learning with hands-on field experience. "Seminars and books are important, although they can't replace the knowledge and experience gained from spending time in the field," he explained. "That proper mix of experiential and more formal learning qualifies a home inspector."
Casey suggests those who retain the services of a home inspector consider the following:
- Ask friends or acquaintances to recommend home inspectors they have retained and were satisfied with.
- Ask the home inspector what items and systems are included in the scope of services, as well as what kind of written report they will receive.
- Ask if they are an ASHI member.
Qualifying the Home Inspector
According to Casey, ASHI's respected membership requirements are comprised of the following:
- Experience - Performance of at least 250 paid professional home inspections for Members. This also includes formal review of a select number of home inspection reports to verify conformance with the ASHI Standards of Practice.
- Knowledge - Current ASHI requirements call for the successful completion of two written exams that test the applicant's knowledge in the areas of building systems and components, plus report writing, ASHI Standards of Practice and diagnosis of building defects.
Once granted membership, ASHI Members and Candidates are expected to continue their education. They are required to earn membership renewal credits. This encourages members to stay up to date in such areas as new technology and building practices. Without these credits, their membership in ASHI is terminated.
One Stop Information Source
At the ASHI Web site, located at www.ashi.org, homeowners can find listings of ASHI members by state or local area along with a wealth of articles, data and information dedicated to helping consumers through the home inspection process.
"The ASHI Web site provides a valuable service to anyone seeking information on home inspections, as well as the home's myriad systems and components," said Casey.
For More Information
Home buyers who wish to know more information about the home inspection field or the American Society of Home Inspectors, or obtain the names of ASHI members near them may contact the organization at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Phone 800-743-2744. Or check out the already mentioned ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org.