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ASHI Reporter • April 2018

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April 2018

Vol. 35, #4


PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS: EMSL Analytical, Inc. Target Professional Programs InspectorPro Insurance Property Inspector Insurance How To Operate Your Home EBPHI ASHI Online Learning Center OREP US Inspect 3D Inspection System BVI LegalShield ASHI Print-On-Demand RTCA American Home Warranty Allen Insurance America’s Call Center ASHI Free Logos Sun Nuclear Corporation HomeGauge

Anchoring a Home to its Foundation an Important Inspection Issue

By Greg White, Greg White Consulting and Construction, Huntsville, AR


Targeting Your Sales Efforts Real Estate Agents, Part 1

By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, 800-268-7070

16 News From The ASHI School–

Announcement of the new ASHI School Website The ASHI School Staff

18 Home Energy Score Assessors in Action: John Rodkey, JMR Inspections By ASHI Staff

20  Slate Roofs


By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, 800-268-7070

Smart Inspector Science

By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc.


2 5 7 13 13 19 19 26 29 29 33 35 37 37 41 43 45 46 47 48


ASHI is Here for You

By Jennifer Gallegos, ASHI Membership Service Manager


6 Being Frank Frank Lesh, ASHI Executive Director 32 ASHI Community

Chapter News, Listing and Education

39  Chapter Spotlight

By Forrest Lines, Chair, ASHI Chapter Relations Committee

40 Postcards From the Field

It’s Wacky Out There

44 On My Mind

By ASHI President Tim Buell

16 April 2018 •


ASHI National Officers and Board of Directors Educated. Tested. Verified. Certified.

A SH I M ISSIO N S TATEM ENT To set and promote standards for property inspections and to provide the educational programs needed to achieve excellence in the profession and to meet the needs of our members.

Officers Tim Buell, President Marysville, OH, 614-746-7485

Bruce Barker, Treasurer Cary, NC, 919-322-4491

Scott Patterson, President-Elect Spring Hill, TN, 615-302-1113

Michael Conley, Secretary Anna Maria, FL, 941-778-2385

Mike Wagner, Vice President Westfield, IN, 317-867-7688

Howard Pegelow, Immediate Past-President Gilbert, AZ, 414-379-4186

Directors Bronson Anderson 2018-2020 Waynesboro, VA, 540-932-7557

Darrell Hay 2018-2019 Snohomish, WA, 206-226-3205

Eric Barker 2018-2020 Lake Barrington, IL, 847-408-7238

Reuben Saltzman 2017-2019 Maple Grove, MN, 952-915-6466

Shannon Cory 2018-2020 Fayetteville, GA, 770-461-3408

Bob Sisson 2018-2020 Boyds MD, 301-208-8289

James J. Funkhouser 2017-2019 Manassas Park, VA, 703-791-2360

Blaine Swan 2016-2018 Columbus, OH, 614-506-0647

Bryck Guibor 2017-2019 Tucson, AZ, 520-795-5300

John Wessling 2016-2018 St. Louis, MO, 314-520-1103

Richard Hart 2016-2018 Conyers, GA, 770-827-2200

Speaker, Council of Representatives Hollis Brown, 2017-2018 Manassas, VA, 703-754-8872

David Haught 2016-2018 Huntington, WV, 304-417-1247

ASHI STAFF Main Phone: 847-759-2820, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Mon. - Fri., CST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Publisher: Frank Lesh Editor: Carol Dikelsky Art Director: Kate Laurent Assistant Art Director: George Ilavsky American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. 932 Lee Street, Suite 101 Des Plaines, IL 60016

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ASHI REPORTER – ISSN 1076-1942 – the official publication of the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. (ASHI), 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines IL 60016, is published monthly. Annual subscriptions: $44.95 to non-members. Periodical postage paid at Des Plaines, IL 60016 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ASHI Reporter, 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016-6546. Copyright© 2018, ASHI. None of the content of this publication may be reproduced, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the publisher. Inclusion of or specific mention of any proprietary product within does not imply endorsement of, nor does exclusion of any proprietary product imply non-endorsement, by the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. Opinions or statements of authors and advertisers are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of ASHI, its agents or editors. See above for information pertaining to submission of articles, advertising and related materials.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Michelle Santiago, Executive Assistant, 847-954-3198 Tracy Vazquez, Sales Representative, 847-954-3181 Avery Dinn, Sales Representative, 847-954-3191 Jimmy Harding, Administrative Assistant, 847-954-3194

Choose our E & O / GL insurance and save 15% on the cost of outstanding coverage. As ASHI’s endorsed provider for E & O and General Liability Insurance, Target Professional Programs offers ASHI members the highest premium discount available anywhere – a full 15% on any amount of coverage purchased. More Attractive Advantages In addition to covering all inspectors in the firm (including interns), Target’s policy covers your administrative staff, referral agencies and even spouses. Plus, Identity Theft Coverage up to $25,000 is a no-cost bonus with every policy. Target includes coverage for specialized inspections: • 4 Point • Infrared Thermography • Commercial (Up to 100,000 Sq. Ft.) • Pool & Spa • Construction Draw • Radon • Code Compliance • Septic / Well • EIFS • Water Testing • Energy • Wind Mitigation • HUD / Section 8 Optional policy endorsements let you purchase only the extra coverage you may need for inspections you actually perform: Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Mold and/or Termite inspections. Coverage for Drone Inspections At a low premium of only $100, this optional endorsement provides $50,000 in coverage per policy term for damage or injury caused by an inspector’s drone during the course of an inspection. We’re happy to offer you (or your insurance agent/broker) a no-obligation quote at any time. Visit: for an application and more details about coverage features & benefits. Or contact us: Fausto Petruzziello 973-396-1790

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April 2018 •



A CALL FOR CIVILITY By Frank Lesh, ASHI Executive Director American Society of Home Inspectors Direct: 847-954-3182 •


ake one look at the debates that flare up on some home inspection forums, blogs and posts and you’d think that inspectors have absolutely nothing in common. In fact, we share so many travails. This month, I’d like to talk about two inspectors—one recently deceased, who dedicated the prime years of his life to the inspection profession, and another who, in the prime of his career, is dedicating his professional life to the betterment of all inspectors. JD Grewell was the epitome of the strong, silent type—quiet and subdued, with only a hint of maverick appearing with his ever-present cowboy hat and bolo tie. His slow, but thoughtful, responses to questions belied his willingness to eagerly share his years of accumulated knowledge. And he gave that knowledge with aplomb.

If ever there was a committee, task force or tough job that needed someone, we could count on JD to be involved. Don Lovering gave a heartfelt eulogy of JD, stating, “He gave of himself willingly, without calculation, bravado or by publicly or privately humiliating anyone.” Well said, Don. One of the most important things I learned from JD was to pause and reflect on a problem without blurting out the first thing that came to mind. The profession may have lost the man, but not his spirit. Godspeed, JD.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing a podcast with Preston Sandlin. For those of you who’ve never met Preston, let’s just say he doesn’t have just a hint of maverick, he embodies it. But more than that, like JD Grewell, he’s someone who will share every tip he knows, every cautionary tale he’s learned and every trick of the trade he’s picked up in his years as a top-notch inspector. And that’s the type of helpfulness that great folks in our profession spread with a passion.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Too many inspectors get so lost in the minutiae or details of a defect that they lose sight of the real problem or cause. An example might be climbing up to the roof and determining that the shingles are showing signs of wear, taking photos and writing down everything, but missing the fact that the ridge beam is sagging severely! That could be a very costly repair, both for the client and for you. Everyone who’s inspected knows that clients rely on inspectors to help in the purchase of a home. Whether that inspector is part of a franchise, multi-inspector firm or is a single operator, the client only sees and listens to the inspector who is on site. We stick out our necks every time we point out something. Hopefully, they’re paying attention to what we say and do. After all, that’s why they’re paying us.

But sometimes, the client may be distracted or the inspector may not get a point across clearly. Everyone who has inspected for any length of time knows that, regardless of how hard we try, purchasers just don’t always get what we’re saying. The fact is, just because we know what we’re talking about, it’s not always clear to everyone else. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if another inspector asks you for help, don’t be condescending in your response. We’ve all been in that dark, lonely place where we need someone to shed light on an issue that we’ve never seen before. So, don’t shine that light into someone’s eyes. Instead, interact with others using class and civility, and demonstrate that we inspectors have a positive culture—


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Visit 7April 2018



Anchoring a Home to Its Foundation

ANCHORING A HOME TO ITS FOUNDATION AN IMPORTANT INSPECTION ISSUE By Greg White, Greg White Consulting and Construction, Huntsville, AR


homeowner requested my help with assessing the severity of water intrusion into his home. As a result of the intrusion, exposed mudsill plates (where damaged drywall required removal at the west exterior walls) revealed questionable foundation-anchoring methods used by the builder. The anchoring methods became a point of inquiry that I will address in this article, focusing on the following questions:

ter-resistant barrier (WRB) (building paper), fasteners and flashings, plus additional structural framing and fire code violation issues. All of these issues had been previously inspected and overlooked, but yet approved by local and real estate inspections. The anchoring, grade, mis-installed siding and absent WRB issues were the only observations included in my water intrusion report due to relevancy.

• W hat are the codes for home anchoring and how can they be checked?


• Why is this information valuable to the homeowner?

Fortunately, most state regulations follow the International Residential Code (IRC) and direct builders to abide by its requirements. The anchors exposed at my client’s home were powder-actuated fastener shot pins that were 2½ inches in length with a washer (see photo below). When the home was originally built in 2009 and inspected by the local city and county inspector during construction, it’s possible that the officials accepted powder-actuated fasteners.

The Uniform Building Code (UBC) was first published in 1927 by the International Council of Building Officials. In 2000, the new International Building Code (IBC) and the IRC, published by the International Code Council (ICC), replaced the UBC. Most states have accepted the IRC and IBC.

Model building codes depend on referenced standards, as published and promoted by organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services. ASTM International does not require or enforce agreement with its standards. The standards, however, may become mandatory when referenced by an external contract (for example, in conjunction with architectural drawings and specifications, by a corporation or the government). As stated in the 2015 IRC, Chapter 4, Foundations, Section R403.1.6, Foundation Anchorage:

Shot pin anchor, which was removed for record from a sill plate at the client’s home, where water intrusion was occurring. The anchor is placed next to an IRC-specified anchor bolt for comparison.

The property was reinspected by a home inspector associated with a real estate agent. At the time of purchase, my clients felt assured that everything was in order. In addition to the anchoring issue, the water intrusion inspection noted foundation and grade code violations, improper siding installation, including the absence of underlying wa8

ASHI Reporter • April 2018

“Wood sole plate at all exterior walls on monolithic slabs, wood sole plates of braced wall panels at building interiors on monolithic slabs and all wood sill plates shall be anchored to the foundation with…anchor bolts spaced a maximum of 6 feet (1829 mm) on center or approved anchors or anchor straps spaced as required to provide equivalent anchorage to ½-inch-diameter (12.7 mm) anchor bolts. Bolts shall extend a minimum of 7 inches (178 mm) into concrete or grouted cells of concrete masonry units. The bolts shall be located in the middle third of the width of the plate. A nut and washer shall be tightened on each anchor bolt. There shall be a minimum of two bolts per plate section with one bolt located not more than 12 inches (305 mm) or less than seven bolt diameters from each end of the plate section. Interior bearing wall sole plates on monolithic slab foundation that are not part of a braced wall panel shall be positively anchored with approved fasteners. Sill plates and sole plates shall be protected against decay and termites where required by Section R317 and R318.”

Anchoring a Home to Its Foundation

Furthermore, Section R317.1, Location Required, states the following: “Protection of wood and wood-based products from decay shall be provided in the following locations…2. Wood framing members that rest on concrete or masonry exterior foundation walls and are less than 8 inches (203 mm) from the exposed ground.”

A typical compromised installation of MASA mudsill anchor with CMU stem wall. Removed shot pin next to mudsill for length and depth of penetration verification.

I visited several different construction sites locally for reference of common foundation anchoring methods and discovered the prominent use of the MASA mudsill anchors. Unfortunately, I found that the method of a CMU stem wall being attached to a belowground footer was the most typical. The type of mudsill anchors being used by builders is depicted by the manufacturer as installed in solid concrete, where the mudsill anchor can be embedded at the outside edge of the foundation, enabling the strap to be wrapped tightly around the sill plates without compromising the manufacturer’s installation specifications.

Another example of compromised anchoring. The upper arrow points to a void in the slab made visible by daylight and the lower arrow points to a void that is visible because of a large depression. Simpson Strong-Tie MASA mudsill anchor and the manufacturer’s depiction of a fully embedded installation in a solid concrete foundation.

April 2018 •


Anchoring a Home to Its Foundation

In 2012, ICC Evaluation Service, LLC (ICC-ES) reported on and accepted Simpson Strong-Tie MASA and MASAP foundation anchor straps. Both the ICC-ES report and Simpson Strong-Tie require that the manufacturer’s published installation instructions be followed. Structural observation or inspection is a good way to make sure that happens. Special inspection may also be required by the building code or the local building jurisdiction. All of the illustrations of specified MASA installations I’ve seen depict the foundation anchor straps embedded in a solid concrete foundation. During my visits to residential building sites within a 10-mile radius of my client’s home in Arkansas, I observed that these foundation MASA anchor straps (or “mudsill anchors”) often had been installed in CMU stem walls, making them questionable with respect to the ICC-ES report and the Simpson Strong-Tie product warranty, as well as possibly in violation of IRC and IBC building codes, which otherwise require anchor-bolt anchoring to the foundation. Simpson Strong-Tie emphasizes having correct installation drawings and specifications on site for reference where mudsill anchors are being incorporated for anchoring to the foundation.

Simpson Strong-Tie MASB-type mudsill anchor, specified for masonry block foundation installation. The most noticeable difference between MASB and MASA is the wider-spread, horseshoe-like exposed attachment flange of MASA, compared with the longer, narrower MASB flange.

Simpson Strong-Tie has gone on to create MASB and MAB foundation straps, supported by IAPMO Uniform Evaluation Service (IAPMO UES) Evaluation Report ER-417 and evaluated according to the 2015 IBC and IRC for installation in CMU block-type foundations. MASB and MAB mudsill anchors are noted in the 2015 IRC R403.1.6 as follows: “…approved anchors or anchor straps spaced as required to provide equivalent anchorage to ½-inch-diameter (12.7mm) anchor bolts” (note the emphasis on the word approved—which means by the local building inspection official). ER-417 under Section 5.0 Limitations, Sub-Section 5.6, lists some limitations. It’s imperative that the manufacturer’s installation specifications are followed. Special inspection is one way to ensure that happens, and it may be required by the local building code or building jurisdiction. In addition, there are competitor manufacturers of mudsill anchors that have similar reports regarding “approval” in process with which an inspector will have to become familiar to be well informed. I was a builder for many years and always incorporated Simpson Strong-Tie hurricane ties, joist hangers and a wide selection of specially engineered added-attachment hardware where needed. Simpson Strong-Tie customer service is excellent, and they respond promptly and helpfully to all questions and requests for information.

CMU block stem wall and mudsill with Simpson Strong-Tie MAB mudsill anchor installed with a ¾-inch center hole in the mudsill.

Simpson Strong-Tie MASB-type mudsill anchor, specified for masonry block foundation installation.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018


Answer: You can’t, unless there is a basement or crawl space under a wood floor where exterior sill plates are visible, or a possible exposed area of sill plate on an exterior wall where a utility panel or fresh air vent of some kind has been incorporated and can be removed.

Outside of an exposed sill plate area, an inspection requires the partial removal of drywall (possibly in the garage) about 1 foot back from any exterior corner that lines up with code attachment placement within 12 inches of all sill-plate ends. The best-case scenario is when a client requests an inspection during the construction process at the point of framing, where the sill plate-foundation attachment is exposed or, even better, an inspection incorporating a foundation examination that occurs before concrete is poured or before the foundation stem wall is placed; at which point, either anchor bolts or mudsill anchors (along with the manufacturer’s installation specifications) should be visible for inspection verification.

Inspections Anchoring a Home Sewer to Its Foundation

Being aware, informed and attentive to this facet of your inspected structure could be not only a property liability investment for your clients, but also a life-saving one. Just the added inspection attention will confirm for your clients that they have chosen an inspector who is concerned with their interests.


Structures are only as strong as their connections, and structural systems can’t behave as a unit without proper interconnection of the components and assemblies. In residential wood construction, anchor bolt or mudsill connections are limited to wood-to-concrete connections with a significant purpose—the importance of transferring shear wall overturning forces. High winds from storms can overturn an improperly anchored home. In some cases, hold-down connectors are specified that attach the wall framing to the foundation where overturning forces are high. An inspector has a great opportunity to prevent disaster if provision is made to verify proper foundation attachment. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a private research university in Worcester, MA, focuses on the instruction and research of technical arts and applied sciences. After the tornado disaster in Joplin, MO, in 2011, the Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) conducted a study on the type of anchoring and its effect or lack thereof relative to residential structures. Here are excerpts from WPI’s report, titled, “Design of Residential Structures Against Strong Wind Forces: A Major Qualifying Project” (

“Model building codes are codes developed by an organization autonomous to the group responsible for executing the code. The division between the group establishing the code and people operating under the regulations is imperative to ensure a reliable system where the well-being and safety of the building owner and occupants are first priorities.”


“The International Code Council’s main objective is to provide safety to the occupants and owners of the building after construction. There are still common wind deficiencies in newer construction which need to be addressed. The most prevalent deficiencies from wind damage are the foundation anchorage with hold-downs, anchor bolt spacing, rafter ties and wall ties. The main issue in the most frequent wind deficiencies involves connections. The spacing, type and material used in each connection are what allow the shear walls to stay attached to the foundation or the roof to maintain its structural integrity” (2.2.4 Most Frequent Wind Deficiencies).

“Shot pins and cut nails are generally a violation of building code around the perimeter foundation but have been found in some houses. Instead of shot pins and cut nails, the IRC specifies that anchor bolts should be used (IRC, 2012)” (2.4.1 Concrete Slab Foundation Failures).


Over the past century, the earth’s surface and atmosphere have been gradually warming. A significant proportion of the scientific community believes this climate change will destabilize weather patterns and increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados and flooding. Recently, we have experienced the warmest years on record, which coincided with the most active hurricane and tornado seasons. The devastating weather event of the Joplin tornado had readings of EF5, with wind gusts over 200 miles per hour. The most recent years also have been the costliest to date for the insurance industry with regard to building claims for property damage. The foremost concern for the construction industry and inspectors should be the health and safety of building occupants, with the added consideration of protection of their greatest financial investment, their homes.

Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for reciprocity relating to a builder in my client’s state was five years, and reciprocity regarding any inspection (whether related to city, county or real estate) is just one year. With their home’s construction completed in 2009 and the water intrusion report requested and completed in 2016, they had missed any legal opportunity to regain some of the remedial repair financial loss they had suffered. All of their losses could have been prevented by having a well-informed, qualified home inspector conduct a complete inspection and provide a comprehensive report. Adding such an inspection to your checklist, could save your clients a lot of money and help protect their lives. The author thanks the Simpson Strong-Tie communications, marketing and technical support departments for all of their considerations, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute for their admirable research regarding residential anchoring. Greg White began his career as a residential contractor (15 years) and then worked in commercial construction, which led him to become part of a specialized team of engineers who investigated and tested materials. White resides in northwest Arkansas, where he works as a building envelope consultant, a certified commercial building inspector and a property condition assessor. Visit his website at www.

11April 2018




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ASHI Reporter • April 2018

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262-303-4884 13April 2018



Marketing Focus


By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop,, 800-268-7070


he first stage of any selling process is to understand your prospects’ needs. Remember that your prospects buy for their reasons, not for your reasons. It is your job to uncover the most important needs of your audience. This is the key to success in home inspection—recognizing what people are looking for and finding ways to deliver it better than anyone else. What does the real estate agent need? • to sell more properties • to list more properties • to sell the property for a higher value • to sell the property faster • to remove obstacles to the sale • to find tools that help with closing the deal This list is simply a starting point for identifying these needs. You can probably think of many more.


Prospecting ensures that the sales funnel is kept full of people who need a home inspector. The approach is when you ask your targets for permission to sell to them. For instance, the approach happens when you call an agent to ask if you can meet him or her. The presentation is your discussion of the benefits of your service relative to the prospect’s needs. You must first uncover the needs or problems of your prospect by asking questions. Showing your prospect how your service is ideal for their situation involves handling objections. This relies on your ability to anticipate objections, and overcome them with questions and responses that are well thought out. Create a list of all the reasons an agent may not want to refer their clients to you and prepare your best response in advance. The close is where you get the agent to agree to refer you for his or her next inspection. Customer management involves organizing yourself so that you have time to build and maintain your relationships. This means that your customers will call on you over and over again.

THE REAL ESTATE AGENT (SALES REPRESENTATIVE) Let’s look at how we would step through the process with a real estate agent. 14

ASHI Reporter • April 2018


We’ve discussed prospecting in several articles we’ve written for the Reporter. To summarize, we suggest checking with your local real estate board to find out who the top agents are. You also may find top agents identified on real estate websites and social media. This knowledge will allow you to focus on agents with the highest “prospect value.”


Approaching a real estate agent can be difficult if he or she has never heard of you. You can make the approach over the phone, asking the real estate agent to spend five minutes with you. There are three things you can do to make this first contact easier: 1. Make sure the agent has heard of you. One of the most effective ways to make sure the real estate agent has heard of you is to do a presentation in the real estate office. In our experience, these talks do not change the referral behavior of real estate agents; however, as soon as you pick up the phone to make your first call to an agent, you will know why real estate agent talks are a good idea. The agent will already know who you are and also may see you as an expert. 2. Make sure someone the real estate agent knows has referred you. How can you get referrals? Every time you meet with a real estate agent, ask him or her to refer you to another real estate agent. For example, you have just met with a real estate agent from the local office. The presentation goes well. Before you leave, you say something like, “My goal is to meet with top-producing agents like you. Who else in your office is a top producer?” After taking the names the agent gives to you, say, “Do you mind if I mention your name when I call them?” If you get a “yes,” it makes your job much easier because your opening line to the next real estate agent will be, “So-and-so from your office suggested that I give you a call.” 3. Talk to the “other” agent attending your inspection. For instance, you are doing an inspection with a buyer’s agent, but the selling agent also may be at the inspection. Talk to the selling agent (without giving away any specifics about the home you are inspecting for your buyer, of course). These strategies will help make the approach easier and increase the probability that you will get a “yes” when you ask the real estate agent for a five-minute meeting. But don’t forget to offer a trade during the approach. If you simply ask for five minutes, it’s not a fair trade. Even if it is unspoken, the question the real estate agent is asking is “What do I get out of it?” You should have an irresistible offer.


Here are some effective tools for generating interest: • Give something of value to the real estate agent for free. A popular book or mobile app related to real estate may be of interest, for example. If you have any printed material that may be valuable to the agent, you can offer this. If you have written an article that has been published, this also builds your credibility. • Speak to the ego. You can tell an agent that you are trying to improve the quality of your inspection service and you would like his or her advice. Could you drop in for five minutes? In return, you will give the agent a gift certificate for a free lunch or tickets to a movie. You may even offer to pay a top agent for some of their time. A one-hour consulting fee may be fair. Cautionary note: If you do ask for the real estate agent’s advice, you may hear something you are not prepared to do or cannot do. For example, at one meeting with an agent, we asked what we could do to improve our service. The agent said that we should be available to do an inspection on 30 minutes’ notice, 365 days a year. Needless to say, we could not make that promise. It made it difficult to follow up with that agent, although we pointed out that no one could live up to that commitment. If you have an offer that will help the agent do more business, solve a current problem or help the transaction go more smoothly, you should talk about it. For example, you could call and say, “I’ve developed a

system for home inspections that makes the deal more likely to go through with fewer stumbling blocks. This system will help you make more money. Can I drop in for five minutes to tell you more about it?” There are many examples of solutions a home inspector can provide. For example, one inspection company uses a team of inspectors at every house, so the inspection takes about an hour. Agents like to get in and out quickly, and appreciate this shortened time commitment to the inspection. Or perhaps there are circumstances that make it difficult for prospective purchasers to get house insurance and you have found a way to solve the insurance issue. (We accomplished this by building a relationship with an insurer who recognizes our inspection reports and offers insurance to our clients when others will not.) This makes the transaction easier on the agent. There is a cost to the agent associated with anything that may interfere with the transaction. If you can eliminate just one of those frustrations where others cannot, then you are in a better position to present your service as the best choice.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC WILL BE FEATURED IN THE MARKETING FOCUS ARTICLE IN THE MAY ISSUE OF THE REPORTER. Carson Dunlop - Consulting engineering firm devoted to home inspection since 1978.

15April 2018





The ASHI School Staff


fter months of hard work by Kate Laurent, ASHI Design and Strategy Manager, and her team, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of the new ASHI School website:

Our goal was to redesign the website with students and inspectors in mind, and to make it as informative and easy to use as possible.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Among the new features on the site are integrated social media buttons for Facebook and other social media outlets to foster improved communication with potential students and home inspectors. This site is not only for people looking for home inspection training, but also for inspectors looking for ancillary training in commercial inspections, mold, radon, four-point wind mitigation and more.

TRAINING TAILORED FOR MULTI-INSPECTOR FIRMS: If you are part of a multi-inspector firm that trains your inspectors, consider The ASHI School to provide that training. We are equipped to provide training in 13 locations (see for details).

WHAT DOES THE TRAINING COVER? The ASHI School features live home inspection classes that include more time in real, in-the-field home inspections than any other home inspection school in the nation. Courses cover how to start your own home inspection career and how to operate a successful inspection business. Instruction also describes how to perform inspections that are in compliance with the ASHI Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Courses are designed to be an intelligent blend of pre-class study materials, live classroom lectures and actual in-the-field home inspection training. Specific components that are taught include electrical, plumbing, roofing, heating, exteriors and interiors, just to name a few. Materials used in classes include the Home Reference Book and Study Guide and Code Check Complete. As a bonus, students of The ASHI School receive first-rate preparation materials for the National Home Inspection Examination (NHIE)—the NHIE Home Inspection Manual and the NHIE Study Guide. These references are considered a must to help you pass the NHIE. If you have ideas to share or questions about The ASHI School’s website, please contact us at: We look forward to seeing you at The ASHI School— online or in person!

Upcoming Home Inspection Classes March 5-16 St. Louis, MO March 12-23 Columbus, OH Mar 26-Apr 6 Lakewood, CO Cincinnati, OH April 3-13 Cypress, CA

Apr 23-May 4 Columbis, OH Des Plaines, IL

June 4-15 Baltimore, MD Bellevue, WA

May 7-12 Franklin, TN

June 11-22 Lakewood, CO Columbus, OH

May 21-June 1 Alpharetta, GA Leesburg, VA

June 18-29 Des Plaines, IL

Jul 30-Aug 10 Columbus, OH

September 3-14 Leesburg, VA

August 6-17 Des Plaines, IL

September 10-21 Baltimore, MD Bellevue, WA Columbus, OH Cincinnati, OH Cumming, GA Lakewood, CO Tampa, FL

August 20-25 Brentwood, TN August 20-31 St. Louis, MO

Note: All class dates subject to change. 17April 2018






Author’s note: With this article, we continue a feature that profiles ASHI members from across the country who are successfully integrating the Home Energy Score into their businesses.

Building in a new feature, toning down its presentation John Rodkey isn’t one for the hard sell. Fully at ease with the quality of service that he’s provided for more than 17 years and respectful of his clients’ tolerance for being “sold” additional services during an already head-spinning purchase process, John brought the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Score into his business recently and decided to simply include it as a standard part of his inspection. No high-pressure upselling, no decision fatigue for his homebuyer clients, just a minor revision to his highly refined inspection procedure and a low-key approach to presenting that new service to his clients.

“I just tell them that, as part of my inspection, they’re also going to receive a Home Energy Score from the DOE,” John told us recently. “I have a short talk with them about what the Score is and why I think it’s important information for homebuyers to have, and that’s about it.” He’s had that understated conversation since late 2017 with more than 60 clients and he’s impressed with the results. As a seasoned professional accustomed to receiving positive feedback from satisfied customers, John still takes notice when a small change to his business elicits an uptick in satisfaction.

NOT ONE INSPECTION WITH THE DOE HOME ENERGY SCORE HAS FAILED TO RECEIVE A ‘WOW, THAT’S REALLY HELPFUL,’ HE’S PROUD TO NOTE. Boosting an already good brand, supporting an already solid reputation Pleased as he is with his clients’ enthusiasm for his energy-enhanced inspections, John also recognizes the obvious marketing benefits of associating JMR Inspections with the U.S. DOE. He’s not going overboard with a total revamp of his well-established name, however. “I use the logo on my materials, sure,” he told us, “and a magnet on the truck to raise some curiosity…but for us as a brand, it’s about reminding people that we’re the industry leader in this territory and having a partner like the Department of Energy definitely helps us makes that case.” 18

ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Performing his due diligence before jumping into ID Energy’s Fast Track onboarding process, John used the “find an assessor” tool on the DOE website ( content/home-energy-score-partner-map) and was intrigued to see that he would be the first Home Energy Score Assessor to serve his western Massachusetts market. Asked about how his early-adopter service is being received by his extensive and loyal realtor network, John’s approach is subdued and long-game-oriented. “I don’t oversell it,” he said when describing his outreach approach with his network. “It’s great when they can overhear the benefits that come to the homebuyer, but I anticipate that by 2019, the agents will be looking for the Home Energy Score as a requested service for the benefit of their clients. I want them to remember that I’m the one who blazed this trail.”

Including the Score serves deep-rooted principles and new realities Pressed for any larger motivations for integrating the Home Energy Score into his established, profitable business, you might expect John to cite his clientele’s interest in environmentally sustainable lifestyles that might require him to field questions about the energy “footprint” of the homes he inspects. You’d be mistaken.

“I just hate paying my electric bill!” says a characteristically practical Rodkey, “and so often, it’s plain as day that some poor couple is just going to get whacked by a barely insulated house with terrible ducts. It’s the least I can do to try to give people a sense of what their bills are going to be.” Offering just that kind of information—backed by the US DOE, no less—costs John an extra 30 minutes or so on average, he tells us, and would seem to serve the mission of any business dedicated, to quote the JMR tagline, to “helping you make informed decisions.” For John Rodkey and his team, offering the Home Energy Score is a logical extension of what got him into the inspection game in the first place—a commitment to putting his expertise to use helping families make decisions that shape their future. The fact that the Score is letting him improve on a solid business in a changing market is definitely good news both for John and for homebuyers in the western Massachusetts area for years to come.

GET STARTED NOW! You, too, can make the Score part of your successful business plan. Jen Gallegos at ASHI HQ is always on hand to answer questions and to help you get the ball rolling.

You can reach her at Or you can save a step and head right to ID Energy to get signed up. They’re waiting for your application at




IN GIFT CARDS WITH EACH NEW MEMBER TO REFER A MEMBER:; Download the Membership Application form, have the new member fill it out, (including his/her member number in the referral field). SCAN AND EMAIL IT TO:


Questions? Contact Jen Gallegos,

19April 2018



By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, 800-268-7070


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Slate is a natural stone product. Slate can be thought of as metamorphosed shale. The main constituents are mica and quartz, but there are typically many other minerals in slate. Slate is quarried in many areas of the world, including France, Spain, Wales, India, China, Canada and the United States. Slate is used for many products, but in this article, we will concentrate on slate used as a roofing material.

21April 2018



Slate Roofs


efore 1850, most slate in the United States came from Wales. Slate used in Canada also came from Wales, or in the latter part of the 19th century, from Newfoundland. During the last 100 years, American slate has been quarried in Pennsylvania, Vermont, western New York and Virginia. Generally speaking, Pennsylvania slate is estimated to last 35 to 75 years, although there are exceptions at both ends of this scale. Vermont slate is expected to last at least 100 years and Buckingham slate from Virginia is thought to be good for roughly 175 years. Since it is a natural product, the life expectancy varies. It is beyond the scope of a home inspector to be able to evaluate the quality of the slate or to predict with confidence its life expectancy. Beware of imitations! Some concrete, clay, fiber cement, plastic or rubber (from automobile tires) roof coverings are designed to mimic the look of slate. These products are generally less expensive and less durable than slate. Do not describe something as slate unless you are absolutely sure. You don’t want to have to buy someone a slate roof because you mistakenly told a client they had one when, in fact, they did not.


• Standard: The most common style, slates of uniform length and thickness are installed in a conventional shingling pattern.

Typical slate roof installation


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

• Textural: This style uses rough-textured slates with uneven butts and varied thicknesses. The slates are often different colors and sizes, giving this installation a rustic look. • Graduated: This style adds dimension to the roof by having the exposure, size and thickness of the slate decrease as you move up the slope. The slates at the bottom can be as much as 11/2 inches

Slate Roofs

thick and at the top, about 3/16 inches thick. This makes the roof look larger than it is. This is considered to be a sophisticated, high-quality installation. • Flat: A flat slate roof can be installed over a built-up roof. The flat slates are used instead of gravel to reflect ultraviolet light, act as ballast and provide some fire resistance. They are not part of the waterproof membrane.


Slate is expensive to produce because much of the work is done by hand. Blocks of slate are split from the quarry into pieces roughly 8 inches by 8 feet by 4 feet and then sawn into 2-inch slabs after inspection. The slabs are hand-split to 3/16-inch to 1/4-inch thickness. Lastly, the slates are punched or drilled for the nail holes. Slate roofs are also expensive because shipping stone is not cheap. The lightest slate roofs weigh 650 to 800 pounds per square.

• Slates can be weather-tested by means of using acid and then measuring the thickness of the slate that has been attacked by the acid. Rupture tests, for example, are not particularly important because the slate is much stronger and more rigid than it needs to be to perform its roofing task. • Some maintain that slate is relatively porous. Evidence and experience are to the contrary. The slate is a relatively non-porous stone when split properly. • Slate is available in several colors, including black, gray, purple, red, green, blue-black, blue-gray, mottled purple and green. Slate colors can be either “unfading” or “weathering.” Weathering slates change color as a result of the oxidization of the ferric (iron) minerals in the slates.


Also, cutting slates on site is more difficult than cutting asphalt or wood shingles. By way of comparison, on average, a worker can lay one square of slate per day or 10 squares of cedar per day. Labor costs also are higher due to the weight of the material.

Some slate (especially from Pennsylvania) has ribbons of different materials. These ribbons can often be identified by their color and texture. Ribbons are considered imperfections, for the most part, and on a good-quality slate roof, ribbons should not be visible. Installers try to avoid having the ribbon section of the slate exposed to the weather. In some cases, the ribbon is on one side of the slate and not the other. Laying the ribbon down facing the building is a better practice.



• Slate dries out after it’s been quarried. It usually has to be split fairly soon after it is quarried. It is more difficult to split after it has dried. Frozen slate cannot be split. • Slate is effectively non-absorbent. Absorbency rates of roughly 0.2% are common.

Slates are nailed to the roof—ideally, using copper or stainless steel nails. Galvanized nails do not last as long as the slates. Slates are usually punched at the quarry so they can be nailed onsite. Although it is possible to drive a nail through a slate, the punching, which is done from the back of the slate, leaves a ragged hole in the front of the slate that acts as a countersink. The nail head should not sit proud on top of the slate. This would cause the overlaying slate to rock back and forth on the nail and possibly crack. Slate nails have very thin heads so that they can fit into the countersink and present a flush surface to the overlaying slate. The possibility of proud nail heads is one of several good reasons not to walk on a slate roof. Generally speaking, slates should not be pinned to the wood decking tightly, but instead, they should hang on the nail. Most slates are installed with two nails about one-third of the way down from the top of the slate. Large slates are held in place with four nails. In some areas, hooks are used rather than nails and some new support systems present a good alternative to nailing. In some cases, slates are secured with stainless steel wires. When this is done, there are usually four holes drilled in the slate. 23April 2018



Slate Roofs

Some buildings use slates that have been salvaged from another building, or removed and reinstalled during a renovation. When inspecting, focus on the performance and not the age of the slates. In regions where there is a risk of heavy snowfall, avalanche guards are common on slate roofs and can be a source of leakage. Watch for watermarks around and below avalanche guards.


Fasteners: Copper, stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails. Note: Hot-dipped galvanized nails are not as good. Many old installations will have iron nails. Very old installations may have wood pegs rather than nails. Stainless steel hooks or wire may also be used. These are more likely to be found on a mansard roof.

Typical Size: Lengths, 10 inches to 24 inches; widths, 6 inches to 14 inches.

Number of Fasteners: Two nails per slate is typical, four nails if the slate is more than 3/4 inch thick. Nail holes are located one-quarter to one-third down the length of the slate from the top.

Thickness: 3/16 inch to 2 inches (3/16-inch and 1/4-inch are most common). There are typically two thicknesses of slates over most of the roof surface.


Minimum Slope: 4 in 12 (6 in 12 is considered minimum by some). Exposure: 3 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches. The exposure is normally the length of the slate minus 3 inches, divided by 2. For example, with a 24-inch slate, the exposure would be 24 - 3 = 21 á 2 = 10 1/2 inches. 24

Head Lap: 3 inches is typical. In some areas, a 4-inch head lap is used when the slope is less than 8 in 12.

ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Slate roofs commonly fail because the slates wear out, the fasteners or flashings wear out, slates are mechanically damaged, the installation was poorly done or a combination of these factors. The slate itself will eventually break down. As the slate deteriorates, it usually develops a whitish surface, often in the form of a ring around the sides and bottom of the slate. As deterioration progresses, the surface of the slate often turns brown. Delamination typically occurs

Slate Roofs

from the perimeter in toward the center and the slate eventually disintegrates. Depending on the type of slate and the climate, this is caused by moisture, and is accelerated by the cycles of freezing and thawing. Slate that is soft or flakes easily when you touch it is likely to be near the end of its life. In many cases, the failure of a slate roof is a result of failure of the fasteners or flashings. In many cases, the nails and flashings don’t last as long as the slates. Leakage may occur because the flashings have rusted or the fasteners have corroded, allowing the slates to fall off the roof. Slates are vulnerable to mechanical damage. Although they are quite strong, they also are brittle, so if a heavy tree branch drops on them, they will break. Nailing too tightly or allowing nails to sit proud also will result in breakage.

Loose slates due to fastener failure

USE CAUTION WHEN INSPECTING SLATE ROOFS Due to the high risk of slate damage and personal injury, we strongly recommend that you do not walk on slate roofs. As a result, it may be difficult to see any cracked slates. You should make your client aware of this limitation. Carson Dunlop - Consulting engineering firm devoted to home inspection since 1978. www.

Mechanical damage

April 2018 •


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Concrete-block, full-depth foundations can effectively create a basement space and support a home. However, block foundations are subject to cracking and horizontal movement if the surrounding soil drains poorly. Poor maintenance of grading, gutters and downspouts also can make basement walls move, and frost can push the walls inward. Be aware of local conditions and knowledgeable about construction or repair issues that can come up with block basements. Check all exposed basement walls with a level to ensure they are plumb. Movement of more than ¾ inch in 4 feet vertically or horizontally, as well as horizontal and step cracks, can signal a serious inward movement problem. As the wall pushes in, the horizontal crack develops and then step cracks occur when the wall separates from the corner. This problem often signals the need for inspection by a specialist.

By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc.

When braces are placed on a beam end wall with joists parallel to the wall, the beams are attached to blocking between joists. The blocking is then extended back at least three joists to prevent them from twisting and moving horizontally.


If you spot this type of repair during your inspection, suggest that the buyer obtain details from the seller about the engineering analysis and contracted repair. Often, there is a guarantee on the repair. When in doubt, recommend that the buyer obtain a specialty inspection. When inspecting a block basement with interior braces, check for rusting or movement of the steel braces, fasteners and joist.


How are displaced and cracked walls repaired? Interior steel braces with site-specific engineering are a common repair method where I live and work. Interior structural steel tubes are placed against a displaced wall and bolted to the joist framing. At the base, braces are bolted through the floor into the footings.

Beams are spaced at 36 to 48 inches and the gap to the wall is filled with cement grout. Cracked mortar joints are removed and re-pointed. Although this method does not straighten a wall, it restores structural integrity and prevents further movement.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Walls that have been braced should not move. Any new cracking in the mortar joints indicates ongoing movement since the repair, which could present a serious problem. Tom Feiza has been a professional home inspector since 1992 and has a degree in engineering. Through, he provides high-quality marketing materials that help professional home inspectors boost their business. Copyright © 2018 by Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc. Reproduced with permission.


30 NEW modules are NOW available!! Enjoy interesting sessions recorded at IW 2018 and past IWs. Find Basic and Advanced Technical, Specialty/Diversification and Business Management topics. Log in on

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29April 2018



ASHI Chapters and Council News

NORTH CENTRAL ASHI Central PA Second Monday, 6 pm, except Jan. & July, Hoss’s Steakhouse 1151 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle, PA Kevin Kenny, 717-226-3066

Keystone (PA) First Monday, 5:30 pm Double Tree, 10 N. 5th Street Reading, PA 19601 Robert H. Conner, 610-375-9675

Ohio Ken Harrington, 614-507-1061

North Central Ohio Paul Wancata, 216-571-1074

OHIO SOUTH ASHI Meeting: Last Sat. every month, noon @ Frickers, North College Hill, OH P.O. Box 532197 Cincinnati, OH 45252 Chris Green, 513-939-4036 Email

Pocono-Lehigh (PA) Third Tuesday, Tannersville Inn Tannersville Ronald Crescente, 570-646-7546

PRO-ASHI (PA) Second Wednesday of Jan., Mar., May, Sept. & Nov. Ray Fonos, 412-461-8273

Tri-State (DE, NJ, PA) Second Tuesday except April, Aug. & Dec., Dave & Buster’s Plymouth Meeting, PA Jules Falcone,

MIDWEST Great Lakes (IL, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, OH, WI) For monthly meetings: schedule-of-events/ Carol Case, 734-284-4501

Greater Omaha (NE) Jon Vacha, 402-660-6935


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

Heartland (IA, MN, ND, SD, WI) Reuben Saltzman, 612-205-5600

Indiana ASHI Quarterly Danny Maynard, 317-319-7209

Iowa ASHI Fourth Tuesday, 6:00 - 8:00 pm Iowa City Area Assoc. of Realtors Education Center 847 Quary Road, Coralville, IA Craig Chmelicek, 319-389-7379

Kentuckiana (IN, KY) Allan Davis, 502-648-9294 elitehomeinspections@

Mid-Missouri Second Thursday, 12:00 pm, even months of the year; Columbia Board of Realtors office: 2309 I-70 Drive NW, Columbia, MO Mark Kelsey, 573-356-5305

Northern Illinois Second Wednesday (except Dec.) 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Allegra Banquets, 237 W St. Charles Rd. Villa Park, IL 60181 Joe Konopacki, 630-283-2248

SOUTH MIDWEST Arkansas Lonnie Moore, 479-530-5792

MOUNTAIN Arizona Bryck Guibor, 520-419-1313 Quarterly education on

New Mexico Bi-monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month at Drury Inn and Suites (5th Floor) (Jan., March, May, July, Sept.) located at I-25 and Jefferson in Albuquerque. Meeting starts at 8:30 am; Breakfast starts at 8 am. Lance Ellis, 505-977-3915

Northern Rockies (ID, MT) Steve Jenicek, 406-949-6461 Secretary: Kelly Campeau 877-749-2225

Rocky Mountain Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm Brian Murphy, 303-791-7824

Southern Colorado

Midwest PRO ASHI (KS) Ray Fonos, 412-461-8273

St. Louis (MO) Second Tuesday, 5 pm Creve Coeur Government Center Multi-Purpose Meeting Room 300 N. New Ballas Creve Coeur, MO 63141 Mark Goodman, 636-391-0091 John Fryer, 510-682-4908

Inland Northwest (ID, WA) Chris Munro, 208-290-2472

Orange County CREIA-ASHI (CA) Third Monday, 5:30 pm Hometown Buffet 2321 S. Bristol, Santa Ana Bill Bryan, 949-565-5904

Oregon Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm 4534 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Portland Jay Hensley, 503-312-2105

San Diego CREIA-ASHI First Tuesday each month Elijah’s Restaurant 7061 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard San Diego, CA 92111 Ray (Cliff ) Sims Jr., 619-334-1138 Second Thursday each month, 6:30 pm Valley Hi Golf Club, 610 S. Chelton Rd. Colorado Springs, CO 80910 Aaron Hunt, 719-334-5455 aaron@huntproperty

San Joaquin Valley (CA)


Silicon Valley ASHI-CREIA (CA) First Tuesday, 7 pm Marie Callender’s, Midvale Fred Larsen, 801-201-9583


Great Plains (KS, MO) Second Wednesday of even months The Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City Doug Hord, 816-215-2329

Golden Gate (CA)

Alaska Meeting dates: Jan. 1, March 1, Aug. 1, Nov. 1 Location varies each meeting David Mortensen, 907-243-4476

ASHI Hawaii Alex Woodbury, 808-322-5174

California Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833

Central Valley CREIA-ASHI Peter Boyd, 530-673-5800

Third Thursday, 6 pm 1736 Union Avenue, Bakersfield, CA Raymond Beasley, 661-805-5947 Mail: 3305 Colony Oak St. Bakersfield, CA 93311 Skip Walker, 650-873-4224

Southwestern Idaho Second Monday David Reish, 208-941-5760

Los Angeles-Ventura County ASHI-CREIA First Thursday, 5 pm Holiday Inn, Woodland Hills Bob Guyer, 805-501-0733

South Bay (CA) Webinar meetings Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833

Western Washington Chapter Meetings held at chapter seminars in March and Sept. Karl Nueffer

NEW ENGLAND Coastal Connecticut Third Thursday, 6 pm, Westport VFW Lodge, 465 Riverside Avenue, Westport John Hamlin, 203-912-1917

New England (ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) Third Thursday (usually), 5 pm Hilton Garden Inn, Waltham, MA Michael Atwell, 617-630-5629

Northern New England (NNEC) (ME, MA, NH, VT) www. Third Thursday of Jan., April, June and Sept. Tim Rooney, 603-770-0444

Southern New England (CT) First Tuesdays, 6:30 pm Billy T’s, 150 Sebethe Dr. Cromwell, CT Richard W. Hall, 860-281-4238


Greater Rochester (NY) Second Tuesday, 6 pm, Jeremiah’s Tavern, 2200 Buffalo Rd. Gates, NY 14624 Jim Brennan, 585-520-5575

Hudson Valley (NY) Second Tuesday, 6 pm Daddy O’s Restaurant 3 Turner Street Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 Michael Skok, 845-592-1442

Long Island (NY) Third Monday, 6 pm, Domenico’s Restaurant, Levittown Steven Rosenbaum 516-361-0658

New York Metro

Garden State (NJ) Second Thursday The Westwood, Garwood Ernie Borsellino, 973 761 0050

Piedmont ASHI (VA) Robert Huntley, 540-354-2135

SOUTH ATLANTIC ASHI Georgia Shannon Cory, 404-316-4876

Ray Baird, 615-516-5511

Western New York Third Wednesday, 7 pm The Buzz Ware Center 2121 The Highway, Arden Mark Desmond, 302-494-1294 Fourth Tuesday, Associate hour 6-7 pm, Membership meeting 7-9 pm, Northern Virginia Resources Center, Fairfax Tony Toth, 703-926-6213

Southern New Jersey (NJ)

Central New York

First State (DE)


East Tennessee Richard W. Askew, 518-383-4804 Third Wednesday each month, 6 pm Tony’s Family Restaurant, Syracuse Richard Alton, 315-415-4847 Second Wednesday, Rockville, 6 pm Senior Center, Rockville Mark Mostrom, 301-536-0096 Last Thursday, 5pm Travelers Rest 25 Saw Mill River Road Ossining, NY 10562 Chris Long, 914-260-8571 Third Wednesday, 6:30 pm Ramada Inn, Bordentown Rick Lobley, 609-208-9798

Capitol Region (NY)


Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Tony Rome’s, West Seneca Andy Utnik, 716-636-9676

MID-ATLANTIC Central Virginia Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Keegan’s Irish Pub 2251 Old Brick Road Glen Allen, VA 23060 John Cranor 804-873-8537 cranorinspectionservices

Hampton Roads (VA) Second Thursday, 7 pm, Cypress Point Country Club, Virginia Beach Gregory Murphy, 757-535-4355 Third Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Paul Perry, 866-522-7708


Mid-South (TN) Steven Campbell, 901-734-0555

North Carolina

Gulfcoast (FL) First Thursday, 7 pm, The Forest Country Club, Fort Myers Len Gluckstal, 239-432-0178

Lone Star (TX) Bud Rozell, 214-215-4961

Louisiana Quarterly Meetings Michael Burroughs 318-324-0661

Suncoast (FL) First Tuesday, 6:30 pm; Please see our website for meeting locations. Steve Acker, 727-712-3089

Southwest Florida Serving Manatee, Sarasota & Charlotte Second Wednesday, 6 pm Holiday Inn, Lakewood Ranch 6321 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota Michael Conley, 941-778-2385 FLinspector@outlookcom

CANADA CAHPI Atlantic Lawrence Englehart 902-403-2460 Meeting TBA Bruce Barker, 919-322-4491

CAHPI Ontario

South Carolina

Alberta Professional Home Inspectors (APHIS)

First Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. & Nov., 8 am Roger Herdt, 843-669-3757

GULF ASHI South (AL) Quarterly, Homewood Library Homewood John Knudsen, 334-221-0876 Rob Cornish, 613-858-5000 Meetings held 3 times a year Alan Fisher, 403-248-6893

Quebec AIBQ Pascal Baudaux, 450-629-2038

Florida Wiregrass Second Wednesday, 6:30 pm Sleep Inn Hotel, Wesley Chapel Nancy Janosz, 813-546-6090

31April 2018



Chapter Spotlight

North Carolina ASHI Chapter (NCASHI) By Bruce Barker, Chapter President

The North Carolina ASHI Chapter (NCASHI) held its Winter Seminar at Tarheel Basement Systems in Winston-Salem, NC, January 26-27, 2018. NCASHI Chapter President Bruce Barker instructed 35 students on the topics of ASHI Standard Deck Inspections and ASHI Standard Pre-drywall Inspections. It was an excellent event!


ASHI Reporter • April 2018


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ASHI CHAPTER EDUCATION NOVA ASHI Chapter 2018 Spring Seminar When: April 11-12, 2018 Location: Waterford at Fair Oaks 12025 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway Fairfax, VA 22033 Topics: Building Science Fundamentals CEUs: 15 ASHI CEs Contact: Dave Rushton, 540-660-2403

ASHI Heartland Chapter

St. Louis ASHI Chapter When: May 4, 2018 Topics: Annual Peer Review CEUs: 5 ASHI CE hours Contact: Mark Goodman, When: June 12, 2018 Topics: CertainTeed Roofing Manufacturing facility tour CEUs: 4 ASHI CE hours Contact: Mark Goodman,

To have your chapter seminar listed here, email all information about your chapter seminar to: BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL INFORMATION: seminar subject, when, where, CEUs & a link for more information or contact information.

JOINT CREIA & ASHI CHAPTER Level-1 Thermography Certification Class

Presented at the Downey,CA, Board of Realtors Conference Room Registration information TBA.


The Reporter is produced 6-8 weeks ahead of the week it arrives in your mailbox.

Los Angeles/Ventura County Chapter AND San Diego County

Taught by Mr. Bill Fabian of Monroe Infrared

When: May 12, 2018 Location: U of M Continuing Education Building, St. Paul, MN Topics: HVAC, Insulation, Building Science and 21 specific topics CEUs: 8 ASHI CEs Contact: Reuben Saltzman, 612-205-5600

IMPORTANT REPORTER DEADLINES: • MAY 2018 ISSUE -3/7/18 • JUNE 2018 ISSUE -4/7/18 • JULY 2018 ISSUE -5/7/18 • AUG 2018 ISSUE -6/7/18 • SEPT 2018 ISSUE -7/7/18

May 23-26, 2018


OCTOBER 25-27, 2018

Read more about this conference on Page 39.


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

· Statistics show that 60% of all small businesses have experienced significant legal events in the past 2 years but reported not hiring an attorney to help them. · Have you ever been curious and just wanted to ask a legal question or wanted to find out if you are right or wrong about a situation? · Have you ever been treated unfairly by a company or another individual? · Have you ever signed something you wish you hadn’t, or something you didn’t fully understand? · When was the last time you had your contracts reviewed? Are you sure your contracts are current, and legally strong enough for your state, city and county? · If you are in an accident with your company vehicle, do you know your rights and are your insurance coverages the best for your business? · Have you had trouble collecting on services you performed or trouble with a bad check? · Do you know there is 6 types of identity theft? Financial, social security, tax returns, medical, criminal/character, and hybrid. Only about 20% of identity theft reveals itself through credit monitoring. · If your identity is compromised, how would that impact your business? Would you be able to take time away from your business (200-600 hours on average) to try and resolve the issues? · Have you ever wanted to know how to manage your business more effectively? Do you know all the new business laws each year? · Do you advertise or have your own website? · Do you do your own accounting? Would you like advice on additional deductions and if certain deductions are allowed? · Do you have an updated will and succession of your business? · What if you filed your taxes and the IRS told you that you already got a refund from taxes that were filed by someone under your name? · Do you agree that that common sense is not so common, therefore the law is logical, not legal? · What are your legal rights if someone is bashing you and your company on social media or through referral websites? · Are you keeping the right business records? Document retention requirements may vary by state and industry; call your LegalShield provider law firm to learn more about what is required of your business. · Make sure you are properly classifying workers--under common law, an independent contractor controls the kind of work they take on and how they complete the work. · What if your vehicle is involved in an accident and the other party discovers you have a business and wants to sue. · You wish you had a customer relation manager software to keep track of your prospective and current customers. LegalShield--Millionaire access to the legal system for your family and your business for less than $30/month* along with world-class identity theft protection from the leading risk management company. *In most states For small businesses that subscribe to a legal plan, 100% report they are satisfied with the services they receive. LegalShield isn't just about getting sued, it's about the best answers for your business on a variety of topics, without worrying about the high hourly costs. With a LegalShield plan, small business owners have ready access to the quality legal advice and counsel they need to that they can focus on properly managing and growing their business. Buying your LegalShield membership through the endorsed vendor program at ASHI gives you a significant monthly discount (averaging $6$12/mo), and generates revenue for ASHI. Go to for more information and to enroll

35April 2018




By Jennifer Gallegos, ASHI Membership Services Manager


ello, ASHI members! I hope that this spring season is bringing you lots of business and I want to tell you about some projects we are working on that will benefit you.

ASHI staff members gather at least twice a month to discuss ways in which we can better serve you and enhance the home inspection profession. ASHI HQ is the home base for a team of 15 people who strive to do their best, sharing ideas and suggesting improvements to processes that can make ASHI even better. With so many ideas, sometimes it can be difficult to accomplish everything on our list. Recently, Executive Director Frank Lesh, along with the ASHI Board, decided on a goal for the year: RETENTION.


Retention has always been a top priority for ASHI, but with recent changes in ASHI’s demographics and procedures, we have seen a greater fluctuation in our membership numbers than ever before. We often ask the question: Why? Which group is not renewing? How long have they been ASHI members? Are they reaping all the benefits we have to offer?

Well, when we examined the reasons why people cancel their membership or do not renew, the majority of them said, “I can’t make it, so I’m closing my business,” or “I’m going back to my previous profession because home inspection didn’t work out for me.” This left us with the question: How can we help? On the other end of the spectrum, we also have noticed transitions happening among members who are seasoned ASHI Certified Inspectors (ACIs). Many of them are ready to make the switch to become retired members of ASHI or they are retiring from the profession completely.

SO, IF WE HAVE “NEWBIES” NOT MAKING IT AND WE HAVE MANY TENURED ACIs RETIRING, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ASHI? This is the question I asked the ASHI Board at their meeting in January. Many agreed that ASHI should focus on providing more services for new inspectors, including mentorship programs, peer reviews and specific programs to help new inspectors succeed in their business.

I also talked about changing the culture—perhaps by asking our tenured inspectors to help the newer inspectors in the field. I said that I understand that there is competition, but what about showing camaraderie with one another? When I brought up this topic, ASHI Past-President Marv Goldstein said, “As one of the home inspectors who was around at the beginning of ASHI, it’s not about changing the culture—ASHI started out as an association where home inspectors gathered to help 36

ASHI Reporter • April 2018


one another. It’s about going back to that culture.”

Those words resonated with me and my colleagues. By keeping this idea in mind, we are planning goals and projects that will cater to new inspectors, and we are partnering with our chapters, affiliates and other allied associations to provide high-quality benefits for both new and long-term ASHI members, and everyone in between.

SO, WHAT’S COMING YOUR WAY? FREE MARKETING TOOLS: During the 2017 holiday season, we asked you to participate in our ASHI HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN. We had approximately 150 entries and now our talented graphics team created a standard template in different colors for you to use. This “pop-up house” was designed to be used by members as a marketing tool, to promote yourself to real estate agents, buyers and sellers. You can now give an eye-catching “house” along with your business card. You can even add your business logo to the house if you like—a free marketing tool for your business! QUARTERLY EMAIL FOR NEW MEMBERS: The membership team is working on a quarterly email for brand-new members that will be tailored to their specific needs. It will break down all the benefits we offer by topic and theme. It will be a great way to help our new inspectors stay on track.

BACKGROUND VERIFIED INSPECTOR PROGRAM: In January, we launched the Background Verified Inspector (BVI) program to our existing members (it is mandatory for all incoming new members). Sterling Talent Solutions, our background check company, keeps your personal information safe and in one place. Participating in this program is a great opportunity for you to add credentials to your business. An added benefit is that, once you’ve been cleared, you will receive a digital badge with the BVI logo for your website, email signature and other marketing pieces. For more information on the BVI program, contact us at

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS: We are creating short videos on popular topics for both inspectors and homebuyers. These videos will help inspectors learn important information while they are on the go. Keep an eye out for these videos on our website, our YouTube Channel and social media. PARALLEL INSPECTIONS: One big project we are working on is revamping the parallel inspection program. This is a type of mentorship and instruction that we know many new inspectors are looking for and need. This project will take some time to reconstruct, so I ask for your patience as we work out the kinks to present a strong program.


WOULD YOU VOLUNTEER TO BE A MENTOR? If you are an ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) who is willing to be a mentor to a new inspector, please send a message to We intend to build a list of members who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with new inspectors coming on board. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE PAIRED WITH A MENTOR? If you are a member who would like to be connected with a mentor, please send a message to We will find someone who can help you or we will partner you with someone in your local chapter while we work on building this program. ASHI IS HERE FOR YOU! ASHI wants to help you. We are here to listen to your needs, suggestions and wants, but we can only know them if you tell us what they are. Reach out to your local chapters, reach out to leadership and reach out to us.

We are here to serve you!



Print–On–Demand Use your Free ASHI logo to print your marketing materials.

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FREE ASHI Member access to past IW sessions. 1. Go to 2. Under Education & Training 3. Click on:


CURRENT ASHI MEMBERSHIP ASHI Certified Inspectors: 3,481 Inspectors: 219 Associates: 4,209 Retired Members: 120 Affiliates: 86

Ap Anni ril versa ries

Total: 8,115 Members as of 3/7/2018

Thirty-five Years

Hugh Kelso

Michael Patton Bob Sisson Al Stoy Phil Tatro Patrick Turner

Twenty-five Years

Ten Years

Dan Niezgocki

ASHI MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT PROGRAMS ASHI-ENDORSED PROGRAMS ASHI’s E&O Insurance Program: Target Professional Programs 860-899-1862 ASHI Personal Lines Insurance Program: Liberty Mutual ASHI’s Protecting Home Inspectors From Meritless Claims Program: Joe Ferry – The Home Inspector Lawyer 855-MERITLESS (637-4853) ASHI Service Program BuildFax Tricia Julian, 877-600-BFAX x161 ASHI Customer Appreciation Program: Brent Skidmore, 864-386-2763 Brett Symes, 913-529-2683 LegalShield Joan Buckner, 505-821-3971 Dave Goldstein, 800-882-6242


ASHI Reporter • April 2018

OneSource Solutions 877-274-8632 Eliab Sisay, 206-218-3920 ASHI Rebate Program Dana Fishman, 800-634-0320 x1417 ASHI-ENDORSED EXAMS ASHI Standard and Ethics Education Module Go to, click on Education, then click on the link for the ASHI Online Learning Center. NHIE Exam: 847-298-7750 ASHI-ENDORSED TRAINING PROGRAMS ASHI@Home Training System 800-268-7070 The ASHI School Russell Daniels, 888-884-0440 PLATINUM PROVIDER Millionaire Inspector Community Mike Crow Mention that you are an ASHI member.

Thirty Years

Marcel Caron Bill Crook Michael Curran Volney Ford Stuart Keeshin

Twenty Years Robert Bailey Bruce Beatty Tom Buckley Stephen Carey Michael Chapman Glen Ciuffreda Kenneth Fast Martin Hewitt David Moore Drago Nevistic Alexander Papp Bob Peek Richard Roshak Kirby Rowe Gavin Smith Ken Zenzel

Fifteen Years Stan Audette Paul Barrett Hank Blackmon Dave Bollinger Brent Booker Carlos Bustamante Dan Chapleski Michael Christophides Clark Cummings Philip Farnham Michael Fella Scott Kelly Scott Lyons Gary Marsengill Patrick Milne Brian Murphy

Mourad Mourad Greg Theilen Jody Viscomi Dusty Johnson Brian McGrail Jamie Miller Michael Pelliccia Norman Bodewig Stephen Brown Stephen McDonald James Brennan Wesley Morgan Donald Desilets Peter Goodman

Five Years Rusty Gear Dave Range Robert Ayling Christopher Ebbeson Roland LeClaire Darron Stewart Tony Giordano Mark McCauley Derek Rinaldi Robert Bremner Gerardo Jimenez Jeffrey Scott Tadd Trumbull Ed Williams Tim Tilton Jess Hodges Scott McMillin Lee Parsons Robert Roark Robert Ruggiero Edward Stiles

Chapter Spotlight

OCTOBER 25-27, 2018 DES PLAINES, IL By Forrest Lines, Chair, ASHI Chapter Relations Committee




As Chair of the Chapter Relations Committee (CRC), I’d like to introduce myself and tell you about the Leadership Development Conference coming up in October.

I am a home inspector in Columbus, OH, a proud member of ASHI and the ASHI Ohio Chapter. I’m the education director for our chapter and the director of the big event we hold in March, The Ohio Inspector Expo. ASHI’s Leadership Development Conference (LDC) formerly was called the Leadership Training Conference (LTC). This conference occurs every fall in the Chicago area, and it has always been a great way for ASHI leaders to keep in touch with chapter leaders and offer help to chapters in need. The revamped LDC will do the same, but for 2018, we are approaching the planning of the conference in a different and perhaps more practical way.

As young and new members of ASHI move into leadership roles both nationally and locally, they often ask,

“Why belong to a chapter?” “What value is there in being a chapter member?” Education has always been the answer, but even the excellent educational opportunities provided by chapters are not always enough to capture our newest members.

So, this year, we are tapping into the vast resources of our membership to answer the question of why chapter membership is so important.

It’s true that, although some chapters struggle with their membership numbers, other chapters are growing and flourishing by incorporating

“out-of-the-box” thinking. At LDC, we will feature representatives from these chapters who will describe their successes with innovative thinking so that others may benefit. We also will hold smaller breakout sessions with these thinkers and doers. I’ve had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with these motivated chapter leaders and I can tell you that they are excited to teach others how to add value to chapter membership.

As chair of the CRC, I am excited to offer you an LDC that you won’t want to miss. Attendees will get two days packed with good ideas, good friends and good food.

LDC has been a jewel in the crown of ASHI for years. LDC 2018 is guaranteed to appeal to you and the program will shine brighter than ever. Our committee is hard at work making this a conference you won’t want to miss. Set aside October 25-26, 2018, to join us for LDC. See you then!

39April 2018



Postcards from the Field

NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to: Note: By sending in your postcard(s), you are expressly granting ASHI the right to use the postcard and your name with it in the ASHI REPORTER and in other publications ASHI may select.

...the next one will!

If one doesn’t get you...

James Hollifield Prairie Home Inspection Inc. Dillon, MT

Jeremy Provan Pro Vantage Columbia, MD

Emergency Exit

Kids will have a “gas” at daycare.

Jeremy Provan Pro Vantage Columbia, MD

Doorway to Heaven

James Brock Boston Home Inspectors, Inc. Boston, MA

Defies Gravity

Stephen Tyler STAT Home Inspections Garnerville, NY

Stephen Tyler STAT Home Inspections Garnerville, NY 40

ASHI Reporter • April 2018

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Postcards from the Field

NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to: Note: By sending in your postcard(s), you are expressly granting ASHI the right to use the postcard and your name with it in the ASHI REPORTER and in other publications ASHI may select.

Mike Lauby Sunland Home Inspection Phoenix, AZ

Man vs Nature...

...Nature always wins.

Mike Lauby Sunland Home Inspection Phoenix, AZ

Who needs cable when there’s live entertainment?

Nice exstension, wrong direction.

Adam Weber Inside and Out Home Inspections, LLC Denver, PA

Homeowner says: “Been like that for six years.”

Skip Walker Walker Property Evaluation Services San Bruno, CA James Brock Boston Home Inspectors, Inc. Boston, MA

Alexander McKenzie Lakeland Home Inspection Service Lakeland, FL


ASHI Reporter • April 2018 ASHI Reporter • April 2018

At least your right foot will be warm.

April 2018 •




Sue Van Woerkom, Realtor®, Keller Williams, Dublin, OH


o doubt you get a high percentage of your business from real estate agents. So, what do they want from us? To answer this and a few other questions, I interviewed two people who shared their insights.

Sue Van Woerkom, Realtor®, Keller Williams, Dublin, OH First, I talked with Sue Van Woerkom, a very successful and prominent Realtor® in the Columbus, OH, area. Here’s a bit of our conversation and my commentary.

Tim Buell (TB): Where do you find your home inspectors? Sue Van Woerkom (SVW): I actually choose a home inspector from

For instance, recently, a client (the seller) told me that when a handyman came to the house a few days after the inspector had been there, the handyman reported that the bathtub faucet had been left on—not full strength—but on...and the client was upset. Again, you can’t prove any of this, but it makes life difficult.

In another situation from a few years ago, the buyer called the inspector away with a question when the inspector was checking the faucet in the upstairs bathroom sink. The inspector left the water running, the sink in the bathroom overflowed and the ceiling in the living room had to be repaired. In this situation, the home inspector did the repair, but the results were not to the seller’s satisfaction. So, again, some problems can be avoided or solved by being methodical.

Scott Taylor, Home Inspector and former Realtor® in Omaha, NE Scott Taylor was a Realtor® before he became a home inspector. I met Scott at an ASHI Chapter meeting last October and when I learned about his background, I asked him to share his thoughts.

networking meetings, from fellow real estate agents who relate good experiences. If my client chose them, I go on their recommendation.

TB: When you were an agent, what did you expect from a

successful and one is a lack of good marketing, which can happen if you don’t do one-on-one meetings. Even though we are in an age where email, texting and social media are prominent, nothing replaces the personal relationship.

of home inspectors was consistency. By calling out items in the same way at each and every inspection, you can have a standard set of parameters, a consistent method of inspecting that remains the same for each and every home inspected. When an inspector provides this level of service, it makes it easy as an agent to explain to clients which items you feel will attract attention during an inspection and when showing a home, and to be prepared for the results.

home inspector?

TB: There are numerous reasons why a home inspector might not be Scott Taylor (ST): As an agent, the most important thing I expected

TB: What do you expect from a home inspector? SVW: The home inspector should be thorough, preferably present the

problem in context to the overall well-being of the house and know some costs associated with repairs. The inspector always should be in control of the process and not allow the buyers to jump around.

TB: The inspector should have a methodology. Some do the outside first, then the basement, first floor, second floor and attic. Others do the reverse. In any case, pick an approach that works best for you and stick with it.

For anything that has a function that can be turned on or off, that is a working component of the home, it was a reasonable expectation that these items were operating, and if they were at the end of their useful life, pointed out by the inspector. Structurally, it was a reasonable expectation to assure that the foundation, framing, doors, windows, exterior and roofing systems were sound.

My most important expectation was about safety items. Hearing about TB: What don’t you want from an inspector? those items that could cause harm to occupants and guests is valuable SVW: What we don’t need from an inspector is overblown problems… information that most clients will not typically notice, as most are more finding stuff to make themselves look good. Fortunately, this is the exception, not the norm. My advice to inspectors is this: When you are finished with the inspection, please go back through the house and make sure that the faucets are turned totally off, lights are off and that thermostats are where they should be. I get many calls after inspections that mention all of these complaints. 44

ASHI Reporter • April 2018

interested in the color of the walls, if their sofa will fit in an area or how close the home is to the school.

(Continued on Page 46)

45April 2018



(Continued from Page 44)

Having a consistent expectation that matched the home inspector chosen, who also had consistent inspection methods, was a valuable tool in the buying process. So ASHI-trained and -educated inspectors were always my choice, as the ASHI Standard of Practice (SOP) provided this. Home inspections that crossed the threshold of “over-inspecting” and began to reach over into specific trade professions, when the inspector was not a trade professional, was a deterrent to me and typically, this type of inspector was not my first choice because I have seen many buyers “scared away” by over-inspecting inspectors. The ASHI SOP provides parameters and boundaries to avoid over-inspecting, and clients could see just where those boundaries end and where a professional tradesman begins by looking at the ASHI SOP.

TB: Having been an agent since 1994, what has your experience taught you about your relationship between inspectors and agents?

ST: It has taught me that having the right inspector, whom you can rely

on each and every time, was important to meeting my expectations and protecting my buyer clients. Every agent has a go-to person for lending, for title and escrow, for termites and for everything else in the buying process. This is a functional “team” of experts to make the buying process fluent for everyone involved. Establishing a solid relationship with a home inspector is equally as important. Understanding each other and having mutual expectations are crucial to everyone’s profession.

TB: Anything else to add? ST: Having been on both sides, I am a firm believer in some sort of

blend or fusion of ongoing education between real estate agents and inspectors. ASHI and the National Association of Realtors® are two groups that could benefit from some sort of cross-training or education. A strong, solid relationship between NAR and ASHI only would benefit both the inspection profession and the real estate agent profession. I’d like to see the term “sides” done away with, as we really are both on the same team—to protect the consumer in a real estate transaction.

TB: Contrary to what some believe, home inspection is a profession.

We provide a valuable service not only to the buyer, but also to the seller and the real estate agent. Therefore, we must be proficient in what we do.



Now featuring Live Inspection Streams.



ASHI Reporter • April 2018



ASHI Reporter • April 2018

April 2018 Reporter  

Home inspection news and tips for inspectors, home owners and realtors.

April 2018 Reporter  

Home inspection news and tips for inspectors, home owners and realtors.