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REPORTER Inspection News & Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.

Rado n SOP Comm ent P eriod P10


6 Being Frank: Summer in the City 8 What Home Inspectors Should Know About Their Insurance Company and Their Coverage Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls Handling Written Complaints Inspecting Old Houses: Why They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To

12 20 26 

42 Postcards From the Field 46 On My Mind: ASHI Board Meetings

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ASHI Reporter • July 2017

9/23/16 2:23 PM



July 2017


7 What Home Inspectors Should Know About Their Insurance Company and Coverage Greg White, Greg White Consulting and Construction

8 Destination: Orlando IW

® 2018 Michele George, ASHI Director of Education and Events


For Imediate Release ASHI Auxiliary Standard of Professional Practice for Inspection of Radon Mitigation System Components Released for Public Comment




Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop

Energy Efficiency Sells: Presenting the Whole Picture to Homebuyers

ASHI Staff

Handling Written Complaints Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop


6 Being Frank Frank Lesh, ASHI Executive Director

26 Inspecting Old Houses David Rushton, ABLE Building Inspections 28 ASHI Community

Chapter News, Listing and Education, New Inspector Status, Spotlight on the Great Lakes Chapter

Membership, Endorsed Member Programs & Anniversaries

34 Your ASHI

Vol. 34, #7

Rado n SOP Comm ent P eriod P10

Please Support our Advertisers: Leviton Healthy Home Checkup Allen Insurance Target Professional Programs SWAT How to Operate Your Home NHIE Study Guide RTCA ASHI Online Learning Center ICHI Software Joe Ferry InspectionWorld® 3D Inspection System US Inspect Wohler InspectorPro InspectIT The ASHI School ASHI Free Logos Property Inspector Insurance American Home Warranty America’s Call Center Wagner Meters Sun Nuclear Corporation HomeGauge

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37 Smart Inspector Science Tom Fezia, Mr. Fix-It, Inc.

38 Around the CoRner Hollis Brown, Speaker of the CoR 40 The ASHI School

Hands-on Home Inspection Training

42 Postcards From the Field


It’s Wacky Out There

46 On My Mind


By ASHI President, Howard Peglow

3July 2017



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

Donald Lovering, Sr., Treasurer Indian Trail, NC, 704-443-0110

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

Mike Wagner, Secretary Westfield, IN, 317-867-7688

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

Randy Sipe, Immediate Past-President Spring Hill, KS, 913-856-4515

Directors Bruce Barker 2015-2017 Cary, NC, 919-322-4491

Bruce LaBell 2015-2017 Scottsdale, AZ, 602-765-2140

Michael Conley 2017-2019 Anna Maria, FL, 941-778-2385

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

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

Bob Sisson 2017-2019 Boyds MD, 301-208-8289

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

Tony Smith 2015-2017 Cedar Rapids, IA, 319-533-4565

Ken Harrington 2015-2017 Delaware, OH, 614-507-1061

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

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

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

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

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

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

847-954-3186 Reporter calls only 847-299-2505 (fax) Reporter only Email: Advertising: Dave Kogan Phone: 847-954-3187, Email:

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

Frank Lesh, Executive Director, 847-954-3182, Jen Gallegos, Executive Assistant and Project Coordinator 847-954-3177, EDUCATION, CE APPROVAL, ASHI ONLINE LEARNING CENTER, INSPECTIONWORLD

Michele George, Director of Education & Events, 847-954-3188 MEMBERSHIP, CHAPTER RELATIONS, BOOTH RENTAL, PRODUCT ORDERS

Russell Daniels, Assistant Executive Director, Director Membership & Chapter Relations, 847-954-3185, Janet George, Membership Services Supervisor, 847-954-3180 George Herrera, Membership Services Assistant, 847-954-3196 Michael Krauszowski, Membership Relations Administrator 847-954-3175, Mark Lester, Membership Services Coordinator, 847-954-3176 ACCOUNTING

Toni Fanizza, Accounting, Purchasing and Human Resources Manager, 847-954-3190, Beverly Canham, Financial Assistant, 847-954-3184 WEBSITE, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, DATABASE

Mike Rostescu, Director IT & Internet Communications 847-954-3189, COMMUNICATIONS

Dave Kogan, Director of Marketing & Business Development Advertising, Marketing, IW Expo Hall, Public Relations 847-954-3187, Arlene Zapata, Graphics Department Director & “ASHI Reporter” Managing Editor, 847-954-3186, Kate Laurent, Graphic Designer & Digital Strategist 847-954-3179, Chris Karczewski, Social Media & Membership Relations Administrator, 847-954-3183, THE ASHI SCHOOL

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© 2017, 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 • July 2017

Bonnie Bruno, Manager, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3178 Steve Reilly, Senior Sales Representative, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3181, Michelle Santiago, Administrative Assistant 847-954-3198


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5July 2017



Summer in the City by Frank Lesh ASHI Executive Director


hatever happened to the “summer doldrums”? From what I’ve seen, they haven’t arrived yet. Most inspectors I know are going like gangbusters. Ride Out the Summer “Waive” of Inspections Some inspectors who work in really hot markets, however, might be suffering from the occasional problem of homebuyers believing the comment: “You’d better waive the inspection if you want this house. There are multiple offers, so don’t risk it.” Buyers who believe that and waive the inspection may not know it, but they are part of a ripple effect that affects the bottom line of the inspectors who work in that market. If this happens to you, try this strategy: 1. Peruse a list of recently closed homes in your area by using zillow. com or®. 2. Contact new homeowners and offer to inspect their home with a special “welcome to the neighborhood” fee. 3. D  o your typical ASHI inspection in a far more relaxed environment at a time that’s easier to schedule because you can arrange it according to your client’s and your own timeline. There’s no need to worry about coordinating the time with a listing agent or a buyer’s agent, or rushing to squeeze in the inspection shortly before a closing date. By making this type of inspection happen, you’ll be able to establish a strong bond with the new folks who’ve moved into your area. Because they’ve already started to actually live in the house, they’ll be able to give you feedback about what they think might be wrong, and they’ll appreciate your expertise to help them learn helpful tips about maintaining their new home.

If you have other suggestions about how to weather these kinds of storms, please send your ideas to me at and I’ll pass them on. Drown the Summer Heat Wave with WATER Speaking of summertime inspections, I know most of us old-timers are aware of the dangers of having a heat stroke during an inspection. Lon Grossman from Bloomfield Hills, MI (who is a real old-timer), told me when I first started doing inspections more than 25 years ago, “Make sure you turn up that air-conditioning thingy up full blast when you start your inspection. Tell whatever whippersnapper is in the house that in order to properly inspect the ice machine, we have to turn it down all the way.” (Well, I think he said something to that effect.)


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

While it sure does feel nice to work in a cool house during the hot summer months, it can be a seriously detrimental situation if you have to climb into a 130˚ attic to check things out. I’ve known inspectors who have passed out after being in an inferno like that. And you inspectors in the South and Southwest deal with even hotter temps than we do in the Midwest! So, what’s at least one thing you can do, besides crank up the A/C? DRINK MORE WATER. Few things are worse for your body than being dehydrated. We really don’t think about our level of hydration very often, but during the summer, when dehydration can happen fast, we should remember to have some water with us at all times. Dehydration can be deadly. Think of your body as a system. In the winter, one symptom of not drinking enough water is having dry, cracked skin. Another symptom is that your skin might not feel as smooth or supple as it usually does. I know, some of us like to look like the Marlboro Man and although that’s not healthy, it’s not deadly. In the summer, however, evaporative cooling is an important element in maintaining your temperature. When that mechanism stops, heat stroke can occur. The solution? DRINK MORE WATER. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I lost a lot of brain cells in the ’60s and ’70s and I can’t afford to lose many more. So, keeping my old noggin cool is essential. If any of you have ever met my friend Mr. Grossman, you may have noticed how “cool” it must have been to live in the Age of Aquarius. Next month, maybe I’ll talk about the disco craze and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard with Don Norman. H

Frank Lesh, Executive Director American Society of Home Inspectors Direct: 847-954-3182 •

Destination: Orlando IW® 2018 Tropical-style Caribe Royale Resort offers fun in the sun By Michele George, ASHI Director of Education and Events


nspectionWorld® will be held at the Caribe Royale Orlando All-Suite Resort, January 21-24, 2018. The conference and expo will be held on-site in the expansive Grand Caribe Convention Center.

The resort offers an outdoor pool with a 75-foot waterslide, as well as hot tubs, spa and fitness center. Guests can use the tennis courts, a children’s playground and a game room, as well as a transfer service to Walt Disney World, Disney Springs and nearby shopping. The queen double or a standard king suite rate is $179 and is based on single/double occupancy. Suites include a flat-screen television in the bedroom. A separate living area includes a pull-out sofa bed, flat-screen television, work desk, coffee maker, microwave and mini refrigerator. The villa rate is $279 and is based on up to four adults. Additional adults are $15.00 each per night. The villas include a fully

equipped kitchen, screened patio and spa bath. All rooms and villas are nonsmoking. The resort fee is complimentary and the Wi-Fi in guest rooms is free. Self-parking is complimentary. Calypso’s Pool Bar and Grille offers classic American cuisine and a full-service bar by the pool during lunch and dinner. The Venetian Chop House serves contemporary steak, chops and seafood, paired with a selection of wine. The resort will provide complimentary scheduled transportation in the evenings to Orlando’s Disney Springs, Universal CityWalk or Pointe Orlando. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this fantastic resort in January 2018 during IW! H

7June 2017



What Home Inspectors Should Know About Their Insurance Company and Their Coverage

What Home Inspectors Should Know About Their Insurance Company and Their Coverage By Fausto Petruzziello


or most people, deciding to buy a house is one of the biggest decisions and purchases they will make in their lifetime. That is why it’s so important for a homeowner to find a knowledgeable professional to point out all of the details and potential problems that the average homebuyer may not notice, and that is why they are hiring you.

As you methodically go through all of the items on your inspection checklist—such as the structure, plumbing, roofing, electrical and so on—the last thing you should be stressing over is whether or not you are covered adequately by your insurance policy. Here are a few things that every home inspector should know about their coverage: Claims and Your Dedicated Claims Team A lawsuit doesn’t have to be filed for your insurance company to start working for you. If you’ve received an email, letter or phone call from someone who is accusing you of making a mistake, that is reason enough to contact your agent or insurance carrier. If you make this contact as soon as you first have knowledge of an issue, you will not only put your insurance company on notice about a potential claim, which ensures that you will be eligible for coverage consideration should an actual claim be filed, but also you will put everyone in the best position to help resolve the issue between you and your client.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

It’s important to choose an insurance company carefully so that you know that you have a claims team you can trust to handle your claim with professionalism and knowledge. If a claim occurs, having an insurance specialist working with you will give you peace of mind. Insurance claims specialists have the resources and the relationships to help you hire outside experts, cover any needed physical repairs or monetary claims, and fully resolve disputes. Customer Service and Your Underwriter Nobody likes speaking to an automated system or voicemail. A major consideration when you’re purchasing insurance is knowing that you’ll be able to reach your underwriter or representative whenever you need him or her. Whether you are making a call to add another inspector, increase your limits, request a certificate of insurance or just ask a simple question, you will be relieved to know that your request will be handled professionally and efficiently by an expert who is knowledgeable of your industry. Customizing Your Policy If you are performing specialty inspections such as pool and spa, water testing, radon, oil tank sweeps or others, or if you are looking for coverage to use a drone, you may not be covered automatically. For these cases, you need to make sure that your insurance company will cover these “extra” services that you provide and at the very least, that your company amends your policy accordingly. It’s reassuring to know that whether

9July 2017




What Home Inspectors Should Know About Their Insurance Company and Their Coverage

A home inspector assumes a large responsibility when taking on the job of assuring homeowners that their buying decisions are the right ones. You should be able to focus on the actual inspection and feel confident that your insurance company will focus on the rest, with a dedicated claims team, knowledgeable and attentive underwriters, and flexible coverage options. you’re looking to start your business, make changes to your existing policy or enhance your coverage (at renewal or mid-term), you are working with

an insurance company with representatives who understand your unique risk and are willing to customize your policy to protect you.

For Immediate Release ASHI’s Auxiliary Standard of Professional Practice for Inspection of Radon Mitigation System Components Released for Public Comment (Chicago, IL) May 16,2017 – The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. (ASHI) is pleased to announce that the Auxiliary Standard of Professional Practice for Inspection of Radon Mitigation System Components (Radon Standard) is now available for public comment for a period of 60 days. This Radon Standard provides guidance for home inspectors and other trained people to help them inspect and installed radon mitigation system. This standard includes a checklist that identifies important radon mitigation system components that should be inspected. Comments are being solicited from ASHI members, other stakeholders and the general public through July 13, 2017. Please direct comments to Tom Lauhon, Standards Committee Chair, at To view the standard and comment, please visit: HomeInspectionNews/ashis-aux-standardof-prof-practice-for-inspection-ofradon-standard-released-for-publiccomment.5-16-2017.1744/Details/Story. H


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Fausto Petruzziello is an underwriter for the Home Inspectors Professional Liability Program from Target Professional Programs. Target is ASHI’s endorsed company for this insurance coverage. H

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

TARGET PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS Insurance for Particular Professionals

11July 2017



© 2017 Target Professional Programs is a division of and operates under the licenses of CRC Insurance Services, Inc., CRC Insurance Services of CA, Lic No 0778135. No claim to an

Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls

Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop,, 800-268-7070


oundation walls can fail. The role of a home inspector is to identify cracks, movement or both, and then to determine whether additional evaluation is required. In some cases, the cracks are clearly trivial—shrinkage cracks, for example. In other cases, the cracks may represent significant risk to the structure. Continuous foundation walls (common in homes with basements and in some crawl spaces) that are pushed out of place are not able to carry their vertical or horizontal loads. A foundation wall that has been pushed out of plumb should be addressed by a specialist.

Foundation walls are really floors set on their side. You can think of a foundation wall as a floor with respect to the way it holds up the soil outside. (You may have to tilt your head sideways to envision this, but that’s exactly what it is.) The foundation wall needs to be supported—at the bottom by the footing and the basement floor, and at the top by the connection to the floor and wall systems. This is the same support as needed by a floor, which must be supported at both ends. Although good practice dictates that the foundation wall should be keyed into the footing, often this is not done and in some cases, the support is not strong enough to stop a foundation from getting pushed inward across the top of a footing. In most cases, the basement floor will stop this (Diagram 1).

Bulging foundation wall (photo courtesy of Security Home Inspections via the “Insight by Carson Dunlop” app).

Diagram 1

Bowing foundation wall. Diagram 2


ASHI Reporter • July 2017


Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls

Diagram 3

Diagram 4

Bowed, bulging or leaning foundation walls often are accompanied by horizontal cracks (Diagram 2). When a wall cracks, it is like when a floor breaks. The ability to transfer the loads to the ends of the joists or beams (top and bottom of the foundation wall) is lost. Horizontal cracks and movement may appear in one of the following three ways (Diagram 3):

connection between the top of the foundation wall and the flooring system becomes weak, the lateral support is lost.

• If the foundation wall cracks horizontally near the middle, it may kick in near the midpoint of its height; this is the most common failure mode. • If the wall shears near the bottom, the bottom of the wall may kick in. • If lateral support is lost at the top, the top of the wall may kick in. If the forces are applied slowly and over a long period of time, the materials that we normally think of as being brittle will flow and bend. Masonry and concrete walls can deform. These bows or bulges in walls, even if they do not have cracks, indicate movement and often require resupporting.

Floor joists that are perpendicular to foundation walls provide good lateral support. Joists parallel to foundation walls need blocking to provide effective lateral support from several joists. A common building mistake is designing the foundation walls to be supported laterally, but incorporating a short, wood-frame cripple wall or knee wall. This is common in multilevel homes that have sunken rooms and in houses with stepped footings on sloped lots. The short wood-frame wall on top of the foundation creates a weak joint, making the foundation wall laterally unsupported. These walls are more prone to failure under horizontal loads (Diagram 5).

Walls that are subjected to horizontal forces often develop horizontal cracks. However, since these walls are restrained at the corners by the perpendicular foundation walls, the cracks may “die out” at the corners. In many cases, the cracks will be diagonal, extending up toward the corner near either end of the wall. Vertical cracks also may appear near the middle of the length of the wall. When a foundation wall bows inward, the beam may punch through the top of the foundation wall. In extreme cases, the beam actually may project to the outside (Diagram 4). The wall may be bowing with no indication from the outside along the top. If the top of the wall is restrained adequately (that is, supported laterally), the foundation wall may not bow at the top and there may be no bowing along the length of the wall. The bowing or bending of the wall may occur between the top and bottom, with the maximum movement about halfway up the wall. The bowing may disappear toward the end of the walls because of the buttressing effect of the foundations at the corners. Walls may lean in at the top as joists rot at their ends. If the

Diagram 5

Failure may be sudden. Walls may move quickly if a heavy rain saturates the soil, creating substantial pressure against the wall. This may happen with heavy rain, but it also can occur if a downspout becomes disconnected or if gutters are clogged. If the walls are short, soil pressure may cause a vertical crack and the walls will kick in at the midpoint. The horizontal forces are abundantly clear, because the direction of movement is into the basement, despite the fact that the cracks are vertical (Diagram 6). 13July 2017




Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls

Diagram 6

Verifying Inward Movement: Tips for Inspections If the movement is significant, you’ll be able to see it with the naked eye. Typically, cracks are wider on the inside face. It may be helpful to use a flashlight to look into the crack. To verify the direction and the amount of movement, it is often helpful to use a four-foot level (mason’s level) or a plumb bob. Be sure to look along all house walls, both above and below grade, for leaning, bowing or bulging. Movement sometimes can be seen from the exterior (photo courtesy of Chris D. Hilton Home/Building Inspections via the “Insight by Carson Dunlop” app).

Diagram 7

can cause problems for the home’s foundation. In situations for which the only evidence of horizontal cracking is along one side of a house, the cracking often occurs on the driveway side. You can point out the possible causes to the client, but you should not be definitive and you should not be conclusive about whether the problem is progressive or not, on the basis of what you see during one visit. Vehicles also can strike and damage the above-grade part of the foundation. Watch for this along driveways, parking areas and inside garages. Having landscaping work done (including adding a swimming pool) with heavy equipment also can cause impact damage in areas away from normal vehicle traffic. Horizontal cracking due to impact damage.

Building codes have rules for how thick foundation walls of various materials must be, given certain backfill heights. There will be one set of rules for foundation walls that are laterally supported and another set for those that are not. Inspectors should check the height of backfill against the thickness of the wall, especially on new construction in which the foundation is too new to display movement (Diagram 7). Choose a reference point that can be viewed from both inside and out. Basement windows, clothes dryer vents and electrical conduits, for example, are areas that you can use to compare the height of the foundation wall against the height of the backfill. The foundation wall thickness can be checked easily at basement windows. Driveways are potential problem areas, too. If the driveway slopes down toward the house, a large amount of water will be funneled against the foundation wall. This saturates the soil against the foundation and creates a large hydrostatic load. If the saturated soil then freezes, the problem gets worse. Vehicles, especially trucks, are heavy. Heavy vehicles on a driveway 14

ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Impact damage often looks like a failure of a foundation wall due to lateral soil pressure, but usually it is more localized. In some cases, there is evidence on the outside of the impact via scraping or crushing of the exterior foundation face. If there is horizontal displacement such as leaning or bowing, then the point of maximum deflection usually will be at the above-grade level. If all of the foundation walls are similar and exposed to similar forces, you should question why there would be localized failure at one point. If it is a spot at which a vehicle can access the foundation, consider the vehicle as a possible cause (Diagram 8 on Page 16).

> Expansive Soils and Trees When wet, expansive soils exert tremendous lateral forces on foundations. If the soil can be kept dry, the pressure is reduced greatly. Attention should be paid to controlling surface and roof water runoff in areas where there are expansive soils.

Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls


RRRRR RRRRRRRRR SSSSSSS SWAT Bowed foundation wall with visible moisture.

Tree roots can damage foundations by heaving or pushing inward from the outside. Usually, this damage is localized and is easy to identify unless the tree has been removed. Subsequent settling problems may occur as a tree’s dead roots decay and shrink. Although it is rarely done, the best practice is to remove the roots as well as the tree.


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Bowed, Bulging and Leaning Foundation Walls

Backfilling Damage during backfilling operations is common in original construction (Diagram 10). The damage may be done by heavy equipment or large rocks (rocks with more than a six-inch diameter). Concrete foundation walls are not very strong for the first several days. Forms should not be removed for at least two days after pouring. The longer the forms can be left in place, the better. The foundation walls are not supported laterally until the floor framing is in place. Equipment or backfilling pressures can do damage during this vulnerable time.

Diagram 8

Diagram 10

Diagram 9

Be sure to include in your report information about trees that are too close to the foundation, whether or not they are causing any visible issue (Diagram 9).

What to Do? Although it’s not normally necessary to push walls back into their original position, it’s important for clients to know that they should find out whether the support for the superstructure has been compromised. If it has been compromised, clients will need to know that they should take additional steps to adequately transfer the vertical loads to the soil. It is also important for clients to understand that they may need to consider wind uplift forces. For example, if the foundation wall’s connection to the wall and the floor has been broken, then the client should know that they may need to explore engineering considerations. Resolving foundation problems is not for the faint of heart. It is a specialized field and home inspectors should not make conclusive statements. Document what’s there, make sure your clients are aware of the potential implications and give them appropriate direction, which might include one or more of the following suggestions: • monitor the issue • engage a specialist to investigate the issue further • take corrective actions to address the issue More details about foundations are included in the ASHI@Home Training Program ( H

Be sure to report on trees that are located too close to the home’s foundation!


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Carson Dunlop - Consulting engineering firm devoted to home inspection since 1978.

Energy Efficiency Sells: Presenting the Whole Picture to Homebuyers O Homebuyer and agent expectations are showing a new “energy” for the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score Program By ASHI Staff

ur industry is in the peace-of-mind business. We take justifiable pride in using our expertise and integrity to ensure that one of the largest investment decisions a person or a family will ever make results in a safe, healthful, “sweet” home and— perhaps more importantly—not a long-term source of regret or even financial hardship.

With inspectors working in an ever more competitive field, ASHI sees it as our mission to make sure that our members can work from the truest sense of what makes a house a “good” investment and retain the keenest eye for what defines a risky one. One way that ASHI fulfills this vision is by recognizing when homebuyers’ and the real estate agents’ perspectives start to shift regarding what makes a house affordable and attractive—not just a smart investment, but the right place to raise a family or to pursue their dreams. ASHI’s new partnership with the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score program is a big step in that direction because it empowers ASHI members to respond quickly to the needs of a changing market.

Delivering the Real Story on Home Costs Among the dozens of urgent items buzzing around in a homebuyer’s mind, the dollar figure on their bid is among the most anxiety-provoking. Buyers look to the home inspector and the inspection report to get an indicator that, somehow, tens of thousands of dollars in needed repairs haven’t been overlooked. As smart agents and inspectors are beginning to understand, however, an energy-inefficient home can have at least as big of an impact on a home’s true cost over time, and that kind of information can be a valuable eye-opener when delivered during the real estate transaction.

Take, for example, that $6,000 new roof being touted by the seller or a $5,000 chimney repair noted in the inspection report. An energy-inefficient home easily could cost a homeowner an additional $1,000 per year over a comparable home with high-energy performance. During the average time that a person owns a home, the monthly “energy hog tax” can exceed even the biggest-ticket items that an inspector calls out in a report! In fact, the most recent U.S. Census data make clear that energy costs for homeowners are higher than either homeowners’ insurance or property tax, although the implications for the 17July 2017




Energy Efficiency Sells: Presenting the Whole Picture to Homebuyers

monthly budget related to this fact rarely are discussed during the sales process. Beyond pointing out the most urgent items to be addressed before a sale, agents and inspectors alike are taking note of the value they can provide homebuyers by delivering a bigger picture of how much it’s going to cost to live in a home once the keys are handed over. Agents: Listening, Not Just Listing One of the best ways to keep tabs on our evolving industry is to train a close eye on our colleagues in the real estate industry. And what leading agents are telling us now is that buyers want energy-efficient homes and they are willing to pay to understand whether they’re getting them. Not coincidentally, agents are learning quickly how to serve that demand. A new annual report focusing on the state of the profession from the National Association of REALTORS® was published in April, and John Shipman, a veteran REALTOR® and trainer, summed up the findings in this way:

“The report surveyed REALTORS® nationwide and found that professionals recognize that their industry is changing: Consumer demand is growing quickly for greener, healthier, and more resource and energy efficient homes, and being versed in green building fundamentals and energy efficiency upgrades is essential to being a successful agent. … Consumer demand for an energy-saving home will fetch a higher selling price, and eventually more homeowners and home sellers will recognize the ROI of energy efficiency, driving further investments in energy upgrades.”

plug our members into the best means of staying in front of this new market by offering the opportunity for members to become Home Energy Assessors. ASHI Members and the Home Energy Score Fast Track

As we mentioned in the Home Energy column in the June issue of the Reporter, ASHI’s newly improved partnership with the Department of Energy gives members the clearest, most convenient path toward becoming a Home Energy Score Assessor. Our partnership with Inspection Depot delivers training, mentorship and quality assurance, with friendly support every step of the way. Whether or not an inspector’s business is The Home Energy Score website directly tied to agent referrals, it’s clear that (htts://betterbuildingsolutionagents and homebuyers alike are changing tune regarding what constitutes a good ergy-score) has been upgraded home and a sound investment. And it’s recently to provide all of the relegratifying to us here at ASHI to be able to vant detail, and members always can reach out directly to Jen Gallegos,, 847-954-3177 or to the Home Energy Score team at assessor to get started immediately. H

Great Lakes Chapter Events Top: May 17 Report-writing Seminar, presented by Steve Preins at Casey’s in Lombard, IL. Bottom: May 22 Tour of the UL Laboratories. Attendees visited the Building Envelope Laboratory and then went to the Main Fire Lab.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

> Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors

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The National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) is developed and maintained by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). This board has received many requests over the years for a study guide to assist those taking the NHIE. This study guide, and the associated NHIE Home Inspection Manual, were developed to address this need.

The National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) is devel oped and maintained by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). This board has received many requests over the years for a study guide to assist those taking the NHIE. This manual, and the associated NHIE Study Guide, were developed to address this need.

The NHIE Home Inspection Manual addresses the technical aspects of the NHIE. This NHIE Study Guide addresses the non-technical aspects. Many come to the home inspection profession as a second or a third career, and may not have taken a professional entrance exam for many years, if ever. This study guide helps to familiarize the candidate with the examination itself, and with the associated administrative procedures. It also includes helpful insights into the types of questions the exam contains, and techniques for success.

This NHIE Home Inspection Manual is based on the most recent Role Delineation Study (RDS). This study surveys thousands of home inspectors in order to determine the services they provide, and the components they inspect. The questions in the NHIE are derived directly from this survey, Exam Administration and constitute the knowledge base for an entry level home inspector. This manual is the Content first of its kind to follow this Exam Outline format. It also informs the candidate about the knowledge base behind the current examination questions, and proHow to Take an Exam vides a technical reference for the experienced home inspector. $98.50


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The NHIE Study Guide and the NHIE Home Inspection Manual together contain over 750 pages of technical and administrative information and are produced by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors. They will benefit the exam candidate along with being a great technical reference for the experienced home inspector.

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19July 2017



Handling Written Complaints

Handling Written Complaints By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop,, 800-268-7070


nspectors should always take seriously a written complaint from a client. The letter may come directly from your client or it may come from your client’s lawyer.

Read the Letter Carefully First, read the letter very carefully and then pull the client’s report. If you are part of a multi-inspector firm, you should talk to the inspector after you’ve read the letter and pulled the report. Addressing a letter of complaint requires the same thought process as addressing a call of complaint: You should find out whether the report addresses the problem and if the problem is within the scope of an inspection. Call the Client You can proceed in a number of ways from this point, but we have found that the best approach is to phone the client directly, even if the letter came from a lawyer. Here are some reasons why we like this approach: • Calling has no downside. If the client does not want to speak with you and wants the lawyer to handle it, they can just say so. • There is a chance that you can re-establish your relationship with the client and meet them face to face. • It’s difficult to get an accurate gauge of a person’s emotion by reading a letter. The client may be very upset or the client may be only a little bit upset, but likes to write letters. • The client may have been very upset when writing the letter or when passing along information about the issue to the lawyer; however, the client may have cooled off during the time it took for the letter to get to you. The client may be willing to talk to you about resolving the problem.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

• It is harder to be unreasonable when you are speaking to someone than it is if you are writing to them. It’s harder still to be unreasonable during a face-to-face meeting.

Calling Can Reduce the “Mean Scale” Remember that the closer you are to someone, the harder it is for them to be mean to you. This is our “mean scale”:

Gather Information When you call, follow the procedure that we discussed for handling complaint calls. Gather information and then set up a revisit, if appropriate.

• I t’s harder to be mean on the phone.

• I t’s easiest to be mean in writing. • It’s hardest to be mean in person. REPLYING TO WRITTEN COMPLAINTS IN WRITING If your client does not want to speak with you, or if, for any other reason, you choose to respond to a complaint in writing, here are some tips: •K  eep your letter professional. •C  hoose your words very carefully. Assume that a lawyer will read your letter and that it will be used as evidence in a court case.

21July 2017




Handling Written Complaints

• Do not be defensive or aggressive; it will not help your cause, even if it makes you feel better. Even if your client behaves badly, you should behave as a consummate professional every step of the way. • Avoid sarcasm, even though we realize how tempting it may be to use it, especially if the client has used sarcasm in the letter. • If the problem is out of scope or if it is documented in the report, follow the template that we suggest for addressing complaint calls. If the problem is not covered in the report and is not out of scope, set up a revisit to the property. • Do not reply via email. Emails circulate too easily and can be too informal. If someone emails you a complaint, you should follow up by having a phone conversation with the person, not by replying to the email. • Consider using the “For Settlement Purposes Only” statement In the United States, it is customary to include a header on a letter that states “FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY.” The rules of evidence exclude any evidence that relates to settlement discussions between the parties, so a header like this on a letter is sufficient to exclude the contents of the letter from any legal proceedings that may ensue as a result of the dispute. For example, let’s say you get a letter from a client who claims that the roof leaked after he and his family moved in. Instead of calling you, he got the problem fixed for $5,000. But the client still believes that you are responsible and he sends you a letter to request that you cover the cost. You see that there’s no point in doing a revisit because the problem already has been fixed. If you decide that it’s better for you to offer to defray some of the client’s costs as a gesture 22

ASHI Reporter • July 2017

of goodwill, you could write a letter to the client that says something like, “Although I did not have the opportunity to assess the problem area to see if it was something I missed, I understand how upsetting it can be to have a leaky roof when you buy a new house.” Then you might offer the client $1,000 toward defraying those costs, but because you don’t want that offer to look like you feel responsible, you place the “for settlement purposes only” phrase at the top of the letter, which “covers” you. It’s like saying, “here’s some compensation,” but it’s not an admission of guilt. You also can use the “for settlement purposes only” clause to address items that clearly are not your fault. For instance, if you get a letter of complaint about a central vacuum system that broke on the day that the owners bought the house, you could empathize with the client in your letter, but you could reiterate that central vacuums are not within the scope of home inspections. Then you can refer the client to the agreement regarding the limitations of the inspection that the client signed. Even in a situation like this, it’s still a good idea to put the appropriate phrase at the top of this letter. Please note that we strongly recommend that you consult with your legal advisor on the proper wording to use. REPLYING TO A WRITTEN COMPLAINT FROM A LAWYER Consider the options before calling the insurer. If a lawyer sends you a letter on behalf of your client, you could turn the issue over to your insurance company or to your lawyer immediately. Our feeling is that this tends to escalate things and takes the control of the situation out of your hands. This may be the right thing to do if you are not comfortable dealing with complaints, but it can be expensive. You will need to make a business decision about how to handle this type of letter.

Many errors and omissions insurance policies require that you inform your insurance company whenever you receive a complaint that might lead to a claim. You should check your policy for specific guidelines.

At Carson Dunlop, we call the client directly, regardless of whether we receive the letter from the client or from the client’s lawyer. We have found that calling the client improves our chance of defusing the situation. Respond to lawyers in writing. If you choose to respond to the lawyer rather than the client, do it in writing, not over the phone. If you live in Canada, use the “without prejudice” clause; if you live in the United States, use “for settlement purposes only.” You can be sure that the lawyer has heard only one side of the story and that the client will have described the situation in the most dramatic fashion possible to support his or her argument. The lawyer is clearly at a disadvantage. You should assume that the lawyer has not seen the report or the inspection agreement. You must respect client confidentiality, which means that you would discuss the contents of the report only with the lawyer, or if you’ve received the client’s permission to do so, you can attach a copy of the report and the inspection agreement. You may point out the agreement, the limitations, the limitation of liability and, if applicable, any arbitration clauses that your client may have signed. We have found that there is a higher risk when we communicate directly with the lawyer. A lawyer may feel that it doesn’t matter whether the client has a logical and rightful claim because, assuming that you have insurance, the insurance company may pay out anyway. You should be aware that the client or the lawyer may spend some time and effort finding out if you have errors and omissions insurance. This is a good reason why it is not necessarily a good idea to advertise that you have errors and omissions insurance. CONCLUSION We would like to reiterate the first statement of this article: Inspectors should always take seriously a written complaint from a client. And we remind you to respond with care and with professionalism. H

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23July 2017



The foundation is laid.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Phase 1 will be ready for you to inspect on August 4, 2017.

25July 2017



Why They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To

Inspecting Old Houses By David Rushton ABLE Building Inspection


ld houses have a lot of charm and character. Sometimes that “character” is falling out of the windows! As home inspectors, it is our job to make sure that our clients know what they are getting into. Some people have a very good idea about what owning an old home involves; others have no idea. An inspector’s job is to help our clients understand what their old house is all about. My ole Virginny home.

I consider a home to be an “old house” when it is 50 years old or older. In the 24 years that I’ve been doing home inspections, the vintage of old homes has moved forward from 1943 to 1967. There have been considerable changes in construction during that time. Conventional wood framing and board or plywood sheathing for floors, ceilings and roofs have become the rare exception rather than the rule. Oriented strand board and artificial stucco were not used widely, if they were even invented, back then. And when was the last time you saw plywood used for floors or countertops? As home inspectors, we don’t use codes for evaluating homes during inspections. However, codes are useful for setting standards against which a home can be evaluated for safety, durability and functionality. An old home may not comply with current standards. Sometimes, even new homes don’t comply with current standards; that’s why we are often hired to inspect new construction. However, using current standards does allow us to evaluate any home in terms of safety and functionality. Also, it’s important for inspectors to understand the durability and the “life expectancies” of existing systems when they are inspecting an old home. We need to make sure that our clients are aware of the potential, significant expenses that may occur in the foreseeable future. Concerns that typically are associated with old homes—lead paint, for example— are issues that can be of significant concern to many buyers, especially families with children. 26

ASHI Reporter • July 2017

I’ve heard a lot of discussions among home inspectors over the years. Some inspectors say that many of the items they find during inspections are “grandfathered” because of the age of the home. I believe that is absolute nonsense. If a child falls through a guardrail because the baluster spacing is wider than 4 inches, the parent’s attorney isn’t going to accept the line, “it’s an old house, the guardrail was ‘grandfathered,’” as an excuse for an inspector’s failure to note the concern in the home inspection report.

Delaminating stone wall.

As another example, any home that was built before 1978 may have lead paint somewhere in it unless it has been completely gutted and rebuilt. If the inspector does not disclose the potential existence of lead paint, and especially if any child living in the home is later diagnosed with lead poisoning, lawsuits can occur. An inspector who disclaims lead paint in a pre-inspection agreement and does not mention the possibility of the existence of lead paint in an inspection report is doing a disservice to clients with small children who are buying an old home and might be planning to scrape and paint the interior of the home as soon as they move in. Some people just don’t know about the sorts of things that we, as home inspectors, take for granted every day. Peeling paint, a potential health concern. Example of old home issues: Left: Boiler in a flooding cellar. Right: Unsupported soil and exposed foundations.

When evaluating an old home, I ask myself these basic questions about almost everything I see: • Is the item safe now? • Will it remain safe in the future? • Is it functioning well now?

Expand Without Risk


• How long will it continue to function in the future? By considering these basic questions, I can evaluate almost everything in a home. And I can put nearly every consideration that appears in the building codes into the perspective of a safety or a property durability concern. For example, the current code requires ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection in every place in which the hazard of electrical shock is likely, as well as arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection in most cases of the home. You may choose to state that the electrical system should be upgraded to match current standards. You should note these recommendations as being significant concerns because the consequences of a problem that occurs because of missing GFCI protection is an electrical shock, which can be deadly. Also, the lack of AFCI protection can be a fire hazard, especially because the use of extension cords is more prevalent in older homes due to the fewer number of receptacles placed in each room. You should note the significance of the problem in the report so that your client understands why you are making the recommendation.

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Again, we must remember that some of our clients know very little or even nothing about owning a home. It is our job to make sure they understand the most significant concerns that we discover during our inspections. Old homes also may not comply—or even come close to complying—with modern construction standards for environmental extremes or fire safety such as high winds, floods, earthquakes and fire blocking. The cost and difficulty of retrofitting an old home to improve its performance under times of extreme duress are the sorts of considerations that we should be evaluating every time we inspect an old home. Buyers in California and in the Gulf States are looking at these considerations every day. Continues on Page 36 27July 2017



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 The Crowne Plaza, Reading David Artigliere, 610-220-1907

Ohio Howard Snyder, 330-929-5239

North Central Ohio William Stone, 216-308-9663

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

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

Tri-State (DE, NJ, PA) Second Tuesday except April, Aug. & Dec., Dave & Buster’s Plymouth Meeting, PA Peter Muehlbronner, 215-852-7319

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

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


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Indiana ASHI Quarterly Danny Maynard, 317-319-7209

Iowa ASHI Fourth Tuesday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm Clarion Inn, Cedar Rapids 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 mark@

Northern Illinois Second Wednesday (except Dec.) 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Crazypour, 105 E. North Ave., Villa Park, IL Jeremy Meek, 630-854-2454

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

SOUTH MIDWEST Arkansas Lonnie Moore, 479-530-5792

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

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 LePeep’s Restaurant (Jan., March, May, July, Sept.) located at I-25 and Jefferson in Albuquerque. Meeting starts at 8:45am-Breakfast starts at 8am. 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 Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Valley Hi Golf Club, Colo. Springs Daniel Noteboom, 719-332-9660

Utah First Tuesday, 7 pm Marie Callender’s, Midvale Fred Larsen, 801-201-9583

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

ASHI Hawaii

Ray Fonos, 412-461-8273 Alex Woodbury, 808-322-5174

St. Louis (MO)


Midwest PRO ASHI (KS) Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Spazios Westport 12031 Lackland Rd. St. Louis, MO 63146 Frank Copanas, 314-456-0783

Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833

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

Golden Gate (CA) 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 Dennis Parra II, 619-232-1100

San Joaquin Valley (CA) Third Thrusday, 6 pm 1736 Union Avenue, Bakersfield, CA Raymond Beasley, 661-805-5947 Mail: 3305 Colony Oak St. Bakersfield, CA 93311

Silicon Valley ASHI-CREIA (CA) Skip Walker, 650-873-4224

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

Los Angeles-Greater San Gabriel Valley Second Tuesday, 6 pm Old Spaghetti Factory, Duarte Larry Habben, 714-685-0321

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 September 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) Fourth Thursday, 5 pm The Lantana, Randoph, 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

NEW YORK/JERSEY/ DELAWARE Capitol Region (NY) Third Thursday, 7 pm, Doratos Steakhouse and Pub, Guilderland Robert Davis, 518-885-7949

Central New York Second Wednesday, 6 pm, Tony’s Family Restaurant, Syracuse Peter Apgar, 315-278-3143 peter@craftsmanhomeinspection. net

First State (DE) Third Wednesday, 7 pm The Buzz Ware Center 2121 The Highway, Arden Mark Desmond, 302-494-1294

Garden State (NJ)

Hudson Valley (NY) Fourth Tuesday, Associate hour 6-7 pm, Membership meeting 7-9 pm Northern Virginia Resources Center, Fairfax Tony Toth, 703-926-6213

Long Island (NY)

Piedmont ASHI (VA) Third Monday, 6 pm, Domenico’s Restaurant, Levittown Steven Rosenbaum 516-361-0658

New York Metro Last Thursday, 5pm Travelers Rest 25 Saw Mill River Road Ossining, NY 10562 Chris Long, 914-260-8571

Southern New Jersey (NJ) Third Wednesday, 6:30 pm Ramada Inn, Bordentown Rick Lobley, 609-208-9798

Western New York 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

Greater Baltimore (MD) Third Thursday except July & Aug., 6:30 pm dinner, 7:00 pm speaker Maritime Institute Conference Center 5700 N. Hammonds Ferry Rd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090 Andy Bauer, Second Thursday, The Westwood, Garwood Bret Kaufmann, 973-377-4747

Hampton Roads (VA)

Greater Rochester (NY)

MAC-ASHI (MD, VA) Second Tuesday, 6 pm, Murph’s Irondequoit Pub, Irondequoit John White, 585-431-0067


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

Second Thursday, 7 pm, Cypress Point Country Club, Virginia Beach Gregory Murphy, 757-535-4355 Second Wednesday, Rockville, 6 pm Senior Center, Rockville Mark Mostrom, 301-536-0096

Robert Huntley, 540-354-2135

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

East Tennessee Third Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Paul Perry, 866-522-7708

Mid-Tennessee Ray Baird, 615-516-5511

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

North Carolina Third Wednesday, 3 pm, Quality Inn at Guilford Convention Center, Greensboro Andy Hilton, 336-682-2197

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 Home Inspectors Association BC Sean Moss, 604-729-4261

CAHPI Atlantic Lawrence Englehart 902-403-2460

CAHPI Ontario Rob Cornish, 613-858-5000

South Carolina

Prairies (Alberta) (CAHI)

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

Quebec AIBQ

GULF ASHI South (AL) Chris Bottriell, 780-486-4412 Pascal Baudaux, 450-629-2038 Quarterly, Homewood Library, Homewood John Knudsen, 334-221-0876

Florida Wiregrass Second Wednesday, 6:30 pm Sleep Inn Hotel, Wesley Chapel Meeting/Training Room in Lutz Nancy Janosz, 813-546-6090

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

29July 2017



The new and move-up member lists have moved to the monthly online Reporter. TO SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS FOR

New ASHI Inspectors

New ASHI Associates MEMBER


New ASHI Certified Home Inspectors


2017 Infrared Level 1 Training Class Was a Success On May 23 through May 26, a group of CREIA and ASHI inspectors from San Diego to Ventura met in Downey, California, to listen and learn about infrared thermography. Bob Guyer from the LA/ Ventura Chapter, and Dennis Para II from the San Diego Chapter, hosted this toolbox in a joint effort to give CREIA and ASHI members an opportunity to get their Level 1 Certification. Bill Fabian from Monroe Infrared taught the Level 1 class. Bill does a great job and we all left with a greater appreciation of the infrared thermography field and its opportunities for inspectors. Members from various chapters around the Southern California area attended the class and earned their Level 1 Certification. Tool Box events are a great place to learn something new, see old friends and make new acquaintances. See you at the next one. H

Please see Page 18 for The Great Lakes Chapter event photos.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017


St. Louis Chapter Peer Review The St. Louis Chapter held our annual Peer Review Friday, May 12. The subject house was a 1,500 square foot house constructed in 1977. Twenty-five ACIs, Inspectors and Associates participated in one of the St. Louis Chapter’s best hands-on trainings offered. We divided the participants into four groups and each group rotated through the house based on the predefined proctored areas. Each participant was to create a list that included the defect that the proctors put on the must-find list. After concluding the inspection portion of the Peer Review, we reconvened in a private room at a local restaurant for a discussion and powerpoint slide show, which included the must-find list items and reporting of those items found in the 40-year-old house. Several of the points of discussion included extensive storage, fire separation issues flue piping defects, electrical issues, and the deck. The ASHI-approved event was eligible for CEs and lasted about five hours. H


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31June 2017



ASHI Chapter Education OHIO ASHI: On the Road

Southern Region: July 20

St. Louis Chapter Fall Seminar

FOR EACH EVENT: • There is a $10 fee

Contact Person: Chris Heywood (Ohio ASHI Southern Representative) Phone: 513-515-9799 email:

When: October 27, 2017, 8:00 - 5:00 PM Location: St. Louis Association of Realtors Confrence Center, 12777 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141 Speaker: Bruce Barker Topic: To Be Announced

• Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided • Earn 2 ASHI CEUs Register and payment online at • Select Store from the left side • Then Education/Dues to get to ASHI On the Road (Dates subject to change) Forrest Lines - Ohio ASHI Chair of Education

Northern Region: September 21 Contact Persons: Rod Whittington (Ohio ASHI Northern Representative) Phone: 216-952-8500 email: George Basista (Ohio ASHI Northern Representative) Phone: 330-565-3760 email:

North Central Ohio ASHI Fall Seminar: September 23 Location: Holiday Inn, 4073 Medina Rd., Fairlawn, Ohio CEUs: 8 ASHI CE hours Speakers: Gerry Aubrey (Roofing) and class on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Contact: Paul Wancata at inspectionsunlimited@ Next Presentations: November 16; locations and topics TBA

Topic: Structural System Inspections - Presented by Rick Graman, President of GEI-Engineering Location: Cincinnati State Evendale Campus 10100 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241 Time: 5:30 pm-8:30 pm

Upcoming GLC Events GLC Summer Conference: July 14-15

Next Presentation: October 2 Topic: Carbon Monoxide Combustion Testing & Meter Calibration - Presented by Rudy Leatherman, Technical Training Mgr., HBB PRO Location: Cincinnati State Evendale Campus 10100 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241 Time: 5:30 pm-8:30 pm

Location: Holiday Inn, Mount Prospect, IL CEUs: Earn up to 17 ASHI CEs Speakers: Josh Westlund, Bob Torbin, Pete Marrero, Cory Ambrose and Steve Preins Contact:

Rocky Mountain Chapter Seminar

Location: Mama Mia’s, Livonia, MI

When: September 16th, 2017 Location: Kaplan Campus, 2200 S. Monaco Parkway, Denver, CO CEUs: 8 ASHI CEs Speaker: John Bouldin Topics: Pre-Drywall, Trusses, Deck, Load Paths, I-Joists and Engineered Wood Products Contact: Bob Kadera

Great Plains ASHI Chapter 23rd Annual Fall 2017 Seminar When: September 29-30, 2017 Location: KCI Expo, 11730 Ambassador Dr. Kansas City, MO 64153 CEUs: Approved for 16 ASHI CEs Speakers: Shannon Cory, Dee Goldstein, Reuben Saltzman, Jason Yacko, Tom Lauhon and Kenny HartContact:

Crawl Space and Floor Structure Defects: September 12 GLC Fall Conference, Essenhaus Inn and Conference Center: October 13-14 Location: Middlebury, IN

Heat Pumps and Dual Fuel Systems: November 7 Location: Mama Mia’s, Livonia, MI

IMPORTANT REPORTER DEADLINES: • SEPTEMBER ISSUE - 7/15/17 • OCTOBER ISSUE - 8/15/17 • NOVEMBER ISSUE - 9/15/17 • DECEMBER ISSUE -10/15/17 • JANUARY 2018 ISSUE -11/15/17 • FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE -12/15/17 The Reporter is produced 6-8 weeks ahead of the week it arrives in your mailbox.

To have your chapter seminar listed in this section, 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.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

33July 2017



Member Benefit News ASHI’s Chapters: Recruiting and Retaining Members, Part 2 of 2 By Russell K. Daniels, ASHI Assistant Executive Director and Director of Membership Services & Chapter Relations,


ur goal is for all ASHI members to know that their national and chapter membership is a valuable investment. We believe that when members understand just how effectively their chapter represents them on the national level and how each chapter strives to meet its members’ needs on the local level, they will want to join, renew and stay active. The Direct Ask How can you enhance the value of membership in your chapter? You’ll need to gather information and reach out. Try these ideas:

Reach Out to New ASHI Members There are many techniques chapter leaders can use to recruit and retain members. Your chapter’s choices about which techniques to use will depend on a number of variables, including available financial resources, availability of volunteer and staff support, and the number of prospective members you are trying to reach. One great way to boost chapter membership is to use the ASHI Prospect List! Each month, the Member Services Department sends out to its chapters a list of members who have been added to the ASHI membership database. This list includes new members’ names and contact information.

• S urvey your members—be sure to contact current, former and We encourage you to use this list to contact the new members in prospective members—and encourage them to tell you the types of your region and invite them to join your chapter. ASHI sends details activities, meetings and services that will meet their individual needs. about national membership, of course, but your chapter can describe important information about local networking and other chapter• E  ncourage your members to take an active role in one or more of related benefits. It’s also a great idea to send direct mail to prospecyour chapter’s programs and activities. Extend personal invitations tive members in addition to emails. Also, your chapter leaders could to chapter events and board meetings, and directly ask members to make personal calls to prospective members. Just think of how reserve on specific committees and workgroups. ceiving a call from a person on the chapter’s membership committee Tailor Your Meeting Topics or leadership team can affirm a prospective member’s feeling of their value and importance to the chapter. You can tailor your meetings and activities based on the responses you receive to your surveys and personal invitations. At the national level, Share the Value of Chapter Membership we know that many ASHI members report that they are interested in However your chapter decides to contact your list of prospective these topics: members, you should be prepared to share concrete facts about • maintaining a good work-life balance chapter and national activities. The information you provide will help members understand the return they will receive on their investment • keeping up and staying competitive with peers by joining and becoming or staying active in your chapter. H • meeting continuing education requirements • participating in opportunities to interact with peers • succeeding in personal development

Provide Ongoing Communication Regular communication packed with practical information can help members feel satisfied about their investment in membership. ASHI provides information to members about activities and benefits in a number of ways. For example, First Thing and Tuesday Industry news briefs are effective electronic communications that feature the latest news from the industry. In addition, ASHI ensures that our website is up to date. We know that members who are aware of their membership benefits are more likely to renew that membership each year. ASHI chapters can address this communications challenge as well. Electronic or mailed chapter newsletters, reminders and special mailings are tools that can help current and prospective members understand what their chapter leaders are doing to meet their needs. Several chapters produce brochures that explain details about ASHI, as well as provide information specific to their chapters to call out the most important membership benefits.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

ASHI Event Calendar 

July 21-22, 2017 ASHI Board Meeting Des Plaines, IL

 October 19-21, 2017 Leadership Training Conference and ASHI Board Meeting Des Plaines, IL 

January 21-24, 2018 InspectionWorld® & ASHI Board Meeting Orlando, FL

FREE ASHI Member access to past IW sessions. 1. Go to 2. U  nder Education & Training 3. C  lick on:


CURRENT ASHI MEMBERSHIP ASHI Certified Inspectors: 3,545 Inspectors: 218 Associates: 4,166 Retired Members: 105 Affiliates: 81 Total: 8,115 Members as of 6/6/2017

Ju Anni ly versa ries


Thirty Years

Ten Years

ASHI-ENDORSED PROGRAMS ASHI’s E&O Insurance Program: Target Professional Programs 860-899-1862

Gregory Baron Hal Kunnen Thomas Roberts Douglas Wingerath

Twenty-five Years

Robert Sanford John Rocco Scott Slaven Brad Bledsoe Nick Sung Claude McGavic Alex Rojas JJ Greive Matthew Jardine John Jordan

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

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 and Training, then click on the link for the ASHI Standard of Practice Education Module. NHIE Exam: 847-298-7750 ASHI-ENDORSED TRAINING PROGRAMS ASHI@Home Training System 800-268-7070

Roger Drosd Bruce Fisher William Garwood Mark Lauria Stephen Pruitt Steven Zavilla

Fifteen Years Larry Barrow Howard Berman Robert Brown Mark Desmond Jay Hebbelman Michael Krueger Andy Linn Jeff Luther Blair Pruitt Mike Scheiderich Russell Spornberger Dean Stocker Don Torrence John Wade

Five Years Darren Ferguson Gene Heffner Kenneth Hynes Ruben Diaz Daniel (Danny) Niemi Michael Ravenna Scott Scharton Michael Morrow Jr. Justin Fulbright Daniel Moore Christopher Pelster Jon Vacha John Foley

The ASHI School Bonnie Bruno, 888-884-0440 PLATINUM PROVIDER Millionaire Inspector Community Mike Crow Mention that you are an ASHI member.

35June 2017




Inspectiing Old Houses: Why They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To

Bricks making their own arch

An attic entrance over the shower or tub may cause moisture or mold issues.

Old fused subpanel box

Continued from Page 36 I live in beautiful Virginia, which is very much a “laissez-faire state” as far as regulations are concerned. If a home was built in 1950, Virginia will allow replacing a non-GFCI receptacle in a bathroom with a regular receptacle because GFCI protection was not required in 1950 when the home was built. The building codes in Virginia have been written to allow this, even though the model code requires upgrading to meet current standards. “The thinking is if my granddaddy didn’t need ground fault protection, then that’s good enough for me.” Nevertheless, I recommend placing GFCI and AFCI protection everywhere it is currently required. This is an inexpensive, simple upgrade that significantly increases the safety of the residents of the home. That the upgrade is not required where I live does not enter into my inspection process or report. This does not endear me to real estate agents, but they are not my clients. Virginia is an area that has a moderate climate and few natural disasters. It does get hot and humid, as well as cold and snowy, in some parts of the state, and we do experience the occasional hurricane, tornado and earthquake. But these are not the sort of frequent or extreme occurrences that dictate serious construction requirements, like windproof glass requirements in Florida,

earthquake-resistant construction requirements in California or the energy conservation requirements in some northern states.

My sole legal and ethical responsibility in my inspections is to my clients. It is very important to me to provide my clients with realistic expectations about the homes they are considering purchasing. The requirements and considerations of every inspector usually are determined on the basis of the area in which he or she lives and works. You should base your recommendations to your clients on your local conditions and requirements. This article is the first in a series of articles about old homes that I will be writing for the Reporter. In future articles, I will outline some of the specific concerns that I frequently encounter when I inspect old homes. If you have any questions about inspecting old homes, please contact me at ABLE Building Inspection, or 540-636-6200. H

How do I download my ASHI logo? 1. L  og in to the website with your member number and password. 2. GO TO: Members-Only tab. 3. G  O TO: the Downloads and Forms, then choose ASHI logos from the submenu. 4. M  AKE SURE: you know where downloads go on your computer. 5. L  OCATE THE FILE(S): and move them to a folder where you can always find them.


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

What Can BTU Do for You?

Smart Inspector Science

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


ou’ve heard the energy term “BTU,” but have you ever wondered exactly what it measures? Understanding BTU will increase your knowledge of furnaces—and weight loss.

BTU - Water, Steam

The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1°F at a standard temperature and pressure (Illustration 1 [H095]). A pound of water is approximately 16 fluid ounces or about 2 cups. A kitchen match burned end to end produces approximately 1 BTU. We use the measurement “BTU per hour” to measure the heat input and output of a furnace. A typical furnace or boiler in a cold climate could have an input anywhere from 60,000 to 200,000 BTUs per hour; its output would be a little lower, depending on its efficiency.

BTU and high-efficiency furnaces Let’s look at how BTU relates to a high-efficiency condensing furnace (Illustration 2 [H096]). A condensing furnace converts combustion flue steam into water. This condensation, or change of phase, requires 970 BTUs per 1 pound of water. During a cold day, a furnace easily can use 100,000 BTUs of natural gas, which produces approximately 1 gallon (8.33 lbs.) of steam. Condense the pound of steam back into water and you’ll save approximately 8,080 BTUs from going up the chimney.

BTU and weight loss The calorie, like the BTU, is a unit of measurement. Let’s say Joe Inspector wants to lose 1 pound of body weight. We’ll assume that 1 pound is approximately 3,500 nutritional calories or 13,860 BTUs. To lose weight, Joe must burn more calories than he takes in. He takes up jogging to increase the rate of burn.

BTU - Condensing Furnace

Typically, jogging burns approximately 350 calories per hour, so to “burn off” a pound of body weight, Joe must put in 10 hours of jogging. If he jogs for half an hour each day, that will take 20 days.

Back to the furnace So, that high-efficiency furnace saves about 2.3 pounds of fat from going up the chimney? Well, not really, but you get the idea. Think about losing a few BTUs the next time you walk up the basement stairs, and you’ll wish that you could burn calories and fat like that furnace. H 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. Email Tom ( with questions and comments, or phone 262-303-4884. Copyright © 2017 by Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc. Reproduced with permission.

Do you like this information? See Tom’s presentations at ASHI InspectionWorld 2018 in Orlando: ”The Science Behind Great Home Inspections” and “Report Writing - Describe That Defect”.

37July 2017



It it Really a Generational Thing?

Around the CoRner

From the Speaker of the CoR

By Hollis Brown, Speaker of the Council of Representatives


t seems like the last time I heard the term “generation gap,” it was in reference to the divide between the World War II generation and their teenage children— the baby boomers. I was in my late teens and news media were awash with discussions of how the forty-somethings couldn’t relate to their offspring who were listening to rock and roll music and growing their hair long. My mom and dad were pretty good about it, but my grandfather could not abide. The debate wasn’t just about music and hairstyles, though. There were also allegations of moral decay. Some members of the generation that had won the war were baffled by the anti-war movement. There was the whole drug scene, the communist scare and the sexual revolution. I can’t tell you how many weddings I attended where the bride confided, “I’m just doing this to appease my mother.” I didn’t know what to think when my grandmother blamed it all on the teachings of Dr. Spock. I was unaware that anything had gone wrong. Then one day, I heard someone exclaim, “Kids these days!” And I thought to myself, I’ll bet that members of any generation could say that about the youth who came after “their time,” and the frustrations would be about the same issues: responsibility, impulsivity and respect. Here we are, 40 years later. The tables are turned and a new set of theories has arisen. Some say that the youth of today are the victims of failed parenting strategies, including the one that gave every child a trophy just for participating. The new mantra goes something like this: “These millennials! They need to learn to be patient and stop waiting for things to be handed to them.”

At a chapter meeting I attended recently, people were discussing how to relate to people in the younger generation. People were brainstorming all kinds of ideas and then a 60-year-old guy at the back of the room raised his hand and said, “I’m not all that young, but this stuff you’re talking about, all of it applies to me. I’m trying to get a business started. I’m trying to


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

navigate the website. I’m trying to figure out the software. I need basic training, tools and mentoring. I get impatient when things are slow or don’t work. I need an income now, not later.” To which, I said to myself, “Kids these days!” I’ve heard it said that ASHI is a dinosaur— a “gray-hair” society, and that if we don’t change, we’re destined for extinction. On social media, I regularly find a multitude of experienced inspectors recommending that newbies go look for free stuff. They say, “It’s out there in abundance. Follow this link. Go get it. It’s free.” I’m aware that ASHI is not the only game in town, that there are other paths and resources, but somehow, for some reason, ASHI continues to thrive. Why is that?

ASHI Council of Representatives Speakers and Group Leaders

SPEAKER: Hollis Brown 703-856-7567 ALTERNATESPEAKER: Janni Juhasz janni.j@homtec 419-215-5505

South Atlantic Gerald Simmons Jerry@simm 404-281-3734

Gulf Craig Lemmon reioftexas@ 817-291-9056

I asked the 60-year-old, a boomer, “Why ASHI?” His answer was poignant: “I’m aware that there are other opportunities, but I can tell that this is where the real professionals are. Yeah, ASHI has some problems, but don’t they all? I’d rather be part of a group of professionals working together to figure it out than to be just one more guy standing in line with my hand out.”

SECRETARY: Brendan Ryan brendan@csahome 724-321-1360

South Midwest Joe Pangborn Joe@Pangborn 573-228-4509


North Central

Then I sought out a young guy, a millennial, and asked him the same question: “Why ASHI?” His answer was equally poignant: “I looked around and saw a lot of different opportunities, but when I looked at ASHI, I saw people—people who are working together to improve themselves, each other and the greater community. That’s when I decided to join a chapter and volunteer to serve on a committee.” I shook my head and said to myself, “Hmmm…these millennials.”

Donald Bissex Donald@mystic 781-475-8980

I’m not so sure that this is a generational thing. I think it’s a people thing. There will always be people looking for the easy way and there will be people looking for the better way. There will be people who embrace change and those who resist, those who give and those who take.

Bronson Anderson 2inspect4u@ 540-836-0256

I’m proud to be a member of ASHI, a group of people who participate in our activities and programs, who share their expertise, and who support and welcome their colleagues. H

New England/ Canada

New York/ New Jersey Steven Baranello 516-972-4875


Midwest Eric Barker Ebarker@moraine 847-408-7238

Mike Ashburn Michael@Ashburn 724-516-1665

Mountain John Thompson Shelterworksllc@ 406-360-4613

Pacific Darrell Hay 206-226-3205

ASHI Ad.indd 6

39July 2017

3/25/15 10:33 AM •


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ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Already a home inspector? Did you know we have a referral program? Refer a student and you can qualify to receive a $50 Visa Gift Card. Whether you are a current ASHI Inspector or a past student, this is a great program to take advantage of.

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> Purchase informative brochures imprinted with your logo and contact information to hand out to clients and agents alike

Permission to copy or reprint all or any part of the material contained in this brochure must be obtained by writing to ASHI and receiving express written permission.

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41July 2017



NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to:

Postcards From the Field

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.

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Postcards from the Field Hot Shower!

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.

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ASHI Reporter • July 2017

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45July 2017



ASHI Board Meetings By ASHI President, Howie Pegelow


ince taking office, I’ve frequently talked with people who have asked how the ASHI Board of Directors conducts its meetings and whether our board meetings are similar to chapter meetings. I always respond by inviting these curious people to clear their busy schedules and attend an ASHI board meeting in person! But I realize that most members can’t make that happen and I can’t expect board meetings to be overflowing with members. Of course, we do conduct a board meeting during InspectionWorld® every year and all members are invited to attend. But if you aren’t able to join us at an upcoming board meeting, here’s a special “board meeting report” for you. The ASHI Board of Directors meets in person four times each year—in January (during IW) and in April, July and October at the ASHI headquarters in Des Plaines, IL. We also meet telephonically (via GoToMeeting) at various times during the year. Directors usually arrive in town on the Friday before the all-day Saturday meeting. Planning for board meetings is ongoing. As soon as one meeting ends, we start to create a preliminary agenda for the next one and we include any matters that the board decided to carry over to discuss at the next meeting. We keep adding items until shortly before the date of the next meeting and as ASHI President, I approve the final agenda. Board members receive the agenda and an


ASHI Reporter • July 2017

accompanying Board Book about two weeks before the board meeting. All materials are issued electronically; print copies are available upon request. On the day before a board meeting, members of the Finance Committee gather at ASHI headquarters to discuss issues, and the AEI Board reviews financials and matters regarding The ASHI School. That evening, board members meet informally for dinner and sometimes we set aside time to discuss specific issues, if necessary. Depending on the topic, some matters are discussed under the governing rules for Executive Sessions. Also, just before the board meeting begins on Saturday morning, some of us meet to review issues related to the ASHI Foundation. We begin each board meeting by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, observing a moment of silence and hearing a prayer delivered by Reverend Russell Daniels, who also happens to be the ASHI Assistant Executive Director and Director of Membership and Chapter Relations. Next, as president, I report on the “State of ASHI.” Then, ASHI Executive Director Frank Lesh and I review the agenda and discuss any potential conflicts of interest, as instructed by ASHI’s legal counsel, Harry Rosenthal. Because The ASHI School occupies the second floor of ASHI headquarters, we use its large classroom for our meetings. Board members occupy both sides of the table, officers sit near one end and ASHI staff members join us in “the gallery” around the perimeter of the room. Attendees wear professional business attire.

Throughout the meeting, we receive presentations and reports, and respond to the items presented, if actions are necessary. We review and thoroughly discuss each agenda item to gain a full understanding of the issues, and to address the needs of ASHI members and staff in a positive manner. Sometimes, invited guests and vendors provide data and information. ASHI’s executive director and department managers present reports and answer questions, and we review the current and future workings of each standing committee. If questions arise, the board liaison assigned to that committee addresses them. When a motion is presented, the board reviews it and may amend it before proceeding. If a motion requires extensive revisions, we refer that motion back to the submitting committee so they can review and resubmit it to the board for approval. What I’ve described so far happens during a “typical” board meeting. However, as you can imagine, not many meetings can be classified as “typical.” Frequently, we turn our attention to unforeseen issues and take action accordingly.

Does this remind you of how your chapter runs its meetings? It might be similar or you might have some variations. If you’d like to run your chapter meetings more effectively or if you’d like to present a topic to the ASHI board, please contact any of the ASHI officers or directors so that we can help. H

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ASHI Reporter • July 2017

Profile for ASHI

July 2017 Reporter  

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

July 2017 Reporter  

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

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