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ASHI

5.18

REPORTER

INSPECTION NEWS & VIEWS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS, INC.

DECK SAFETY MONTH® 6

BEING FRANK UNCLE JOHN’S BAND

8

DECK SAFETY M ONTH : BALCONIES AND RAISED DECKS: PART 1

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HOM E ENERGY SCORE TAKING A CLOSE LOOK AT HOW THE SCORE FITS I NTO A SUCCESSFUL FIRM

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DECK SAFETY M ONTH : EVALUATING AN EXISTI NG RESIDENTIAL DECK

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ASHI

5.18

REPORTER

May 2018

Vol. 35, #5

FEATURES 8

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS:

Balconies and Raised Decks: PART 1

By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070

16

The New ASHI School’s Classes in Action

18

The Home Energy Score Means Business: Taking a Close Look at how the Score Fits Into a Successful Firm

By Michelle Santiago Executive Assistant of the ASHI School

By ASHI Staff

20

Evaluating an Existing Residential Deck

24

If You Use Google Adwords, Should You Use Bing Ads?

26

Targeting Your Sales Efforts: Real Estate Agents, Part 2

By Frank Woeste

By Andy Patel, CEO, K-3 Technologies

By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070

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2 5 7 15 17 17 25 25 25 27 33

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Radalink ASHI Print-On-Demand RTCA American Home Warranty Allen Insurance America’s Call Center Sun Nuclear Corporation HomeGauge

35 37 37 41 43 45 47 48

Radalink.com ASHIPrintOnDemand.com RTCA.com ahomewarranty.com allenins.com AmericasCallCenter.com sunradon.com HomeGauge.com/CRL

Smart Inspector Science Sewers: Storm Versus Sanitary By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc. HowToOperateYourHome.com

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EMSL Analytical, Inc. Target Professional Programs InspectorPro Insurance EBPHI Property Inspector Insurance How To Operate Your Home ASHI Online Learning Center US Inspect 3D Inspection System ASHI Free Logos BVI

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Is it Time to Renew Your Membership? Say Yes to ASHI! By Jennifer Gallegos ASHI Membership Service Manager

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DEPARTMENTS 6 32 39 40 44

Being Frank

Frank Lesh, ASHI Executive Director

ASHI Community Chapter Spotlight

You Tell Us By ASHI Staff

Postcards From the Field It’s Wacky Out There

On My Mind By ASHI President Tim Buell

22 May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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

A S H I M I S SIO N STATEM EN T 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.

Tim Buell, President Marysville, OH, 614-746-7485 tim.buell@gmail.com

Bruce Barker, Treasurer Cary, NC, 919-322-4491 bruce@dreamhomeconsultants.com

Scott Patterson, President-Elect Spring Hill, TN, 615-302-1113 scott@traceinspections.com

Michael Conley, Secretary Anna Maria, FL, 941-778-2385 FLinspector@outlook.com

Mike Wagner, Vice President Westfield, IN, 317-867-7688 mwagner@ralis.com

Howard Pegelow, Immediate Past-President Gilbert, AZ, 414-379-4186 hpegelow@yahoo.com

DIRECTORS Bronson Anderson 2018-2020 Waynesboro, VA, 540-932-7557 2inspect4u@gmail.com

Darrell Hay 2018-2019 Snohomish, WA, 206-226-3205 darrell@safesoundhome.com

Eric Barker 2018-2020 Lake Barrington, IL, 847-408-7238 ebarker@morainewoods.com

Reuben Saltzman 2017-2019 Maple Grove, MN, 952-915-6466 reuben@structuretech1.com

Bob Sisson 2018-2020 Shannon Cory 2018-2020 Boyds MD, 301-208-8289 Fayetteville, GA, 770-461-3408 shannon@rainbowhomeinspections.com Office@inspectionsbybob.com James J. Funkhouser 2017-2019 Manassas Park, VA, 703-791-2360 jfunkhousr@aol.com

Blaine Swan 2016-2018 Columbus, OH, 614-506-0647 goodeyeinspections@gmail.com

Bryck Guibor 2017-2019 Tucson, AZ, 520-795-5300 bryck@msn.com

John Wessling 2016-2018 St. Louis, MO, 314-520-1103 john@wesslinginspections.com

Richard Hart 2016-2018 Conyers, GA, 770-827-2200 Ashi1@comcast.net

Speaker, Council of Representatives Hollis Brown, 2017-2018 Manassas, VA, 703-754-8872 Inspectors@ThoroSpec.com

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

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Frank Lesh, Executive Director, 847-954-3182, frankl@ashi.org

EDUCATION, CE APPROVAL, ASHI ONLINE LEARNING CENTER, INSPECTIONWORLD, CHAPTER RELATIONS Michele George, Director of Education, Events and Chapter Relations, 847-954-3188, micheleg@ashi.org MEMBERSHIP & PRODUCT ORDERS Jen Gallegos, Manager of Membership Services & U.S. DOE Home Energy Score Assessor Coordinator, 847-954-3185, jeng@ashi.org Janet George, Membership Services Project Coordinator 847-954-3180, janetg@ashi.org George Herrera, Membership Services Coordinator 847-954-3196, georgeh@ashi.org Michael Krauszowski, Membership Services Administrator 847-954-3175, Michaelk@ashi.org Gaby Nava, Membership Services Administrator 847-954-3176, Gabyn@ashi.org ACCOUNTING Toni Fanizza, Accounting & Purchasing Manager 847-954-3190, tonif@ashi.org Beverly Canham, Financial Assistant, 847-954-3184 beverlyc@ashi.org WEBSITE, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, DATABASE Mike Rostescu, Assistant Executive Director & Director of IT 847-954-3189, miker@ashi.org COMMUNICATIONS Dave Kogan, Director of Marketing & Business Development Advertising, Marketing, IW Expo Hall, Public Relations 847-954-3187, davek@ashi.org Kate Laurent, Design & Digital Strategy Manager, “ASHI Reporter” Art Director, 847-954-3179, katel@ashi.org

847-954-3179 Reporter calls only 847-299-2505 (fax) Reporter only Email: frankl@ashi.org Advertising: Dave Kogan Phone: 847-954-3187, Email: davek@ashi.org

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.

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

Bonnie Bruno-Castaneda, Executive Assistant, Human Resources & Project Coordinator, 847-954-3177, bonnieb@ashi.org

OFFICERS

David Haught 2016-2018 Huntington, WV, 304-417-1247 inspector@wvchi.com

ASHI STAFF

Chris Karczewski, Social Media & Digital Strategist 847-954-3183 chrisk@ashi.org George Ilavsky, Graphic Designer & Free Logos, georgei@ashi.org THE ASHI SCHOOL Michelle Santiago, Executive Assistant, 847-954-3198 Michelle@theashischool.com Tracy Vazquez, Sales Representative, 847-954-3181 Tracy@theashischool.com Avery Dinn, Sales Representative, 847-954-3191 Avery@theashischool.com Jimmy Harding, Administrative Assistant, 847-954-3194 Jimmy@theashischool.com


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May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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BEING FRANK

UNCLE JOHN’S BAND By Frank Lesh, ASHI Executive Director American Society of Home Inspectors Direct: 847-954-3182 Frankl@ashi.org • www.ashi.org

L

ast month I talked about civility and what that meant to a couple of great inspectors. I hope that, in a pensive moment, a lot of you agree with me that life is way too short to be going around with a chip on your shoulder.

If you haven’t realized it yet, the theme of this month’s article can be summed up in lyrics from The Grateful Dead, “Wo-oah, what I want to know, where does the time go?” For you young ’uns, here’s a YouTube link: https://youtu.be/TSIajKGHZRk.

As I write this column, I’m sitting on a plane heading back home from a conference where I learned that, too often, many of us waste time on minutiae when we should be focusing on the big picture. It reminded me of when my colleague Ron Passaro shared what he would tell his clients before each inspection:

Much more recently, I met with Skip Walker, Ken Collins, Steve Fishman and Jim Dal Porto in San Jose, CA. There, we teamed up with a group of home inspectors who belong to the Japan Society of Home Inspection (JSHI) to inspect retired inspector Jim and Keiko Manning’s home. When shown the Reporter article mentioned above, some of the JSHI inspectors recognized members of the delegation who came in 2004. We posted some photos of the group inspecting the house on ASHI’s Facebook page.

We’re all lucky to be where we are. I’m grateful to be working in a profession that has given me a sense of worth. Many of the folks who hire us are starting a new life in a new-for-them home and are counting on us to look after their best interests. That’s a heavy weight on our shoulders…leaving little room for that proverbial chip.

WE’LL BE LOOKING AT THE HOME INSPECTION AS IF WE’RE ON A SAFARI. WE’RE LOOKING FOR THE BIG GAME. WE MAY RUN ACROSS A FEW LITTLE CRITTERS NOW AND THEN. AND WE MAY ‘BAG’ A FEW OF THEM. BUT LET’S KEEP OUR EYES ON THE PRIZE. (Ron, please excuse me for using poetic license to summarize your driveway speech, but I hope that everyone gets the gist of what you meant: Focus on the big deficiencies because those are the ones that will come back to bite you.)

Not to drive home too fine a point, but try not to trip on gnats. Concentrate on the defects that your client needs to know about. That’s not to say ignore all of the little critters, but your main focus should be to make sure the house is safe and sound, not whether the carpet is frayed. Keep in mind that there is only a finite amount of time during an inspection. So, time spent on nitpicking may cause you to miss the subtle, but important, deficiencies. 6

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Speaking of where the time goes, around 13 years ago, a delegation from Japan came to ASHI headquarters to learn about home inspections in the United States. Check out this link to read the ASHI Reporter article about that visit: http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/ Articles/Japanese-Delegation-Looks-to-ASHI-for-Answers/158.

It was rewarding to see how seeds planted over a decade ago have grown into an impressive organization on the other side of the globe.

So sometimes, like the Stones sing, “Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is.”


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MAY IS DECK SAFETY MONTH ® BALCONIES AND RAISED DECKS: PART 1 By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070

Balconies are exterior structures that project from the building at least one story above grade. There is usually a door that provides access to the balcony. Balconies do not have steps, and there is no access to grade level. They are most often constructed of wood, metal or concrete.

Balconies may be cantilevered from the house wall, or they may be supported by both the house wall and columns. Some balconies are supported by brackets (consoles) attached to the wall below the balcony. These can be decorative as well as structural. Balconies also can be supported by chains or other tension members attached to the house wall above the balcony.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE, WE WILL FOCUS ON COLUMN-SUPPORTED AND CANTILEVERED WOOD BALCONIES AND RAISED DECKS WITHOUT STAIRS. SPECIFICALLY, WE WILL CONCENTRATE ON GUARDS, COLUMNS AND BEAMS. 8

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

GUARDS

Guards or guardrails keep people from falling off balconies and decks. Handrails and guards are safety devices. The implication of non-performance is, of course, serious personal injury. Rules vary by jurisdiction. Typically, exterior guardrails are required on any platforms more than 2 feet to 30 inches above grade. Check your local building standards to see which applies.

In many areas, the guardrails must be 42 inches high around decks and balconies. In other areas, they can be 36 inches high if the deck or balcony is less than 6 feet off the ground.

Guards must be constructed so that people cannot fall through. This is particularly important in homes where young children may be expected to “test” the railings. In some jurisdictions, spindles (also called balusters) must be designed so that no opening will allow a 4-inch ball to pass through. In other jurisdictions, the ball size is 6 inches. Again, check with your local authorities to determine the requirements in your area. You can recommend something different, but you must know what the minimum standard is for new work.


Balconies and Raised Decks

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH COLUMNS: •

leaning, settling or heaving

spalling or cracking

rot, insect damage, wood or soil contact or rust

Most of the time, it is safe to assume that a column was installed straight and plumb; however, columns may shift because of the following factors:

Spindles should be substantially vertical. Railings with many horizontal details can be climbed easily by children and, as such, they are a safety hazard. Spindles are not allowed by some authorities.

COLUMNS

Columns typically support decks and balconies. Columns transfer loads from joists or beams to foundations, footings or both.

Columns can be made of several materials. Some columns have a wood upper section and masonry lower section. Most round wooden columns larger than 6-inch diameter are hollow. They are made like barrels. The most commonly used wooden columns are solid square lumber. (Note: Typically, 6 x 6 lumber is required when the deck or balcony surface is more than 6 feet above grade; check your local building codes.) Some columns are metal. They can be circular or rectangular; the majority of metal columns are hollow. Some poured concrete decks and balconies have solid concrete columns. Masonry block columns also can be found. In some cases, wood or steel columns are surrounded by decorative brick.

inappropriate foundations and footings

soil erosion

frost heave

mechanical damage (for example, vehicle impact)

greater loads than were intended

eccentric loads (off-center)

deterioration of the column or its connection points

columns poorly secured at the top or bottom

Metal column leaning

Columns that have moved may allow the structure they support to fail. These columns may be expensive to stabilize. Look carefully at columns, particularly at the top and bottom of them, for evidence of movement. Examine the columns from several angles. Stand well back from the structure to look at the columns, as this gives a larger frame of reference and makes it easier to determine whether the columns are leaning.

Push on the column near the bottom and near the top, if possible, to ensure that it is well anchored. In homes where wooden decks or balconies are well off the ground, stand on the deck and shift your weight from side to side to see if the deck moves. If so, the deck may need diagonal bracing. Wood columns sitting in the soil will eventually rot, irrespective of the type of wood. The bottom of a metal column will rust if it is too close to the soil. Metal and wood columns should have footings that extend above ground more than 4 inches. May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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Balconies and Raised Decks

BEAMS

Beams may be found on many structures including decks, porches, balconies and carports. They may support a roof or a floor, but in either case, their function and orientation is similar. Beams are important load-bearing members, transferring loads from joists to columns or walls.

END-BEARING MAY BE POOR BECAUSE OF THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: •

poor construction

building shifting

rot

settling columns

sagging beam

One cause of poor end support is shifting of columns that support beams. If a column shifts and rotates away from the building, a beam may lose its support at the column end. If the beam moves with the column, the end of the beam resting on the house wall may be pulled out of its pocket. Beams resting in masonry pockets should not be mortared in tightly at the ends. There should be space allowed for ventilation so that the wood can dry after it gets wet.

Home inspectors should look along beams for evidence of sagging. This suggests non-performance of the beam, and may signal expensive repair work or impending sudden structural failure.

REASONS BEAMS MAY SAG: •

They are undersized or over-spanned.

Loading is greater than what they were designed for.

Rot, mechanical damage, holes or notching has weakened the beam.

A column, often near a midpoint, has been removed.

Structural failure is the ultimate implication. In most cases, sagging beams can be identified and repaired or replaced before things collapse. When inspecting, look along the beam if possible, using other horizontal reference points. Beams rely on at least 31 ⁄2 inches of end-bearing to transfer their loads to the structure below (usually columns or walls). 10

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Examine beams at pockets for signs of the beam having pulled out of its pocket. The beam end may not have paint on it or it may be a different color because of less exposure to sun. At connection points to columns, watch for evidence of movement of the beam relative to the column. Again, a section at the end of the beam may be unpainted, for example. Check whether beams are mechanically fastened to their supporting members below. Beams should not simply rest on the tops of the columns or pillars.

Beam rotation (twisting) can lead to a lack of support for the joists resting on the beam, and can disturb end-bearing conditions for joists and the beam. Twisting of a wooden beam is usually caused by uneven drying and shrinking of wet lumber. Crushing fibers and beam failure may result. In severe cases, building components may fail as a result of beam rotation. Ensure that beams have remained relatively square and level.


Balconies and Raised Decks

COMMON CAUSES OF ROT: •

water penetration and retention as a result of poor protection, drainage or horizontal surfaces

missing or poor paint and stain

contact with wood or soil

Again, structural failure is the implication of rot. When inspecting, look at places where water may be trapped in or against the beam.

Beam rotation (twisting)

PROBING WITH A SCREWDRIVER IS REQUIRED. ROTTED WOOD CAN SOMETIMES LOOK JUST FINE FROM THE OUTSIDE. BUILT-UP BEAMS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ROT BECAUSE WATER OFTEN GETS TRAPPED BETWEEN BEAM COMPONENTS. Insect exit holes in the wood surface are clues to possible damage. Paint or stain that has not been well maintained makes wood more vulnerable to rot. If the paint or stain is not in good repair, check closely for rot.

Several issues are depicted here: beam twisting, missing bracket or post cap, and improper column extension.

A wooden beam on the outside of a house is also susceptible to rot or insect damage. Some deck builders go to great lengths to prevent individual beam members from trapping water. They use thin, triangular wood spacers between built-up beam members to ensure that water can flow freely between adjacent 2 x 8s in a beam, for example. This space also provides ventilation, allowing for quick drying after the wood gets wet. Alternatively, some builders run a bead of caulking along the upper joint of a built-up beam. These are good details but, unfortunately, not common ones.

Watch for Part 2 of this article series in the June issue of the Reporter. We will examine joists, ledger boards and floor boards. Carson Dunlop - Consulting engineering firm devoted to home inspection since 1978. www.carsondunlop.com

11May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

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THE EXAMINATION BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTORS ANNOUNCES A

NEW SCHOLARSHIP! JD GREWELL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP APPLY TO RECEIVE FUNDING FOR HOME INSPECTION TRAINING AND RELATED EXPENSES.

ABOUT JD GREWELL, ACI JD Grewell, ACI was a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) since 1979. He served on the Standards Committee of ASHI for more than 10 years; as the Standards Committee Chairman 2003-2005, and as the Standards Committee Board Liaison in 2014. JD Grewell was a recipient of ASHI’s prestigious Monahon, Cox, and Ironman Awards. He served on the ASHI Board of Directors from 1990 to 1998 and then again from 2011 to 2014. JD was a licensed home inspector in Maryland who served on the Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors Commission from 2000 to 2015 through four governors. JD chaired many ASHI committees and served on various task forces, including multiple strategic planning efforts. JD served on the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors from 2001 to 2006 and was selected as a subject matter expert by the EBPHI, writing valid questions for the National Home Inspector Examination for more than 12 years to help keep the exam current. JD was a high school teacher before he became a home inspector and his passion in the home inspection profession has always been in education. To honor his memory and dedication to the home inspection profession and as an educator, the EBPHI created an education scholarship in his name.

TO LEARN MORE AND DOWNLOAD AN APPLICATION, VISIT

http://homeinspectionexam.org/ jd-grewell-education-scholarship/


13May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018


COMPENSATION FOR CULTIVATION BY BOLSTERING OUR ASHI MEMBERSHIP, YOU WILL EARN

$50

IN GIFT CARDS WITH EACH NEW MEMBER

EASY. EDUCATION. EXCELLENT. ACCESS ONLINE 24/7 EARN ASHI CEs and STATE–APPROVED CEs Includes new recordings from IW 2018. www.HomeInspector.org/OnlineEducation

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:

MEMBERSHIP@ASHI.ORG OR FAX TO 847-759-1620.

Questions? Contact Jen Gallegos, jeng@ashi.org.

15May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

15


NE W S F ROM T HE A SHI S CHOOL

T HE NE W A S HI S CHOOL’S CL A S S ES IN AC T ION

By Michelle Santiago, Executive Assistant of The ASHI School

H

ave you ever wondered what an ASHI School class looks like? Well, these photos give you a peek into one of our classes that recently took place in Columbus, OH. ASHI School instructors Ken Harrington and Forrest Lines led the class.

CHECKING COMPREHENSION: LEARNING WITH YOUR HANDS: Students had an opportunity to touch, feel and identify the working parts of a gas-forced air furnace during the HVAC section of the class. As a group, the students and instructors discussed “must-find defects” that home inspectors should be able to identify.

FINDING ELECTRICAL DEFECTS: After completing the electrical portion of the curriculum, students test their skills by identifying the 10 must-find defects in each of the pre-wired electrical panels. 16

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Students show their grasp of the entire HVAC system—beginning with the furnace—by demonstrating to others their understanding of concepts taught by the instructors.

WORKING INDIVIDUALLY, IN PAIRS AND AS A GROUP:

Students work in pairs during the hands-on exercises. For evaluation, the instructors give each student his or her own grade according to how many defects the student correctly identifies. After the exercises, the students convene for a group discussion about the must-find defects, how to communicate these defects in reports, by whom repairs should be performed and when repairs should be completed. The faces in these photos show how enjoyable learning can be when you take a class with The ASHI School. You’ll get to know knowledgeable instructors, have the opportunity to get to know others in your field, and become more familiar with the ins and outs of home inspection. Check out The ASHI School website at theashischool.com. For a class that appeals to you as a new inspector, as a refresher or as a way to include an ancillary service to your business. And if you have ideas to share or questions about The ASHI School or our website, please contact me at michelle@theashischool.com.

We look forward to seeing you at The ASHI School—online or in person!


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17May 2018

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17


HOME ENERGY SCORE

THE HOME ENERGY SCORE MEANS BUSINESS: TAKING A CLOSE LOOK AT

HOW THE SCORE FITS INTO A SUCCESSFUL FIRM By ASHI Staff

In this monthly column, we’ve covered a lot about “why” you should be interested in the Home Energy Score (HES) program. Now that inspectors across the country are building it into their businesses, we can start to examine “how” to add it to your business, in specific terms. Recently, a multi-inspector firm jumped into the HES fray—we tell their story here, and we’ll follow up with them down the road to tell you about their progress.

Go Big or Go Home

Bringing a New Offering to an Established Business

Field Personnel

Jacksonville-based Ameripro is no home inspection startup. A Sunshine State pioneer in the inspection industry and part of a family of businesses with more than a half-million inspections to its credit, this firm has been serving satisfied customers for more than 24 years. As a provider of a wide range of time-tested services, they’ve never been one to just jump on the latest bandwagon when it comes to bringing new offerings into their lineup.

The word is out that the long-running partnership between ASHI and ID Energy means getting started with the Score is easy and inexpensive. Because of the partnership, inspectors can get personalized help for the “Sim” online training, and the mentorship session and ongoing quality assurance require by the DOE can be accomplished without having to interrupt inspection schedules or time-crunched clients. Importantly, these services are available to any inspector, and ID Energy has a special onboarding package for larger firms like Ameripro.

And so it was with the Home Energy Score, which Ameripro had been studying for more than a year to prepare for this venture. The Department of Energy (DOE) program caught the eye of Rowan, who recognized the “greening” of the industry and the importance of homeowners’ monthly budgets as two of the most important trends in recent years. He saw in HES the best available means of meeting those new market realities head on.

Ameripro addressed this obstacle by implementing the following strategies:

Not surprisingly, any alterations to their services over the years have been the result of careful deliberation and CEO Michael Rowan understands that, although there are considerable benefits to being the first in the market to offer a product, that product still needs to be the right one when a company’s reputation is on the line.

Needless to say, when an operation like Ameripro makes a change to their proven and successful business model, they tend to do it correctly. To begin the process, they asked themselves a series of questions relating to how including the HES would affect their operations and stakeholders—ranging from homebuyers to real estate agents and from delivery models to net revenue. Working from the idea that broad adoption of HES will benefit the entire industry, they’ve also been open to sharing the details of their plan with the readers of the Reporter. Let’s evaluate their thought process in creating an HES pilot project and the specific ways they’re introducing it throughout their operations.

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There are aspects of HES that Ameripro recognized as being fairly easy to implement, namely the low-cost online training and onboarding process that allows inspectors to “hit the streets” with the service in a short time. Still, Ameripro understood that to give this new offering its due, they needed to implement it across the full line of business operations, so they fully integrated HES into their various divisions.

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Once Ameripro completed the ID Energy “Fast Track” onboarding process, the field inspectors had little difficulty with the technical aspects of delivering a Score. Still, the additional time required to gather the necessary information (20 minutes on average, although that figure is decreasing as Ameripro’s inspectors become more efficient with the scoring tool) meant that some inspectors initially had the impression that they were doing “more work for the same money.” Securing buy-in from the team presented a challenge to companywide adoption of the Score.

• protect inspectors from taking on too much additional work (the Score is currently included only on homes smaller than 2,200 square feet); • offer inspectors more money per job due to a higher-priced “bundle” of services; and • offer inspectors the prospect of better relationships with new real estate agents in particular, and more consistent schedules (that is, fewer slow-season open slots) since inspectors can leverage the “feel-good” marketing value of the HES with the agents they meet on site.


I’VE BEEN SEEING ‘ENERGY HOG’ HOUSES FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAD A WAY TO REALLY EXPLAIN IT TO A HOME BUYER.

AMERIPRO INSPECTOR COLIN HOWSE WAS SKEPTICAL AT FIRST, BUT NOW HE IS A HOME ENERGY SCORE CONVERT. Inside and Outside Sales

Like any successful multi-inspector firm, Ameripro excels at the sales and marketing aspect of their work. Its expertise in bundling home inspections with wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspections and other services has resulted in steadily higher conversion rates and average ticket figures. As such, integrating the HES into an existing “bundle” and describing it with a simple value proposition was relatively easy for their process.

Serving two key customer sectors (inbound homebuyers and real estate agents), Ameripro’s sales specialists are keeping close tabs on the impacts the Score is having on both. The verdict? So far, the reception from homebuyers is positive—it turns out that homebuyers view learning about the expected costs of utility bills, the opportunities for energy and comfort improvement, and a highly credible DOE label that adds value to their home as a good thing! Even better, Ameripro is seeing markedly higher conversions from their “price-shopping” clientele because the Score is included in their package. Feedback from real estate agents has been more cautious than fully enthusiastic in the early going, but the fact that the package is bundled lets agents know that they’re going to have a happy client who hasn’t been subjected to a laundry list of options as part of the inspection process. Ameripro reports that many agents—especially newer ones—are encouraged by the idea that their clients are going into a purchase with eyes wide open as to what they can expect budget-wise as a homeowner.

The Network and PR

The expected benefits to the Ameripro brand in their market was a key factor in their decision to move forward, even though leadership is fully aware that the Score has yet to attain anything like “household name” status at this point. But, as keen observers of major trends shaping their industry, they’re aware that energy efficiency and related

home comfort are climbing ever higher on the list of priorities for homebuyers and agents alike. The fact that they are the first in their market to offer the score is just icing on the PR cake. Over the years, Ameripro has earned the trust of an extensive network of agents who rely on their routine of delivering presentations that cover a wide range of industry topics. Bringing HES-related presentations into the mix (“canned” and customizable versions of these are available to all from the HES team) has generated increased requests for talks and enthusiastic feedback from the agents, many of whom can see the energy-related writing on the wall as clearly as Ameripro does.

The Bottom Line

One of the most respected and time-tested businesses in one of the hottest housing markets in the country, Ameripro credits much of its success to its practice of continually aiming toward a higher industry standard. Their embrace of the Home Energy Score reflects that commitment and yet, even high-minded initiatives like this one must correlate with a positive impact on revenue to remain part of Ameripro’s operations.

Their methodical adoption of the Score extends into every aspect of their business. Adopted at the end of winter, just in time for the upcoming season, the program’s true merits—not least of which are revenue-related—will be made clear only once it’s been in use for at least one busy-season cycle. Watch for an update on that to come in the fall. As it stands now, however, Ameripro has high hopes for the HES as a worthy and profitable inclusion into their business.

Be the Early Adopter in Your Market!

The Score can benefit your business, too. Contact Jen Gallegos ( jeng@ashi.org) at ASHI HQ with any questions. Or jump in and fill out the application on the ID Energy website (energyscoreusa. com/sign_up.php). And let us know how it goes for your business! 19May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

19


MAY IS DECK SAFETY MONTH

®

EVALUATING AN EXISTING RESIDENTIAL DECK By Frank Woeste

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018


Evaluating an Existing Residential Deck

Note: This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of The Component Manufacturing Advertiser (http://www.componentadvertiser.com/). Reprinted with permission. Since 2003, deck researchers and representatives of the code community have worked to improve and expand the deck provisions in the International Residential Code (IRC). I believe the deck-related provisions of the 2015 IRC, coupled with best practices in the American Wood Council DCA6-2012, provide practical information for constructing safe residential decks. As such, newer decks that have been permitted, properly constructed, and inspected should provide reliable service when maintained and inspected in-service annually. But what about the millions of older decks that were built without the benefit of improved codes and best practices?

MAKING DECK INSPECTION ACCESSIBLE

I am not aware of any single source that addresses the depth and breadth of deck safety issues as successfully as Bruce Barker’s 2017 B+D book. At my request, Mr. Barker created the following layman’s summary of his book for use in preparing this article.

REAL DECK SAFETY CHALLENGE

The deck safety challenge now is existing decks, which is an issue for homeowners and property managers alike. Until now, there has not been a practical and comprehensive resource that people could consult before making the decision to engage a professional who can evaluate decks that were improperly built, and that have been exposed to the weather or to saltwater spray. The purpose of this article is to introduce a new book by Bruce A. Barker that is a treasure-trove of deck construction information and photos that show new and safe deck details, as well as unsafe details. Based on my experience in educational efforts, laymen need to see a visual depiction of what “unsafe” looks like, and then what “safe” looks like. One without the other apparently doesn’t work in learning—a stark contrast is needed. The photos in this book provide that contrast. Mr. Barker participated in a Virginia Tech short course in 2015, and later that year he self-published a deck evaluation book. In 2017, he completed a Black+Decker book on Deck Codes and Standards, and I immediately purchased a copy on Amazon. I believe this book is ideal for creating the needed critical link between typical homeowners and multi-family property managers and safe-deck construction information given in the 2015 IRC and DCA6-2012. Deck Codes and Standards has 127 (8.5”x11”) pages and uses high quality photos and illustrations to present code-recognized deck construction details and best deck construction practices. For people with existing decks, pages 100-103 provide a “Residential Deck Inspection Checklist.” Of obvious value to the homeowner and property manager, the author offers recommendations on various issues that may be observed. For some cases listed in the checklist section, his recommendation is stern: “Do not use deck. Strongly recommend professional evaluation.” Based on the current deck literature that I am aware of, none offer an actionable step based on the outcome from observing a certain deck deficiency or condition.

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hen homeowners think about their deck, they usually think in terms of how it looks from the top. If the part they see and walk on looks good, then in their minds the deck is in good shape. Few go under the deck to look at the important structural components, and few would know what they were looking at even if they did. Perhaps this is part of the reason why each year thousands of people suffer injuries, some of them life-altering, when improperly constructed decks fail. Most of these failures are preventable, however, there are few resources to help people prevent them. Deck Codes and Standards is a new resource that helps people prevent deck failures by providing information about how to evaluate the condition and safety of a deck that has been in service for years. The book is intended for homeowners, but those in the construction, property management, and inspection industries will learn a lot by reading it. After all, the objective when building a deck, or anything else, is to build it so that it is safe not only when built, but throughout its entire service life. Builders seldom go back to look at their work after they leave the job. This is unfortunate. Some of the best lessons can be learned by evaluating the long-term performance of decks. Deck Codes and Standards contains many pictures of deck defects. It then uses illustrations and explanations to demonstrate what should have been done. This format helps homeowners, builders, property managers, and inspectors identify and understand defects in existing decks, and helps them avoid making the same mistakes when building new decks.

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Evaluating an Existing Residential Deck

ALMOST ALL DECKS ARE DEFECTIVE

THIS FORMAT HELPS HOMEOWNERS, BUILDERS, PROPERTY MANAGERS, AND INSPECTORS IDENTIFY AND UNDERSTAND DEFECTS IN EXISTING DECKS, AND HELPS THEM AVOID MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES WHEN BUILDING NEW DECKS.

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018

There is a great need for resources to help evaluate existing decks because almost all decks are defective. This may seem like an overstatement, but experience in the field indicates that it is not. In fact, this should be expected given that decks are often viewed as simple DIY projects, given the widespread lack of knowledge about deck construction minimum standards, and given that there is even less knowledge about deck construction best practices. This lack of knowledge is not surprising because until quite recently building codes had little prescriptive guidance about even minimum deck construction standards, and some of what little guidance existed was, and still is, often misunderstood. Deck builders often fall into two groups. One group is the carpenter who wants to make a little extra money on the weekend. The other group is homeowners who believe that building a deck is an easy doit-yourself project. It should not surprise anyone that these groups are seldom well-informed about deck construction best practices. The first substantive prescriptive building code guidance about minimum deck construction standards was in the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC), and there was not much guidance. Subsequent IRC editions contained additional guidance, but some important details were still lacking. This lack of detail left government inspectors in the difficult position of trying to fill in the blanks through interpretation, and by local code amendments. A few jurisdictions, such as Fairfax County, VA, did an excellent job. Others, not so much.


Evaluating an Existing Residential Deck

CONNECTIONS—THE COMMON FAILURE MODE

Many, if not most, injury-causing deck failures share a common thread, failure of the connections between deck components: 1) connection of the deck ledger to the house fails, allowing the deck to collapse by pulling away from the house, 2) connection of the deck guard posts to the deck fails, allowing the guard to collapse when someone leans on it, 3) connection of the stair stringers to the deck fails, allowing the stairs to collapse. All of these failures are easily preventable by using the correct fasteners and connectors, and by installing them in the correct manner. Connection of the deck ledger to the house is a two-step process. The first step is to use ½ inch diameter machine bolts or lag screws to connect the deck ledger to the house rim joist/band board. This connection accommodates the vertical loads. The IRC contains good guidance for making this connection. The second step is to install lateral load connectors. This connection accommodates the horizontal loads. The IRC contains illustrations showing how to install this connection, unfortunately, the wording of the lateral load connection requirement appears to cause almost universal misunderstanding about the fact that this connection is also required. One very rarely sees lateral load connectors in the field. The IRC does not provide prescriptive guidance about how to connect guard posts to a deck. It relies on the performance requirement of resistance to a 200-pound load applied in any direction along the top. This leaves everyone to fill in the blanks about how to install this connection. Almost all deck builders rely on some combination of nails, screws, and bolts to connect the guard posts to the deck rim joist. This begs the question, what connects the rim joist to the deck? The answer is usually nails, which are often driven into the end grain of the deck joists. This deck post to rim joist connection is virtually guaranteed to fail, and it does not come close to complying with the IRC 200-pound load requirement. The only connection that has been tested and demonstrated to comply with the 200-pound load requirement involves installing a lateral load connector that is attached to one or more deck joists. The IRC does not provide prescriptive guidance about how to connect stair stringers to a deck. This, again, leaves everyone to fill in the blanks. The result is a wide variety of connection methods that almost always rely on nails. Nails can work, if they are installed correctly, and if everything else about the stairs is installed correctly. The much better stringer connection uses manufactured connectors, such as the Simpson LSC.

FLASHING

It does not matter how many bolts, screws, and lateral load connectors one installs into deteriorated wood. The connection is still likely to fail. Even a little bit of deterioration caused by water infiltration can significantly weaken wood. Flashing must be installed between the deck and the house when the deck uses the house for structural support. Flashing should be integrated into the house water-resistive barrier (e.g., house wrap) to form a drainage plane that diverts water away from the vulnerable deck to house connection.

CANTILEVERED BALCONIES

Cantilevered balconies are not decks, so Deck Codes and Standards does not address them. It does, however, contain an important warning for those who own, build, or inspect these structures. Cantilevered balconies are highly susceptible to water intrusion and wood failure, especially those that are concealed both above and below. Inspection openings should be provided for these concealed structures, and ventilation should also be provided to help wood that is subject to water intrusion dry.

DECK CONSTRUCTION BEST PRACTICES

Building codes are slow to change and to adopt new requirements. Local jurisdictions are usually at least one version behind the most current model code, and sometimes more than one version behind. For this and other reasons, deck builders, inspectors, and homeowners should rely on DCA 6 from the American Wood Council as the authority about deck construction best practices. A deck that complies with DCA 6 should pass inspection in any jurisdiction, and should remain safe throughout its entire service life. Credit: Bruce Barker, author of Deck Codes and Standards (Black+Decker, ©2017).

By continuing to inform our family, friends, and communities about deck safety and inspections, we will all help prevent the next tragic deck or guardrail collapse. Frank Woeste, P.E., is Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech University, and a wood construction consultant. He can be reached by email: fwoeste@vt.edu.

Acknowledgment: The ASHI Reporter thanks The Component Manufacturing Advertiser (http://www.componentadvertiser. com/) for granting permission to reprint this article.

May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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Marketing Focus

IF YOU USE GOOGLE ADWORDS, SHOULD YOU USE BING ADS? By Andy Patel, CEO, K-3 Technologies

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our home inspection business has been getting successful results with Google Adwords. Now you’re thinking of other creative ways to find customers and you’ve been contemplating running Bing Ads as well. You’ve heard of Bing, but you’re not sure what kind of results to expect and, more importantly, whether you will see a return on your investment. In this article, we take a deeper look into Bing Ads to help you determine if it’s something from which your business might benefit.

YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH HOW BING ADS WORK BUT, LUCKILY FOR YOU, WE DID THE RESEARCH. HERE IS WHAT WE FOUND: COST-EFFECTIVE COST-PER-CLICK STRUCTURE

Bing’s cost-per-click (CPC) structure is similar to Google’s—the cost you pay per click is directly related to the amount of competition and how much each competitor is willing to bid. Currently, not as many companies advertise with Bing as they do with Google. Because there is less competition, the CPC is only about half of what it is with Google! This is an advantage for the advertiser because the cost of the ad is lower and there’s less competition; hence, you are likely to have a higher spot on the paid search results.

(ALMOST) FLAWLESS INTEGRATION WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS

Google was one of the first to offer pay-per-click ads and paved the way for others to follow. Late entry to the market allowed Bing to learn from the success of others and simplify the process of designing campaigns. For advertisers who already run Google Adwords, you can import your program data into Bing fairly easily. By using the event schedule feature to import data from Google Adwords into Bing, you’ll enable the changes you make to your Google Adwords program to automatically update in Bing.

$100 STARTUP CREDIT

Bing hopes to encourage companies to advertise with them by offering a $100 credit to use when you start your campaign. Google will occasionally offer this to new customers, but it recently reduced its promotions for advertisers. 24

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Andy Patel is the CEO of K-3 Technologies, an internet marketing firm established in May 2005. Andy has got the “art” of internet marketing down to a science! Working directly with Google, his company helps home inspectors attract qualified visitors and converts them into leads in the most optimal way possible. He believes in ethical practices and doesn’t think anyone should pay for a service which doesn’t yield some sort of ROI.

DIFFERENT TARGET AUDIENCE

Bing users tend to do internet searches using desktop computers and they tend to be older in age. They also tend to know what they need and are willing to pay for what they want. This could potentially mean a higher return on your cost-per-click investment. Most search engine ads use a filter to target and funnel customer leads. However, the Bing customer demographic is different, which could mean higher quality leads.

MORE RELEVANT SEARCH TERMS

I wrote in a previous article that maintaining a negative keyword list is crucial for an effective Google Adwords campaign. The reason for this is because Google will display your ad on outrageous variations of your keywords. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Bing. Bing does a much better job of showing your ads when the search is relevant.

FEWER CLICKS, BUT QUALITY LEADS

Bing is not as popular as Google; however, that can actually work to your advantage. For Bing Ads, fewer clicks can actually mean more quality leads, making it more beneficial to your business. You may not see as many clicks as with Google, but the data show a higher return on investment with Bing. For more information on how to use Google Adwords or Bing Ads for your business, contact K-3 Marketing at www.k3.marketing, or feel free to contact me directly with any questions at andy@k3.marketing or connect on twitter @andyk3marketing.


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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 www.softconference.com/ashi/

YOUR INSPECTION IS  THE BEST REFERRAL TOOL

Trade-up to better inspecting Call 800 745 6126 and ask about our special

Easy. Education. Excellent. FREE to ASHI members!! The ASHI Online Learning Center provides 2-hour modules approved for 2 ASHI CEs. (Special section) Many Past IW modules State-approved for online education.

trade-up offer for competitor software or check out our Specials at www.3dinspection.com

May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

25


Marketing Focus

TARGETING YOUR SALES EFFORTS: REAL ESTATE AGENTS, PART 2 By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070

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1. Thank them for their time and say, “If you are ever in need of an inspector, please give me a call.”

USE SOLID PRESENTATION TECHNIQUES

2. Ask for the order, which is sales terminology for obtaining a commitment from the prospect.

his month, we continue the discussion of targeted marketing, with a focus on offering presentations to your real estate agent prospects and closing the sale. Your presentation to real estate agents is a key part of an important meeting. Bringing props can help you get your point across. Some people like to have visuals to help them better internalize or learn new information, so preparing a small flipchart or a PowerPoint presentation on your laptop may be helpful. If you prefer to simply engage in a more informal discussion with your audience, that’s okay, too. However, if you have built up the agent’s expectations by mentioning that you offer a system that will help sell houses faster and for more money, it’s best to have some kind of physical or electronic presentation prepared. You might also want to give the agent a flash drive (maybe one with your logo and website) that contains your presentation so they can review it any time they choose. Another presentation technique is to take the agent out for lunch or breakfast. The format of this presentation depends on how well you know the agent and how well the agent knows you, or on the strength of the referral. Remember, good presentations are more like conversations. During the presentation, you should remember to do the following: • Consider everything from the customer’s perspective; it’s about them, not you. • Describe the benefits, not just features.

• Select only a few of the best benefits of your business because the more you say, the less they hear. • Keep it short.

ASK FOR THE ORDER (CLOSE THE DEAL)

This is the part of the presentation that distinguishes a successful home inspector from an average home inspector. When you finish your presentation and have impressed the real estate agent, you have two choices:

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018

If you use Method 1, you’ve wasted your opportunity. The purpose of your presentation is to earn the right to ask for the order, so do it! Successful closing lines for home inspectors:

• Can I ask you to add my name to your referral list? • Can I count on you to give me a try? • Will you refer me on your next inspection?

These can be difficult things to say because you may get a “no.” Asking these questions might also feel aggressive; however, because people make decisions based on emotion, if you feel that you have left a good impression, this is the best time to ask for the order. Three reasons you owe it to yourself to ask for the order:

1. You are trying to get an agent to refer you, not someone else. You will not get the referral unless you ask for it. You have to be a little aggressive. One thing is certain: At the end of the presentation, the real estate agent will not make the close for you. If you imagine that an agent will say, “That’s a great system you have, would you mind if I refer you on my next inspection?”—you are likely asleep and dreaming. 2. Most real estate agents will not say “no” to your face. If they reject you in person, you are more likely to get a soft rejection that leaves the door open for the future. For example, an agent is more likely to say, “We’ll see, maybe I will give you a try when my regular inspector is unavailable,” or “I need to digest what you’ve told me; I cannot commit to you right now.” If this happens, you should reply by saying, “I understand and realize this is an important decision.” This also gives you an opportunity to ask what it is they need to consider. You could say, “You must have a good reason for wanting to digest the information. May I ask what it is?” Either way you choose to respond, you can congratulate yourself because at least you had the nerve to meet the agent in person and ask for the close. If you had delivered your presentation over the phone, it would have been easier for the agent to reject you flat out.


Marketing Focus

3. When a real estate agent says “no,” remember that rejection is part of the sales funnel. You can’t expect a “yes” from 100 percent of the agents you meet. So, relax and let them reject you. It’s just business. Remember one other thing: “No” in business means “not now”—it does not mean “never.” And besides, even if you suspect that the agent is not interested in what you have to say, this is a perfect opportunity to practice your sales pitch and closing techniques because you are already prepared for a rejection.

MANAGE YOUR CUSTOMER INFORMATION

A fundamental part of sales is your ability to keep good track of your contacts. If you don’t use some kind of customer management system to keep track of all the real estate agents with whom you have spoken and do business, you will not be able to effectively grow your business and evaluate your marketing campaigns. If you have built a strong relationship with a real estate agent and have earned high levels of trust (for example, through favors and gestures of kindness), then you should not be afraid to ask for mutual trust or a favor in return. Typically, when you do something nice for someone or extend them a favor, they want to reciprocate by doing something nice in return.

REMEMBER ONE OTHER THING: “NO” IN BUSINESS MEANS “NOT NOW”—IT DOES NOT MEAN “NEVER.” For example, let’s say you are having a difficult time getting into a particular real estate office to do a presentation, but you happen to have a great working relationship with a particular agent in that office. Your best approach will be to have the agent you know refer you to the broker or the person who is responsible for scheduling meetings. If the agent has something nice to say about you, it will be much easier to get a “yes.” Carson Dunlop - Consulting engineering firm devoted to home inspection since 1978. www.carsondunlop.com

ASHI MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT FREE LOGO DESIGN HUNDREDS OF C O M B I N AT I O N S

Homeinspector.org/LogoDesign 27May 2018

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INSIDER TIPS FOR SMART INSPECTORS

SEWERS:STORM VERSUS SANITARY

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e’ve come a long way from the days when human waste was not treated. Early sewage systems just flushed it away, with water and rainwater “combined” to help it along. Dilution was the solution. And back then, horses were the main mode of transportation—what happened to that waste? Much waste from all sources ended up in streams and rivers, which flowed into lakes and other bodies of water. This all started changing around 1870, when people realized the connection between disease and human waste. Because rivers and lakes often were the source of drinking water, cities searched for solutions. Major cities started using sewage treatment methods around the year 1920 and treated water became the norm. Think about it: No treatment methods could have worked before then since there was no widespread use of electricity or motors or pumps until about 1920—so how could there be sewage or drinking water treatment?

NEW WAYS TO HANDLE RAINWATER

Today, we have modern systems that separate human waste from rainwater (Illustration P017C). The storm sewer carries away rainwater (sometimes called storm water) through a series of pipes in the street and discharges this water to rivers or lakes. The catch basin in a city street collects rainwater for the storm system. In rural areas, roadside ditches handle rainwater. Older cities may have a “combined” system in which sanitary sewers and untreated waste flow together, but often this overloads the treatment plants during a heavy rain (Illustration P165C). Many cities are separating these sewers or building deep tunnels to capture sewage and treat it later. The sanitary sewer system in a city routes human waste to a sewage treatment plant. Rural areas often require private septic systems—that is, a septic system for each home (Illustration P121C). Septic tanks should be pumped to remove settled sludge and scum (oils and soaps) at least every other year. There also may be a screen that needs periodic cleaning. In this case, you should advise clients to secure the maintenance records and arrange for a specialized inspection of the septic system.

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018


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

THE SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM IN A CITY ROUTES HUMAN WASTE TO A SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT. RURAL AREAS OFTEN REQUIRE PRIVATE SEPTIC SYSTEMS—THAT IS, A SEPTIC SYSTEM FOR EACH HOME.

WHAT MUST YOU LOOK FOR?

You must understand the basic sewer systems used in your area and be able to recognize components that could be installed improperly. In a home with a septic system, you will often find a sewage ejector crock and pump. This lifts sewage into the discharge pipe midway up the basement wall. In some cases, this may be a “gray water” crock that pumps water from the floor drain and the laundry tub. Watch for a sump pump that may be dumping clean water into the city sanitary sewer; this presents a problem (Illustration B092). Also, watch for a sewage ejector that may be dumping gray or sewage water to grade; this workaround may have been installed to cover up a failing septic system. Tom Feiza has been a professional home inspector since 1992 and has a degree in engineering. Through HowToOperateYourHome.com, 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.

29May 2018

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ASHI Chapters and Council News

NORTH CENTRAL ASHI Central PA

www.ashicentralpa.com Second Monday, 6 pm, except Jan. & July, Hoss’s Steakhouse 1151 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle, PA Kevin Kenny, 717-226-3066 info@midpennhomeinspections.com

Keystone (PA)

www.keystoneashi.org First Monday, 5:30 pm Double Tree, 10 N. 5th Street Reading, PA 19601 Robert H. Conner, 610-375-9675 rhconnerbcs@yahoo.com

Ohio

www.ohioashi.com Ken Harrington, 614-507-1061 ohioashi@yahoo.com

North Central Ohio

www.ncohioashi.com Paul Wancata, 216-571-1074 inspectionsunlimited@cox.net

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 president@ohsoashi.com

Pocono-Lehigh (PA)

www.pocono-lehighashi.org Third Tuesday, Tannersville Inn Tannersville Ronald Crescente, 570-646-7546 amerispec@pa.metrocast.net

PRO-ASHI (PA)

www.proashi.com Second Wednesday of Jan., Mar., May, Sept. & Nov. Ray Fonos, 412-461-8273 southpittsburgh@hometeam.com

Tri-State (DE, NJ, PA)

www.tristateashi.org Second Tuesday except April, Aug. & Dec., Dave & Buster’s Plymouth Meeting, PA Jules Falcone, julesfalcone@me.com

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

Greater Omaha (NE)

www.ashiomaha.com Jon Vacha, 402-660-6935 jon@hsinspections.com

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Heartland (IA, MN, ND, SD, WI) www.ashiheartland.org Reuben Saltzman, 612-205-5600 reuben@ashiheartland.org

Indiana ASHI

www.inashi.com Quarterly Danny Maynard, 317-319-7209 danny@inspectinc.net

Iowa ASHI

www.iowaashichapter.org 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 elitehomeandradon@gmail.com

Kentuckiana (IN, KY)

www.ashikentuckiana.org Allan Davis, 502-648-9294 elitehomeinspections@ insightbb.com

Mid-Missouri

www.midmoashi.com 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@inspectcolumbia.com

Northern Illinois

www.nicashi.com 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 joe@insightpsinc.com

SOUTH MIDWEST Arkansas

MOUNTAIN Arizona

www.azashi.org Bryck Guibor, 520-419-1313 bryck@msn.com Quarterly education on azashi.org

New Mexico

www.ashinm.org Bi-monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month at Drury Hotel (Jan., March, May, July, Sept.) located at I-25 and Jefferson in Albuquerque. Meeting starts at 8:30 am. Lance Ellis, 505-977-3915 lellis@amerispec.net

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

Rocky Mountain Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm Bob Kedera, 303-588-2502 bob@360degreeinspections.com

Southern Colorado

www.ashi-southerncolorado.org 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 inspections.com

Utah

www.ashiutah.com First Tuesday, 7 pm Marie Callender’s, Midvale Fred Larsen, 801-201-9583 Fred.larsen@pillartopost.com

Lonnie Moore, 479-530-5792 mhinsp@cox.net

Great Plains (KS, MO)

www.ashikc.org Second Wednesday of even months The Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City Doug Hord, 816-215-2329 doug@firstchoice.com

Midwest PRO ASHI (KS) Ray Fonos, 412-461-8273 rfonos@hometeam.com

St. Louis (MO)

www.stlashi.org 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 mark@homeinpectstl.com

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

ASHI Hawaii

www.ashihawaii.com Alex Woodbury, 808-322-5174 Woodburya001@hawaii.rr.com

California Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833 randy@southbayinspector.com

Central Valley CREIA-ASHI Peter Boyd, 530-673-5800 Boyd.p@comcast.net

Golden Gate (CA)

www.ggashi.com John Fryer, 510-682-4908 johnfryer@gmail.com

Inland Northwest (ID, WA) Vince Vargas, 208-290-2472 vince@vargasinspections.com

Orange County CREIA-ASHI (CA) www.creia.org/orangecounty-chapter Third Monday, 5:30 pm Hometown Buffet 2321 S. Bristol, Santa Ana Bill Bryan, 949-565-5904 bill@rsminspections.com

Oregon

www.oahi.org Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm 4534 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Portland Jay Hensley, 503-312-2105 jay@carsonconstruction.com

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 cliffsims@cox.net

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

Silicon Valley ASHI-CREIA (CA)

www.siliconvalleyinspector.com Skip Walker, 650-873-4224 homeinspection@sanbrunocable.com

Southwestern Idaho Second Monday David Reish, 208-941-5760 dave@antheminspections.com

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

South Bay (CA) Webinar meetings Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833 randy@southbayinspector.com

Western Washington

www.ashiww.com Chapter Meetings held at chapter seminars in March and Sept. Karl Nueffer karl@G4inspections.com


NEW ENGLAND Coastal Connecticut

www.coastalctashi.org Third Thursday, 6 pm, Westport VFW Lodge, 465 Riverside Avenue, Westport John Hamlin, 203-912-1917 john.hamlin@pillartopost.com

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

Northern New England (NNEC) (ME, MA, NH, VT) www. ashi-nnec.org Third Thursday of Jan., April, June and Sept. Tim Rooney, 603-770-0444 homeviewnh@comcast.net nnec.ashi.2016@gmail.com

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

NEW YORK/JERSEY/ DELAWARE

Greater Rochester (NY)

www.ashirochester.com Second Tuesday, 6 pm Jeremiah’s Tavern, 2200 Buffalo Rd. Gates, NY 14624 Jim Brennan, 585-520-5575 jbrennan@independentinspectionservice.com

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

Long Island (NY)

www.liashi.com Third Monday, 6 pm, Domenico’s Restaurant, Levittown Steven Rosenbaum 516-361-0658 inspector@optonline.net

New York Metro

Garden State (NJ)

www.gardenstateashi.com Second Thursday The Westwood, Garwood Ernie Borsellino, 973 761 0050 gsashipresident@gmail.com

Piedmont ASHI (VA) Robert Huntley, 540-354-2135 rwhuntley@cox.net

SOUTH ATLANTIC ASHI Georgia

www.ashigeorgia.com Shannon Cory, 404-316-4876 shannon1943@comcast.net

Ray Baird, 615-516-5511 bairdr@comcast.net

Western New York

www.firststateashi.org Third Wednesday, 7 pm The Buzz Ware Center 2121 The Highway, Arden Mark Desmond, 302-494-1294 mark@delvalleyhome.com

www.novaashi.com Fourth Tuesday, Associate hour 6-7 pm, Membership meeting 7-9 pm, Northern Virginia Resources Center, Fairfax Tony Toth, 703-926-6213 tony_toth@msn.com

Southern New Jersey (NJ)

Central New York

First State (DE)

NOVA-ASHI (MD, VA)

East Tennessee

www.goashi.com Richard W. Askew, 518-383-4804 rondack1@gmail.com www.cnyashi.com Third Wednesday each month, 6 pm Tony’s Family Restaurant, Syracuse Richard Alton, 315-415-4847 dick@altoninspect.com

www.mac-ashi.com Second Wednesday, Rockville, 6 pm Senior Center, Rockville Mark Mostrom, 301-536-0096 pivotalinspections@comcast.net

www.nyashi.com Last Thursday, 5pm Travelers Rest 25 Saw Mill River Road Ossining, NY 10562 Chris Long, 914-260-8571 pres@nyashi.com www.southernnjashi.com Third Wednesday, 6:30 pm Ramada Inn, Bordentown Rick Lobley, 609-208-9798 rick@doublecheckhi.com

Capitol Region (NY)

MAC-ASHI (MD, VA)

Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Tony Rome’s, West Seneca Andy Utnik, 716-636-9676 esimail@aol.com

MID-ATLANTIC Central Virginia

www.cvashi.org Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Independence Golf Course 600 Founders Bridge Blvd. Midlothian, VA 23113 John Cranor, President 804-873-8537 cranorinspectionservices @gmail.com

Hampton Roads (VA) Second Thursday, 7 pm, Cypress Point Country Club, Virginia Beach Gregory Murphy, 757-535-4355 gmurphy@coastalinspect.com

www.etashi.org Third Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Paul Perry, 866-522-7708 cio@frontiernet.net

Mid-Tennessee

Mid-South (TN) Steven Campbell, 901-734-0555 steve@memphisinspections.com

North Carolina

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

Lone Star (TX)

www.ashitexas.org Bud Rozell, 214-215-4961 goodhomeinspection@att.net

Louisiana Quarterly Meetings Michael Burroughs 318-324-0661 Mburroughs2@comcast.net

Suncoast (FL)

www.ashisuncoast.com First Tuesday, 6:30 pm; Please see our website for meeting locations. Steve Acker, 727-712-3089 buyersally@gmail.com

Southwest Florida

www.swashi.com 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

www.cahpi-alt.com Lawrence Englehart 902-403-2460 inspections@eastlink.ca

www.ncashi.com Meeting TBA Bruce Barker, 919-322-4491 bruce@dreamhomeconsultants.com

CAHPI Ontario

South Carolina

Alberta Professional Home Inspectors (APHIS)

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

GULF ASHI South (AL)

www.ashisouth.org Quarterly, Homewood Library Homewood John Knudsen, 334-221-0876 jgknudsen111@gmail.com

www.oahi.com Rob Cornish, 613-858-5000 robc@homexam.ca

www.aphis.ca Meetings held 3 times a year Alan Fisher, 403-248-6893 admin@aphis.com

Quebec AIBQ

www.aibq.qc.ca Pascal Baudaux, 450-629-2038 info@almoinspection.ca

Florida Wiregrass

www.ashiwiregrass.org Second Wednesday, 6:30 pm Sleep Inn Hotel, Wesley Chapel Nancy Janosz, 813-546-6090 ProTeamInsp@aol.com

31May 2018

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Chapter Spotlight

Ohio Home Inspector EXPO Submitted by David Argabright, ACI, Attic To Sidewalk Home Inspections, davidinspects@sbcglobal.net

A

t the Ohio Chapter’s Home Inspector EXPO, we had a great time in a great location and even ASHI President Tim Buell took time to model our chapter’s new jackets! At this outstanding EXPO, the best and brightest home inspectors from all corners of Ohio and surrounding states came together to assemble at the Quest Center in Columbus, March 9-11, 2018. The classes reviewed a broad range of topics, and the discussions covered legal issues and the potential licensing of Ohio home inspectors. Sorry if you missed it, as I do believe there was one seat left empty that belonged to you. But don’t fret too much. Plans are already under way for next year’s EXPO. Same place and always the second weekend of March. To see many photos of the EXPO, head over to the Ohio ASHI website or our chapter’s Facebook page.

ASHI of Central PA’s Annual Education Conference Submitted by Mike Conroy, ACI, Alpha Home Inspection Co., mike@alphainspection.net

O

n March 17, ASHI of Central PA held its 2018 Annual Education Conference at the Park Inn Raddison in Mechanicsburg, PA. With 37 attendees and a great group of speakers, we had a great event, even though we had a little trouble with the original date… an early March snowstorm forced us to postpone until St. Patrick’s Day. No matter, the attendees still arrived and some “lucky” ones even received cash prizes, a local chapter ASHI membership and a national ASHI membership! Best of all, we all learned a lot of information and strengthened our networks with our fellow home inspectors. Andrew Gray reviewed foundation problems and repairs, Dan Messner covered drone regulations and licensing, Joe Denneler offered tips on writing inspection reports and help with understanding Pennsylvania’s home inspectors’ licensing law. Mike Keller updated the group about mold and asbestos (yes, it’s still around), and William Hamilton covered bonding for CSST and adequate combustion air for gas furnaces. Rick Simmons reviewed best practices for visually inspecting EIFS. Thanks to all who participated—you made the day a big success!

32

ASHI Reporter • May 2018


OFFER YOUR CLIENTS PEACE OF MIND.

Become a Background Verified Inspector® today! ASHI is pleased to announce the launch of the Background Verified Inspector®(BVI) program. Our program will allow current ASHI Members to voluntarily undergo a criminal background check using Sterling Talent Solutions. SOME BENEFITS OF BECOMING A BACKGROUND VERIFIED INSPECTOR® (BVI): • Give your clients a peace of mind when booking an inspection • Receive a BVI digital badge for your website and email signature • Set yourself apart from the competition For more information and to sign up please contact us at membership@ashi.org

APPLY TODAY!


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

May 23-26, 2018 Los Angeles/Ventura County Chapter AND San Diego County JOINT CREIA & ASHI CHAPTER Level-1 Thermography Certification Class 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 The Reporter is produced 6-8 weeks ahead of the week it arrives in your mailbox.

34

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

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

BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL INFORMATION: seminar subject, when, where, CEUs & a link for more information or contact information.

LDC ASHI 2018

ASHI Heartland Chapter

To have your chapter seminar listed here, email all information about your chapter seminar to: micheleg@ashi.org.

DES PLAINES, IL

OCTOBER 25-27, 2018


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Call 1-800-295-4655 or visit Radalink.com 35May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

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IS IT TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP? SAY YES TO ASHI! By Jennifer Gallegos, ASHI Membership Services Manager

Hello, ASHI members! I hope that the April showers have brought some May flowers your way, as well as more clients looking to buy homes. Many of you have established relationships with your local real estate agents and some of you are well known in your area. No matter how you got there, one thing is certain: you have promoted yourself as an ASHI member. For more than 40 years, ASHI has been thriving as the most respected, well-known organization for home inspectors in North America. With 8,200 members and counting, ASHI strives to provide the best all-around benefits to its members. For many of you, ASHI membership renewal season is coming up and you may be asking yourself, “Should I renew?” The answer should be “Yes!” Why? Here’s a short list of what you can do as an ASHI member:

CONTINUE YOUR EDUCATION. Each January, for four days in one great location, ASHI hosts the largest annual educational conference for home inspectors, InspectionWorld®. IW attracts more than 1,000 people who come to network, gain education and learn about tools of the trade. They also attend IW to have a lot of fun!

ALIGN WITH THE STANDARD FOR THE HOME INSPECTION PROFESSION. The ASHI Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics have been adopted as the benchmark by many states. In addition, people from locations around the globe have asked ASHI to be a resource to establish the home inspection profession in their country or region.

LIST YOUR BUSINESS ON ASHI’S PUBLIC-FACING WEBSITE: As part of belonging to a large community of home inspectors, ASHI lists your business information on its website. Many homebuyers use ASHI’s Find an Inspector search tool when looking for a home inspector. USE THE ASHI LOGO: ASHI members—at every level of membership—can use the ASHI logo. This logo can be an important tool because it is so well recognized by real estate professionals. In some cases, showing your ASHI logo can be the difference between getting hired and not. (I’ll let you in on the reason why ASHI’s Logo Complaints Committee is kept busy: Many non-ASHI members try to use an outdated ASHI logo on their website or marketing tools because they know the importance of our logo. Now, of course, that’s the wrong way of doing things—the logo is reserved for use only by current ASHI members. By renewing your membership, you reserve the right to use the logo, and you can continue to market yourself as an ASHI member without worry that the Logo Complaints Committee will contact you to cease and desist that practice.) 36

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

BELONG TO A PART OF SOMETHING “BIG.” Did you know that ASHI is the only home inspector organization that has a lobbyist on Capitol Hill to help protect the rights of the home inspector and the profession? Are you familiar with the document that says, “For your protection, get a home inspection”? That document is the result of ASHI’s involvement in Washington, DC.

OMB Approval No: 25020538 (exp. 04/30/2018) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ration (FHA) Federal Housing Administ

For Your Protection:

n Get a Home Inspectio Insp ection

Home of the t the overa ll cond ition led infor matio n abou unbia sed the buye r more detai ctor takes an in-de pth, A home inspe ction gives In a home inspe ction , a quali fied inspe ase. purch to prior home new home to: look at your poten tial anica l cons truct ion, and mech cond ition : struc ture, and hes. Eval uate the phys ical that need to be repai red or repla ced; , struc ture, and finis syste ms; Ident ify items usefu l life of the majo r syste ms, equip ment Estim ate the rema ining

Why a Buyer Need s a

e Insp ection You Must Ask for a Hom

m a home inspection. one. FHA does not perfor occur if you arrange for tion. A home inspection will only on the results of the inspec gent contin ct contra be able to make your Decide early. You may

ns from Home Insp ectio App raisals are Different

te the inspection. Appraisals estima and does not replace a homerty is marketable. Home inspections from a home inspection e the prope An appraisal is different appraisal is required to ensur An rs. lende for rty value of the prope the home for buyers. evaluate the condition of

New Home ition of your Potential ee the Valu e or Cond y FHA Does Not Guarant give or lend you mone closi ng, FHA cann ot

after ctor to with your new home a quali fied home inspe If you find probl ems back from you. Ask a wise cann ot buy the home matio n you need to make for repai rs, and FHA and give you the infor home new tial poten inspe ct your decis ion.

Radon Gas Testing and

other safety/health issue

s

d State s eon Gene ral of the Unite Agen cy and the Surg radon ronm ental Prote ction more infor matio n on The Unite d State s Envi teste d for radon . For -767- 7236 . all hous es shou ld be -SOS -Rad on or 1-800 that ed 1-800 at mend Line n recom matio have ree Natio nal Rado n Infor testin g, call the toll-f for your that may be relev ant healt h and safet y tests ctor abou t addit ional Ask your home inspe home .

r Be an Informed Buye

your to caref ully exam ine r. You have the right ask for to be an infor med buye fied home inspe ctor ctor. To find a quali It is your respo nsibi lity ns that quali fy and test quali fied home inspe a izatio with organ and home new rities poten tial sing autho ds, realto rs, local licen refer ences from frien home inspe ctors .

HUD-92564-CN (6/14)

N CAUTIO


NO MATTER HOW YOU GOT THERE, ONE THING IS CERTAIN: YOU HAVE PROMOTED YOURSELF AS AN ASHI MEMBER. LEARN ONLINE: As an ASHI member, you can conveniently access our online learning center that includes more than 100 continuing education modules. Many courses are approved by state licensing agencies for continuing education, so having this access makes it easy for you to comply with your state’s requirements.

READ THIS PUBLICATION EACH MONTH: ASHI members receive The ASHI Reporter each month. By reading the informative articles (like this one, of course!), you can stay up to date with what’s going on in the profession as well as hear updates from ASHI leaders and local chapters.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPECIAL DISCOUNTS: Your ASHI membership also grants you access to benefits such as discounts at major retailers, health insurance plans and more.

SAY “YES” AND RENEW YOUR ASHI MEMBERSHIP! When you think about whether you should renew your membership, just think about these and all the other benefits you receive. As a member of ASHI, you belong to something bigger than yourself—you belong to the American Society of Home Inspectors, with more than 40 years of trust, leading the profession into the future. Visit the ASHI website (http://www.homeinspector.org/) or contact us at membership@ashi.org and renew today!

MAKE AN IMPACT WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

ASHI

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

Create Print Save Time ASHIPrintOnDemand.com

37May 2018

• www.ASHIReporter.org

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

ASHI ONLINE LEARNING CENTER

CURRENT ASHI MEMBERSHIP ASHI Certified Inspectors: 3,511 Inspectors: 225 Associates: 4,310 Retired Members: 122 Affiliates: 87 Total: 8,255 Members as of 3/31/2018

ASHI MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT PROGRAMS ASHI-ENDORSED PROGRAMS ASHI’s E&O Insurance Program: Target Professional Programs www.targetproins.com 860-899-1862 ASHI Personal Lines Insurance Program: Liberty Mutual www.libertymutual.com/ashi ASHI’s Protecting Home Inspectors From Meritless Claims Program: Joe Ferry – The Home Inspector Lawyer 855-MERITLESS (637-4853) contact@joeferry.com www.joeferry.com/ashi ASHI Service Program BuildFax Tricia Julian, 877-600-BFAX x161 TJulian@BuildFax.com www.buildfax.com http://go.buildfax.com/ASHI ASHI Customer Appreciation Program: Moverthankyou.com Brent Skidmore, 864-386-2763 www.moverthankyou.com Brent@POWRsoft.com HomeAdvisor.com Brett Symes, 913-529-2683 www.homeadvisor.com ashi@homeadvisor.com LegalShield Joan Buckner, 505-821-3971 buckner.legalshieldassociate.com buckner@legalshieldassociate.com InspectionContracts.com Dave Goldstein, 800-882-6242 www.inspectioncontracts.com david@inspectoreducation.com

38

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

OneSource Solutions 877-274-8632 www.osconnects.com/ashi/ Porch.com Eliab Sisay, 206-218-3920 www.porch.com Eliab@porch.com ASHI Rebate Program Quill.com Dana Fishman, 800-634-0320 x1417 www.quill.com/ashi dana.fishman@quill.com ASHI-ENDORSED EXAMS ASHI Standard and Ethics Education Module Go to www.homeinspector.org, click on Education, then click on the link for the ASHI Online Learning Center. NHIE Exam: 847-298-7750 www.homeinspectionexam.org ASHI-ENDORSED TRAINING PROGRAMS ASHI@Home Training System 800-268-7070 education@carsondunlop.com The ASHI School Russell Daniels, 888-884-0440 Russelld@theashischool.com www.TheASHISchool.com PLATINUM PROVIDER Millionaire Inspector Community Mike Crow www.mikecrow.com dreamtime@mikecrow.com Mention that you are an ASHI member.

May Anni versa ries

Thirty Years

Ten Years

Richard Matzen

William Cornell Gary Cothrum John Haslip Ronald Lee Charles Myles Stephen Tyler John White

Twenty-five Years James Gibb Roger Heinichen Nick Hindley Richard Lalancette Joseph Pasaturo Edward Pipino Stephen Swift Jim Vaughn

Twenty Years Lisa Alajajian Giroux Charles Bellefontaine Dave Carrara Richard Carroll John Condon Ben Grable William Hughes Robert Jensen Tim Maxwell John Moss Philip Parke Kenneth Peter Jerry Schwartz George Van Horn Adam Vujovic

Fifteen Years John Corn Stefano Costa Mark H. Evans James Hynes Robert Jones Tom Kennedy Daniel Keogh Wes Knackstedt Matthew Leahy Neal Lewis David Mosionznik Michael O’Donnell Joshua Westlund

Five Years Jacob Babin Chad Bridwell William Chapman Randy Cottrell George Evans Paul Feyereisen Don Fischer Christopher Fleming Erik Funkhouser Paul Garland Michael Gaurnier Kenneth Harrold Chris Heywood Clayton Hitt Jeff Hunt Mike Lanphere Kan Lee Zac Lesh Michael Levitan Walter Magno Brian McCullough Joshua McDanel David McPhee Nicolaus Mello Charles Morck Dustin Moritz Nick Pickert Rafael Quintana Sanchez John Schaefer Duane Scott Nicholas Stanisic Alex Szajko David Vlcek Jim Young


You Tell Us

YOU TELL US By ASHI Staff

With regard to the proposed Radon Standard, did you realize that a Radon Mitigation System (RMS) is the very first corrective measure for which ASHI is attempting to establish an evaluation standard?

Perhaps at the top of every page, the RMS report could state that the inspection and report DOES NOT determine whether the corrective system is reducing radon levels in the building. It could state that, per the EPA, “Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels.” And the EPA recommends that a home should be fixed “if the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher” and “Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and, in many cases, may be reduced.”

And not just any corrective measure – but a corrective measure that must ELIMINATE a KNOWN EXISTING deadly risk (e.g., Furthermore, the SoP should identify and describe the type of cor21,000 deaths annually due to radon [per EPA]) ASHI is stepping into unchartered territory with the proposed Radon Mitigation System Inspection Standard and the scope of such a standard is quite different from previous ASHI standards.

All previous items in the ASHI Standard of Practice (SoP) have dealt with the status of components and systems required for habitation (e.g., a sound/stable structure; exterior surfaces providing moisture and thermal protection; means of egress; daylight/ventilation and escape/rescue openings; sufficient plumbing, HVAC and electrical; habitable spaces). Present ASHI standards help the inspector to find and report on both existing and potential risks (e.g., water intrusion, fire hazards, structural concerns, lead-based paint/asbestos hazards, unsanitary conditions, unsafe HVAC or electrical, insufficient egress and/or fire/rescue openings, mold and mold-conducive conditions). It is also true that existing ASHI standards DO NOT address the evaluation of corrective measures (e.g., repairs, mitigations, remediations, abatements).

Such an SoP should address ways to minimize misrepresentation or misinterpretation of a corrective measure. In this case, with the Radon Standard, there should be wording to prevent or discourage the inference that radon is not a concern if the dwelling passed the RMS inspection or that a satisfactory RMS inspection means that radon remedies have been satisfied.

rective remedy or system that is being inspected, and the SoP should also identify and address the necessary components for each type of remedy or system. For example, the EPA’s Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction describes no less than eight different types of radon mitigation systems. Unfortunately, the proposed ASHI Radon Standard partially addresses only half of these systems and is entirely inadequate for inspecting the remainder. It appears that the ASHI process or protocol for developing or revising a standard is flawed and not adequate for the task.

Considering that there are thousands of agencies, organizations and manufacturers constantly writing standards of practice, there is no valid reason why ASHI cannot hire knowledgeable professionals to establish effective protocols and procedures for researching, preparing, vetting and determining the viability of a proposed standard before it is offered for consideration to the membership. At the present time, the Radon Standard is nowhere near ready for consideration. I strongly suspect that most ASHI members lack sufficient knowledge about installing the various types of radon mitigation systems to realize how inadequate this proposed standard is.  I also suspect that many ASHI members believe that ASHI would never offer such a weak, inadequate standard for their consideration.

I am asking ASHI members to reject the proposed Radon Standard. If you have already voted acceptance, please email ASHI stating you want to change your vote to NO. Sincerely, Larry Wasson, Member #201

The Standards Committee appreciates Mr. Wasson’s comments Industry and government groups that are aware of the Radon Standard about the ASHI Auxiliary Standard of Professional Practice are excited about it, and look forward to its adoption by ASHI. These for Inspecting Radon Mitigation Systems (Radon Standard). groups include AARST, NRAP (National Radon Action Plan) and

As part of the standards development process, the committee conducted a comment period that was communicated by several means including in the Reporter, on the ASHI website, on the ASHI and other discussion boards, and in electronic communications such as First Thing. Mr. Wasson’s comments would have been more helpful during the comment period, rather than during the voting process. The Standards Committee worked with several members and groups with experience in radon measurement and radon mitigation systems, including AARST. The Radon Standard is based in large part on the ANSI/AARST Soil Gas Mitigation Standards for Existing Homes. As such, the committee believes that the Radon Standard is technically sound.

the state of North Carolina.

The Radon Standard is a compromise and, like most compromises, it will not satisfy everyone. The Standards Committee, the ASHI Board of Directors, and several industry and government entities believe that the Radon Standard, along with additional inspector training, are good first steps toward addressing the radon problem in buildings. We urge ASHI voting members to vote YES and approve the Radon Standard. Tom Lauhon, ASHI Standards Committee Chair Bruce Barker, ASHI Treasurer and Board Liaison to the Standards Committee

39May 2018

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NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to: postcards@ashi.org

Postcards from the Field Got foam?...

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.

...OH, YEAH!

Steve Dukette Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspections, LLC St. Johnsbury, VT

I thought these vented outside.

Bake bread... and yourself!

Michael Hanna Hanna Property Inspections Northbrook, IL

Nailed it!

Nick Hammetter The Humble Home Inspector, LLC Glendale, WI

New way to warm the toilet seat.

Steve Dukette Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspections, LLC St. Johnsbury, VT Luis Bigit INSPECTIT 1ST Property Inspections Long Island, NY 40

ASHI Reporter • May 2018


American Home Warranty Company

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Sign up today for FREE at www.ahomewarranty.com May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to: postcards@ashi.org

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.

Found snakeskin, no evidence of mice.

Leftover from the ‘Bucket Brigade.’

Michael Chambers BrickKicker St. Louis, MO

Steve Dukette Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspections, LLC St. Johnsbury, VT

“I cleaned in front of the panels.”-Seller

Tub, kitchen & bath sink all drain here.

Clay Ridings Preferred Inspections Arden, DE

The copper pipe should hold it.

Welmoed Sisson Inspections by Bob Frederick, MD

The shortest path is a straight line.

James Brock Boston Home Inspectors, Inc. Boston, MA

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Paul Muir Quality Assurance Inspections, LLC Virginia Beach, VA


May 2018 • www.ASHIReporter.org

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ON MY MIND

HOW TO MAKE YOUR VISION BECOME A REALITY By ASHI President, Tim Buell

One-week course: This “Fast Track” course consists of 40 hours of

T

he economic law of diminishing returns refers to “a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested” (oxforddictionaries.com). In our business, that means there is a point at which profit is maximized with the minimal, efficient effort.

For example, one inspector charges $350 per inspection and does 10 inspections per week. That equals $3,500 gross profit. Another inspector who includes additional services charges $500 per inspection. To make the same amount of money as the first inspector, the second inspector only has to do seven inspections per week…thus working smarter, not harder. The second inspector also will have more time to spend with family or on vacation. One way to make more money per inspection is to add services. Where can you learn how to offer these services? Look no further than The ASHI School. This month, I interviewed Michelle Santiago, Executive Assistant of The ASHI School.

Tell me about the general home inspection courses that the ASHI School offers. Our method is to offer “hands-on training.” In other words,

besides receiving instruction in the classroom, our students perform real-life inspections in real-life homes. We offer one-week, two-week and online classes that are open to anyone who wants to become a home inspector. We are proud to share that The ASHI School has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to accept GI Bill education benefits for any qualifying student. Our instructors are all ASHI Certified Inspectors who are committed to preparing students for the National Home Inspection Examination (NHIE).

home study and five days of live classroom instruction, plus in-the-field events on Day 6. The focus is on learning the components of homes and how to inspect them, as well as how to perform inspections that comply with the ASHI Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics. Both the one-week and two-week courses are designed to be an intelligent blend of home study materials, live classroom lectures and in-the-field home inspection training. Some components that will be taught in class include electrical, plumbing, roofing, heating, exteriors and interiors.

60-hour online course: The main benefit of the 60-hour online course is that you can complete it totally at your own pace. Whatever your schedule—whether you’re a full-time student, have a job or only have time to complete one or two hours of coursework a week—you can make this online program work for you. Need to review what you already learned? You can backtrack through the topics you’ve viewed, and watch them as many times as you need to take the test and demonstrate your understanding of that section. The online course also provides a wonderful opportunity for home inspection companies to offer to their new employees. Whether the modules serve as a refresher to home inspectors who may have previously attended class, an introduction into the home inspection field for brand-new inspectors or as an overview of the inspection business for office support staff, the online course modules can provide the instruction you are looking for.

What other courses does the school offer? Radon: This convenient course consists of two eight-hour sessions, planned on two consecutive days from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm ET. With no travel to a classroom site required, this course saves you time and money. It includes real-time participation, with a webcam and microphone required for the class.

Two-week course: This traditional course features live classroom in- Mold: This class is designed to educate, enhance and expand an instruction, as well as more time spent in the field doing home inspections than any other home inspection school in the nation. The course focuses on starting and operating your own inspection business and launching a successful career, as well as performing inspections that comply with the ASHI Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics.

spector’s knowledge of the microbial growth field and the damage factors precipitated by moisture intrusion. Students learn through applied empirical observation while gathering quantitative data with instruments from the outside to the inside, and from the attic down to the basement or crawl space. (Continued on Page 46)

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ASHI Reporter • May 2018


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• www.ASHIReporter.org

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(Continued from Page 44)

Commercial inspection: This course covers everything from business More topics to come: The ASHI School is developing classes on the practices to technical inspection, with a special emphasis on the team approach to commercial inspections. Students learn where and when a consultant is required, and how to find and work with consultants.

topics of termites, infrared technology, EIFS, how to run a business, how to write reports and preparing for the NHIE.

panies in the state of Florida. Often, a four-point inspection is required when obtaining a new homeowners’ insurance policy or renewing an existing policy. The four-point insurance inspection includes a limitedscope evaluation of four systems: roofing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing. The focus of the inspection is to determine the approximate age, components and general condition (as well as how much life might be left) of these systems. The goal of the class is to learn to properly perform wind mitigation inspections, and complete a wind mitigation inspection form for homeowners and insurers.

Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. New schools will be opening in Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina in 2018. Our online class can be accessed from anywhere!

Where can I take these courses? Wind mitigation: This three-hour course is required by insurance com- We have locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,

How can I find out more information?

Visit The ASHI School’s newly redesigned website (www.theashischool.com) or call 888-884-0440.

“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” —Vince Lombardi

“FIND ALL DEFECTS”– POSTCARD ANSWERS Thank you to all who submitted your responses on Facebook or via email!

Mark Layton – Pillar to Post, Minneapolis, MN

Best E-mail Submission: CHRIS ROTH 1. Floor joists have been cut and/or over notched. This compromises the structural stability of the joists. Have the joists and structure evaluated by a qualified contractor/structural engineer and make necessary repairs to or replacement of the joists.

2. There have been temporary repairs made to the rotted wood flooring and the floor is uneven at a few places inside the house but they appear to have been done by the homeowner & no building permits appear to have been pulled for the floor joist repairs. Allow for further evaluation & any desired repairs by a competent contractor.

3. There is an incorrect copper waterline to pex waterline connection. Repair the connection and evaluate the other waterlines by a qualified contractor and make all necessary repairs 4. The semi rigid conduit is running underneath the waterlines and not secured to the floor joists. Hire a qualified electrician to evaluate and make all necessary repairs. 46

ASHI Reporter • May 2018

Posted in the March 2018 Reporter

Best Facebook Submission: KENNETH L. JOHNSON 1. The joist is cut completely through,creating hazard. 2. The 1/2 inch copper leading to plastic, is wrong. 3. The joist sitting on top of DWP. 4. Hole in subfloor.

5. Rome’s and greenfield wiring. 6. Inconsistent to code..etc.


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ASHI Reporter • May 2018

May 2018 Reporter  

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

May 2018 Reporter  

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