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  1. #1
    Joe Cavasin's Avatar
    Joe Cavasin Guest

    Default Business model ethics/question

    All - I have been interested in starting my own business - however before I get too far into it I need to know if anyone is aware of ethical/legal issues that would bar a business that does not only residential design but also inspections? I live in Michigan, and assume that the major legal issue would be performing an inspection on a home where I would then be potentially hired to do design work as well?

    Any information is welcomed...

    Thanks in advance
    Joe

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Business model ethics/question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Cavasin View Post
    All - I have been interested in starting my own business - however before I get too far into it I need to know if anyone is aware of ethical/legal issues that would bar a business that does not only residential design but also inspections? I live in Michigan, and assume that the major legal issue would be performing an inspection on a home where I would then be potentially hired to do design work as well?

    Any information is welcomed...

    Thanks in advance
    Joe
    Joe: The rule of thumb to follow is to never allow even the appearance of a conflict of interests.

    Aaron


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Business model ethics/question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Cavasin View Post
    I live in Michigan, and assume that the major legal issue would be performing an inspection on a home where I would then be potentially hired to do design work as well?
    .

    Joe,

    I would say the reverse would be the major legal issue:
    the major legal issue would be performing an inspection on a home where you have already done design work?

    Having already done design work makes you intimately more knowledgeable about the building, and, I would think, increase your liability for your home inspections many times over a home inspector who has not done design work on that building.

    However, yes, most associations and ethics restrict one from using home inspections as a means to procure other work, unless that other work is related to the home inspection (such as the home inspector doing pest control inspections along with the home inspection - if appropriately licensed to do pest control inspection). Using home inspections to procure design work does not go along with the initial home inspections, that would be similar to a contractor using home inspections to obtain repair work - which is definitely a conflict of interest.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: Business model ethics/question

    Joe - I'm not a lawyer, or an ethicist, but as long as you keep the two businesses separate, I really don't see how you're going to get into trouble.
    Don't do any inspections on properties you've done design work for.
    Don't do any design work on properties you've inspected.
    And, whatever you do, don't let any doctor both diagnose and treat you, or any mechanic diagnose and fix your car, etc., etc.
    Just kidding about that last part.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  5. #5
    Joe Cavasin's Avatar
    Joe Cavasin Guest

    Default Re: Business model ethics/question

    Thanks all...much appreciated. I guess all you've said sits well with my general thought process. I definitely want no appearance of any potential ethical concerns with a business I want to start. I guess the best option would be to avoid doing both inspection and design on any one structure, which makes sense.

    As to state-specific regulations, does anyone know of someone in Michigan whose brain I may be able to pick on this subject?

    Thanks again all.
    Joe


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