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  1. #1
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    Post Trade or profession?

    What's your vote - is home inspection a trade or a profession?
    If you can please state - what's your rationale for your choice.
    Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    What's your vote - is home inspection a trade or a profession?
    If you can please state - what's your rationale for your choice.
    Thanks in advance
    IMVHO, home inspection is a profession. We are selling and performing a service, we do not build or repair as is done with the building trades.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    The US Office of Personnel Management defines inspector as a white collar position, i.e. it is a profession. Many of the practicioners may be immitating their blue collar counterparts, but that does not change the classification for those who are true professionals.

    http://www.opm.gov/fedclass/gshbkocc.pdf


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I once researched this subject.

    Amazing how terms and definitions change over time. Train driver becomes an Engineer, trash collector = sanitary engineer etc. etc..

    The origin of a "professional" is one who had to qualify in a specific subject of "higher" learning and generally had to take a specific oath of practice.

    All the best - Richard


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    The State of Texas calls me a professional.
    My official License certificate reads "Professional Inspector" just under the TREC seal.
    My guess is that would stand up in court and is good enough for me.
    There are other lower levels bestowed; Apprentice and Licensed.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    What's your vote - is home inspection a trade or a profession?
    If you can please state - what's your rationale for your choice.
    Thanks in advance
    I have been a licensed multi-tradesman all my working life but since I got my HI license I am now a professional? I acquired my knowledge after school by actually working in the field so.....once a tradesman...always a tradesman. I guess the HI's who have no actual field experience would be true professionals....like architects and engineers who become HI's.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Semantics?

    Industry refers to the production of an economic good (either material or a service) within an economy.[1] There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction, and manufacturing; the tertiary sector, which deals with services (such as law and medicine) and distribution of manufactured goods; and the quaternary sector, a relatively new type of knowledge industry focusing on technological research, design and development such as computer programming, and biochemistry. A fifth, quinary, sector has been proposed encompassing nonprofit activities. The economy is also broadly separated into public sector and private sector, with industry generally categorized as private. Industries are also any business or manufacturing.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    My vote is that home inspecting is a profession.The Oxford Dictionary defines a profession as: work that involves some branch of advanced learning of science.

    For Professional it says: Adjective - trained, practiced, veteran, experienced, qualified, licensed; competent, able, skilled, expert, masterful. Noun - master, expert, specialist, authority, proficient.

    Now a lot of inspectors will fall under the Professional heading.

    Others will fall under "quick buck BillieBobs" and totally miss the definition of professional.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    So.. plumbers, electricians, HVAC's are also professionals?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    So.. plumbers, electricians, HVAC's are also professionals?

    Yes, according to Dictionary.com
    Professional | Define Professional at Dictionary.com


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    How about "professional tradesmen", I think that covers it pretty good.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Hi, ALL &

    No doubt - I'm a true Professional (cannot speak for others, however)...

    We're really not that far from 'Engineers' - if you think about it - those at least who are members in good standing with a recognized professional Ass'n.

    Those who may not be sure - 'elevate' yourselves !

    Am sure there are lots of UN-professional Inspectors, too (ones that tend to make the News, etc.), but I won't go there.


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    So if one is a Professional and one does not act Professional is one still a Professional?

    I think professional has multiple meanings no matter what a dictionary says.

    When I was a tradesman I was very professional at what I did. So, I guess I was a professional tradesman or a "Professional"?

    Thieves......There are thieves and there are Professional Thieves so I guess the professional thief is a "Professional"?

    We can go on all day. Once upon a time men used to ask each other what trade the other was in. That was even if they were considered a Professional at what they did and not at what their job description was. I remember years and years ago a professional was just one that went to college. Everyone else was just blue collar or a tradesman (as far as the college folks thought). I think it has been pretty much that way thru time.

    I do not wear a tie or jacket but then again most "professionals" do not now a days.

    I also remember when one used to put decent clothes on for church or "Sunday Best". Look at most churches now. Many folks are just in shorts and a Polo or T shirt.

    If one is a Professional and does not dress the part in dress pants and shirt and tie is he still a Professional? I am a professional and dress in jeans, descent soft soled shoes and Polo shirt in the summer and a T shirt and dress shirt or nice long sleeve shirt in the winter. Because I do not dress in a dress shirt, tie and slacks am I still a professional?

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 10-16-2011 at 05:36 PM.

  14. #14
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    It's a pseudo-science. Like psychology.


  15. #15
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Of course, you can call yourself anything you want. But, give thought to the original definition (per my #4 post = "The origin of a "professional" is one who had to qualify in a specific subject of "higher" learning and generally had to take a specific oath of practice.") The position started in religious order and then moved to medicine.

    In todays world "higher" learning is beyond a degree, more like a Masters or Doctorate. Take an oath???? We hardly stick to our SOP's .....

    Basically, it comes down to what is the "in" thing. In the western world, old days, the ARTISAN (now we call it tradesman) held high respect amongst the people e.g. Masons etc.. Even today, in China, artisans are equal to engineers/doctors and highly admired.

    The pendulum will swing and the artisan will be in demand once again.

    All the best - Richard


  16. #16

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    What's your vote - is home inspection a trade or a profession?
    If you can please state - what's your rationale for your choice.
    Thanks in advance
    There once was a Profession called Home Inspection. Many of the early practitioners were professionals. Unfortunately the profession has reverted to a pseudo profession due to the high number of trades persons who have become home inspectors. While the influx of inspectors was expected, the lowering of standards was not.

    The trade has become overly influenced by realtwhores,
    The tradesmen have garnered much of the little work they get by cutting fees and catering to realtwhores,
    The level of knowledge has deteriorated among these tradesmen, as is evidenced by some of the simplistic questions posed on this and other forums,
    The access to certification is a joke.

    Just my two cents.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Yes, we are truly Professionals!
    We just do not,will not,or afraid to charge fees that would enable us to be considered professional.
    Many professionals ie: Drs.,Attorney's, CPA's,business owners etc. for whom we perform inspections consider us to be tradesmen,technicians etc. since we work for such low fees.
    Consider who is buying those big expensive homes that we inspect.
    Are they professionals?
    Why aren't we as Professional Home Inspectors buying these big homes etc.??


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I'm a professional inspector who is always trying to learn more about the work done by tradespersons, and who everyday wishes he could be a master of each of their trades.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  19. #19
    Bill Mullen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I'm a professional inspector who is always trying to learn more about the work done by tradespersons, and who everyday wishes he could be a master of each of their trades.
    That's an interesting view of our job, Michael.

    In my opinion, we can call ourselves Tradesmen, Professionals, or even (Yikes !!) Master Inspectors, but we also have to start walking the walk.

    As long as some segments of our industry try to get work using gimmicks, instant certifications, unmonitored online testing and questionable add-ons to our inspections, we are no better than anyone else and have no right to call ourselves 'Professionals'.

    We could be a Professional industry easily if the will was there by everyone to raise the competence and knowledge bar to a strong level that it would take much moire education and practical training to be a home inspector.

    For instance, in Canada we have the 'National Occupational Standards for Home Inspectors' (NOS) that was developed in 2001 and reviewed in 2008. It outlines what we do for a living and how we do it. It is a nationally accepted, government approved and respected set of guidelines, but only one or two organizations in the country insist that ther inspectors adhere closely to the NOS.

    If we could get uniformity that would be a good start.

    All the best

    Bill Mullen NHI, ACI, PHPI, RHI
    Sarnia, Ontario


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    We can say whatever we want about wanting to be paid well, respected, etc. When there is little to no barrier to entry, and practically no formal training required, most folks out there are not going to consider us on a par with a doctor, attorney, or other white collar professional. In many states it's easier to be a home inspector than a hair stylist, not to mention an electrician or plumber.

    As far as pay, it comes back to supply and demand. If you or I aren't here tomorrow, how hard will it be to find someone else to do this job? That will be the primary determinant of how much money you will make. You can rise to the upper end of that scale by being great at what you do. You can lower the average by selling price instead of quality, which is what a new inspector almost has to do until he/she becomes more established. It's pretty straight forward economic principles.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    We are a profession.


  22. #22
    Bill Mullen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Steger View Post
    We are a profession.
    Based on what?
    • Professionals don't offer their services at one third to one half of the cost of their colleagues. (Many in our industry do this)
    • Professionals don't offer coupons or other gimmicks to gain business. (Many in our industry do this)
    • Professionals don't compromize their own integrity and ethics to please someone else who can send them more business. (Many in our industry do this)
    • Professionals take actual third-party accredited courses and write exams that are proctored. (Not enough in our industry do this)
    • Professionals can't become 'Professionals' by simply passing a brief online, unproctored test and 'promising' to complete some other online tasks. (Many in our industry do this)
    • Professionals don't consider themselves 'Masters' of their industry after merely paying a fee and signing a statement that you have completed some requirements, with no third party verification. (Many in our industry do this)
    • Professionals do not practice until they have met stringent requirements including education, on-the-job training, testing and verification by objective, third-party accredited trainers. (Many in our industry begin practicing with only new business cards and a flashlight as their only qualification)
    • etc.
    Sorry, but until our industry agrees to a consistent, high level of competence and third party verification every step of the way, we aren't even qualified to be called a trade.

    Bill Mullen


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Bill.

    Glad to hear from you.


    Steve Gazo


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    In Texas, we have three classes of licensing, apprentice, real estate inspector, and professional inspector.
    My license calls me a professional... and so do I; and I try to act like it!
    Of couse many of Bill's concerns are valid and not all of them are dealt with by our state licensing but a good many are.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  25. #25
    Bill Mullen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    In Texas, we have three classes of licensing, apprentice, real estate inspector, and professional inspector.
    My license calls me a professional... and so do I; and I try to act like it!
    Of couse many of Bill's concerns are valid and not all of them are dealt with by our state licensing but a good many are.
    There is no reason that we could not eventually become a Professional industry, but it would take a lot of people to take more pride in what we do rather than just using it to make some fast money as so-called educators and self-appointed associations.

    It sounds like Texas is at least trying to do what's right.

    Bill Mullen


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mullen View Post
    There is no reason that we could not eventually become a Professional industry, but it would take a lot of people to take more pride in what we do rather than just using it to make some fast money as so-called educators and self-appointed associations.

    It sounds like Texas is at least trying to do what's right.

    Bill Mullen
    Strange indeed, I guess that is why the president of one new upstart association in Canada is also president of an inspection school, and another is chair of a inspection supplies company, I won't even comment on the "self-appointed associations" comment, because that is exactly how the association who looks after national certification in Canada got started.

    Maybe, just maybe putting what look like major conflicts at the top aside would help draw together those inspectors who are skeptical about standardization by those who have much to gain financially.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 10-17-2011 at 06:22 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    As an ASHI Certified Home Inspector I consider myself a professional, can't speak for some others.


  28. #28
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    Cool Re: Trade or profession?

    Profession!


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    As an ASHI Certified Home Inspector I consider myself a professional, can't speak for some others.
    Thomas --I see that you consider yourself as a professional. How do you think your income compares with other professionals ie. Dr's, Attorney's,CPA's,or even Real Estate Professionals??
    I am also ASHI cerified ACI ,but don't consider my income as even coming close to these other professionals.d


  30. #30
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    Cool Re: Trade or profession?

    Professional doesn't meant you get to make more money. But you can still be a professional. Note: in this economy I know plenty out of work lawyers, engineers, teachers, hitman, etc..


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Ramirez View Post
    Professional doesn't meant you get to make more money. But you can still be a professional. Note: in this economy I know plenty out of work lawyers, engineers, teachers, hitman, etc..
    The hit men are out of work? Darn, what is this world coming to. You think out of all of the the good he could do


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Bob Haley:

    Speak for your self, I have been in this business for 18 years and am still enthusiastic every day, what can you that is so different every day? Home inspection is a challenge if you equate it to money you are lost; think about the stress that all thoes other professionals have, we got it good!


  33. #33
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    Cool Re: Trade or profession?

    As Tom said, HI is a good place to be. Most HI I have met are good hard working peps. Keep it straight and honest you will do well.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    If you do it right it's a trade....if you don;t it is a profession. How many professions break out a shovel when they go to work?


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    If you do it right it's a trade....if you don;t it is a profession. How many professions break out a shovel when they go to work?
    Engineers.

    I know many engineers who will do that when they need to find out what is down there.

    Yes, I also know many engineers who haven't held a tool in their hands in a very long time.

    Let's see ... dentists pick up and use drills all the time ... doctors pick up and whack knees with little hammers all the time ... and that is just a sampling of tools with names you would recognize, EVERY PROFESSIONAL uses the TOOLS of their profession.

    Then there are professional firefighters ... professional police officers ... the list of professionals who get down and dirty when needed is really quite long.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I was a professional soldier for 27 years (no pay in that). Lots of digging.

    To trade (work) in ones profession: Home Inspection

    I am a professional tradesman.

    If you call yourself a professional, people have their perception on what to expect. Money has nothing to do with it. Its about deportment and conduct. Like calling yourself an expert. You have to stand up to that scrutiny. Its not an easy task. We all work at it. Its a tenant we must observe.
    Just by coming to this board demonstrates professionalism.

    back to the hockey game...

    sdg


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Engineers.

    I know many engineers who will do that when they need to find out what is down there.

    Yes, I also know many engineers who haven't held a tool in their hands in a very long time.

    Let's see ... dentists pick up and use drills all the time ... doctors pick up and whack knees with little hammers all the time ... and that is just a sampling of tools with names you would recognize, EVERY PROFESSIONAL uses the TOOLS of their profession.

    Then there are professional firefighters ... professional police officers ... the list of professionals who get down and dirty when needed is really quite long.



  37. #37
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Hmmm - interesting topic. I'll chime in and call it a Trafession !!


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    My vote - Home Inspection is a Profession. We (with some noteable exceptions) are "professionals" - noun. We're selling our "professional opinion" and are perceived by Clients as deserving of a high degree of confidence in our professional opinions.

    Only skimmed this thread; there are a lot interesting points of view.

    How 'bout "building scientist"? We would expect an experienced inspector certainly has extensive knowledge of building science.

    "Professional", when used as an adjective, ie "professional electrician", to me, means that the electrician has demonstrated his proficiency and conducts himself in a way that elevates him above the crowd.

    However, if a person makes a living at a particular task, he's frequently considered to be a "professional" in that field. I made $ as a cab driver for a brief period so I could get to learn the layout of the area as I was preparing to enter the home inspection field. I kept the cleanest cab in the fleet and tried my level best to offer top flight service. For that reason, and to this day, I consider myself to be a "professional cab driver".

    Philip's comment regarding tradesmen is right on! I learn from them at every opportunity and hold professional tradesmen in very high regard. They are a critical part of my team. I need them and seek their counsel regularly.

    In conclusion, "professional" carries with it a lot of nuances and subtleties; he definition of the word can only be determined by the context in which it is used and is subjective.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I consider myself to be a professional inspector and demonstrate it in all aspects of operating my business. Which brings up another point. I own and operate a small business. I am also a professional businessman.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I am curious. What is the value of the distinction? It seems to me the value is in the perception that clients have, not in the perception we have.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    I am curious. What is the value of the distinction? It seems to me the value is in the perception that clients have, not in the perception we have.
    The perception you have of yourself is the exact perception others will have of you.

    Value = $$$

    You want to be the a--s crack Plumber or the guy in the suit?


  42. #42
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    "You want to be the a--s crack Plumber or the guy in the suit?"

    I want to be the honest businessman who uses his experience, knowledge and skill to provide value to customers and a good standard of living for my family. I know plenty of tradesmen and professionals who share this set of objectives. Some of them are plumbers.


  43. #43
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    Unhappy Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    "You want to be the a--s crack Plumber or the guy in the suit?"

    I want to be the honest businessman who uses his experience, knowledge and skill to provide value to customers and a good standard of living for my family. I know plenty of tradesmen and professionals who share this set of objectives. Some of them are plumbers.
    Keep that mentality and you are a contributor to clients that look at us as a trade where price shopping is more of a factor in selection than knowledge.

    Sorry you do not get it.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Help me get it. Which part of my prior statement was problematic? Should I not want to be honest? Shouldn't I want to provide value? Shouldn't I wish to provide a good standard of living for my family?


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    The perception you have of yourself is the exact perception others will have of you.

    Value = $$$

    You want to be the a--s crack Plumber or the guy in the suit?
    You wear a suit when you do inspections?


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Darrel wrote in part:

    I want to be the honest businessman who uses his experience, knowledge and skill to provide value to customers and a good standard of living for my family. I know plenty of tradesmen and professionals who share this set of objectives. Some of them are plumbers.
    And there are many professionals and tradesmen who don't.

    Darrel, I think you have a fresh look and take on things. At the end of the day its your reputation as a person plying knowledge that is sound and respected that will win you esteem. Not semantics on titles.

    Continued success.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    The day before I did my first home inspection I wired the controls on a boiler for a commercial building. I guess the day I did my first inspection made me a whole new person. I knew I felt different and did not know why until now. I made $3000 wiring the boiler controls and $350 for the home inspection. I still do both so I guess one day I am a butt crack showing low life and the next day I am a suit wearing professional.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Most Inspectors come from the trades and unfortunately never get out of that mindset.

    Before you got paid for your labor and now you get paid for your brain.

    Goofy jokes asking if I Inspect in a suit simply show the lack of brain power in some that are not smart enough to understand the metaphor.

    I leave this thread knowing the smart newbies will get it while the rest......well they may not be here very long.

    Those guys can wear the Bib overalls and pretend to be Holmes while collecting $199 a home as proud low bidder.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Definition of PROFESSIONAL

    1
    a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b : engaged in one of the learned professions c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

    2
    a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer> b : having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier> c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>

    3
    : following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>


    So I guess the answer is "It depends". From the definition I can see how some home inspectors are not "professional" and some are. I guess it's all in the way you see yourself and how you conduct your business. Personally, I'm a professional home inspector.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  50. #50
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Bob,
    In an earlier post, I asked you to help me understand, but I assume you didn't see that request since you didn't attempt to help me. I make that assumption because a person with a professional outlook will go to great lengths to help a colleague.

    I also must question the professionalism of a person who denigrates the entirety of an honorable trade in a public forum. Please, help me understand.

    Thanks in advance,


  51. #51
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    Chris Skoczylas Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    When I first set up my HI business, the para-legal I used told me she couldn't find Home Inspector in any of the IRS listings. I told her to look under Professional, she laughed and said that that was for doctors and lawyers. I told her to humor me and check. Boy, was she surprized. The IRS considers HI's as professionals.


  52. #52
    Kevin O'Hornett's Avatar
    Kevin O'Hornett Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but the question is one which I posed to two attorneys and the following is a synopsis of their answers.

    Many home inspectors have a liability limitation clause in their home inspection contracts which limits their liability to a specific amount – often the fee charged for the inspection. A state which allows contractual limitations on liability may not allow such limitations where the individual performing work or providing a service is regulated by the state, particularly if the state views such individuals as “professionals.”

    The issue of referring to oneself as a professional or one’s occupation as a “profession” is important because professionals have independent duties which may make the economic loss rule inapplicable. The liability limitation places a limitation on recovery regardless of the legal theory upon which recovery may be sought, i.e., contract or negligence. The issue of the use of the term professional might also important because licensed professionals are typically unable to limit their liability as a matter of public policy (otherwise doctors, CPAs, architects, engineers, and lawyers could take undue advantage of their clientele).

    Whether or not a specific state which regulates home inspectors also views them as professionals may not be determinable until an inspection company’s contractual limitation on liability is challenged by a plaintiff’s attorney, is upheld or denied by a lower court, or an appellate court makes a ruling regarding such a limitation on liability.

    Regardless of whether or not a state regulates home inspectors, inspectors should be aware that referring to themselves as professionals or as professional home inspectors or referring to their work as a profession may be viewed by a plaintiff’s attorney as sufficient reason to argue that a limitation on liability is unenforceable or by a court as a sufficient reason to rule that the limitation on liability clause of an inspection contract held unenforceable and struck from an inspection contract, thereby potentially leaving an inspection company open to much higher or even open-ended liability.

    Professionals work for clients while others provide goods or services to customers. The primary difference between a customer and a client is that a protective, ongoing business relationship is formed with a client, but not necessarily with a customer. A “client” is someone who depends on the protection of another. The nature of the relationship between home inspectors and those who engage their services is neither an ongoing one nor one in which inspectors are protecting the individuals who engage their services.

    Home inspectors are not parties to the contracts between real estate buyers and real estate agents, between home sellers and real estate agents, or between home buyers and home sellers. Their function is not to protect home buyers or anyone else from anyone or anything. Their function is to examine a home’s readily accessible systems and components for adverse conditions and to provide their customer with a written report of their findings along with implications of adverse conditions and recommendations to have appropriate qualified individuals correct or further evaluate such conditions. The mere fact that an increased potential for personal injury may be among the multiple implications of an adverse condition does not mean that the function of home inspectors is the performance of “safety inspections.”

    When home inspectors or home inspection trade associations directly or indirectly imply that one of the functions of a home inspector is to “protect” anyone from anything or anyone, the potential liability of home inspectors rises.

    Finally, avoiding using the term practice when referring to the work of home inspection as in the practice of home inspection is important because the term practice refers to the exercise or pursuit of a profession.

    We are all aware that Murphy’s Law is inevitable. Ask yourself if you want to be the test case, if you want to face a plaintiff’s attorney who argues before a court that your use of the term client, your reference to yourself as a professional, or to your work as a profession or a practice constitutes grounds for setting aside your limitation on liability.

    These may seem like minor or unimportant points. They are not. A court’s application of the law often comes down to such fine distinctions. Keep in mind that there can be costs for proving a point or for being right. While an inspection company’s attorney may be able to successfully argue that the use of such terms isn’t sufficient grounds for striking a limitation on liability clause form the inspection contract, that attorney will charge for the time spent preparing for and making such an argument. It only makes sense to minimize risk by avoiding the use of these terms in the first place so that plaintiffs’ attorneys cannot hang their hats on them later.

    Whether a home inspector likes or dislike the legal aspects of their work is immaterial – they are an ever-present reality in business. As the great American Olympian, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, observed, “It is always better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” Therefore, home inspectors would be well-advised and are strongly urged to consult with their legal advisors regarding the points discussed here, their own contractual duty of care, and any duty of care they may have outside of their inspection contracts.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    Bob,
    In an earlier post, I asked you to help me understand, but I assume you didn't see that request since you didn't attempt to help me. I make that assumption because a person with a professional outlook will go to great lengths to help a colleague.

    I also must question the professionalism of a person who denigrates the entirety of an honorable trade in a public forum. Please, help me understand.

    Thanks in advance,
    Darrel I see you have over 200 posts here and I should assume that you do not need to ask such a basic question on a public forum if we are going there ,and I doubt clients care about you feeding your family.
    They are trying to get a professional ,objective 3rd party view of the property they are about to purchase.

    Tradesmen come in and do the physical work while a professional is one who examines the tradesmen s quality of work.
    Tradesmen's mistakes are why we even exist.

    Furthermore on embarrassments in a public forum "I guess you have not read many of the past threads here"


  54. #54
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    Smile Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    How about "professional tradesmen", I think that covers it pretty good.

    I agree with Scott, My vote - Home Inspection is a Profession

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  55. #55
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I've met some home inspectors who are anything but professional. In fact, Jerry, the college kid who serves me burgers at Jack in the Box, is more professional than them.

    Professional is an attitude.


  56. #56
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Attitude is not knowledge. I know some people who use attitude to mask their lack of knowledge. I'll take a knowledgeable trades person over HI who has an attitude any day.

    Also anyone can inspect since all they are doing is looking at something someone else has done. The lowly tradesman has to actually know how to do something....not just look at it. Of the NC state exams I took for my electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and HI license....the HI inspector exam was by far the easiest of the four to pass. I doubt very seriously many HI could pass any of the other three or even qualify to sit for the exam.

    People can call themselves anything they want but a monkey in a suit is still a monkey.


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Call it whatever you want! It really makes no difference in the long run, it is what it is and you are what you are!

    If you (as I do) consider yourself to be a professional, you act, dress, learn and treat everyone in a professional manner I would consider you to be a professional.

    A name does not change anything, Guano is still Bat Chit!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  58. #58
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the post - valuable information to consider.

    James,
    If I were buying a home, I'd seek out a professional home inspector, a generalist, then follow-up with professional tradesmen (specialists) or others as appropriate. In that you "do both", you can likely provide more valuable information to your Client on the topic of HVAC than most of us.

    Hank touched on an interesting point - most of us operate our own businesses; therefore, assuming a certain level of competence and perfomance, we are professionals.

    Overall, what Scott said.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  59. #59
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    From the perspective of one Canadian provincial court.

    20 While I suggest there are obvious limitations to what one can expect from home inspections of the type undertaken in this case, one also needs to be mindful of the responsibility which is taken on by the home inspector. Persons who hold themselves out to the community as professionals prepared to provide advice for a fee - accountants, lawyers, engineers, architects, physicians, and other professionals immediately come to mind - must know that in marketing and providing their services, they invite reliance upon their advice and, in doing so, they create a risk that their client will suffer harm if the professional falls short of the standard of care which reasonably may be expected of that category of professional in the particular circumstances, and their advice is wrong.
    Further any case law I have read and I read a lot of them - all frame home inspectors as 'professional(s)' as they are in the business of providing a service and advice.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Call it whatever you want! It really makes no difference in the long run, it is what it is and you are what you are!

    If you (as I do) consider yourself to be a professional, you act, dress, learn and treat everyone in a professional manner I would consider you to be a professional
    Home Inspection is a Professional Practice...
    We are not Tradesmen...


  61. #61
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    So trade-people are not professional but HI are? Then why do HI use the term "refer to licensed professionals" if there are none? There are only butt-crack tradesman. I have to say that is quite an outlook on the trades-people of which I am one and have been for over 35 years.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    So trade-people are not professional but HI are? Then why do HI use the term "refer to licensed professionals" if there are none? There are only butt-crack tradesman. I have to say that is quite an outlook on the trades-people of which I am one and have been for over 35 years.
    Exactly why I do not use that terminology.

    Only Licensed Trades in PA are Architects and Engineers (PE)
    Contractors are Registered....

    There is no Testing, Training, Insurance requirement of General Contractors
    I know, because I have a GC License in PA

    But
    Home Inspectors are required to have Training,
    Continuing Education
    E&O Insurance

    And then defer findings
    to Untrained, Unlicensed, Underinsured Contractors.....
    by current PA Statute
    go figure?

    obvious ASHI had a hand in current legislation...
    lol


  63. #63
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I have say that I have been spoiled by the NC rules and regulations..sorry to hear about PA. What good does it do to have an inspection in PA if any tom, dick, or harry can do the repairs?


  64. #64
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    It's my understanding that residential contractors are to be licensed in PA, registered with the attorney general's office and insured.

    In practice, it's like the wild west. As a practical matter, anyone with a hammer and a truck can ply their trade here and call themselves a "contractor" or "HI" with little/no intervention by the govt.

    Recently, a local licensed contractor friend approached the municipality to report work by an unlicensed contractor. He was told that the municipality had no interest in enforcing the law due to budget constraints.

    I'd venture a guess that many of my HI competitors are non-compliant with PA law, but I haven't expended time/effort being the HI Police. Our "Home Inspection Law" would be a good one IF IT WERE ENFORCED, but it isn't.

    One day after I'd inspected a building with glaring electrical and other defects, a CO was issued by the municipality's "building code official"; I'm guessing that's because the seller was a politically connected businessman. As background, Luzerne County is likely to be among the most corrupt areas in the country, but it seems that we have a lot of competition. (as an aside, uhhh... where's the $535 million?). We now have two judges in federal prison for taking over a million $ in kickbacks to send kids to a "juvenile detention center" owned by a local corrupt businessman.

    However, it's my personal belief that the market will (and should) ultimately determine who succeeds and who fails and I'd prefer no govt intervention to the selective intervention we have now. The "sheeneys" (local term for those who do substandard work) ultimately fail, but it takes time.

    On the bright side, I'd place the quality of our buildings and inspections as equal to, or superior to, any I've seen in other areas of the country, despite govt intervention or lack thereof. Sort of like Darwin's Theory applied to construction/inspections - my conclusion, govt is ultimately irrelevant to quality and in the long run can only serve to drive up cost and interfere with the market.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  65. #65
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    Default Re: Trade or profession?

    I have a problem with Certified Master Inspector designation, given the way it is structured, and set up, and the manner in which anyone can obtain one. And the fact several were given the designation gratis with no qualifying checks, let alone NG claiming he is a CMI!

    Also the Cdn government does not endorse nor recommend use of CMI, the trademark is just that - a registration of a trademark only. Further the trademark Cert. Master Inspector is - DISCLAIMER TEXT:
    The right to the exclusive use of the words CERTIFIED MASTER INSPECTOR is disclaimed apart from the trade-mark.

    CANADIAN TRADE-MARK DATA: 1274564 - Canadian Trade-marks Database - Canadian Intellectual Property Office

    Since I am a senior inspector for now over 20 years and having been a full member of OAHI and ASHI, I am not going to obtain a CMI designation due to concerns of a questionably marketed program, and the people who sit on its board, and the fact its patently false advertising.

    It dismays me that so called professionals would overlook logical, ethical and a standard of care in choosing and signing on with such a designation which was admitted by its creator simply as a marketing tool.

    Contrary to the repeated claims of the CMI marketing hype, no one has had their applications verified nor their affidavits, nor has anyone had a police background check done in Ontario. That is contrary to what is specifically being sold to inspectors who think CMI is something to behold.

    It seems to me the inspection associations are too interested in protecting their turf and their nests and are not interested in protecting the public.

    Associations made up of inspectors overseeing themselves is a farce given whats going on in Ontario.

    It appears the associations are hell bent on pushing their questionable agendas to the government in order to establish their foot hold, and income streams from gullible members.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 07-07-2012 at 06:45 AM.

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