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Thread: Starting Out...

  1. #1
    Bill Sizemore's Avatar
    Bill Sizemore Guest

    Default Starting Out...

    Hello Everyone,

    Sorry for the long post. *If this is in the wrong section, feel free to advise or move the thread.* I am hopingto get some advice, constructive criticism, tips, and general guidance forwanting to become a home inspector. First off, let me tell everyone a littlebit about myself...

    My name is Bill. I am 30 years oldand live in West Central Florida (Near the Tampa Area). I have a business managementdegree and have been working as a construction superintendent for a majornational homebuilder for the last 8 years. As a superintendent, I have built somewherein the neighborhood of 350 houses, including single family & multifamily. Ihave experience in estimating and purchasing operations, safety adherence,quality assurance, and all aspects of homeowner warranty service after theclosing. I was hired as a superintendent right out of college, but I did havehands on trade experience (concrete) throughout high school and college. I alsohold a state building contractor's license (CBC). In 2010-2011, I designed andbuilt my own house. I general contracted it myself, as well as did a good portionof the actual labor. I think of myself as having a pretty broad knowledge ofthe construction of a house, and the ability to interact and explain complexthings to my homeowners in ways they understand.

    While my job has been good to me forthe most part the last eight years, I have always wanted to run my own company,or at least have something on the side to fall back on. While the market ispicking up, the construction industry is still dominated by low-ball hackers inmy area. At least in production work. I have every confidence I could start asubcontracting business (concrete) catering to production builders, but I don'twant to be another cut-throat low-balling hack. Unfortunately, quality hastaken a back seat behind price and speed amongst most production builders inthe area. Most subs have become "labor brokers" who basically sharethe same pool of unskilled crews to do the work. Not the kind of business Iwould ever want to run.

    I could branch out and be a homebuilder myself, which is ultimately what I hope to achieve some day. To do so,I would have to completely leave my current job, as it would be a conflict ofinterests. That isn't an option for me right now, as I am the sole incomeearner for my household. In the mean time, I am focusing things that don't posea conflict to my day job, and that I can realistically do on the side to make moneyand build my company. One of the things that comes up both from myself, andfrom others around me is home inspecting.

    So far from what I understand, withmy building contractor's license, I am legally able to perform home and moldinspections, so long as I am not solely in the business of home inspecting(there is a separate license in FL now for home inspecting). In other words, Iwould have to be a construction/contracting company that offered home inspectionsas one of our services. The other construction services I am not worried about,as I is not hard for me to get a few jobs here and there doing a driveway ripout or a extended patio slab, etc. I know that I cannot perform anyconstruction services to any home that I would inspect, as that would be badpractice, and a serious conflict of interests.

    Some specific questions I have...

    • Is home inspecting something that can be feasibly done as a "side business"?
    • What kind of risk is involved legally from home inspecting?
    • How do you abate those risks? (E&O, good contracts, etc).
    • What types of tools and equipment are necessary to have? What are nice to have?
    • Where do you generate your leads from?
    • What kinds of costs are involved that I might not be thinking about (insurance, membership fees, startup costs, etc.)
    • What resources do you recommend?
    • Do you use a check list for inspections, or follow a report template?
    • What inspection report software program or service do you recommend? (Thinking something like Home Gauge to start out since it is pay per report).
    • What is the general health of the inspection industry? (seems to be decent here).
    I’m sure there is much I have leftout, but I am looking forward to hearing your replies. Feel free to offer yourcandid advice. Thank you in advance.

    Bill.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Bill Sizemore; 09-28-2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: ETA info
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Florida
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    Smile Re: Starting Out...

    Bill, I'm a licensed GC in Florida and my opinion is if you are doing home inspections you better have a HI license. How are you going to market yourself and have insurance for home inspections.
    Also mold assessment, again separate license and insurance. Get in touch with some trade organizations and accept their guidence.

    Joseph, Palm Bch County, Fl.
    HomeSafeSouthFlorida.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Starting Out...

    Also, I don't believe you can do home inspections as side business. Can't do justice to yourself nor the client.

    Joseph, Palm Bch County, Fl.
    HomeSafeSouthFlorida.com

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Starting Out...

    Bill,

    As Joesph said, home inspectors in Florida are required to be licensed.

    I recommend contacting FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors) - Florida Association of Building Inspectors - contact Sunni, tell her I recommended you contact her to see if she could provide information on licensing and other stuff you might need while starting or checking into starting out.

    I am planning on stopping by the Winter Conference as it is in Daytona Beach not far from where I live (about 10-12 miles or so): Florida Association of Building Inspectors – Event Registration - hope to see you there.

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

  5. #5
    Bill Sizemore's Avatar
    Bill Sizemore Guest

    Default Re: Starting Out...

    Thank you Joe & Jerry.

    From myfloridalicense.com...




    2. Iím currently licensed with the Construction Industry
    Licensing Board as acontractor. Do I need a license to perform home
    inspections

    Contractors will be able to conduct system specific "inspections" that include some systems or components of the home. "Home inspection services" is currently defined to include all eight components of the home. Contractors can continue to conduct estimates and system specific inspections on those building
    systems and components included within their scope of work. The law defines "home inspection services" as the limited visual examination of the following readily accessible
    installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC
    system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and
    site conditions that affect the structure. The purpose of the inspection is to
    provide a written professional opinion of the condition of the home. All eight components of the home must be inspected and a report written to be considered an official home
    inspection where the department has jurisdiction under Section 468.83 Part XV. System
    specific inspections of just one system or component will not require a home
    inspectors license. However, contractors not licensed as a home inspector may not represent themselves as home inspectors.


    3. Is there a provision that would allow those licensed by the
    Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) to perform home inspections as
    long as they stay within the scope of their current licenses?



    Yes, Section 468.831 F.S. exempts persons from the provisions of
    Chapter 468 Part XV, when acting within their authorized scope of practice as licensed under federal, state or local codes or statutes. Any person acting on this exemption must

    not hold himself or herself out for hire as a certified home inspector or any title
    implying licensure under Chapter 468 Part XV.Please note that home inspection services is defined as the limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure. The purpose of the inspection is to provide a written professional opinion of the condition of the home. All eight components of the home must be inspected and a report written to be considered an official home inspection where the department has jurisdiction under Chapter 468 Part XV.



    So I guess I was half right about contrators legally being able to do home inspections. I was told we were, but this is from the horse's mouth, so it trumps my previous source (industry lobbiest). From what I read into this, a licensed contractor may conduct inpspections, but only limited to the scope of the contracting license. So no HVAC, plumbing, electrical or roofing. I guess that gets you half a home inspection. Either way, I am still interested to get some answers and advice to my questions in the original post. Thanks again.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Starting Out...

    I'm not sure how it works in Florida, but here in MN we tend to have a very short contingency period. Many times as little as 3 days from a signed purchase agreement to a completed inspection. I would have to turn down most of my inspections if I had a regular day job.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Starting Out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sizemore View Post
    From what I read into this, a licensed contractor may conduct inpspections, but only limited to the scope of the contracting license. So no HVAC, plumbing, electrical or roofing. I guess that gets you half a home inspection. Either way, I am still interested to get some answers and advice to my questions in the original post.
    Correct.

    Those exceptions were put in there so that no one attempt to make a case that any licensed contractor who will be working a on system within their the scope of their license can be charged as doing a "home inspection" while is "inspecting" something to determine what needs to be done.

    An HVAC contractor *is not* doing a "home inspection" or even a part of a "home inspection" while evaluating the HVAC system to determine that, yes, it needs the condenser unit and air handler unit replaced.

    A General/Building/Residential contractor *is not* doing a "home inspection" or even a part of a "home inspection" while evaluating the structure (the "building" itself) to see what it needs.

    Now for the question: IF an HVAC contractor, a plumbing contractor, an electrical contractor, and a building contractor, were to come in and do a "home inspection" for a property being resold, are they required to also be licensed as a "home inspector" for those reports to be compiled together and used as a "home inspection report"?

    I don't know the answer to that. Maybe, because there is are definitions for "home inspection" and "home inspection report" and those are done by "home inspectors", or maybe not as long as they are each licensed in their scope - but - but the person who compiles those reports together as a "home inspection" probably would be required to be a licensed "home inspector" to meet the licensing requirements. Just my thoughts on that.

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

  8. #8
    TCattell's Avatar
    TCattell Guest

    Default Re: Starting Out...

    You know, I read this thread this morning, but didn't add anything as everything I read was
    accurate. I thought about it a little today and realized something you may want to look into.
    While true, you can not perform a "home inspection" you may be able to do other inspections.
    Things like insurance inspections to certify a roof and give approximate life expectancies.
    Also , last time I checked , Citizens property insurance gets property inspections for many of
    their insured's properties(they do both wind mitigation and Four-Point inspections)and I beleive
    they are not yet allowing home inspectors to do this, only(active) Division I contractors. I am a
    Residential Contractor in Sumter county and up until july 31 you could have been grandfathered
    with your building license. This is what I did, I am not doing full time inspections or even
    advertising for them, but some of my customers sometimes want inspections done on investment
    properties. so I thought I should take advantage of thee grandfather provisions. In your situation, becoming a licensed inspector for part time stuff does not sound ideal. But you may be able to workin insurance type things. You should be able to find out if this is something you might be interested in ...... https://www.citizensfla.com/inspecti...tion_firms.cfm

    Just a thought-


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