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  1. #1
    Logan Patton's Avatar
    Logan Patton Guest

    Default Beginner Tools & Equipment

    I searched with no luck for a thread with the answer and couldn't seem to find it. I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse here....I'm in the process of finishing my course and getting my license in (Illinois). I currently work full time (60-75 hours a week) so it's going slower than I would like. I hope to be up and running doing inspections part time by the first of the year. I'm trying to pick up tools and equipment a little at a time now rather than one big expense when I start. With that being said, what is the tools and equipment that you would deem a necessity starting out. I understand it will be one of those things where I pick up additional specialized equipment as my business grows (hopefully). But if you could please tell me what everybody would not show up to an inspection without (and tool manufacturers would even be a bigger help!)....lastly what is everybody using for software? I have done a lost of research on software and have become extremely overwhelmed. There is alot more out there then I expected and it doesn't seem to be one clear program "on top". Thanks in advance...I look forward to reading your responses!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    Look at the threads listed below the body of the messages here.

    This has been addressed many, many times here.

    I like Home Inspector Pro software but there are other favorites, great customer service is more important than the software itself (to a point).

    Good Flashlight, ladder, are indispensable but beyond that the choices become more personal. Experience is more important that any tool you have.

    Get lots of practice before releasing yourself on the public.

    Do ride alongs with experienced inspectors if possible and read this forum and ask questions.

    The training you get in any class is only the beginning of what you need to know.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,480

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    My opinion:

    Go with the basics. High-quality flashlight, screwdrivers, nut drivers (or one of those 6-in-one screwdrivers), basic circuit tester, non-contact voltage detector, water pressure meter, utility knife, appropriate ladders, tool bags, respirator (attic & crawl), knee pads, elbow pads, coveralls, indoor shoes or booties, code check. Maybe a good moisture meter.

    Depending on the standards in your state as well as what others are doing in your area (find out what the competition does), I would stay away from specialty tools. IR cameras, electrical circuit analyzers, gas detectors and the like. Many of the nifty gadgets require a significant cash investment and training.

    I have used 3D for 15 years and am fed up with dealing with them. Switching to Inspector Pro.

    Folks will disagree with me.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    All the stuff previously identified and most importantly decent digital cameras. I carry at least two in my truck with rechargeable batteries, on charge and interchangeable memory cards. You don't have to spend a lot of $$$, check out used ones on eBay. Some inspectors use an iPad or phone to record pics - either way, whatever works for you. Also lots of pens and a small notebook or two. I've found a small headlamp to be extremely useful, especially in attics and crawls. There more light you can get in some of these dark places the better. Testing automatic garage door openers you will need a length of 2"x4". I also carry spare panel and cover plate screws along with an assortment of other common fasteners, including electrical and duct tape...' cause you never know.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Switching to Inspector Pro.
    I agree!

    Peak Inspection Services | Over 32 Years of Contractor Experience!
    Residential Inspections | Commercial Inspections
    Office: 908-750-6789 | www.peakinspectionservices.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    A moisture meter should be the first big purchase.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    Infrared temperature sensor to find cold or hot spots.
    Not exactly a beginner tool.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durant, OK
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    You can get a Black and Decker infrared with digital readout at Lowes for $30 or less. You can buy a gas detector (sniffer) for $50 or less. All tools mentioned above are a good arsenal to have. Be sure to pick up a camera pole for your digital camera... some of those crawlspaces get really tight... comes in handy.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    My bad Kevin - I totally misread your post!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Holland MI USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    I did My training at American Home Inspector Training Institute. LTD (AHIT) 6 years ago since then I had been using their software it is pretty easy to use and you can customized it. I paid $425.00 back in the days. You can browse their web page www.ahit.com then click on software, there is also a view sample report and if you are interested you can CALL THEM TOLL FREE TO GET STARTED - 877.211.7483





  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    Ditto on Home Inspector Pro. Had 3D for years and the painful updates / pitiful tech support ruined the relationship. Domenic and the other folks at HIP are great to work with.

    I agree with staying away from expensive tools / meters. Most of what you need can be found out Home Depot. Someone mentioned a Moisture Meter and I agree you should have one. Find a non-invasive meter and practice with it. They can be found for less than $100. I am not sure if anyone mentioned the Infrared Thermometer. I have a Ryobi and use it at every inspection.

    I probably have $2,500 in meters / tools that rarely come out of the bag but when I need them they are there to help confirm an issues I am finding. Does a newbie need to make that investment?? Nope. Wait until year 2 when hopefully you have some income and slowly buy them as you can justify them.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Safety Harbor, FL
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    My opinion:

    Go with the basics. High-quality flashlight, screwdrivers, nut drivers (or one of those 6-in-one screwdrivers), basic circuit tester, non-contact voltage detector, water pressure meter, utility knife, appropriate ladders, tool bags, respirator (attic & crawl), knee pads, elbow pads, coveralls, indoor shoes or booties, code check. Maybe a good moisture meter.

    Depending on the standards in your state as well as what others are doing in your area (find out what the competition does), I would stay away from specialty tools. IR cameras, electrical circuit analyzers, gas detectors and the like. Many of the nifty gadgets require a significant cash investment and training.

    I have used 3D for 15 years and am fed up with dealing with them. Switching to Inspector Pro.

    Folks will disagree with me.
    I agree! Switching to HIP made my life easier.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Beginner Tools & Equipment

    I think the most important and first tool an inspector should have is: a current copy of the building codes for your area.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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