It seems to be increasingly difficult to find competent practitioners in nearly any field of endeavor. Though the concept of pride in workmanship has not died and been buried, personal integrity and commitment to quality are not virtues that our society has wholly embraced. The following are the criteria that I use when considering appointing someone to perform a task for me. Perhaps they can be of use to you when hiring an inspector for your next home.
There are really only three things to consider when judging a person’s abilities before retaining them to perform a task for you: qualifications, experience, and performance. All of these can be ascertained, at least to some degree, by doing a bit of research on your part. How much research you do will depend upon how much your money is worth to you. The purchase of a home involves a very large expense and requires a similar amount of due diligence.
Inspector qualifications fall into two categories: licensing and certification. A license is granted to an inspector for simply passing a state examination and paying a modest fee. This license amounts to nothing more than a license to do business and is not an indicator of the holder’s knowledge or skill levels. A licensed inspector is qualified only in the sense that he possesses the minimum government requirement for working in his field.
Certification is a much better measure of a person’s qualifications. The holder of professional certifications has taken the time and effort to prove his abilities through education and examination in his particular field of endeavor. However, schooling and test taking are not the equivalent of, and often not an accurate measure of, on the job performance.
Experience is another good indicator of a person’s abilities. Experience not only in the field of inspections, but perhaps more importantly, experience in the field of constructing the houses one is inspecting. The person who cannot build a house has no business inspecting it. A background in residential construction is essential for anyone plying the residential construction inspection profession. Experience in inspecting is also crucial. The greater the number of houses inspected the greater the number of property conditions an inspector has encountered and come to understand.
Performance is the last indicator of professionalism in my short list. This is often the most difficult aspect to verify. With no direct knowledge of an inspector’s abilities in the field one must rely upon personal or professional referrals, the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, et al. Personal referrals may or may not be accurate. How demanding is the person making the referral? How informed? How politically correct? Professional referrals can also be judged by the foregoing questions and also may be tainted by conflicts of interests.
Angie’s List has become perhaps the most respected and reliable referral source in that it gives one access to the opinions of customers who have already had experience with the inspector in question. The BBB has been called a pay-for-reputation rip-off that serves to merely enrich the BBB in exchange for publishing what is often specious information. Google it for yourself, or just visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8kfV9kONw&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Aaron has qualifications and experience in spades. He has been licensed since 1997 and is uniquely-credentialed. 20 years as a general residential contractor prior to licensing in 1997 as an inspector, and well over 11,000 inspections performed.
Aaron has been awarded the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award – their highest distinction – every year since 2007. Only 5% of the service providers on their site ever win this award even once. While some inspection companies have earned this award for as many as two or three years, no other company in North Texas has been awarded this award for seven years running. Aaron’s performance in the field has been exemplary. His clients – your peers – have spoken.
Also consider that at least a couple of dozen local attorneys consult with Aaron on a regular basis when their cases involve residential construction issues. His knowledge in the field is unsurpassed. Why settle for less than the best?
Now, fully informed, let your intuition be your guide.