The Inspector's Journal       TIJ Update    
Feb 2008    

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  Hello Fellow Inspectors,

February marks TIJ's sixth anniversary. As I sit here, it's a sunny dry day here in Kenmore, but barely 15 miles away as the crow flies they are experiencing the worst winter snows in more than 5 decades. What a contrast! It's kind of like TIJ - TIJ members are a family of contrasts aren't we? Contrasting races, religions, politics, customs, attitudes; you name it - and our little community of home inspectors has it. Do you want licensing? If so, you can bet that somewhere within this sometimes dysfunctional family someone else thinks it's a bad idea. Are you in favor of writing narrative reports rather than checklists? If so, then you're vying for space with those who use checklist type reports. One thing is certain in the home inspection business, there's very little uniformity and a whole lot of contrasting views.

Speaking of contrasting views, as usual, here in the States, January brought out all of the new licensing initiatives; bills to license home inspectors were introduced or re-introduced in Kansas, New Hampshire, and even two, count 'em, two, here in Washington State - one in the senate and one in the house. While that's been going on, proposals for changes to existing laws were submitted in other states.

However, it's not just happening here; across the border in Canada, the Canadian Association for Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) has long been urging the B.C. government for years to regulate the home inspection business and recognize the National Certification Model. They'd been consistently rebuffed by Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Les. For whatever reason, Les has suddenly done an about face and is ordering the development of a regulatory framework that would involve the licensing of home inspectors.

Whether any of these initiatives will move forward and actually ever become law remains to be seen. However, as continent-wide licensing draws inexorably nearer, I'm left wondering what this business will be like when the last governor dots the last i and crosses the last t on the last licensing law. Will we then come together as a profession, mend fences, and begin to cooperate with one another, or will the wounds that have opened up over the licensing issue remain with us until this generation of inspectors is long dead and buried?

Times are tough right now; I'm hearing from inspectors all over the country that business is way down and some of the oldest hands in the business say that they've never seen such a slow market. In times like these, I think it's important that we as a profession put aside our differences, hang tough, and concentrate on finding ways to ensure that our businesses survive this downturn.

Now is a good time for each of us to reassess how we go about our day-to-day businesses and how we can improve upon what we're doing. Sit down with your accountant to see whether your company finances are in good shape; have your lawyer take another look at your inspection contract; pack in some continuing education credits; work on that boilerplate that you've been meaning to edit for the past several years; take an evening course in economics or marketing; or call up your competition down the street and invite him or her to lunch so the two of you can sit down and get to know one another.

Spring is almost here; hang in there.


Mike O'Handley, Editor

TIJ's Free Advertising for Home inspectors - Take Advantage! 

Make sure you take advantage of the free Inspector Locator listing on TIJ! It's easy to modify your profile and get online. Not only that but you can take advantage of TIJ's link exchange and have your link displayed on TIJ's front page for a few days. Inspectors are getting Work! Free advertising is only a few clicks away! 

Thanks to our TIJ Contributors

TIJ would like to take the opportunity to thank all the contributors who have sent in articles, events etc. of interest to the members to the home inspection community. We welcome any submissions that can be included as part of our growing home inspector resource. Submit your technical articles, related links, events, files or even your inspection story that might give us all a laugh. Follow the links under the 'Submissions' menu on TIJ or send us an email at:

Mike O'Handley, Editor 

  Articles This Month...

Pre-listing Payoff
Posted: Sat, 02 Feb 2008
By Dan Schuerman In today�s saturated market, it is not just a lack of buyers causing difficulties but also the resistance of sellers to aggressively position their homes to sell quickly and for the maximum price possible. Most homes sold throughout the U.S. will have a home inspection complete...

NAHB Says the Fed Rate Cut is a Positive Step Posted: Wed, 30 Jan 2008
Washington - January 29th Now Congree Must Act on Stimulus, Builders Say The Federal Reserve�s decision to cut short-term interest rates today by half a percentage point is another step in the right direction to shore up a weakening economy, according to the nation�s home builders...

Builders Line Up For Green Education at IBS Posted: Wed, 30 Jan 2008
WASHINGTON - January 30th As members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) prepare for the launch of the NAHB National Green Building Program, they�re planning on getting educated � in droves. Those attending the International Builders� Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-16 have...

New HI Law Proposed in Washington State Posted: Thu, 24 Jan 2008
Seattle, January 24th On Thursday, January 17th, for the third year in a row, Senators Spanel (Bellingham) introduced a bill in the Washington State senate aimed at licensing home inspectors. Senate bill 6606, is co-sponsored by Sen. Kohl-Welles (Seattle), who has been Spanel's ally during the...

The National Trust Is Looking For a Few Good Homes Posted: Wed, 23 Jan 2008
Washington - January 22 The National Trust for Historic Preservation and HUD are inviting nominations for the 2008 HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. This award recognizes the recipient for success in advancing the goals of historic preservation while providing...

Green Builders Earn New Professional Designation Posted: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
Washington D.C. - January 10 A new professional designation program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will soon provide home buyers with additional assurance that the builder or remodeler they've chosen is authentically "green." The Certified Green Professional� designation...

Licensing Bill (HB 212) Passes the NH Senate Posted: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
Seattle, WA - January 18 A home inspector licensing law (HB 212) cleared the New Hampshire Senate yesterday. According to an article in the New Hampshire Business Review, If the bill makes it successfully through the state senate without changes and is signed into law by the governor, beginning in...

Free Download: Advanced Energy Design Guide Posted: Thu, 17 Jan 2008
Atlanta - January 17 To encourage energy efficient design in a range of building types, ASHRAE and its partnering organizations are making available for free the Advanced Energy Design Guide series. Electronic versions of the newest book in the series, Advanced Energy Design Guides for K-12...

Builder Confidence Virtually Unchanged in January Posted: Wed, 16 Jan 2008
Washington - January 16 Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes was virtually unchanged for a fourth consecutive month in January as mortgage-market problems and inventory issues continued to pose challenges, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI)...

ASHRAE Publishes Book on Hot/Humid Climate Design Posted: Wed, 16 Jan 2008
Atlanta - January 16 Building operators and designers around the world face common issues related to thermal comfort, ventilation and energy, but these measures take on greater concern for buildings in hot and humid climates. In addition, areas with these climates, such as South Asia, are...

KBHI Says Calling FPE Panels is Irresponsible Posted: Tue, 04 Dec 2007
TIJ has just received a copy of an official advisory memorandum (#07-001) from the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors that is addressed to To all Kentucky licensed home inspectors and KBHI approved education providers. In bullet point format, the document states that:
There is no current...

USDOE Radiant Barrier Attic Fact Sheet Posted: Sat, 01 Dec 2007
Introduction What is a radiant barrier? Radiant barriers are materials that are installed in buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss, and hence to reduce building heating and cooling energy usage. The potential benefit of attic radiant barriers is primarily in reducing...

Researcher Reveals 'Five Myths' About Homes Posted: Sat, 01 Dec 2007
MADISON, WI -- Each year American homeowners spend millions of dollars attempting to fix or prevent moisture-related problems. Too often, their efforts don�t fix the problem. In some cases, these efforts actually make matters worse. So says Anton TenWolde, a physicist and researcher who has been...

New Code Requirements for Unvented Attics Posted: Thu, 29 Nov 2007
The concept of building attics as conditioned, unvented spaces has grown in acceptance in recent years, and this construction method has been advocated by the U.S. Department of Energy�s Building America program. A principal benefit of conditioned attics is that ductwork located in the attic is not...

US Forest Service Report: Crawl Space Ventilation Posted: Mon, 26 Nov 2007
Forest Products Laboratory In the Southern United States, where high water tables often preclude basement construction, building houses on posts or piers or over crawl spaces is a tradition. Decades ago, it was common in the South to build houses on posts. In these houses, the under-floor area...

To view TIJ's older articles Click here... 
  What�s in the News For Inspectors... 

Looks Like B.C. Is Moving To License Inspectors Posted: Fri, 08 Feb 2008
According to this CBC News article from 3 hours ago, the BC government has finally decided to move ahead with a plan to license home inspectors. Read more....

With Meth, We Just Might Never Know Posted: Fri, 01 Feb 2008
The home looked fine to both the clients and the inspector, until the new owner moved in and began to notice things...

Maine Considers Private Muni Inspectors Posted: Fri, 01 Feb 2008
There aren't any state-wide uniform building codes in the state of Maine. However, new mandatory energy standards as well as a new state-wide building code are being considered by the Maine legislature. Under the new proposal, since municipalities don't have inspectors in place, private home...

Appraisers Cheer Peer That's Suing WAMU Posted: Sun, 27 Jan 2008
In his syndicated column today, columnist Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post explains why an appraiser is suing the country's largest thrift, Washington Mutual, for being blacklisted. Could there ever be a situation where home inspectors might be able to make a similar case against real estate...

Mother-Son Team Lays It On a Little Thick Posted: Thu, 24 Jan 2008
Want a chuckle with your morning coffee? Read some of what this new mother-son Amerispec franchise team is saying about non-franchise inspectors and the business...

Stone Thinks The Inspector Screwed Up THIS Recall Posted: Tue, 22 Jan 2008
Responding to a reader's query in his column in, well known home inspection pundit Barry Stone explains why he feels that the home inspector involved is liable for missing a well publicized furnace recall notice...

Are Falling Prices The New Gold Rush For Lawyers? Posted: Tue, 22 Jan 2008
It had to happen. During the housing bubble, people were buying homes at obscene prices, forcing many less-than-well-heeled buyers out of the market. Now that the housing bubble has burst and the value of their homes is falling, some of these same buyers are looking around for someone other than the...

Real Estate Agents Are Bailing Out of the Market Posted: Sun, 20 Jan 2008
This Christian Science Monitor article run on MSN Real Estate kind of sums up the situation with real estate agents across the U.S.. Inspectors who've built their businesses solely around referrals from the real estate sector have got to be feeling the pinch of this by now...

Housing Market to Get Worse Before It Gets Better Posted: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
As if we didn't have enough bad news already, according to this article in the January 16 edition of the Detroit Free Press, things are probably going to get worse in the housing sector before they get better...

interNACHIite Demands Respect - Stone Won't Dish Posted: Tue, 15 Jan 2008
Barry Stone responds to someone's demand that he give interNACHI "a break" by giving them equal billing. Stone's response has showed up on Inman News and on so far. Both sites used heavily by the real estate/lending community. They'd have been better off if the writer had left it...

Inspections Are Gaining In Importance Posted: Sun, 13 Jan 2008
In this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer the author explores the increasing importance of environmental conditions in real estate transactions and the relative importance of the home inspector's role. First President and one of the founders of ASHI, Ron Passaro, was interviewed for the article...

To view TIJ's news archives Click here... 
  Coming Events & Education... 

Bonnie Trenga's Sentence Sleuth Writing Workshop 
Want to tune up your report writing skills? Bonnie's Writing Workshop still has openings for students and the courses and assignments can be taken online at your own speed. If you don't have time for the course you can always check out her book, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier

Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Sterling Heights, MI Event Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Livonia, MI Event Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Mount Pleasant, MI Event Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ASHI February Meeting Event Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
NAHB 2008 International Builder's Show Event Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
Garden State ASHI February Chapter Meeting Event Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Grand Rapids, MI Event Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Lynnwood, WA Event Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Tukwila, WA Event Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008
CAHI - Monthly Meeting Event Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Portland, OR Event Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Salt Lake City, UT Event Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Denver, CO Event Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Columbia, SC Event Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Concord, NC Event Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Greenville, NC Event Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Secaucus, NJ Event Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2008
GAHI Membership Meeting Event Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Cincinatti, OH Event Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Worthington, OH Event Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ASHI March Meeting Event Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Independence, OH Event Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008
FABI March Conference Event Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Rochester, MN Event Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Onalaska, WI Event Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Rothschild, WI Event Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Schaumburg, IL Event Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008
Air Vent Inc. Seminar - Tinley Park, IL Event Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008
CAHI - Monthly Meeting Event Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008
JLC Live - New England Event Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008
NCLHIA - Inside, Outside & Underneath Event Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008
ASHI South Quarterly Chapter Meeting Event Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ASHI April Meeting Event Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2008
TAREI - April Conference Event Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008
CAHPI (BC) Spring Seminar, AGM & Gala, Kelowna BC Event Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008
CAHI - Monthly Meeting Event Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008
JLC Live - Southern California Event Date: Tue, 13 May 2008
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ASHI May Meeting Event Date: Wed, 14 May 2008
CAHI - Monthly Meeting Event Date: Wed, 28 May 2008
2008 NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition Event Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ASHI June Meeting Event Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008
FABI June Conference Event Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008
TAREI - July Conference Event Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008
ASHI South Quarterly Chapter Meeting Event Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008
TAREI - October Conference Event Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2008
ASHI South Quarterly Chapter Meeting Event Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008
JLC LIVE - Midwest Event Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2008
JLC Live - Pacific Northwest Event Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008
TAREI - January Conference Event Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009

If any organization has an event to submit for the next newsletter, it can be submitted here. 

  Free Informational Downloads... 
Home Inspector Essentials; dedicated solely to the equipment needs of today's home inspection professional. Want to beef up your information/educational inventory? Every issue of TIJ Update, we'll be adding links to newly discovered pubs of interest to home inspectors that are free on the internet for downloading:

Free Huber Engineered Woods Course Online Now Posted: Wed, 30 Jan 2008
Earn While You Learn
Learn how to solve common roof and wall construction and water management problems in wood-framed construction. This course will introduce architects, specification writers, and other design professionals to innovative barrier systems for roofs and walls. Participants...

Visual guide to the 2000 IECC Posted: Mon, 24 Dec 2007
Visual guide to the 2000 IECC with Georgia Supplements and Amendments, many good pics...

Sprinkler Installation for APA Rated I-Joists Posted: Fri, 14 Dec 2007
Here's an APA technical paper on how to properly attach and suspend fire sprinkler systems from APA performance rated I joists. As with anything on the APA site, you'll have to register to gain access to it, but registration is free, only takes a minute, and they don't...

APA's : Assessing Water Damage After a Flood Posted: Fri, 14 Dec 2007
Here's a link to APA's "Customer Service Tip: Assessing Water Damage After A Flood". Very timely for those living in Western Washington and other flood areas. Every time APA sends me an email, I end up spending an hour cruising their website, a great knowledge base made available to all by APA...

Free: USDA AH#73 - Wood-Frame House Construction Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2007
OK Folks, It's taken me the past hour and a half, but I just saved everyone $55 by adding a 10 part PDF document - USDA Handbook #73: Wood-Frame House Construction - to TIJ's documents library. If you don't have a copy of this 260 page manual in your professional library, you need to add it now...

  Recent Product Recalls... 

A.O. Smith Recalls Whole House Fan Motors
Posted: Wed, 23 Jan 2008
Washington, D.C./January 10, 2008 - Release #08-161 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with A.O. Smith Electrical Products Co., of Tipp City, Ohio , today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 6,300 whole-house exhaust fan electric motors that can be miswired and...

North American Recalls Counterfeit Breakers Posted: Thu, 27 Dec 2007
Washington, D.C./December 27, 2007 - Release #08-151 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with North American Breaker Co. Inc. (NABCO), of Burbank, Calif. , today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 50,000 circuit breakers labeled as "Square D" that are...

Venmar Recalls Heat Recovery Ventilators Posted: Thu, 13 Dec 2007
Washington, D.C./December 13, 2007 - Release #08-136 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Venmar Ventilation Inc., of Quebec, Canada, today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1,100 heat recovery ventilators. According to Venmar, the thermal protector in the...

GE Recalls Microwave Ovens for Fire Hazard Posted: Wed, 05 Dec 2007
Washington, D.C./December 5, 2007 - Release #08-110 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with GE Consumer & Industrial, of Louisville, Ky., today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 92,000 combination microwave and conventional built-in wall ovens sold under the...

Carrier Recalls A/C & Heat Pump Systems For Hazard Posted: Wed, 07 Nov 2007
Washington, D.C./November 7, 2007 - Release #08-073 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Carrier Corp., of Farmington, Conn., today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 185,000 packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC) and heat pumps (PTHP) manufactured in...

More Home Inspection Related Recalls... 


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