Professional Affiliation: In most states, the only home inspector standards are
those enacted by professional associations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and similar state organizations.
Membership requires adherence to strict standards of practice and participation in ongoing education. When you choose a home
inspector, specify membership in one of these recognized guilds. Beware of those who claim adherence to
these standards without being members. Since
the mid-1970's, ASHI’s continual focus has been four-fold:
- To establish standards of practice, defining what constitutes a thorough inspection;
- To enforce a code of ethics, regulating professional conduct among inspectors;
- To mandate ongoing education for all member inspectors, ensuring that inspector performance will continually
- To raise public awareness of the standards and benefits of home inspection.
are several well intentioned home inspection associations across the country, but ASHI is the only association I know of that
requires proof of actual documented home inspection experience prior to listing an individual as "certified" or
a "member". Paul King is a North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector, South Carolina Licensed Home Inspector,
North Carolina Licensed Residential & Commercial General Contractor, American IAQ Council-Council Certified Indoor Environmentalist,
AARST-NEHA-Certified Radon Measurement Provider, ASHI Member, NCASHI-Member, & past PAHI-President.
2) Inspection Experience: Home inspectors are often perceived as general contractors who happen to inspect homes. This view
underlies an essential misunderstanding of the home inspection process. Although building knowledge is
essential to a home inspector, construction itself has little or no relation to the skills of forensic investigation. A
home inspector is primarily a property detective who observes and ascertains defects. In as much as a traffic
patrolman is not a crime detective, home inspectors should be viewed as distinct from other contracting professionals. The
average apprenticeship for a home inspector is approximately 500-1000 inspections. Numerous contractors,
builders, and construction trades people have and continue to call me to perform inspections of the homes they are buying
because they know a full time experienced home inspector will perform a much better inspection than they can.
Professional athletes study, learn, practice, and play every day to stay on top of their game and get better.
Tiger Woods did not become the number one golfer in the world with out years of hard work and he does not stay where
he is with out continually striving to get better.
Paul King is a full time home inspector who has performed thousands of home inspections.
I perform only two inspections per day (one when it is a large home). Some cheaper priced inspectors
rush inspections to do more inspections and earn more money. I do not rush.
3) Knowledge of Building Codes: While the primary focus of a home inspection is not code compliance, many property defects often
have their basis in code-related standards. This is where a General Contractor background can be extremely
beneficial to a home inspector.
a licensed general contractor, I know North Carolina Building Code and International Residential Code and apply that knowledge
to my inspections.
Sample Inspection Report: The proof is in the product: I have posted several real
inspection reports I have written for you to view (I have made some minor changes to protect all parties involved in that
inspection). The best format should be not only detailed and comprehensive, but easily interpreted, making
a clear distinction between defective building conditions and "boiler plate" verbiage. Some reports
are so encumbered with maintenance recommendations and liability disclaimers, that pertinent information about the property
is obscured. A quality report lets defect disclosure stand out distinctly, in contrast with less pertinent
data. My reports are typewritten, include color photos, and easily understood by most people.
I am more than happy to discuss my findings with you after the inspection as well. You can view my sample reports
5) Let the Choice
Be Yours: When choosing a home inspector, don't necessarily rely on others.
The final selection should be your own. New and inexperienced inspectors often obtain professional recommendations, regardless
of competence or lack thereof. You want the most meticulous, detailed inspector available -- the one who will save you from
costly surprises after the close of escrow. Most seasond inspectors are labeled by some people as as "Deal
Killers" or "Deal Breakers", "Alarmists", etc, My obilgation is to inform you of the conditionn of
the property at the time of the inspection and to provide an implication of the issues, sometimes the implication is alarming
even though the repair may be easy. Someone with this reputation is likely to provide comprehensive consumer protection. Almost
10% of the inspections I perform are for Realtors (who are buying a home for themselves, Realtors family members, mortgage
brokers, and/or local contractors/builders that have seen my reports as well as numerous other home inspection reports.
These people know the difference in quality and thoroughness between home inspectors and they want the best for their
6) Avoid Price
Shopping: Inspection fees vary widely. The price of a quality inspection is typically
between $450 and $800 for an average size home. Lower fees should be regarded with suspicion, as they often identify those
who are new to the business or who spend insufficient time performing the inspection. A home is the most expensive commodity
you are likely to purchase in a lifetime. One defect missed by your inspector could cost 100 times what you save with a bargain
inspection. The best method of price shopping is to shop for quality. Sometimes being penny wise can also
be pound foolish. There is often truth in the statement “You get what you pay for.”
I am not the cheapest home inspector nor am I the most expensive. I will provide you with a thorough,
professional, detail oriented home inspection.
Saving a few dollars on a home inspection can cost you many times over.