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November 6, 2019 by Rob
In early 2019, as I was finishing up one of our remodels, reflecting on my experience with Contractors and Home Inspectors (good and bad), I felt drawn to this industry. The general contracting piece has come more natural and grown organically, while I’ve been leaning into the home inspection to try and get more momentum there. It would be easy, and maybe wise, to invest my time and energy where there is the least resistance, but this morning I just found myself in a place where I appreciate the duality of managing both of these efforts at the same time.
Some people think home inspections makes sense because it could be a potential source for leads, but that isn’t the case, because by our Washington State Home Inspector Ethics Code I can not work on a home I’ve inspected for 12 months from the inspection date. Which makes sense, it would be a huge conflict of interest! And I also have a much more focused client type for contracting work, pertaining to the types of homes I want to work on (turn-of-the-century and mid-century homes).
So while there isn’t a direct connection between the two (the clients are different, the tools are different, workflows are completely different) I hold onto the moments like this morning when I feel inspired, and have found there are points of synergy where one amplifies the another.
My first experience with this was sitting at the SGI Inspection School, I’d say once a day (for weeks) a slide came up with a picture of a deficiency, and I was like, “What’s wrong with that picture, that’s the way I’ve always done it”? Only to be schooled on how it may be short-sighted and what the best practices are.
Any contractor that takes pride in their work, that wants their craftsmanship to last, really should go to a good home inspection school and do a deep dive on building science. If it was a general practice I wouldn’t see as many new updates that have serious deficiencies, like the brand new roof this morning with no ventilation (in our climate that means condensation especially in the cold months which can result in water damage and mold). Also being a contractor and doing the work gives me a lot of empathy when I’m calling out deficiencies. Not that I’m going to let something slide, but in my reporting, I like to include notes on how the deficiency might be addressed. Many inspectors feel that is a liability, I’ve been encouraged to focus on the “what” and not the “how”, but that isn’t really the way I’m wired so, for now, I’ll be contrary and also help with the “how” and the budget, at least until it comes back to bite me.