The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), established in 1976, is the oldest, most respected, most referred to, and the most requiring professional organization of home inspectors. It was the first to set a high bar for home inspections as a profession, and it has continued as the defining source for inspection standards of practice and code of ethics. I became a member of ASHI in 1996, and retired my membership in 2021. In 2003 the State of Virginia DPOR created a voluntary VA State Certification for home inspectors. I was the 58th home inspector to become VA State Certified, in 2003. The VA DPOR program was modeled after the ASHI program. 2017 was a year for transition for Virginia home inspectors when it became State Law for all home inspectors to become licensed. An additional requirement was set for qualification to inspect new construction: New Residential Structures (NRS). I have been VA State licensed as a home inspector and also NRS qualified to inspect new homes as completed projects, and also as pre-insulation/pre-drywall inspections, since this law was promulgated.
I have performed more than 6,200 home inspections since 1995. Standards of Practice and Codes of Ethics for the State of VA and for ASHI define the scope of the home inspection process to which I adhere. Links to both are provided herein. For VA DPOR: PDF from virginia.gov. For ASHI: PDF from ASHI. There are excluded items and systems. These are listed in both standards, and are also listed in My Documents, the Pre-Inspection Agreement and the Home Inspection Report - both are agreements into which I enter with you, my customer. I have met and mostly exceeded all standards which have been set for my profession. Essentially, I go everywhere I can safely go, and I test everything I can safely test. My inspections are top to bottom, inside and outside, including all permanently installed equipment and systems, and all crawl spaces which are safe to enter. All utilities must be on and ready for testing prior to our scheduled day, if it is to be a comprehensive home inspection. I provide one quality inspection per day. The house dictates the time on site, which at a minimum is 3 hours. I then write and email the home inspection report by the evening of the inspection. I also encourage my customers to test for radon. Central VA. does have a presence of radon gas. I provide further detail concerning radon testing here in my website.
I strongly urge my customers to attend the inspection. I enjoy teaching you about your home and I am good at it. I want you to understand how it works and how to take care of it, enabling you to better protect and enhance your investment.
On May 24, 1995 I completed my first fee-paid home inspection, which was for my parents. After presenting my report to them, Mom said, “Now Jimmy, you have been very thorough and detailed about problem areas you have found, but I’ve heard no compliments about what is good that you have found.” That was a valuable lesson (one of many). Since then, I have been careful to also highlight positive aspects of a house as well as all defects. I also prepare you for items and systems which are still functioning but which are nearing the end of their typical service lives, suggesting you budget to replace them.
Specialty areas which are outside of my expertise and which are not typically within the scope of the home inspection such as mold, pests, termites, fuel tanks, asbestos, lead-based paint, swimming pools, wells and septic systems to name a few, will be observed and reported when found, with appropriate “next step” actions to be taken if any concerns are apparent; thus positioning you to include such items in your list of deficiencies found within your home inspection, but which require further investigation by certified experts.
Please remember, I invite you to call me anytime, if you ever have any questions.