Home Inspection

3 Tips For Effective Reporting After Home Inspection Training

March 19, 2024

A man holding a magnifying glass over a house model in home inspection training

As a home inspector, your inspection reports convey key findings to clients and stakeholders. These findings help clients make important decisions on purchases, repairs, modifications, and other relevant actions. For this reason, home inspection training places significant emphasis on the quality of your reports, encouraging a strategic approach to the information you convey.

To ensure effective reporting, it’s essential to adhere to specific techniques and structured formats and account for all necessary information accurately. Discover three vital tips in this blog post to help you consistently deliver precise, insightful home inspection reports. 

1. Embrace Structure and Organization After Your Home Inspection Training

While writing home inspection reports, you need to adopt a structured, systems-based approach so your message is well-documented and well-received. Adopting a logical flow to the information provided and using a standardized format gets the job done effectively. 

This often means organizing your report chronologically, starting with the property’s exterior and progressing inward. It could also mean progressing in detail from structure and exteriors to roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc. 

While home inspection training provides the necessary structure, effectively applying this knowledge in real-world situations is crucial. The strategy involves creating distinct sections to thoroughly categorize and systematize all elements, ranging from the structural components and observed defects to safety concerns and pertinent suggestions for action. 

The goal is to make the report readable and understandable at first glance. This ensures that all relevant parties can easily navigate to the necessary sections upon receiving the report, knowing exactly what information will be presented and where to find it.

A sample of a building inspection report as explored in home inspection training
As learned in home inspection training, an organized approach to your reports is crucial.

2. Adopt a Consistent, Clear, and Concise Writing Strategy

The effectiveness of home inspection report writing is compromised when its intended audience needs to understand the report’s content. This emphasizes the importance of unambiguous language in your writing. Consistently aim for clear and actionable communication in your writing, ensuring your intended message is conveyed effortlessly.

Avoid excessive technical jargon and other writing styles that may confuse the reader. Enhance the readability of your work by using bullet points to emphasize key findings. Include diagrams, images, and other visual means to enhance clarity. This helps your readers visualize listed points, from observed defects to areas that need further assessment. 

Additionally, this approach streamlines the time required to review and act upon the insights presented in your report findings. Upon understanding the core messages of your report, clients can begin formulating and implementing strategies to remedy any identified issues.

A home inspector writing a report after completing his home inspection training
As our home inspection courses emphasize, reports need to be clear and concise.

3. Maintain Professionalism by Being Objective and Thorough

Your clients depend on your good judgment and perspective to make key decisions about various properties. This is why you must maintain the highest level of professionalism in your work. Professionalism means your work must be objective, factual, thorough, and truthful. 

Maintain a focus on factual accuracy, steering clear of broad generalizations and personal opinions. Objectively present your findings, avoiding bias in your observations or repair recommendations. For instance, when detailing issues like foundation cracks, it is critical to specify their exact size and location for clarity and precision in your reporting.

In essence, endeavour to quantify your findings when necessary and to describe them with the relevant detail and perspective. As we do at NATS, any good home inspection college will teach you the value of objectivity; this knowledge always proves invaluable in the real world. 

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Home Inspection

How To Save Money For Home Buyers After Home Inspection Training

October 24, 2023

A home inspector holding a notepad after home inspection training.

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments anyone can make in their lifetime. With so much at stake, there’s little, if any, room for error. Yet, the excitement of reaching such a crucial milestone can prevent home buyers from spotting defects in a home they’re interested in buying. This is where your training as a home inspector becomes crucial.

Far from being just another step in the process, a thorough home inspection can lead to substantial savings for the home buyer. This blog post highlights ways to save money for home buyers after your home inspection training.

Identification and Prevention of Issues

One of the primary duties of a home inspector after home inspector training is to uncover issues that may take time to be visible. These can range from faulty wiring to plumbing issues to structural problems. Catching these issues before finalizing the purchase can save the buyer from expensive repairs.

Beyond this, a comprehensive home inspection isn’t just about finding current issues; it’s also about helping homeowners prevent future problems. Inspectors are often required to provide tips on maintaining a home, which can save homeowners significant amounts in the long run. As an inspector, you might, for instance, need to advise home buyers on ensuring proper water drainage to protect the foundation.

A home inspector examining a property for sale after home inspection training.
You’ll be responsible for identifying critical issues in homes after your home inspection training.

If done correctly, newly installed features can save homeowners on energy bills. For instance, poorly sealed windows can leak heat in winter and cool air in summer. As an inspector, checking these installations can help save the buyer utility bills.

Home Inspection Training Provides Financial Leverage and Savings

Another effective way to save money for home buyers is by offering them negotiation leverage with detailed inspection reports. While it might look like it to potential buyers, there’s no such thing as a flawless house. Buyers can negotiate the purchase price more effectively with a detailed home inspection report. If the inspection reveals significant problems, buyers can request that the seller either make the repairs or reduce the price to compensate for the upcoming expenses.

A home inspector holding an inspection report after home inspection training.
Help save home buyers money through inspection reports after home inspection training.

Just as our home inspector courses emphasize, always remember to provide an estimation of the lifespan of the home’s major components, such as roofs, furnaces, or air conditioning units. With this knowledge, buyers can budget for future replacements or even factor them into their initial offer. Some insurance companies might also offer lower premiums for homes that have undergone a recent, thorough inspection, especially if potential hazards have been identified and rectified.

Avoidance of Bad Investments and Safety Assurance

In extreme cases, a home inspection might reveal that a property has so many issues it’s a potential money pit. Recognizing and pointing this out to buyers can save them from making a bad investment altogether. 

It’s hard to put a price on safety. One thing you should always look out for as a home inspector when evaluating homes is potential safety risks, like radon, carbon monoxide, or mould. Spotting and addressing these issues early can avoid health-related costs and offer peace of mind to the homebuyer.

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Home Inspection

4 Red Flags To Look Out For in Basements After Home Inspection Training

June 28, 2023

Home inspector smiling at the camera after home inspection training.

Basements are an integral part of a home. They provide useful storage space, serve as a foundation for the entire structure, and house most of the home’s key functioning systems. Despite all of these, though, potential homebuyers tend to spend the least amount of time in basements and typically fail to notice issues with them.

As is often the case, this can be a mistake; a troubled basement is a fertile breeding ground for sickness-causing mould. It can also pose a fire hazard in the future, or, at the very least, cause homeowners to spend a lot on repairs. During your inspections, you’re responsible for making sure that your clients don’t fall into these types of traps. In this blog post, we will discuss four common red flags to look out for during basement inspections after your training.

1. Moisture and Water Intrusion Founded Through Home Inspection Training

One of the most critical issues to identify in basements is moisture and water intrusion. Excessive moisture can lead to mould growth, structural damage, and a host of other problems. Signs of moisture include water stains, dampness, musty odours, and efflorescence (white, powdery deposits on surfaces). During your inspection, pay close attention to the basement walls, floors, and ceiling for any visible signs of water intrusion. Additionally, inspect the perimeter for proper grading, functioning gutters, and adequate drainage systems.

Home inspector examining the walls in a basement after home inspection training.
As you’ll discover in home inspection training, mould on basement walls is a definite red flag.

2. Foundation Cracks and Structural Issues

Just as you’ve learned during home inspection training, basements are susceptible to foundation cracks and structural problems due to soil movement, settling, or poor construction practices. These issues can compromise the stability and safety of the entire home. During your inspection, carefully examine the basement walls, floors, and foundation for any visible cracks, bulges, or signs of shifting. Horizontal cracks, widening cracks, or stair-step cracks are particularly concerning and should be evaluated by a structural engineer to determine their severity.

3. Home Inspection Training Highlights Inadequate Ventilation and Poor Air Quality

Basements often lack proper ventilation, leading to poor air quality and potential health hazards. Insufficient airflow can result in a buildup of moisture, stale air, and the proliferation of harmful substances such as radon gas. During inspections after your home inspection training, check for proper ventilation systems, including vents and exhaust fans, to ensure adequate air circulation. Consider conducting a radon test as well, as it is a colourless, odourless gas that can be harmful if present in high concentrations.

4. Electrical and Plumbing Issues

In addition, it is crucial to inspect the electrical and plumbing systems housed in basements. Outdated or faulty electrical wiring, exposed wires, improper grounding, and overloaded circuits can pose significant safety risks.

Home inspector checking a home’s plumbing fixtures after home inspection training.
Using insights from your home inspection training, carefully examine the plumbing fixtures in the basement.

Carefully examine the electrical components for any signs of wear or potential hazards. Similarly, inspect the plumbing system for leaks, damaged pipes, and indications of water damage, which can lead to costly repairs and structural issues. Don’t forget to ensure that sump pumps, if present, are functioning properly to prevent basement flooding, which can cause extensive damage to the property. To ensure the basement’s safety and functionality, it is imperative to thoroughly inspect these systems.

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Home Inspection

Considering a Home Inspection Career? Signs of Poor Home Workmanship

September 15, 2022

The condition of a person’s home has the potential to greatly affect their quality of life, for better or worse. If you’re passionate about helping others, have a keen eye for detail, and are interested in the construction industry, a career in home improvement could be perfect for you. You can play an essential role in a client’s home buying process, highlighting issues that could guide price negotiations in addition to giving your clients an estimate for the repairs they’ll have to do once they move in. 

In many cases, home inspectors use their expertise to detect problems that could cause major safety concerns when left unfixed. If you’re considering this career path, you may be wondering what signs you should be looking out for. Here are some signs of poor home workmanship to take note of outside, inside, and in the foundation of your clients’ homes. 

Signs of Poor Workmanship on the Outside of a Home 

When you begin your home inspection on the outside of a client’s home, the windows, doors, patios, decks, and concrete surfacing should be your main focus. Look at the way windows are sealed; if you notice condensation between the glass on thermal windows, this is a sign of a failed seal. This can result in higher energy bills for your clients, mould and mildew growth which can affect air quality over time, and draftiness. Doors with seal failure might create the same energy efficiency problem as windows. 

Watch out for cracks in the walking surface of patios and where they intersect with the wall of the house. Throughout your home inspector career, watch for concrete cracks as well, as this can be an indication of soil that was not properly prepared before the concrete was installed. 

Check windows, doors, concrete, patios, and decks during your home inspection career.

Signs of Poor Workmanship to Look for Inside a House

Inside your clients’ homes, look for cracks in the drywall, as this can indicate soil movement or structural issues. Watch for uneven floorboards, tile cracks, water marks under the carpet or linoleum, and discoloration–these can all indicate water infiltration that occurs as a result of cracks in the foundation. Pay attention to the temperature inside the house. If there’s a problem controlling the temperature inside, faulty HVAC systems are likely to blame. Observe how the switches and electrical outlets work as well. 

Subtle signs inside a house may indicate foundation problems.

Signs of a Bad Foundation to Watch for During Your Home Inspection Career 

As you’ll learn in home inspection training, many of the most common and detrimental problems in a house are difficult to observe right away. For example, construction flaws in a house’s foundation can be difficult to spot at first. Check for sagging floors, peeling wallpaper, damp crawl spaces, protruding nails, doors that won’t close properly, and cabinets and countertops that separate from the walls. Here at the North American Trade Schools, we teach students about every component and system within a house, including roofing, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning/heat pumps, plumbing, exterior, insulation, and interior so that their clients can rely on their consulting services. 

Ready to become a home inspector

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Home Inspection

5 Skills You’ll Need to Become a Home Inspector

August 10, 2020

5 Skills You'll Need to Become a Home Inspector

A career in home inspection doesn’t just involve understanding how the various systems and areas of a house work. You’ll need to have several other types of skills under your belt as well. You’ll want to be sure you’ve mastered these skills in order to make sure the home is in the best possible condition.

From understanding electrical systems and roofing, to effectively drafting reports and communicating to buyers, a successful home inspection career is made of many different things. Here are five skills necessary for success in your home inspection career.

Firstly, a Strong Understanding of the Craft Is Necessary

It goes without saying that understanding how home inspections work, as well as having a foundation in construction, is needed in order to succeed as a home inspector. You should be able to understand how various aspects of construction work, as well as the procedures of a home inspection and which tools are necessary for expediting the process. With any home inspection career, technical knowledge is key—whether it’s with structural components, heating, insulation, roofing, or any other area of a home.

Technical knowledge of various aspects, like insulation, is important

Being an Excellent Communicator Is Also a Major Plus

The bedrock of any home inspection is the ability of the inspector to explain to the prospective buyer what the results of the inspection were, and how ready it is for the buyer. This is important not only for verbal communication, but for written reports as well. Anyone hoping to become a home inspector will need to be a great communicator in order to provide the most detailed report possible. Effective communication will help reassure potential buyers that they’ve chosen the right home, and that all systems are a go for them to move in.

A Good Eye for Problems Is Huge for Your Home Inspector Career

If you aren’t able to deftly identify and diagnose problems with the home, you’ll have a hard time finding success. The ability to detect issues in any kind of home, and know what is necessary to fix them, is crucial. It’s important to understand not only how each component functions, but what factors would make a repair or full replacement necessary. Alerting prospective buyers to any issues that could delay them moving in—or even make the home unappealing for them—is essential.

An ability to identify problems quickly and effectively is crucial

Understand the Importance of Time Management

Another significant aspect of your home inspector career is being able to manage your time effectively. Not only will you be trying to manage how much time you spend actually inspecting the home, but you’ll need to take into account how long it will take for you to travel there. You will also need to consider how much time you’ll need to get reports ready, and how much time will be necessary for all processes to be complete.

Problem-Solving Skills Are Also a Major Asset in This Career

Lastly, one of the other keys to success in home inspection is the ability to problem-solve. You’ll need to showcase these abilities throughout your inspection, especially when something is not quite right in the home. It’s important to analyze what issues may occur during the inspection, and be able to quickly come up with solutions. A strong attention to detail is also beneficial, as you’ll want to carefully go through each area with a fine-toothed comb so that all potential issues with the property are accurately identified.

Do you want to start your home inspection training?

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Home Inspection

Ready to Become a Home Inspector? Here’s How to Inspect Homes Safely During the Pandemic

July 24, 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every industry, including home inspection. As a result, changes to how home inspectors approach their day-to-day responsibilities are necessary, leading to a re-think in how home inspections are performed.

Between practicing physical distancing and staying two meters apart from others, to limiting the number of people allowed in the home during the inspection, to wearing protective headgear at all times, there are many ways you can get around the circumstances surrounding the pandemic and successfully complete an inspection. Here are some tips for how you can safely inspect homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Make Sure Safety Precautions Are Taken by Those Living in the Home

Before starting any home inspection during the pandemic, it’s of the utmost importance that all parties are kept safe, healthy, and are not vulnerable to possible infection. Among the steps that should be taken include asking those living in the home a series of questions regarding the virus. These include asking whether or not they’ve been exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms within the past two weeks (or if they have previously tested positive), if they’ve been in contact with any suspected or confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, or if they’ve been travelling anywhere in recent weeks. Other steps you can take include emphasizing the importance of physical distancing while the inspection is ongoing, signing inspection contracts online rather than in person, and restricting how many people can be in the home during the inspection.

Those living in the home must notify inspectors if they are exhibiting symptoms
Those living in the home must notify inspectors if they are exhibiting symptoms

During Your Home Inspection Career, Protect Yourself in Times of Crisis

Although it’s incredibly important to make sure people in the home protect themselves during the inspection, anyone wanting to become a home inspector should be certain that they’re maximizing their own protection during a crisis situation such as a pandemic. This includes wearing latex gloves, face masks, protective headgear, and any other clothing that can help shield from infection.

Latex gloves are among the protective equipment home inspectors should wear

Additionally, you would be wise to wash your hands regularly, disinfect and clean surfaces you have touched during the inspection after it has concluded, and keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. Even if you are asymptomatic, you can still carry the virus and transmit it unknowingly to others, so protecting yourself and those in the home from any potential risks is a must. Should you exhibit any symptoms yourself, or be in contact with any suspected or confirmed cases, postpone the inspection and reschedule for when you will be healthy again.

Lastly, Consider Using Videoconferencing Platforms for Inspection-Related Purposes

As much as you may do your best to prepare yourself for circumstances like a pandemic during your home inspection career, there is a likelihood that some clients may not be comfortable with having inspectors in their homes due to fear of contracting the virus and the importance of physical distancing. If you have clients who are reluctant to allow new people into their homes even for an inspection, you can suggest that they not be present in their home for the inspection, and that any follow-up be done via videoconferencing. This can be done on an application such as Zoom, Google Meet, or FaceTime. This way, you can discuss matters related to the inspection and reviews/reports without needing it to be in person, and could be a creative solution given the crisis.

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Home Inspection

5 Reasons a Home Inspection Career Could Be for You

March 11, 2020

become a home inspector

Have you ever found yourself staring at the properties on sale in a real estate agency’s window even though you’re not looking to buy? Do you love troubleshooting problems around your own home? Are you passionate about property in general? If so, then a career in home inspection could be for you!

Home inspectors offer a consulting service to anyone looking to buy a residential or commercial property. They evaluate a home by inspecting its roofing, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning, exterior, insulation, and interior.

Qualified home inspectors can benefit from competitive salaries and a flexible schedule. Read on to find out whether you should consider becoming a home inspector!

1. There is Steady Demand for Home Inspectors

For as long as people and businesses continue to buy property, there will be demand for home inspectors. A home inspection is always recommended, if not required, before purchasing a property.

There are millions of properties across Canada and real estate transactions are always taking place, meaning that a home inspector is unlikely to ever be out of work! The demand for home inspectors in Canada is predicted to remain steady over the next few years. This makes it a great career for anyone looking for job security.

2. Become a Home Inspector to Earn a Competitive Salary

Home inspectors can earn well above minimum wage, especially as they become more experienced. The average salary for a home inspector in Canada is more than $32 an hour, which equates to around $66,500 a year. This is significantly more than the average salary in the country.

3. Help People with One of the Biggest Investments of their Lives

If you’re a people person and are looking for a rewarding career that involves helping others, a home inspection career might be for you! While it might not be the first job that comes to mind, home inspectors help people with what could be the biggest investment of their lives.

Buying a home is not a small decision.As a home inspector, you are helping others to make the right choice, and your advice could help to save your clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.



home inspection training
As a home inspector, you could help people make the biggest investment of their lives

Because home inspectors need to have strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work with the public, it’s also a great career for anyone who is good with people. In home inspection training, students will learn communication skills as well as practical knowledge about homes to help equip them for both of these aspects of the job.

4. Enjoy a Flexible Schedule and Start Your Own Business

One of the other great things about being a home inspector is the flexibility that it offers. You can choose to take on work and schedule inspections when it works for you, making it easy to balance around your other commitments. You also have the option to start your own business to give you even more flexibility.

5. Don’t Break Your Back!

A home inspection career is hands-on without being physically demanding. If you’re interested in construction, for example, but not keen on the physical aspect of it, or want something that you can do as you get older, home inspection could be a perfect fit.

Additionally, if you’ve spent a lifetime working in construction or HVAC and are now looking for a new challenge, home inspection could be for you. It will allow you to put your knowledge and practical background to good use.

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