Bellingham Technical College, part of the state college system, has a home inspector training program that educates around the state. The next scheduled classes will be in two larger eastern Washington cities: Pasco, August 6-21; Spokane, Sept 9-Oct 5. This is a fast-track program of 160 hours of training in all aspects of home inspection including wood destroying organisms--which is essential in Washington state. It is my view that, in this wet state, if you have an inspection without a WDO inspection, you are pretty much missing the point of the inspection. Three members of active rain -- Charles Buell, David Helm, and myself, are the instructors of this class. One goal of the program, and a big one, is to attempt to provide not only guidance and understanding of the issues to students but also some standardization to home inspection concerns and recommendations. Those of us who teach in the program, and have to review other inspectors reports, know what realtors are speaking of when they criticize how different one report might be from another. What one inspector sees as a big issue, another might see as nothing. We all know that there are variations and different points of view but sometimes what we see in reviewing reports is hard to figure. I reviewed a report the other day where an inspector called for evaluation by a certified arborist on a tree about 15' from a 50 year old foundation. The foundation was not having problems, neither was the tree and, to complicate the practicality of the recommendation, the tree belonged to a neighbor and was on his property. That kind of call makes the inspector look goofy and afraid of making any type of stand. We try to educate students so they know when to call in someone else and when to make a decision on his or her own. If you are a realtor east of the mountains and know of anyone wishing to get into home inspection, please let them know about this program. A link to information about it is below.
Thanks for reading,
Steven L. Smith