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Guest Opinion: Despite lack of law, buyers can get home inspection

Robert Walstead

Although the Colorado Senate Business, Labor and Technology committee voted against requiring state licensing of home inspectors, Colorado homeowners should rest assured that they can still be guaranteed a quality home inspection if they hire an inspector certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Since 1985, more than two-third of states have passed laws requiring the regulation of home inspectors. ASHI — as the nation’s oldest and most respected professional association of more than 5,000 home inspectors — fully supports regulation when the laws incorporate standards of practice and a code of ethics, which are key to helping protect consumers.

While concerned that Colorado’s decision not to protect consumers places the onus on potential home buyers, ASHI wants to reassure Colorado residents that it is within their power to be sure to receive a quality home inspection. ASHI has always held its members to the highest standard in the industry, as well as to a strict code of ethics. Members must go through a rigorous process to receive certification and to maintain their credentials.

Why is a home inspection so crucial? Purchasing home is a major decision and for many, the largest single investment they will ever make. A home inspection — performed by a qualified ASHI home inspector — helps minimize the unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, and helps the potential homeowner learn as much as possible about the home before purchasing it.

A home inspector also can help homeowners identify potential problems and suggest measures to help prevent costly future repairs. The home inspector’s report is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from roof to the foundation. That includes the heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and structural components. A qualified home inspector has the knowledge and expertise to assess the home’s construction, proper installation of systems, maintenance and home safety.

Home inspectors certified by ASHI are required to make a commitment from the day they join as ASHI associates to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. These prohibit engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity.

ASHI associates work their way to ASHI certified inspector status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections in accordance with the standards of practice and code of ethics.

ASHI-certified inspectors must stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills via mandatory continuing education. Yes, we do support rigorous licensing laws, but even in states such as Colorado where those laws don’t exist, potential homeowners will comforted to know that we continue to demand high-quality work from our certified inspectors. Homeowners and potential buyers can find an ASHI-certified inspector near them by visiting ashi.org or calling 800-743-2744.

Robert Walstead, a member of the Southern Colorado ASHI Chapter, is national director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.


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