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What to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector: An Interview with Joe Randazzo of Craftsman Home Inspection Service

By Joe Randazzo

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

I have been conducting home inspections since 1987. I have been a full member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) since 1989. I have conducted over 6,000 residential home inspections and hundreds of commercial building inspections. Although I do not offer pest control or radon inspections I can make arrangements with one other company that can provide those services. Typically they are arranged in conjunction with the home inspection so the buyer only needs to make one phone call.

What are the qualifications that home inspectors in Pennsylvania are required to have?

A person must meet the requirements spelled out in Senate Bill #1032 of 1999. Inspections should be conducted, as a minimum, to meet Pennsylvania Home Inspection Coalition (PHIC) guidelines. Inspectors must have membership in a not-for-profit national home inspection society. A minimum of 100 paid home inspections is necessary and errors and omissions insurance is a requirement.

Are there any additional qualifications that home buyers/sellers should look for in a potential home inspector?

Membership in ASHI should be a strong consideration. ASHI has the most stringent testing requirements and standards that need to be met to become a member. An ASHI inspector must inspect the home in accordance with the "Standards of Practice" and must subscribe to the "Code of Ethics".

Do all home inspections come with thermal imaging? Can you briefly explain why that's important?

Very few home inspectors offer Thermal Imaging. I do not. Thermal imaging is a valuable tool to determine defects in the building envelope that would not be typically picked up in standard home inspection. They are used for energy audits. This would be an add-on service and is not typically part of a home inspection. It is really a separate entity.

What should be included in a high-quality, thorough home inspection report?

Photos are a MUST for a high quality home inspection report. They add great explanation to any defect that is found. As the old saying goes, "one picture is worth a thousand words". This is very appropriate in the home inspection report as there is no doubt left as to what the problem is. I use a statement/semi-narrative report. I feel this makes it easy for the client to understand rather then read through a lengthy narrative.

What would you tell people who are looking for an experienced home inspector?

I would tell people to pick someone who is a member of ASHI. They have been vetted so to speak. There are other national home inspector organizations that only require a simple test. They are more interested in collecting membership fees and easily growing their organization. ASHI is the top of the line when it comes to membership credibility.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The easiest way to contact me is by phone or email. Calls are typically returned with an hour or so if not answered immediately.

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