April, 2003
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



2002 ASHI Chapter Reports

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

Central Pennsylvania  

One of our chapter’s primary goals is to provide continuing education for our membership. Last year, we offered 10 educational dinner meetings, each approved for one MRC. Topics included Mold in the home; Slate roof inspection; EPDM rubber roof inspection; HVAC overview; Introduction to the Pa. Home Inspection Law, and How to operate a successful home inspection business.

We also focused on public relations. Highlights included presenting “Meet your local ASHI home inspector” to approximately 100 members of the Carlisle Board of Realtors® in February and exhibiting at the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors® trade fair in September.

In December, www.ashicentralpa.com went live. Give us a look. Roger Olson is our public relations chair as well as Web site administrator. In addition, the chapter created a member’s handbook and was represented at Chapter Leadership Day in Chicago.

We will celebrate our 2nd anniversary in July 2003, and will continue to strive to build membership, to meet the needs of our membership, and to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.

Terry D. Amsley, president & COR
Frank Marsico, vice-president
Steve Johnson, secretary
Robert L. Lloyd, treasurer
Roger Olson, public relations

Garden State (New Jersey)

It’s been a busy year for Garden State. Home inspector licensing is not yet a total reality. Changes to the current law are being proposed as of this writing. These changes would extend the deadline dates for licensing requirements, and would dilute some requirements for obtaining a home inspector license, removing some of the consumer protections built into the present regulations.

At out annual holiday party, our chapter collected bags of new toys, and delivered them to the Children’s Specialized Hospital, where they were distributed to the children. This was a most rewarding project, and one we’ll do again next year.

Last May, our annual seminar featured Doug Hansen, well-known electrical guru. The seminar was a success financially and in terms of value to the attendees.
The chapter is proud to have three of its past presidents serving ASHI national. Joe Corsetto is the secretary, and David Whittle and Robert Fico serve on the Board.
ASHI Members and Candidates are invited to attend our chapter dinner meetings, held in Garwood N.J. on the second Thursday of each month except January, July and August. Please contact us for details.
www.gardenstateashi.com
Ken Salvo, president

Great Plains

Another exciting year for the Great Plains Chapter began in January with a visit to a roof truss manufacturing plant. Later in the year, we toured a manufactured housing plant. Both tours were informative, and membership came away with an understanding and appreciation of the effort required to deliver quality products.

Our membership continued to grow in both numbers of Candidates and full Members. We are pleased we are large enough to have two Representatives on the Council of Representatives, Tom Lauhon and Miki Mertz. In addition, we’re proud that many members of the Great Plains Chapter have volunteered to support ASHI at the national level, serving on the Technical, Chapter Relations, and Membership Committees.

Our Board of Directors is active, and it provides critical guidance and insight into chapter activities. Active Directors have reduced the demands on any one individual. The key to our effectiveness is having a detailed agenda prior to the monthly Board meetings. It keeps us focused and brings significant issues to the fore.

The chapter instituted a Mentoring Program pairing Candidates with full Members for three months. Guidelines for the program state the responsibilities for both parties. We initiated a multi-session study program to assist Candidates preparing for the National Home Inspector Examination. To participate the Candidate must make a commitment to take the Exam immediately following the study program.

Our annual seminar last September drew attendees from six states. All had the opportunity to hear Keynote Speaker Rich Matzen, and to relax together in the evening.

The chapter also developed a promotional brochure, and we worked closely with the three other Chapters in Missouri responding to licensing issues.

Inland Northwest

The chapter sponsored four seminars last year, covering mold in homes, heating and air conditioning, slabs & foundations, and plumbing. We also established a Mentor Program for Candidates. Candidates are teamed with full Members, who make themselves available to answer questions and to discuss concerns. Our annual group inspection was held in September at an older home in North Spokane. Once again it proved to be a valuable experience for all.

Many of our chapter members are active in the community. Tom Tusler, Doug Gore and William Hay are among those who gave presentations at first-time homebuyer workshops and seminars. William Meyer continues to be a driving force gaining the chapter exposure in the local media. He was featured on HGTV during inspection of classic Spokane Homes. Our involvement in Spokane Home Ownership Resource Group resulted in ASHI literature being distributed throughout our region.

The chapter also gained exposure by sponsoring literature within the Spokane Association of Realtors® weekly “pink sheets.” The names and phone numbers of Members and Candidates were distributed, with messages on how to choose a home inspector. In addition, the chapter produced and distributed a brochure through local real state sales offices in the Spokane area describing the benefits of using the services of an ASHI Member.

Looking ahead - 2003 and beyond
Moving from a quarterly to bi-monthly schedule, our expanded educational program for 2003 kicked off with a January seminar featuring John Kendall, a Washington State Electrical Inspector with the Department of Labor and Industries. In addition to seminars, the chapter stated to catalogue inspection training material to create a list that will be available in print and on our Web site, www.inwashi.com. Chapter members will be welcome to check out manuals and books from their respective owners.

Using the Licensing Criteria in the National Position Paper, the chapter developed a position and will support licensing within the Construction/Real Estate division of Washington State. We will be working closely with Western Washington.

As we look to the future, we remember that the acceptance of the home inspection profession in our region is due in large part to the efforts of people like Bill Meyer, Gary Fuller and Ray Schulhauser, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote and support ASHI and the chapter since 1995.

William Hay, president

Lone Star

Texas is the great ASHI frontier. Currently there are 2450 TREC (state) licensed home inspectors and only 20 ASHI Members and 49 Candidates. But ASHI Membership in the state has almost doubled in the last year. Lone Star has been developing programs to reach inspectors around the state and to deliver the message about ASHI and the ASHI brand of home inspections.

Our chapter has concentrated on developing advanced education programs for the experienced home inspector. We’re well-known for the IRC 2000 - Structural class we’ve been offering throughout the state for the last two years. An additional two-day class covering the IRC 2000 – Mechanical sections previews this fall (October 11 in Dallas) before joining the education circuit around the state. These conferences are limited to 50 inspectors to keep the lecture and discussions focused on the material. The seminars sell out several months ahead.

This year we also offered an eight-hour class on ASHI Candidacy. In Texas, home inspectors come close to meeting all ASHI requirements by the time they qualify for their state professional license, therefore the chapter has concentrated on classes that will help the Candidate quickly meet ASHI Member requirements, including passing the NHIE and ASHI exams. Our chapter has set a goal for 50 full ASHI Members by the end of this year. Our long-term goal is 100 members by the time ASHI comes to Texas in January 2005. We hope to see you then.

Jim Hemsell, president

MAC ASHI

With the focus on education, the chapter sponsored a successful seminar in March; more than 110 people attended. The chapter created a library, members contributed books and tapes, and the chapter purchased a training program. Lending volume has been high.

A new program was developed for Candidates. One hour before each regular scheduled meeting, a speaker presents an educational topic of interest to Candidates.
Our chapter is growing, and we continue to hold monthly meetings, all of which feature an educational speaker.

The chapter is planning to participate in ASHI’s Townhall Meeting in July of this year. We will be working with NOVA and Baltimore chapters to ensure this is a memorable event.

Northern New England

Our chapter is now 100 percent Web-based. We conduct our business on-line. This has saved the leadership a tremendous amount of time, and it has increased our productivity. Seminar attendance is up; more members participate; and we’re more efficient now that we can distribute reports, collect payments, tally votes and conduct surveys online.  

Our quarterly educational seminars continue to be a highlight of our activities. In addition, our chapter has created a library of training materials including the Code Check Video Series. The items are available to the chapter members.

Joseph Bates, president
Robert MacDonald, vice-president, Finance chair
David Roth, treasurer, Education chair
Kevin Morrison, secretary, Membership chair
Skip Kelley, past president, Public Relations chair, COR Rep.
Maurice Couture, librarian, By-Laws chair, COR Alt.Daniel Couture, IT chair

Northern Illinois

The chapter achieved most of its goals for 2002, most importantly increasing membership. This year the 100th chapter member was registered, and the chapter now has two members on the Council of Representatives (COR). With new state licensing taking effect in January, we hope that full membership in the Society will increase, and before the end of the second quarter of 2003 our chapter should have at least three members on the COR.

During Chapter Leadership Day last October, NIC-ASHI hosted a reception on Thursday evening, and will try to do the same this year. The chapter is also proud to have its first member on the ASHI Board of Directors, Charles Bellefontaine, and it’s first national award winner, Steve Preins, who won this year’s President’s Award.

The chapter meets every second Wednesday at the same location, and the monthly turnout is fantastic, due to the focus on education. We average 80 people per meeting. The Chapter Leadership Board and the Education Committee have the education plan in place by February, and once Illinois continuing education is required, the chapter will become a licensed provider to help the our members maintain their licenses.

The forecast for the chapter is positive, and through the guidance of the leadership NIC-ASHI should grow into one of the largest, most active ASHI chapters.

Rob Claus

Northern Rockies

The Northern Rockies Chapter is a small but vital organization. Through the chapter, ASHI Members and Candidates receive support and education. As the only state organization of home inspectors, we also helped influence state legislation. Due to the large and rural nature of Montana, some members must travel more than 200 miles to attend the chapter meetings. For this reason, the chapter meets only four times a year, but we make a full day of it. The business portion of the meeting is kept to a minimum to leave time for a round table discussion, and for the scheduled seminar. Last year, the American Red Cross did a Disaster Assessment seminar. Now we can be called on if a disaster strikes. Other sessions included presentations on gas fired heating systems, electrical grounding and bonding, insulation/ventilation and indoor air quality as affected by asbestos and mold. Since there are few alternative sources for home inspector education in Montana, we have structured our meetings so that an inspector can earn all necessary MRCs by attending all the meetings.

Our legislative committee met with the State Board of Realtors®, and we were able to head off an attempt by a few real estate agents and brokers to promote some unfavorable home inspector legislation. Prior to this year’s legislative session, the committee produced a White Paper to provide to legislators if needed. The Paper briefly stated that the chapter was not supporting or promoting any legislation this year, but if any legislation were to be introduced, it must contain wording to promote a high standard of professionalism through a strong, nationally recognized Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics and a valid knowledge test. At the time of writing, there have been no bills regarding home inspection introduced at this year’s session.

Dick Graf

Ohio

During 2002, the Ohio chapter continued its efforts to provide quality services to the realty industry, primarily through inspector education and outreach programs. Educational programs included a two-day 7th annual conference and evening meetings, which allowed our membership to meet annual MRC requirements through chapter events.

More than providing MRCs, the chapter strives to provide meaningful information and knowledge for inspectors at all levels of experience. Doing the minimum and maintaining the status quo falls short of our desire to improve and grow. We believe the best way to improve services to the realty industry is through education of all inspectors. We continue to offer assistance to Candidates and to expand opportunities for their participation. For the third year, Candidates serve on the chapter board. We continue our mentoring program because we believe it’s the right thing to do for all inspectors, since the shortcomings of the poorly trained or unknowing inspectors can reflect negatively on all home inspectors. It’s a struggle to maintain participation in Candidate programs, perhaps because of the financial hardship and high turnover in their ranks.

During 2002 the chapter continued to monitor Ohio legislative activities for possible licensing efforts. With a new Ohio General Assembly in 2003, we will continue to monitor, and to participate as appropriate. Our program to provide the realty industry with direct contact information for inspectors on the chapter’s roster continues, and has expanded each year.

During 2002, the chapter crossed the threshold needed for a third member on ASHI’s Council of Representatives (COR). Total membership reached 117, which we believe provides vital strength, stability and continuity. The chapter office established several years ago also helps with continuity, and it provides essential support to programs and activities.

In 2003, the chapter plans to do existing things better and to expand services to both inspectors and the realty industry. All chapter efforts will be in coordination with the objectives, plans and strategies of national ASHI.

St. Louis

With the emphasis on education, the chapter hosted its 15th Annual Winter/Spring St Louis chapter Seminar February 28 - March 2. The conference annually attracts home inspectors from as far away as Georgia and Colorado, with 175 or more attending.  

Chapter members were participants in the nationally televised building competition “Warehouse Warriors.” The segment has been repeated several times on the Do It Yourself Network. Other public relations activities include Habitat for Humanity; Handy Tips in the St. Louis Realtor® Association Magazine; members publishing articles in the local newspapers and the Broker Agent magazine, as well as guest hosting a local radio program on home repair and maintenance.

As in years past, we retained a lobbyist to monitor legislation while assuming a proactive role should licensing become mandatory in our state. We are currently cooperating with other ASHI chapters in the state to encourage a coalition to represent the inspection profession with a unilateral voice.

In addition to education and legislation, the chapter successfully executed its public relations plans. The St. Louis public relations chair has been instrumental in assuring our ASHI organization is well represented. The local chapter members in good standing are assembled to compile a privileged ASHI list that is distributed to brokers and real estate agents throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The local chapter also maintains a Web site, www.stlouisashi.com, that serves as an important tool in providing the local membership optimum exposure.

This was a growth year for the chapter, with a record 94 members. We hold monthly meetings to handle business, as well as provide training. Visitors and business enthusiasts are always welcome, and often attend.  

South Carolina

It’s been a busy year in South Carolina. The chapter hosted its first annual educational conference with Michael Casey as our guest instructor. He presented the CodeCheck seminar. The response was overwhelming, so we’ve scheduled our second conference May 16 and 17, 2003. The chapter has also been instrumental in revamping the Home Inspector’s Exam for SC (SC does not yet accept the National Home Inspector Exam). Our COR Representative Bill Jacques has been busy working on the NHIE exam as a committee member. We are also constantly engaged in the legislative agenda that affects our industry in SC, having participated on several legislative committees. The chapter continues to promote the ASHI brand through local and international presentations. We are proud to have hosted a home building delegation from Japan in Charleston this year. The delegates were interested in the home inspection industry in the United States. This year, we look forward to increasing our membership and to promoting ASHI to the public and real estate industry.

Michael Parker, president

Southeast

The chapter was on legislative alert during 2002. We continued the services of a lobbyist to monitor state activity pertaining to the home inspection business. Currently the only regulation in Georgia is the requirement that a report must be generated for all inspections. This year Georgia has its first Republican governor since 1870, so the uncertainty generated precluded new legislation, and we were spared inspection regulations. We are ready if a bill is introduced next year.

The chapter continues to grow at every meeting. One of the reasons is the quality of education offered at the meetings. Our location allows us to draw from major corporations and non-profits for seminars. One quarterly seminar was at a swimming pool. Attendees were instructed on how to inspect it. After general instructions, small groups rotated to various stations to receive specific information, such as electrical, plumbing, etc. A steak and salmon barbecue followed.

Last year we introduced free membership for Candidates’ first year, a highly successful program. Nine of the 12 Candidates who were free last year came back and paid this year. We have an exceptionally strong Board that will allow us to aggressively expand out membership and provide additional services for the membership.

Our public relations goal this year is to join ASHI’s branding by participating in two major shows, a home show in Atlanta and another in the northern suburb of Marietta. In addition we’re positioning our Web site as the centerpiece of our marketing and membership recruiting efforts.

Dr. Tore Knos, president
Shannon Cory, vice president
Mike Wolfert, secretary
Mike Bronner, treasurer

Tri-State ASHI

The Pennsylvania House Inspection regulations, which fall short of full licensing, have been in place since December 20, 2001, and now require certain minimum standards for home inspectors working in Pennsylvania. Thus far there appears to be no significant problems with the program, but also no instances where the law has been tested. Jack Milne, chapter immediate past president, David Robertson, former chapter president, and Joe Kelly, president of Keystone ASHI, were instrumental in helping the state write the regulations. Milne and Kelly were able to convene delegates from most of the chapters of ASHI and other associations from across the state for the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Home Inspector (PHIC) at Raystown, Pa., last April. At this meeting the organization started to assume responsibility for its primary role as the voice of the home inspector in the state.

In related activity, following a series of meetings with Philadelphia City Council, the Philadelphia Board of Realtors®, and the City’s Licensing and Inspections Department, Milne was able to mitigate the proposed home inspector licensing requirements for inspections performed in the city. While not yet fully approved, it appears inspectors doing business in the city will need to secure a Business Privilege License (BPL) for a one-time fee of $200 and apply for an inspector’s license for a tri-annual fee of $300.

The chapter offers educational sessions at monthly meetings as well as at its annual seminar. Monthly meetings are well attended, with 60 to 70 home inspectors at each meeting. In November Tri-State ASHI held its 13th Annual Fall Seminar. More than 90 inspectors from the area and nearby states attended the day and a half seminar. Based on written attendee evaluations, the speakers were well received. Speakers included David Robertson, Gerry Aubrey, Andrew Kleeman, Jules Falcone and Larry Armanda. The program was also a financial success.

In early December our chapter participated in “Triple Play,” the three-state - Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York - convention of Realtors in Atlantic City’s new Conventions Center. Southern New Jersey and Garden State ASHI chapters also co-sponsored this well attended three-day promotional event.

Pete Wilden, president

Triangle ASHI

Triangle ASHI has 28 members and offered our membership a monthly meeting, typically providing dinner, a business meeting and a two-hour educational session.
Our chapter and the other chapters in North Carolina have spent much of our time contemplating and planning the reunification of the ASHI Chapters in the State, the purpose of which is to increase overall efficiency, to provide better educational conferences, to reunite inspectors who met together for years before the breakup to smaller chapters, and to accommodate ASHI inspectors who currently have no chapter affiliation. Membership has declined since the breakup of the state NC-ASHI. Many inspectors never joined the smaller chapters. We hope to attract these inspectors back to our group.

Most members from our chapter and the other NC chapters participated in the much publicized grass roots effort to defeat the “moving insulation” rule change. While unsuccessful, the campaign demonstrated the ability of ASHI to mobilize the members nationally, and our Licensing Board responded by soliciting our members to participate on the Rules Interpretation Committee that will help produce a manual for inspectors so that there will be better understanding of the wording of this and other parts our NC Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

William Delamar, president

Western Washington

State legislation was a focal point for the chapter last year. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) requires home inspectors be licensed as Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspectors. Therefore, anyone reporting on rot, wood destroying insects, or the conducive conditions for either must be licensed. Many chapter members wrote letters, served on state committees and testified at public hearings regarding rules changes and/or regarding the law itself, which significantly affects home inspectors in our state. Members of the chapter are working on a separate licensing position for home inspectors.

Looking to the educational needs of the membership, the chapter organized three seminars plus secured ASHI MRCs for seminars put on by allied organizations. Highlights include the following:  Phil Simmons’ One and Two Family Dwelling Electrical seminar in March; a mold seminar by Industrial Hygienists Prezant Associates; a half-day gas furnace seminar; the chapter’s regular Fall seminar, and six chapter meeting educational hours. The chapter also continues to have Candidates’ only meetings every other month.

Our public relations program includes continuing to send out fliers to real estate agents and brokers on a regular basis. The Chapter had a booth at the HUD Homebuyer’s Expo in June, and chapter members participated on discussion panels. This was excellent exposure for ASHI-WW Members and Candidates.

Hugh M. Kelso, president
Raj Hayden, vice-president
Reid Guthrie, secretary
Paul Luczyk, treasurer
Leon Costanten, director & COR
Mark Underwood, director & COR