May, 2008

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Southwest Florida ASHI Chapter Combines Learning and Hospitality


The invitations went out from the Southwest Florida Class-Attendees.jpgChapter to the Gulf Coast, Suncoast and Central Florida Chapters: Join us for an afternoon tour of the Kimal Lumber facility and classroom presentations on how doors and windows are assembled, how roof and floor trusses are built and treated, and how houses are built to a “Green” standard.

And, according to Mike Conley, the learning experience was topped off with a fabulous dinner, courtesy of the ASHI host chapter.

Photo submitted by Mike Conley, ASHI Certified Inspector, Straight Inspection Service, Anna Maria, Fla.

Ohio Chapter Welcomes Richardson to Conference

ASHI President-elect Bill Richardson (far right) was the ohioP3150009.jpgspecial guest for the ASHI Ohio Chapter conference March 15-16. He is pictured with the following chapter leaders (left to right): Butch Sutherland and Ken Harrington, directors; Craig Limback, associate board member;  Rick Szeles, treasurer; Tim Buell, director; Howard Snyder, executive director; Carl Patterson, president; and Ray Kershaw, secretary.

Photo submitted by David Argabright, ASHI Certified Inspector.

Elderly, not Aliens, Benefit From South Carolina‘s “ET” Project

Nothing could be more down to the earth than the Elderly SC-ASHI-ET005.jpgTransportable House Project chosen by the South Carolina Chapter as a way to give back to its community. Chapter members learned about the Methodist Relief Program’s project to build transportable cottages for the elderly from Chapter President Kevin E. Westendorff ‘s father, a retired builder who was already involved.

Elderly or disabled residents who live in housing beyond DSC06487.jpgrepair are provided with a comfortable, safe home to live in for the remainder of their lives or until they can no longer care for themselves and must move to assisted living. When the couple or single resident no longer needs the house, it reverts to the program, is refurbished and provided to another elderly couple or person.

The ASHI chapter decided to partner with the South SC-ASHI-ET012.jpgCarolina Association of Home Inspectors (SCAHI) and the Hibben United Methodist Church to build an ET house. The one-bedroom ET houses are built on a trailer frame. They resemble a single-wide mobile home, but are “stick built” houses compliant with the International Residential Codes, and can be located in any type zone whether for high winds on the coast or inland.

Construction on the home inspectors’ ET unit is taking place in the parking lot at the Hibbens United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C. When finished, it will be transported to a home site and placed on a permanent foundation. There are currently more than 40 ET homes in use or under construction.

Each inspector association donated $5,000 to the project, and each organization is providing the necessary volunteer labor for the construction of the ET house.

Certified ASHI Inspectors Frank and Patrick Turner of DSC06489.jpgTurner Home Inspection Services, from the Beaufort area, are among those who have volunteered their labor. Frank says the volunteering spirit is contagious. One Saturday, a passerby stopped and worked for several hours. Recently, the owner of a roofing company saw the project and sent his crew over to shingle.

According to Westendorff, there were 12 volunteers on DSC06488.jpgthe first day. Since then, there have been as few as six people working on a Saturday, but the project continues. Bill Brooks from Ravenel, S.C., led the crew installing vinyl siding, and Jim Hodges from Isle of Palms, S.C., with a couple of helpers, finished the electrical rough-in.

For more information about this chapter’s community service project, please contact Kevin Westendorff at, or Bill Jacques at

Hudson Valley ASHI Chapter Earns Prestigious Award

The Preservation League of New York State selected the Hudson Valley Chapter (HVASHI) for its Excellence in Historic Preservation Award for organizations.

The League’s statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York’s historic resources.

 It commended the ASHI chapter for “providing vital training to those professionals who are in the best position to advise, counsel and educate homeowners on the merits of historic preservation. The impressive list of preservation professionals you have engaged to provide this training illustrates your commitment to protecting New York’s historic structures.”

The award will be presented at the Preservation League’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York City on Thursday, May 15.

HVASHI has been providing historic homes conservation training since 2003.

The next training conference will be held September 16-18 in Newburgh, N.Y., featuring on-site tours of the homes on Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. Regional and national experts including Douglass Reed and Henry Mangione will discuss foundations, metal roofing, plastering, architectural styles, home energy audits and corrections, and more. Their advice on evaluating and fixing historic properties counters the “quick-fix” mentality. The result: The informed preservation-savvy home inspector (often the homeowner’s only source of objective advice) can recommend appropriate measures meant to conserve value and the particular architectural legacy of each property.

HVASHI’s Historic Homes Seminar program is open to home inspectors and conservation enthusiasts. Workshop details and fees can be found online at or by calling the Historic Homes Seminar Committee Chair, Erik Vandenberg, 845-228-1237.