September, 2017
Discussion from Executive Director
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

What You See Is What You Get; What You Get Is What You Pay For


In past columns, I’ve described how to improve your ability to get inspections by updating your profile on the ASHI website. I’ve also described how to navigate the website to access the useful benefits that ASHI offers you. This month, I’d like to expand a little more on that topic.

Imagine this scenario:

Client: You didn’t tell me there was a roof leak.

Inspector: On Page xx in your report, I said the house was missing shingles and that there was a bucket in the attic under the wet spot in the sheathing. I noted that a qualified roofing contractor should be called to repair/replace immediately.

Client: Oh. Well, the air conditioner is not cooling very well.

Inspector: On Page xx, I noted that the outside coil was clogged, your filter was full of debris and the temperature drop was only 5 degrees. Therefore, I noted that a qualified HVAC contractor needed to repair/replace the unit.

Client: I wasn’t aware of these problems. Had I known, I would not have bought the house.

Inspector: Maybe if you’d read the report, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Maybe you can’t find the report. Would you like me to send it to you again so we can review it together?

I think every inspector who has been in business for a while has had a few conversations like this one. I know I’ve had my share.

My point is this: What we do for you at ASHI is our report for you. Just like you inspect hundreds of items in a house, your leaders and staff do hundreds of things for you. The thing is, just like your clients, you have to pay attention to what’s in the report.

Here are some examples on the ASHI website. To access these and much more, visit the ASHI website ( or

Scroll down to the bottom right corner. Click on the InspectionWorldTM logo and see what happens. (Hint: It’s something you’ve paid for that you should have seen by now.)

Scroll down to the bottom left and click on the Reporter section. There you’ll find years of past issues of the Reporter with articles you may have missed.

In the upper right corner, select the Find an Inspector button, fill in your postal code and see your name appear in the list. Pull up your information and check if it’s accurate or if you can enhance it. (Did you know that if one or two visitors to the ASHI site select your name from this list and book you for an inspection, you will have earned enough to cover your ASHI dues for a year?)

Where in the World Is Frank Lesh?

Boston: As I write this column, I’m en route back to Chicago from Boston. While in Beantown, I attended a Millionaire Inspector Community meeting of multi-inspector firms. It was great to listen to people share the successes and trials of those firms, which can be somewhat different from the stories that come from those who operate single-inspector shops. As it turns out, however, we have far more in common than not.

Baltimore: You may have read in ASHI’s First Thing email update that I recently traveled to Baltimore and had a conversation with Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The U.S. Department of HUD invited ASHI to attend a listening session with Secretary Carson, and the session was very illuminating. I was impressed with the Secretary’s common-sense approach to the housing problems we face in this country. He mentioned that when he was in high school, he learned how to build an electric motor and to fix things. He feels our young people should gain that do-it-yourself knowledge we received in school years ago. I learned how to build a motor in high school, too. Back then, I never would have thought that I could turn that experience into the life of a home inspector!

I also had a chance to tell Secretary Carson about the success of The ASHI School’s partnership with Baltimore Community College, where our instructors teach students to become home inspectors. Secretary Carson commented, “That’s what we should be teaching people—how
they can earn a living in their own business.”

Perhaps in our next issue, I’ll talk about my next journey to Ft. Lauderdale for the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) conference.

Frank Lesh, Executive Director
American Society of Home Inspectors
Direct: 847-954-3182