Foundation Settlement

What is Foundation Settlement?

Foundation settlement happens when soil shifts beneath a home and it is a serious deal for a homeowner, and often requires that swift action be taken to prevent structural damage from occurring to the home. The causes behind settlement of the foundation are actually rarely due to the actual design or the under design of the home itself. The most common causes for the damage that leads to foundation settlement have to do with changes that occur to the soils around the foundation and the soils that are responsible for surrounding and supporting the entire structure. The following is a look at some of the potential causes for foundation settlement and what they can mean for the future of the foundation and the structure itself.

Weak Bearing Soil Issues

There are certain types of soil that are simply not capable when it comes to supporting the weight of the foundation or bearing the pressure that the foundation of the building exerts. Resulting from this fact, the foundation’s footings can press down or sink into softer soils. In cases such as these, the footings are going to need to be designed in such a way that they are going to spread the load across the weaker soils. The purpose for this is so any potential settlement of the foundation can be reduced.

However, you still need to be aware of the fact that in most problems involving the settlement of the foundation where the bearing soil is weak, the reason is because the residential construction used standard footings rather than better load bearing footings. The reason for this is because the footings are typically going to be designed based on general guidelines rather than on soil information that is specific to the site.

Poor Compaction Issues

Both when developing commercial subdivisions and residential subdivisions, there is a common practice that people will place fill soils. Generally speaking, buildable lots are created by cutting down hilltops or by filling in valleys in order to create spaces that are flat and compacted. Fill soils that are placed properly and compacted properly should be more than capable of creating an adequate amount of support for the foundation of these businesses.

However, it is important to note that when these fill soils are compacted but not in an adequate manner, then they may be capable of compressing under the load of the foundation. The result is that the structure and the foundation can settle, causing structural integrity problems in the future.

Changes in the Moisture Content

When a foundation soil experiences an extreme change in the moisture content, then this can result in damage to the foundation in the form of settlement. An excess amount of moisture is capable of saturating the soil of the foundation, and this can easily lead to a softening or a weakening of silt or clay soils. When the soil is no longer capable of supporting the load, the result is often settlement of the foundation. An increased amount of moisture within the soil beneath the foundation often comes as a consequence when there is poor drainage on the surface around the structure, when there is a leak in the water line, when there is a leak in the plumbing or when there is a raised groundwater table.

Soils that have a lot of clay content in them can also generally have a tendency to shrink when it comes to the loss of moisture. As soils with high clay contents begin to dry out, they can contract or shrink. This is going to result in the general and gradual decrease of the soil’s volume. As a result, settlement damage is often going to be observed when it comes to structures that are supported on soil that has become dried out. Drying out of the foundation soil can often be caused by conditions that are extensively drought-like as well as other causes. For example, maturing vegetation and trees can cause a drying out of the foundational soil. Another cause for drying of the foundation soil is a leaking of an HVAC or heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the subfloor.

Maturing of Trees or Vegetation

As mentioned above, this is another problem that can lead to settlement of the foundation, and so it must be watched for with time. Maturing of the trees, bushes and any other types of vegetation that are in close proximity to the building of the home is a common reason for foundation settlement to occur. When trees and other types of vegetation mature, they are going to grow in size and as such, the demands they place on the soil for water and nutrients are also going to grow. The root system for these types of vegetation is also going to grow and expand on a continuous basis with time, and as such, the roots are going to be trying to draw moisture out of the soil around and beneath the building’s foundation.

Soils that are rich in clay, as a result of this action, are going to shrink with time as they lose their moisture content. This is going to result in a settlement of the overlying structure including the foundation and the building built over the top of the foundation. Many building owners and home owners have said that they never had any problems with the settlement of the foundation until many, many years following the building of the structure.

Unfortunately, it can take as many as several decades before this type of problem becomes apparent, and so it can make things difficult for the home owner who suddenly has to make repairs to the foundation below the home. The reason for this is because it takes many decades for new vegetation and trees to really grow, and that is why these types of foundation issues really do not crop up until later on in the life of the building.

Foundations that are closer to the surface of the ground are generally going to be affected more often by soil dehydration issues. The reason for this is because of tree roots. Basement level foundations and foundations that are deeper are generally not going to experience as many problems with this type of soil settling issue. As a general sort of rule, the diameter of the root system for the tree is going to be at least as big as the canopy of the tree. Considering this may help you determine whether or not you are going to have issues with mature vegetation in the future.

Soil Consolidation

The concept of soil consolidation is something that occurs when a structure’s weight compresses down on a weaker, lower soil, or when newly placed soil for the purpose of filling does the same thing. A lower clay-based soil that is naturally weaker is not going to be able to withstand the pressure from the structure or the heavier fill soil, and so soil consolidation is going to occur as a result. The applied load is generally going to force some water content out of the weaker clay soil. What this is going to do is to allow for individual soil particles to space out in a denser manner. The consolidation is going to result in a downward movement of these overlying structures, or in a settlement of the foundation as a result.

When settlement is caused by a consolidation of the foundation soil, it typically occurs over a lengthy period. This type of foundation settlement can generally occur over several weeks, several months or even several years before it is considered to be complete.

Dealing with Foundation Issues

Unfortunately, when foundation settlement begins to occur, you are already in trouble. It is vitally essentially that you start dealing with this problem as soon as possible so that you can nip it in the bud before it becomes even more serious. If your foundation is sinking or settling, then there is a good chance that it is going to continue to do so until help is provided. The best thing that you can do is to determine the exact cause of the foundation settling so that you can prevent it from becoming worse.

If you are ever in doubt about what is causing your foundation to settle, it would be very wise for you to bring in some professional help so that you can get feedback and advice. Because it is so essential that you stop allowing the foundation to sink or settle, getting quick and effective professional help is going to be a really important consideration for you to make.

Dealing with a settling or sinking foundation quickly and effectively is the best way to save and preserve the structural integrity of your structure, allowing it to stay in good condition for many years to come. If you do not address the problem, the continued settling may jeopardize the structural integrity of your building, causing it further harm and potential damage in the process.

Georgia Radon – What You Need to Know

Radon is a cancer causing, radioactive gas. The Surgeon General has warned the radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, killing 21,000 people per year in the United States. You cannot see, smell or taste radon. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes for radon. If you find that there are high levels, the home can be fixed. Even very high levels of can be reduced to acceptable levels. We use Sun Nuclear continuous radon monitors. These devices are very expensive but will show the radon measurement over time, note any unusual or abnormal reading in the test, detect tampering with the device and produce reliable results that you can be confident with. You will get a detailed report the day the test is completed. We do not need a lab or 3rd party to interpret our results.

The test must run for a minimum of 48 hours and sometimes we can drop them off in advance of your inspection to give you the results sooner. If you would like to add a radon test, please contact our office and we will make sure your inspector has one available the day of your inspection. Occasionally they may have one on hand at the inspection and you can add it then, but please do not count on it.

For EPA information on Radon please visit their website: https://www.epa.gov/.

For information on Radon measurements in Georgia, please visit the UGA Cooperative Extension radon information page: https://www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/home-radon

When Realtors Price Shop for Their Clients

Recently we had some feedback from some Realtors that know and trust us. The question we asked was “You send us most of your clients but sometimes you tell them to call another company. What makes you think they are better in some situations?” The answer was the same for all three of the agents: price. They all agreed that we were the most thorough and most qualified inspectors in the area but sometimes their clients were purchasing homes that were “easy” so they referred them to a low-cost competitor. This may seem like they are looking out for their clients’ best interests but is it really?

If a buyer is completing their due diligence and is paying for a home inspection they are doing it to uncover latent defects or upcoming expenses. If a client is only hiring a Home Inspector to check off a box, why hire one at all? Why save 7% when you can save 100%? If the house appears to be in order and well taken care of, then the last thing you need is a discounted inspector. This is when you need a thorough and well trained inspector the most. In my experience, the worst houses I’ve seen are the “well maintained by a single owner” or “contractor renovated” homes. They have been given meticulous attention to cosmetic details but no one has been in the attic or the crawlspace since it was built.

Instead of focusing on price, let’s turn their attention to value. What does the other inspection company offer with the inspection? At The BrickKicker we offer several things that are unmatched by our competitors. We offer a free Homebinder Account with every inspection. In addition to the value of the service ($120), if used properly it can increase the value of the home when it’s time to sell. The Porch Home Assistant (a $350 value) will help them transfer or set up utilities and find qualified contractors for repairs for the life of the home. We even give them $100 in discounts to help pay for these repairs. We offer other bonus gifts like $100 off their first gas bill with Gas South and a free alarm system from ADT. We also offer an unmatched Inspection Guaranteed. They have a full 90 Days to decide if they are satisfied with our work. If they find out later that we missed something, they can get their money back.

Here’s another reason to keep The BrickKicker at the top of your list: liability. By having consistent referral practices you are exercising the same standard of care for all of your clients. When you decide that the home doesn’t need attention to detail and thoroughness because the house is an “easy one”, you are making an exception to the way you treat a particular client. If the cheaper inspector misses something, your client had good reason to question why you made this exception and recommended the cheaper inspector.

So, the next time you want to help your client save money, tell them to call The BrickKicker. If you really think it’s worth risking your reputation to save them $25 dollars, I suggest asking Jen Fleece for a coupon first. She has a stack of them in her car.

The BrickKicker has referral indemnity that covers all referring parties and you will always be covered when you refer us.

NOTE:  Each The BrickKicker operation is independently owned and operated.  Some services and programs may not be available in all locations.  Please call your local The BrickKicker to see what is available in your location.

 

What does a realtor look for in a home inspection?

Most home buyers look to their Realtor for advice on who to choose when they are looking for a Home Inspector. Some Realtors are reluctant to recommend anyone because they fear that it will hurt their reputation if the inspector does a poor job or misses something. Most Realtors will give a list of three names without committing to a particular inspector to shield themselves from liability. Buyers need their Realtors to help them make decisions and guide them through the home buying process and this includes helping them choose a Home Inspector.

 

So what does a Realtor look for in a Home Inspector?

 

The easiest way to vet your inspector is to let someone else do it for you. Georgia will let anyone work as a home inspector so long as they tell their clients, in writing, that it’s a visual inspection and report their findings in writing. That’s it. There isn’t even a minimum standard and there is no licensing body or any consumer protection. It’s “Buyer beware.” Realtor beware as well. We recommend choosing an ASHI Certified Inspector. ASHI has the highest standards in the industry and is the only accredited professional Home Inspector association, period.

 

Let ASHI vet your home inspectors for you.

 

No matter how many names are on your list, your client is only going to choose one inspector and their professionalism may reflect on you no matter how hard you have tried to distance yourself from the decision. You want to make sure they communicate well, maintain a professional image and they deliver a useful report in a timely manner.

 

You should never refer an inspector that does not carry E&O insurance. Never. There is always the potential for things to go sideways and if they do, you want to be sure your client is protected. Imagine if things did go terribly wrong. Imagine the oversight (or negligence) is so great that no inspector could afford to make things right. E&O insurance can ensure that your client gets a check. As a bonus, the right E&O policy will protect the referring Realtor as well. The BrickKicker carries E&O with a $1,000,000 limit that also covers referring parties.

 

The BrickKicker services most of Northeast Georgia, including Athens, Oconee, Winder, Buford, Jefferson, Auburn, Monroe, Braselton, Hoschton, Oglethorpe and Madison Counties. We have multiple ASHI certified inspectors that each have over 500 inspections under their belt. Call us today to hire the experience your client need to fully protect them, and you.

 

Does a Home Inspector Walk a Roof?

While many Naperville clients have the expectation that every roof should be walked, a home inspector is not required to walk a roof. Most trade organizations, national associations, and state statutes only require the inspector to identify the method used to inspect the roof. With multiple ways to inspect a roof, it’s truly up to the inspector to make that determination if walking a roof is required. In short, the answer to “Does a home inspector walk a roof?” can vary depending on the home and condition. Read on to learn more about the methods of roof inspection. We’ll also cover when to check your roof for leaks, how often to replace your roof shingles, and when you should get your roof replaced. Once you’re done reading, if you’d like a home inspector to take a look at your roof, reach out to your Chicagoland home inspection team, The BrickKicker!

How to Inspect a Roof

When it comes to how to inspect a roof, there is no one size fits all approach. Different situations can call for different techniques, such as the use of a drone. However, a trained inspector will be able to provide a thorough inspection, no matter their approach.

Ways to Inspect a Roof

  • Walking a roof – Typically the easiest way to cause damage to it. If a roof has a significant slope, the walking of the roof will loosen the granules and potentially cause damage. What’s more, if the conditions are very hot, the roof will be extremely pliable, and if the conditions are cold, roof shingles will be brittle and easily damaged.
  • Using a ladder – This is very effective for getting a bird’s eye view of the representative surface of the roof. The inspector can lift, bend, touch, and visually inspect the condition of the roof surface. The typical condition at the edge is consistent throughout the entire roof system.
  • Second-floor window – Opening the window and physically touching the roof is similar to using a ladder at the roof’s edge.
  • Drones – Flying the drone around the roof will certainly provide a bird’s eye view of the entire roof system, including the chimney, venting, flashing, and skylights.
  • Long camera mounted pole – This places a camera high in the air and shows the entire upper areas of the roof and the roof systems without having to fly a drone or damage anything. The inspector does have to be careful around live electricity and lightning when using this approach.

How to Check Your Roof For Leaks

One thing you can do yourself if you dare venture out on your roof is to check your shingles now and then for leaks. This is a good way to prevent problems before they develop. To identify leaks, look for missing or deformed shingles. You can also look for roof leaks inside your house. If you notice water stains on the ceiling, patches of your interior walls that bulge, or musty smells inside your house, you might have a roof leak. To find out, go into your attic on a rainy day with a flashlight. Water is reflective, so you should be able to see it glimmer on the ceiling if there are any leaks.

When to Replace Your Roof  

Now that you know about the different methods of roof inspection, let’s take a look at how often you should replace your roof shingles. If you have wood shingles, replace them every 20-25 years. If you have: 

  • Composite Shingles, replace every 12-20 years
  • Asphalt Shingles, replace every 15-30 years 
  • Rubber Roofing, replace every 30-50 years
  • Metal Roofing, replace every 50-75 years

Schedule a Roof Inspection With The BrickKicker

Now that you know about the different methods of roof inspection, when to replace your roof, how to check your roof for leaks, and how often to replace your roof shingles, if you’d like an inspector to evaluate the roof of your Aurora or Lisle home, reach out to The BrickerKicker. The inspector’s responsibility is to work hard for every client and provide the best inspection possible. At The BrickKicker, we’ll use whatever method is required to provide a high-quality inspection without damaging your roof. Just give us a call at (800) 821-1820 to book your appointment, and don’t forget to explore our blog for other helpful reads, including our overview of chimney inspection considerations and more!

Pre-Listing Inspections

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you might be wondering if you should do a pre-listing home inspection and how much is a pre-listing home inspection. The BrickKicker is happy to help. Learn the basics of a pre-listing home inspection here, and when you’re ready to schedule one, give us a call.

What is a Pre-Listing Inspection?

A pre-listing inspection is simply a comprehensive inspection of your home by a professional to help identify any maintenance or repair issues BEFORE you list your home for sale. Homeowners typically wait until a potential buyer wants to purchase their home, and then the home buyer pays for an inspection. But then you have to negotiate repairs and run the risk of having the buyer change their mind about the sale.

How Much is a Pre Listing Inspection?

How much is a pre-listing inspection? It can cost hundreds of dollars or more depending on:

  • *The size of the home
  • *The age of the home
  • *The condition of the house
  • *The location of the property

What is a Pre-Listing Walk and Talk?

If a pre-listing inspection is a bit beyond your budget, The BrickKicker offers a unique option: the Pre-Listing Walk and Talk. It is not an inspection at all, but rather a consultation. The seller hires a qualified ASHI Certified Inspector to do the consultation before putting the home on the market. As a result, the seller learns about any deficiencies or deferred maintenance that needs correcting before the house goes on the market. Then, they can decide how to handle them. 

The significant difference between the Pre-Listing Walk and Talk and a typical home inspection is that there is no written report. The seller is encouraged to take their own notes and decide what will be updated before settling on a list price with their Realtor. In this way, they can appropriately allocate their resources, anticipate any concessions the buyer may request, and price the home accordingly.

Pre-Listing Inspection vs. Buyer Inspection

What is the difference between a pre-listing inspection vs. a buyer inspection? The only significant difference is who pays for it. A pre-listing inspection is paid for by the seller, and a buyer pays for a buyer inspection. However, doing a pre-emptive pre-listing inspection can save the home seller a great deal of hassle and even money because it prevents surprises and post-inspection negotiations. 

The BrickKicker is at Your Service

We are here for you in good times and bad, from a Pre-Listing Walk and Talk to radon testing and more. Contact us to experience The BrickKicker difference today. We are always happy to answer your questions and help in any way that we can. Give us a call today!

Home Maintenance Review (HMR)

What is a Home Maintenance Review (HMR)?  The best way to describe an HMR is that it is all the best parts of a The BrickKicker home inspection without having to sell your home.  It will put all unbiased expertise and inspector knowledge to use in your home and help you keep this huge asset in top working order.

The BrickKicker has been providing expert, professional, unbiased home inspections since 1989.  We have tens of thousands of clients how have relied on us to help them make informed decisions before they purchase their homes.  Who better for you to rely upon to help you keep it maintained, then that same trusted expert.

We recommend having your home reviewed at least every eighteen months.  We will focus on many of the same elements as your original home inspection but will focus on the maintenance aspects.  If you have future plans for a remodel or an enhancement.  The BrickKicker inspectors are experts at homes.  We can be there to help you avoid certain mis-steps or expensive design extras which can directly effect the budget.

Remember, often times if you call a professional in a certain discipline they will likely recommend the replacement of an entire system.  If you call someone who is unbiased and not there to sell anything, you will only receive a professional opinion.  Isn’t that what you are looking for?

Consider contacting your local The BrickKicker and schedule your HMR today.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

p>If you’ve ever dealt with an unexpectedly cold shower on a freezing morning, then you already know just how important a water heater can be! While most units work well without a hitch for years and years, many customers wonder just how long do water heaters last before they need to be replaced. Whether you have a tank water heater or a stand-alone unit, learn more about the different types of water heaters, how tankless water heaters work, and other home maintenance with The BrickKicker.

How Tank Water Heaters Work

Tank water heaters are some of the most popular on the market today, and with good reason. These steel units are durable and effective – as well as budget-friendly. A tank water heater uses either electricity or fuel, like natural or propane gas, to heat the water. The tank also serves as a storage unit, equipped with plenty of insulation to keep the water warm between heating cycles. While the steel tank is incredibly strong, it is prone to corrosion. There are two methods of dealing with this:

  • Each tank comes with glass lining to prevent corrosion from occurring. If a hole forms, the entire tank must be replaced.
  • Tanks also include a magnesium anode rod that is designed to corrode instead of the tank itself. However, once the rod has worn away, it must be replaced.

A storage water heater typically has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

More and more homeowners are turning to tankless water heaters – also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters. Why? These types of water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient, especially for smaller households. While a tank heater warms and stores massive quantities of water at a time, a tankless design only heats water as needed using a gas burner or electric element. Though this affects your flow rate, a tankless heater can produce around 2–5 gallons of hot water per minute! Those with larger households can even install two tankless heaters to improve flow rate. And the energy savings can be well worth the initial investment:

  • For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24 to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage-tank water heaters.
  • They can be 8 to 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day
  • You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27 to 50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet.
  • ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

A tankless water heater can have a lifespan of over 20 years when properly maintained.

Find Out More with The BrickKicker

Not sure if your tank needs a replacement? Thinking about upgrading to an on-demand design? The BrickKicker can help. Contact us to learn how to get the best bang for your buck in your current or potential home. Our certified experts can perform a thorough home inspection to assess any issues and maximize your energy efficiency, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Why Shouldn’t We Test AC Units in the Winter?

Many of our Naperville customers have been asking us when they can test their AC units. They keep asking, “Why shouldn’t we test AC units in the winter?” Learn more about the hazards of testing your AC unit in winter here, what happens if you run your AC in winter, and when you should test your AC unit. Then, if you have questions, contact your Chicagoland home inspection service, the BrickKicker. We’re always happy to help!

Why Test Your AC in Warm Weather?

Most air conditioning manufacturers and HVAC professionals agree an outdoor condensing unit should not be run in cold weather for any reason at any time. The reason is that the oil used to lubricate the compressor does not lubricate well when it’s cold. The lubricant in a home air conditioner is not unlike the lubricant in your car. There are different grades, like summer-weight and winter-weight. The summer-weight oil used in the standard air conditioner is a heavier oil grade and only works well during warmer weather conditions. In cold weather, the oil is too thick for safe operation of the AC system.

What Temperature is Too Cold For Air Conditioners?

When it comes to testing AC in winter, you may be wondering what temperature is too cold for air conditioners? Most HVAC technicians and home inspectors refuse to operate the central air conditioner unless the daytime temperatures are well above 65 degrees for a minimum of 24 hours. So when should you test your AC Unit? Wait to test and use your air conditioner only between May through September.

Are There Any Exemptions?

Now that you know why you shouldn’t test AC units in the winter, you might be wondering if there are any exceptions to these guidelines. The only exception to waiting for warmer weather to test your AC unit would be for those units with a crankcase or sump heater. These have a heating strip placed around the compressor and oil reservoir that help keep it warm and moving, but it’s still best to wait. There are even some more sophisticated units, with low-ambient temperature sensors that prevent cold weather operation.

What Happens If You Run Your AC in Winter?  

As we mentioned earlier, when you run your AC in the winter, your oil can become far too thick as its molecules compress in the cold. This makes it difficult for the oil to circulate and your compressor to overheat. This could cause a perfectly good AC unit to fail, so the risk isn’t worth it. A much more energy efficient way to cool down your Aurora home in the winter is to simply open the window and let some of the cold air into the house.

The BrickKicker is Always at Your Service

If you don’t know if you have a crankcase heater, or you don’t know if your unit has a thinner grade of oil, it’s best to avoid testing your AC in winter. Please do not operate your central air conditioner until the temperature is over 65 degrees for at least 24 hours. The risks are too high. Running a unit at that temperature could cause significant damage to a perfectly good operating unit. Now that you know what happens if you run your AC in winter and when you should test your AC unit, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule a home inspection. We are always ready to help! If you have other questions related to home care, be sure to explore our blog for dozens of other helpful reads about problems to look out for, DIY home care tips, and home inspection service intervals!

Is a Home Inspection Franchise Right For You?

Starting a business and being an entrepreneur can be a scary proposition for anyone.  Deciding whether or not to enter the market by purchasing a franchise can be daunting.  For many, owning your own business is part of the American Dream.  The idea of calling your own shots, building your legacy has a familiar sound many have experienced and succeeded with.

 

There are three logical methods of entering the business and career of home inspections.  These are: as an employee of another firm, as an independent and new firm, and buying into a Franchise operation.  For the purposes of this article I will focus on the last two.

 

The professional of home inspections, for most, is a second or third career.  The demographics are dominated by an age group over 45 and many come from the trades or have an engineering background.  Most home inspectors have a thirst for information and are full of opinions and technical information.   But, they might lack the knowledge of how to enter the marketplace.

 

If an inspector or entrepreneur decided to enter as a self-designed and independent company they will be solely responsible for one-hundred percent of everything created, designed, and maintained by this new endeavor.   They will absolutely have the ability to seek out and rely upon any experts they can find the guide them along the way.  But, imagine, any marketing or sales collateral has to be designed by them.  The website has to be designed by them.  The reporting system has be determined and maintained by them.

 

If an inspector was to enter the marketplace by purchasing a franchise from a reputable and accepted national franchise company much of the heavy lifting is done.  The new operation will have the reporting system already designed and maintained.  The sales and marketing collateral will have been designed and possibly purchased through a national program.  The website will be designed and maintained by others and there will be a resource and play book established to help with success model.

 

Now if an inspector enters the marketplace as an independent company they will have the ability to be very unique and build a reputation on their own backs and merit.  They can go into the marketplace using technical resources and trade groups like InterNACHI (Inter National Association of Certified Home Inspectors).  But they are still alone.  As a franchise you will have a very unique and qualified resource there to help sort through aspects of the business you have difficulties with.  Everything the franchise does is franchise specific and not generic.

 

Owning a franchise does come with certain responsibilities and costs.  There will be an initial cost to purchase the franchise.  There will also be a royalty cost paid typically monthly and based upon a specific measurable, typically revenue.  As an independent inspector you will not have these costs.

 

Every business goes through a natural cycle and at some point your business will retire, close or sell.  The best scenario is to sell your business.  If a service business was built as an independent and a single inspector operation, when the operator leaves so does the business.  The referral sources become very attached to the inspector and when the inspector is not there the referral source might go elsewhere.  As an independent inspector  you will have to not only find a buyer for your business but transition all of your referral sources, who or confident with your work, to a new inspector and new business they have yet to be confident with.

 

If you own a franchised business there is a larger name and reputation presumably attached to it.  There is a certain cache and cash value associated with the name.  This goes beyond the single independent inspector.  Selling you franchise business then transfers all of the support mechanisms to this new operator and might allow you to vacate quicker and cleaner.

 

Regardless of whether you enter the world of home inspections as an independent inspector or as a franchise operation do so with the knowledge necessary to be responsible and trustworthy.  Your client’s deserve your very best.

For more information about home inspection franchises go to: www.brickkicker.com