Hello WAHI Members,
I missed the July meeting for the Milwaukee Chapter due to being on vacation, but I heard it went very well! My thanks to Bingo Emmons, owner of Creative Construction of Wisconsin, and his employees for hosting the meeting in their new training room and providing a cookout dinner. The classroom portion of our November Pre-Licensing Home Inspector Training Course will take place there as well. Bingo is an active Affiliate member and also serves as the Milwaukee Chapter Education Chair, and we cannot thank him enough for his continued generosity towards WAHI.
During the meeting, discussion took place about the importance of presenting a professional appearance as a home inspector. Jim Oezer, Milwaukee Chapter President, shared that an inspection recently took place near his home and he witnessed the inspector’s arrival. This inspector, not a WAHI member, was dressed in shorts and flip-flops and brought his dog along in his truck. Certain situations may lend themselves to a little more casual attire; however, as WAHI members we should always strive to present ourselves in a professional manner, including our attire, in front of our customers, realtors, and any neighbors that may be watching. In my opinion, shorts and flip flops are not the image I want to portray.
I mentioned being on vacation last month. My family and I rented a 32’ RV and headed to Utah’s national parks. This wasn’t our first road trip as we have traveled as a family to all 50 states over the years. In all these trips we have not had a single incident on the road, not even a flat tire. I attribute that mostly to our preparation. Before each trip our vehicle is scheduled for an oil change and thorough service. Our route each day was well planned, which minimized surprises while driving. We often talk about being safe during our inspections on ladders, roofs, and in attics, but we also need to be safe and prepared when traveling to and from our inspections. So, take the time to make sure your vehicle is well maintained and always know your driving route in advance.
Hope you’re enjoying your summer!
Hello WAHI Members,
Summer is finally here! Hope you are all taking some time to enjoy the beautiful weather we have been experiencing.
In the southeastern part of our state, this summer has been near drought conditions. And as much as I like the sunshine, we could use more rain (although as I’m writing this that much needed rain is falling). These dry conditions can make evaluating a foundation a little more challenging. Chris Mancuso, owner of Accurate Basement Repair and Milwaukee Chapter Affiliate Member, told me that as clay soil dries out, it can pull back on a foundation that is tipped or bowing in during wet ground conditions. So when we see a concrete block foundation wall that has horizontal and step cracks, but the wall is not out of plumb or bowed, it could be moving in and out based on the wet or dry condition of the soil. Consider recommending “further evaluation” by a qualified foundation consultant or repair contractor to determine if bracing is needed.
Speaking of WAHI Affiliate Members, these contractors are a valuable resource for home inspectors. They provide very beneficial information and education when giving presentations at our chapter meetings and training seminars. Recently, Julie sent an email to our Chapter-Elected Member at Large Board Members. She requested they seek names of quality contractors and service providers their chapter members rely on regularly - the plan is to encourage them to become a WAHI Affiliate Member. If you have relationships with contractors that you count on, who know their industry well, please pass along their information at your next chapter meeting.
The real estate market is crazy again with offers being written with no inspection contingencies. I suggest taking the time to update your inspection template if needed, complete some online training, and stay in touch with realtors that refer you on a regular basis so you’re ready when needed.
I’ll be taking some upcoming road trips to attend each chapter’s meeting before this fall’s seminar in Milwaukee so I can get to know more of our members - see you then!
Hello WAHI Members,
We often talk about staying safe when doing a home inspection because it is a very important aspect of our job. I’m sure all of you want to complete each inspection safely in order to go on to the next job and finally home to your families every night. Safety should be part of your routine as you perform each inspection.
So what are you doing to protect your head? I’ve seen some inspectors wear a baseball hat or other cap on the job, offering some protection, but perhaps not enough. While I never really thought about wearing one myself, as of a few weeks ago, I started wearing a "bump cap” when inspecting attics. In early May I bumped my head pretty good on an attic rafter during an inspection. Even though I remembered it hurting at the time, with no blood present, I thought nothing more of it and continued on with my day. However, 36 hours later I woke the in the middle of the night completely disoriented and extremely nauseous. To make what could be a long story a little shorter, it turns out that “simple bump” turned into a mild concussion, causing me to feel dizzy and preventing me from working (and earning money!) for a few days. So let this be a reminder to everyone that staying safe includes protecting your head. Because while you might be able to continue working with a boot on your ankle or cast on your arm, if you can’t keep your balance from a blow to the head, the only thing you’ll be doing is missing work.
Speaking of safety, North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) has designated May as Deck Safety Month. Our state standards are not as strict as NADRA’s; however, we need to inspect decks thoroughly and not be afraid to call them a defect or recommend further evaluation when needed. If access under the deck is limited or restricted, be sure to note that in the report as well.
The dates have been set for our next WAHI Pre-Licensing Home Inspection Training Course, November 6th through the 10th, and the WAHI Fall Education House and Training Seminar, November 10th and 11th-both will be held in the Milwaukee area. Be sure to check out the “What’s Happening” section of the newsletter for more information.
Hello WAHI Members -
I’d like to first thank everyone who voted me in for President of this great organization. I’m looking forward to working with our Board of Directors and Julie for the next two years.
A very well deserved thank you is in order for our out-going President Ric Thompson. Ric took on this role looking to get more involved in WAHI and was soon dealing with the most important issue WAHI has had to confront in many years – what is now known as 2021 Act 17. The amount of time Ric gave our organization in order to lead WAHI through that process was far more than is typically asked of ourPresident. Thankfully Ric handled it admirably, and although changes to our standards were ultimately made, WAHI was well represented during the negotiations and is now known as THE source for training and education of home inspectors in Wisconsin. Thanks again, Ric!
Bang, bang, bang, (imagine the sound of my gavel)! - I call to order, my final article as President of the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors!
The past 4 years have been real, they have been fun and, at many times, real fun! Sometimes, real trying as well!
For my final article, as I did at the seminar, I want to take a brief look at the past four years of WAHI and what the Board has accomplished. It was a busy 4 years and I certainly hope that the association is in a better place than when I took my position. My goal was to make sure it didn’t take a step back!
My term certainly started out quite eventful with the introduction of the home inspector legislation! After much talk and negotiation and even some heated discussions, the WAHI Board took what initially seemed to be a dark cloud and make it mostly sunny. The first plus to the legislation was WAHI using this as an opportunity to become more visible under the dome in Madison. Multiple legislators have attended seminars and we are now the “Go To” for Madison when it comes to home inspector related items that may come across their desk. They now know who WAHI is!
The Board put a group of our greatest home inspector minds together to come up with the WAHI Inspection Guideline to help navigate the changes brought about by the legislation. This was even more beneficial for new inspectors – when most of us started out we didn’t know where to begin. Now, new inspectors, that become WAHI members, have a solid base to begin reporting from. This puts them ahead of where many of us were our Day One!
The Board also found a financial opportunity for WAHI in the education portion of the bill and took advantage of it. Now, the premier home inspector association in the state of Wisconsin has a successful, standard holding, pre-licensing program! I am proud to say we have had 25 graduates go through our training course. The program is financially in the black and will be a revenue source for WAHI for years to come! This might be the accomplishment I am most proud of our Board putting together.
We have also taken most of the hard work that goes into our seminar weekends and put it in the hands of the hosting chapter. This has made for more robust education and a much more economically friendly seminar for WAHI. Host chapters have been able to find excellent local presenters to improve the knowledge of our attendees. Which, of course, makes WAHI Inspectors the best in the state!
WAHI has made technological advances over the past 4 years as well! COVID forced us to take a look at our educational programming beyond in-person approach. We now have a growing online education library for those that can’t make the seminars or chapter meetings. Along with that, the Board placed focus on our online presence by doing SEO work to ensure that we are at the top of the list when it comes to home inspector association searches. It must be working - the majority of our Pre-Licensing students were a result of online searches.
Finally, the item I personally worked hardest on, is the relationship between WAHI and the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA). What was seen by me as a contentious relationship, has turned into a partnership with an open-door policy when discussion is needed on inspection issues relative to the real estate transaction. Now, when I meet with WRA representatives, it is a friendly, work together, kind of conversation. Both of us working to make the transaction better for the clients we share.
These are just a few of the highlights of the past 4 years! I am sure I am missing others but, I wanted to keep the article as short as possible while still mentioning these items.
I want to give one final “Thank you!” to all of the Board members that were apart of this ride. Absolutely none of this would have happened without all of you. Together we have made WAHI better and the best home inspector association in the state of Wisconsin!
Julie…no words can express my thank you to you! We didn’t always see eye to eye but, that is how things get done in a productive manner. You were able to calm my storm at times and keep us on a good path to improvement throughout the past 4 years. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Lastly, to David Nason…I wish you nothing but the best and know I am just a phone call away. WAHI is in great hands with you at the helm and I am excited to see the direction you take WAHI. As a wise person once said to me, “I am excited to see where the next person takes the association in places I couldn’t.” You will prove to be a great President for WAHI!
Thank you to all of the members for your support! You have made this job fun and well worth the time invested in it. Keep being the best home inspectors in Wisconsin and keep working with WAHI to make it even better than it already is!
I have tremendous respect for WAHI and hold our association in the highest regard. I will be around and will continue to be involved in WAHI - to just sit back and watch would feel unnatural to me. I look forward to helping in any way I can!
Be safe out there! (Bang, bang, bang goes the gavel one last time!)
Ric Thompson, President (Proudly!)
Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors, Inc.
Good day all!
As I type this, we are preparing for our 3rd Pre-Licensing Home Inspection Training Course which we hope will produce 9 future WAHI members! Over the course of planning our 3 courses, we have tweaked the program a little each time to continue making it the Gold Standard of pre-licensing education in the State of Wisconsin. As we began, we had one house for the hands-on field training - we now have 2, which provides our students more exposure to what they may run into out in the “real world”. In all, our program has had 27 students, some of which have already become state licensed and have joined WAHI.
We are putting the finishing touches on our crown jewel, our biannual WAHI Education House and Training Seminar - my last as President of this great association! In my 4 years on the Board of Directors, we have made changes and improvements to this training weekend - changes I feel have made a really good thing even better. I look forward to seeing what our next President has in store!
The power of WAHI is so visible at our training events. Numerous members volunteer to educate inspectors to make them the best they can be! WAHI is an association that was built on volunteers and continues to grow stronger each and every year! With the Chapter and State elections on the horizon, this is your opportunity to play a larger role in WAHI - give it some thought! While serving in a leadership role you learn so much about WAHI and the home inspection industry in general – it’s amazing to be a part of that.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the seminar and learning with the best inspectors in the state!
Be safe out there!
The WAHI Spring 2023 Education House and Training Seminar is right around the corner! We have a great line up of speakers for Friday afternoon's Rotation Training and all-day Saturday.
On Saturday, we start off with the return of Golden’s Chimney Service to discuss new chimney information and a new certification related to inspections. Bill Majewski and his associate Tom Urban were great when they did a presentation for us in Neenah - they’re excited to join us again!
Next we will welcome Matt Bond of Badger Balancing. Matt is speaking at a WAHI seminar for the 1st time and will do a presentation on “all things HVAC”! He will get into the nitty gritty of what we should be looking for when inspecting mechanicals.
After lunch we have an AWESOME Realtor panel lined up. Michael Sewell is heavily involved in the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin (RANW) and the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) - he is truly one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to anything pertaining to real estate. He knows the subject matter so well he teaches it too! Local Brokers Jenelle Bruno, Sarah Loberg, Kevin Jones and Gus Garcia will join Michael as we have an open discussion on the latest topics in the Realtor/Inspector relationship!
To close out the day, WAHI Home Inspector member John Freiburger, of Freiburger Consulting, will present on exterior veneers, focusing on masonry. John is a quality presenter with a wealth of knowledge - this will be an excellent presentation to finish up our information-packed weekend!
Don’t forget we have our WAHI Pre-Licensing Training Course that week as well - Monday, February 27th through Friday, March 3rd. We are very excited to have this program continue! Spread the word to those looking for a new career or a good side gig! We are focusing our marketing for this training on First Responders so share with them the opportunities our industry and association have to offer! We all know how well home inspecting can work with other employment and a variety of lifestyles!
See you all March 3rd and 4th in Fond du Lac! It is my last hurrah as your fearless leader - I look forward to seeing all of you and thanking you personally for your support over the past 4 years!
Be safe out there!
Ric Thompson, WAHI President