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What to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector: An Interview with Gary Bottomley of Northwest Michigan Home Inspection Services

By Gary Bottomley

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

I am a sole proprietor set up as a LLC and fully insured. I follow the Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors as part of my Standard Inspection. Well & Septic inspections are items I can handle as extra services. I am also a HUD Fee inspector and a FHA 203k renovation loan Consultant. I also can handle inspections of Foundations for Manufactured homes to determine if they can be certified as being on a Permanent Foundation per HUD Guidelines.

What are the qualifications that home inspectors are required to have?

In Michigan, Home Inspectors do not need to be licensed. Most inspectors are either Licensed Residential Builders or have taken courses in home inspection, usually thru a Home Inspection association that require a series of mandatory courses plus many hours of additional courses on an annual basis.

Are there any additional qualifications that home buyers/sellers should look for in a potential home inspector?

Experience in all aspects of the home systems and construction.

Do all home inspections come with thermal imaging? Can you briefly explain why that's important?

Thermal imaging can be a good tool to evaluate the exterior surfaces to determine if there is inconsistency in the insulation and tightness of the building envelop. It can also detect areas that may be currently having moisture intrusion showing up as a cooler temperature from the rest of the surfaces. The equipment is extremely expensive and requires extensive training of the operator to properly interpret the images. I believe the cost associated with the product would escalate the inspection cost to the point that most people would not be willing to foot the bill. I don't believe there are many inspectors offering this service in this area.

What should be included in a high-quality, thorough home inspection report?

A written narrative with photos and captions of the conditions of the house that the buyer should be aware of, presented in a manner they can understand.

What would you tell people who are looking for an experienced home inspector?

Ask about their background, experience and type of report that they will be presenting to you.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Phone: 231 878-3569
Website: www.CadillacHomeInspector.com
Email: gbarchitect@charter.net

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