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Bob's first home was full of code violations, defects, hazards, and things that just plain didn't make sense. He could not see the issues, though, as it was his first home and he thought the home was the greatest. After living there a while, he wished that someone objective, independent and trained could have walked through the home with him during the purchase process and opened his eyes. He would probably still have bought that home, but his expectations would have been a bit lower, and the surprises not quite as deep.
Over the next 20 years Bob has had two more "challenged" homes. He and his family lived through two major renovations that replaced systems, added structural components and dealt with everything from biohazards to historic preservation. He also was involved in the design and beginning construction of a unique custom home that was featured in a well-known architects book.
Living in a "challenged" home teaches you much more than you can imagine, as you need to learn how things work, where they are, and how to keep them working. When something fails on a rainy Friday night and the repair man laughs when you call, you know you are going to have a learning experience during that night. Similarly, some seemingly small jobs are impossible to get people to do, or their prices are equally challenging. Again, you learn, maybe more than you wanted to. Maybe you learn more than once.
All Maryland Licensed Home Inspectors are bound by an Ethics pledge that they will keep their clients interests first, but this is not always enough.
There are many home inspectors that get most of their clients from only a few sources. "Upsetting" one of these sources with a bad home inspection report could jeopardize future home inspection leads.
Bob gets the majority of his leads from the internet, or from previous client referrals. Some agents do refer clients to Bob because they know he is thorough, picky and takes the time to explain things, and they are looking out for their clients' interests. They will be the first to say that they don't want to see him when they are the seller's agent.
How important is Independence?
Check out the Independent Home Inspectors of North America web site. They have some interesting stories about inspections by "the agent's inspector" along with a copy of the pledge IHNA members have signed.
Bob is one of only four inspectors in all of Maryland who are pledged "independent."
- Heating systems (Electric, Ground Source, Gas & Oil, forced Hot air, Hot Water, in floor, radiant)
- Cooling systems (Through the wall, Conventional and High pressure retrofits, Ground Source)
- Electrical systems (Upgrades, re-work, grounding, communications, low voltage, additions, moves and sub-panels)
- Private septic systems (Gravity, pump)
- Private Water Systems (Shallow Jet wells, Deep Submersible Wells, Ice House retrofits, pumping & conditioning systems)
- Plumbing systems (PB pipe, CPVC pipe, Copper pipe, fixtures, well & septic, water treatment systems, tank less, conventional and zoned DHW)
- Hardware (Doors, windows, locks, fixtures, historic)
- Fireplaces (Flues, re-lining, inserts, gas-retrofits)
- Insects & Vermin (Termites, Carpenter ants, Wasps, Carpenter bees, flying squirrels, snakes)
- Roofs (Flat, built up, asphalt shingle, wood shake, gutters & drainage)
- Insulation (Blown, Batt, fiberglass, cellulose, foam, rigid, attic, wall, pipe, crawl)
- Hazards (radon, asbestos, abandoned tanks, Lead, methyl chloride)
- Network and telephone equipment (Ethernet, wireless and private PABX's)
- Driveway paving, brick & flagstone patios and walks.
- Heavy equipment (tractors, backhoes, trenchers, chippers), power tools, welding (Wire, Brazing, Oxy-acetylene), Deep wire tracers
- Home Automation (X10, Insteon, wired, SmartHome, HomeSeer, scripting, timing, Curtain Motors)
- Low Voltage Lighting (Solar, Wired, High Power transformers and long runs)
- Animal Control (Groundhogs, skunks, squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, birds, bats, electric fences)
Bob is continuing to learn and has chosen to formalize the education that he has already received so that he may help others through the process of buying and enjoying their homes by becoming a Home Inspector.
What training has Bob Sisson had?
In March of 2003 Bob completed Inspection Training Associates (ITA) 90 hour Home Inspector course. This exceeds the requirement for most of the professional associations that govern the industry. All of the associations require continuing education for membership, so he will continue to take courses on a wide variety of subjects. ASHI requires 20 Hours a year, so Bob had had over 100 Hours of additional training on a variety of topics.
Bob is proud to have passed the stringent NHIE (National Home Inspector Examination). This certification is required in order to obtain a Home Inspector license in Maryland, it is another indicator of the level of dedication and integrity Bob brings to his work. He has also earned the title of "ASHI Certified Inspector" from the American Society of Home Inspectors, which means he has performed more than 250 inspections and has had his reports audited.
What standards does Bob follow?
As a licensed Maryland Home Inspector, Bob must follow the State of Maryland Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which were created using the ASHI standards. As a Member of ASHI, Bob must also adhere to their standards. Basically Bob uses the stricter standards in each case. Bob also is an Independent Inspector, and follows that pledge in his marketing efforts. Bob includes a copy of the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics with every home inspection report.
How many Inspections has Bob Done?
As of July 31, 2012 Bob has completed more than 1,600 Inspections.
Does Bob belong to any professional associations or other organizations?
Bob is a member of the following professional associations:
- ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) Member # 212016
- IAEI (International Association of Electrical Inspectors
- NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association)
- ICC (International Code Council)
- IHINA (Independent Home Inspectors of North America)
- BBB (Better Business Bureau of Metro Washington DC and Eastern Pennsylvania)
Is your Home Inspector Licensed?
As of Jan 1, 2008 All home inspectors in the State of Maryland must by Licensed by the state and must provide a copy of their license at the time of the inspection. Inspections by Bob is already fully licensed by the State of Maryland and has also passed the National Home Inspectors exam (NHIE) along with the ASHI ethics exam. To see our license click Here.