How to Become a Calgary Home Inspector
Becoming a Calgary Home Inspector
If you have an interest in buildings and architecture, but you don’t want to be behind a desk then a career in home inspection could be the right fit for you. Home inspectors play a crucial role in assessing the condition of residential properties, identifying issues that require repair or maintenance, and ensuring that homes meet safety and quality standards. In this blog, we’ll walk through the steps for how to become a home inspector in Calgary, Alberta for someone brand new to the industry.
Understanding the License requirements
To become a home inspector in Calgary, you need to meet certain educational and professional requirements. According to the Government of Alberta, home inspectors in the province must be licensed by the Alberta government, and the licensing process requires completion of a course of study and an examination. A complete application for a home inspector license as per Alberta.ca includes the following:
- A completed application form
- A criminal record check or police information check:
- Proof of education
- Proof that you are employed or otherwise associated by a licensed home inspection business
Education and Training
To meet the educational requirement, aspiring home inspectors need to take a course that has been approved by the Alberta government. There are several educational institutions in Calgary that offer home inspection courses, including SAIT, which offers a Home Inspection Certificate program. However, for this article we’ll be focusing solely on the full process for achieving your Home Inspection license through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). InterNACHI is an accredited organization that provides training and certification for home inspectors worldwide. Here’s how you can become licensed through InterNACHI:
Step one: join internachi
The first step is to become a member of InterNACHI. You can do this by creating an account on their website and paying the membership fee, which costs $49 USD (~$67 CAD) per month or $499 USD (~$680 CAD) per year. As a member, you will instantly have access to various resources, including all training materials, online courses, forums and industry news.
Step two: Complete InterNACHI’s Online Courses
InterNACHI provides a comprehensive online course for training home inspectors. The course covers all aspects of a home inspection, and walks you through a thorough set of Standards of Practice which will provide you with the confidence you need to cover all of the areas listed below during an inspection:
- Different types of roofs, construction and their materials: such as asphalt shingle, metal, tile, and flat built-up roofs.
- Roofing installation and identifying repairs: which includes underlayment, flashing, and ventilation.
- Common roofing issues such as leaks, sagging, and punctures.
- Understanding the importance of proper grading and drainage around a property: explains how grading and drainage affect the structural integrity of a property and how to identify potential issues.
- How to inspect and evaluate the condition of exterior finishes: covers how to inspect and evaluate different types of exterior finishes, such as stucco, brick, siding, and EIFS.
- Identifying the common issues associated with each type of exterior cladding such as wood, vinyl, and fiber cement.
- Understanding the impact of soil conditions on foundation performance: covers how soil conditions affect the performance of foundations and how to identify potential issues.
- Identifying different types of foundations and their components: covers different types of foundations, such as slab-on-grade, crawl space, and full basements.
- How to identify and assess foundation damage: covers the signs and symptoms of foundation damage, such as cracks, settlement, and shifting, and how to assess their severity.
- Structural components of buildings and their functions: covers the different structural components of buildings, such as beams, columns, and walls, and their functions in supporting the building.
- Structural materials: the different materials used in structural systems, such as concrete, steel, and engineered lumber products, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
- Common structural issues and their solutions: such as foundation settling, cracked walls, and sagging floors.
HEATING & COOLING
- Understanding the differences between various types of heating and cooling systems: such as forced air, radiant, and geothermal, and their components.
- How to inspect and evaluate the performance of heating and cooling systems: such as furnaces, boilers, and air conditioners.
- Identifying common issues related to HVAC systems and their components: such as faulty thermostats, refrigerant leaks, and dirty filters.
- Various fixtures, such as faucets, toilets, and showers.
- Water supply and drainage systems: explains the principles of water supply and drainage systems, including how they work and how to identify common problems.
- Common plumbing issues such as leaks, clogs, and low water pressure.
- Electrical safety standards and regulations: including those related to wiring, grounding, AFCI and GFCI protection.
- Electrical wiring systems and their components: such as circuit breakers, outlets, and switches.
- Common electrical issues: such as overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and tripped breakers.
- Learn about different types of fireplaces and their exhaust methods: such as wood-burning, gas, and electric.
- How to inspect and evaluate the performance of fireplaces, chimneys and their components: such as fireboxes, flues, and dampers.
- Identifying common issues related to fireplace performance and maintenance: such as creosote buildup, draft problems, and carbon monoxide hazards.
ATTIC, INSULATION & VENTILATION
- Impact of insulation and ventilation on energy efficiency and air quality.
- Identifying different types of attic ventilation systems and their components: different types of attic ventilation systems, such as ridge vents, soffit vents, and gable vents.
- Inspecting and evaluating the performance of attic insulation and ventilation systems: covers how to inspect and approximate thermal values for attic insulation.
DOORS, WINDOWS, AND INTERIORS
- Understanding the different types of windows and doors and their unique challenges: covers different configurations such as single-hung, double-hung, sliding, and French doors, and their unique challenges.
- Identifying common issues related to window and door installation and operation.
Step three: Pass InterNACHI’s Online Exam
- After completing all of the required online courses, you will need to pass InterNACHI’s exam to become a certified professional inspector. However, the CPI designation alone will not be enough to attain your license in Alberta. As proof of education you will need to pass this exam in a proctored (monitored) setting. Upon passing the examination you will receive a certificate of completion for the Home Inspector program. This document will serve as your proof of education.
Step four: Complete a Test Inspection
- As a prerequisite to obtaining a license, home inspectors in Alberta must also complete and pass a test inspection under a Certified Master Inspector (CMI). CMIs are highly experienced and respected home inspectors who have demonstrated their expertise in the field through countless inspections. Their duty will be to ensure you’re familiar with inspecting all of the areas listed under regulations for the Alberta Consumer Protection Act for Home Inspection businesses. These areas will include: roofing, flashings, chimneys; exterior, including lot gradings, walkways, driveways, retaining walls, patios and decks; structure; electrical; heating; heat pumps and cooling; insulation; plumbing; interior.
This requirement ensures that home inspectors in Alberta meet the highest standards of professionalism and competence. InterNACHI also has a mentorship program which can help connect new inspectors to practicing inspectors in the Calgary area.
Step five: Continued education
- To maintain your certification, you need to complete continuing education. InterNACHI offers various courses and webinars that you can take to meet the continuing education requirements. You will also need to successfully complete a re-examination every 3 years.
Congrats! You’re a Calgary Home Inspector:
- In conclusion, becoming a licensed home inspector in Calgary through InterNACHI involves joining the organization, completing their online courses, passing their exams, connecting with a Certified Master Inspector, completion of a test inspection and then maintaining a continued education. Once you’ve completed that you’re ready to be a Calgary Home Inspector, and the search for a home inspector job begins.