Home Inspection Articles

The Home Inspection Event of 2014

Posted by Thea Scrimger on Dec 20, 2013 11:59:00 AM


We’d like to encourage Home Inspectors from all over to join us for The Carson Dunlop Conference: What Home Inspectors Need to Know. Come to Toronto for a great weekend on all things Home Inspection on March 1 & 2, 2014.

Education sessions and continuing education credits, engaging topics, and valuable networking opportunities makes this a must-attend event for experienced inspectors, new inspectors, and students.

Speakers Include:

  • Alan Carson - President, Carson Dunlop
  • Graham Clarke - VP of Engineering, Carson Dunlop
  • Richard Weldon - President, CDW Engineering
  • Alden Gibson - Lead Inspector, Inspections by Gibson
  • Bob Thoburn - Director, Builder Relations at Tarion Warranty Company


WHERE: The International Plaza Hotel in Toronto

WHEN: March 1 & 2, 2014

Price: $359*


>> We're also having a Horizon Training Event for new and advanced users on February 28, 2014.

>> CDW Engineering will be holding their renowned Commercial Inspection Course on March 3-5, 2014.




Regular Price

Early Bird Price*


Carson Dunlop Conference
March 1 & 2, 2014 





Horizon Training Event
February 28, 2014 


$69 per session or
$110 when you sign up for both 

$59 per session or
$100 when you sign up for both


Commercial Inspection Course
March 3-5, 2014 


 $2,160 $1,495 

 *Early bird offer available when you register before January 31, 2014.

To learn more and register please call 800-268-7070, email info@carsondunlop.com, or download our registration form.


Topics: Home Inspection, Promotion/Contest, Home Inspectors, Continuing Education, Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Lifelong Learning with Carson Dunlop

Posted by Thea Scrimger on Jun 19, 2013 4:15:00 PM

Continuing EducationAt Carson Dunlop we believe in the power of education. During our inspections we aim to educate and inform our clients to help them protect one of the biggest investments of their lives: their homes. As leaders in the Home Inspection industry for over 34 years, we have been able to educate hundreds of thousands of clients, but our commitment to the pursuit of knowledge does not end there.

In 1990 we began our continuing education initiative. We recognize that continuing education helps professionals stay current and enhance their skills, ensuring they remain relevant and valuable to clients. Leveraging our extensive knowledge about homes, we have developed several continuing education courses available for:

Each simple, well-illustrated course typically provides 3 or 4 continuing education credits. We understand that time is often of the essence so we made our courses fast, simple and cost-effective. Most offer the convenience of completing the material anywhere, anytime. Students receive their certificate immediately upon completing of the course.

For professionals, continuing education is a key element of success. In today's fast-paced environment, knowledge is power. We have 19 courses available to provide students with clear, simple information on how the major components of a home operate. The courses were approved by the Registrar, REBBA 2002 for CE Credits, Appraisal Institute of Canada for Guaranteed CPD credits, Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) and the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) in BC.

To learn more about the courses available to you, and continuing your education with Carson Dunlop, please click here or email education@carsondunlop.com

Topics: Distance Education, Continuing Education, Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Commercial Inspection: Taking Your Home Inspection Business to the Next Level

Posted by Thea Scrimger on May 14, 2013 10:37:00 AM

BuildingAs the Home Inspection industry continues to develop, with more and more individuals entering this great profession, many inspectors are investigating different avenues for revenue and company growth. Are you looking to take your Home Inspection business to the next level? If your answer is "yes", we have two words for you: Commercial Inspection.

The benefits to your business can be substantial.

  • Commercial Inspections build on your pre-existing Home Inspection skill set – you already have the knowledge and tools to get started in this field.
  • Commercial Inspections can generate up to 80% more revenue than Home Inspections in an equivalent amount of time.
  • A company providing Home and Commercial Inspections garners more respect than a company providing only Home Inspections – you look more impressive to prospective clients interested in both types of properties.

“We make 40% more per day on Commercial inspections than Home Inspections. And it’s nice not to have to deal with the emotions of a homebuyer.” – Phil Thornberry, Indianapolis IN

CDW Engineering is pleased to offer a three-day Commercial Building Inspection course in Toronto, Ontario from June 13th – 15th, 2013. The course consists of three action-packed days covering all you need to get your Commercial Inspection division up and running.

The instructors are professional engineers with over 25 years of Commercial Building Inspection experience. The course covers how to get into the Commercial Inspection business, best practices, and technical inspection issues with a special emphasis on “the TEAM approach” to Commercial Inspections. Students will learn where and when a consultant is required, and how to find and work with consultants.

CDW Engineering will provide their comprehensive commercial inspection textbook. Students will also receive a wealth of information including sample inspection reports, consultants’ reports, and information on quoting inspections, report writing, costing and relevant business issues.

CDW Engineering’s Commercial Building Inspection course is based on the protocol for performing a Property Condition Assessment to the ASTM Standard E2018-08 and has been approved for 24 ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) Membership Renewal Credits, 24 NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) Continuing Education Credits, 24 CAHPI BC (Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors, British Columbia branch) Membership Renewal Credits, and 22 CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association) Continuing Education Credits.

The class size for this course is limited to 25 participants. Early bird pricing for this course is available until May 17th, 2013 – take advantage of this exclusive offer today. To learn more or register for this course, please click here or call 1-866-964-3246.

Topics: Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training, Commercial Inspection

Carson Dunlop Announces Specialized Pricing For Veterans

Posted by Thea Scrimger on Apr 24, 2013 2:35:00 PM

FamilyThe Home Inspection profession is filled with opportunities for Veterans looking to enter a new industry after serving their country. According to Entrepreneur.com, “The International Franchise Association (IFA) estimates that one out of every seven franchises in the U.S. – more than 66,000 businesses in total – is owned and operated by a Veteran. But there are many more Veterans who would love to own their own business, and the biggest obstacle to that dream is money.”* The magazine even showcases Home Inspection as one of the top 10 franchise options for Veterans.

Over 76.4% of Home Inspection businesses are individually operated, and the industry continues to grow.** With a large number of its practitioners ready to retire, the opportunities for those looking to enter the Home Inspection profession are vast. Carson Dunlop is pleased to present our highly-rated Home Inspection training program to Veterans with $1,000 in savings to help make a career transition easier.

“We are thrilled to be able to give back to these brave and honorable individuals,” commented Brian Bell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Carson Dunlop. “We are proud of our many graduates who are flourishing in this great profession and recognize the huge potential for success in interested Veterans.”

A key differentiator for any Home Inspector is your education and desire to succeed. Graduating from a respected and well-known education provider makes all the difference in today’s market. Carson Dunlop has created the most comprehensive Home Inspection training program available. It is not a one or two week introductory course. No one can learn a complex consulting practice in a couple of weeks. The Carson Dunlop Home Inspection training program is a complete career training program to help you achieve success in the Home Inspection industry. The program was developed with education design consultants and distance education specialists from Memorial University. Every rewarding career starts with a great education – start yours today.

To learn more about the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection training program and preferred Veteran pricing, please download our Education Catalogue or schedule an Education Consultation.

*SOURCE: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223845#
**SOURCE: American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), 2011 Home Inspectors Survey.

Topics: Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Carson Dunlop Field Training: There's No Substitute for Experience

Posted by Thea Scrimger on Mar 11, 2013 4:15:00 PM

HANDYAt Carson Dunlop we believe when it comes to mastering the Home Inspection profession, there is no substitute for experience. The benefits of hands-on experience are not only recognizable in the Home Inspections our consultants perform, but are also built into our Home Inspection training program. The Carson Dunlop Home Inspection Training Program is the most comprehensive system available. We ensure clear communication and effective learning, inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to our well-recognized and broadly adopted study program, Carson Dunlop also offers a field training program. This one-week, hands-on, intensive session complements our Home Inspection Training Program. It allows students, graduates and Home Inspectors to apply their knowledge and refine their skills in a safe and comfortable real-world field environment.

Most adults learn best by doing, rather than watching or listening. That's why this program includes five, 8-hour sessions, offered Monday through Friday. Each day you will inspect a different house with an experienced Home Inspector who will guide and instruct you. It’s a lot like training wheels – you are running the inspection, with a bit of help. With the instructor’s guidance, you perform the inspection yourself and write your own inspection report. Then you work with the instructor, comparing your inspection report to the instructor’s. This is where you ask questions and discuss report items and findings. The process combines low stress with high learning, and allows you to hone your skills in risk-free situations. To learn more about how field training can help you become a better Home Inspector, click here.    

The next field training sessions will be held on:

  • May 27th to May 31st 2013
  • June 24th to June 28th 2013
  • October 28th to November 1st 2013

Space is limited for these exclusive sessions, so enroll early to avoid disappointment. To register for the session of your choice, please click here or call 800.268.7070 extension 251.

Topics: Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Home Inspection Students go the Distance with Carson Dunlop

Posted by Thea Scrimger on Jan 11, 2013 1:23:00 PM

LearnAtYourOwnPaceInterested in a career in Home Inspection but afraid of the commitment involved with going back to school? Distance education courses may be right for you. Many recognize the benefits associated with receiving reputable Home Inspection training, but worry the program will interfere with their current lifestyle and livelihood. At Carson Dunlop, we understand that just because someone is considering a change in careers, it doesn't mean they're willing or able to put their lives on hold - which is why we offer our Home Inspection training program in a distance education format. Distance education offers students many benefits, including:

    • The ability to learn at your own pace
    • No travel or accommodation costs
    • No need to take time off work

According to Study Magazine, "Distance education programs are a practical option these days for busy adults, parents with children and even high school graduates who prefer to continue working, often full-time, while earning a post-secondary credential."*

The Carson Dunlop Home Inspection training program offers the same educational content, resources and applications, regardless if it is taken in-class or through distance education. Distance education allows students to complete the program at their own pace, from the comfort of their home. It works with your schedule, not against it. Being technically savvy is not a requirement - the program is intuitive and easy to use. Inspectors, tutors and instructors are available via phone and email to answer questions and ensure students are comfortable with the material.

On the effectiveness of the course, one student determined, "The information layout of the manuals combined with the videos is a tool that can only be described as value-added. The details such as description, what to look for, reasons why and what to do for each module are very well formatted and have greatly expanded my knowledge. In conclusion I will have to take a word from the MasterCard commercial on the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection course: PRICELESS." 

Although Carson Dunlop consists of experts in Home Inspection, we turned to the education professionals for help with our training. We worked with an education design consulting company and distance education specialists from Memorial University to produce the premium Home Inspection training program in North America. Our education format has been proven over the last decade with thousands of students excelling in both Canada and the United States.

For more information on the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection training program click here, download our free Education Brochure or sign up for an education consultation.

*SOURCE: Study Magazine, Andy Gregory - http://studymagazine.com/2012/11/30/dont-quit-your-day-job-choose-distance-education/?orgid=900&infoID=47592284&sid=24036&linkID=359797

Topics: Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Is a Home Inspection Career Right for You?

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Nov 30, 2012 3:17:00 PM


Have you considered a career in Home Inspection? Home Inspection is a relatively young, but growing profession. The Home Inspection industry has a very positive future with the steady growth of consumer demand, opportunity to add ancillary products and services, as well as diversification opportunities in a profession that will see more than 15% of its current practitioners retire in the next 10 years. 

This exciting industry is filled with opportunities for new entrants. Home Inspectors share many common traits that include:

  • A technical mindset
  • A desire to work with new people every day
  • A passion for homes
  • A natural independence

Becoming a Home Inspector gives you the option of managing your own business. By running your own business you not only have the satisfaction of creating something that is truly yours, there is also the bonus of being the ultimate decision maker in your work life – no more bosses or coworkers to be held accountable to. 

Did you know that 76.4% of Home Inspection businesses are individually owned, run and operated?

Some of the other benefits of owning your own practice include:

Income The ability to control your income
TaxAdvantages The tax advantages associated with self-employment
SetYourSchedule The means of setting your own schedule
WorkFromHome The flexibility of working from home

Home Inspection is a valuable and rewarding consulting practice and definintely worth considering. Learn more about Home Inspection and the benefits of self-employment by downloading our free Educational Program Catalogue or joining one of our free weekly webinars.

Topics: Home Inspection, Carson Dunlop, Home Inspection Training

Telltale Signs That A Home Was Previously A Grow Op

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 30, 2012 1:51:00 PM

Grow OpHave you ever wondered why your neighbors never seem to surface from their home, rarely have any garbage to pick up, always have the blinds down or windows covered, come and go at unusual hours, and never invite you over for a barbecue? These are some of the signs of a potential marijuana grow operation.  With an estimated 50,000 grow houses in Canada*, there is increasing concern about health, fire, safety, and structural implications for home buyers. It’s imperative to know the signs and the associated risks with houses that were previously used as a grow house.


What is a Grow House?

A grow house is a home that has been converted into a marijuana operation. Larger homes in quiet areas with unfinished basements are preferred, although grow houses can exist in any type of home or neighborhood.

What Are the Signs and the Risks?

The house must have ideal greenhouse conditions for the plants to grow. To create such an environment, operators usually make some changes to the following areas of the house:

Electrical System

Grow Op Electrical1) The electrical system is usually altered to power the hydroponic equipment. Operators may steal electricity by tapping into the electrical service before it enters the electrical meter, and bring power into the house through a hole in the foundation. This is sometimes visible near the electrical panel.

2) Additional circuitry is usually added inside the home to bring electrical power to the equipment, and operators rarely make sure that these alterations meet electrical codes.

While these modifications can create a hazardous electrical situation, improvements can be made to ensure the electrical system remains safe for a potential homebuyer. Holes cut in the foundation wall can be repaired as well, but if not done properly, the potential for water leakage remains.


Plants require light, ideal temperature, water and nutrients in order to thrive. With the heat generated by hydroponic lighting, a significant amount of humidity is produced in the process. While humans, animals, and plants need humidity, too much can cause mold, mildew, and rot to form in the home, especially in or on exterior surfaces such as foundation walls or attic spaces. Often, modifications are made to the home to help vent the excess humidity to the outdoors and bring in fresh air from the outside. These include:

Grow Op Chimney1) Fireplaces and chimneys which can be used as channels for removing excess moisture. Operators will insert metal liners inside the chimney to do this.

2) Structural elements such as floor and ceiling joists are sometimes cut to accommodate additional ductwork.

The structural integrity of the home may be compromised by the combination of cut framing components and high humidity. Signs of high humidity are usually most visible in attic spaces, where the moist air is often vented. Darkening of attic surfaces is generally a good indicator that mold and mildew are present.

Mold comes in many colors and may be visible and distinct. It can also be very subtle. Surface mold may be the tip of the iceberg, with considerable mold concealed behind the wall. In other cases, the mold is only on the surface.

The toughest situation occurs when the mold is not visible. Home Inspectors pay particular attention to intersecting walls and ceilings where air circulation is poor or areas that have been chronically damp or wet. The good news is that many grow houses are in operation for less than a year, which may not be enough time for mold to thrive and cause serious structural damage.

Other Clues

There are a few other clues you can look for which may indicate that the house was once a grow house:

1) Painted concrete floors in the basement and walls that have been painted white to reflect light. Operators also use white paint to cover up evidence of where pots used to sit.

2) Screw holes and patches are often visible in the foundation wall where equipment was mounted above the floor level to avoid any water on the floor.

3) Multiple splices in the plumbing system may be present to nourish the crop.

4) Chemical odors may still be present as a result of the fertilizers and pesticides used, which can create health hazards through poor indoor air quality.

While it is expected that realtors who are representing sellers or landlords of these properties should make every effort to ensure that all parties are notified of the potential issues, a Home Inspection can help quantify the severity of these issues. In most cases, with proper clean-up and some repair, these homes can be lived in without concern.

In many cases, insurance companies may not issue insurance for homes that were formerly grow houses. By exercising good judgment and due diligence in obtaining proper information on the condition of the home, purchasers can rest easy knowing that with a little tender loving care, the home will provide the comfort and security they deserve.

Carson Dunlop provides a continuing education course on grow houses should you want to better familiarize yourself with the signs of a grow house. Please view our Continuing Education section of our website for more information.


*SOURCE: Michael G. Cochrane and Insomniac Press http://www.mycanadianrealestatelaw.com/growhouse.html

Topics: Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips, Home Inspection Training

GFCI, AFCI & Tamper Resistant - What Do They All Mean?

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 25, 2012 9:45:00 AM

The terms GFCI, AFCI and Tamper Resistant may seem overwhelming, but don’t fret, these designations refer to safety features in your home’s electrical system. While you don’t need to be an expert on these devices, learning a bit about what keeps you and your family safe within your house can be beneficial. Some of the common safety features that have been added to our homes include:

  1. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
  2. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters
  3. Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

gfci resized 600


Purpose: These keep you from being electrocuted. More specifically, they look for electrical leaks. If they notice a leak, they assume that it might be going though you and they shut off the electricity.

Where needed: Anywhere close to water. They are typically near kitchen sinks, in bathrooms, outdoors, garages, etc.

Identifying them: GFCIs are special breakers in your electrical panel (look for a Test button) or special receptacles (outlets) with Test and Reset buttons. Sometimes you can find the letters “GFI” or “GFCI”.


Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters




 Purpose: These help prevent fires by looking for overheating from poor connections.

Where needed: AFCIs are special breakers on your electrical panel that protect receptacles in bedrooms.

Identifying them: They are special breakers on your electrical panel (look for a Test button). Sometimes you can find the letters “AFCI”.





Tamper Resistant Receptacles/Outlets

describe the image

Purpose: These keep you from being electrocuted. In particular, they won’t let children (or adults) put a key, safety pin, screwdriver, etc. into receptacles.

Where needed: Anywhere a child can reach a receptacle.

Identifying them: Look for the letters “TR” on cover plate or plates blocking slots.

Good to know: While normal receptacles are rated for 15 amps of current flow, the T-slot in this picture indicates the receptacle is rated for a larger 20-amp load. Some appliances require a 20-amp circuit and have T-shaped prongs so they can’t be used on a 15-amp receptacle. These receptacles are commonly used above kitchen counters, to handle kettles and toasters for example, without tripping the breaker even when they are on at the same time.


If you like tips like these, check out our Home Reference Book for the ultimate homeowners guide to owning a house. You can also sign up to our blog, start following us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips, Home Inspection Training

Women in the Home Inspection Industry

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 2, 2012 2:32:00 PM

Sheila Corman, Home InspectorDid you know that only 1.6% of all Home Inspectors are women?*

We were just as surprised as you are to learn there are so few female Home Inspectors in North America.  While Home Inspection is a male dominated industry, we believe there are numerous reasons why women should consider this profession.   Women can bring a unique perspective to Home Inspection and often establish good working relationships with their clients due to their ability to connect with a variety of homeowners while putting them at ease. 

So what is it like as a female Home Inspector?  We recently conducted an interview with a female Home Inspector who works at Carson Dunlop to provide some insight into the profession.  Sheila Corman joined the industry after working in several fields which involved a large amount of physical labour. She began to look for a profession that was less physically exhausting and stressful on her body, which made becoming a Home Inspector a natural fit. Not only did Sheila graduate with distinction from her Home Inspection training program, she now teaches it at Seneca College! When asked whether gender plays a role in her job, Sheila explained:

“Absolutely, but I think it does so in a positive way. As a woman the intimidation factor goes down and communication goes up. I mean of course there are still some stereotypical comments and more often than not I’m not what clients are necessarily expecting, but the inspection report and the results speak for themselves.”

Sheila is quite the busy individual too – she teaches, performs Home Inspections and also plays a very active role in her daughter’s life. If you’d like to view Sheila’s profile and the full interview, visit our Graduate Success & Testimonials.  Women like Sheila are taking advantage of the numerous opportunities available to them. Regardless of whether you are male or female, Home Inspection can be a great career choice. Individuals that choose to pursue this profession share a passion for homes and a love of interacting with new people on a daily basis. Interested in learning more? Download our Home Inspection Training Catalogue.

*SOURCE: American Society of Home Inspectors, 2011 Home Inspections Business Operations Survey

Topics: Home Inspection Training