Home Inspections with Thermal Imaging
Many Inspectors are charging $70-100 per hour for thermal imaging added to a inspection report. Great add on service and a powerful tool to really find problems in a building. But time is not on their side, the proliferation and dropping prices of these tools will soon make them as important to the inspection as the digital camera and flashlight are today.
I do a lot of inspection work for insurance property losses due to water, a thermal camera is a necessity unless you want to trace damage inch by inch across a wall with a moisture meter. One sweep with the thermal imager saves incredible amounts of time scoping a project or loss. I naturally began using it as I began doing real estate inspections because I was familiar with its usage, it was already there in my truck ready to be put to use, and it set me apart from much of the competition when I could show a prospective home buyer what was going on in their walls. I secured more work by using a thermal imaging camera as part of my regular inspection, without having to up charge for the service. I’ve found that referral and word of mouth have brought more business in than hitting a single customer for $70.00 to turn on the tool and point.
Inspectors that do not make use of this technology today are already behind the curve. Even though most states set the real estate inspection standard at “non intrusive visual inspection of readily apparent defects”, customers want all the bang for the inspection buck they can get. If you don’t own a unit yet, investigate the investment cost vs. return of one today. It’s only a matter of time before your competition puts one into use, or decides to stop charging extra for what will soon be an ordinary tool in their tool bag.
Some may argue the investment in equipment and training should not make this a “free” part of a basic inspection. I agree that it’s a big investment for a small business owner, but I guarantee that the use of the technology in your daily business will set you apart from others in your market. You will be perceived as the professional inspection company, complete with the latest technology available for use for your clients.