All certified home inspectors in Washington State must complete a 40-hour class, pass a certification test and complete 120 hours in the field alongside a certified inspector. After fulfilling these requirements, newly certified inspectors are, in the state’s eyes, prepared to inspect a home or business. However, in the eyes of Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, an inspector’s training is just getting started.
All inspectors who work for Boggs are state certified. But that’s just the starting point. Boggs has its own training program in place, making sure each inspection completed by the team is done with the same process, precision and professionalism Dwayne would use after 13-plus years of experience. New Boggs inspectors are paired with a veteran American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certified inspector and shadow them through not just 120 hours of inspections, but 150 to 200 individual home inspections before they can complete one solo.
“Some inspectors will only inspect 150 to 160 houses a year. That’s a minimum number for our trainees to see before we’ll even turn them loose on their own,” says Boggs. The depth of knowledge gained during this time creates a deep understanding of not only a home’s mechanics, but the level of service Boggs Inspection Service has built its business on.
After completing the 150 to 200 home inspections with a mentor, most inspectors have been through historic homes to new construction and everything in between. That experience creates a baseline for their work. Inspectors engage in “mock inspections,” sometimes in the homes of other employees or friends, going through the entire process with Dwayne as the client.
“This level of training is just standard for us,” says Dwayne. “We have a certain way, a certain protocol, for our inspections and we want to ensure all our new inspectors are comfortable and competent with our protocols before they are out on their own. They represent our company and we want to be sure every inspection is the same high quality, every time.”
Keith Bowman is a four-year veteran inspector with Boggs Inspection Services, and is an ASHI Gold Certified inspector and serves as a mentor to new trainees. “When you do something long enough, when you inspect enough houses, you just register the home as you walk through. You don’t have to go looking for each item,” explains Bowman. “When you are a new inspector, you have to look for everything. That’s why we partner with the new inspectors, watching them while they are looking, helping them to learn to just see.”
It’s this “seeing vs. knowing” that Boggs Inspection Services instills in their new inspectors. And when they reach the point where they know, you get one of the most thorough inspections around. To keep every team member current on building practices and codes, Dwayne arranges monthly educational seminars for his team with industry experts sharing their knowledge and answering questions.
“Dwayne’s brought in plumbers, electricians, roofers to meet with us and share the newest guidelines and answer our questions,” shares Bowman. With industry standards and regulations always changing, it’s key for the inspectors to be up-to-date and that matters to potential home buyers. “We want to ensure our customers have the most current information about their home, so that means we have to have it, too,” Bowman adds.
George Green has been with Boggs Inspection Services for two years. He agrees with Bowman on the value of the in-depth training regimen and, as one of the newer members of the team, recalls the training process well. “I worked with both Bill (Ryan) and Keith during my training and being able to shadow them both, watching them utilize the same protocols and procedures, reiterated the process so clearly,” he explains.
With his classwork and some of his field training already completed, Green joined the Boggs’ team ready to complete his 150 to 200 training inspections. “I was concerned, going into the process, that there would be a gap in my income while I was in training,” Green shares. “But Dwayne believes it’s important for all of his team to have a steady income. You are paid for each house you inspect, even during training, and this relieved the financial worry for my family and allowed me to focus on the learning.”
While finding mechanical issues with a home is critical, Boggs trains almost as thoroughly on communication skills. “Our training helps us learn to set expectations with the client and agent going into an inspection, during the inspection as things come up, and helping talk through the findings, prioritizing and understanding what is a major concern and what is a typical defect that shouldn’t raise red flags,” says Green.
“When you’ve been through something 200 plus times,” adds Bowman, “you know how to explain it. When I was new, I’d fumble through simple explanations. But, after watching Dwayne during my training, I could clearly communicate to clients what they needed to know while remaining calm and helpful.”
It may be an understatement to say that Boggs Inspection Services inspectors are well trained. Their rigorous training is a difference that you can see and feel during your appointment and one you’ll appreciate when you receive your clear, accurate and informative report the very next day.