Internachi certified professional inspector
Like many homeowners, I have watched plenty of home related TV shows over the years. I have also mentioned previously that I have an overall positive opinion of Mike Holmes although I can certainly think of plenty of valid criticisms regarding his various shows, mostly revolving around how he blurs the line between construction and inspection. So, it goes without saying that I was excited to hear about a show focusing on home inspections starring an actual home inspector. How awesome to see our relatively unknown industry getting its own show and getting to showcase what a home inspector does and why it's important to get a home inspected! Now that I have had a chance to see a few episodes I think I have seen enough to form a fair opinion.
The show features Joe Mazza, a home inspector from New York state who definitely has a personality fit for TV even though he is a rookie to that medium. What do I think of his show? In my opinion it is a significant misrepresentation of our industry to put it mildly. Of course, actual inspection jobs would not translate well to TV, as they can take an average of over 2 hours just on site alone and can require plenty of detailed explanations. My criticisms are many and mainly revolve around how Joe, who to my knowledge is an actual licensed inspector in both New York and Connecticut, does very little actual inspecting (it’s more of a show about house hunting and renovations) and much of what he states is misleading at best and flat out wrong at worst. Let me count some of the numerous issues I see just from a few episodes:
Much of the Show is Outside the Scope of a Home Inspection
Joe is seen to be touring the homes with Noel Gatts, an interior designer. Simply put, we home inspectors do not generally inspect or comment on cosmetic finishes and while it is no doubt a valuable profession, we do not “team up” with interior designers on our inspections to recommend cosmetic work.
We Do NOT Tear Out Walls or Do Renovation Work
I’m not sure what the standards in New York or Connecticut are, but all major home inspection organizations make it very clear that it is a serious ethical violation to perform repairs or renovations to any home within 1 year of performing an inspection. This show also makes the connection that home inspectors are just contractors that do inspections on the side or are just inspecting to look for ways to make money renovating. While a person can certainly do both jobs successfully, in my experience they require VERY different skillsets. We also are not invasive in our inspections, and as fun as being destructive can be I definitely do not bring a sledgehammer with me!
Home Inspectors Don't Make Definitive Statements in Most Circumstances
This show has many scenes where Joe says something like “that’s asbestos!” or “that’s black mold!”. As I have referenced, while there are signs that something is very likely asbestos or mold, only a lab test can confirm it! I also got upset when while tearing out a wall, one of the workers quickly says, “this wall isn’t load bearing!”. While I agree it likely isn’t, in most areas (including here in Nova Scotia) only a qualified engineer or architect can make that statement and it can cause serious, if not catastrophic damage to remove a load bearing wall.
The Show Has Very Little to Do with Home Inspections
Overall, the show only dedicates a tiny fraction to actual home inspection work. It is unfortunate that a show that could have highlighted our industry and the incredible work I and my fellow inspectors do is just another dime-a-dozen renovation show with “Home Inspector” slapped on the title. It does a disservice to both our industry and our clients by providing very misleading information of what a home inspector does. I love to watch home inspectors in action, but this show is not an example of what we do.