Through fully online home inspection courses, students learn to evaluate a home based on a number of factors, including age and condition. Programs may include broad topics in home interiors and exteriors and specialized courses in air conditioning and heating, roofing and insulation, electrical work, structural inspection and plumbing. Many programs are offered in conjunction with the American Home Inspector Institute, which provides comprehensive home inspection programs to numerous colleges. Students in these programs are required to purchase textbooks prior to enrollment.
Unlike in-person courses that meet at set times, online home inspection courses are self-paced. Most programs require students to use an online learning system provided by the educational institution in order to participate in online discussions, submit home inspection assignments and take online exams. Many programs utilize outside resources and require students to purchase textbooks on home inspection.
To help students understand home inspection processes without physical experience, programs often use highly-detailed color photographs to convey home inspection techniques and concepts. Some colleges work with students to create a fully functional home inspection report, while other colleges offer audio and visual home inspection online tutorials. Some programs require students to complete a final proctored exam, which can be arranged through the school or an association like the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.homeinspector.org).
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The descriptions below highlight the typical curriculum of some common online home inspection courses.
Students learn to evaluate the insides of residential buildings, examining walls, ceilings, doors, cabinets and closets, countertops, windows, floors and moldings, ventilation systems and stairs. Students discover how to objectively view and report existing and potential problem areas in homes.
Students are taught how to inspect the exteriors of residential homes by examining outside walls, windows, surrounding property, porches, decks and patios, backyards, garages, gates and fences, driveways and drainage systems. After completion, students understand the types of exterior walls and their features.
Students learn how to examine electrical outlets, wiring and grounding systems to ensure electrical efficiency. Trial-and-error techniques and examining electrical output allows students to effectively evaluate and report on electrical systems. The course discusses basic electricity concepts to allow students to safely evaluate electrical systems.
This course teaches students to evaluate plumbing systems by examining waste removal systems, water drainage and distribution systems, plumbing devices and fixtures, vent lines and water pipes. It often provides students with visual tutorials and photographs of plumbing systems to guarantee proficiency in this area.
Air Conditioning and Heating Inspection
Testing air conditioning and heating systems is an integral part of home inspection. Online courses in these areas are technically detailed and help students recognize and report cooling and heating defects or potential problems. Students evaluate outside air conditioning units, fireplaces, gas heating appliances, chimneys and furnaces.
Home inspectors work with prospective home buyers and real estate agencies to conduct extensive home inspections. Home inspectors examine the interiors and exteriors and electrical and plumbing systems of homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments. Online inspection courses prepare students for passing the state-regulated home inspector exam.
Online home inspection programs provide maximum scheduling flexibility and address topics such as plumbing systems, exterior walls and ventilation systems. When students finish, they should be prepared for the state exam that they need to pass in order to begin a career in the field.