Do you want to become a home inspector? There are a lot of great perks to this popular profession. It’s a great field to work in as an employee or as your own business. You can make your own hours and work full-time or just as a part-time side income. It’s also incredibly in demand in a good economy. So, if you’re looking to enter this field, we created a Home Inspector Tools List – 14 Tools Every Home Inspector Needs.
Let’s be honest, there are more than 14 tools for this profession, but these 14 will get you started. We included the most common tools you’ll use as a home inspector. But remember: each home is unique, and so is each inspection. This includes the tools you’ll use most often.
Alright, let’s take a look at some home inspector tools.
A good flashlight will be your best friend. Sure you might be under a crawl space where there might not be light. More likely you will find yourself in areas that are dimly lit, such as an attic or inside a boiler door. So you’ll always want a good flashlight at the ready.
You’ll want a flashlight that is compact with a lot of lumens. I like these Milwaukee Rechargeable Flashlights. With these, you’ll also save money or won’t run out of batteries.
Buy the Milwaukee LED USB-Rechargeable Twist Focus Flashlight from The Home Depot for $84.97.
Buy the Milwaukee LED USB-Rechargeable Fixed Focus Flashlight from The Home Depot for $74.97.
Speaking of attics, some attics do not have a drop-down ladder access. Some attic accesses are located in odd spots, like above stairs. You’ll also be inspecting roofs. So, you’ll definitely need a ladder (or two) and I recommend a multi-ladder to safely access any hard-to-reach spots.
Some home inspector tools you can cheap out on. This isn’t one of them in my opinion. I recommend this Werner Multi-Position Ladder. It’s my personal favorite.
Buy for only $250 from The Home Depot.
Sure, as a home inspector, you’ll have certain home inspector tools you’ll use at every job. But the fun thing about this field is that you’ll come across new things every day. Because of this, you’ll need a wide variety of hand tools.
Here are just a few hand tools you’ll need:
- extendable mirror for hard-to-see areas
Since you’re only doing inspections you don’t need the highest quality tools. Go with an affordable brand you like. I was happy with these Sunex Hand Tools that came into the shop.
Shop Sunex Hand Tools on Amazon.
4Matches – Smoke Pencil
You will regularly be checking for drafts and leaks, and inspecting fireplaces and exhaust fans. A smoke pencil is great for this.
You don’t have to spend a lot on a smoke pencil. I thought Smoke Pencil ONE Air Leak Detector worked great.
Amazon Review: “I manage a roofing company and we had to check out an attic that had poor ventilation. This worked great to test airflow after we opened up the soffit area.”
Only $35.99 on Amazon.
You will need a variety of meters as a home inspector. Here are just a few meters you’ll need:
Definitely spend some time researching which meters you’ll need. We have reviewed a variety of meters and written some guides on how to use them.
Not only do you need meters but you also need testers, such as:
Having the right tool is not only necessary for your job but will also make your job easier.
7Laser Temperature Reader
Laser Temperature Readers are often a forgotten, but necessary tool, especially for inspectors. They allow you to easily assess if items, such as motors and boilers, are running too hot or cold. You can also easily assess hot and cold spots, or just suspicious heat activity in a home and if further inspection is necessary.
Buy it on Amazon.
8IR Camera/Thermal Imager
If you want to get fancier, an Infrared Camera (IR) or Thermal Imager is the way to go. These are more expensive than a temperature reader or smoke pencil, but an IR literally shows you current activity in real-time.
These are not only great for motors and appliances, but also for water leak detection and also drafts around windows and doors.
IR/Thermal Imagers have a wide variety. You may choose a more affordable option now and upgrade later.
Yes, you can use your phone for pictures, but a nice, simple designated work camera is the way to go. Photos are a great way to document your work, anything you enter on a report, or just a great reference Not only do you need to document your work on things you saw but taking pictures is great for reference when you get back to the office.
10Laser Distance Measuring (LDM) Tool
Taking a short measurement using a tape measure is fine, but if you are taking a long-range measurement, a Laser Distance Measuring (LDM) tool is the way to go.
There is a lot to pick from. Some are as simple as a single measurement. Others can take multiple types of measurements but are more costly. We like these BOSCH Blaze LDM Readers. There are multiple readers available depending on what your needs are.
Variety of BOSCH Blaze LDM Readers are available on Amazon.
We have a drill on the list but an impact driver is also a great investment towards your home inspector’s toolkit. Some access panels have a lot of screws. So, having a good drill or impact driver can help save time and frustration.
These drills and drivers will mostly be lightly used. This is a good opportunity to opt for a light 12V option. Amazon sells a Milwaukee M12 Drill/Impact Combo Kit that would be perfect for your home inspector toolkit.
Make sure you have a quality knife at your side at all times. Not because it’s a dangerous profession, but because you might need to cut tape, a rope, or other things in order to access certain areas such as access panels.
You can also check out other TIA Knife Reviews.
Invest in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). You might be going in cellars, under porches, in crawl spaces, or dealing with hazardous areas. Having the proper PPE will help keep you clean but most importantly it will keep you safe.
A drone isn’t a “must-have”, but it can be helpful. Some pitches on roofs are very steep. Plus do you really want to get on a steep roof after it rained or in the winter? Yeah, no thanks. Here is where a drone can be a huge asset.
Home Inspector Tools Wrap-Up
Okay, we technically gave you more than 14 with the bonus tools in some sections, but these 14 Home Inspector Tools will absolutely help you begin your new career as a home inspector. I know it can seem like a lot, but remember: the right home inspector tools will make your job easier and make you a better inspector for your clients.