Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Washington State Home Inspector Training -- Bellingham Technical College

At Bellingham Technical College, those of us who are involved in the home inspector training program, believe that it is important for students to be introduced to the duties of being not only a home inspector but, also, a structural pest inspector.

The way the state law reads, home inspectors who do not, in addition to the home inspector license, also have the state structural pest inspector license are not permitted to report on any of the insect pests -- wood boring beetles, ants or termites. We have quite an assortment of such insects in the state, so this is a real limitation to the home inspection when the inspector cannot report on the "bugs." The home inspector is allowed to comment on rot and conditions that are likely to lead to decay.

To make sure that all students fully understand the rules, and they are complicated at times, we try to have a guest instructor come in whenever we can. Dr. Dan Suomi, the enforcement and field officer for the WSDA, which regulates the licensed structural pest inspectors, gives an interesting talk on wood destroying organisms, bugs and the law.

We feel that this opportunity is a real value-added benefit offered by the BTC class. Students learn not only the basics of the field but we introduce them to a whole spectrum of different possibilities for operating their inspection businesses.

The next class in home inspection, four weeks of fast-track fundamentals training including field training, will be held at BTC beginning on July 11, 2011. For information call 360-676-6908.

dan suomi, wsda

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections


Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 6 commentsSteven L. Smith • June 25 2011 09:45PM


Steven, your climate is a haven for many wood boring insects. Dr. Suomi will have some excellent information for the aspiring house inspectors.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) almost 9 years ago

I tell my clients all the time that if I find evidence of termites I note it on the report.  But that even if I see a 40 pound termite I have no juice because I am only a home inspector...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Good luck Steven. I hope you have a lot of students signed up for the classes. In this area, termites are a separate inspection, but many buyers do not opt for this. Don't know why. Could be the extra cost.

Posted by Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS, 'Helping You Make the Best Move" (ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group) almost 9 years ago


Yes it is.


In this state, for about 20 years, the home inspector had to be a structural pest inspector. Then, three or so years back, the HI law went in that allowed the separation. However, the dynamics of the market are such that any inspector who is not an SPI is at a disadvantage. Plus, the law is that here, you could not even mention the word termites without the license. You could, generically say, you saw bugs and they should be further reviewed.


The lousy market is making fewer people want to get into this I think.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago


I think Dan is looking at introducing squirrels as a WDO!

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago


If you want my office to answer the phone when caller ID identifies you as the guy on the other end, you better back off my assistant.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago