Should I Have My WETT Inspection Done By My Home Inspector?

Well, lets take this one carefully and a bit at a time.

First the short answer is generally “NO“.  Now let’s not get this wrong, some of my best friends are actually Home Inspectors, some who have their WETT Certifications and others not.

Couple of reasons why you should look elsewhere.

First – Home Inspectors are only qualified to look at a stove from the outside, visually, not check any of the functioning, look inside the stove or chimney.  They do not have the training or qualifications to determine if the system actually works.  They are qualified to inspect the installation and tell you if it is code compliant – to a point.  Many will not venture onto the roof or into the attic, which is a part of a proper code inspection.  This is why the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) in their document NFPA-211 states that any inspection for the purposes of a Real Estate transition or land transfer should be a Level 2 inspection.  You see, a Level 2 inspection will guarantee those other areas are in fact included.  But a Level 2 inspection is something that Home Inspectors are not qualified to perform!  Ah.. the catch 22.  Because of this many Home Inspectors intentionally do not do WETT Inspections and leave them for wood stove specialists.  However, for whatever reason, some Home Inspectors have delved into the area and do sell WETT Inspections – many with their Home Inspection at a discounted rate.  Problem is the client, YOU and often time the Insurance company simply does not check or even know the difference.  So it passes the Insurance company requirement but not what is required by the NFPA.  Does this matter?  Well, you got your insurance.  What you lack is peace of mind in knowing your wood burning system is actually in a proper working condition.

2nd – for that peace of mind – you need to get a Level 2 Inspection or close to it.. you need the chimney inspected – roof – attic – inside.  You need the inside of insert/fireplace or woodstove inspected and cleaned.  You need peace of mind.

It is not that Home Inspectors intentionally are scamming you – they are

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not – most are hard working and do their best.  They simply are not educated in the wood burning systems, not familiar with the NFPA-211 and do not understand or realize the need for a more comprehensive inspection.  In fact some would argue with you, despite what the NFPA-211 states.  It is not about or against Home Inspectors – simply their knowledge level in the topic.  They (Home Inspectors) are generalists – for what the NFPA 211 states as a requirement for inspection during a Real Estate transaction – you need a specialist!  Simple as that.

Generally speaking – for a Real Estate related WETT Inspection – find a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep – get the chimney cleaned and the system “properly” inspected.  Have that Peace of Mind you deserve.  Now I am up front and forward – you don’t need to hire me.  But find somebody competent to do the job.