HERSPECTIVE – NANCY JANOSZ
By Nancy Janosz, Vice President, Pro-Team Inspections
ASHI has contacted all of the female inspectors who are members of ASHI to offer stories from their perspective. After 22 years of doing this, I don’t really think about it much anymore. But this request has caused me to stop and search my memories for how I felt back then about working in a male-dominated industry.
We relocated to Wesley Chapel, Florida in 2003, but when I first started doing home inspections back in 1992 in the Chicago area, working as a partner with my husband, Joe, I was met with something close to suspicion by both male and female realtors, sellers and buyers. After all, what could a woman possibly know about the construction of houses and how they work? Surprisingly, there was one instance I recall where we were inspecting a condo for a young couple, who brought along their mother to take a look. The mother actually asked me if I was there to cook them dinner. I was shocked … so much for “sisterhood!”
Most of the time, reactions are positive. I usually detect a small amount of relief from the female homeowner who is there to let us in, when she finds out that I will be the one inside the house for the most part. I always try to engage them in a short conversation to let them know what we will be doing, what to expect, and approximately how long we’ll be there. I assure them that we’ve been doing inspections for over 20 years and will take good care of their home.
Reactions from buyers have been mixed over the years. My husband and I have a routine for our inspections: he inspects the exterior, roof and mechanical systems of the home, along with the attic (and when we lived up north, the basement or crawlspace). I inspect the interior of the home: each individual room to include electrical, plumbing, appliances, windows and doors, floors and ceilings. When we’re done with the inspection, we review the entire report with the buyers, each of us going over our areas, and try to answer any questions they may have. There have been many, many times when the male buyer will have a question about something in a room that I inspected, but he will turn to Joe and ask him the question. My husband will then say, “Nancy inspected that room, so I’ll let her answer that question.”
Acceptance by my fellow male home inspectors has been great. I very much enjoy the camaraderie at our monthly Wiregrass Chapter meetings, and was even elected Vice President of the Chapter. We swap stories, complain about “houses from hell,” and continue to learn from our speakers and each other.
Overall, I am enjoying being a part of this ever-changing industry. That’s what makes it exciting!