Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior Course

Welcome to InterNACHI's free, online Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior Course. 
Take the free, online course now.
The goal of this course is to teach the student the fundamentals of how to inspect the exterior of a house. 
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to perform an inspection of the exterior of a residential property, including the components and materials of the exterior that may be present during a typical residential inspection such as siding types, site drainage, moisture intrusion issues, windows and doors, flashing, exterior structures, garage, and other exterior systems and components.
Course includes:

  • 4,373 words;
  • 1.9 hours of video;
  • student book;
  • inspection and writing assignment;
  • research and writing assignment; 
  • 8 quiz questions in one quiz;
  • 30-question final exam (drawn from a much larger pool);
  • instant grading; 
  • a downloadable, printable Certificate of Completion.

Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior Course

Course # 3616



Estimated hours for the average student

Academic Engagement

Reading online course instructional material at 140 words per minute


Watching and listening to instructional video


Taking quizzes


Taking the exam


Conducting a directed and independent inspection study performed according to the Standards of Practice, including the development of an inspection report 


Submitting an inspection and writing assignment

Submitting a research and writing assignment




Studying and reviewing instructional material in preparation for taking quizzes and exam


Reading the downloaded student course book including taking the quizzes with the book
Reading, research, and studying related to completing the research and writing assignment
Studying and preparing for inspection processes according to a Standards of Practice, including capturing and storing digital images with a camera or device, making observations, evaluating conditions, deducing, formulating opinions, communicating observations in written form, attaining competency in performing inspections and using an inspection checklist or software and other inspection tools in producing a report.



Sub Total


Overall Total

25.0 hours / 0.6 SCH

And, in keeping with InterNACHI's commitment to Continuing Education, this course is open and free to all members, and can be taken again and again, without limit.
Reminder to members:  InterNACHI's Code of Ethics 1.10 requires that you comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction where you conduct business.  InterNACHI's courses and Standards generally exceed the Standards of Practice that you are required to abide by locally.
This course has been approved by:

           Enjoy this 2-minute preview video.

The Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior online video course covers the following topics:
    • What's a Home Inspection?
    • Phone Call. Now What?
    • Prior to the Inspection
    • The Neighborhood
    • Early
    • Managing Expectations
    • The Practical Route
    • Diagrams
    • Checklist
    • Exterior Concrete
    • Driveways, Sidewalks, and Garage
    • Personalize
    • Siding
    • Proper Site Drainage
    • Foundation
    • Video
    • Limited Visibility
    • Exterior Materials
    • Penetrations
    • Decks and Porches
    • Fixtures and Sprinklers
    • Tell the Home’s Story

    Course Instructor

    • Mike Nelson of Nelson Inspection Services is the guest instructor.
    Upon completion of this course and passing of the 50-question final exam (drawn from a larger pool), the student can download and print their own Certificate of Completion which is auto-generated in their own name. 
    The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification, and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log.
    Members will need their username and password. If you have forgotten your password, CLICK HERE (instant response) or email and request it (don't forget your name). 
    Some features which make InterNACHI's courses superior to existing continuing education options:
    • The course is free for all InterNACHI members.
    • The course is written in pure XHTML code for quick loading.  The course loads fine on old computers and loads fast, even with dial-up.
    • The course is designed using a hierarchal menu coupled with a sequential page navigation.  This provides the student with the option to easily repeat areas of weakness.
    • The course permits the student to start, stop and restart any part of the course as often as desired.
    • There are a variety of images within the course, including diagrams, illustrations and pictures of actual roofs.
    • The illustrations can be enlarged for clearer viewing by clicking on them.
    • The text is integrated into InterNACHI's Inspector Glossary.  Rolling over blue-colored terms provides their definition.
    • The final exam uses multiple-choice questions that reference the images. 
    • The course's quizzes and final exam have numerous advantages over traditional exam systems:
      1. The course, quizzes and final exam incorporate built-in intelligence which identifies and strengthens each student's unique subject weaknesses.
      2. Not only is each question weighted with regard to score, but each answer is weighted, as well as the correctness of each answer being weighted.
        1. Answers to easy questions are weighted such that the student is penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly, but rewarded modestly for answering correctly.
        2. Answers to difficult questions are weighted such that the student is rewarded, in terms of score, for answering correctly, but not penalized for answering incorrectly.
        3. Answers to questions regarding basic safety, or questions every inspector should know the answer to, are weighted such that the student is severely penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly.
    • Upon passing the final exam, the student can print out a Certificate of Completion which is auto- generated in their own name.
    The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification, and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log.