Inspections by Bob was founded in 2003 by Bob Sisson after leaving his 25-year career in computers and IT. Although he did not have a background in the construction industry, he had learned enough through years of owning “challenged” homes to understand how systems worked, how they failed, and how to spot problems.
One of the cornerstones of Inspections by Bob is a commitment to our clients. We promise to always have their best interests in mind, rather than worrying about a “bad” report upsetting the agent. This is why we are members of the Independent Home Inspectors of North America (IHINA). Out of more than 1,000 home inspectors in Maryland, only six have pledged to refuse any financial gain from referrals, and to refrain from actively marketing themselves to agents… and Inspections by Bob has two of them!
Inspections by Bob is a two-person business, owned by Bob and Welmoed Sisson.
Meet Bob Sisson
Bob’s first home was full of defects, hazards, code violations, and amateur repairs. But this was before home inspections were common, and he didn’t realize the problems that were present; it was only after he moved in that reality hit. First, he discovered that the flat roof had a significant leak and needed to be replaced. Then there were plumbing issues, and a wet crawl space (because the house had a steep hill directly behind it that let water flow right to the house with every rainfall). Had he known about these issues, he may have been able to negotiate the price (and lower his expectations).
Over the next 20 years, he and his family bought and renovated two more “challenged” homes. They lived through two major renovations, learning about structural components, mechanical systems, restoring original features, and even dealing with biohazards.
Living in a “challenged” home teaches you much more than you can imagine, as you need to learn how things work, where they are, and how to keep them working. When something fails on a rainy Friday night and the repair man laughs when you call, you know you are going to have a learning experience that night. Similarly, some seemingly small jobs are impossible to get people to do, or their prices are equally challenging. Again, you learn, maybe more than you wanted to, and maybe more than once.
Bob is experienced in nearly every age and style of house in central Maryland. He has inspected 300-year-old log cabins, 19th century row houses, mid-20th century brick Cape Cods, late-20th century production homes, all the way up to brand new construction pre-drywall inspections. This breadth and depth of knowledge makes him one of the most well-known and trusted home inspectors in the country.
Meet Welmoed Sisson
Welmoed (pronounced “VEL-moot”) has been learning about home inspections ever since her husband Bob opened up shop in 2003. Every evening, Bob would come home from performing inspections and would do a slide show of the day’s findings for the family. This informal training gave her a pretty comprehensive introduction to the home inspection industry.
In 2010, she formally joined Inspections by Bob as scheduler and marketing director. She attended her first InspectionWorld conference in Las Vegas in January 2010 and started earning Continuing Education credits even before becoming a home inspector.
In Autumn 2011, Welmoed began the process of earning her Home Inspector license by taking the required 72-hour training class. She passed the National Home Inspectors Exam and received her license in December 2011. She is an ASHI-Certified Inspector, and is currently President of MAC-ASHI, the association’s local chapter. Welmoed teaches the Home Inspection Certification class at Frederick Community College, and has also taught classes at ASHI’s annual home inspector conference, InspectionWorld. She is one of the few woman home inspectors in the country; only about 5% of home inspectors are female!
Welmoed has learned a lot about how homes work by living in “challenged” homes she and Bob purchased. However, she knows that not everybody is intimately familiar with the operation of their home. When she is on an inspection with her client, she explains what she is looking for, and looking at, to help demystify the systems of the house. Since so much of a home’s operation is “out of sight, out of mind,” she helps familiarize her client with what these systems need in terms of maintenance or repair, so they can continue to keep their home in top operating condition.