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  1. #1
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    Default How far above SOP do you go?

    Hello, I'm currently attending HI school and would like some input from experienced Home Inspectors. I've been taught that the SOPs are a minimal standard and its up to me how far above these I should go. What I would like to know is how far do you go when inspecting a home? I'm talking about things like moving a ceiling tile to check on a leak or removing a cover plate to see the wiring behind it. I would like to offer a litter more than the bare minimal in my inspections. For an example,this week we are learning about the electrical system so I brought in a newly purchased clamp meter so my instructor could show me how to use it. He looked at it and said he never uses it and didn't know anything about them. This was from a guy with over 15 years experience in home inspecting. Did I waste my money on it? Any input or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post
    Hello, I'm currently attending HI school and would like some input from experienced Home Inspectors. I've been taught that the SOPs are a minimal standard and its up to me how far above these I should go. What I would like to know is how far do you go when inspecting a home? I'm talking about things like moving a ceiling tile to check on a leak or removing a cover plate to see the wiring behind it.
    I would have to say it all depends! One thing I can tell you is that if you do move ceiling tiles, you stand a very good chance at breaking some or not being able to get them back in place. You just have to take each situation on a case by case basis. As for removing a cover plate? Only if I have a reason or question about that outlet. I think in the past thirteen years I might have removed a 6 or so cover plates to look at problems with the outlet. I have removed dozens over the years so that I could see the wall structure.

    I would like to offer a litter more than the bare minimal in my inspections. For an example; this week we are learning about the electrical system so I brought in a newly purchased clamp meter so my instructor could show me how to use it. He looked at it and said he never uses it and didn't know anything about them. This was from a guy with over 15 years experience in home inspecting. Did I waste my money on it? Any input or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you
    Well, I have to say that I have a clamp meter and I think I might have used it two or three times. I really see no need for a home inspector to use a clamp on meter, especially if you don't know anything about the use of one, or what to use it on. Sorry, not intended to be harsh.

    For electrical I use a volt stick, a two prong neon light tester, and a three prong night light to cause a ground fault. I also have a Suretest that I pull out every now and then to confirm an issue I have found.

    As for how far to go with any SOP? Well, I would tell you that you need to be sure that you cover the basic SOP very well. Then as you see fit you can expand and increase as you gain knowledge and experience.

    I don't even think about an SOP when I'm doing my inspection. I concerned with the job at hand and if I inspect what needs to be inspected and report what I see I know that I will meet any SOP. I have found that folks who use a check list so that they don't miss any SOP item have a tendency to not see the whole picture and at times miss important items.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    You'll find that even within your local, respected inspectors often very in the degree they go beyond the SOP.

    I don't think that going beyond the SOP is a consicous decision; it's something that seems to develop all on its own.

    I guess the real question is "Where do you stop going beyond the SOP?"

    It's a question that you would have to put to every item required in your SOP and you are going to have to ask those questions one on one with other inspectors in your area to get any real satisfaction.

    If you're not a member of an HI association, find one you like and join it and participate.

    Chris, Oregon

    Last edited by Chris Bernhardt; 07-18-2008 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Punctuation, spelling

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    - I don't take off cover plates unless something makes me suspicious.
    - Definitely pop up a few ceiling tiles. It can reveal a wealth of info about plumbing, electrical and framing.
    - No you didn't waster your money on a meter. It sounds like you bought an amp meter. If so, probably not the best choice for now. A good multi-meter is standard. Look at 'fieldpiece' for multimeters or Vol-Con for a good simple tester. A little Klein non-contact tester and an outlet tester with GFI button are also good to have.
    How are above SoP you go will greatly depend on your knowledge and experience level and increase as they increase.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    I've heard repeatedly that if you greatly exceed your SOP in one area of the inspection, like electrical, for instance, you better be prepared to explain to the judge why you didn't similarly exceed the SOP in another area.
    I really don't know if this happens in real life, though.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    I've read in earlier posts of inspectors turning on utilities and lighting pilot lights. These are things we are told never to do for you don't know why they are turned of in the first place. I do have other equipment besides the clamp meter. What I really meant was I wanted the instructor to show me in what areas to us the meter,I guess I got my answer.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    David,

    Every seasoned Property Inspector I have ever discussed things with exceeds their SOP for their given local at least a little. I have changed the way I inspect, and the things I inspect many, many times over the last 12 years (and will continue to do so). I make adjustments based on SOP's and their metamorphising, what is going on in the legal community regarding HI's, what others have advised, what my clients reasonable needs or expectations are, the type of construction I am looking at, etc. You will be modifying your scope as well over time.

    I believe that SOP's are intended as a minimum and a guideline for all inspectors in your area. To what degree you exceed them will be your business decision. I know one thing for certain. Remain consistent! What you do for one client you had better do for all clients. If you're not willing to do it for all property inspections you had better not start doing it for one or a few. Your inspection reports will be more defensible in a court of law that way.

    Just my small cents worth.

    MPT


  8. #8
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post
    ...What I really meant was I wanted the instructor to show me in what areas to us the meter,I guess I got my answer.
    I think most guys that have clamp meters use them to check amperage draw on straight electric heating units and heat pump back-up circuits.
    Also - checking for current in the grounding electrode conductor.
    I have a nice little one that isn't actually a clamp - it's more of a "Y" that you slip over the conductor - gets into those hard-to-reach places.


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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    David
    I agree with what most others have stated and my take has always been whatever association or state SOPs you're operating under I would treat it like the building codes, i.e.; bare minimum. Cover the bases and go on as many "ride-alongs" with expereinced inspectors and try to take an average of how they inspect, how they look at things, and how they report them. A property inspection is only as good as the information disclosed within the inspector's written report. Then there's the 4 Ds; Discover, Disclose, Disclaimn, & Defer. True, an over simplification, but something to remember to keep you on the correct path.


    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Thanks for the help. I suppose I'll learn as I get more experience. I've been doing mock inspections as part of the school. This is where I can experiment with my inspection process,learn what works and what doesn't. It just seemed to me that I should do more than the minimum required.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post
    Thanks for the help. I suppose I'll learn as I get more experience. I've been doing mock inspections as part of the school. This is where I can experiment with my inspection process,learn what works and what doesn't. It just seemed to me that I should do more than the minimum required.
    Agree


  12. #12
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I've heard repeatedly that if you greatly exceed your SOP in one area of the inspection, like electrical, for instance, you better be prepared to explain to the judge why you didn't similarly exceed the SOP in another area.
    I really don't know if this happens in real life, though.
    This is more home inspector folklore, to a degree. What you, we, I need to do is to perform to the "Standard of Care". That is to do what the majority of home inspectors would do when you perform an inspection.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    ...do what the majority of home inspectors would do when you perform an inspection.
    Just to add to that - what the majority of home inspectors in your area would do. Again with the judge idea: "But yer honor, that's how they do it in Anchorage!" probably isn't going to cut it.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    This is more home inspector folklore, to a degree. What you, we, I need to do is to perform to the "Standard of Care". That is to do what the majority of home inspectors would do when you perform an inspection.
    And what does the majority do? That would be an interesting survey.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    And what does the majority do? That would be an interesting survey.

    I think the quality people on this board are a minority. I mean people whom actually care to learn.


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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    David,

    I don't know what your background is but it doesn't appear to be associated with electricity as it pertains to a home. Unfortunately, electricity is the most difficult area for a new home inspector as defects are not as discernible as with other components. If you would like to expand your electrical knowledge I suggest purchasing & studying Audel's Practical Electricity, if you get through that book you will understand everything you will ever encounter electrically within a home inspection.

    In regards to SoP... Don't exceed the standard unless there is a reason to do so and you are an expert in the field area you are reporting on. Develop your inspection technique around the SoP and trust that it sufficient to accurately report the condition of the building. Many hundreds of years of experience by top minds have honed the inspection standards into what we have today, deviation is usually not necessary or recommended.

    Good luck in your endeavor - Joe.


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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    I agree with most of the others here but add the following; Before you worry too much about going beyond the SoP make sure you have them down backwards and forwards. Nothing looks worse than falling short of something you are required to do while exceeding things in some other area.

    In general, nothing is going to bite you like water penetration and insect infestation. Being lucky enough to own a mid-sized company and be responsible for a bunch of other guys I have fielded quite a few complaint calls over the years. Almost without exception, the problem has something to do with water or bugs.

    If you want to exceed the SoP I'd go for bulding envelope issues and decks. Safety stuff is good too, things like electrical, hvac and all the safety railings, etc.

    HI going down the 'code road' seems be more comman than it use to be so if you're looking for some good classes or certifications look into the first of the one/two family dwelling certifications. That's what it use to be called anyway. Basically, it's most everything to do with how a house is put together except for the mechanical stuff. I've got a lot of use from those classes over the years.

    Good Luck!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Burkeson View Post
    In regards to SoP... Don't exceed the standard unless there is a reason to do so and you are an expert in the field area you are reporting on.
    Home inspector folk lore perpetuated by those seeking to do the least.

    Develop your inspection technique around the SoP and trust that it sufficient to accurately report the condition of the building. Many hundreds of years of experience by top minds have honed the inspection standards into what we have today, deviation is usually not necessary or recommended.
    The SoP is like the outcome of any committee - it is the lowest bar which got the majority vote, the higher bars got fewer votes, thus were not accepted into the SoP.

    Same applies to the building codes and any consensus document. you have to have a consensus to pass it to the next level, thus, the lowest bar acceptable to the majority gets adopted.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing as much as you want. That is what will set you apart from your competition. Learn enough to know what you are doing, and don't worry about being an "expert" in it, and be able to recognize and understand what you are looking at and why you make your decisions as you do on it.

    None of us have to be an "expert" on paint to know when it is flaking off and needs attention, thus needs to be written up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Home inspector folk lore perpetuated by those seeking to do the least.



    The SoP is like the outcome of any committee - it is the lowest bar which got the majority vote, the higher bars got fewer votes, thus were not accepted into the SoP.

    Same applies to the building codes and any consensus document. you have to have a consensus to pass it to the next level, thus, the lowest bar acceptable to the majority gets adopted.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing as much as you want. That is what will set you apart from your competition. Learn enough to know what you are doing, and don't worry about being an "expert" in it, and be able to recognize and understand what you are looking at and why you make your decisions as you do on it.

    None of us have to be an "expert" on paint to know when it is flaking off and needs attention, thus needs to be written up.


    Jerry I just remember being in a FABI board meeting when it was decided to expand the SoP to include appliances & pools, right after that the idea was submitted to the major E&O providers who all said that they would not be interested in insuring inspectors who adopted these new standards... So FABI choose in the end not to expand their SoP.

    The thing is that you either inspect by the SoP or your a maverick who chooses his own direction. Going above & beyond the recognized standards will always be a decision that you must be willing to take full responsibility for, because when you are wrong where will be no one to back you up.

    It is very easy for Jerry to shoot off his mouth now that he is no longer performing inspections, be very careful where you get your advice from. If you screw up Jerry & his minions won't be there to back you up but to testify against you.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Burkeson View Post
    Jerry I just remember being in a FABI board meeting when it was decided to expand the SoP to include appliances & pools, right after that the idea was submitted to the major E&O providers who all said that they would not be interested in insuring inspectors who adopted these new standards... So FABI choose in the end not to expand their SoP.
    Joe,

    Thank you for proving what I just said.

    You and I seem to have been agreeing a lot lately

    But, alas, that agreement has come to an end.

    It is very easy for Jerry to shoot off his mouth now that he is no longer performing inspections,
    I am simply stating what *I did* when I was in business, and others still do in the business.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Jerry,

    Mostly you have your head stuck so far up your ass that nobody can understand just what it is that you are trying to say, your last post no doubt has all of us wondering WTF it is you are trying to say.

    Do you somehow not believe my eye witness report of what went on at that FABI board meeting, I mean it was not like you were there or anything?

    Just suffice it to say that going beyond the SoP is not without peril, a peril with which the inspector will bear the brunt of the responsibility for.

    Regarding agreement, well anything remotely resembling agreement between us is merely a coincidence and has no bearing in reality.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Burkeson View Post
    Do you somehow not believe my eye witness report of what went on at that FABI board meeting,
    Joey,

    Huh?????

    Do you not know how to read?

    I stated that what you said went on at the last FABI board meeting proved what I had said.

    Do you need me to explain that to you?

    Do you need me to teach you about vowels, consonants, and what words mean what?

    Surely, Boy, you must be able to read.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Not going above the SOPs is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. I'm constantly amazed that the E&O carriers are still writing policies for home inspectors after seeing the volumn and amounts of checks they write to folks who got less than a professionally conducted home inspection by those that actually think they’re qualified to perform them.

    It’s also obvious that Mr. Burkeson has a problem accepting the success of others in a business he clearly doesn’t understand and perhaps never will? Funny, but sometimes it takes more time than you would expect for our legal system to cull out the boneheads and frequent flyers in our industry, but eventually the axe man’s blade will fall.

    Like many other trades and professions that require knowledge and experience performing real estate inspections is not for everybody who owns a ladder, a flashlight and a pencil.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Gees

    Your suppose to have a ladder, pencil and flashlight????

    I new there was something I forgot!

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  25. #25
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    It’s also obvious that Mr. Burkeson has a problem accepting the success of others in a business he clearly doesn’t understand and perhaps never will? Funny, but sometimes it takes more time than you would expect for our legal system to cull out the boneheads and frequent flyers in our industry, but eventually the axe man’s blade will fall.

    If your buddy Jerry Peck was such a success then why did he go out of business. I stand on the SOP it is good enough for ASHI & NACHI it good enough for me.

    BTW I have never had any legal issues in the 5-years of performing home inspections or the 18 years as a state licensed contractor so KMA.

    If find it doubtful that you have 1/2 the experience/knowledge/education/certificates as I do and I would be willing to go none-to-nose with a bonehead like you any day.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Burkeson View Post
    If your buddy Jerry Peck was such a success then why did he go out of business.
    Joey, Boy, you sure are way out-of-date, aren't you?

    I did not "go out of business", I shut my business down when I moved 300 miles away ... I considered the commute to my old stomping grounds and then said 'Nah - take to long.' The commute would have been 3-/12 hours *each way*, that's 7 hours travel time per inspection.

    If you don't understand why that is too long, you have no business being in business (and I'm not really sure you have any business being in THIS business anyway).

    BTW I have never had any legal issues in the 5-years of performing home inspections
    Good for you ... now you just need to keep that record for another 11 years to tie mine.

    If find it doubtful that you have 1/2 the experience/knowledge/education/certificates as I do and I would be willing to go none-to-nose with a bonehead like you any day.
    Joey, Boy, and, yes, compared to WC Jerry, you are a Boy, maybe not even a Boy, maybe only a child (which you act like most of the time here).

    WC Jerry has forgotten more than you will ever know. I would estimate the he forgets more in one week than you have learned in the past 5 years as a home inspector. After two weeks, WC Jerry has forgotten twice what you learned in that time. Give WC Jerry a month and it will take you 20 friggin' years to even come close to *what he has forgotten*.

    Sheesh! The arrogance and stupidity of some people is just un-friggin' believable, with Joe B. being a prime example of them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  27. #27
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by David O'Keefe View Post
    Hello, I'm currently attending HI school and would like some input from experienced Home Inspectors. I've been taught that the SOPs are a minimal standard and its up to me how far above these I should go. What I would like to know is how far do you go when inspecting a home? I'm talking about things like moving a ceiling tile to check on a leak or removing a cover plate to see the wiring behind it. I would like to offer a litter more than the bare minimal in my inspections. For an example,this week we are learning about the electrical system so I brought in a newly purchased clamp meter so my instructor could show me how to use it. He looked at it and said he never uses it and didn't know anything about them. This was from a guy with over 15 years experience in home inspecting. Did I waste my money on it? Any input or guidance would be appreciated. Thank you
    I did an inspection about 3 months ago and was checking the main service panel. I felt the two wires feeding the main breaker and found one of the wires cool to the touch and the other wire hot. I thought the loads may have been unbalanced so I took out my amp meter and found both wires had a 40 amp load on them. I wrote it up to be checked by an electrician. When it was checked it was found that one of the lugs in the meter base had burnt up causing the wire to overheat. This is one use of an amp meter.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    A word on SOP's......

    ASHI developed the first set of standardized SOP's. Why?

    Well, mostly to protect the home inspector who used them. Kind of like the NAHB Home Builder Guidelines.

    The guidelines told more of what the inspector was not inspecting and not what they were inspecting. They were slanted toward the overall protection of the inspector.

    They still are, but in recent years they have added some additional verbiage that protects the consumer as well.

    Now with all of the various SOP's that we have around the country that all morphed from the ASHI SOP's we really have a mess. I really don't care for any of them.

    If you look at an SOP as the minimal and do the best job you can do with the knowledge that you have, you will be fine. Just about every case that I have worked on as an EW against or defending a home inspector, the inspector did not do the best that they could have done. I would say that 90% of the time the inspector knew that they were taking a shortcut or skipping a procedure that the knew they should be doing.

    If you do the minimum in life you will be a minimal person.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  29. #29
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Does anyone have any history (details) on how the SOP came about and who was initially involved in developing it?

    How long after ASHI formed did the SOP come into existence?

    Chris, Oregon

    Last edited by Chris Bernhardt; 07-20-2008 at 09:11 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bernhardt View Post
    Does anyone have any history (details) on how the SOP came about and who was initially involved in developing it?

    How long after ASHI formed did the SOP come into existence?

    Chris, Oregon
    The first ASHI SOP were published in 1976, or the founding year for ASHI. Ron Passaro and John Heyn worked together with several other folks to develop the standards.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    From a Canadian legal POV.

    When professional standards fail the test

    All professionals are subject to performance standards dictated by the administrative bodies responsible for overseeing their profession. There are also standards not necessarily prescribed in any law or code but described at any point in time as the common standards within the profession. One might assume that conformance with both types of standard would protect a professional person from legal liability, but that is not always the case. Increasingly, there are occasions where the courts are willing to find that professionals have acted negligently even though they followed the accepted practice of the day.

    The general legal principle that applies is that the standard of care applicable to a professional in the performance of his or her duties is one of reasonable skill, care and knowledge (Central Trust Company v. Rafuse, 1986). Although the standard is an objective one, the law will tailor it to fit each circumstance. Not surprisingly, there has been much debate about how that standard is to be applied in respect of professionals who, by definition, engage is the trading of their skill and knowledge. The one uncontroverted principle arising from that debate is that a professionals error of judgment will not constitute negligence. The problem, of course, has been how to distinguish misjudgment from negligence.

    More to the point, when it comes to determining the importance of professional standards in respect of the legal standard just described, a court considers that a standard practice falls below the legal standard only if the standard practice fails to adopt obvious and reasonable precautions readily apparent to the court. Otherwise, the court will show deference to the standard practice.

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    That sounds good. I'll tell you though it keeps sounding more and more that the innocent are guilty and have to prove they are not. I believe that this is becoming more and more popular to date. The more effective and legal they try to make things just the more it gets turned into guilty until proven innocents.

    Instead of proving innocents one has to prove they are not guilty instead of they are innocent.

    More and more legal briefs are drawn up everyday. The more drawn up the more any party becomes guilty and then has to shed that guilt before proving innocents.

    I made comment with different posts on differnt threads about that nasty word, law or legal or lawyer. Those should be the absolute , period, no ifs ands or buts, the last words that come out of anyones mouth.

    If you seriously think about what an inspection finding is, it is an OPINION. It is that particular inspectors OPINION.
    If your job is done in ernest and you give your honest opinion based on *your* knowledge or back ground (it could be walmart) it could be inspector Jerry's School of home inspection. But you are basing it on what you were suppose to inspect (SOP"S)and gave your OPINION to the best of "YOUR" ability.

    If you do not give it your best and inspect at least what you should then you will be held accountable.

    Based on that last post from Raymond, if you do your best and cover the bases, you can still be held liable. BULL****

    ,but that is a sad note.

    "Increasingly, there are occasions where the courts are willing to find that professionals have acted negligently even though they followed the accepted practice of the day."

    Why is that. Because of legal briefs brought before the courts that find every possible angle to find someone guilty instead of being heard as innocent and proven guilty. The law was not to be like that. Prosecutors find every detail to keep someone behind bars. Do you really think that they try just as hard to proves ones innocents along the way.

    Legal, laws. Lawyer. Pooh

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  33. #33
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    It really depends on your comfort level. If you have experience in electrical field, for example you'll most likely take it three or four steps beyond the average home inspector. The same would be if you had an experience as an HVAC technician.

    You have to be really careful when you're removing items, such as outlet covers and ceiling panels. I personally do move ceiling panels (used to install commercial drop ceilings years ago) so I have no problem with it. I broke one ceiling panel in 13 years as a home inspector.

    When it comes to SOP, I would familiarize myself what not to do rather than what to do. Our clients expect everything to be done.

    The bottom line is you should do with your insurance company allows you to do. If they do not allow re-inspection's for example, then don't do re-inspections, do another inspection with a different date at inspection agreement.

    If you use subcontractors (termite, radon, etc), make sure you get a copy of their insurance with you as an insured. Make sure your insurance company has a copy as well.

    You must choose an SOP that you feel most comfortable with, regardless of your member that organization or not. There is nothing wrong with performing your inspection in accordance with ASHI, InterNACHI, or any other organization SOP's as long as you're abiding them to the "T".

    If you have no standards of practice, you set yourself up to be judged by building code.

    Consider in your inspection agreements to have some verbiage Re: being judged by your own peers (H/I).

    Regarding the inspection above SOP, I would suggest it (providing you're comfortable). The more that you inspect above SOP, the more $ you can command.

    Regarding the use of tools, our clients EXPECT us to have professional tools. I have some that I really don't need (ie - anemometer) but it looks cool when finding the wind direction (which could be done with grass pulled & released in the air).


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Jackson View Post
    ...The bottom line is you should do with your insurance company allows you to do. If they do not allow re-inspection's for example, then don't do re-inspections, do another inspection with a different date at inspection agreement....
    "Yer Honor, I didn't do a re-inspection. I just went back to the same property, for the same client, a second time, after repairs were done. See? I have this here separate contract thingy to prove it!"
    Judge: "All right, then! Case closed!".

    I admit I don't know that many judges. Ok, I don't know any. But are they really that stupid?


  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,309

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    John,

    You're not suggesting that ...

    if it looks like a duck ...

    and walks like a duck ...

    and quacks like at duck ...

    that ... that ... that it is a duck ...

    are you?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    You're not suggesting that ...

    if it looks like a duck ...

    and walks like a duck ...

    and quacks like at duck ...

    that ... that ... that it is a duck ...

    are you?
    Jerry, not only that, I'm suggesting, with apologies to Gertrude Stein, that
    "a re-inspection, is a re-inspection, is a re-inspection".


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    I read Ted Menelly’s post with interest and there’s no doubt he makes good sense. However, although not disagreeing with his main point which we have long alluded to as, “no good deed goes unpunished” it has been my experience that the heavy influx of new home inspectors in the last 3 to 4 years has basically resulted in lowering the bar in our profession to a point where most of our qualified litigation support folks have more work than they can handle.

    Couple inexperience and sloppy work with crappy check-list inspection reports and we have home inspector litigation claims climbing into the mid 6 figure range. It’s patently obvious that there are far too many untrained and inexperienced people performing “Home Inspector Light” inspections in order to pander to the equally untrained and inexperienced plus overly greedy RE agents.

    Even those that attempt to perform their very best charge far too little for their service believing that below market inspection fees will lead to financial success, or sort of like “we lose a little money each job, but make up for it in volume.”

    In just about every business I can think of quality has the best track record and certainly wins the endurance races. Sort of like the German and Japanese car makers eating Detroit’s lunch. How come we where not the first out with a hybrid? Oh-no, we peddle Hummers and huge gas-guzzling SUVs and then talk about Green Construction. Go figure?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  38. #38
    Deleted Account's Avatar
    Deleted Account Guest

    Default Re: How far above SOP do you go?

    I have it on very good authority that it it the 5-year+ home inspector who is sued more often than anyone, it is most likely due the friggin' know-it-all attitude of the old farts who hang around websites like this and hold court telling people how to run their lives instead of keeping up with the profession.


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