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  1. #66
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    I think an apprenticeship can work.
    @ Lon: Of course, anything is possible. This is, in my experience, not probable. Texas has had apprenticeship involved in the licensing process for years. A cursory look around at the products of this process would lead a cognizant person to believe that it simply does not work.

    But then, we need not agree on everything.

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  2. #67
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I'm a GC, in two states if it matters...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    And you mention that... because?
    Because this tread is about:
    Title: "GC doing home inspection"
    And this was the original post:
    Quote Originally Posted by William Richardson View Post
    Why do GC's even have the right to home inspect.
    And because Marc, myself, and others are GCs, and because they do home inspections and I did home inspections.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #68
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Playing the devil's advocate... my experience has taught me to trust a well educated builder/contractor with much experience than a book taught HI.
    I don't expect anyone here to agree with my experience, nor do I want to change any minds. It is sometimes helpful to realize there are other opinions from like professionals out here.


  4. #69
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Playing the devil's advocate... my experience has taught me to trust a well educated builder/contractor with much experience than a book taught HI.
    And when comparing the well educated GC just starting into the home inspection business to a well educated GC who is also a well educated home inspector? There are many on this forum who meet that description.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #70
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Per J.P.,
    And when comparing the well educated GC just starting into the home inspection business to a well educated GC who is also a well educated home inspector? There are many on this forum who meet that description.
    __________________

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  6. #71
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    @JP and Bob:

    Well-educated home inspectors who have never been GCs will never have the depth of knowledge or understanding that those who have had the pleasure of building houses experience. Further, I would not want someone with absolutely no construction experience critiquing a house for me.

    While it may be the case that rare individuals are able to fully assimilate any kind of knowledge strictly from books or hearsay, I posit that their numbers are damn few in the general population and fewer still in the HI profession.

    While I do not begrudge those lacking real-time experience their jobs as HIs, it is my considered opinion that they serve only to make the crowd larger and thus dilute the profession. A very select few of the present company excepted, I presume . . .

    A home inspection is THE pivotal point in any resale or new build sales transaction. In my area the title company employees will tell anyone who will listen that at least 50% of the deals fall out at the inspections. The HI is also the first line of defense for the home buyer. With such a burden of responsibility it behooves our profession to take measures to insure that only the the most experienced and knowledgeable enter the field.

    Raise the bar, and continue raising it.

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  7. #72
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Because this tread is about:
    Title: "GC doing home inspection"
    And this was the original post:


    And because Marc, myself, and others are GCs, and because they do home inspections and I did home inspections.

    Geeze Jerry, I was asking Marc why he posted in this portion of the thread with no other comments. Was interested in his experience in this area. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers.


  8. #73
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Sorry if I ruffled your feathers.
    Rich,

    You didn't ruffle any feathers ... I was just answering your question. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers by answering for Marc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #74
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    In my area the title company employees will tell anyone who will listen that at least 50% of the deals fall out at the inspections.
    My knee jerk reaction is that you guys have some crappy homes, hard-case sellers unwilling to do repairs, or a bunch of inspectors who make mountains out of molehills.

    50% seems crazy high. Around here, I would be surprised if it was more than 10% of sales fail because of the inspection. I have been labeled as a "deal killer" by a few agents, but I don't think more than 3% of the houses that I inspect fail to complete the sale because of the inspection.

    Maybe it is just a difference in culture. 98% of all sales (except investor purchases) involve a home inspection. Our real estate purchase contract has an inspection clause pre-printed in it. Buyers and sellers all expect an inspection and expect to have to deal with inspection issues.


  10. #75
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    50% seems crazy high.
    I believe I mentioned that any title company in the area would tell this to anyone who will listen. Don't take my word for it - I've only been in this market for 37 years - pick up the phone and call a title company in the DFW area.

    98% of all sales (except investor purchases) involve a home inspection
    The number is quite a bit less in this area. In fact, the last ASHI statistic I remember seeing was around 77%, which is about what we see here.

    My knee jerk reaction is that you guys have some crappy homes, hard-case sellers unwilling to do repairs
    Builders have never been licensed and were only barely regulated for about 5 years through the TRCC. They are back again to no regulation. Too many Republicans is the cause. What trickles down is crap housing.

    The resale contract assumes the house to be purchased in as-is condition. While negotiations abound, repairs are not required.

    , or a bunch of inspectors who make mountains out of molehills.
    If you mean inspectors who couldn't inspect their butts with flashlights and mirrors, yes we have a bumper crop. If by that you mean inspectors who actually do what they are paid to do, then no we don't have many of them here.

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  11. #76
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    That's interesting. To tell where I sit, I am not a big one for lots of regulation. Construction is a business where the public is vulnerable to shifty and crummy contractors. Regulation at some level makes sense, but even with regulation, enforcement is the only way to give regulation teeth. So, it falls on the code enforcers to make these shabby GCs tow the line. Shame on them if they are allowing constant and consistent crummy work. I doubt that home inspectors can have much impact, unless it becomes normal for new construction to be inspected. Around here, I'd be surprised if 10% of new construction is inspected by a home inspector. (Several years ago, I did a one year anniversary inspection on tract home. I found a significant mistake by the builder. The owner passed this on to his neighbors and within a week I had inspected six of his neighbors. None had had a home inspection when they bought)

    I've concluded that licensing for GC's makes little difference in quality of work. Licensing just tests how well someone can take the test, even if it is a hard test. Which leads us back to the original discussion. Can a crummy GC make a good inspector? My vote is no. So, if I am right, then the advantage of an inspector with a GC background is only an edge if the guy/gal was a good GC.

    Most good GCs either hire qualified subs or learned on the job. I still contend that an inspector can learn on the job, but through apprenticeship is better protection for the public.

    This reminds me that a few years ago, a GC on a large custom home was very annoyed (read p***ed off) at me. As he steps away, he mutters loud enough for everyone to hear, "a home inspector is just a guy who isn't qualified to be a builder".

    I tell folks that the nice thing about this business is that I no longer have to figure out how to fix something. All I have to do is point and say "Wrong". For that I receive the medium size bucks and less stress.


  12. #77
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    LON

    GREAT POST

    Aaron when you die can i be you. you are so great. please send pictures and an autograph. your so great you even got banned from this forum once. are you nasty to your client at your perfect home inspection, i'll bet if you have a dog, he hides when you come home. sorry Aaron i just tried being you and didn't like it

    cvf


  13. #78
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    Default PEs and GCs doing home inspection.

    I don't usually make posts but this is one I feel strongly about. I am a home inspector. I am also a licensed, professional structural engineer. I have been a design engineer and inspected buildings in all stages of construction for 30+ years. I have been a home inspector for more than half that time. I agree wholeheartedly that most PE's and most GC's are not qualified to be a home inspectors. But here's something really controversial; virtually all home inspectors are not qualified to be doing what they're doing. Regular home inspectors should not be giving an opinion on the structural condition of the houses they inspect but they do. They are not qualified to do so and have not had adequate education to know what they are looking at. As a true professional, too many times I have followed up after a regular home inspector and had the painful task of telling the homeowner that the regular home inspector unfortunately missed some crucial structural items. Just like a layman cannot go around giving medical advice a home inspector that isn't a certified structural engineer should not be giving opinions about the structure of a house. But, they do it all the time. Having a certification from an educational organization is not even close to having a professional license. For a true qualified opinion only a true qualified, licensed professional should be consulted. One can replace a water heater or a furnace or do some plumbing repairs but if a home inspector misses a structural problem there could be a big expensive mess to figure out, frequently in court. The best regular home inspectors I have met will openly tell the client that they are not structural engineers and that it would be best to hire a structural engineer and get a truly qualified opinion.


  14. #79
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    Default Re: PEs and GCs doing home inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen McSpadden View Post
    But here's something really controversial; virtually all home inspectors are not qualified to be doing what they're doing. Regular home inspectors should not be giving an opinion on the structural condition of the houses they inspect but they do.
    Home inspectors are required to identify problems with a structure, and then they should call for an engineer to confirm that suspicion.
    If the home inspector does not recognize a structural problem, then he is incompetent.
    What you are saying is that a home inspector needs to have training in engineering to make that initial call. If he had that training, then why would we need you to come in at all?
    Most of us will get your point and we appreciate your post. Please don't go away mad when some responders get snarky. My point is, engineers are over-qualified and would have to charge more than the clients will pay.
    Home inspectors need to be skilled to some degree, and that comes best from hands-on training, with a mentor, or years in the field in a related trade. But they also need schooling in the basics of structure for those times when they see something unfamiliar.

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  15. #80
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    virtually all home inspectors are not qualified to be doing what they're doing. Regular home inspectors should not be giving an opinion on the structural condition of the houses they inspect but they do. They are not qualified to do so and have not had adequate education to know what they are looking at.
    Another PE pretending that his ilk are the only ones with span tables and calculators? You'd better check the Texas SOP which REQUIRES that an opinion be rendered by an HI on - guess what? - the performance of PT slab-on-ground (and all other) foundations on expansive (and every other kind of) soil, and virtually every other structural component in a home.

    While I am in agreement with your take that most inspectors are under-endowed for this sort of activity, many are not. I recognize a number of them on this forum by their posts. PEs do not have a corner on the intelligence market, they only think they do.

    There are GCs I know that are better autodidactic engineers than the men with the degrees. While neither they nor I would ever claim to have an engineering degree, we understand enough of physics and the pertinent math, and have applied them with boots-on-the-ground experience for long enough, to see the issues as they are.

    Once identified, even though I can usually deduce what sort of remedial measures may be needed to correct a serious structural defect I always defer to a PE both the decision as to the remedial options and the liability which accrues.

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  16. #81
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Regulation at some level makes sense, but even with regulation, enforcement is the only way to give regulation teeth. So, it falls on the code enforcers to make these shabby GCs tow the line. Shame on them if they are allowing constant and consistent crummy work
    The code enforcement milieu here is what one might expect in a state that does not even consider builder oversight. The municipal guys are under-paid and overworked. More than a few are under-educated. Yet another result of living the myth that excellent production and wealth are the product of big business run amuck. What trickles down is inefficiency that translates to building tomorrow's ghettos.

    This is a clear case for out-sourcing the profession to countries with intelligent life forms, but in an instance where it will not work. So, what the local large municipalities have done - as a budget-cutting measure, and to increase performance (sure) - is to out-source the building inspection departments to "independent" companies comprised of half-ass engineers and their lackeys who are in the pockets of the builders. Corporate America at its finest.

    I've concluded that licensing for GC's makes little difference in quality of work. Licensing just tests how well someone can take the test, even if it is a hard test.
    Skip the multiple-choice show-and-tell and get to the criminal background investigations, proof of liquidity, bankruptcy histories, proof of insurance, et al. None of this is required for GCs here. Nothing is required of them, just like builders. My cat could hold himself forth as either, within the law.

    Most good GCs either hire qualified subs or learned on the job.
    Could you send some our way? The story here is that only electricians, plumbers and HVAC techs require licences. All others are plucked from the labor pool milling around in the Fiesta grocery store parking lot, put into an on-the-job training program, and promoted by chance. Each time the crew across the street moves to more lucrative pastures or back home where the honkies don't deride them constantly, one of these guys goes across the street and becomes the lead man of a crew that he picks up at Fiesta. Thus the endless cycle of Texas building without regulation.

    I'm for more regulation.

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  17. #82
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    I'm actually for less regulation and more freedom. I've seen time and time again how "higher authority" has put small business out of business. Most of the time this is done to limit competition therefore benefiting a select group. Killing off your competition might seem like it will benefit the incumbent at first but it is repressive especially when taken to the extreme. This is bad for everyone. As for GC's doing inspections. A home inspection is just your opinion of the condition of the home based on your qualifications. Who's to say what someone else knows. Why would his experience and opinions be discounted. Sure everyone is going to make a few mistakes and the conscientious learn from them. As I get older I learn how important it is to let people make their own mistakes. Depriving them of this essential growth process is a little selfish and shortsighted. Total control and qualifying is an illusion. It took you twenty years so it'll probably take other people time too and that's natural. Just my opinion....


  18. #83
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    A home inspection is just your opinion of the condition of the home based on your qualifications.
    Actually, it is not. It is an inspector juxtaposing existing standards, be they building codes or performance standards, with what he sees. This is an objective comparison between what should be and what is. It has nothing to do with one's personal opinion, when performed correctly.

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  19. #84
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    I'm actually for less regulation and more freedom.
    I'm actually for more regulation and the more freedom that it creates.

    The freedom that less regulation creates is that a person without ANY qualifications, knowledge, etc., are allowed to do things which can injure (physically and financially) those for whom that unlicensed person is doing 'whatever' for, with enough failures and lawsuits, those people eventually fall by the wayside.

    The freedom that more regulation creates is that a person who at least proves they are competent enough to pass a test and has some level of experience behind them are allowed to do the things they have want to do, and with at least that minimum level of tested knowledge and experience the likelihood of doing things so poorly, so wrong, to totally screwed up that one is sued is reduced ... not eliminated, but reduced - there are people who will still do the work as unlicensed persons, but then the authorizing agent/department for that licensing has the opportunity (whether they exercise that opportunity or not is something else entirely) to punish the unlicensed offenders.

    I know some will disagree with the above.

    I saw a bumper sticker this morning which said "The first rule of gun safety is to not piss me off.", my thought when I read that was "The first rule of gun safety is to shoot first, piss you off afterward, that way you can't shoot me for pissing you off." There are a lot of idiots who have idiotic bumper stickers that piss me off, guess I should shoot them first?

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  20. #85
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    how important it is to let people make their own mistakes. Depriving them of this essential growth process is a little selfish and shortsighted. Total control and qualifying is an illusion. It took you twenty years so it'll probably take other people time too and that's natural. Just my opinion....
    That's really noble of you, Ray. So if your son or daughter wants to buy a house, it's ok if the inspector they hire is a clueless poser? How many mistakes is he allowed, or is there no limit?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  21. #86
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    most HI contracts have the word opinion in there somewhere Mr. Miller.....just saying.....everything people believe is based on what they think they know. Withhold critical facts and the analysis is different......therefore in my opinion your analysis is in itself an opinion. Unless you're all knowing then my hat's off to you.


  22. #87
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    most HI contracts have the word opinion in there somewhere Mr. Miller.....just saying.....everything people believe is based on what they think they know. Withhold critical facts and the analysis is different......therefore in my opinion your analysis is in itself an opinion. Unless you're all knowing then my hat's off to you.
    From this morning's inspection. This is wrong. Fact or opinion?

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  23. #88
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm actually for more regulation and the more freedom that it creates.
    I know some will disagree with the above.
    This is one of those places where we may have to agree to disagree. I am not an anarchist and certainly think that some regulation is needed in our business, As you guys know, I am in a state with zero regulation for home inspectors. But I hate over regulation. And there lies the rub because everyone of us will disagree where the line between adequate and too much regulation is drawn.

    But I cannot make that argument of more regulation leads to more freedom work for me. I reread your position several times and I think we will have to agree to disagree.


  24. #89
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That's really noble of you, Ray. So if your son or daughter wants to buy a house, it's ok if the inspector they hire is a clueless poser? How many mistakes is he allowed, or is there no limit?
    I knew I'd get in trouble with this......but the question is weather a general contractor should be allowed to inspect homes. I have faith in my children and I respect their judgement....If they want to pay someone else to do what I would do for free then that is their choice. They take personal responsibility the same as I do for my decisions. That is why they love me and I love them.


  25. #90
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    From this morning's inspection. This is wrong. Fact or opinion?
    I wouldn't use the word wrong....."rather not in compliance with current code for boring and notching,,,,,can be fixed in a variety of different ways that satisfy the intent of current regulations" Seems to be a non load bearing wall....is that right?


  26. #91
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    I wouldn't use the word wrong....."rather not in compliance with current code for boring and notching,,,,,can be fixed in a variety of different ways that satisfy the intent of current regulations" Seems to be a non load bearing wall....is that right?
    Answer the question. Fact or opinion?

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  27. #92
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Answer the question. Fact or opinion?
    Mr. Miller......I hope you don't think I'm going to subject myself to a cross examination......I respectfully submit my opinions to enhance our discussion only.


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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    Mr. Miller......I hope you don't think I'm going to subject myself to a cross examination......I respectfully submit my opinions to enhance our discussion only.
    Why, bless your heart, Ray. I simply meant to say, that if we are to have an intelligent discussion we must adhere to a certain decorum. When asked a question it is usually acceptable and polite to answer it as directly as possible and not to tergiversate, or equivocate.

    Evasive maneuvering, while all the rage on this forum, is for those suffering from a dearth of answers. And, it is just downright rude.

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  29. #94
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Wow, tough crowd. I am a GC, went on to get my electrical contractors, and plumbing contractors lincenses. Then got a degree at the comunity colledge in Building Inspection Technology and another degree in Construction Supervision and Inspection. Probably still not enough, so I am licensed by the ICC as a Residental Combination Inspector. Add to that 40 years hands-on work with historic restoration as well as new construction. And my real name is Bruce Booher. And I do home inspections.
    Go ahead, fire away.


  30. #95
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Booher View Post
    Wow, tough crowd. I am a GC, went on to get my electrical contractors, and plumbing contractors lincenses. Then got a degree at the comunity colledge in Building Inspection Technology and another degree in Construction Supervision and Inspection. Probably still not enough, so I am licensed by the ICC as a Residental Combination Inspector. Add to that 40 years hands-on work with historic restoration as well as new construction. And my real name is Bruce Booher. And I do home inspections.
    Go ahead, fire away.
    You'll fit right in here, but the spell check will make you look better . . . I can't write without it . . .

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  31. #96
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Booher View Post
    Wow, tough crowd. I am a GC, went on to get my electrical contractors, and plumbing contractors lincenses. Then got a degree at the comunity colledge in Building Inspection Technology and another degree in Construction Supervision and Inspection. Probably still not enough, so I am licensed by the ICC as a Residental Combination Inspector. Add to that 40 years hands-on work with historic restoration as well as new construction. And my real name is Bruce Booher. And I do home inspections.
    Go ahead, fire away.
    I'm Canadian, so forgive me,,,but,, you got a degree from a community college? You spent four years at community college? Our schooling may differ...


  32. #97
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Welcome Bruce,

    Too often threads will deteriorate into some personal shots. There are a lot of opinionated "A" type personalities here. But there is a lot of knowledge in this forum and if you filter the personal cr*p, you may pick up some valuable bits of information.
    And with your credentials, you can probably offer some good info.

    For instance, I had never seen the word "tergiversate" until this thread....


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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Welcome Bruce,

    Too often threads will deteriorate into some personal shots. There are a lot of opinionated "A" type personalities here. But there is a lot of knowledge in this forum and if you filter the personal cr*p, you may pick up some valuable bits of information.
    And with your credentials, you can probably offer some good info.

    For instance, I had never seen the word "tergiversate" until this thread....
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tergiversate
    • 2012-08-29 To evade, to equivocate using subterfuge; to deliberately obfuscate. 1999, Philip McCutchan and Werner Levi, The Hoof, ISBN 0816600864, page 18 : The ...

    There is truly no excuse for ignorance, is there?
    Anybody can learn, on their own, sitting in front of a computer, anything and everything there is to know about home inspection. No need for college. The college provides the certificate, which is the proof you might need to obtain the license. That is all.

    Ray, I wasn't insulting the intelligence of your kids, just using them as an example. People have to be able to rely on the home inspector to give them an accurate picture of the house. No mistakes are allowed.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  34. #99
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    Default Re: GC doing home inspection

    Thanks for the welcome, it feels a little less frightening now. This site shows a spelling icon, but my old system says it isn't enabled on my computer. Unlike my favorite 80 year old block plane, my 2 year old computer is junk.
    Stephen G, our community college offers an "associate of arts degree" when you complete their program. That is different than a 4 year degree, which I also received back in the '70's from California State University with a "bachelors of arts degree" in economics.


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