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  1. #1
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    Default How Far Would You Go???

    This was at my inspection yesterday. 3rd floor bedroom with the bed located right in front of the attic access door. Behind the door is the attic space housing the 3rd zone AC air handler.

    Do you move the bed to gain access to the door and space behind it or disclaim the space as inaccessible?



    Inspection Referral SOC
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Without any hesitation at all, inaccessible.
    Call me for a return visit when ready.
    There is a return visit fee, not much, but not free.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    This was at my inspection yesterday. 3rd floor bedroom with the bed located right in front of the attic access door. Behind the door is the attic space housing the 3rd zone AC air handler.

    Do you move the bed to gain access to the door and space behind it or disclaim the space as inaccessible?



    I move the bed (I know that we do not have to). My clients want a full inspection and I try my best to give them that. I don't want to go back, even if someone will pay (which they often do not want to do). Also, I have little extra time in my day and there are deadlines involved.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Small bed on a carpet, it's outa here. Same reasons as above, I need to get in there now.
    Heavy furnishings or appliances on hardwood floor, nope, I won't be buying them a new floor.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Well, I was hesitant at first but decided I needed to move the bed and get in there. Here is what I found inside......the overflow pan beneath the air handler filled with water.

    I know I could have disclaimed it and it would be covered under SOPs and my contract but I just felt the need to not let it go at that. I'm glad I listened to my gut.




    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    As for me; I would have moved the bed.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I guess I'm the only one that has inspected a house where a mirror was hanging over the electrical panel.
    The mirror was on a hanger that was nailed into the plaster wall.
    I removed the mirror no problem.
    I hang the mirror, and the nail pulls out of the plaster.
    Just by shear luck I caught the mirror before anything happened, but the HO was still upset about the nail coming out.
    A 30 lb mirror and frame held up by a 1" nail in a plaster wall.

    I DON"T MOVE FURNITURE.

    Just remember:
    If it's old, it's a priceless antique or family hierloom.
    If it's broken, it was OK before
    If it has a scratch or tear, you must have done it.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I would and have moved a small bed like that before.... I had the exact same find last week, but I kind of had a hint of what I would find after I saw the condensation drain and rust stain outside..

    I do not like this new picture upload...... Urrrr..

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    ......

    I do not like this new picture upload...... Urrrr..
    I don't either Scott. What I do now is post the pics to my Photobucket account and then paste the picture link here. It's much less hassle.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I guess I'm the only one that has inspected a house where a mirror was hanging over the electrical panel.
    The mirror was on a hanger that was nailed into the plaster wall.
    I removed the mirror no problem.
    I hang the mirror, and the nail pulls out of the plaster.
    Just by shear luck I caught the mirror before anything happened, but the HO was still upset about the nail coming out.
    A 30 lb mirror and frame held up by a 1" nail in a plaster wall.

    I DON"T MOVE FURNITURE.

    Just remember:
    If it's old, it's a priceless antique or family hierloom.
    If it's broken, it was OK before
    If it has a scratch or tear, you must have done it.
    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here Rick. One could make a valid argument either way. I had a recent inspection where the buyer's mother moved some boxes in the basement but didn't put them back and the seller was not happy. The same seller was also annoyed that I moved the position of her showerhead and didn't put it back. And this was minor stuff.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Some people will gripe about anything. They'll gripe that you didn't move the crap, and now they gotta open the house up again for a reinspection.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I don't either Scott. What I do now is post the pics to my Photobucket account and then paste the picture link here. It's much less hassle.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here Rick. One could make a valid argument either way. I had a recent inspection where the buyer's mother moved some boxes in the basement but didn't put them back and the seller was not happy. The same seller was also annoyed that I moved the position of her showerhead and didn't put it back. And this was minor stuff.
    I try to be very careful when moving or disturbing the owners possessions, but many times I need to move something to do my job right. I have had my share of complaints from sellers over the years. However, it has almost always been from something meaningless, like adjusting the shower head. BTW, why do some people like to aim the shower head so that the water will go everywhere but in the bathtub?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I would have moved it as well. I've had a few picture frames fall when rehanging them in front of the electrical panel, but nothing major.

    I have refused to cut open some access doors when it was obvious that touch up was going to be necessary after I was finished. I make a note and tell the seller that I will return later if they will open the panel. I don't charge for the return, but my town is pretty small, and mileage is not much of a factor for me.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    first I ask the broker if they want to move the bed. next I tell them there is an air handler back there that I should inspect. then I have them call the listing broker for permission to move the bed. then I ask the broker to move the bed. then, depending on how that goes, I inspect the area. otherwise, it's not accessible and will have to be inspected later for a fee. I do not move furniture. why should I risk injury to my back or damage to a home when it was not made ready for inspection. listing broker should be telling homeowner to make all panels, openings and areas accessible, if not it's on them.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Texas
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I have worked for two very large national inspection companies for around 12 years, both having over 200 inspectors and I can tell you many stories about inspectors innocently moving things to be a hero and causing major problems that cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to repair not to mention the bad press from the complaints etc. One that comes to mind was a buyer wanted to see if there was an ice maker line hookup behind the fridge I think it was so the inspector slightly moved the fridge out then back and it kinked the line in this vacant house with mostly wood flooring and guess what happened? YEP, a $10,000 wood floor claim about a month later came calling. Not sure why if it had a line hooked up they couldn't tell from that but maybe it was off or broken not sure.

    It is a call wheather you move something or not and that bed is probably something I would at least consider with some help but I often have blocked access to lots of stuff and just snap a picture and say so in the report, its most often not a problem. If there were other attic areas with issues and other AC units with issues I would not attempt to move it and since writing up the other stuff would recommend they have them check out the inaccessible area as well when checking out the other areas I wrote up. In those cases there is usually never a reinspect need.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I would have the agent and buyer move the bed.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    With all of you saying you would move the bed and me saying I would not.
    Maybe I will rethink my position.
    ........
    OK, I've thought about it.
    I DON"T MOVE FURNITURE

    But I will and do test garage door openers and shower pans

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2007
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Knowing that furniture and other items in a home can fall apart or get damaged if I attempt to move them, I generally do not. However, in this case, knowing there is an A/C unit in the space, I'd make an exception and CAREFULLY move the bed just enough to get in the door. If no A/C unit, no moving items.

    Beacon Inspection Services
    Proudly Serving the Greater Henderson and Las Vegas Valley Area in Southern Nevada!
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    The things that made the decision easier to move this bed were.....

    1 - the headboard was not even attached to the rails (it was just leaning against the wall and was pretty much just ornamental)
    2 - the legs of the bed had wheels

    Once I saw all this, the decision was easy. If this was not the case, I can't say for sure I would have moved the bed but I'm glad I did.

    About 7 years ago, I let some buyers and the termite inspector talk me into moving a fiberboard panel storage cabinet in a basement that was blocking a door to another room in the basement. I should have listened to my gut instinct. As soon as the we moved the cabinet, I heard cracking and crunching sounds. I ended up working for free that day to pay the seller for the cost of a new cabinet.

    There are some things I won't touch. But I need to size up the item first before thinking about moving it.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    The things that made the decision easier to move this bed were.....

    1 - the headboard was not even attached to the rails (it was just leaning against the wall and was pretty much just ornamental)
    2 - the legs of the bed had wheels
    Even I would have done that.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    On Monday, I pulled one side of a heavy dresser away from a wall, carpet floor, to get in to a wall cavity. Turned out there was a water heater in there. The TPR valve had been reduced to a 1/2" copper line, tapped into a plumbing stack. Turned out to one of the worst defects in the place. I was a hero.
    No, I do not move a fridge or range. That can damage a floor or break a line.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    i agree with wayne and ken--that bed breaks you are sleeping in for a year--let agent move it or get permission without fault--tell money banging seller agent to get it together-and be preparedcvf


  22. #22
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    i agree with wayne and ken--that bed breaks you are sleeping in for a year--let agent move it or get permission without fault--tell money banging seller agent to get it together-and be preparedcvf
    They do want to sell, do they not? They are moving, are they not? You guys talk like there's somebody ready to slap you in court ever time you touch their stuff. If something does come apart, you put it back together. Roll of clear packing tape, little bag of assorted screws and nails. Haven't had to use either one in about 5 yrs.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    They do want to sell, do they not? They are moving, are they not? You guys talk like there's somebody ready to slap you in court ever time you touch their stuff. If something does come apart, you put it back together. Roll of clear packing tape, little bag of assorted screws and nails. Haven't had to use either one in about 5 yrs.
    And if that disconnected headboard goes crashing to the floor and lands on their high end computer system just outside the camera shot you'd have no problem paying for the damage you caused? Guess what, that headboard just turned into a priceless family heirloom.

    Let's turn that bed into a rack of entertainment system. Are you still moving it?

    Have the agent or buyer move it.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    John

    You make very good point.

    This scenario is; what if. There is no right answer and it appears it comes down to a business decision.

    Better still tell client or whomever books inspection you want free and clear access to furnace, attic, et ceteras.

    Besides most of you carry insurance or so you say and then you advertise. So if you break something suck it up and claim it on your GL policy.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    .............
    Let's turn that bed into a rack of entertainment system. Are you still moving it?

    ...............
    Those are items I don't touch. Some of the older big screen TVs are on wheels and move easily with one hand on a hard floor surface. But I carefully size up an item before I think about moving it.

    There is no right or wrong answer here. It's just a matter of what you feel comfortable doing.

    Raymond, yes many of us do carry insurance. But who wants to make use of it? The cost of the deductible will likely cost more than the cost of repair or replacement of the damaged item and then you end of working for free that day. And if you make enough claims on your policy, your rates either go up or you may get dropped.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 08-08-2013 at 07:32 AM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  26. #26
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    I tend to take each situation on its own. I try to look at the risk, and act accordingly.
    If the realtor or seller is around, then I get them. If not, I may move it, or may not. I do not have a hard line policy.
    I hate going back, even with a fee.
    I hate not giving my client 100%.
    I hate not being able to look at something that could have big problems.

    But then, I'm the guy that takes covers off outlets if I suspect a bootleg ground. In a couple months I will be going into my 25th year inspecting. I have not had a piano fall. I have not had a china cabinet crash to the floor. Honestly, I have had very few incidents where moving furniture or items caused a problem.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Wenatchee Wa
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    Default Re: How Far Would You Go???

    Like most state each situation is different. But I would of moved the bed but would of had the agent and client there as witnesses. I would also take a pic of it before I moved it just in case.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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