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  1. #1
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    Default Flourish and Flare

    At the assoication meeting this week, several experienced home inspectors led various discussions about their favorite/most used tool as well as discussions about various inspection techniques.

    One presenter made a point of saying he always shows up early to an inspection and sets up his ladder against the house even if he is not going to climb the roof. He felt it was an important part of "The Show" that he puts on for the benefit of his clients. He expressed that clients want to feel confident they made the right decision to hire this particular inspector. As part of the confirmation process, the inspector makes sure that he performs specific visible acts in front of the clients to help convince them they chose the right inspector.

    He sees this as a form of marketing. I am expecting comments from a variety of the regular posters that they are there simply to inspect the house and don't give a rodents behind about doing silly meaningless acts to impress the client. The concept is that HI's are not just technicians performing a standardized routine. HI's are also business owners who market their product to build customer confidence, generate repeat business, and develop a referral base.

    For those who choose to discourage client attendance, are there things you add to the report for similar reasons. Maybe a photo from the roof or the back corner of the crawlspace to prove you went there, measurements of windows to aid in window treatement shopping, links to endless websites regarding mold, radon, etc.

    Are there things you do that may have limited real world application to the inspection process that you do to impress the client, agent or other members of the "audience"?

    I wear shoe covers at every inspection. I make sure the client sees me putting them on as I enter the door as well as remove then if I step out a window, door to a patio/porch, or garage. During warranty inspections I have had clients tell me I do not need to wear them but do so anyway. Company standard procedure madam.

    NHIE Practice Exam
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Can't say I do any of the above. If I can get on the roof and get that done before the client gets there, I don't wait. I take pictures of any defects and also to prove I've been there. Same thing with attics, crawlspaces, etc.

    All I do is work hard, communicate my findings clearly, be personable, and try to engage them in some conversation.

    Are there things you do that may have limited real world application to the inspection process that you do to impress the client, agent or other members of the "audience"?

    Like.......juggling? Three card monty?

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If the buyers or agents want a show, they should go to the circus. I'd rather blind them with brilliance than baffle them with bull$#it.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    I like to get there early to do the portion of the the exterior inspection which can be performed from ground level as well, I find it increases client confidence if you're able to point out a number of salient details right at the start of the inspection.

    However, I don't do *anything* which could affect the condition of the property (ex: putting my ladder through a window) until the contract is signed and my GL insurance kicks in.

    I do try to "surprise" the client with insights into aspects of the property of which they're probably unaware, for example if I'm doing an older single-family home I always start by pointing out that I've looked in the street. parkway and yard for evidence of sewer work, and why that's important . Something a client is extremely unlikely to have considered unless they are a homeowner who was previously gotten slammed with a multi-thousand dollar bill to dig up a few feet of clay tile.... in which case they are *very* pleased that I've been thinking about the issue.

    Oddly, last Sunday's inspection was the exception that proves the rule as regards this approach, it was one of those houses where as we started walking around the exterior I found that I was mostly talking about limitations to what I could discover. (Cladding of vertical dormer walls tight against the roof surface so that I could not see the flashings, windows buried in retrofit aluminum siding so I could get no idea how *they* were flashed, a large complicated deck with no under deck access to inspect the structure - stuff like that.)

    It really put me off my stride to devote the first few minutes of our time together explaining to the client all the things I "couldn't* do for them... with nary a chance to demonstrate what I could! On some level I don't think I ever really got that client's confidence totally back until they read the report, which in completeness and clarity was apparently a big improvement over their last inspection (by different inspector, in a different state) and his report.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-18-2010 at 12:23 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    All I do is work hard, communicate my findings clearly, be personable, and try to engage them in some conversation.
    NO: Agreed.

    If the buyers or agents want a show, they should go to the circus. I'd rather blind them with brilliance than baffle them with bull$#it.
    NO: Well said. Next some schmuck will be selling holographic projectors to these idiots so they can appear to be everywhere at once for their clients.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ya know, I might be guilty of putting on a little show every now and then. At several of my inspections I open up my LG 17 and sit it beside the home or in the yard. I may never even use it, but it shows that I have a ladder and that I'm willing to use it if needed.

    I'm always friendly to my clients and anyone that is with them, including any real estate agent that might be present at the inspection. But this is also my nature, I'm just a nice guy. Heck, with all of the vacant homes I even started to carry a few bag type chairs in my truck so folks can sit down if they want. I offer them if I see the need.

    I have the shoe covers as well, but I tend to just carry a second pair of shoes that I only wear in the home.

    It does not hurt to be friendly and nice to folks, treat them like you would like to be treated and you will see it returned in the way of more referrals.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Ya know, I might be guilty of putting on a little show every now and then. At several of my inspections I open up my LG 17 and sit it beside the home or in the yard. I may never even use it, but it shows that I have a ladder and that I'm willing to use it if needed.

    I'm always friendly to my clients and anyone that is with them, including any real estate agent that might be present at the inspection. But this is also my nature, I'm just a nice guy. Heck, with all of the vacant homes I even started to carry a few bag type chairs in my truck so folks can sit down if they want. I offer them if I see the need.

    I have the shoe covers as well, but I tend to just carry a second pair of shoes that I only wear in the home.

    It does not hurt to be friendly and nice to folks, treat them like you would like to be treated and you will see it returned in the way of more referrals.
    SP: Eagle scout?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    I also have three of the "heavy duty" folding bag chairs for clients use when necessary.

    Got em years ago when a rather large older lady (momma) sat on a little front step for the daughter's inspection.

    They come in handy a couple few times a year.


    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    "Putting on a show". If you don't admit to it you're either lying or don't even realize you're doing it.

    • Taking a reading with a moisture meter when you can see it's obviously wet is a show.
    • Climbing up on the roof when you can see the shingle damage / end of life from the street is a show.
    • Sticking a probe in an obviously rotted piece of whatever is a show.
    • Wearing logos on your inspection shirt, hat, jacket is a show.
    • Giving your clients a business card and telling them to call you any time is a show.
    • Including photographs in the reports, reports on cd, anything but a simple checklist is a show.
    • Name dropping, "I've inspected Joe Mauer's, Walter Mondale's, Tim Pawlenty's house is a show.
    • Heck, anytime we inspect while a client or agent is there we're putting on a show.
    A significant part of our business is "the show". We have to act professional and act as if we know what we're talking about to be successful. I shave every day, take a shower and wear deodorant on days I'm working. Do I do all those on days I'm not working? Nope. Because it's part of the show.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    I am probably guilty of wasting time in a crawl space, but not so much to put on a show as to get away from clients that were following me everywhere. Usually its the only place they won't go (wow, he spent almost an hour in that crawl space! And he took his laptop!).
    FK: I can relate to the feeling, but not the method. I simply inform my clients that I am not to be disturbed under any but emergency circumstances once I begin the inspection. If they disturb me I tell them in no uncertain terms that the next time I will be leaving.

    Think of it like this: you are at the dentist's office who is performing a root canal on you. You are asked not to talk. Keep your mouth shut.

    Or, you take your car in to the mechanic's for repair. The signs posted on the wall tell you to stay out of the garage. Keep your ass out in the waiting room.

    There is a time for focused attention and working - during the inspection, and there is a time for talking - after the inspecting is done. In the HI business these two times must never coincide, if one is to perform a competent inspection. The failure of many, if not most, HIs, to understand this concept is, in my opinion, the biggest problem with this profession.

    Anyone who still believes that multi-tasking is anything other than a method for fu*king up everything simultaneously is sadly mistaken and destined to remain marginally effective in any endeavor they pursue.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    FK: I can relate to the feeling, but not the method. I simply inform my clients that I am not to be disturbed under any but emergency circumstances once I begin the inspection. If they disturb me I tell them in no uncertain terms that the next time I will be leaving.

    Think of it like this: you are at the dentist's office who is performing a root canal on you. You are asked not to talk. Keep your mouth shut.

    Or, you take your car in to the mechanic's for repair. The signs posted on the wall tell you to stay out of the garage. Keep your ass out in the waiting room.

    There is a time for focused attention and working - during the inspection, and there is a time for talking - after the inspecting is done. In the HI business these two times must never coincide, if one is to perform a competent inspection. The failure of many, if not most, HIs, to understand this concept is, in my opinion, the biggest problem with this profession.

    Anyone who still believes that multi-tasking is anything other than a method for fu*king up everything simultaneously is sadly mistaken and destined to remain marginally effective in any endeavor they pursue.
    I disagree. I believe that an inspector who can't interact with their client while performing their inspection probably doesn't know what their doing. I also have the same thoughts of the inspectors who can't provide a copy of the report prior to leaving the inspection.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    I converse with my clients during the inspection and don't provide a report until the next day. I had no idea I was such a bad seed.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Think of it like this: you are at the dentist's office who is performing a root canal on you. You are asked not to talk. Keep your mouth shut.
    Seems to me that keeping your mouth shut would make the dentist's job harder.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I converse with my clients during the inspection and don't provide a report until the next day. I had no idea I was such a bad seed.
    The question is why don't you provide it on site? Is it so you can do more inspection in a day or that you don't have the equipment to print or email the report on site.

    Or, is it because you have to go home and check Code Check, building codes, phone a friend or ask an online forum because you don't know how what you're doing?

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ken, why don't you let that cut under your nose heal.

    It's amazing how brave some people are with their comments on internet chat rooms. Flex them keyboard muscles Ken.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I disagree. I believe that an inspector who can't interact with their client while performing their inspection probably doesn't know what their doing. I also have the same thoughts of the inspectors who can't provide a copy of the report prior to leaving the inspection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The question is why don't you provide it on site? Is it so you can do more inspection in a day or that you don't have the equipment to print or email the report on site.

    Or, is it because you have to go home and check Code Check, building codes, phone a friend or ask an online forum because you don't know how what you're doing?
    It's because that the better inspector you are, the more you understand you do not know, and the more you understand you need to document what you do know and what you found.

    YOU, on the other hand, sound like either: a) a newbie inspector who has not yet learned what they do not know, or, b) an inspector who has been inspecting for a while (maybe even years) and still has not yet learned what they do not know.

    YOUR CHOICE to select either a) or b) above.

    Which is it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    "Putting on a show". If you don't admit to it you're either lying or don't even realize you're doing it.
    • Taking a reading with a moisture meter when you can see it's obviously wet is a show.
    • Climbing up on the roof when you can see the shingle damage / end of life from the street is a show.
    • Sticking a probe in an obviously rotted piece of whatever is a show.
    • Wearing logos on your inspection shirt, hat, jacket is a show.
    • Giving your clients a business card and telling them to call you any time is a show.
    • Including photographs in the reports, reports on cd, anything but a simple checklist is a show.
    • Name dropping, "I've inspected Joe Mauer's, Walter Mondale's, Tim Pawlenty's house is a show.
    • Heck, anytime we inspect while a client or agent is there we're putting on a show.
    A significant part of our business is "the show". We have to act professional and act as if we know what we're talking about to be successful. I shave every day, take a shower and wear deodorant on days I'm working. Do I do all those on days I'm not working? Nope. Because it's part of the show.
    Ken, I shave, shower, use deodorant all the time just because I was taught the value of personal hygiene as a child, way before I even knew what home inspecting was. I did not realize shaving was part of a show, how about brushing my teeth?
    I can agree with some of your points but I think you are confusing personal habits and choice with theatrics.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ken -- did you really inspect Mauer's house?? Did you happen to offer a discount if he signs a contract?

    -Jon
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    The next thing Ken will probably say is that if we cannot do an inspection in less than the 2 hours his bestest-greatest-and-mostest-national inspection company gives their inspectors ... then we do not know what we are doing.



    Talk about closed minded people who cannot think enough to walk out of a pantomime's 'box' ... there is but one way, their way, and no other way is acceptable or will any other way will even be discussed or contemplated.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Ken, why don't you let that cut under your nose heal.

    It's amazing how brave some people are with their comments on internet chat rooms. Flex them keyboard muscles Ken.
    Sorry if I offended you. It was not intended that way. I'm only stating my opinion based on my personal experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's because that the better inspector you are, the more you understand you do not know, and the more you understand you need to document what you do know and what you found.
    I agree with that statement. However, it's also the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting. The inspector should research these prior to running into them on an inspection. An inspector who waits until he runs in to a building practice before researching it is not someone I'd want inspecting my home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    YOU, on the other hand, sound like either: a) a newbie inspector who has not yet learned what they do not know, or, b) an inspector who has been inspecting for a while (maybe even years) and still has not yet learned what they do not know.

    YOUR CHOICE to select either a) or b) above.

    Which is it?
    You make that decision. I was in residential and commercial construction for 17 years. 10 of them as supervising carpenter. I've been doing home inspections for 8 years. About 4,000 of them in that time in both MN and AZ. I obtained my ASHI certification within 6 months from the start of my home inspector career. (that's right, 250 inspections and passed the NHIE within 6 months) As a multi inspector company who employs both inspectors and engineers I have several PEs and foundation experts on speed dial. When I run in to something I haven't seen before (which is not very often) I simply tell my clients exactly that. Then I speed dial one of the PEs and send them photos via my phone if necessary. My foundation expert, on the other hand, will arrive within 20 minutes and evaluate the problem at no additional charge for the clients.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Ken, I shave, shower, use deodorant all the time just because I was taught the value of personal hygiene as a child, way before I even knew what home inspecting was. I did not realize shaving was part of a show, how about brushing my teeth?
    I can agree with some of your points but I think you are confusing personal habits and choice with theatrics.
    Personal hygiene, personal habits, whatever...it's all part of the show. Marketing, theatrics is all about making the clients believe they've made the right choice in hiring you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    Ken -- did you really inspect Mauer's house?? Did you happen to offer a discount if he signs a contract?
    I inspected his house when he was first brought up a few years ago. Did Mondale's place about a year ago. Didn't do Pawlenty's house, I made that up. But I did do his immediate neighbor's place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The next thing Ken will probably say is that if we cannot do an inspection in less than the 2 hours his bestest-greatest-and-mostest-national inspection company gives their inspectors ... then we do not know what we are doing.

    Our company gives each inspector total control of their schedule, so how long each one takes is up to the inspector. Personally mine take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours on a typical 2,000 square foot house. Some much longer depending on the age and condition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Talk about closed minded people who cannot think enough to walk out of a pantomime's 'box' ... there is but one way, their way, and no other way is acceptable or will any other way will even be discussed or contemplated.
    Again, I didn't mean to offend you or anyone else. But can you honestly tell me that you would hire or endorse an inspector who you knew didn't provide a report until the following day because they didn't know what they were looking at and needed to research their findings? What would you do if you went in to see a doctor and told him you had a runny nose, sore throat and chest congestion and he told you to come back tomorrow as he had to research these symptoms to determine what the problem is? Hopefully you'd start using another doctor.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    "FK: I can relate to the feeling, but not the method. I simply inform my clients that I am not to be disturbed under any but emergency circumstances once I begin the inspection. If they disturb me I tell them in no uncertain terms that the next time I will be leaving."

    Ken, my response was tongue-in cheek. and to add a note of humor. I would rather tell them I don't allow them to be at the inspection rather than what you tell them, much more honest, but everybody has their own way of doing things.

    What is the advantage (to anybody) to providing a report on site except that maybe you can do more inspections in a day?
    I think you were actually responding to AD instead of me.

    Advantages of providing a report on site? Definitely not to do more inspections in a day. As I previously stated doing them on site takes me a minimum of 3 hours. Whereas other inspectors in our company can do what take me 3 hours in 2 hours and finish the report at home. I'll do 2 inspections a day when they'll do 3.

    • Here in MN the sales contract generally has a 3 day inspection period. Meaning the buyer has 3 days from the acceptance of the seller to have the home inspection completed and acceptance of the contract back to the seller. So in order to meet the time constraints we've got to have the reports done same day.
    • When I get home my time is my time. I don't have to bring my inspections home with me.
    • By providing reports on site it forces you to become a better inspector.
    • I get more work. Because I provide the report on site I get the last minute jobs that need to be completed that day.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I agree with that statement. However, it's also the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting. The inspector should research these prior to running into them on an inspection. An inspector who waits until he runs in to a building practice before researching it is not someone I'd want inspecting my home.
    *I* would NOT want some home inspector who THINKS THEY KNOW IT ALL and is required to, then and there, without being able to check and verify suspect or suspicious components or systems, to inspect for me.

    Our company gives each inspector total control of their schedule, so how long each one takes is up to the inspector. Personally mine take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours on a typical 2,000 square foot house. Some much longer depending on the age and condition.
    Based on the thought that you can inspect a 2,000 square foot house and know it all before knowing what you will be running into, and do all of that in 3 to 3-1/2 hours ... you certainly have a lot of education yet to come.

    But can you honestly tell me that you would hire or endorse an inspector who you knew didn't provide a report until the following day because they didn't know what they were looking at and needed to research their findings?
    You betcha. I would even wait 2 or 3 days if that is what it took to put together a comprehensive report addressing all that the inspector found.

    Being as you asked, anything less (i.e., insisting on or expecting on-site) and THAT INSPECTOR DOES NOT KNOW ENOUGH to know they do not know it enough to inspect a house for me.

    What would you do if you went in to see a doctor and told him you had a runny nose, sore throat and chest congestion and he told you to come back tomorrow as he had to research these symptoms to determine what the problem is? Hopefully you'd start using another doctor.
    Ah, trying to make it like all a home inspector will see is water running down from a leaking window, the furnace is coughing and sputtering, and the A/C filter is congested and clogged and cannot breathe ... jeez ... if that is all you write up - no wonder you are saying the things you are saying.

    When I go to have a physical and be CHECKED OUT *I* *DO* *NOT* expect to be told all the things which COULD BE wrong with me before I walk out that door, *I* *WANT* *MY* *DOCTOR* *TO* *TAKE* *THE* *TIME* to evaluate the results of the tests they ran and consider what those results might just actually be saying rather than giving me a spur of the moment decision before considering all of the facts presented.

    No wonder you work for a national company to hide behind and cover up hasty diagnosis failures.

    Jeez, just like I said in posts above, you simply do not yet know enough to know enough on how to do a good inspection and report - that has become painfully obvious.

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

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ken, you said twice you didn't mean to offend anyone. Then maybe you need to think about what you say/type.

    Ken said......."But can you honestly tell me that you would hire or endorse an inspector who you knew didn't provide a report until the following day because they didn't know what they were looking at and needed to research their findings?"

    What makes you think an inspector doesn't know what he's doing just because he doesn't provide a report until the next day? Talk about adding 1+1 and getting 3. I used to do reports on site and it wasn't for me. I find a lot of crap during my inspections so it also takes me a while to compile the reports. For somebody who claims to have so much experience Ken, one would think you learned something along the way about making assumptions.

    Ken said......"What would you do if you went in to see a doctor and told him you had a runny nose, sore throat and chest congestion and he told you to come back tomorrow as he had to research these symptoms to determine what the problem is? Hopefully you'd start using another doctor."

    Note to Ken and all others who use this analogy........WE ARE NOT DOCTORS. We are not lawyers, indian chiefs, dentists, or something requiring a doctorate. We're home inspectors. Get over yourselves. I like what I do and believe in the value of what we do but I would never rank the job of home inspector up there as prestigious, sought after, or well heeled. We're professionals but we're muckers and grinders. We get dirty and often have to crawl around in crap that gives other people the heebie jeebies. We are not doctors so trying to use the doctor analogy just doesn't cut it.

    And since you want to disparage anybody who can't provide every answer to every question or every issue on the spot Ken, how do you explain this admission of yours......"When I run in to something I haven't seen before (which is not very often) I simply tell my clients exactly that. Then I speed dial one of the PEs and send them photos via my phone if necessary. My foundation expert, on the other hand, will arrive within 20 minutes and evaluate the problem at no additional charge for the clients."

    I thought you knew everything Ken? Should we have little to no confidence in you? You did say..... "it's also the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting. The inspector should research these prior to running into them on an inspection. An inspector who waits until he runs in to a building practice before researching it is not someone I'd want inspecting my home." Why do you need to call anybody else during your inspections if this were not the case?

    Whoops.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Hmmmmm

    And I never responded to this yet? Maybe I shouldn't!

    I think I have been the most outspoken on the matter.

    My clients can come anytime they want. In the beginning, the middle, the end. I also tell them they can be there the entire time but it is my time for inspecting their potential new property. After all, isn't this why they are going to pay you for your report in the end. They are paying you for a report. You get paid when you are done so until then you are inspecting the home for no one. Once someone agrees to cut you a check or hand you some cash for a report on your inspection can you say that you inspected the home for them. In the mean time folks, I need to be able to inspect. That is what you ultimately pay me for. Walking, talking, chewing gum, playing jump rope with the kids is not in my inspection note book or my profession.

    As far as the report on site????? Only when I can. If they are there the entire time they are not getting it. If I am not there by myself for at the least a few hours to 4 hours depending on the home they are not getting it then. They will always get one that night even if it gets mailed by midnight. I am not getting backed up by three inspection doing it over a couple days. What I inspect in a particular day the report gets done that day. I am not going to try to finish a report the next day when Things are not fresh in my mind and I am already inspecting something else.

    Interacting with a client is not conducive to inspecting. Yes you can still do a good inspection but the fact is, talking, walking, explaining, pointing out, taking pictures, flirting with the females etc etc etc is not conducive to doing a better job.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    *I* would NOT want some home inspector who THINKS THEY KNOW IT ALL and is required to, then and there, without being able to check and verify suspect or suspicious components or systems, to inspect for me.
    So you would rather have a new Inachi certified inspector that provides it a couple days later after discussing his finding with other inachi inspectors online?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Based on the thought that you can inspect a 2,000 square foot house and know it all before knowing what you will be running into, and do all of that in 3 to 3-1/2 hours ... you certainly have a lot of education yet to come.
    Honestly Jerry I could write half of my inspections from the front seat of my truck without going into the house. I don't due a ton of custom homes. Most of the inspections I do, I've inspected that exact same design 300 times. But I do agree that I have a lot of education yet to come. Hopefully we all keep educating ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You betcha. I would even wait 2 or 3 days if that is what it took to put together a comprehensive report addressing all that the inspector found.
    Even when you have a 3 day contract and you know there are inspectors who can do it same day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Being as you asked, anything less (i.e., insisting on or expecting on-site) and THAT INSPECTOR DOES NOT KNOW ENOUGH to know they do not know it enough to inspect a house for me.
    I can't address this as it makes no sense to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ah, trying to make it like all a home inspector will see is water running down from a leaking window, the furnace is coughing and sputtering, and the A/C filter is congested and clogged and cannot breathe ... jeez ... if that is all you write up - no wonder you are saying the things you are saying.

    When I go to have a physical and be CHECKED OUT *I* *DO* *NOT* expect to be told all the things which COULD BE wrong with me before I walk out that door, *I* *WANT* *MY* *DOCTOR* *TO* *TAKE* *THE* *TIME* to evaluate the results of the tests they ran and consider what those results might just actually be saying rather than giving me a spur of the moment decision before considering all of the facts presented.
    I'm not "trying to make it like" anything. I was going for an analogy. I'm sorry you didn't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No wonder you work for a national company to hide behind and cover up hasty diagnosis failures.

    Jeez, just like I said in posts above, you simply do not yet know enough to know enough on how to do a good inspection and report - that has become painfully obvious.
    Sorry Jerry, I've never had a claim for anything close to a "hasty diagnosis failure". I'm also sorry that you judge my inspection and report writing ability without having any first hand knowledge of either. It's sad that you would jump to conclusions like that without having any basis or first hand knowledge. I really thought better of you.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Ken, you said twice you didn't mean to offend anyone. Then maybe you need to think about what you say/type.

    Ken said......."But can you honestly tell me that you would hire or endorse an inspector who you knew didn't provide a report until the following day because they didn't know what they were looking at and needed to research their findings?"

    What makes you think an inspector doesn't know what he's doing just because he doesn't provide a report until the next day? Talk about adding 1+1 and getting 3. I used to do reports on site and it wasn't for me. I find a lot of crap during my inspections so it also takes me a while to compile the reports. For somebody who claims to have so much experience Ken, one would think you learned something along the way about making assumptions.
    While you were quoting this paragraph you should have also quoted this one
    The question is why don't you provide it on site? Is it so you can do more inspection in a day or that you don't have the equipment to print or email the report on site.

    Or, is it because you have to go home and check Code Check, building codes, phone a friend or ask an online forum because you don't know how what you're doing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Ken said......"What would you do if you went in to see a doctor and told him you had a runny nose, sore throat and chest congestion and he told you to come back tomorrow as he had to research these symptoms to determine what the problem is? Hopefully you'd start using another doctor."

    Note to Ken and all others who use this analogy........WE ARE NOT DOCTORS. We are not lawyers, indian chiefs, dentists, or something requiring a doctorate. We're home inspectors. Get over yourselves. I like what I do and believe in the value of what we do but I would never rank the job of home inspector up there as prestigious, sought after, or well heeled. We're professionals but we're muckers and grinders. We get dirty and often have to crawl around in crap that gives other people the heebie jeebies. We are not doctors so trying to use the doctor analogy just doesn't cut it.
    Ok, you hire a ditch digger to dig a ditch. He looks at the area and tells you "I'll be in touch with you tomorrow to let you know what I think after I consult some colleagues online." Does that one work for you? How about you hire a kid to mow your yard and he says, "Ok, I'll be back tomorrow after I look up how to mow a lawn on the internet". You get the idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    And since you want to disparage anybody who can't provide every answer to every question or every issue on the spot Ken, how do you explain this admission of yours......"When I run in to something I haven't seen before (which is not very often) I simply tell my clients exactly that. Then I speed dial one of the PEs and send them photos via my phone if necessary. My foundation expert, on the other hand, will arrive within 20 minutes and evaluate the problem at no additional charge for the clients."

    I thought you knew everything Ken? Should we have little to no confidence in you? You did say..... "it's also the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting. The inspector should research these prior to running into them on an inspection. An inspector who waits until he runs in to a building practice before researching it is not someone I'd want inspecting my home." Why do you need to call anybody else during your inspections if this were not the case?

    Whoops.
    While you're quoting everything else, please quote where I claimed to know everything. You won't find it because I never said it. I'll be the first to freely admit that I don't know everything when it comes to home inspections. I run into things monthly that I've never seen before. But 99.5% of the time I can tell my clients it's wrong or needs to be addressed by someone other than myself. And on those rare occasions where I need to I can simply call a PE and get the information immediately. But, I'll stand by the statement that "it's the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting".

    I'll give you an example: A few years back I was scheduled to do a log home inspection. I had never done one before. In the two days prior to the inspection I read everything I could find about log homes. Then hired a log home builder to accompany me on the inspection. The fee the client paid actually went directly to the log home builder. I didn't earn a thing except knowledge and the ability to inspect future log homes with confidence. I didn't try to dupe the client into believing I knew log homes then try to learn if the things I saw were right or wrong after the inspection.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Interacting with a client is not conducive to inspecting. Yes you can still do a good inspection but the fact is, talking, walking, explaining, pointing out, taking pictures, flirting with the females etc etc etc is not conducive to doing a better job.
    Welcome to the melee, please check your weapons at the door

    I use my inspections as a school for the buyers. While doing the inspection I'll talk about the normal stuff, furnace filter, water shut off valves etc, but I'll also talk about the siding, windows, shingles, wall covering etc etc. I'll let them know if they're good quality or not. Heck, I'll even talk about the interior walls, lathe and plaster, green board and plaster, gypsum, whatever. We'll talk about the floor joists size and material. Why 100 year old wood windows don't rot but 20 year old wood windows do.

    Heck, I even told an engineer why he should not be using the high filtration 3M filters on his furnace. He in turn told me he worked for 3M and was actually the one who designed the filters. I asked him what he thought about my comment and he said, "Your totally right, but we sell a ton of them". I'm not a "just the facts" inspector, but an educator. That's probably why I get so many agent referrals. If I waited until after the inspection to do all that each inspection would take me an entire day.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    While you're quoting everything else, please quote where I claimed to know everything. You won't find it because I never said it. OK, I'll back off on that. But...........

    You said that "it's the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting". I agree with that statement. But doesn't the fact that you have to occassionaly call your trades people buddies for help indicate that you yourself are not knowledgeable on all building practices on homes you are inspecting? You disparge those who may not be able to provide an answer on the spot and assume off-site reports are indicative of inferior inspectors who rifle through textbooks and on-line forums for answers to questions they didn't know at the inspection. You stated you have a network of trades people who you can call and will help you out in a pinch. Good for you, we should all be so lucky. But it doesn't mean you're a better inspector than any other inspector or more knowledgable. You just got the info/answer faster. What if somebody in this network of yours is not available to answer your question during your inspection and you have to get back to your client with an answer? Are you now an inferior inspector? If we look up every post of yours on InspectionNews, will we not find one post from you where you didn't know something and were looking for help?

    Let me redirect my point Ken because I didn't get an answer from you on this. You are assuming somebody who doesn't provide an onsite report is looking up info back at their office because they don't know what they were looking at during the inspection. Where does this assumption come from? Are all inspectors who do not provide on-site reports deficient and inferior inspectors? Again, how does an off-site report equate to lack of knowledge?

    "Ok, you hire a ditch digger to dig a ditch. He looks at the area and tells you "I'll be in touch with you tomorrow to let you know what I think after I consult some colleagues online." Does that one work for you? How about you hire a kid to mow your yard and he says, "Ok, I'll be back tomorrow after I look up how to mow a lawn on the internet". You get the idea?"

    This analogy is ridiculous and not in any way comparable to the assumptions you are making that somebody who does not provide and on-site report is less of an inspector. Please don't forget to explain this assumption of yours.

    I explained why I compile my reports back at the office and issue them the next day......too much crap to document most of the time in case you missed it the first time I said it.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 02-22-2010 at 12:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I disagree. I believe that an inspector who can't interact with their client while performing their inspection probably doesn't know what their doing. I also have the same thoughts of the inspectors who can't provide a copy of the report prior to leaving the inspection.
    KR: You would disagree, of course. The reason? You are among the crowd that actually believes, in spite of scientific proof to the contrary, that multi-tasking people are effective people. The facts show that they are actually worse at everything, yes everything, than people who focus on just one thing at a time.

    That may be why you have yet to successfully support one single argument here. You might be able to if you would stop cutting your fingernails, talking on the phone, playing video games, and frying eggs while you are writing your posts.

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    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 02-22-2010 at 05:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KR: You would disagree, of course. The reason? You are among the crowd that actually believes, in spite of scientific proof to the contrary, that multi-tasking people are effective people. The facts show that they are actually worse at everything, yes everything, than people who focus on just one thing at a time.

    That may be why you have yet to successfully support one single argument here. You might be able to if you would stop cutting your fingernails, talking on the phone, playing video games, and frying eggs while you are writing your posts.
    Find "scientific proof" that actually pertains to what we're talking about. Your link talks about media multitasking, ie cell phones, video games, etc. Please provide a link that shows scientific proof that an inspector who talks to their clients while doing an inspection makes them a worse inspector. You have to realized I'm doing exactly the same thing as you, except I'm verbalizing it to the client rather than just thinking about it. There are many studies that show verbalizing helps one remember. It makes it easier to write the report.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    While you're quoting everything else, please quote where I claimed to know everything. You won't find it because I never said it. OK, I'll back off on that. But........... I appreciate that.

    You said that "it's the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting". I agree with that statement. But doesn't the fact that you have to occassionaly call your trades people buddies for help indicate that you yourself are not knowledgeable on all building practices on homes you are inspecting? You're getting "building practices" confused with deficiencies. I'll call if I see a deficiency which I've never seen before. You disparge those who may not be able to provide an answer on the spot and assume off-site reports are indicative of inferior inspectors who rifle through textbooks and on-line forums for answers to questions they didn't know at the inspection. Yes, those who have to research "building practice" because they don't know it. You stated you have a network of trades people who you can call and will help you out in a pinch. Good for you, we should all be so lucky. But it doesn't mean you're a better inspector than any other inspector or more knowledgable. I never claimed to be. You just got the info/answer faster. What if somebody in this network of yours is not available to answer your question during your inspection and you have to get back to your client with an answer? It's never happened. We're a large company. I have 8 PEs on speed dial, not including the foundation guys. Are you now an inferior inspector? If we look up every post of yours on InspectionNews, will we not find one post from you where you didn't know something and were looking for help? You're encouraged to check. Let me know what you find.

    Let me redirect my point Ken because I didn't get an answer from you on this. You are assuming somebody who doesn't provide an onsite report is looking up info back at their office because they don't know what they were looking at during the inspection. Where does this assumption come from? Are all inspectors who do not provide on-site reports deficient and inferior inspectors? Again, how does an off-site report equate to lack of knowledge? As I previously questioned, there may be a few reasons why they are not done on site. I have a problem with those who don't do it on site because they don't have the knowledge of houses to complete the report on site.

    "Ok, you hire a ditch digger to dig a ditch. He looks at the area and tells you "I'll be in touch with you tomorrow to let you know what I think after I consult some colleagues online." Does that one work for you? How about you hire a kid to mow your yard and he says, "Ok, I'll be back tomorrow after I look up how to mow a lawn on the internet". You get the idea?"

    This analogy is ridiculous and not in any way comparable to the assumptions you are making that somebody who does not provide and on-site report is less of an inspector. Please don't forget to explain this assumption of yours. The key is the reason for not doing the report on site being they don't know what they're doing.

    I explained why I compile my reports back at the office and issue them the next day......too much crap to document most of the time in case you missed it the first time I said it.
    You have a great reason. How do you remember what to put in the report if you don't document it on site?

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    You have a great reason. How do you remember what to put in the report if you don't document it on site?
    I'm glad we can agree on something Ken. I take pictures and use a digital voice recorder. I remember most things but these things help me recall all the small details.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    I find that I encounter some condition I do not completely understand at almost every inspection I perform - it's the rare inspection where I don't believe I'll be providing my clients with more complete and accurate information if I perform additional research or consult with my colleagues online or elsewhere,.

    And I don't believe that the more experienced the inspector, the less often they have to do that - IMO the more experienced and competent the inspector, the more deeply they will be seeing into what they observe, and the greater the level of detail at which they investigate what they find.

    That it's only once the inspection of the rest of the boiler is almost automatic that you have the time to actually look really closely at the way the zoning is configured , and it's only what you look really carefully at the zoning that you start asking yourself exactly how it should be done, and if those two circulating pumps installed that way can really be correct? (To take an example from my last inspection).

    Most of these are "minor" issues, and I don't delay report completion to obtain answers, but I'm never hesitant to tell a client that I've seen something that requires additional research for me to completly understand if it's correct, or the implications if its not.

    And interestingly I find that when my clients review my services online they don't regard me as less competent for the effort, they are more apt to say "And not only that, he took the time to look things up after he got back to the office so he could give me a really complete report!".

    (On the average, clients know - and appreciate appreciate- added value added when they see it).

    As for the assertion that "it's the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting" (to the extent that further research is unnecessary) this is clearly an impossible goal; for example it would require the inspector to have completely memorized and fully retained all of the relevant codes, including the commentaries, and then taken the time to research the various controversies regarding interpretations both of those, then have formulated clear opinions of his or her own about their merits, and then taken the time to carefully consider in advance how they will report these conclusions to their clients.

    And of course that's only the tip of the iceberg... we haven't even started on "manufacturers installation instructions", "industry best practices", "building science", emerging construction technologies, modifications to existing technologies, manufacturers recalls, regional variations... the list just goes on and on.

    The result IMO, is that when somebody states that "they are (fully) knowledgeable on all aspects of the homes they will be inspecting", we have already identified at least one glaring defect in their knowledge.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-22-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    BTW, I'm not knocking the concept of on-site report preparation, I've just never figured out how to do it satisfactorily myself.

    And I suspect that to a large extent inspecting and reporting preferences are a matter of how you feel about the kind of work product you want to produce - relative to the income you can receive for the time you have available to perform and prepare it - market conditions in your area, and your skill in selling your services as you want to provide them.

    Where I do see some inspectors get into trouble, though, is operating on the assumption that you're going to be able to perform two or three inspection on a given day, based in turn on the assumption that you're going to be able to get through the inspection in 2.5 - 3 hrs. and write the report in under an hour.

    I just don't attempt to do that, the absolute maximum I will attempt is one single family home and one condo, inspection only, with a report prepared later off-site, and I strongly prefer not to attempt more than one inspection per day.

    In part this reflects my market - where I see a lot of older homes - to some extent it reflects my decision that I'm willing to forgo inspections I can only obtain based on price competition, but to a large extent it reflects the fact that I have my own set of standards about the work product I want to produce. (And I'll be the first to admit that I'm fortunate to be in a financial and health insurance position to do that, largely because my wife has excellent benefits from her corporate job, and because if I'm not inspecting, I can be working on my rental properties).

    When I have to sell my services against inspectors (often from franchised operations) who are planning their day on the basis of multiple inspections and on-site reports, especially inspections of single-family homes or rental properties, I asked prospective clients:

    "What happens when an inspector who is scheduled to do two houses a day, finds that the first house needs additional attention to inspect and report properly? Or when it's the second inspection, and they have made other commitments based on the assumption that they can get finished up by 5 PM?

    "Does that inspector call ahead to cancel his next inspection so he can spend as much time as is needed on yours? Call the neighbor to pick up the kids from the dentist?

    "Or does he just "do the best job he can" in the time available, hope he's is covered the major liability issues over which somebody is likely to sue him, and then put the tools back in the truck and go on to the next inspection, or to pick up the kids from soccer practice?

    "Pulling up to a house that needs extra attention for a thorough inspection isn't going to happen every time, or even close.

    "But it does happen, and probably every 15 or 20 inspections I find that I need to be in the house for four hours or more - and that there is just no way to produce that report as rapidly as a house with fewer issues."

    "Unfortunately, you can't always tell in advance based on "general condition" - or any other way before you start going through a property in detail - which houses are going to need that extra attention.

    "But if yours does, which kind of inspector do you want doing your inspection?"

    If you are scheduling multiple inspections a day in a market with houses like we see in mine, there really is no good answer to that question - because inevitably what you are sometimes doing in such cases is inspecting to cover yourself for the liability hit, moving on, and leaving your client with a less complete inspection and report then you would under better circumstances.

    Now, here's the catch: probably the three-hour inspection did catch the major issues, and probably it was an "adequate" inspection from both the inspector and client perspective. There are highly competent inspectors who do two single-family inspections a day, several days a week, kick out an on-site report for each, and go home to eat dinner every night ... on time.

    And their business model may in fact be more "rational" than one like my own (on the upside they likely have a higher annual income, on the downside they are having to do more inspections per dollar).

    But there is this: in some cases they're going to have a very difficult time selling their services to a client who has talked to a friend about the inspection I performed for them, or who picked up my report off their coffee table, and read it.

    And, this just one way inspections can differ, see for example the various passionate arguments here about such questions as whether clients even ought to the present at the inspection!

    This is the increasing marketing dilemma of this business: finding a successful price point and inspection and reporting strategy for your market (and there may be more than one), and the right methods of marketing, to allow you to build a successful business using it.

    And the bottom line IMO is that given that there may be multiple successful inspection and reporting strategies in a given market (let along between different markets) I think it is na´ve (and insulting to people with carefully thought-out of doing business differ from your own) to suppose that yours own is the "right" way to do it, and that the other guy - who does it differently - must be some sort of ignorant and/or incompetent hack).

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-22-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I'm glad we can agree on something Ken. I take pictures and use a digital voice recorder. I remember most things but these things help me recall all the small details.
    So you do document on site. The difference with us is I skip the recorder step and enter directly into the report. Others with BPG do the same as you and can't figure out how we in MN can do the report totally on site. We in MN can't figure out why they would want to take their reports home to finish. To each their own, as long as they know what they're doing.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    You call it documenting on-site. I call it gathering and recording information. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    I'd love to have no reports to do when I get home. But the labor intensive nature of my report system and detail just makes it unrealistic. I've known for a while my reports take too long to compile. But I don't like the look of many of the software reporting programs and the finished product. The reports are too long and wordy for my liking.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    FYI. This morning I had an agent mention that he could kick himself in the ass for not having met an inspector like me who does not do on site inspection reports. In his words: " . . . I want a thorough report and not the kind that is slapped together on site on a laptop by the morons who do that sort of thing . . ." Not my words, but my sentiments.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I find that I encounter some condition I do not completely understand at almost every inspection I perform - it's the rare inspection where I don't believe I'll be providing my clients with more complete and accurate information if I perform additional research or consult with my colleagues online or elsewhere,.

    And I don't believe that the more experienced inspector, the less often they have to do that - IMO the more experienced and competent the inspector, the more deeply they will be seeing into what they observe, and the greater the level of detail at which they investigate what they find. It's it's only once the inspection of the rest of the boiler is almost automatic that you have the time to actually look really closely at the way the zoning is configured , and it's only what you look really carefully at that zoning,that you start asking yourself exactly how it should be done, and if those two circulating pumps installed that way can really be correct? (To take an example from my last inspection).
    I don't agree with that theory. I believe that the more you do something the better you get at it. When I pull up to a house and see the exact same design that I've inspected 200 times before I pretty much know what the deficiencies are going to be. I know where the foundation is going to be leaking because I've seen that same house 200 times before. Sure there could be some things that are different especially if the homeowner did some remodeling or such. As I said before though, custom homes are different, but I don't run into them much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    As for the assertion that "it's the inspectors responsibility to be knowledgeable on all building practices on homes he will be inspecting", this is clearly an impossible goal; for example it would require the inspector to have completely memorized and fully retained all of the relevant codes, including the commentaries, and then taken the time to research the various controversies regarding interpretations both of those, then have formulated clear opinions of your own about their merits, and then taken the time to carefully consider how you will report your conclusions your clients.

    And of course that's only the tip of the iceberg... we haven't even started on "manufacturers installation instructions", "industry best practices", "building science", emerging construction technologies, modifications to existing technologies, manufacturers recalls, regional variations... the list just goes on and on.

    The result IMO, is that when somebody states that "they are knowledgeable on all aspects of the homes they will be inspecting", we have already identified at least one glaring defect in their knowledge.
    I'm sorry but I'm not a code inspector. I don't have to know all the relevant codes, commentaries, interpretations or opinions. That's not our job. We do need to know what's right and wrong and that comes from education and experience. It's the inspector's responsibility to obtain this education and experience hopefully prior to performing inspections for an uninformed home buyer.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    FYI. This morning I had an agent mention that he could kick himself in the ass for not having met an inspector like me who does not do on site inspection reports. In his words: " . . . I want a thorough report and not the kind that is slapped together on site on a laptop by the morons who do that sort of thing . . ." Not my words, but my sentiments.
    Interesting I've never heard that. What I do hear on a weekly basis is, "Thank you for providing the report on site. My old inspector would never do that. I'll never use him again." And the other one I love, "My old inspector would never allow the buyer's to attend the inspection. Thank you for taking the time with them and explaining everything. I'll be requesting you from now on". Oh, and another one, "Thank you for providing the report on site. It was the last day of the inspection contingency and we had to have it today. We'll be recommending you to all the agents in our office."

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    BTW, I'm not knocking the concept of on-site report preparation, I've just never figured out how to do it satisfactorily myself. It's not for everyone. It's something I was taught from day one in the inspection business so I'm used to it.

    And I suspect that to a large extent inspecting and reporting preferences are a matter of how you feel about the kind of work product you want to produce - relative to the income you can receive for the time you have available to perform and prepare it - market conditions in your area, and your skill in selling your services as you want to provide them.

    Where I do see some inspectors get into trouble, though, is operating on the assumption that you're going to be able to perform two or three inspection on a given day, based in turn on the assumption that you're going to be able to get through the inspection in 2.5 - 3 hrs. and write the report in under an hour.

    I just don't attempt to do that, the absolute maximum I will attempt is one single family home and one condo, inspection only, with a report prepared later off-site, and I strongly prefer not to attempt more than one inspection per day.

    In part this reflects my market - where I see a lot of older homes - to some extent it reflects my decision that I'm willing to forgo inspections I can only obtain based on price competition, but to a large extent it reflects the fact that I have my own set of standards about the work product I want to produce. (And I'll be the first to admit that I'm fortunate to be in a financial and health insurance position to do that, largely because my wife has excellent benefits from her corporate job, and because if I'm not inspecting, I can be working on my rental properties).

    When I have to sell my services against inspectors (often from franchised operations) who are planning their day on the basis of multiple inspections and on-site reports, especially inspections of single-family homes or rental properties, I asked prospective clients:

    "What happens when an inspector who is scheduled to do two houses a day, finds that the first house needs additional attention to inspect and report properly? Or when it's the second inspection, and they have made other commitments based on the assumption that they can get finished up by 5 PM?

    "Does that inspector call ahead to cancel his next inspection so he can spend as much time as is needed on yours? Call the neighbor to pick up the kids from the dentist?

    "Or does he just "do the best job he can" in the time available, hope he's is covered the major liability issues over which somebody is likely to sue him, and then put the tools back in the truck and go on to the next inspection, or to pick up the kids from soccer practice?

    "Pulling up to a house that needs extra attention for a thorough inspection isn't going to happen every time, or even close.

    "But it does happen, and probably every 15 or 20 inspections I find that I need to be in the house for four hours or more - and that there is just no way to produce that report as rapidly as a house with fewer issues."

    "Unfortunately, you can't always tell in advance based on "general condition" - or any other way before you start going through a property in detail - which houses are going to need that extra attention.

    "But if yours does, which kind of inspector do you want doing your inspection?"

    If you are scheduling multiple inspections a day in a market with houses like we see in mine, there really is no good answer to that question - because inevitably what you are sometimes doing in such cases is inspecting to cover yourself for the liability hit, moving on, and leaving your client with a less complete inspection and report then you would under better circumstances.

    Now, here's the catch: probably the three-hour inspection did catch the major issues, and probably it was an "adequate" inspection from both the inspector and client perspective. There are highly competent inspectors who do two single-family inspections a day, several days a week, kick out an on-site report for each, and go home to eat dinner every night ... on time.

    And their business model may in fact be more "rational" than one like my own (on the upside they likely have a higher annual income, on the downside they are having to do more inspections per dollar).

    But there is this: in some cases they're going to have a very difficult time selling their services to a client who has talked to a friend about the inspection I performed for them, or who picked up my report off their coffee table, and read it.

    And, this just one way inspections can differ, see for example the various passionate arguments here about such questions as whether clients even ought to the present at the inspection!

    This is the increasing marketing dilemma of this business: finding a successful price point and inspection and reporting strategy for your market (and there may be more than one), and the right methods of marketing, to allow you to build a successful business using it.

    And the bottom line IMO is that given that there may be multiple successful inspection and reporting strategies in a given market (let along between different markets) I think it is na´ve (and insulting to people with carefully thought-out of doing business differ from your own) to suppose that yours own is the "right" way to do it, and that the other guy - who does it differently - must be some sort of ignorant and/or incompetent hack).
    I'll do two inspection a day. My scheduled availability is 10am and 3pm. That gives me 5 hours to do the inspection and get to my next house. A typical inspection takes at least 3 hours. Some take more depending on the size, age and condition.

    Being with a national company we have professional, experienced people taking our orders. If they take an order for a large home, multi family home, commercial property or something that they believe will take me longer, they'll call me when taking the order to figure out scheduling. I don't make plans for the evening on days I'm scheduled to work. I might get home by 6:30, I might not be home until 9pm. Just something my family and myself are used to.

    When an inspection order is on my schedule, I'll actually take the time to look it up on the mls. I'll check with the local cities for permit information etc. I seldom go into an inspection blind. If they're something that tells me it's going to take more than 4 1/2 hours to do it, I'll rearrange my schedule to accommodate it.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    (IMO, one of the things about which clients most need to be educated are the realities of transforming an inspection report into an informed decision with regard to an inspection contingency.

    Real-world, I send the report as a .pdf, the buyer's attorney looks at the next morning, the seller's attorney (maybe) looks the buyers response the next afternoon, etc.

    When someone tells me at the end of an afternoon's inspection that the contingency is expiring at 5 PM that evening, what that tells me is that the real estate agents and attorneys have been doing a very poor job of educating their clients - and in many cases that one or both real estate agents are hoping to bum rush a questionable inspection report past the client and their attorney.)

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  41. #41
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    (IMO, one of the things about which clients most need to be educated are the realities of transforming an inspection report into an informed decision with regard to an inspection contingency.

    Real-world, I send the report as a .pdf, the buyer's attorney looks at the next morning, the seller's attorney (maybe) looks the buyers response the next afternoon, etc.

    When someone tells me at the end of an afternoon's inspection that the contingency is expiring at 5 PM that evening, what that tells me is that the real estate agents and attorneys have been doing a very poor job of educating their clients - and in many cases that one or both real estate agents are hoping to bum rush a questionable inspection report past the client and their attorney.)
    Huh

    Say what????

    Ahhh, who?

    What are you talking about. The buyers attorney looks it over in the morning. Since when does the buyers attorney get involved in an inspection. Is that some state requirement that an attorney look over all home inspection reports. I have never heard of such a thing. You do live in the US, right?

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 02-22-2010 at 01:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    (IMO, one of the things about which clients most need to be educated are the realities of transforming an inspection report into an informed decision with regard to an inspection contingency.

    Real-world, I send the report as a .pdf, the buyer's attorney looks at the next morning, the seller's attorney (maybe) looks the buyers response the next afternoon, etc.

    When someone tells me at the end of an afternoon's inspection that the contingency is expiring at 5 PM that evening, what that tells me is that the real estate agents and attorneys have been doing a very poor job of educating their clients - and in many cases that one or both real estate agents are hoping to bum rush a questionable inspection report past the client and their attorney.)
    There are a myriad of reasons as to why it may be a last minute inspection. Buyer or spouse or agent may be out of town or have another commitment. Another inspector may have been scheduled and not shown up. Missing keys in a lock box or even poor planning. Some of it may be a poor job of educating their clients. Whatever reason, it really doesn't matter to me. Also, very seldom is there an attorney involved in residential real estate in MN.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Huh

    Say what????

    Ahhh, who?

    What are you talking about. The buyers attorney looks it over in the morning. Since when does the buyers attorney get involved in an inspection. Is that some state requirement that an attorney look over all home inspection reports. I have never heard of such a thing. You do live in the US, right?
    I believe some states require a real estate attorney instead of a realtor.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Interesting I've never heard that. What I do hear on a weekly basis is, "Thank you for providing the report on site. My old inspector would never do that. I'll never use him again." And the other one I love, "My old inspector would never allow the buyer's to attend the inspection. Thank you for taking the time with them and explaining everything. I'll be requesting you from now on". Oh, and another one, "Thank you for providing the report on site. It was the last day of the inspection contingency and we had to have it today. We'll be recommending you to all the agents in our office."
    KR: I have no doubt that this is your experience. Most agents love minimalists. Down and dirty, quick and easy. No need to be knowledgable when BS is your claim to fame. But hey, whatever suits you . . .


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KR: I have no doubt that this is your experience. Most agents love minimalists. Down and dirty, quick and easy. No need to be knowledgable when BS is your claim to fame. But hey, whatever suits you . . .
    What's with the personal attack? Have I ever done an inspection for you. Have you read an inspection of mine? The fact is you don't know anything about my inspections or performance but feel a need to throw out personal attacks when you read something you may not agree with. Let's keep the discussion civil and leave the personal attacks to the Inachi crowd.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ted,

    Must be a regional thing, here in Illinois it's common for buyer's attorney to be involved in (re)negotiating a contract based on the inspection report, in fact attorneys are one of the major audiences for my reports, something I keep in mind when I write them. (Not in terms of what I report or not, but in terms of clarity of explanation to non-technical individuals who may feel they're a lot smarter than the average home inspector and sometimes fail to ask questions even when it's clear that they don't understand what they are reading).

    There are some upsides and some downsides to inspectors for having attorneys involved, for one thing if an attorney likes your reports and reporting style, they can be an excellent source of referrals... and one that doesn't decrease in frequency as you increase in skill.

    Ken,

    Everything you say is true, and there certainly are many "last-minute" inspections for legitimate, or at least inadvertent, reasons

    However I always ask when the inspection contingency expires when booking an inspection, and there certainly times when it looks - to me anyway - like the buyers have not been informed that inspection on the same day the contingency expires at a minimum is not going to give them time to digest the report and make decisions based on its content. And I certainly have been in situations - not infrequently - where it appears to me that one or both real estate agents are trying to push the deal through before the buyers has had adequate time to review the report.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-22-2010 at 03:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    What's with the personal attack? Have I ever done an inspection for you. Have you read an inspection of mine? The fact is you don't know anything about my inspections or performance but feel a need to throw out personal attacks when you read something you may not agree with. Let's keep the discussion civil and leave the personal attacks to the Inachi crowd.
    KR: There is no "personal attack". I don't need to read your reports. If they reflect the blather you generously spread around this forum, they are feckless and not worth reading.

    But, I will try to be more civil. It is not really in my makeup, however I will make every attempt.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    [quote=A.D. Miller;121651]KR: There is no "personal attack". I don't need to read your reports. If they reflect the blather you generously spread around this forum, they are feckless and not worth reading.
    quote]

    Again with the personal attacks. Do you use assumptions and misconceptions in your inspection reports also. Or do you mearly relagate them to your personal life?

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    I find this thread interesting. It really sounds like, "if you don't do it the same as I do, then it's wrong".

    I pretty much have done on site reports for almost 20 years. Just the way I got used to doing it. Used check lists reports, then added a hand written narrative to go with it, then later added digital photos too. Once in a while I would write an addendum because of stuff I found.

    Switched to computer reports and used to print it out on site. Now I upload it to the web site, almost always while I'm at the house. I do it this way because I hate to work when I get home.

    If I come upon something I haven't seen before, or something that is really strange, I tell my client they will get the report that evening, or the next day. If the job has taken longer than I anticipated (and I need to get to the next job), then I tell them they can expect the report that evening, then I finish it when I get home.
    If I'm not comfortable in the house, then I do what I need to do, and get out as soon as I can and finish it at home.
    Expert witness stuff, may take several days to write the report.

    But I really try to finish it on site.

    AS far as time required to do a good inspection goes. If I take 3 hours to inspect a 2400 SF crawlspace home, and Joe Blow takes 4 hours, has nothing to do with the quality of the inspection or report. Now if Jim Bob only took 25 minutes, then I might have a pretty good idea he didn't do a good job. Same goes for the guy that takes 12 hours to inspect that same house.

    I may be able to evaluate an electrical panel in 30 seconds, yet someone else will take 5 minutes. I've been in some crawlspaces less than 10 minutes, and in a few almost an hour. Most of us take whatever time it takes us to do our job at our comfort level.

    I look at the number of questions I get after the inspection. And the number of complaints. And the number of repeat clients, and referrals from past clients. I must be doing a pretty good job based on that criteria. Same goes for the guy that spends 3 days writing a report, or only 2 hours at the inspection.

    If he doesn't get many questions, then the report must be pretty clear.
    If he doesn't get many complaints, then the inspection skills must be pretty good.
    If he gets repeat business from past clients, and they refer him to their friends, then they must be pretty happy.


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So you would rather have a new Inachi certified inspector that provides it a couple days later after discussing his finding with other inachi inspectors online?
    Somehow in your twisted mind you are equating an good thorough inspector who thinks about the inspection and provides the report after going over it as being a newbie inspector, while equating an inspector who produces a no-nothing report on site as being a good well knowledgeable inspector ... and there is no tangible link between them for you to come up with that thinking process, which can only mean that your thinking is indeed, as you have shown here, twisted and warped.

    Honestly Jerry I could write half of my inspections from the front seat of my truck without going into the house.
    That statement says a lot about you as an inspector, and none of it being any good.

    Your continued defense of the indefensible shows your lack of intimate knowledge with home inspections.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    BTW, I'm not knocking the concept of on-site report preparation, I've just never figured out how to do it satisfactorily myself.

    Michael,

    I did on-site reports myself for about the first 10 years, then my inspections started taking a lot longer as I was writing so much into them, then, as I continued to learn and understand what I did not know, I moved to doing about half of my reports on-site during the inspection (data gathering is the way to think of it) and the other half of my reports back at the office going back over the information I had gathered and all the photos I had taken - that is how I did it my last 4-5 years before I retired from home inspections.

    Then again, Ken would probably say I did not know anything as I spend so long at my inspections, which obviously (in his eyes, I am sure) is the sign of a person who knows very little - after all, HE could write most of his reports without even getting out of his car.

    Let's see ... Yeppers, it's a house, and, yep, it has a roof, and - there is it, it has an electrical service, and ...

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Somehow in your twisted mind you are equating an good thorough inspector who thinks about the inspection and provides the report after going over it as being a newbie inspector, No, I've said that inspectors who don't provide their report on site because they have to look up or ask others about what they've seen don't know what they're doing as home inspectors.
    while equating an inspector who produces a no-nothing report on site as being a good well knowledgeable inspector .No, you've assumed that inspectors who write reports on site write a "no nothing" report. I don't agree.. and there is no tangible link between them for you to come up with that thinking process, which can only mean that your thinking is indeed, as you have shown here, twisted and warped.



    That statement says a lot about you as an inspector, and none of it being any good. How exactly does that say anything about me as an inspector?

    Your continued defense of the indefensible shows your lack of intimate knowledge with home inspections.
    And another personal attack to top it off. I'm apparently dealing with children here who aren't capable of having an adult conversation. So in your best adult behavior Jerry, please explain how my deductive reasoning IE an inspector can't provide a report on site because they can't finish the report because they have no clue what they're looking at is "twisted and warped"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Michael,

    I did on-site reports myself for about the first 10 years, then my inspections started taking a lot longer as I was writing so much into them, then, as I continued to learn and understand what I did not know, I moved to doing about half of my reports on-site during the inspection (data gathering is the way to think of it) and the other half of my reports back at the office going back over the information I had gathered and all the photos I had taken - that is how I did it my last 4-5 years before I retired from home inspections. My inspection software allows me to simply click a couple buttons to enter what I need to enter. Deficiencies, locations, materials used, etc. etc. All in a narrative and checklist report. All of the wording in the software has been written by yours truly. And has passed ASHI's audits. 98% of the report is already in the software. I just need to choose the correct item and do very minimal typing. Heck even the address and buyer's name is automatically loaded in the report directly from our server.

    Then again, Ken would probably say I did not know anything as I spend so long at my inspections, which obviously (in his eyes, I am sure) is the sign of a person who knows very little As someone already stated, 3, 4, 5 hours really doesn't make the inspector and has little or nothing to do with their performance. Realize I use good software, it helps make the report faster, also realize that we don't have many crawlspaces, full basements are normal and most are finished. Also realize I can't run the a/c half of the year or do a roof inspection 4 months out of the year. Differences in parts of the country call for different inspection protocol.- after all, HE could write most of his reports without even getting out of his car. Yes that's correct. 60% of the houses in my area are 80 year old 4 square designs or Orin Thompson ramblers from the 50's and 60's. I've inspected over 2,000 of these designs. In general they all have the same issues.

    Let's see ... Yeppers, it's a house, and, yep, it has a roof, and - there is it, it has an electrical service, and ...
    You shouldn't criticize what you don't understand.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Jerry and AD, instead of wildly flailing insults why not just explain to me why you believe this statement is incorrect?

    Here's the statement, "An inspector who has to research his findings either online or by looking through code citations, prior to delivering the inspection report, does not know what they're doing."

    Again, I don't want to argue. But, if you believe my thinking is incorrect, change my mind by giving good reasons. Maybe I am wrong. I don't think so, though. Enlighten me.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    [quote=Ken Rowe;121669]
    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KR: There is no "personal attack". I don't need to read your reports. If they reflect the blather you generously spread around this forum, they are feckless and not worth reading.
    quote]

    Again with the personal attacks. Do you use assumptions and misconceptions in your inspection reports also. Or do you mearly relagate them to your personal life?
    KR: I thought you requested for me to be nice to you, right? If that is really what you want, then do not provoke me. More of the same from you will almost certainly result in unpleasant commentary issuing forth from my keyboard in your general direction. I'm keeping my side of the deal. Try to exert a bit of effort in your own defense.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ken.

    I respond to many postings you have added to this thread based on what I believe is the difference in "maturity". The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

    Your analogy "the Doctor..." is one I use on occasions. But you failed to mention one very important point "a Doctor does NOT provide a written report"

    As someone has pointed out in another posting regarding engineers lack of knowledge pertaining to HI's, there is a failure to understand what "higher" learning is all about. The majority of teaching is to teach you how to learn and research. From observation I can say the higher your academic qualification the greater the time is given to present your findings. And, note that these findings tend to be presented more towards a verbal/consultation basis - one learns the benefits of such.

    If your "professional" services are called for then you must control these serves from the appointment to the final presentation of findings. Because you believe a report should be available right after the inspection you tend to cater for the requirements of the RE Agent not your client. I believe your client who is about to make a commitment of $250 - $500 (and above) expects to get the best and not the fastest.

    I have no doubt that experience plays a big role in what defines a good or bad inspector. Sorry to say that most experience is based on time, so the older you are the more experience you likely to have. So, listen and learn or whistle while you work!

    All the best - Richard


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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    An on-site report alone does not mean an inspector knows what he's doing any more so than the same type of report means he is a minimalist. There is no correlation either way. It just means the inspector has a system that delivers a report faster.

    Looking up information after an inspection either in a code book, here on InspectionNews, or through a phone call to an inspector friend doesn't mean the inspector doesn't know what he's doing anymore so than providing an on-site report means that and inspector does know what he's doing. Again, no correlation.

    If you need to look up something afterwards, who cares? As much as that stupid doctor analogy gets thrown out there, we are not doctors. We don't have a patient on the operating table in front of us. I look up stuff after my inspections from time to time and tell my cleints I need to confirm something. They don't care. If the client doesn't care, nobody else should care. Getting it right is what matters. My inspections take longer and my reports take longer to compile now than when I started inspecting 7 years ago. I know more. I look for more. I see more.

    On-site reports may be one inspectors' standard. They are not THE standard.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 02-23-2010 at 12:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Ken.

    I respond to many postings you have added to this thread based on what I believe is the difference in "maturity". The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

    Your analogy "the Doctor..." is one I use on occasions. But you failed to mention one very important point "a Doctor does NOT provide a written report" Doctors do provide a written report. It's called your medical file. They may not always hand it to you when you leave, but they do have it on file.

    As someone has pointed out in another posting regarding engineers lack of knowledge pertaining to HI's, there is a failure to understand what "higher" learning is all about. The majority of teaching is to teach you how to learn and research. From observation I can say the higher your academic qualification the greater the time is given to present your findings. And, note that these findings tend to be presented more towards a verbal/consultation basis - one learns the benefits of such.

    If your "professional" services are called for then you must control these serves from the appointment to the final presentation of findings. Because you believe a report should be available right after the inspection you tend to cater for the requirements of the RE Agent not your client. I disagree. By the time I'm scheduled to do an inspection, the inspection contingency has been signed by my client. To meet the needs of my client I'm able to supply the report on site. It has nothing to do with the RE agent. I believe your client who is about to make a commitment of $250 - $500 (and above) expects to get the best and not the fastest.

    I have no doubt that experience plays a big role in what defines a good or bad inspector. Sorry to say that most experience is based on time, so the older you are the more experience you likely to have. I don't agree with this statement either. I believe experience is based on previous work, education and the number of inspections an inspector has completed. So, listen and learn or whistle while you work!

    All the best - Richard
    How does age have anything to do with experience in home inspections? Or how does the number of years involved in home inspections have anything to do with experience? I know 60 year old people who've taken AHIT courses, signed up on Internachi and are certified home inspectors. They've never done a home inspection. Does their age automatically count for experience?

    I know home inspectors who've done inspections for 10 years but have only done 200 in that time. Does that give them experience?

    How about the guy that does home inspections full time and has done 4,000 over the past 8 years? Does that give him experience?

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  58. #58
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    If your "professional" services are called for then you must control these serves from the appointment to the final presentation of findings. Because you believe a report should be available right after the inspection you tend to cater for the requirements of the RE Agent not your client. I believe your client who is about to make a commitment of $250 - $500 (and above) expects to get the best and not the fastest.
    RS: That is exactly right.


  59. #59
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    How does age have anything to do with experience in home inspections?
    KR: I have seen several inspectors who did not appear old enough to drive. Would you want them, with their vast life experience, inspecting your house?

    Or how does the number of years involved in home inspections have anything to do with experience?
    KR: You are kidding, right?

    How about the guy that does home inspections full time and has done 4,000 over the past 8 years? Does that give him experience?
    KR: There you go with that "new math" again. Anyone who does 4000 full inspections in 8 years:

    (1) Does not live on this planet - and
    (2) Cannot count - and
    (3) Does really lousy inspections

    But yes, of course, we all know about your guy who does 500 a year, in the worst economy on record, and pulls down $200+.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    "Yes that's correct. 60% of the houses in my area are 80 year old 4 square designs or Orin Thompson ramblers from the 50's and 60's. I've inspected over 2,000 of these designs. In general they all have the same issues."

    I think this is a factor that may account for some of the differences of opinion about reporting styles.

    When I step out of the vehicle and look up and down the street when I pull up for an inspection, I'm often looking at a dozen adjacent houses of radically different style and construction, which may have been built anywhere from around 1880 to 2010.

    Many of the older properties may have undergone extensive modification over the years - not only are no two alike, but it's highly unlikely any two will have been modified in the same way.

    (It's a suprise for me when, for example, I inspect a townhome in Skokie, and then a year or two later encounter the same floor plan somewhere else in the same town - that's how unusual it is for me to be inspecting highly similar structures).

    Most of them will have attics, most will have full basements, often unfinished, many will have detached garages. Many of them will have complicated roof structures with multiple dormers, levels, and interfaces between additions of various ages.

    Some of them may over the years have been converted from coal-fired steam, to oil fired hydronic, to gas, and it's not all that unusual to encounter a combination of K&T, flexible metallic cable, NM, and conduit a single property - as for the 30 second service equipment inspection, well..., and puzzling out the structural anomalies in such properties can be a major task in itself.

    So some days it seems like everything is suspect... and everything you suspect must be described in terms not only comprehensible to both ordinary clients and tradespeople, but carefully thought out in terms of potential liability.

    I've attempted to highly automate my report writing - the comments template that I use for most reports is now up to around 70,000 lines (71,695, to be exact, as of this morning's report, just looked), and with the kind of inspection I do, the darn thing just keeps growing.

    Today's report is pretty typical, I added/modified comments - these are the ones I remember off hand - for 1) an abandoned ejector pump buried in the basement floor with an open vent, 2) a hank of heavy rope, hanging in the attic above an access hatch set in the middle of a bedroom ceiling (you are welcome to speculate on the function of that), 3) an improved description for the situation where you encounter reverse- shingled WRB under the aluminum siding and installed behind the step flashing at a dormer wall / roof intersection 4) an improved description for the situation in which you cannot determine for certain if the WSU is improperly installed a low slope shingled roof and 5) a new description of the situation in which an older layer of shingles has been retained at the eave during a roof-over in an attempt to provide a "starter strip" of sorts... all illustrated with photographs, some of which had to be pulled and Photoshop and rebalanced in order to satisfactorily illustrate the issue under discussion, and also ended up specifying a lot of esoteric locations such as "the lower southeast corner of the dormer on the south side of the west addition", which whether you build them out of keystrokes, or mouse clicks, or tablet stylus taps, takes time... and all those seconds and minutes at up... and BTW, the attic had around 18" irregular depth blown-in fiberglass insulation with energized BX buried in it - try hoping around it that attic in a hurry...

    THAT'S the kind of thing that's eating up time in my inspection and reporting world; I'm absolutely floored that I keep encountering new problems or significantly different variations on old themes at around half of my inspections, but it keeps happening.





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  61. #61
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KR: I have seen several inspectors who did not appear old enough to drive. Would you want them, with their vast life experience, inspecting your house?
    Please explain how you come to the conclusion that someone who looks young doesn't have experience in home inspections.


    KR: You are kidding, right? Not at all. Again, please explain how someone who's been doing home inspections for 10 years but has only done 200 has experience in home inspections.



    KR: There you go with that "new math" again. Anyone who does 4000 full inspections in 8 years:


    4,000 is the number of inspections I've done in 8 years. All verifiable, without being sued.

    (1) Does not live on this planet - and
    (2) Cannot count - and
    (3) Does really lousy inspections
    There you go with the personal attacks again.

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  62. #62
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post



    KR: There you go with that "new math" again. Anyone who does 4000 full inspections in 8 years:

    (1) Does not live on this planet - and
    (2) Cannot count - and
    (3) Does really lousy inspections
    A.D. Thats only 2 a day 5 days a week, with a week off. Up until the past six months , I've been doing that for the past 7 years.
    I'm glad to know what you think about me.

    Oh well.. I'm still trying to figure our where "Intransigence" is

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 02-23-2010 at 12:40 PM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  63. #63
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Ken,

    I am relatively sure (not completely..) your current thinking regarding this subject is no different from how I thought about my career some 30-40 years back. I always took my job seriously and followed its course with passion. You certainly must do what you do best (and really like it), there is nothing wrong in this approach.

    As time passes you will change, which is the natural course of things. That I call maturity, and you do not have to agree with anything stated here or from another source. Try looking at what I call the bigger picture.

    There is a difference between knowledge and experience. This difference is very broad from the various members of this board. What makes one a good or bad inspector is based on the combination of knowledge and experience. IMO those with the higher knowledge require less experience to perform the so called "good" inspection - but, having lots of one type without the other is also not the answer.

    I do not knock the experience many from the trade bring to this profession. As an Electrical engineer, I truly see the problems with those who do not fully grasp the basics of physics, especially in the Electrical field.

    Guess what? We all tend to balance out by compensating for our weaknesses by using our assets more wisely. Nothing is "black" or "white"! Especially in regards to the various inspectors of Property, there are many shades mostly a muddy type of grey!

    Regards - Richard


  64. #64
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    A.D. Thats only 2 a day 5 days a week, with a week off. Up until the past six months , I've been doing that for the past 7 years.
    I'm glad to know what you think about me.

    Oh well.. I'm still trying to figure our where "Intransigence" is
    DH: Glad to hear that Mesa missed out on the Great Depression 2.0.

    Now, at least in Texas, there are about 365 days in a year, divided by 52 weeks. That gives us 52 Sundays on which most people do not work. So now we are down to 313 days. I won't take off for all holidays, but let us say for the major ones, shall we? New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. Now we have 307 days remaining. That means that you will have roughly 2 inspections per day, six days a week, week in and week out with absolutely no exceptions.

    And you want us to believe that this is the truth? Give me a f'ing break!


  65. #65
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    Default Re: Flourish and Flare

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    DH: Glad to hear that Mesa missed out on the Great Depression 2.0.

    Now, at least in Texas, there are about 365 days in a year, divided by 52 weeks. That gives us 52 Sundays on which most people do not work. So now we are down to 313 days. I won't take off for all holidays, but let us say for the major ones, shall we? New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. Now we have 307 days remaining. That means that you will have roughly 2 inspections per day, six days a week, week in and week out with absolutely no exceptions.

    And you want us to believe that this is the truth? Give me a f'ing break!

    AD

    Not that I am swallowing it either but 500 inspections in 2 per day times 5 days = 10x50weeks=500.

    No I am not buying it. full home inspections every week for at the least 50 weeks per year for 7 years...................Seriously.....Just cannot buy or accept it. Maybe more on the line of accept. There is either a shortage of inspectors compared to our area (since Texas is doing better than the rest of the country). I do know a few folks doing relatively well but are spending a couple grand a month to do so and are short changing inspections or giving everything away with the home inspection.

    You know what. Forget about all that. Even to come on here and boast of such numbers in a time when most folks are wishing the phone to ring and doing what ever to make it ring is ludicrous.

    Just thanksgiving, New Year, and a few others take a serious amount of time out of the work schedule. Lets not mention the slower winters weeks and months. Take away the natural vacations, your vacations, slow times and the like then it brings your numbers up to what 12, 14, 16 a week. Just stop it OK.


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