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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default How long do you keep your reports?

    F.I.R.E. Services
    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    State law for Termite inspection is 2 years. But if your smart you will keep stuff for a long time. you just never known.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Personally, I have a copy of every inspection I've done. No hard copies but I keep them on a CD's. I burn them onto discs or storage devices every month and then at on Dec. 31st.

    You want a wake up call, go back and look at some of your first inspection you did.

    rick


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Personally, I have a copy of every inspection I've done. No hard copies but I keep them on a CD's. I burn them onto discs or storage devices every month and then at on Dec. 31st.

    You want a wake up call, go back and look at some of your first inspection you did.

    rick
    Done that, embarrassing to say the least.

    The cleaner-outer, thrower-awayer in me wants to get rid of stuff (even on hard drives or discs).

    Rick is the 4 yr thing a TX thing or am I just making that up?

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I've got em' all, along with every picture I've ever taken at an inspection - backed up locally, and to the net.

    A local inspector I know has lost all his reports and templates twice in the last few years due to computer crashes - totally freaks me out that he could let that happen.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 01-16-2011 at 05:43 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I still have everything since I started in '95 but I think the magic number most CPA's endorse is 7 years for non-critical stuff but lifetime for loans, property, etc. I doubt there is much need for anything past 2 years but you never know, especially when folks start listening to their remodelers telling them "your inspector should have caught this" along with watching Holmes tear stuff apart on HGTV.
    If I had a house fire, the reports would not be something I would save, but everything since I quit printing paper copies in on the computer and backed up on Mozy. Too cheap and easy to keep it. Most of the time I throw stuff out I could have used it within the next 30 days, seems to never fail. Reports will stay archived for me at least for 7 years.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Up until a little while ago, I had every report I have ever done, back to 1989. However, after going thru my Mother's paperwork after she passed, and my Mother in law's, I never want to do the same thing to my children.

    Up until, maybe 7 years ago, I did paper reports. That means I had between 4 - 6 file boxes for every year. I moved to TN from CA in 1994. I just felt that I had a very low chance of getting called on a report I did 2000 miles away, 16 years ago. I decided to start dumping them.

    Since I switched to computer reporting system around 7 years ago (or so), I have numerous back ups on c/d's, external hard drives, and "in the clouds" back up. Any photos I take during an inspection, gets deleted from the camera as soon as the report is finished. I only keep photos from legal cases.

    Last week I took 15 file boxes and two 32 gallon trash bags of shredded stuff to recycling. I still have a ways to go.

    I'm gaining more room in my basement. I'm working on a new router table, now I will have a place to put it.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I just keep everything. I write off the portion of my house that is my office. So the more files I accumulate, the more space my office takes, the less income tax I pay.
    I burn pics and data from an external drive to DVD's. They are all filed by date.
    All inspections are entered, eventually, into a database in MS Access. Give me a date, I can tell you where I was. Give me a street, I can tell you the dates and the clients. From the date, I can find pictures of the house. A pic of the house can usually jog my memory if it was a unique place. So my brain has them all filed as well.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I have them all.... Not that I really think I need them but I just don't see a reason to toss any. They really don't take up much space. I've always figured if I didn't have one and somebody was trying come after me for something I allegedly didn't do, they'd be happy to furnish me with a copy

    Speaking of backing up and such.... I just finally got my system down and am pretty pleased with it. My laptop (which I do all my reports on) automatically backs up to my desktop every night via a little free program called "Syncback" - I do a "synchronize" and dump any files on the backup that aren't on the laptop (this stops the accumulation of stuff I've moved over the desktop manually). I also backup my wife's computer and one other desktop to my desktop, then use Carbonite for the one desktop.

    Moving everything to one computer means only one Carbonite subscritption. I've messed around with CDs/DVDs, external hard drives, media sticks and all kinds of other methods but the problem is I have to actually do something... FINALLY, my system doesn't need me to function.... I suppose a lot of you have mastered this years ago but if not, check out that Syncback program. It's pretty cool.... and the price is right.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I plan on keeping every report I ever do. They are all computer generated and they average 2mb.

    It takes 500 reports to equal 1 gig. You can get a 1 TB storage drive for about $100. That would hold 500,000 reports.

    For me, theres no reason to not keep every report indefinitely.

    Last edited by John Dirks Jr; 01-17-2011 at 08:07 AM.

  11. #11
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Here in California we have 4 years of direct liability and another 1 years of discovery liability, so it would be prudent to keep reports for at least 5 years. However, if someone files a lawsuit on the last day of that 5-year period but you don't get served the papers for another 30 days or so, you could be sunk if you already threw stuff away.

    I'm with John Dirks. I have five 500-GB external drives for home inspection stuff, and another five 1-TB externa drives for photography and music.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Virginia Certified Home Inspections - required to keep agreements and reports for 3 years. The reports are digital. I was scanning the agreements but said what the heck, the signature page is just one page. The main agreement legalese is digital.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Office Depot - 250 GB external HD, $49.95 out the door.
    In California the statute of limitations is 4 years from the date of inspection, however, with the on-line back-up services like Carbonite and cheap external HDs why throw them away?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  14. #14
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    Bruce,

    7+ years ago I actually kept about 8-months of hard copy reports in folders. Stopped that real quick. I have soft-copy of all my reports since day one.

    Move on regular basis from active HDD on notebook to external HDD and then to disc.

    Have had some questions come up from interested clients asking clarification, but that is about it over the years.


  15. #15
    Tom Camp's Avatar
    Tom Camp Guest

    Default Re: How long do you keep your reports?

    I also keep all my inspection reports, contracts and photos on a Network Back up drive and at the end of the year burn them to a DVD. I scan the contracts to a .pdf and include them with the inspection report so there is only one file. I use MACs exclusively so I don't have problems with viruses or bugs but I did once have a hard drive failure, so I always back-up.

    Colorado Springs Home Inspector
    FHA 203(k) Consultant


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