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  1. #1
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Called a builder's rep to verify schedule for a 'new home final' inspection. Got the time/date and all just fine .... and then ...

    "stuffin's" hit the fan.

    Builder's rep unloaded and moved a bunch of ear wax from one side to the other via my Bluetooth!

    She was PO'd about us inspectors writing up lists of things wrong in a house and that many of them had nothing to do with local code offical's acceptance. She said that as long as the local municipality code inspector said it was okay and they could proceed she was not going to pay any attention any longer to what was presented by any buyer's 3'rd party inspection.

    She said that several times she would get one report from an inspector and do everything listed. Ask the inspector to come back and inspect again and there would be a whole new list of things. She said it was the same inspector doing the same house just a couple weeks later.

    I just kept my cool, bit my tongue and said "yes ma'am, no ma'am" and I'm sorry you've had a rough day.

    I'm hoping she has a good/quiet weekend before I get over there one day next week.

    An interesting end to the day anyway.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Nolan,

    I pointed this out to a builder today and he actually told me that the city inspector had already gave him a green tag and I could stick it up my arse.

    rick

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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Rick, I guess he would rather wait until it is finished out and they can't figure out why the fan won't work... Oh wait, that inspector is just making up stuff again!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Rick,

    I'm sure that hole through the TJI is a proper hole too.

    And that bundled and lack of maintaining spacing NM cable bunch is proper too.

    And all though holes through the top plate which now need to be firestop sealed.

    And is that metal pipe with a protector plate? Weird.

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

  5. #5
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .... And is that metal pipe with a protector plate? Weird.
    Jerry,

    Have to hold the plate together someway with the large hole cut.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Have to hold the plate together someway with the large hole cut.
    Nolan,

    That little plate with three nails ... she ain't a gonna do diddly squat to help hold that plate together.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And is that metal pipe with a protector plate? Weird.
    Mr. Peck,

    He is 13 nails short.

    2003 IRC R602.6.1

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Mr. Peck,

    He is 13 nails short.

    2003 IRC R602.6.1

    Billy,

    The problem is not that that is just 13 nails short , but that it *is* a nail protector plate ... and not a 'galvanized metal tie' which will meet the requirements for that (16 gage, and long enough to put those 8 nails on each side of the opening).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Called a builder's rep to verify schedule for a 'new home final' inspection. Got the time/date and all just fine .... and then ...

    "stuffin's" hit the fan.


    First mistake was contacting the builder's rep!

    All though some may disagree with me on this, I do not talk to the builder or meet with them in any fashion unless they call me after the inspection to complain about something in the report
    (which they will and it's not always pretty). I let the client or client's rep schedule the appointment at the house just like I do with previously owned homes. I don't mind defending my report but too many times the builder will show up during the inspection and make waves as well as slowing down or hindering the inspection process. I always tell the client I prefer that the builder not be present-- of course there is always the one who will show up anyway.

    I have no problem telling the one that shows up and follows me around that they are interfering with my work and ask them to leave me be.

    The arrogance of some of these still wet behind the ears superintendents never ceases to amaze me. Some of these guys have literally never even picked up a hammer other than to hang a Lone Star beer sign on their frat house wall.

    I inspected one house that had a ton of built up sediment in one end of a rain gutter and you could tell by looking at it tht the gutter was not sloped properly. I mentioned these two facts in the report and all the builder had to say about it was that they don't clean out gutters.

    Eric


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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    First mistake was contacting the builder's rep!

    All though some may disagree with me on this, I do not talk to the builder or meet with them in any fashion unless they call me after the inspection to complain about something in the report
    (which they will and it's not always pretty). I let the client or client's rep schedule the appointment at the house just like I do with previously owned homes.Eric
    Eric,

    And what do you tell the Client that instructs you to contact someone to let you in not on your approved list?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    And what do you tell the builder's rep who tells you to leave after you say all that stuff, because, after all, it *still is* the builder's property until closing (with few exceptions, such as when a builder is constructing a house on an owners property)?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    I can't recall the last time I had a builder fly off the handle at me for something that I found during an inspection. Now, it could be that I'm also kind of a big guy at 6'2" and 260lbs, and I might be a little intimidating to some. But I think it is more of my personality. I'm soft spoken and say Yes Sir/Mam and No Sir/Mam to everyone. I do not talk like a gruff & grouchy home inspector or sailor with turrets and don't try to impress everyone with a bunch of inspectorspeak. I also treat everyone like I want to be treated. In short, I'm very professional.

    I kind of like having the builder or a builders rep on site when I'm doing the inspection. Most of the time they won't stay around for more than thirty minutes or an hour and they end up leaving you alone once they see that you know what you are doing. If and when I find something that really needs attention, it gives me a chance to point it out in person. I have never had client that has not wanted me to do this as well.

    I keep hearing about all of the friction between inspectors and builders and I can't help to wonder why? I think a good amount of the friction is caused by the inspector who just wants to be the authority and the one who is in control. They don't want to be questioned about anything. It then becomes a battle of egos, and at this point the home inspector will almost always be the looser. As Jerry pointed out the builder is allowing you onto their property, you are their guest.

    So, the next time you arrive at a new home and the builder is on site you be the first to introduce yourself. Stick out that right hand and say this "Hi. I'm (fill in your name) and I'm glad that you're around, just in case I have any questions." And don't forget to say this while you are smiling.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 11-10-2007 at 01:45 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I also treat everyone like I want to be treated. In short, I'm very professional.
    Same here, however, at least in South Florida, builders (for the most part, there were a few exceptions) did not private inspectors inspecting the houses they built.

    Some builders even required their supt. to go with us, and stay with us, and be in the same room as us. Like Scott, I've had some which left shortly after we started, but most would just try to rush the client (who also had to be there) to 'get done' and leave - except that I had previously prepped my client to go slow and stay in the same room I was until I gave them the signal that I was ready to move on to the next room.

    If and when I find something that really needs attention, it gives me a chance to point it out in person. I have never had client that has not wanted me to do this as well.
    On the rare occasions when the supt. stayed and was agreeable (most who stayed were not), that did work on nicely. It also did save myself, my client, and the supt. a lot of explaining to get everyone on the same page - unfortunately, most supt. who stayed did not want to help the situation at all.

    I keep hearing about all of the friction between inspectors and builders and I can't help to wonder why? I think a good amount of the friction is caused by the inspector who just wants to be the authority and the one who is in control. They don't want to be questioned about anything. It then becomes a battle of egos, and at this point the home inspector will almost always be the looser.
    The opposite was true, the builders did not want their homes inspected ... by anyone. An inspection report, by any inspector, simply slowed down their closing process.

    It was not a matter of what the inspector was like, it was a matter of policy for the builders. It started in South Florida and spread throughout most of Florida and into other states where builder started making a list of requirements which the inspector had to meet before being allowed onto their site. First, workers compensation in$urance, then $1 mil General Liability in$urance, then $500k vehicle in$urance, then other things - the intent was to try to keep as many inspectors out of their homes as possible. Myself and a couple of other inspectors met all their requirements and were allowed on, to the regret of the builders (they ended up keeping off the ones they had little to fear from and allowing on only those who knew what they were doing and were prepared to provided code sections and talk with the city/county inspectors regarding the problems if needed.

    It really did backfire on the builders.

    So, the next time you arrive at a new home and the builder is on site you be the first to introduce yourself. Stick out that right hand and say this "Hi. I'm (fill in your name) and I'm glad that you're around, just in case I have any questions." And don't forget to say this while you are smiling.
    In this market, that is working again, but when the market picks up, I suspect that (at least in the places it was before) the builders will begin putting their road blocks back up to restrict private inspections of their homes.

    Right now, the client holds the bigger stick in the housing market, over time, though, the market will come back and the builders will wield the bigger stick again.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And what do you tell the builder's rep who tells you to leave after you say all that stuff, because, after all, it *still is* the builder's property until closing (with few exceptions, such as when a builder is constructing a house on an owners property)?

    I have never been asked to leave a property. If anyone who owns the property asks me to leave I would politely and quickly leave the house and explain to my client the situation. Under TREC rules I am not allowed to disuss the inspection with the seller unless there is an issue that presents a safety concern or unless my client has specifically asked me to discuss isuues with the builder.

    From TREC ethics rules:

    (7) Inspectors shall not disclose inspection results or client information without prior approval from the client. Inspectors, at their discretion, may disclose observed immediate safety hazards to occupants exposed to such hazards when feasible.

    Now if the client requests that I talk to the builder or inform them of inspection results, I will do that. Most times, however, my report speaks for itself in plain english and photographs as to what and where the issues are and there rarely is a legitimate need for me to discuss the issues with the builder. My point is that after performing many new home inspections I truly get tired of the builder following me and arguing about what I am taking a picture of or whatever. Or following me and half-a$$ trying to repair whatever I just made a note of. This actually happens quite often because of the unprofessional attitude of the builder, not my attitude which is strictly professional with anyone I meet on an inspection.

    If the bad apple builders were truly being professional, they would not tell the client that the house is ready for inspection when it is not complete, some uitilities are not on, etc. and I end up making a big punch list for the builder and end up having to return to the property (which the client gets charged for) to inspect things that were not ready or couldn't be inspected properly because the gas wasn't on, even when the builder has been told by my client and knows what needs to happen in order for the inspection to be complete.

    "...after you say all that stuff...." J.P.

    "All that stuff" I say is said politely as I explain that I am trying to perform a thorough inspection for my client and if I am distracted by converstion there is the possibility that I may overlook something. I suppose I should have been a little more detailed in my previous post about how I ask them to leave me be.

    The fact of the matter in my area is that the builders are often hostile to third party inspectors not on their payroll. For example, more than a few times I have had clients tell me that the builder has said (prior to my showing up) that they will not repair any item that is not a code violation.

    I conduct my business in a curteous, professional manner and have never, ever had a complaint from a customer about how I conduct myself or the inspection. I have never raised my voice or been derogatory to any builder but they have done both to me, in person and on the phone, including using profanity. And the truth of the matter is that they are usually incorrect about what they are arguing about.

    As far as Scott P.'s comment about the friction being caused by the inspector, that is probably true with some inspectors, but not this one. I leave my ego and emotions at home when I leave for an inspection and have no interest in power trips. I comment on issues that need repair and leave it at that. (Not that I haven't wanted to give a few a piece of my mind, but it is not good business, period.)

    Because of my experience with builder reps, I prefer that they not be there for the inspection other than to let me in and do my job.

    All that being said, I have met many builders who were curteous and wanted to be of assistance. But in my market, which is one of the fastest growing new home markets in the country, there are plenty of bad apples who will sell a new house full of legitimate repair issues to their client and will refuse to repair the items unless forced to - or worse will tell the client that the repairs have been made when they haven't. I find that typically around 40% of repairs on my reports have not been completed when I do a re-inspection, even though the builder has stated that they have been done and is asking the client to sign off on the repairs. This actually happened on a re-inspect Friday and less than 1/2 of the repairs had been completed including areas where water pentration was likely to occur.

    So to each ther own opinion. It may be different in other markets but theses issue have become common place in my market and it is getting old. Regardless of how I feel about the builder reps, I treat each inspection the same - professionally and thoroughly, but as I said before, I do not like someone trying to interfere with my inspection process. It is a disservice to my client.

    Eric


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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Eric,

    And what do you tell the Client that instructs you to contact someone to let you in not on your approved list?

    Billy,

    I am not sure what you mean by this post, regardless, I do not have any type of "approved list".

    If the situation is one in which I must call the builder's rep to let me in when I get into the area because of the builder's schedule or whatever, I'll do it. This, however is rarely the case (I have had to call a builder to let me in only once) as the houses are usually opened in the morning or someone from the builder stops by to open the property before I arrive because they have been informed several days ahead of time by my client that an inspection is to be performed.

    Eric


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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    First mistake was contacting the builder's rep!

    All though some may disagree with me on this, I do not talk to the builder or meet with them in any fashion unless they call me after the inspection

    I let the client or client's rep schedule the appointment at the house just like I do with previously owned homes. I donEric
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Billy,

    I am not sure what you mean by this post, regardless, I do not have any type of "approved list". Eric
    Eric,
    Please read what you post.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Billy,

    I read what I posted (and that you quoted) but stll don't see anywhere that I said or implied an approved list. Can you be more specific?

    Thanks,

    Eric


  18. #18
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Eric,

    I never talk to he builder, in reference to setting an appointment. I let the client set the appointment just like I do-----

    If someone says they NEVER I take that as Never.

    I let the client set. To me means they let the client set the appointment.

    Did I take that beyond your meaning ?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Billy,

    I see what you are saying now. What I was intending to say was that like all of my appointments, The client calls me, I give them a time and day that I can do the the inspection and then the client or the client's agent in turn contacts the seller (or the builder in this case) to arrange for the inspection. I do not contact the seller to arrange the inspection on previously owned homes just as i do not contact the builder to arrange inspections on new homes. I deal with the buyer. Does that clarify what I was intending to say?

    Eric


  20. #20
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    First mistake was contacting the builder's rep! All though some may disagree with me on this ...
    Eric
    And (goes without saying) I do disagree with you.

    Client is an investor from out of town. He is working through a property management company which does not get in the mix until final papers are signed.

    As Jerry noted ... the structure is the property of the builder and I am there as "their guest". In many cases some builder's won't let you set foot on "their" property until the papers are signed by the buyer.

    My client is relying upon me to do my job and make any/all necessary arrangements to complete the inspection.

    I do consider it a "courtesy" to contact the builder and let them know what I am doing and for whom.

    I am and try to always be the "consummate professional" and due to such I establish one heckuva relationship with most builders and clients.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Nolan,

    I would have done the same thing (contacting the rep) in that situation as it was required and benefitted your client. I guess I should not have used "never" in my original post as there are times when communicating with the builder is necessary. My use of the emoticon with the wink in my original post was meant to imply that I was somewhat joking about the matter of contacting the builders rep anyway. I know builders have to be dealt with at some times.

    As I said, to each their own. I am courteous to all whom I do business with (including the builders). I prefer to perform my inspections uninterupted by the builder and they have always been informed that I will be on the property.

    Everybody has their own way and I respect that.

    Eric

    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 11-11-2007 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Edited to clarify my thoughts...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    Most of the time I have no contact with the seller. I tell my client the day and time, I then let them contact the powers to be to make the arrangements. From time to time the owner or their agent might call to confirm. This system has worked well for over 10 years for me.

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

  23. #23
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    Post Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    It's a simple thing to deal with. Generally, my client or their agent will make access arrangements and so forth. Typically, the sale agreement is contingent on a home inspection of the buyer's choice. So, a properly prepared client simply has to explain: no inspection, no sale. Oh, the priceless look on the builder's face. Kind of like watching somebody just about ready to go into cardiac arrest. Has worked every time, so far.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  24. #24
    Jim Entwisle's Avatar
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    Default Re: PO'd Builder's Rep ...

    I had a problem with a builders rep once.... I arrived at the home fifteen minutes ahead of the buyer.... the rep came out to my car and gave me the "rules"... I was to stay in the car while he went through the home with the buyer for about two hours then I could come in and have a look around... he said that this was the way he "handled his home inspections"... I told him I have an appointment with my customer "now" and would gladly reschedule if and when the buyer calls me and I drove away... the buyer called in about twenty minutes and was frantic that I was not there... I repeated the rep's instructions and told him we could reschedule for another day.... he went nuts on the rep and begged me to come back and do the inspection .... I went back and did my inspection for about two hours... the rep stayed out of the way like a good boy and all went well... this was a large national home construction company listed on the NY stock exchange.... jim


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