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  1. #1
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    Default inspect and then do work?

    Hey everybody, got a loaded question for you. I am a general contractor and a HI. My bread and butter is GC. I am considering purchasing a thermacam to compliment my GC work but I would also use it for inspections where it will help. To be more specific I would like to do inspections, probably more along the lines of energy efficiency and of course looking for damage.

    My idea is to disclose up front that I am a general contractor, then determine the extent of the inspection. After doing the inspection, I would do a full disclosure of anything that I find, along with pictures to show that I am not making it up. If they choose, I can then make a full scope of work that needs to done so that they can solicit bids for the work. Of course it is up to the HO to decide any and if any work will be done.

    The question is should or could I even submit a bid to do the work?

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    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance 2

  2. #2
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Mitchell, of course you are not in Texas, but here it is totally illegal to do any repair work on anything you inspect.
    Most SOP's don't allow it. You can either inspect or repair, but not both.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it has to be a conflict of interest

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
    Mike Huppi Guest

    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    In Oregon it is illegal to do work on a home withing 1 year of inspecting it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Two years in Wisconsin.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    I figured that would be the answer. I guess I need to push it more with the GC side than the HI side. I work with a lot of old buildings and so I guess I can pick and choose my clients for the inspection work. I think I will focus on working with clients and letting the camera be the only thing. More of a forensic type of work?

    I would rather do consulting work anyway. That way I can work when I want.


  7. #7
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larson View Post
    Two years in Wisconsin.
    Do you know why 2 years? That seems like a long time.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Fella in town is both a GC and an HI. His response is always:

    Do you go to a Dentist? Does he inspect your teeth and then tell you what is wrong? Do you go to a different dentist to get your teeth repaired or do you use the same dentist?

    There could be a conflict of interest. No laws against in North Carolina.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Fella in town is both a GC and an HI. His response is always:

    Do you go to a Dentist? Does he inspect your teeth and then tell you what is wrong? Do you go to a different dentist to get your teeth repaired or do you use the same dentist?

    There could be a conflict of interest. No laws against in North Carolina.
    This is the difference and where Mitchell Meeks could make it work without it being a conflict:

    One typically goes to the dentist, doctor, auto mechanic when 'something is not right and they want to find out what it is', whereas with a 'home inspection' the intent is 'to inspect and advise' for (usually) a buyer of a home being sold - on a 'maintenance inspection' the use would still be 'to inspect and advise'.

    For this to work for a GC (which I am also one) would be for the GC to be called in 'for some problem' and then use his 'knowledge to determine what the problem was and this is how and what it takes to correct it' - in which case there is no conflict. The initiating reason was 'something is not right, can you figure out what it is'. This, of course, would not be applicable for a buyer looking at a house, or a seller trying to sell their house, or an owner having a 'maintenance inspection' done.

    The *intent* would first be 'work' with 'inspection' as an evaluation of what 'work' is needed.

    Just like with the dentist, doctor, auto mechanic, etc.

    There is not always a conflict of interest there ... as long as the *intent* of the contact is the 'work'.

    It's the same reason we do not need to tell a contractor to "evaluate" something before they repair it ... they cannot do anything without first making their determination of what is not right with it (i.e., they must "evaluate it").

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

  10. #10
    Robert Runchey's Avatar
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    I believe the wait in Wisconsin is six months for contractors to perform work on inspected properties. The two year duration would be the time of accountability after the inspection.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    WI 440

    440.978 Discipline; prohibited acts. (1) Subject to the
    rules promulgated under s. 440.03 (1), the department may make
    investigations or conduct hearings to determine whether a violation
    of this subchapter or any rule promulgated under this subchapter
    has occurred.....

    (i) Performed, or agreed to perform, for compensation any
    repairs, maintenance or improvements on any property less than
    2 years after he or she conducts a home inspection, without the
    written consent of the property owner given before the home
    inspection occurred
    .


    NACHI COE # 1(11)

    11. The NACHI inspector shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or associated services to structure on which the inspector or inspector's company has prepared a home inspection report, for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems which are not included in the NACHI standards of practice.


    NAHI COE #6

    An Inspector shall not, directly or indirectly and for
    compensation, perform repairs on or recommend
    contractors to perform repairs on any component or
    system included in the inspection under the NAHI
    Standards of Practice
    . An Inspector may recommend or
    offer ancillary inspection services.

    ASHI COE #1(E,F)E. Inspectors shall not accept compensation, directly or indirectly, for recommending contractors, services, or products to inspection clients or other parties having an interest in inspected properties.
    F. Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection

    Last edited by Michael Larson; 11-26-2007 at 09:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Robert Runchey's Avatar
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Thanks Michael, I stand corrected. For some reason I thought it was six months in Wi.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    We're all here to learn from each other Robert. Glad to help.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    It's 12 months in SC...

    Critical Home Inspection Services
    www.Home2Spec.com

  15. #15
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: inspect and then do work?

    There is a law in NC and it's 1 year...

    Tony


  16. #16
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    However,


    You guys are all talking about "inspectors" working on homes they have "inspected", not ...

    ... "contractors" working on homes they have been retained to "work on".

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

  17. #17
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Cool Re: inspect and then do work?

    True.....


  18. #18
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Many confuse the HI business as a way to promote their remodeling business and I think the (2) should be separated.

    HI's shouldn't be an open door to walk in and look for things to do to keep your remodeling business afloat.

    If your a great GC or a HI, you don't need the other to get business.

    rick


  19. #19
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Many confuse the HI business as a way to promote their remodeling business and I think the (2) should be separated.

    HI's shouldn't be an open door to walk in and look for things to do to keep your remodeling business afloat.

    If your a great GC or a HI, you don't need the other to get business.

    rick
    I agree, however, you cannot limit the GC from 'inspecting' what they are to work on, least you make it a requirement that no contractor may do anything without it first being inspected by an inspector, which plants seeds in some people's minds that the inspectors then 'know it all', and they do not. In fact, much of the time the contractor needs to do 'exploratory surgery' before they even know what goes on, and that is beyond the realm and scope of a 'visual inspection'.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Anthony, can you tell me where you saw that it was one year before work can be done? I cannot seem to find it.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    I agree with Jerry, I think I am going to probably just stick with the construction side with the camera so that i can do the work. And I will just do the inspection and let it go at that.

    I also agree with Rick, it makes it easier to keep them separate.


  22. #22
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Red face Re: inspect and then do work?

    Hey Mitchell,
    I think that I have overstated my case a bit concerning North Carolina law. There was an opinion set down by the licensee board a few months ago and talked more about conflict of interest but not an illegal way. However the ASHI code of ethics states that “Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI standards of practice, for one year after the inspection”. So I assume that I was mixing up NC state and ASHI. I do however think that it creates a great conflict of interest and I think the licensee board leans that direction. I guess this is one of those times that I spoke before knowing the real facts. Sorry guys.


  23. #23
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    New York state has a five year limit in its proposed Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors.

    Any home inspection firm, its employees or any individual inspector shall not install, repair, replace or upgrade for compensation any system or components in any house that they have inspected for a period of not less than 5 years from the date of the inspection.
    Based on that, I think the NY Home Inspection Council wholeheartedly agrees with what Rick Hurst posted:


    Many confuse the HI business as a way to promote their remodeling business and I think the (2) should be separated.

    HI's shouldn't be an open door to walk in and look for things to do to keep your remodeling business afloat.

    If your a great GC or a HI, you don't need the other to get business.

    rick



  24. #24
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    Osceola, AR
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    HI's are prohibited from working on any property that they may have inspected for a period of 12 months in Arkansas. Seems to be sort of a consensus that we shouldn't be working on the stuff that we inspect, time limits differ from state to state. Even if there wasn't a time limit I still don't think I would want to do this, I would rather keep everything where there was no question of a conflict of interest.


  25. #25
    Brian M Jones's Avatar
    Brian M Jones Guest

    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    As a full time GC and a part time HI, It is important to me and my reputation to keep the 2 entities separate. I do not belong to any HI Assn,nor do I wish to at this point. If licensing ever comes to Ontario,then I will look at an association. I have however, studied the COE's and SOP's of several associations and firmly believe that to work on a building I inspected is a major conflict of interest. Even if the client knows I am a GC at the time of the inspection and wants me to do the needed repairs, I can not and will not. This is primarily for the clients protection but for me as well.
    Real estate agents that know me, refer me for repair work, not inspections, which is just the way I like it.


    Just my 25 cents + GST


  26. #26
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    I am sadden by the thoughts written on this thread and how it reflect on us (the human race) as "so called" intelligent, free thinkers. Are homeowners sooo weak minded that they cannot separate the process of a home inspection and getting estimates for repair work? Is it not possible for a home owner to hire a home inspector to do a home inspection, then have the HI/GC company give an estimate on the repair(s) that needs to be done; then the home owner obtain estimates from other contractors before deciding on who to use? I feel they can.

    I see a pest control company do a WDI inspection for a real estate transaction; they see termites and report it. The home owner, buyer or Realtor than has the right to hire that company that just inspected that house for termites. But to my surprise, many people do not find anything wrong with this.

    When I lived in Wisconsin, I inspected heat exchangers when further evaluation was suggested by a HI. Why do people think it's OK for me to inspect a heat exchanger as a heating tech, then give an estimate for a new furnace when I found a crack (all during the same visit)?

    Yet for home inspectors, it's taboo.

    I believe that 5 to 10 days (not one year or more) should be the standard. Let an X amount of days go by so the homeowner can call around to get estimates and if they still want to use you, great. They could be hiring the best GC company in that area.

    This reminds me of when I was a child. I ate a small meal and then was told I had to wait to go swimming for half an hour. Now I'm an adult, I hire an HI/GC company to do a home inspection but I cannot use the same company to fix the problems until a year goes by. The half an hour waiting was wrong when I was a child and the 1 year waiting is wrong now.

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 12-02-2007 at 09:02 PM.

  27. #27
    Brian M Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Kevin......
    Where is the protection for the client if the HI is on the unethical side? We have all heard stories of HI's who are also GC's, who while submitting their report, also submit an estimate for the repair work. How does the client really know that his best interests are being served? Just as an unethical mechanic can mock up a repair list, so too can an unethical HI who also wants to do the repair work.
    A Hi must be impartial whilst doing an inspection and in my opinion, aiming to gain further work from the client, albeit in a diffferant field, removes that impartiality.

    Just my 25 cents + GST


  28. #28
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    The protection is in ourselves. As a backup there are the courts. In General, we like to blame others for the problems we experience but yet if people would honestly look at what they did and how they did it, it is likely that they are at fault. We are in the information age where collecting information is a lot easier.

    As posted before, we are treating adults like children, "so call" protecting them where protection should not be needed. As an adult and free thinker, I feel I have the right to hire that HI/GC if I feel that company is best qualified.

    Again, 5 to 10 days (I feel) should be sufficient for somebody to discover what company fits their needs. If they want to wait longer to determine what company they want to go with, then that is their choice.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Kevin, I see where you are coming from, but if you allow a 5-10 day cooling off period, how is that different in principle from 30, 60, 90, 365 days?
    It still recognizes there is a potential for unethical behavior on the part of HI and the need for protection for consumers.

    Either there is the potential for conflict of interest or there is not, the rest is just semantics.

    I personally have no problem with the law with the one year as it stands in TX, in fact, I kind of like it.
    It costs me nothing and allows me and all other inspectors to point to the standards and give a truly impartial opinion with no potential of even the perception that I have anything else to gain.

    Our jobs are to protect out clients and we have nothing else to sell but our reputations; with ethics and impartiality being big parts of that reputation.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  30. #30
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: inspect and then do work?

    Kevin, I see where you are coming from, but if you allow a 5-10 day cooling off period, how is that different in principle from 30, 60, 90, 365 days?
    I agree. Personally, I think there should be no required cooling off period.

    I personally have no problem with the law with the one year as it stands in TX, in fact, I kind of like it.
    The only reason I like it is due to the potential of getting more jobs since I am only an inspector and nothing else.

    It costs me nothing and allows me and all other inspectors to point to the standards and give a truly impartial opinion with no potential of even the perception that I have anything else to gain.
    Yet we deal with the potential of impartial opinion all the time in different situations/degrees.

    Our jobs are to protect out clients and we have nothing else to sell but our reputations; with ethics and impartiality being big parts of that reputation.
    I have a reputation for doing home inspections. Others that are allowed to inspect and repair/treat also have a reputation. I see no difference in peoples opinions between us and them. Main source: Comments and ratings on Angie's List.


  31. #31
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    Post Re: inspect and then do work?

    The problem is that mixing home inspection work and general contracting work or repair creates the temptation to do something that should not be done, for example finding a repair that is needed in order to bid on that repair, when the repair is not needed.

    It isn't that many would never do that. The problem is that some would. There are more issues connected with this, but when ever circumstances create a possibility of fraud or conflict of interest, they should be avoided.

    Locks don't keep burglers out of homes and businesses. Locks just keep honest people honest. It is the same idea when limiting a home inspector's interest in repair work

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

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