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  1. #1
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    Default How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    As a new home inspector, I have a very real scenario that I'm wondering how you guys and gals have gone about inspecting and reporting on....

    I recently inspected a home that was fully furnished. And when I say fully furnished, I mean that every single inch of the floor and walls were covered in furniture, rugs, baby toys, and other decor, every cabinet was filled to the brim with food, dishes, etc., both bedrooms were covered with clothes and baby toys, and even the exterior of the property was covered with garbage, home projects, sheds, etc. Basically the tenants were very close to being hoarders.

    I did my best at observing the home and testing as many systems and components as possible, but in reality, there were so many limitations that it made it very difficult. What I ended up doing was taking pictures of every room in the house to visually show the limitations in my report. Mainly, I'm interested in hearing how some of you report on these limitations? Do you literally need to go into each and every section of the report and list out all of the limitations? For example, I'd be repeating myself multiple times for the interior, electrical receptacles and fixtures, kitchen cabinets and counters, appliances, and exterior. And do I need to show photos of all of these areas (basically the entire house) in my report? Or can I simply have 1 broad-ranging statement at the beginning of my report that says something along the lines of "The house was occupied and fully furnished at the time of the inspection, presenting significant limitations in most, if not all areas of the home." etc.?

    What do you all do in a situation like this? Thank you for your responses!

    Kurt

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Stein View Post
    As a new home inspector, I have a very real scenario that I'm wondering how you guys and gals have gone about inspecting and reporting on....

    I recently inspected a home that was fully furnished. And when I say fully furnished, I mean that every single inch of the floor and walls were covered in furniture, rugs, baby toys, and other decor, every cabinet was filled to the brim with food, dishes, etc., both bedrooms were covered with clothes and baby toys, and even the exterior of the property was covered with garbage, home projects, sheds, etc. Basically the tenants were very close to being hoarders.

    I did my best at observing the home and testing as many systems and components as possible, but in reality, there were so many limitations that it made it very difficult. What I ended up doing was taking pictures of every room in the house to visually show the limitations in my report. Mainly, I'm interested in hearing how some of you report on these limitations? Do you literally need to go into each and every section of the report and list out all of the limitations? For example, I'd be repeating myself multiple times for the interior, electrical receptacles and fixtures, kitchen cabinets and counters, appliances, and exterior. And do I need to show photos of all of these areas (basically the entire house) in my report? Or can I simply have 1 broad-ranging statement at the beginning of my report that says something along the lines of "The house was occupied and fully furnished at the time of the inspection, presenting significant limitations in most, if not all areas of the home." etc.?

    What do you all do in a situation like this? Thank you for your responses!

    Kurt
    Hi Kurt,

    In my case, it would depend on each individual situation. If (for example) one bedroom and the garage were filled with crap, then I would note those two areas specifically. If it is as you described, I would put in a general statement, in boldface type, that the inspection was limited due to the presence of large amounts of furniture and personal property. I generally take a whole raft of pics, but will only include one or two in the report as an example of what I ran into.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Hi Kurt,

    In my case, it would depend on each individual situation. If (for example) one bedroom and the garage were filled with crap, then I would note those two areas specifically. If it is as you described, I would put in a general statement, in boldface type, that the inspection was limited due to the presence of large amounts of furniture and personal property. I generally take a whole raft of pics, but will only include one or two in the report as an example of what I ran into.

    Hey Gunnar, thanks for the reply. So, if the bedroom and garage are both filled with crap, are you just going to make 1 statement specifically for those areas, maybe in the summary of the report, or do you add it to every section of your report in which the limitations affect (interiors, electrical, hvac, garage, etc.)?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Stein View Post
    Hey Gunnar, thanks for the reply. So, if the bedroom and garage are both filled with crap, are you just going to make 1 statement specifically for those areas, maybe in the summary of the report, or do you add it to every section of your report in which the limitations affect (interiors, electrical, hvac, garage, etc.)?
    Hi Kurt,

    Good question. In my case, I would note it in the interior and garage sections and let the other sections go. I figure that I told them twice and that's good enough.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    They are paying for your report. If you have to copy and paste then just do it. The fact that there is redundancy is just an anomaly of the report.

    The biggest thing is that you document why you were prevented from performing to the requirements of the SOP for your state.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    The template for my report has a comment in nearly every section, "The home was furnished at the time of the inspection, household items, vehicles, and storage obscured much of the <<add room or area here>>. Access to some items such as windows, floors, walls receptacles, and other components or systems was restricted and could not be inspected" Follow that up with a photo of the area to document the conditions. While it may seem redundant to make this comment several times it may save you considerable grief in the future.
    Remember that the sellers will take all their "stuff" with them and each area that you could not see or access will be exposed.

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Stein View Post
    As a new home inspector, I have a very real scenario that I'm wondering how you guys and gals have gone about inspecting and reporting on....limitations.

    What do you all do in a situation like this? Thank you for your responses!
    Kurt
    Hi Kurt. Pleasure to meet you.

    Depending upon your Standards of Practice, the association or education you certify under, everything that is limitation becomes a limitation.
    3.1. Roof
    3.2. Exterior
    3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure
    3.4. Heating
    3.5. Cooling
    3.6. Plumbing
    3.7. Electrical
    3.8. Fireplace
    3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation
    3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior.

    IE: Roofing limitations.
    Roof inspection limited/prevented by:Gravel covering membraneGravel/ballast covering the membrane impedes a thorough assessment of BUR roof system.


    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    IE: Roofing limitations.
    Roof inspection limited/prevented by:Gravel covering membraneGravel/ballast covering the membrane impedes a thorough assessment of BUR roof system.
    The gravel (the ballast used to help hold some systems down) is "part of" the roof covering system it is on.

    The ballast should also be embedded into the roof system because loss of the ballast is a degradation of the roof system - i.e., the ballast (gravel) should be hot mopped into the top coating of the BUR (Built Up Roof).

    If you have a non-ballasted BUR, there is still no way to make a "thorough assessment" of the BUR.

    A BUR, by its design and construction, becomes one monolithic (non-discontinuous) system as each ply is hot mopped to each other ply.

    An example of a discontinuous roof system are shingle roofs.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The gravel (the ballast used to help hold some systems down) is "part of" the roof covering system it is on.
    Morning, Jerry.
    I concur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The ballast should also be embedded into the roof system because loss of the ballast is a degradation of the roof system - i.e., the ballast (gravel) should be hot mopped into the top coating of the BUR (Built Up Roof).
    Aggregate is sealed to the membrane through emersion, flood coating. Yes.
    As well surface aggregate is moved by wind, rain, ice, and erosion.
    As for inverted BUR roofing systems, the 3/4" or larger aggregate/ballast lays upon the insulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If you have a non-ballasted BUR, there is still no way to make a "thorough assessment" of the BUR.
    I concur but, measuring plys is one process to determine application. Stripping ply can be observed as well on curbs and boxes.
    As well, if the membrane is visible it should be protected with a UV/ultraviolet layer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    A BUR, by its design and construction, becomes one monolithic (non-discontinuous) system as each ply is hot mopped to each other ply.
    Yes. But at times two plys are mopped together. 2 ply moped to a three ply system to get 5 plys.
    I have roofed and was unionized licensed B class roofer in 1981. Classes are all gone now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    An example of a discontinuous roof system are shingle roofs.
    Underlayment is used is such systems.

    Thanks!
    Robert

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Since the OP asked the question about owners belongings, I will address that.
    In my pre inspection contract I have a part that says something like "Any area, which is not exposed to view, or is inaccessible because of soil, walls, floors, carpets, ceilings, furnishings, or any other item, is not included in this inspection."

    At the headings for the Garage, Laundry, Interior sections, I also make a note that owners belonging may limit what I can see, or inspect. I tell them to do a careful inspection of these places on their walk thru, when the belongings have been removed.

    I will also take photos of areas where there is excessive belongings blocking my view, or limiting the inspection.

    These are very easy to include in your basic Library. There should be no need to cut and paste, or keep adding them on each inspection.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: How to Report on Limitations of a Fully Furnished House

    Sorry Kurt et al.
    I use Discover Horizon / Carson Dunlop.
    It suits my needs.

    Kurt, you can get a free trial period to most home inspection reporting systems.

    In the Interior section under (Limitations.)
    Inspection limited/prevented; Carpet, Storage/furnishings, Storage in closets and cabinets,
    blank item.
    Restricted access to; Basement Bathroom, Bedroom, Dining room, Family room, Kitchen, Living room, Master bedroom, Utility room, Crawlspace, Furnace room, Garage, Closets and cabinets / cupboards, (blank item (make your own here)...

    Click on the appropriate link in the software, Utility room, and that component is saved in the reporting system opening up allowing you to add natives and upload images if you wish to do so.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 08-31-2017 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

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