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Thread: nit picky

  1. #1
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    Default nit picky

    I had a call from a potential client. She said she is comming up on her 1 year warranty and wants to get "nit picky" on the builder.

    So far we're just playing phone tag so I don't have the details.

    Does this kind of "nit picky on the builder" request raise any flags in your minds? I figure some of you more experienced inspectors might have an opinion on this.

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I had a call from a potential client. She said she is comming up on her 1 year warranty and wants to get "nit picky" on the builder.

    So far we're just playing phone tag so I don't have the details.

    Does this kind of "nit picky on the builder" request raise any flags in your minds? I figure some of you more experienced inspectors might have an opinion on this.

    John,

    To me, that meant to do my same thorough inspection I always did.

    When I asked what was for supper and what was for breakfast the next morning, they knew they had the right inspector.

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

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I had a call from a potential client. She said she is comming up on her 1 year warranty and wants to get "nit picky" on the builder.

    So far we're just playing phone tag so I don't have the details.

    Does this kind of "nit picky on the builder" request raise any flags in your minds? I figure some of you more experienced inspectors might have an opinion on this.
    I wish every new home customer wanted that. Some will ask for that then not stand up to the builder to get what they are entitled to.
    I've done almost 3000 1 yr warranty inspections over the past 7 years,
    apx 2000 of them were referrals, The more nit picky you are, the more referrals you'll get.
    Just be prepared to stand behind, and back up your findings, Local / State Standards, National Builders Workmanship Standards, Code, or Mfg specs.
    If you don't have an answer for something, don't forget to use the best resource we have to get one.
    www.inspectionnews.net The one with 2 n's

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 03-21-2009 at 10:42 PM.

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Heck nit picky is my middle name, they know they called the right guy!
    I do draw the line for them real quick though, if they want me to include things not relevant to my normal inspection, a sloppy paint job is NOT part of my inspection. I recommend they make their own list of cosmetic items and give it to the builder at the same time.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I do draw the line for them real quick though, if they want me to include things not relevant to my normal inspection, a sloppy paint job is NOT part of my inspection. I recommend they make their own list of cosmetic items and give it to the builder at the same time.

    Absolutely!

    "Cosmetics" is for them to decide.

    One of the risks of getting involved with "cosmetics" is that YOU may not see anything wrong with something THEY feel is totally unacceptable and then THEY want YOU to fix it because YOU did not include it in your report for the builder to correct.

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

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Absolutely!

    "Cosmetics" is for them to decide.

    One of the risks of getting involved with "cosmetics" is that YOU may not see anything wrong with something THEY feel is totally unacceptable and then THEY want YOU to fix it because YOU did not include it in your report for the builder to correct.
    As they say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and their eye might be more beautiful than mine!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Absolutely!

    "Cosmetics" is for them to decide.

    One of the risks of getting involved with "cosmetics" is that YOU may not see anything wrong with something THEY feel is totally unacceptable and then THEY want YOU to fix it because YOU did not include it in your report for the builder to correct.
    I found if I write " see customers list for cosmetic items that need attention" that kept the customer happy that it was documented, and keeps me from deciding if it was damaged by the customer, or if it really needed correction.

    Older retired customers, in adult commuinties, who amounts to 60-70 % of my referral customers, I will take the extra 10 min to blue tape drywall cracks, then recommend in writing, looking for additional areas the day before corrections are scheduled.

    BTW.. I learned this real early in the new home warranty game, Builder tried to blame me for this..
    If there are ceiling drywall cracks, point it out to the customer, BEFORE you go into the attic.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 03-21-2009 at 08:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Nit picky to me at a one year warranty tells me they are pissed at the builder and they have more than likely been nit picking him to death and is more than likely getting a little onn the edgey side. That is usually a warning to me that if the builder does not do everything she is looking for and more then she will be looking for someone else to pay for it. I usually give them my third degree on exactly what type of problems and concerns she is having. I try to size them up as much as possible to know what I might be getting myself in the middle of.

    I recently had a woman on a warranty ask me if I had that type of insurance that home inspectors have to have. This was immediately after I hit the cook button on the micro wave while her and her husband was standing there watching me and the dam thing started shorting out and sparks flying.

    Like I said I called her number before I even got there. Nit picky is fine but rediculous is just that, rediculous. Be careful.


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    Default Re: nit picky

    I havn't heard back from her yet. Maybe she found another inspector.

    I too consider myself as one who does thorough inspections. However, I did have the gut feeling this this might lead to a tricky situation.

    Thanks for your opinions.


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    Default Re: nit picky

    You want nit-picky.

    I did a 1 yr. warranty inspection yesterday and the owner wanted me to note on my report that the builder needed to mow the lot next door and remove some of the wooden form boards that are piled up on the grounds.

    Told them they needed to discuss that with the builder or complain to the city.

    The wife then says, Well if termites infest the grounds below the wooden form boards then does not cause possible concerns for her place and the high grass create a habitat for mice, and other rodents.

    She's got me there.

    rick


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    Default Re: nit picky

    Rick, did you tell here she already has termites on her lot? I'm not a bug man, but it is my understanding that termites are present in nature just about everywhere and the issue is just keeping them from finding and munching on you house. Any truth to that?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: nit picky

    Jim,

    You are probably correct with the area where we are located. Termites are virtually in the ground everywhere. Most of the time they attack our home due to our neglect of having earth to wood contact, moisture issues...

    You've always heard the old saying. There are houses that have termites and those that are going to get them.

    I like to add to that there are also the homes that have been treated for termites, those that need termite treatment and those that have been treated for termites that still have termites.

    Rick


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    Default Re: nit picky

    What I have found that works best for the owner and myself is that I ask the owner to provide me with a list of items that they have discovered over how ever long they have been in the home. I tell them to include any cosmetic items as well.

    While I'm at the home I take a look at their list after I finish my inspection. Most of the time I have seen about 95% of what they have, but every now and then they have found something that I have not seen. Don't forget that they have been in that home for 7,000 +- more hours than you will be. They have had the opportunity of sitting in their Lazy Boy chair and staring at the off center light fixture on the wall, the spots on the wood floor from paint over spray, etc.

    A one year warranty should not be any picker than a normal home inspection, but when you start adding all of the things that the owner has found over their time in the home, then it seems like it is picker. But, it is not!

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Jim,

    You are probably correct with the area where we are located. Termites are virtually in the ground everywhere. Most of the time they attack our home due to our neglect of having earth to wood contact, moisture issues...

    You've always heard the old saying. There are houses that have termites and those that are going to get them.

    I like to add to that there are also the homes that have been treated for termites, those that need termite treatment and those that have been treated for termites that still have termites.

    Rick
    About the only way to make 100% sure that you get rid of termites is to move!

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

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    Default Re: nit picky

    About 1/3 of my business of late has been 1 year warranty inspections. Most of the clients have a list of items or concerns. First thing I do is have them walk me through the house and point out all their concerns. I take photos and discuss the issues with them. I help them to understand which are cosmetic, several possbile solutions, and common reasons the problem occured. Most of the problems are cosmetic or squeaky floors.

    The most common squeaky floor is the area between the master bed and the bathroom. Someone gets up in the middle of the night to pee and the squeaky floor makes them upset.

    Most of my warranty clients are either Nit-pickers or Worriers. Both kinds want someone to confirm their fears or explain the issue in a manner they can understand. By addressing their concerns up front, I am able to develop a sense of trust and build confidence. They usually are very pleased with the rest of the inspection and report.

    I love warranty inspections because the crawlspaces are usually dry and clean.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    About 1/3 of my business of late has been 1 year warranty inspections. Most of the clients have a list of items or concerns. First thing I do is have them walk me through the house and point out all their concerns. I take photos and discuss the issues with them. I help them to understand which are cosmetic, several possbile solutions, and common reasons the problem occured. Most of the problems are cosmetic or squeaky floors.

    The most common squeaky floor is the area between the master bed and the bathroom. Someone gets up in the middle of the night to pee and the squeaky floor makes them upset.

    Most of my warranty clients are either Nit-pickers or Worriers. Both kinds want someone to confirm their fears or explain the issue in a manner they can understand. By addressing their concerns up front, I am able to develop a sense of trust and build confidence. They usually are very pleased with the rest of the inspection and report.

    I love warranty inspections because the crawlspaces are usually dry and clean.

    Those 2 words do not belong in the same sentence


  17. #17
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Those 2 words do not belong in the same sentence
    Ditto.

    Thread drift. I inspected a house yesterday where I could not get into the crawlspace as the access panel was caulked and stuccoed to the exterior wall. There were multiple issues of water damage and elevated moisture levels in the living areas. The roof has no gutters or downspouts and the grading was sloping towards the exterior walls. I'm afraid of what I'm going to see in there when they get the access panel open for me.

    OK, back to topic.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Dear John,

    If your state allows you to limit liability to your fee then go for it if you really need the money.

    My state does not allow liability limititations unless the unit resides under a roof that has more than 4 units.

    I performed an awesome inspection and generously gave hours of my time to my client, post inspection, to discuss matters that were excluded; such as Radon mitigation. (this person was a recent immigrant who did not have a good command of our language and would certainly score low in the "Stanford-Binet".)

    This person was lucky to find the distressed seller of an almost perfect property. Yet he would call me to help him weasel more concessions. He inspected the property a few hours after the closing and angrily called me
    to complain and berate about a faucet whose aerator squirted water sideways (it absolutely tested fine during the inspection). (probably cause the owner unscrewed it to clean it and did not fully tighten it) He wanted me to make a long drive to the property to hassle me about this.

    Do you want to be on the hook and have to defend yourself from someone who, unjustifiably, wants to reach into your pocket instead of theirs?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
    Dear John,

    If your state allows you to limit liability to your fee then go for it if you really need the money.

    My state does not allow liability limititations unless the unit resides under a roof that has more than 4 units.

    I performed an awesome inspection and generously gave hours of my time to my client, post inspection, to discuss matters that were excluded; such as Radon mitigation. (this person was a recent immigrant who did not have a good command of our language and would certainly score low in the "Stanford-Binet".)

    This person was lucky to find the distressed seller of an almost perfect property. Yet he would call me to help him weasel more concessions. He inspected the property a few hours after the closing and angrily called me
    to complain and berate about a faucet whose aerator squirted water sideways (it absolutely tested fine during the inspection). (probably cause the owner unscrewed it to clean it and did not fully tighten it) He wanted me to make a long drive to the property to hassle me about this.

    Do you want to be on the hook and have to defend yourself from someone who, unjustifiably, wants to reach into your pocket instead of theirs?
    Once upon a time I did an inspection 50 miles from my home. After doing a walk thru with the buyer (took forever) I did not put the electric panel cover back on in the garage. The home was vacant.

    The seller that owned it lived next door and was an electrician. He complained that I took the panel cover off and I needed to put it back on.

    Yep. 100 mile round trip to put the cover on in about 45 seconds. I could see if the home was lived in or anyone else that should not be around an electric panel that was left open but an electrician, seriously.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Rick you could tell her that since the property next door is completely separate with a different owner that you will have to charge a separate fee and have a contract. You could then ask her if she is paying with check or credit card. hahaha


  21. #21
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    Default Re: nit picky Warranty Inspection Referrals

    Can someone tell me how to get all those warranty inspections your getting?????


  22. #22
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    Default Re: nit picky Warranty Inspection Referrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Can someone tell me how to get all those warranty inspections your getting?????
    Advertise to the public, not the Realtors.

    Also follow up on ALL inspections 10 months later. I get 80% of my business again 10-12 months later on the same house.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: nit picky

    I echo what Bruce said. I also survived November, December and January with almost just 1 year warranties.
    All of whom are foreigners who doesn't have a clue about homes and appliances.
    I can related because I don't have a clue about there "IT tech" work.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: nit picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
    Dear John,

    If your state allows you to limit liability to your fee then go for it if you really need the money.

    My state does not allow liability limititations unless the unit resides under a roof that has more than 4 units.
    Ken, what state are you in?
    Your location is not posted.


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