Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default inspection room by room

    I'm transitioning to the room by room approach. I've done enough homes now that I feel more comfortable doing it this way. Before I was doing it system by system and visiting areas multiple times. I still stick to the system approach on the outside of the house.

    For those of you who do the room by room approach, can you share your technique? Did you learn by mistakes and what were they? What have you learned and how have you morphed into a more efficient inspector?

    Similar Threads:
    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    One thing that I have found that works for me is I start each floor by heading to the first room on my right and work my way around the floor in a counter-clockwise motion. I approach each room the same way too. Start along the right wall and work my way counter-clockwise around the room. I test things as I come to them (outlets, windows, doors, etc.). By heading in the same direction each time I'm less likely to skip something.

    -Jon
    Errickson Home Inspections, LLC
    http://www.erricksonhomeinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    One thing that I have found that works for me is I start each floor by heading to the first room on my right and work my way around the floor in a counter-clockwise motion. I approach each room the same way too. Start along the right wall and work my way counter-clockwise around the room. I test things as I come to them (outlets, windows, doors, etc.). By heading in the same direction each time I'm less likely to skip something.
    No, NO, NO! You have to go left first and go clock-wise.
    Seriously, this is much the same as my approach. Just inspect everything as I come to it, snap a picture and move on. The only time I revisit the room is to check the HVAC or in the case of vacant new construction to verify that the AFCI actually shut down the appropriate outlets.
    Then also if I see something that makes me dig a little deeper from another room like a crack or water spot.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Get a routine, and stick to it. When you feel the need to modify your routine, have a backup check when you finish the inspection and get to your vehicle, create a checklist and verify your inspection of all major components.
    Some start at the roof and work down, some as you see go a specific clock direction, others follow thier report system etc. but find your specific routine and stick to it! I learned in jumpmaster school that slow is fast, routine is critical.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Once inside the home I usually check out the kitchen first as this is where I place my tool bag and equipment.

    After checking out the kitchen appliances, I start at the front door and work to the right room by room till I come back to the front door. This way I know I have covered the home. I then go to the garage and then to the attic space.

    I used to carry a notepad and make notes as I went, but now I just take pictures of defects as I go. Once done, I review my pictures and then make comments to the the buyer if present.

    Once back at the office, I scan through my pictures, then do my report.

    rick


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Exterior first (agent's always late), attic, electric panel(s), water heater furance. Then, like most others, pick a direction on each floor and stick to it until the whole floor is done.

    I also do a lot of circling back to make sure I covered everything and didn't miss any space (crawls, attics, whole rooms, etc.). Also, there's a lot of insdie-outside when I find problems but my general routine stays the same.

    I have found I have to specifically look for the mechanical equipment or I can forget it (electrical panel behind a picture, water heater in a panel at the back of a closet, etc.).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    One thing that I have found that works for me is I start each floor by heading to the first room on my right and work my way around the floor in a counter-clockwise motion. I approach each room the same way too. Start along the right wall and work my way counter-clockwise around the room. I test things as I come to them (outlets, windows, doors, etc.). By heading in the same direction each time I'm less likely to skip something.
    That is also the way I did it, and my report was set up to take the information room-by-room and then insert it into the report both room-by-room (for my client's best use) and system-by-system (for giving out to the contractors), with both done automatically when I clicked my 'OK' button.

    Like Aaron, or almost like Aaron, I went through each room twice (versus three times for Aaron), the second time through I would go the other direction - you would be surprised what you see from one direction which you did not see from the other direction.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Kitchen first, gets the dishwasher running so its done when I'm done.

    Turn on the first floor A/C and the second floor off, now you know which condenser is which.

    Go outside and circle the house (clockwise), that way you have your long probe in your right hand next to the wall. Knock dew and bugs off of the bushes with long probe as you go.

    Second trip around house is ccw and look at roof with bi-nocks this time as well.

    Back into house from front door and take pic's from left to right in panoramic pattern. Now you can remember if this was the house with the dinning room on the right or the left of the door!

    Now starting at the entry hall follow the wall with circuit tester in left hand next to the wall (cw), camera is in right pouch for pic's.

    After I finish each room, take the first door to the left and start again. When I get back to the front door I take a walk through the house to make sure I have not missed a room. (It can happen!)

    Attic then the dreaded crawlspace, but by now the termite inspector has cleared the cob webs so its a little less bad.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I start out at the bottom and work up from there. Basement/crawlspace first to get the worst out of the way. Plus, by the time we get out of the basement, the client is often times so worn out that they tend to leave me alone the rest of the way and just check back in with me every so often to see if there is anything they need to know about.

    Gotta have a method to the madness.


  10. #10
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I make a drive around the block, get a feel for the era, contractors, comporable homes, construction methods. If I'm on time no one else is there but maybe the owner. I walk around the house, take photos, get the necessary info, type, style, materials, AC information, roof type, material, vent numbers, chimneys, etc. this way I know what I'm looking for in the home. If still no access, I get on the roof, complete that. Once in, the kitchen is the most obvious area, signatures, introduction etc. I then start in a clockwise direction until I get back to the kitchen. Then, back the opposite direction to check window wall moisture, bathrooms, and special areas of concern. Then garage, attic, then exterior and roof if not finished prior to client arrival or access. Then sit in vehicle and go over notes to make sure I have all information i need before I leave. Reach into cooler, grab beer, start drive home.....no wait, maybe thats drive first then beer.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    If I get to the house before everyone else (my goal) I go around the exterior and look at as much as I can.
    But as soon as my client gets there I go into the kitchen, set up my computer, and go over contract and expectations. I do the kitchen while we are talking and getting paperwork out of the way. I then go around the house, left or right, room by room. When I get to the garage, I go outside, then come back in and finish the interior.
    Then the attic, and the roof. I do the crawlspace last, because I want to run as much water as I can to check for leaks while I'm down there. I also make mental notes to check areas where I may have felt problems with the floor systems.
    I do make a second trip thru the house looking UP to see if I missed something in one of the rooms. I don't feel the need to make three trips.
    I usually take my client around the house to show them where the utility cut offs are, and look at the exterior a second time.
    I return to the kitchen often during the inspection to input photos and report data.
    At the end, when I am finishing up the report I discuss the inspection with my client. When I preview my report, I check to see that I have not missed anything, and go over it with my client.
    Then I upload it to the web site, collect my fee, and leave.

    Most of the time, that is. There are those houses that seem to take twice as long as expected. IN those cases, I tell my client I will have their report uploaded by whatever time I think it will be done.
    I do inspections at 9 am and 1:30 pm, and for the most part they mostly fit into that schedule. If the house is larger than normal, I plan for extra time and schedule accordingly.

    I have never done a system by system inspection, even when I used the ITA preprinted forms. I just flipped from page to page as I went thru the house. The room to room system works for me.

    I think the key is to find a system that you are comfortable with and keep doing it. There are only a couple things that don't make sense, or are a waste of time, such as: 1. no use checking under a sink until you have run water, and 2. don't go into the crawlspace before you have done the interior and run water.

    Oh, and I always unplug the washing machine (in older home) before I check the outlet for being grounded.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    My system is similar to Fritz's, pretty random in direction. But I arrange to be in the home for 2 or 3 hours before the client shows up. I fill in a report, start with driveway, front, go around clockwise, unless there's a fence in the way, then go the other way. I usually do the roof before I go in, but if the roof is new or it's raining, might skip it for later. Every house is different, so if I comes across the water heater, I do that, find the e. panel, do that, garage door, done. If there's a suite, do that, bathroom, bedrooms as I come to them, kitchen. That's where I fill in my report for that floor. Then up, cruise the main floor, see a fireplace, do it. Upstairs, bathroom, do it, find the attic hatch, get that done and the ensuite bath, then check all the bedrooms, that floor is done. I always wind up in the main kitchen and that is where I'll be with my pics and laptop if the clients arrive early. If they're not early. I'll go double-check the vent outlets or some other thing. Then we do the whole house walkthrough, outside, into the garage, view the suite, up to the top floor, and finish in the kitchen. So I see it all twice at least. Sometimes I go right, sometimes left.

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I enter the home as everyone else and head to the kitchen. Set the tool bag down and setup my home base.

    Then I head to the center of the home to absorb the feng shui of the home. I then attempt to channel the Yen and Yang to see if the vibes are good or bad. This is done in an attempt to provide me the direction that is needed to anticipate any severe cosmic attributes that might be present in the home.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I enter the home as everyone else and head to the kitchen. Set the tool bag down and setup my home base.

    Then I head to the center of the home to absorb the feng shui of the home. I then attempt to channel the Yen and Yang to see if the vibes are good or bad. This is done in an attempt to provide me the direction that is needed to anticipate any severe cosmic attributes that might be present in the home.
    I had a place like that a couple of months ago! Found some Yang in the crawl, saw Ying on the bathroom walls, took about 12 pics and set my office up outside.

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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Arrive 1/2 hour early.

    3 laps around the outside. First just to get 8 pics, 4 sides and 4 corners for placment. 2 lap at arms length recording any defects, placement of utilities, and data plates from HVAC. 3rd lap in opposite direction checking high and roof. Walk roof conditions allowing.

    Client and agents arrive. Meet & greet. Sign paperwork. Start dishwasher. Return to front door and start. Will go either left or right depending on house layout. Enter each room and do all items in that room. No particulary direction around the room. Inspect as items appear. So if door opens to garage, go into garage. Exit garage and onto next room until return to front door. Quick check to see if any rooms were overlooked. Move to next floor and next. Run HVAC when come to them. Once interior is complete, test smoke detectors. Then attic, and crawlspace last. Get dirty and leave.

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I had a place like that a couple of months ago! Found some Yang in the crawl, saw Ying on the bathroom walls, took about 12 pics and set my office up outside.
    I think "Yen" is what Scott is after .

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I think "Yen" is what Scott is after .
    Yen is the Southern cousin of Ying!

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

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    At SP's age it may be hard to tell the Yin from the Yang . . .
    Ahh grasshopper you speak of wisdom not age....

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

  19. #19
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I'm not sure Yen before Yang is appropriate considering alphabetically Yang comes first. Then you have to consider which is younger or older,,,


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    IN my parts its Frick & Frack.


  21. #21
    Troy Eskew's Avatar
    Troy Eskew Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Short Version: Exterior first, front, right, rear, left then a closer look at the roof. Garage, attic then room by room. Heating/Cooling and crawl space last.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Eskew View Post
    Short Version: Exterior first, front, right, rear, left then a closer look at the roof. Garage, attic then room by room. Heating/Cooling and crawl space last.
    This is much like they way I'm trying now. After the attic I spiral downward in a right moving direction.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    .
    IN my parts its Frick & Frack.
    .
    Gosh Jack,

    I thought it was Hatfield & McCoy.
    .

    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.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo. area.
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    From the top down, and from the outside in. On the inside, first floor, the main thing to watch out for, whether you're going cw or ccw, is to not miss the darn powder room that's stuck smack in the middle. Crawlspaces always last!


  25. #25
    kevin hergert's Avatar
    kevin hergert Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I do my reports by main component (electrical, plumbing, heating, water heater), then room by room or area


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    It would seem to me that the room to room report would be more effort for the client to glean info from the report. If, for example, there were four inoperative window balancers, how spread out is that going to be in the report? Personally, I prefer to list them all in one sentence. Do those of you who report R to R find that your clients prefer that method?

    As for making one trip through a home - it's like proof-reading to me. I'm constantly surprised at what I can be missed on the first effort.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  27. #27
    kevin hergert's Avatar
    kevin hergert Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    It is a matter of how common the problem it is. For example, if there is a seal blown in window in 1 room, I will state that for that particular room. If the problem is consistent throughout the house, I put it in a line under a section titles "general", kind of a catch all page. So far, noone has complained about ease of reading the report.


  28. #28
    Peter Drougas's Avatar
    Peter Drougas Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    If you are using an inspection program, such as 3D, you can do the room by room report and it can be set up to automatically summarize electrical, plumbing, mechanical or structural problems.
    In that way any issues are posted in each room, where they are noted. Then a summary of, let's say window seals, is created.
    This also helps with the room by room style, because you can quickly jump from bedroom to bathroom, back to bedroom and then attic (or where ever you are going), just by tapping on the screen of a pocket PC.
    There is a huge amount of other things you can do with inspection software (depending on the company) to make a room by room inspection so fast that when you leave a room, that part of the report is done!


  29. #29
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    We use the system approach. Often you discover something at one part of a system that manifests in another. For example, just because a sub panel is in a bedroom you need to evaluate the whole electric system at once.

    Also, I don't want to leave a furnace running for the entire duration that I'm checking each room, just to be sure heat is flowing to each room. I'd rather run the furnace, then check each register.

    In the end, it is whatever makes you more efficient and allows you to perform your inspection without missing anything.


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    It would seem to me that the room to room report would be more effort for the client to glean info from the report. If, for example, there were four inoperative window balancers, how spread out is that going to be in the report? Personally, I prefer to list them all in one sentence. Do those of you who report R to R find that your clients prefer that method?

    As for making one trip through a home - it's like proof-reading to me. I'm constantly surprised at what I can be missed on the first effort.
    I gather the info as I come to it, but my inspection report is nicely organized.

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

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: inspection room by room

    I was always a ďsystem by systemĒ guy and think it is still the best of all written reports as it makes it easier for the client to read and understand what you saw, didnít see, and what specialist he/ she needs to retain for further evaluation, if needed.

    Like Jack F. and Iím sure many others, I always arrived early and did the electrical main and then the roof before the clients arrived. Nothing is more boring than your clients watch their inspector slowly remove 16 screws of the main panelís dead front. Also, I didnít want the client following me up on the roof that some insisted they would, which ended up my getting a bit testy.
    As a report reviewer I am convinced a system by system report is still the best and Iím also sure I will get many arguments that room by room is superior.

    BTW, for the guy that did the foundation crawl space first how did he determine that there were no leaking drain & waste piping, especially at a vacant house?

    WC Jerry

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •