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  1. #1
    Brad Deal's Avatar
    Brad Deal Guest

    Default Higher Standards

    I would like to make some observations regarding our industry. After spending over 12 years inspecting and 25 years prior to that in the construction industry I have come to understand that the home inspection industry is very short sighted, at least in my experience. Any reasonably ambitious inspector finds himself somewhat limited by the various inspection associations and their standards of practice.

    Here is my conundrum: I am a very experienced inspector with many prestigious designations yet I am in constant competition with inspectors who have barely inspected their first house. We are constantly told by the associations not to exceed the standards, yet on the other hand will insist that we obtain x amount of hours of continuing education maintain membership. After 6-7-8 years this continuing education becomes redundant and boring. There is no mechanism in the associations to allow an inspector to progress beyond the basic standards of practice to provide a product that is out of the reach of the beginning inspector.

    Herein lays the lack of foresight. While some associations have “Master Inspector” designations, or something similar, these increased designations do not require the recipient to meet any increased standard whereby these advanced skills can be put to use. I have been accused of “over inspecting” by some listing agents, yet I find it very difficult to withhold information from my clients. How am I to know what bit of information may influence their purchase decision? In addition, if I withhold information then I feel foolish for spending so much time studying a profession that has no practical application.

    On the other hand, ignorance is bliss, where the beginning inspector does not have this conundrum because they cannot report what they do not know. If they do not know, then they can have no remorse for not providing complete information.

    Example: An apprentice carpenter cannot be expected to perform at the same level of skill as a master carpenter. The inspection industry is contrary to this time honored process. Master inspectors provide the same product based on the same guidelines as the newest neophyte.

    In order for a “Master Inspector” designation to have any meaning there must be a higher standard of practice to which that inspector must adhere. That way we can compare apples to apples when an experienced inspector competes with an apprentice inspector. While the beginning inspector would be required to meet the basic standards of practice, the “Master Inspector” would have the option of meeting the basic standards or the enhanced standards to which he is qualified. The client would then have the option of asking for a basic inspection or an advanced inspection. And the fees would vary accordingly.

    If an inspection association truly wants to meet the needs of it’s membership then the “Master Inspector” designation should be revisited or the association be found guilty of being hypocritical. Otherwise join InterNACHI and be a master of the universe.

    IN these hard times there are inspectors who have dropped their prices to unsustainable levels and are providing a product that is an embarrassment to the industry, yet the reputable inspectors must adjust to the times or go the way of the dinosaurs. I find it increasingly difficult to resist the urge to drop my fees and under inspect. My kids gotta eat.

    Brad Deal
    20/20 Home Inspections

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    As much as I agree with your observations, I don't really care about that situation. I don't belong to any of those associations and don't see myself doing so for many of the problems you stated. Newbies who charge too little may get this weeks inspection but they won't get next months. I'm in this for the long haul, screw them.
    I do very thorough inspections that exceed SOP pretty much all the time. During a recent CE class the instructor hammered home the idea of sticking to the SOP. Only myself and one other inspector told him he was wrong and that type of thinking is worse. There were about 30+ inspectors in the class.
    Even though HI has been around for some years, I believe it to be in its' infancy. Just in the last ten years I have seen some fairly decent changes at least around here. I am getting fewer calls for inspections after a buyer has already paid a franchise/checkbox guy for an HI. I used to get a lot of those.
    The dollar amounts for construction problems are greater for a buyer to bear, modern building practices are very poor in many instances, and the reality that a good HI has value is starting to take hold.
    I believe HI will get more technical and recognized as a valuable commodity going forward. To some extent the industry has only itself to blame. If you look at HI in the past in many instances it was a joke. That last boom brought about an army of morons who did RE agents bidding. Those of us who do real inspections will have to pay the price for that a little longer.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Very insightful post Brad. On the face of it I agree with you and have given lots of thought to those types of ideas over the years as well.

    I have come to the conclusion that different levels of membership in HI trade organizations are really only superficial in that, as you pointed out, they do not necessarily lead to a higher fee for a home inspection job. There's the rub.

    The home inspector training situation is much like obtaining a drivers license where the new drivers are tested and licensed just as equally as the experienced drivers and are out there hurtling through space at break neck speed amongst all the other cars from day one, yet they lack the experience .

    Home inspectors are, generally speaking and for the sake of this discussion, trained and experienced to extremely varying degrees and yet all operate to the same basic standards of one organization or another. New inexperienced ones too are out there going break neck speed among all the experienced inspectors!

    Since each HI is an independent operator and business person and with varying degrees of experience, I've often wondered how they could be regulated into degrees of some fee structure based on that experience too. How could this be imposed upon all HI's anyway since they are independent business people? Pretty tough.

    Add to the dilemma the fact that the vast majority of the general public has no idea what a HI does and so come time to "shop" for one, they nearly always go for the cheapest even if it's by 25 bucks, how can we HI's set regulated fee structures based on anything other than the market place? I don't know and can't see how we can.

    So, as you point out, a very real question becomes, how much or little do we feel comfortable with doing for our clients in the home inspection process. Economic realities seem to dictate that if one is very experienced or knowledgeable they simply cannot afford to be as thorough or spend as much time as they could on a job because they cannot get paid for the time it takes to do that kind of inspection because the less experienced or knowledgeable have lowered their rates and perform inspections accordingly because the public does not know the difference.

    Some say, well, the public needs to be educated! It's been my experience that if I try to spend too much time educating the public (and I have), they still go for the guy who is $25 cheaper and now I'm out the time! Does that make good business sense?

    If anyone has a positive solution to our dilemma, I'm all ears!!

    Beacon Inspection Services
    Proudly Serving the Greater Henderson and Las Vegas Valley Area in Southern Nevada!
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    I agree with Marcus, Put in the time and effort and do a good job and the jobs will come, at your price. I would rather do one good inspection at my price than 3 cheap crap ones.
    I always spend extra time researching unusual problems that may come up.
    Time, yes, learning , yes, Helping, yes, Happy, Yes.
    If you are crying about being made to sell your services cheap you are WAY too low. Your price should reflect your experience and product, and should be sold that way.
    Not by price.
    If you only compare to others by price, you will always lose.
    F the french fryin home inspector legions.
    They will not rise to the top but will fry in their own lard for eternity
    wow, sorry, a little too much there


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    I think you have a marketing problem, not an association problem.
    I'm licensed by the state and am required to meet their SOP at a MINIMUM. There is nothing in the standards that prevents me from exceeding the SOP.
    Just like building a house to code.
    That means the house gets a D- or just barely passing.
    Nothing says you cannot do a better job and that is one reason there are builders and houses out there that are two or three times the going price.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Brad and Marcus
    Gentlemen,

    Good to see both of you voicing your opinion on this subject. As time passes we gain more experience and greater knowledge, but our status in this business remains the same and in some cases appears to be shrinking....

    I agree with both of your statements. Markus, I do think you are being a little bit optimistic in thinking it will change in a positive direction over time, bare in mind Building Surveyors have been around for many, many years. Are we moving forward or going backward?

    In our present area and time frame, HI is neither recognized as a profession or trade. This is unfortunate, but true. And, we both know the reasons for this!

    Over the last couple of years, I have come to the realization that as a group we are unable to achieve the very basic purpose of our job function to inspect and pass on our findings for fair compensation. Yes, there is going to be good & bad, high & low level inspections and reporting - where do we stand in the eyes of the consumer with regards to HOME INSPECTIONS.

    My conclusions from above is that the bulk of the HI business comes from folks who are directed by the misconceived perception that we are just something necessary to complete the Real Estate Transaction and as such have very little appreciation for the knowledge/experience that is required to do the so called "thorough job". Our current weak SOP with SOP type report will satisfy this majority, so we should tailor it to the necessities of meeting the Real Estate Transaction process - let us crank them out..... (I state this with "tongue-in-cheek").

    Now, within the minority group are those who do appreciate what we do, ask for details and are willing to pay a fair price for this information.

    Please identify one single organisation or association who truly goes out and promotes this for the HI's? They (the orgs & assoc.) appear to put all promotion into the Real Estate Transaction - educational courses, in great volume only get weaker and weaker in the hustle to make money - the big word of certification has become a joke! We can and in most cases are already growing our business within this minority group - but, one at a time through referrals. Based on the dynamics of this business (number of inspection one person is going to need in a life time), relying strictly on referrals is just not going to hack it.

    Just my thoughts and opinion regarding this subject.

    Wishing you both all the best,
    Richard S.

    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 07-26-2010 at 02:55 PM. Reason: posting proceeding my post coming in fast and heavy..

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    A couple confounds in our industry that I don't see going away anytime soon:

    Buyers think we're all the same. The average person never thinks about a HI until they need one every 5-7 years and then never again until they need another.

    All the associations have watered down the titles and designations that none of them matter. You may get some work through your association from time to time but your more likely to get struck by lightening than to have someone hire you by some master puba designation after your name.

    SOPs are a great minimum starting point. Every new inspector could only dream of actually meeting all of them on every inspection. Feel free to exceed them. When you do you'll likely begin to get noticed and get repeat calls from buyers and referrals to their friends.

    Unfortunately, a new inspector with a slick marketing plan will often get the job over an experienced inspector without one. As someone mentioned above, it's more of a marketing problem and less of an industry standard one.

    It all circles back to my first point... to the public we're all the same. Too bad more of the public doesn't read this board... they'd quickly realize how far from true that is


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    I have also been inspecting maybe 12 years with a couple decades of part time inspecting before that along with residential and commercial construction.

    Quite frankly I am inspecting as I was in the beginning. Pretty much going over everything I can get to and then some. Am I exceeding the standards...who knows. Many things there is only so much to inspect. Such as in building. Many suggest that building to the minimum standards ...well...many things that is about all you can do. If you build a 2x4 wall...well its a 2x4 wall. x amount of nails. Proper top and bottom plates. So many inches on center to carry a load (if it is load bearing. You get my drift.

    Now if you are talking about inspecting past the states (my state) SOPs...well I guess I do at times. If you are talking about adding your two cents worth in on items that are not in the SOPs then I do that all the time....kind of. Example. I suggest to all my clients that full gutters are needed on every home. That simple statement (of course the reasons why as well) gets me questioned all the time by Realtors. "Why did you have to say that. Now my clients think they have to be there and are asking for them" My answer is always "They do need to be there" Well of course they do. Maybe not by SOPs but for a multitude of reasons they need to be on every home.

    You can do as you wish. Standards are there to make sure the vast majority of goodies are inspected in a home inspection for the sake of the clients. Try as you may (I do all the time) to convince folks that your combined 37 years in building and inspecting makes a big difference and half it just goes right out the other ear.

    One problem you have hit right on the head was the attitude of some newer inspectors. There was one gent that popped on here just a very short time back that basically put out to the world that home inspection was easy. Anyone can learn the "procedure". I think what he was saying is any jackass can inspect a home. Well that did not go over good with me or anyone on here and he just could not figure out why. He also had 45 Realtors under his belt that referred him solely and achieved this in the first year and was proud of it. We all saw his reports and gave him some good advise and he did not like that either. Basically he was going to contribute to us all ab out the business of home inspection. He has been inspecting for one year.

    Now in saying all of that, I would love to have 45 Realtors that gave me one home every couple months. Hm, 22 inspections a month before I get referrals from past clients and any other marketing I do. Maybe I should keep my mouth shut. Stick completely to what we have to report and never add any knowledge behind my finding. Run every concern in every section together in three sentences in one paragraph. Add about zero pictures. Tell all my clients that everything is grand fathered.

    Wow, sounds pretty simple. Blast out about 40 inspections a month and I might be able to retire someday.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Deal View Post
    IWe are constantly told by the associations not to exceed the standards,

    There is no mechanism in the associations to allow an inspector to progress beyond the basic standards of practice to provide a product that is out of the reach of the beginning inspector.

    Huh???

    I've never had associations say not to exceed the SoP, only some individuals trying to put forth inspector lore, the associations very clearly state that the SoP is a MINIMUM standard.

    There is a mechanism to separate the experienced inspector from the new inspector, it is called ... "offer a better and more thorough inspection" ... offer what they cannot, you will be rewarded by doing so.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Huh???

    I've never had associations say not to exceed the SoP, only some individuals trying to put forth inspector lore, the associations very clearly state that the SoP is a MINIMUM standard.

    There is a mechanism to separate the experienced inspector from the new inspector, it is called ... "offer a better and more thorough inspection" ... offer what they cannot, you will be rewarded by doing so.
    I'm in Jerry's corner with this one. It is the individual who needs to shine above the others by offering a better product.

    I have found that diversification and specializing in inspections that others did not want to do has been my life saver. A good example are moisture problems in building and homes. Most inspectors run from them, I really enjoy discovering the problem. Also 100+ year old homes; local inspectors run from them while I run to them!

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Very interesting thread topic.

    I believe what possibly holds some inspectors back is the fee that the general public is willing to pay on average for a home inspection. There is a threshold at which point trying to price yourself beyond it will result in less work because many buyers will base their decision on a $20-$30 difference. It stinks but its the truth. I had a price shopper tell me he really liked the conversation we had on the phone and that he would like to work with me but only if I would lower my price to meet another company's. It's twisted but some people really think that way and like Bob K said earlier, trying to educate callers about fees more often than not ends up in just more time on the phone that gets you nowhere. Because they came into the call knowing what they want to spend, and nothing short of hypnotism will change their minds.

    I will say that offering a lower price to compete in a difficult market does not mean the quality of the inspection should be less. It is a tough pill to swallow to do the same amount of work (or more as you gain more experience) and make less profit. But, doing the job right will set you up for the future and result in referrals if you take care of your clients. You cannot gain exposure and referrals sitting at home staring at an empty schedule. When the economy turns around, I'll raise my prices back up.

    I looked at one of my typical Philadelphia specials today which had it's usual litany of issues including the chimney which was covered with rubber roofing material (sigh). Anyway, my client works for a company that sells and markets FLUKE IR cameras. He brought one with him to the inspection as he had concerns about moisture leaks. At the end of the inspection, I found more issues and leaks in the house than he did and all I used were my eyes, my experience recognizing and identifying moisture issues, and a Protimeter Surveymaster moisture meter. Now IR is a great tool but it unfortunately has zero market in my area. Few if any buyers will want to pay the extra money I'd have to charge to justify having the camera and the training that goes with it. So yes, consumer spending does affect my decision as to how much technology I want to add to my inspections as the return will not be there.

    If I stuck to the SOPs and did not exceed them, I'd have less work and fewer referrals. Telling somebody "I can't remove the chimney cap to look down the flue because that will exceed my SOPs" would sound lame and lazy.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    This is an interesting post: I read it last night and didn't respond for fear of saying the wrong thing or hurting someone's feelings. We professional home inspector are a lonely bunch most of us work by our selves and depend on ASHI, NAHI, or state licensing for current information most of which is based on the minimum standard of practice. I know the ASHI web site and the Reporter their monthly rag has a lot of technical information most of which would go right over the heads of our normal clients. Some of its good but most of the information we get is from experience; how to recognize a problem before it happens, the signs of failure or why some things don't look right. The truth it is all our experience doesn't do anyone any good if we don't do the inspection. What is the solution; the one hundred thousand dollar question that will make all us professionals with more experience wrapped up in our little finger than the rest of the home inspectors combined be satisfied with our careers?

    There aint one! The more you know the more you think you should charge and the quicker the uninformed client will pick the cheeper inspector. all that education just cost you a job. Trust and professionalism is what builds your business and it takes time to develop with client referrals and realtor referrals. How many of you have realtors who only call you when they have a tough one. That is trust the rest of the time they are using the cheep guy just to get the deal. Money talks and BS walks!

    It wont change until home inspectors are required to get a degree in home inspection or the like and standardize the home inspection report. I know that just to mention a standardized report raises the red flag with most all inspectors but consider these facts. Most inspectors now use forms developed by computer software companies which they can personalize to some degree which are based on the minimum standards of both ASHI and NAHI. Additionally, look at the appraisal industry it has used standardized forms for years and most appraisers now get their business from independent wholesalers. I know my brother is an appraiser; he no longer has to market his product just keep his designations up to date and do a professional job. That is what is called being in a profession; state licensing and associations with high standards are what raise the level of out profession. We must raise the bar for everyone and level the playing field.

    These are ways that our industry may evolve and become more professional. I know its so frustrating to consider your self a professional when the dumb **** in cargo pants who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground is getting all your business.

    I truly respect my profession and for 15 years have tried to do a good job. I hope you all will respect my opinions and please be kind when referring to my comments about standardized forms.

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    This is an interesting post: I read it last night and didn't respond for fear of saying the wrong thing or hurting someone's feelings. We professional home inspector are a lonely bunch most of us work by our selves and depend on ASHI, NAHI, or state licensing for current information most of which is based on the minimum standard of practice. I know the ASHI web site and the Reporter their monthly rag has a lot of technical information most of which would go right over the heads of our normal clients. Some of its good but most of the information we get is from experience; how to recognize a problem before it happens, the signs of failure or why some things don't look right. The truth it is all our experience doesn't do anyone any good if we don't do the inspection. What is the solution; the one hundred thousand dollar question that will make all us professionals with more experience wrapped up in our little finger than the rest of the home inspectors combined be satisfied with our careers?

    There aint one! The more you know the more you think you should charge and the quicker the uninformed client will pick the cheeper inspector. all that education just cost you a job. Trust and professionalism is what builds your business and it takes time to develop with client referrals and realtor referrals. How many of you have realtors who only call you when they have a tough one. That is trust the rest of the time they are using the cheep guy just to get the deal. Money talks and BS walks!

    It wont change until home inspectors are required to get a degree in home inspection or the like and standardize the home inspection report. I know that just to mention a standardized report raises the red flag with most all inspectors but consider these facts. Most inspectors now use forms developed by computer software companies which they can personalize to some degree which are based on the minimum standards of both ASHI and NAHI. Additionally, look at the appraisal industry it has used standardized forms for years and most appraisers now get their business from independent wholesalers. I know my brother is an appraiser; he no longer has to market his product just keep his designations up to date and do a professional job. That is what is called being in a profession; state licensing and associations with high standards are what raise the level of out profession. We must raise the bar for everyone and level the playing field.

    These are ways that our industry may evolve and become more professional. I know its so frustrating to consider your self a professional when the dumb **** in cargo pants who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground is getting all your business.

    I truly respect my profession and for 15 years have tried to do a good job. I hope you all will respect my opinions and please be kind when referring to my comments about standardized forms.

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector
    Dumb Ass

    Just kidding. Good post

    Do a good job......What a concept.

    You mentioned Realtors only calling you when they know everything has to be straight and right. I have Realtors do me in all the time and start refering someone else. I may not hear from them for six months. a year or a year and a half. All of a sudden you get the call (like they did not know) Hey Ted, are you still inspecting. I am buying this home or my parents are or my brother is....can you do an inspection for me????????????

    I will say that I have told a Realtor no in the past for particular reasons.

    I was just telling a fellow inspector about 2 Realtors that I have not heard from for a year. Almost to the month. Both the clients told the Realtors that they wanted someone that inspects homes like they are buying them and does not care if the Realtor makes money or not (very true story). Of course the Realtors did not tell me this and in fact the clients were nightmares and I had very long walk thru's with them with 1000 questions. When I say walk thru's I am talking the entire inspection. Not your typical clients that usually disappear and find something to do. I am talking over your shoulder and bumping into them every single time you turned around.

    As I stated above the SOPs on most items are as much as you can inspect anyway other than running a white glove over the surface and reporting the findings. What I call going above the standards is the added knowledge that decades in building and inspecting gives one.

    No I am not scaling a tall chimney with a ladder on the roof and dislodging mortar to get the moisture /debris cap of to stick my camera down a chimney. I do like myself a bit and I am not paying for someone to mortar the cap back in place. I did not get on a 14/12 rood today. Matter of fact I do not get on those roofs any day.

    I do nothing now adays to gain business other than referrals and my website. I am quite tired of handing money out for such a short return on the dollar. I will not pay three inspections worth of cash to get a total of nine inspections. That is a lousy return on the dollar. I will not change my reporting to make 40 Realtors happy so I can get there referrals.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    There is one more factor that should be introduced into the discussion IMHO. The fact that the more experienced or trained you are or become and the more you know, and the more you are bound legally to somehow report or address to the client just to keep liability under control. Did that make sense??

    If you happen to know lots of stuff and possess the ability and knowledge to find lots of issues how much does one report and how can it be reported while at the same time doing justice for the client yet not spending too much time at it.

    Doing a "thorough" job is one thing, getting paid for the time required to do that so you can be around tomorrow to serve again is quite another.

    I sure don't have the answer...

    Beacon Inspection Services
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    It wont change until home inspectors are required to get a degree in home inspection or the like and standardize the home inspection report.
    State licensing and standardized reports don't solve the problem. Maybe a degree would help but how many incompetent people do you know with degrees?
    Texas has had both licensing for close to 20 years and standardized reports for over a decade and neither has done anything that I can tell to get rid of incompetence in the profession.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    There is one more factor that should be introduced into the discussion IMHO. The fact that the more experienced or trained you are or become and the more you know, and the more you are bound legally to somehow report or address to the client just to keep liability under control. Did that make sense??

    If you happen to know lots of stuff and possess the ability and knowledge to find lots of issues how much does one report and how can it be reported while at the same time doing justice for the client yet not spending too much time at it.

    Doing a "thorough" job is one thing, getting paid for the time required to do that so you can be around tomorrow to serve again is quite another.

    I sure don't have the answer...
    I've had a couple jobs lately where based upon the clients' description and specs of the house, I felt the most fair way to do the inspection was based on an hourly rate. Not everybody goes for this but I like doing inspections this way as I rarely get out of a house is less than 3 hours.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Jim what I said was that associations and state licensing is a start to try to raise the bar and level the playing field for inspectors; at least you know what you are up against. Most of us just sort of go along competing with the newbies with no parity some of who don't last or are just in it for what they perceive is quick bucks. There is really no quick fix.

    I am sorry that your Texas standardized report isn't working for you and there are still unqualified inspectors in your market; it is a first step in the transition of our industry. Perhaps it was not well thought out or could only be a byproduct of government intervention into our business lives frankly most of them don't really know what they are talking about. Would it be better to just eliminate licensing all together, I don't know I was licensed in North Carolina where the licensing law was not inspector friendly but out only to protect the consumer. If a client filed a complaint against the inspector there was no appeal process the inspector was just suspended. Didn't seem fair since the licenser board established the standards, continuing education and testing for inspectors. I saw a lot of really good inspectors loose their licenses. Might be good to hear from some NC inspectors regarding their licensing law. We are about to introduce licensing in Florida, I don't believe there are any standards in place looks like just a tax. Don't think it will change much in Florida - cargo pants win again.

    Thomas W. McKay
    ASHI Certified Inspector


  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    State licensing and standardized reports don't solve the problem. Maybe a degree would help but how many incompetent people do you know with degrees?
    Texas has had both licensing for close to 20 years and standardized reports for over a decade and neither has done anything that I can tell to get rid of incompetence in the profession.

    Hey

    There is good, bad and ugly in every trade and every profession. I have lived in three states and inspected in all. I see a difference in standardized reports and licensing. What I see on this board I see that there would be a difference for the better in standardized reports and licensing.

    You have folks great at what they do in every business and then the mediocre and then the poor performers.

    I read this post almost everyday. One thing I find different in this profession is everyone finds it hard to believe there are folks that are incompetent. There always has been and there always will be.

    A degree in home inspection...........And who makes the rules for that.....actually pretty funny.......Other home inspectors??????????

    Better than that....Lawyers.....Realtors............Home buyers?????

    I am certainly not the best (did I just say that) but I am certainly not the worse. I strive with every inspection I do to find everything I can in a reasonable amount of time. That in itself is the true key to how good one is no matter how much experience one has. We are not going to spend 8 hours inspecting a 2000 square foot home. If we did and we had to double our inspection fees then there would be half or less inspections as there are now. What is the amount of time that an inspector (I am sure it also depends on who the inspector is) can spend in a home where he actually stops finding things (answered my own question). I am not talking about a dirty carpet or a nick in the wall in a 25 year old home. I am talking of substantial items. I would venture to say that it certainly would not be a day. Added goodies to an inspection? Now you get into another dilemma. You are back into the give away deal that one hates others for and how much more could you charge if you charged extra for all those goodies. I would say that to get the inspection the charge for extra goodies would be little to none and the extra time spent just blew the scheduling out of the water.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
    Posts
    92

    Wink Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    There is one more factor that should be introduced into the discussion IMHO. The fact that the more experienced or trained you are or become and the more you know, and the more you are bound legally to somehow report or address to the client just to keep liability under control. Did that make sense??

    If you happen to know lots of stuff and possess the ability and knowledge to find lots of issues how much does one report and how can it be reported while at the same time doing justice for the client yet not spending too much time at it.

    Doing a "thorough" job is one thing, getting paid for the time required to do that so you can be around tomorrow to serve again is quite another.

    I sure don't have the answer...
    Hi Bob, good to see you again. How's life in NV?
    On the flip side - I think many experienced inspectors have taken time to refine their walk-through sequence and customize reporting software which saves significant time. They can concentrate on inspecting not fumbling with figuring stuff out, typing, resizing photos, etc.

    I know I'm on the high side of inspection fees and I know I loose inspections to other inspectors, but I'm also in MN and enjoy extra time to play in summer.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Higher Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    There is one more factor that should be introduced into the discussion IMHO. The fact that the more experienced or trained you are or become and the more you know, and the more you are bound legally to somehow report or address to the client just to keep liability under control. Did that make sense??

    If you happen to know lots of stuff and possess the ability and knowledge to find lots of issues how much does one report and how can it be reported while at the same time doing justice for the client yet not spending too much time at it.

    Doing a "thorough" job is one thing, getting paid for the time required to do that so you can be around tomorrow to serve again is quite another.

    I sure don't have the answer...
    Yep - I just got blessed out, nicely, by a realtor because I inspect and test garage door opener operation and "advise" when the required Federal warning labels aren't posted and the operator switch is closer than 5 feet from the nearest standable surface. I only report it as a deficiency in new home inspections and the contractor's low-ball subs don't bother reading the instructions (or know how to read them). She said she had never seen that in any other inspection. My reply, "I hope you don’t expect me to come down to the level of people how don’t learn, don’t bother with continuing education, don’t feel Safety Regulations mean anything, don’t care if they get sued, don't care if the client's kid gets killed or seriously injured, and they do the same things they’ve been doing for XX years because that’s the way they’ve always done it."

    I was thinking along the same lines as your statement - when we know or learn more we also become more liable. Makes things tougher but I'm going to do what I believe is right for my client.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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