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  1. #1
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    Default builders got my number?

    I get hired by people to do finals on new homes from time to time. I call out some pretty significant stuff sometimes. Things like improper plumbing transitions with T fittings, lack of weeps and flashings in masonry/stone veneer, deck ledger flashings, inadequate access to service disconnects, unsafe CSST installations and so on.

    After being at this for a few years now, I think my name is getting known among some of the big builders in the area. A client will hire me and be seemingly ready to go other than clearing it with the builder. I wait for the confirmation and it never comes.

    Although I never hear a direct challenge from a builder about the things I call out, I wonder if they tell home buyers that I'm no good and should not be hired.

    Any of you ever get that feeling?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I get hired by people to do finals on new homes from time to time. I call out some pretty significant stuff sometimes. Things like improper plumbing transitions with T fittings, lack of weeps and flashings in masonry/stone veneer, deck ledger flashings, inadequate access to service disconnects, unsafe CSST installations and so on.

    After being at this for a few years now, I think my name is getting known among some of the big builders in the area. A client will hire me and be seemingly ready to go other than clearing it with the builder. I wait for the confirmation and it never comes.

    Although I never hear a direct challenge from a builder about the things I call out, I wonder if they tell home buyers that I'm no good and should not be hired.

    Any of you ever get that feeling?
    .
    I've felt that way about ya for some time now.
    .

    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    I've felt that way about ya for some time now.
    .
    So it is me...damn!


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    So it is me...damn!
    I call out what I see at any home. With builders they always try to discredit you in one way or another. As far as OKs from the builder they have no choice as to which inspector a client hires. There should never have to be an OK from the builder.

    What you might be getting may be equivalent to "I have to talk to my wife" or "I have to talk to my husband". This is no more than either price shopping or someone had a better line than you. On the larger end it would be price shopping and the "I will have to talk to my husband or builder" is n o more than telling you they are shopping around.

    Builders try sometimes to pull off the fact that the home is not the buyers yet until they close so they want to still be in charge of who inspects. Again, they have no choice in the matter. As long as you have liability insurance you are covered to go and inspect for your client. . Well, the home is not the buyers yet until the seller agrees to the terms.

    I just recently had a builder trying to discredit me by asking if I was a member of the tile association or certified by a tile association to give a proper inspection of the tile work. Quite simply, it sucked and I put it in more polite professional terms but not really much better.

    If you could have seen the tile work in this home. To begin with I called out the exact same thing the builder already blue taped (but the rest of the 3600 square feet of tile) yes, 3600 square feet of tile completely screwed up. Not to mention all the bathroom wall tile, tub surround tile, bowed walls in the baths. Kitchen back splash tile so screwed up that it did not even matter that it was not even the tile the buyers ordered thru the builder. Some had already been changed out and the fools actually used a different tile lot for the replacement tile and they might as well of been black versus white tile they were so far off in color. If you do a good job, as in find nothing wrong and compliment the builder, everyone loves you. On the other hand, find a lot wrong and actually have to take the builder by the hand and point everything out to him, you are a useless slimeball that does not know your arse from your elbow.

    That inspection ticked the poor super off so bad when the folks backed out of the build due to crappy work that the super wanted the builder to go after me.

    OK, crappy tile work that a tile rep actually came out and verified and they wanted to come after me for the loss of a sale (custom build by the way). They dropped the ball so bad on that home that the folks finally walked after my crappy unqualified inspection ...... yeah, right. They walked because the builder would not stop screwing up and only half arsed fix things. As you caught the drift it was far more than tile work for the folks walking.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 09-09-2011 at 03:23 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    I do the same John. One inspection resulted a big developer ripping off and replacing the vinyl siding not only on my client's house but also the house next door. I've had people not call back but I think it was due to the cost of the inspection.

    I just refunded an inspection fee on a new house inspection because of a builder's screw up. I could have refused but the client was very happy because I agreed to the refund automatically without any argument. That's my stated policy. I'll post on that later.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Home inspector's names definitely get around, both for the good and for the bad. This summer I've been doing a ton of inspections for buyers who are engineers, mostly structural. I finally told the last one about the odd number of engineers I've been inspecting for and come to find out my name has gotten around an engineering forum.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I do the same John. One inspection resulted a big developer ripping off and replacing the vinyl siding not only on my client's house but also the house next door. I've had people not call back but I think it was due to the cost of the inspection.

    I just refunded an inspection fee on a new house inspection because of a builder's screw up. I could have refused but the client was very happy because I agreed to the refund automatically without any argument. That's my stated policy. I'll post on that later.
    If I found a "builder's screw up" during an inspection, I would expect a thank you at least, not "I want my money back"

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    I've felt that way about ya for some time now.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    .

    you are a useless slimeball that does not know your arse from your elbow.
    .
    .
    Thanks Ted,

    I was trying to find the right words for ya.
    .

    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I get hired by people to do finals on new homes from time to time. I call out some pretty significant stuff sometimes. Things like improper plumbing transitions with T fittings, lack of weeps and flashings in masonry/stone veneer, deck ledger flashings, inadequate access to service disconnects, unsafe CSST installations and so on.

    After being at this for a few years now, I think my name is getting known among some of the big builders in the area. A client will hire me and be seemingly ready to go other than clearing it with the builder. I wait for the confirmation and it never comes.

    Although I never hear a direct challenge from a builder about the things I call out, I wonder if they tell home buyers that I'm no good and should not be hired.

    Any of you ever get that feeling?
    They got our numbers I don't think it's due to us not being good. I think they are concerned we are good, and it will create a lot of extra work for them.

    Over the last 10 years I've done over 3000 1 yr warranty inspections. Apx 1000 of those customers told me the builders rep told them they didn't need to hire an inspector. Most of them hired me due to the builders rep telling them that.
    As close as I can figure, apx 15-20% of the new home buyers hire a private inspector. I'm guessing they convinced the other 80-85% of the new home buyers to "save their money, and trust them"

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  10. #10
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: builders got my number?

    New construction phase inspections and final inspections comprise 80 - 85% of my business. Roughly 30% of my clients in that business are builders. As long as they are happy to receive honest feedback, they are great clients because they understand the industry jargon (reduces reporting time) and are recurring business. If they desire anything other than honest feedback, I don't work with them. I have only encountered that twice over the years.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If I found a "builder's screw up" during an inspection, I would expect a thank you at least, not "I want my money back"
    I didn't find the screw up. The issue was a dryer vent that was not connected inside the wall. The young lady had ever increasing problems with her dryer until she finally called in a service guy who found the never-made connection. I'll hand to the builder that once the problem was discovered they came in and ripped out the entire laundry room and put it back right (I hope) A washer & dryer came with the house and was installed when inspected. I do a cursory test run on the appliances just to see if they appear to be in working order. I have a paragraph in the contract that explicitly states the limits of appliance inspection.

    Short version - the young first time home buyer had gone through ever increasing hell over 8 months. She did not demand a refund, she said she thought I should have found the problem in the inspection since the contract include "ventilation" in items inspected, I should have checked the dryer vent for proper connection. I imagine either a service tech or contractor made the famous statement, "The inspector should have caught that." I don't think I could without 1) disconnecting the dryer and running a fish tape through the vent or 2) putting up the ladder and checking the exterior vent to see if air was coming out. I have no plans to start doing that.

    I have a standard refund policy. She asked. I said, "Gladly, but you will have to sign a liability release." She did and I sent her a check. End result, still very happy client which means much more to me than $350.

    I didn't argue or make any admission. I didn't throw up a defense about contracted limitations of the inspection. Was I happy about it? No. Did I think I screwed up? No. Do I plan to change the inspection process? No. Will I put a specific disclaimer in the contract concerning issues like this? Oh, Yeah, it's rubber stamp time.

    An Asian lady with a very heavy accent called me at 10PM on Sunday night to tell me her main water supply pipe was leaking (took awhile to figure that out). I said, "You need to call a plumber." She said, "But you inspected it last year!". I said, "I may have ma'am, but things happen, there isn't a guarantee something won't. You need to call a plumber." If she calls back, she's out of luck.

    Last edited by Stuart Brooks; 09-10-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: spelling
    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  12. #12
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
    Eric Shuman Guest

    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I get hired by people to do finals on new homes from time to time. I call out some pretty significant stuff sometimes. Things like improper plumbing transitions with T fittings, lack of weeps and flashings in masonry/stone veneer, deck ledger flashings, inadequate access to service disconnects, unsafe CSST installations and so on.

    After being at this for a few years now, I think my name is getting known among some of the big builders in the area. A client will hire me and be seemingly ready to go other than clearing it with the builder. I wait for the confirmation and it never comes.

    Although I never hear a direct challenge from a builder about the things I call out, I wonder if they tell home buyers that I'm no good and should not be hired.

    Any of you ever get that feeling?
    I've had it both ways. I've had a builder bad talk me to clients (clients called and told me), I've been literally cursed out over the phone by a builder (he was still wrong), but I've had far more builders refer me to their friends and family when building a new home. I've had two builders use me on their own new homes because of things I had caught on their projects. I've had one city building official refer me to his niece's new construction home because he was present when I did a pre-drywall inspection and liked what he saw.

    For the most part the builders I have come in contact during inspections don't mind that I am there and typically welcome a "third set of eyes". IMO, this is the mark of a good builder and I tell my clients if the builder is welcoming my inspection then they probably have a decent builder.

    The newest trend I have seen is builders requiring documentation of my insurance and licensing, making me sign a list of rules for third party inspectors- sometimes requiring I wear a hard hat when no one else on the job site is , once even on a finished home, and making the sellers provide me with a list of the builders' "tolerances" in new construction homes and things they will not repair even though some things on the list I call out anyway, - typically poor workmanship issues. Some of this stuff reeks of intimidation to the clients. Client need to understand that they hold the money bag until they take possession.

    Sure I get the occasional jerk builder but it seems to be the exception to the rule. The biggest reason I have found for customers not calling me back to schedule lately is price and the bad economy.


  13. #13
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: builders got my number?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I get hired by people to do finals on new homes from time to time. I call out some pretty significant stuff sometimes. Things like improper plumbing transitions with T fittings, lack of weeps and flashings in masonry/stone veneer, deck ledger flashings, inadequate access to service disconnects, unsafe CSST installations and so on.

    After being at this for a few years now, I think my name is getting known among some of the big builders in the area. A client will hire me and be seemingly ready to go other than clearing it with the builder. I wait for the confirmation and it never comes.

    Although I never hear a direct challenge from a builder about the things I call out, I wonder if they tell home buyers that I'm no good and should not be hired.

    Any of you ever get that feeling?
    John,

    Don't stop what you are doing. None of us are perfect, but we do have the luxury/capability to review the entire package of the project and provide our evaluation.

    You are doing what is right and the right thing for your clients.

    Damn the builders or any others who get upset at "getting caught" doing shoddy work.


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