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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Inspection Start Times

    I don't get these requests often but it never ceases to amaze me when somebody asks me to start an inspection at 4pm or later at this time of year. After daylight savings kicked in, it gets dark at 5:00pm around here. I finished one inspection in the dark where I was trying to wrap up the exterior and said never again.

    Do any of you start inspections when nightfall is only 1 hour away?

    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    My start times are 9am and 1:30pm. I will sometimes adjust my start times if my morning inspection is going to take longer, and move the pm job till 2:30 or 3pm. I won't start later than 3pm
    I will sometimes start earlier than 9am if there isn't a problem getting in early.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    I remind clients to the limited hour of sunlight for afternoon inspections. However since I arrive one half hour early at all inspections I have never had a problem.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    1/2 hour early?? What time do you start?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    The problem I have found with starting an inspection early with a good bit a time before the buyer arrives is that while I may get a lot done before they get there, I end up taking them around and going over the same things I just looked at without them there and spending the same amount of time with the recap. So while I think I am getting done early, I am actually adding time to the inspection. But getting the roof done before their arrival works well because they aren't coming up there with me. And showing them the pics I took on my camera satisfies them.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    The problem I have found with starting an inspection early with a good bit a time before the buyer arrives is that while I may get a lot done before they get there, I end up taking them around and going over the same things I just looked at without them there and spending the same amount of time with the recap. So while I think I am getting done early, I am actually adding time to the inspection.
    Ditto...but I still do it.

    In winter, I won't start after 3:00 and in summer, I won't start after 4:00 just because I hate working later than that. So, I often start before the buyers show. I try to make inspections at 9:00 and 2:00 but I try to be flexible. I try hard to avoid Saturdays, but did two last Saturday including one that had very cool ruins of an 1860's stagecoach stop in the backyard.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Jack

    If the inspection is scheduled for 3:30 or 4 pm I arrive one half hour early as I do with any of my inspections regardless of the time scheduled.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    I'm pretty much the same as Jack. If it is within 10 miles I will start at 9am, but if it is towards downtown it is 9:30 start due to traffic on I-65 that I have to deal with!

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Circle, MT
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I'm pretty much the same as Jack. If it is within 10 miles I will start at 9am, but if it is towards downtown it is 9:30 start due to traffic on I-65 that I have to deal with!
    Within 10 miles? I can count on one hand the inspections I have done inside 10 miles over the course of 14 years. Most of mine are 80-100 miles one way, so I normally schedule at 10 and 2.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    My start times are 10am and 3pm year round. That way I miss rush hour getting to the inspections. In the winter the roads are typically plowed by 10am and I have a good hour before it's too dark to see outside.

    Being in Minnesota, I'd have to have a noon start time if I wanted to finish the inspection by the time it was dark outside.

    Years back, when I worked for a national company based in Georgia, I was ordered by the Regional Manager, Vice President, and President of the company (on separate, consecutive days) to start inspections at 5pm in the winter. I explained to them, in a rather harsh tone, that by 5pm it's been dark for an hour and questioned how the hell I was supposed to inspect the exterior of a house in the dark.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Nelson View Post
    Within 10 miles? I can count on one hand the inspections I have done inside 10 miles over the course of 14 years. Most of mine are 80-100 miles one way, so I normally schedule at 10 and 2.
    You beat me. Most of mine are 30+ miles one way but rarely over 65 miles one way. It's part of the price of living in paradise----like propane, or the electricity going off every other week or it's 45 min away to get that 13 cent part to fix the sink faucet Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    1,363

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Taking time off from work isn't always easy for some people, often due to difficult employment situations. I have found that trying to accommodate people leaves favorable impressions and can lead to more referrals.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Sorry, working after dark is outside my comfort zone. Hats off to you guys that are comfortable doing it though.
    Actually, with my aging eyes, dusk is the worst time of day for me.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
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    579

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Typically I schedule inspections for 9:00 am and 2:00 pm slots. In summer will go out as late as 4:00 if needed. This time of year it gets dark quick, so I try to schedule large complex properties at the 9:00 am slot.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,746

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    I had someone call me Wednesday At 3:00, the day before Thanksgiving, ask me if I could be at the house tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) morning. I said No, I will be in the office Friday at 9:00am and check my calendar and will call you then. She then said (and I quote) "So you'll be there Friday at 9:00?" I said , No, I'll call; you.
    I bet I'm going to be too busy for the next few days, Sorry.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,049

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    I'll start as late as 4:30 until DST kicks in. During DST, I never start later than 3. I always do Site, Exterior and Roof first so they're done before the sun goes down. Although I check windows from the outside too, when the sun goes down earlier, the first thing I do when I go in the house is check the windows from the inside. Certain glass defects are more visible from the inside. after that is done, outside light doesn't matter for the rest of the inspection. If it's a really big house, I'll try and put it in the am start.


  17. #17
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Maybe its just me, but there are many times I need to take a second of third look at something outside at the end of the inspection.


  18. #18
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    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Maybe its just me, but there are many times I need to take a second of third look at something outside at the end of the inspection.
    It is you......sometimes I need a fourth look.....and I really hate that extra trip back up on the roof.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Maybe its just me, but there are many times I need to take a second of third look at something outside at the end of the inspection.
    This can be accomplished with a flashlight. On the second, third or fourth trip outside you'd be looking for a specific thing and a flashlight works just fine.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    This can be accomplished with a flashlight. On the second, third or fourth trip outside you'd be looking for a specific thing and a flashlight works just fine.
    If you carry the proper equipment a flashlight can easily do the job. Unless you're familiar with some of the power that is now available you might doubt this.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    TK35 .... Done!


  22. #22
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    This is serious thread drift, but if looking at things after dark is so easy with just a flashlight, why don't we hear of guys starting inspections at 6pm?

    Again, its a comfort level thing. I'm not comfortable doing inspections after dark. Hats off to you guys that are.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    This is serious thread drift, but if looking at things after dark is so easy with just a flashlight, why don't we hear of guys starting inspections at 6pm?

    Again, its a comfort level thing. I'm not comfortable doing inspections after dark. Hats off to you guys that are.
    How does going back outside to look at a specific thing with a flashlight equate to easily conducting the entire exterior inspection, in the dark, with only a flashlight? The two are not the same and nobody here claimed they were.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  24. #24
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Sorry I must have offended you. My point was meant mostly in jest.

    I was just taking the comment about going to look at one thing with a flashlight being so easy, and taking it to the next step. If you can look at one thing just fine with a flashlight, then you should be able to look at 5 things with a flashlight. If you can look at 5 things, then why not do the entire inspection after dark with a flashlight? Sorry, you didn't get my sense of humor

    Like I said before, its a comfort zone thing for me. I'm not comfortable doing inspections after dark. Good for you guys that have no problems with it. Dusk is the worst time of day for me as far as vision goes (its hell getting old), so I like to finish around 4:30 - 5:00.


  25. #25
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    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Sorry I must have offended you. My point was meant mostly in jest.

    I was just taking the comment about going to look at one thing with a flashlight being so easy, and taking it to the next step. If you can look at one thing just fine with a flashlight, then you should be able to look at 5 things with a flashlight. If you can look at 5 things, then why not do the entire inspection after dark with a flashlight? Sorry, you didn't get my sense of humor

    Like I said before, its a comfort zone thing for me. I'm not comfortable doing inspections after dark. Good for you guys that have no problems with it. Dusk is the worst time of day for me as far as vision goes (its hell getting old), so I like to finish around 4:30 - 5:00.
    You didn't offend me at all. But as soon as I added my previous post I figured someone would respond by accusing me of inspecting houses in the dark..blah, blah, blah.

    Here in MN, if I didn't finish after dark, I could only do one inspection per day in the winter.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    I don't start unless I have at least an hour of daylight left - that puts it around 3:30 at this time of year. If I have to go back outside after it's dark I have a strong enough light to take care of a second look. Doing a full inspection of the exterior in the dark is another thing.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Inspection Start Times

    3pm is about the latest I'm comfortable to start at this time of year, even with condos I prefer to have some daylight for looking at the windows. The times that I started later than prudent are strong memories.


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