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  1. #1
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    Post Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    InspectionNews has just found the following information that might be of interest to you:

    Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections
    KOLN, NE - 5 hours ago
    "If I do a home inspection in Lincoln, its different from one in say Palmyra or Hickman or something like that and so to know the codes and what takes place ...


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Interesting video. Looks like they were using CPVC piping, and from what I gather, it is allowed in some areas, but not in others. Hard to say if a home inspector would know all of the codes in the area they were inspecting. I know I don't.

    Case in point. Knox County Building dept. requires PEX plumbing in crawlspaces to be insulated. There is an independent city within Knox County that does NOT require them to be insulated. There is a difference of opinion between the two Building Officials. One chooses to enforce something, and the other does not.

    Looks like Nebraska may be the next State to get licensing. if the TV stations are after it, then it will get a lot of air time. Sorry, Nebraska.


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Jack

    I thought I would hate state licensing when I moved to Texas. It turned my thoughts completely. There is no guessing what an inspection is or is not. It also keeps the calls down next to nill with home owners questioning what a home inspection is or is not. When someone does question you can quote them a state wide factoid and be done with it and it goes no further than that.

    On a second note. Why would this man hire another inspector if he does not know what a home inspection is in a first place.

    I am certainly not defending either inspector because I did not see each report. I have gotten calls from inspections months back where a past client calls and says what about this and what about that. Fact is no matter how much you explain to folks what a home inspection is and is not when they find something going on in their home 6 months or years later they are going to blame it on a home inspector because "he should have known or should have written up blah, blah, blah"

    It seems the home inspector answered his question about the cpvc. Because he did not feel it was right he hired someone else to say it was not right. Kinda sounds like Texas TRCC. If the builder does not like a calling from one home inspector he can hire another TRCC inspector that does not call something out and get a pass on it.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Case in point. Knox County Building dept. requires PEX plumbing in crawlspaces to be insulated. There is an independent city within Knox County that does NOT require them to be insulated. There is a difference of opinion between the two Building Officials. One chooses to enforce something, and the other does not.

    Jack,

    If the IRC is the adopted code ... "One chooses to enforce something, and the other does not." - that building official does not have that choice.

    Not unless they also scratched out the Administrative section and replaced it with their own.

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

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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    It has always boggled my mind that folks think that if their state licensed home inspectors the quality of their performance would automatically increase. Perhaps they should understand just how ridiculous that belief is when you consider the average competence of general and specialty contractors that are required to be state licensed. Licensing has never been a substitute for quality, just look at our legal and medical professions. I think that's where the expression "shysters" and "quacks" originated from and those are just a couple of the milder terms. Jeez, having a drivers license always results in safe and courteous drivers then you have hunting and fishing licenses, which guarantee success in the take, right?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Jerry

    Which leads me to ask, who inspects the inspectors if there is no licencing?

    Sure you will have quacks even with licencing, but isn't licencing to ensure proper oversite of the profession which if left to self regulation is no regulation at all?


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Jerry

    Which leads me to ask, who inspects the inspectors if there is no licensing?

    Do we need a watchman on the wall?

    Sure you will have quacks even with licensing, but isn't licensing to ensure proper over site of the profession which if left to self regulation is no regulation at all?
    No... Licensing is a tax on hard working inspectors.
    The market will cut out the dead beats.

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Ron

    I can appreciate what you are saying, but if the market will cut out the dead beat inspectors, it seems the market won't cut out the dead beat associations.
    In my view the so called self regulating bodies are incompetent at administering their members to a set standard, therein lies the need for licencing and the assurance to the public that inspectors meet minimum standards. But I can only speak to the issue from my perspective based on the three associations I belong to or have belonged to.

    Cheers,


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Ron

    I can appreciate what you are saying, but if the market will cut out the dead beat inspectors, it seems the market won't cut out the dead beat associations.
    In my view the so called self regulating bodies are incompetent at administering their members to a set standard, therein lies the need for licencing and the assurance to the public that inspectors meet minimum standards. But I can only speak to the issue from my perspective based on the three associations I belong to or have belonged to.

    Cheers,
    Raymond thats not the job of association.
    I don't look to any association to do that.

    they just provide info and help for new inspectors to get started.
    they are not law enforcement or code inforcement.

    I known how you feel about association. I don't want to go there on this issue. thats a dead conversation.

    The market will take care of things always has. and works everytime.

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN


    House Inspections - Buyer Beware Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54w-GMcdEpQ&NR


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Jerry,
    I have no idea why one decides to enforce something and the other does not. I'm just a lowly home inspector, not the Code Official.

    Ted,
    Before licensing, most inspectors in the phone book, or in their brochures said they conformed to ASHI Standards. Didn't matter if they were actually ASHI members or not, they just said they met the SOP.

    Yes, State licensing did define standards. However, you can get a home inspectors license in TN and never inspected a home before. When licensing too effect, the number of inspectors in TN went from around 400 to well over 700 now, 2 1/2 years later.

    I don't think there has been one complaint processed in Tn since licensing started.
    I don't think the licensing board has met once since licensing started.
    I really don't see how licensing has done anything more than give the public the false sense of security where they think that all inspectors are the same because they are all licensed.

    I guess the one good thing that licensing did was require everyone to at least pass the NHIE.

    But to think that licensing raised the bar, or educated the general public about inspection is just not true.
    We fought for close to ten years in Tn against licensing.
    When we saw that it was a losing battle, we then fought for the best bill we could draft.
    The law that passed was pretty close to what we were looking for. But the term "pretty close" is very interesting. We found they can change something, or add something in a flash. WOOOSHHHHHH....BAM! What was that? That was an addition and the slamming of the gavel making it a law. It comes from left field with no warning, and it's over before you see it coming.
    Then you have the make up of the Board. It is actually called out in the law how the board is supposed to be set up. Clearly it's not according to the law, yet no one seems to notice or care. it's politics as normal.

    The one good thing about licensing. A builder has a very hard time saying an inspector is not qualified to inspect one of his homes. It's pretty hard for them to ban us for inspecting their stuff. We have a license. In 2 1/2 years, I have been asked for my license less than 5 times, and that was in the first 3 months.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    "I have no idea why one decides to enforce something and the other does not."

    I know that some code details are referenced to a standard that is not readily available for review.
    So you get a inspection based on industry standards.
    I have seen a lot of ,and been a part of the "I don't care what the code is I give the AHJ what they want". The AHJ is usually requiring something based on a old code , or a local problem or a issue that will require a meeting. Where the issue can be" worked out in private".
    The body of the code is constantly changing .The code is very difficult to keep up with.
    In NJ the code is a law that references parts of the codebooks. So I see inspectors not keeping up with what is exactly the code for the moment. The new codes seem to come out on 3 year cycles, and the NJ law changes about every 6 weeks.
    I usually find people just give up trying to keep up and they just enforce what they think they know.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    This particular instance had to do with a question regarding insulating PEX pipes in a crawlspace.
    A call to Knox County Building Official confirmed that they do require insulating pipes in a crawlspace. I have not taken the time to look up the particular code section he referenced.
    I was inspecting a new home that is within Knox County, but is under the jurisdiction of a small independent city. I talked to that City's Building Official.

    He told me that he had a different interpretation of the code from the other Building Official, and he did NOT require the pipes to be insulated.

    That was good enough for me. We can argue about it till the cows come home, but this is really a case where "the buck stops here", and "you can't fight city hall".


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Jerry,
    I have no idea why one decides to enforce something and the other does not. I'm just a lowly home inspector, not the Code Official.

    Ted,
    Before licensing, most inspectors in the phone book, or in their brochures said they conformed to ASHI Standards. Didn't matter if they were actually ASHI members or not, they just said they met the SOP.

    Yes, State licensing did define standards. However, you can get a home inspectors license in TN and never inspected a home before. When licensing too effect, the number of inspectors in TN went from around 400 to well over 700 now, 2 1/2 years later.

    I don't think there has been one complaint processed in Tn since licensing started.
    I don't think the licensing board has met once since licensing started.
    I really don't see how licensing has done anything more than give the public the false sense of security where they think that all inspectors are the same because they are all licensed.

    I guess the one good thing that licensing did was require everyone to at least pass the NHIE.

    But to think that licensing raised the bar, or educated the general public about inspection is just not true.
    We fought for close to ten years in Tn against licensing.
    When we saw that it was a losing battle, we then fought for the best bill we could draft.
    The law that passed was pretty close to what we were looking for. But the term "pretty close" is very interesting. We found they can change something, or add something in a flash. WOOOSHHHHHH....BAM! What was that? That was an addition and the slamming of the gavel making it a law. It comes from left field with no warning, and it's over before you see it coming.
    Then you have the make up of the Board. It is actually called out in the law how the board is supposed to be set up. Clearly it's not according to the law, yet no one seems to notice or care. it's politics as normal.

    The one good thing about licensing. A builder has a very hard time saying an inspector is not qualified to inspect one of his homes. It's pretty hard for them to ban us for inspecting their stuff. We have a license. In 2 1/2 years, I have been asked for my license less than 5 times, and that was in the first 3 months.
    Now. I never said Licensing raised the bar. I said licensing and bound by that licensing to inspect certain items in certain ways and to have a formatted report that everyone has to follow cuts all the bull of what a home inspection is and what a home inspector should do in your state. It gives pause to all as to come back to quick on any inspector. It isn't a home inspector is this and a client says this is what you should have done or should have inspected in a certain way.

    By having a particular format to follow and not making up your own templates and following the exact same standards as everyone else in the state has to be of some benefit to you and your client. You know it keeps things on an even keel.

    It won't matter what county you are in as to what and how you write something up. The only thing it does not clarify is the who uses what codes where thing. But in saying that you still have to inspect items a certain way.

    At looking at other posts it appears that many may have infact thought that I was saying that a state licensed home inspector is better than a non licensed home inspector. Let me clarify that for good. I may suck as a home inspector or anyone licensed by the state may or may not be the perfect home inspector. All I was saying is that it leaves no who, how, which way, how deep type questions if they follow the all follow the same standards and all meet the same requirements. Just think. No more "Your association stinks and mine is much better garbage."


    This is not a licensing or no licensing and who is better or not post nor was my other post. As far as one of the post as to who inspects the inspector in a licensed state? No one does unless something comes up as a dispute between client and inspector. This is not any different from a non licensed state. Saying that I remeber the Arizona post on regulation.

    Personally I think all this crap about 50 different associations and standards is a crock. Why shouldn't every inspector in every state be bound by some form of united standards of practice. If everyone has to inspect the same way as everyone else there would be no question as to how one inspects. UH oh, that is going to get me in trouble.

    Anyway. In states where some follow the local association and some follow NACHI and some follow ASHI some some don't follow anything I think it is to confusing to all clients and to expect any client to read all standards of all associations to try an pick an inspector is insane. If everyone in that state lived and died by the same rules then it makes life a lot easy for both the inspector and client. You are all licensed, all insured, all follow the same standards, all took the same test, all have the same amount of cont ed courses. As I said before I did not like the idea of licensing when I first moved here but it does seem to make life a little less confusing and controversial.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Ted

    Taking a look at the SOP's I don't see much difference between ASHI, NACHI and my Canadian equivalents which are ASHI's, given that they appear to be very similar, I wonder if many of us are already inspecting to the same standards?

    I wonder how many state licencing requirements are based on ASHI SOP's or Nachi's?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Ted,
    I didn't mean to imply that you said that licensing raised the bar. It was pretty clear to me that really all you said (about this) is it defined standards. I'm sorry if I muddled that up.

    IN licensed states we MUST follow whatever standard the State uses. In our case, Tn uses an older ASHI SOP with some very slight modifications. AZ uses an even older version of the ASHI Standards verbatim. I have no idea what the nACHI standards look like, I've never seen them.

    I think that just about every SOP is just about the same, but maybe some very slight differences. Doesn't the TX SOP require testing of TPR valves? No other SOP I know of does that. but if TX does, it does.

    While we as ASHI members sign a document that says we are going to follow the ASHI SoP, the State SoP over rule ASHI's if there is a difference.

    I fully agree with your post Ted.

    Monday I am going to testify in a case where a guy did an inspection, said he was licensed by the State, also said he was an ASHI member, yet he issued a 2 page "report" (and I use the term REPORT loosely). i'm really only going to testify about his report, and Sop, and ASHI requirements. A structural engineer is going to testify about how the house is sliding down the hill and he didn't call it out. Can't comment more than that now.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    Jack


    Do you folks have any standardized formating for your reports or does everyone fend for themselves and format their own reports? I took a look at your sample. Is that the general lay out. I noted you have a lot of items for review and not repair. We have Inspected , not inspected, not present, In need of repair. Again all based on our formatting. What are you telling folks when saying review?

    You also said the other inspector had a 2 page report. Is there limitation to pages. Are there exacting items to be mentioned and reported on and or at least mentioned one way or another?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Home Owners Question Lack Of Regulation For Home Inspections - KOLN

    No standard formatting here. There is a Standards of Practice (basically ASHI Standards) that tells us what we must inspect, what we must report on, and what we must describe.

    Your post reminded me I need to post a new sample on my web site. I have changed my report format somewhat. My report is just what I use. Other inspectors use whatever they want.

    My report does tell someone what was inspected. If something was not inspected we have to tell them why it wasn't inspected. I don't have anything that says something was not there. For instance, I don't have anything that says, "built in blender not installed" or "this house does not have a carport".

    IN my report ATTENTION is telling them that something needs repair or some "attention".
    REVIEW tells them that I was unable to make complete confirmation of condition for a specific component.

    While there is no limit to the length of the report, there are requirement about what has to be in the report. I suppose someone could fit it all on a 3x5 card if they really tried, but I would think that the shortest a report could be and cover the very minimum of the Standards would be 5 or 6 pages. By the way, the 2 pages that I have are really a one page report, and a copy of the original with some handwritten notes from a follow up visit (when he did repairs on the house). The meat of his report is about 20 lines typed, some lines had 3 words.


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