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    Post 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

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    10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You
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    Not a good idea, says Bill Sutton, owner of Bay Colony Home Inspection Consultants in Milton, Mass. Home inspectors often rely on real estate agents for ...

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Somehow they found me via the web and called me Tuesday afternoon.

    The author said she was updating an older article to make it more current. She asked a number of questions about GL and E&O. She asked a lot about Home Inspectors causing damage and the requirement for Buyers to have to pay for the damage caused by Home Inspectors.

    Hey, now I am officially published.

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

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    What a hachet job she did. My view is the article was a distortion..


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    What a hachet job she did. My view is the article was a distortion..
    I agree whole-heatedly with this statement. Very inaccurate and misleading.

    1)
    The key word here is visual. That means home inspectors don t have to remove carpets to make sure the floors aren t warped, for example, or drill into walls to check for insulation.
    She should have said "home inspectors cannot remove carpets " as in, are not allowed to because that would be invasive.

    2)
    If he won t go up, for whatever reason, you might want to try someone else.
    I'm sorry, but if the roof is not safe to walk on, for whatever reason, I won't be walking on it. I like my life and I don't risk it for $300. Go ahead and call someone else.

    3)
    And while ASHI accreditation is no guarantee, the group s members do have to pass a national home inspector exam and have 250 inspections under their belt, says David Tamny, ASHI s current president.
    Nope, ASHI members don't have to pass anything or have any inspections under their belt. ASHI Certified Inspectors do. There's a big difference and I'm sure David Tamny knows this.

    3)
    So if you can t rely on licensing credentials, what should you look for in a home inspector? Finding someone with years of experience is most important, so always ask a prospective inspector how many years they ve been doing this work, Stone says.
    Never be satisfied with how many years they've been inspecting. That home inspector with 10 years of experience may only average 50 houses a year. The inspector with 5 years of experience may do 300 inspections a year. Who has more experience? Always ask, "how many inspections have you performed?"

    4)
    Home inspectors often rely on real estate agents for referrals, so it s not hard to figure out where their allegiance lies. As a result, they ll often sugarcoat the inspection, says Sutton.
    You might also find the same sugar coating inspector off the internet, trying to impress the buyer's agent to get future referrals. Some agents actually want the best for their clients and refer the best inspector.

    7)
    A typical roof lasts about 20 years, says Becker. If your roof is 14 years old, an inspector can t necessarily say yours is going to last another 6 years, but he can alert the buyers to the typical lifespan of the equipment
    What exactly is a typical roof? Phoenix has a bunch of clay tile roofs...is that the typical roof? Here in Saint Paul we see a lot of architectural asphalt shingles. In northern MN we see many metal roofs. Exactly what typical roof are they referring to?

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 09-13-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    1) She should have said "home inspectors cannot remove carpets " as in, are not allowed to because that would be invasive.
    There's no one telling me I cannot pull up a carpet. I pull up carpets (a corner) all the time, not to see the condition of the flooring, but to see what of material is under there.

    Who says I can't do an invasive inspection, if I want to assume the risk.

    Just the other day I found knob and tube wiring by removing a suspended ceiling tile. Is that invasive?


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    There's no one telling me I cannot pull up a carpet. I pull up carpets (a corner) all the time, not to see the condition of the flooring, but to see what of material is under there.

    Who says I can't do an invasive inspection, if I want to assume the risk.

    Just the other day I found knob and tube wiring by removing a suspended ceiling tile. Is that invasive?
    The purchase agreement which your client signed is going to permit a non-invasive inspection. You represent your client by doing the inspection. If you go beyond the NJ SOP and pull carpet you are putting yourself and your client at risk for litigation. Even though most home inspectors are not governed by real estate associations or agents we must abide by real estate laws and practices. Otherwise we risk harming our clients. Now if a client gave me a copy of their inspection agreement which showed I was allowed to do an intrusive or invasive inspection I'd have no problem with that. In over 4,000 inspections I've never seen one.

    With the inspection equipment available today there is no reason for an inspector to pull even a corner of attached carpet. There is no reason for a home inspector to need to know "what kind of material is under there". If a client or agent wants to know "what kind of material are under there", they can pull the carpet and except the responsibility of damaging the flooring.

    Suspended ceilings are basically access panels which can be removed without tools, no no, that is not invasive.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    [QUOTE=Ken Rowe;177569] If you go beyond the NJ SOP and pull carpet you are putting yourself and your client at risk for litigation.

    With the inspection equipment available today there is no reason for an inspector to pull even a corner of attached carpet. There is no reason for a home inspector to need to know "what kind of material is under there". If a client or agent wants to know "what kind of material are under there", they can pull the carpet and except the responsibility of damaging the flooring.[QUOTE]

    Ken what kind of equipment will tell me the type of flooring under the carpeting without pulling up a corner? If a clients wants to what's under the carpeting, I will take a pair of plyers and pull up a corner.

    In 25 years I don't think I've done any damage to a floor, and if it opens me up to litigation, so be it. I probably exceed the NJ SOP on most inspections, anyway, so what the heck?
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    I will take a pair of plyers and pull up a corner.
    Certainly we each have our own approaches to our inspections however I'd be leery of pulling up ANY carpet. If an inspector did that in my home I wouldn't be very happy about it especially since I wasn't the one who brought him in. I strongly believe that we should leave homes in the same condition as we found them. The only possible exception would be foreclosed properties that were in pretty rough shape to begin with.

    Eric Barker, ACI
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    If you go beyond the ... SOP ... you are putting yourself and your client at risk for litigation.
    Home inspector school myth.

    They are trying to teach to the lowest level of their students, and in doing so they are doing ALL their students a disservice.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post

    Ken what kind of equipment will tell me the type of flooring under the carpeting without pulling up a corner? If a clients wants to what's under the carpeting, I will take a pair of plyers and pull up a corner.
    Neil, I'm fairly certain your state SOPs do no ask you to determine how many layers of floor covering or to describe the floor covering under the carpet. Therefore, you have no reason to pull the carpet up with a pair of plyers. As I stated previously, if the client wants to know whats under the carpet, let them do the damage.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Originally Posted by Ken Rowe
    If you go beyond the ... SOP ... you are putting yourself and your client at risk for litigation.
    Home inspector school myth.

    They are trying to teach to the lowest level of their students, and in doing so they are doing ALL their students a disservice.
    Really Jerry, I wouldn't know. Never been to a HI school. But there seems to be some words missing in your quote of me which changes its meaning completely. The sentence as stated was:
    If you go beyond the NJ SOP and pull carpet you are putting yourself and your client at risk for litigation
    . Do you purposely change quotes in your construction litigation practice? The judges must love it when they catch you at it. Do you realize a good investigator can find your inaccurate quotes on this open forum and get your expert testimony expelled?

    Yes, sometimes it is acceptable to go beyond the standards, like operating appliances using the standard controls. The inspector has to use common sense and determine the limits. It is not acceptable to damage someone's house while doing the inspection. Pulling up carpet with a pair of plyers for example. Cutting a hole in the finished basement wall to see if it's insulated is another. How about moving the 56 inch flat screen television to get to the attic access? Some of those SOPs are actually there to protect the person who owns the home as well as the inspector and their client.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to cut off the bottom 2 feet of drywall in the finished basement when I see rusted nails in the baseboard. But SOPs and common sense prevent me from doing so.

    If you refuse to believe me, please provide any documentation which states it's acceptable practice for a home inspector to damage any finished area or risk damaging the home or personal property of the homeowner while conducting a visual, non invasive inspection.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 09-14-2011 at 11:24 PM.
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .... i............m....

    .....a......i.........................d.i....o t........................
    See how removing parts of a quote changes its meaning?

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    The article is ridiculous, and is a hatchet job. I don't understand the point she is trying to get across. Perhaps she is advising her readers not to have a home inspected.

    She should be discussing the conflicts of interest involved in the referral process. Many more people would be protected.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    ....i............m....
    .....a......i........................d.i....ot

    I don't always agree with Jerry Peck... that's ok. But without doubt; his intelligence, knowledge, character, and intensions are second to none. His intentions are always very clear; which are to protect his client, in a clear, concise and honest way, whether they "assist" the real estate agent or not.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Spirited disagreement is good, in that it is thought provoking. As soon as this board becomes a vessel for throwing insults, it begins to lose it's reverence. JMO.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Home inspector school myth.

    They are trying to teach to the lowest level of their students, and in doing so they are doing ALL their students a disservice.
    I live beyond the SOPs.
    BTW, those girls are JA's..

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I don't always agree with Jerry Peck... that's ok. But without doubt; his intelligence, knowledge, character, and intensions are second to none. His intentions are always very clear; which are to protect his client, in a clear, concise and honest way, whether they "assist" the real estate agent or not.
    Coming from another professional who loves to alter quotes to change their meaning.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post

    3) Never be satisfied with how many years they've been inspecting. That home inspector with 10 years of experience may only average 50 houses a year. The inspector with 5 years of experience may do 300 inspections a year. Who has more experience? Always ask, "how many inspections have you performed?"
    I generally agree with this point.... BUT many inspectors lie about this number. So much so that it is meaningless to a consumer as far as I'm concerned. For example, if my sister were living across the country I wouldn't advise her to shop for an HI based off of some number on his website.

    IMO years matter more than "inspections performed" - Not many inspectors can afford a losing business for 20 years. Meaning, if you can verify a license as active for a period of time it's a reasonably good indication an inspector has been making a living at it. At least there's a 3rd party involved (a licensing body of some sort) as opposed to a website or guy on the phone that can say whatever he wants.... i.e. "25,000 inspections performed"

    In the end a consumer is best served to choose an HI using a variety of ways. Recommendations from friends/relatives/co-workers to get a list, some internet research to thin it down and then a couple phone calls would be my way about it. I think if consumers would even make a small effort most of the horror stories we read about in the news would be avoided. It's a classic example of people not wanting to do any work but expecting perfection.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I generally agree with this point.... BUT many inspectors lie about this number. So much so that it is meaningless to a consumer as far as I'm concerned. For example, if my sister were living across the country I wouldn't advise her to shop for an HI based off of some number on his website.

    IMO years matter more than "inspections performed" - Not many inspectors can afford a losing business for 20 years. Meaning, if you can verify a license as active for a period of time it's a reasonably good indication an inspector has been making a living at it. At least there's a 3rd party involved (a licensing body of some sort) as opposed to a website or guy on the phone that can say whatever he wants.... i.e. "25,000 inspections performed"

    In the end a consumer is best served to choose an HI using a variety of ways. Recommendations from friends/relatives/co-workers to get a list, some internet research to thin it down and then a couple phone calls would be my way about it. I think if consumers would even make a small effort most of the horror stories we read about in the news would be avoided. It's a classic example of people not wanting to do any work but expecting perfection.
    Keep in mind, not all states have licensing or any requirements for home inspectors. There is no way to verify their years of licensing either. Yes, an inspector could lie about the number of inspections they've performed, but they can also lie about the number of years in business. Keep in mind, 20% of all home inspectors do 80% of the business. Most home inspectors do not make a living doing inspections and have another primary source of income.

    I agree that recommendations from friends/relatives/co-workers is the best way to find an inspector. I also agree that consumers should make an effort to educate themselves prior to hiring an inspector. But it's half truth articles like this one that consumers are educating themselves with.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Keep in mind, not all states have licensing or any requirements for home inspectors. There is no way to verify their years of licensing either. Yes, an inspector could lie about the number of inspections they've performed, but they can also lie about the number of years in business. Keep in mind, 20% of all home inspectors do 80% of the business. Most home inspectors do not make a living doing inspections and have another primary source of income.

    I agree that recommendations from friends/relatives/co-workers is the best way to find an inspector. I also agree that consumers should make an effort to educate themselves prior to hiring an inspector. But it's half truth articles like this one that consumers are educating themselves with.
    Agreed, well put KR..

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    I have been with other inspectors that have a moderate amount of inspections under their belt and certainly not hundreds and hundreds a year for multiple years and I have been with inspectors that get a tremendous amount of work marketing Realtors and constantly stay very busy.

    I am not talking of one or 2 inspectors either. I happen to fall into the middle of the road between those 2 types of inspectors but I still move at the same pace in every home and do not sprint thru any, I do take that second look, I investigate all possible issues to make sure I get it all in.

    One thing I find is the busiest inspectors I have been with just about sprint thru the home following a "routine" home after home. Their idea is that is you follow this routine and don't sway from it you can finish up an inspection in a very short period of time and do a better job for your client.

    The second inspector actually pauses now and then when going thru the home. He takes a breath. He is less likely to blow something off with a quick snap of his head as he is sprinting by it and blow it off as nothing and moves on. He will take that second look, at multiple items. Sometimes that second inspector dwells to heavily and makes an issue (even if it is in his own mind and not out spoken) about his findings and he is in the home forever.

    What does any of this have to do with clients choosing their inspector.

    First offthe numbers listed from some, and quite a few, are completely bogus. Thousands of inspections in a short amount of years usually means either multiple inspectors or partial inspections or condo kings where it does only take an hour at best for an inspection considering the usually small home and miniscule amount inspected at the interior.

    I have done condo inspections where to be there for over an hour I would have had to take a nap for a half hour.

    Total inspections, as far as I am concerned mean absolutely nothing, period. The great numbers mean nothing unless combined over a relatively long period of time. Personally I would stay as fdar away from a home inspector that advertises of just the numbers he has done. Go back to reinspect a roof, inspection. CHeck out the electric panel and HVAC for someone where that is all they want, inspection. 5 people working for an inspector and they do 3 to 5 a week a piece and the owner does a half dozen or so ........ THOUSANDS OF INSPECTIONS UNDER THE "COMPANIES BELT" IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. It means nothing

    Give me the in between or the almost too methodical inspector anytime. Someone with a realistic amount of inspections that he has done himself over that several years at best. To many inspections and always pressed for time. Too much sprinting around to get all those inspections done and all those reports completed. If he is also squeezing in the termite inspection himself in that time and scanning for IR in that short amount of time etc etc etc. Kick him to the curb. Wearing to many hats at one time to offer the folks what they are paying for. To find the concerns in their prospective new home and not trying to impress with how fast they can inspect and how many tasks they can take on at one time.

    "How long to do an inspection Sir"? Well it could be in the 3 hour range. "How long if you inspect the pool with it"? Well, it will still be in the three hour range. "And if you add a termite inspection that you are also doing yourself"? It should still take about three hours. I will just start running from the time I get there."How many inspection do you do in a week? Well at least a couple a day and then work into the night on the reports or just run even faster to get the inspections and the report done on sight and I am usually home by 5:00 pm or 6m at the latest. "So you do 2 a day 5 days a week"? No actually, I do 2 a day 6 days a week and sometimes work on Sunday. "Wow, that is amazing. How long have you been inspecting?" Well I started a year and a half ago. "Oh my, where do you get all those inspections"? I have a fantastic marketing plan to the Realtors. "So, the Realtors don't care who they refer out inspections to or what kind of history and back ground or years in as an inspector they have"? Oh sure they do. Once they see that I am not going to alarm anyone about anything and go easy on my report writing and smile all the way thru the inspection, tell them that everything is grand fathered, or that is to be expected for a home of this age, we have heavy clay soil around here so homes are going to have doors out or square, cracks over and under windows etc and it is to be expected, tell them what sellers usually fix and the things not to ask for because they will never fix them ....... etc, they will give you all their referrals.

    Yes Mam,It's amazing huh. I know another inspector that after his first year of inspecting he had 300 Home inspections under his belt and a half hundred Realtors that referred him on a steady basis and he is also the area home inspector association president. Amazing business, isn't it. You can sell folks on anything, I mean being a great inspector is all it takes.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Here's your chance Ted. Please tell everyone how a perspective home inspector client is supposed to choose a home inspector.

    Remember, they cannot rely on the agent's advice (even though the agent may really have the client's best interest in mind) and they cannot rely on any marketing materials or information the home inspector tells them (If the HI will lie about the number of inspections performed they may also lie about how many years they have been in business and previous experience and education).

    They probably should not rely on word of mouth referrals from friends, family, or co-workers, because that home inspector may have a kick back program where anyone giving him a referral gets something in return.

    We've also come to the conclusion that articles published on the internet are half truths, so the client can't believe them. We know that some of the home inspector associations lie, and some states have no licensing requirements at all.

    So again, please tell everyone how a perspective home inspector client is supposed to choose a home inspector.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Ken,

    I know you are being scarcastic, but you are absolutely right; there really is no sure way that a prospective client can vet a Home Inspector. Although I feel that the best way is by recommendation from a satisfied family/friend that has used a particular inspector.

    Unfortunately, most clients don't have enough knowledge to ask the right questions, nor would they realize wrong answers. No Home Inspector is going to say they don't do a good job, all will say that they are the best.

    There are agents that may have the best interest of their clients at heart; there are also those that do not. What is the ratio? We all have our opinions on that.

    All associations are going to swear by their members. We all know that there are good and bad in all associations.


    Years on the job is not a guarentee either. We all know some old timers that suck, and some newer inspectors that do a fine job.

    And as the article that is the subject of this thread exhibits; published articles can be hogwash, and fancy websites are nothing more than fancy websites. .

    In most cases it is the luck of the draw.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Thanks for the responses Ted and Steve. Actually, I wasn't being sarcastic at all. And Ted never answered my question. I figured I was missing something and would love to know the answer.

    Ted gave us an example of how he takes an inspection order. People find him on the internet, like his site, give him a call and speak with him and order the inspection.
    But, if we're to believe other posts here, inspectors lie. They lie about how many inspections they do so why wouldn't they lie on their website and on the phone with clients to get that precious inspection? If we followed everyone's advise in this thread we would get our inspections via a rotation system and that's not fair to those of us who have worked hard to get where we are today.

    I agree, past clients rule. However, some past clients (not mine) get a $25 or $50 check in the mail for every referral inspection that inspector does for their friends. How do potential clients know that their "friends" aren't receiving compensation for the referral? Many inspectors have "Refer a Friend" programs. And they aren't against SOP since the referrer is not a party to the transaction in any way at all. In my opinion that's much worse than a Realtor suggesting an inspector who they've worked with previously. Read the testimonials on my site: Testimonials - Minnesota Home Inspectors then tell me all agents and agent referrals are bad.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Thanks for the responses Ted and Steve. Actually, I wasn't being sarcastic at all. And Ted never answered my question. I figured I was missing something and would love to know the answer.

    Ted gave us an example of how he takes an inspection order. People find him on the internet, like his site, give him a call and speak with him and order the inspection.
    But, if we're to believe other posts here, inspectors lie. They lie about how many inspections they do so why wouldn't they lie on their website and on the phone with clients to get that precious inspection? If we followed everyone's advise in this thread we would get our inspections via a rotation system and that's not fair to those of us who have worked hard to get where we are today.

    I agree, past clients rule. However, some past clients (not mine) get a $25 or $50 check in the mail for every referral inspection that inspector does for their friends. How do potential clients know that their "friends" aren't receiving compensation for the referral? Many inspectors have "Refer a Friend" programs. And they aren't against SOP since the referrer is not a party to the transaction in any way at all. In my opinion that's much worse than a Realtor suggesting an inspector who they've worked with previously. Read the testimonials on my site: Testimonials - Minnesota Home Inspectors then tell me all agents and agent referrals are bad.
    People that want to find a decent inspector actually invest their time to check all the bases befor batting. Just as you think you are a pretty smart guy, and I am sure you are, clients hunting down a decent inspector will usually find a decent one out of the bunch by asking questions and actually listening to answers and how they are answered and what is written on their website and possibly with a combination of a friend referrals.

    As far as the offer of money for referrals? Please give me a break. If a friend or client thinks you stink at what you do they are not going to turn a "friend" or work associate onto a loser whether they took 25 dollars or not. Friends don't do that Ken and most friends know their friends well enough to know if the friend uses good judgment or is pretty much a loser and they would not ask them anyway.

    What it looks like here Ken is that you are taking this defensive mode here about getting most referrals from Realtors but I could be wrong.

    It appears to me that what you are stating is that the only good source and reliable source is from Realtors. All other referrals are completely questionable.

    I ask you. Which would you prefer? An inspector that was referred by a trusted friend that has lived in the home for a while since the inspection and knows that the inspector he is referring does a good job or a Realtor that really has no clue exactly how good a job the inspector did because the client may brush this or that under the rug or just does no want to be bothered pursuing anything.

    Hmm, I thought so.

    Realtor referrals would be secondary at best. I know if I asked a close friend (the only kind to have. The rest are just acquaintances) who they used on their inspection 6 months or a year ago or even a couple months ago and the review was good I would certainly hire the man. That friend has to live with me or work with me everyday and would certainly not steer me wrong and would certainly have first hand knowledge of the inspection and the results of such. They live there. Enough said.

    Do I think "your Realtors" are corrupt or dishonest in anyway? I am sure I would love everyone of them and want to give them all a big kiss. But, In saying that, I do not care how wonderful a Realtor is (you will never really know) I would take a referral from a trusted friend, family member or associate any day of the week ..... hands down. If they thought for an instant that the inspector was questionable then they would not, in the slightest notion, refer me to that inspector. They would tell me to look elsewhere.

    To answer your question Ken

    People who really care about the quality of a home inspector may trust their Realtor completely and the huge majority does, they do not know this Realtor from Adam or Eve.

    The other folks that really want to do some digging and ask friends and the like and actually call inspectors after reading their websites and way and balance their findings will in fact , for the absolute vast majority, come up with a decent inspector. The ones that ask for and are only calling for a price get what they deserve for being so foolish as to not digging deeper.

    Call, talk, question, read, ask more, call more, balance, way, choose. Should answer your questions and you will find that most of those folks, the absolute vast majority, are very happy with their choice.

    The only problems I ever have and they are not real or substantiated in the slightest is when a Realtor wants to take complete charge of a home inspection and there is little to know communication with me. Refer and step aside for the sake of all. For the sake of liability, separation is the absolute best policy.

    I hope that answered some of your questions.

    I paused in this post because someone just read my website and asked if they could book an inspection. Amazing. Oh yeah, they already did their waying and balancing after the first time they talked to me and reading my website before and after a while ago and also called a couple of inspectors the Realtor referred. Shocking and amazing how that works.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Ken,

    I visited your site briefly, and read some of the referrals... WOW!!!

    I'm sure that it does not pertain to you, but I never really put much stock in posted referrals, since they are anonymous and can't be verified.

    I would never say that all agents and all agent referrals are bad, because that is not so. And since it could never be verified, I can only give my opinion; which is that many are bad, and all have the potential of being bad.

    I base my opinion upon my experience with human nature, experience with certain agents, conversations that I have had with agents, and conversations that I have had with inspectors.

    I also believe that anyone that feels that the majority of agents care more about their clients than their paycheck is either very naive, or stupid, or covering something up.

    Notice, I didn't say all.

    Now as far as getting a tremendous amount of work from agent referrals, please tell me... how do you do it?

    By writing soft reports, hard reports? (I prefer fair and honest reports).
    By wining and dining? Will a dinner really get a person that much?
    By making love to the ugly ones. (what if the agent is a guy)?
    Cookie dishes, tape measurers, calendars.
    By being at “expert” at saying things in a way that will not alarm the clients (otherwise known as sugarcoating)?

    There are a lot of good inspectors out there, many of which have decent personalities. I don't think that simply introducing oneself is going to do it.
    There has to be a reason why and how someone is able to get and keep, and build up a "stable" of agents that are sooooooo loyal.

    Please understand, I am not accusing you personally of anything in particular. But since you have proclaimed how successful you are at getting referrals from agents, PLEASE teach me the secret.

    By the way, I don't believe assigning inspections by rotation. I'm also sure that agents referring will be here for a long time. I also believe that buyers will get screwed for a long time too. Perhaps agents should be required to refer clients to a list of licensed inspector (State list).

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I would never say that all agents and all agent referrals are bad, because that is not so. And since it could never be verified, I can only give my opinion; which is that many are bad, and all have the potential of being bad.
    "Bad" as in; care more about a comission than a client.

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    As far as the offer of money for referrals? Please give me a break. If a friend or client thinks you stink at what you do they are not going to turn a "friend" or work associate onto a loser whether they took 25 dollars or not. Friends don't do that Ken and most friends know their friends well enough to know if the friend uses good judgment or is pretty much a loser and they would not ask them anyway.
    That client had one inspection done. On that particular house the inspector did a good job. That house was built in 2006. The client refers his friend because the inspector did a fabulous job. He gets a $50 check from the inspector for the referral. The friend's house to be inspected was built in 1890 and the inspector has no idea what he's doing. The original client has no idea the inspector doesn't know much about older home. All he knows is that the inspector did a good job on his inspection and now he'll get $50 for the referral.

    I ask you. Which would you prefer? An inspector that was referred by a trusted friend that has lived in the home for a while since the inspection and knows that the inspector he is referring does a good job or a Realtor that really has no clue exactly how good a job the inspector did because the client may brush this or that under the rug or just does no want to be bothered pursuing anything.
    Let's put that another way. If I was not an inspector, would I follow my friends advise, who knows nothing about houses or inspectors but had one inspection done and he thinks it went well. Or, would I follow my agents advise and use the inspector they've personally seen conduct 100 inspections, trusts the inspector to find the flaws in the home, knows the inspector is well educated in the particular type and age of home I'm buying and has witnessed first hand the inept inspectors out there because they've been in real estate for 20 years. If I trusted my agent I'd go with their advise after I verified the inspectors credentials.

    What it looks like here Ken is that you are taking this defensive mode here about getting most referrals from Realtors but I could be wrong.
    I'm not getting defensive or the least bit upset. I've freely admitted time after time that I get the majority of my inspections through real estate agent referrals. I honestly don't see the problem with it as long as the inspector does not allow the agent or referral or any potential referrals to have any bearing on the findings of the inspections.

    Now as far as getting a tremendous amount of work from agent referrals, please tell me... how do you do it?
    Steven, I do it by being a good, honest inspector. The agents who refer me want to protect themselves and their clients. The agents who refer me don't want to be sued 3 months after closing because the inspector missed something. I do a couple Real Estate Association trade shows each year and that's how I market myself. I don't put up with agents who want soft reports and refuse to do inspections for their clients. I've earned a very solid reputation over the last nine years in the business and both agents and past clients pass on that information to others. There are other secrets to my success. Send me a pm and I'd be happy to share them with you.

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    Lightbulb Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    The state standards where I live (TN) says a home inspector is not "required" to inspect certain stated systems and components.
    The key word is required. Checking those items anyway is strictly the inspector's option.
    As for roof inspections. I tell my clients I do not walk on the roof unless there is a specific reason for me to do so AND it is safe to get on the roof at the time of the inspection. Clients reactions are split. Some want me to get on the roof, regardless: Others do not want me on the roof at all. When I do get on a roof it is the very last thing I do as part of the inspection. I check the attic first to make sure the roof appears safe to walk on, or at least what part(s) of the roof to avoid.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Well...I actually check shower pans on second storys.. gasp

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Well...I actually check shower pans on second storys.. gasp
    Not trying to set you up, but, how do you check the shower pans?

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

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Shower pan tester doohicky.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Shower pan tester doohicky.
    Which doohicky are you referring to?

    Bathtub and Shower Drain Stopper - Mfg# #144
    Item #: Q980
    Manufacturer: Pure Rubber Products
    Manufacturer Item #: #144
    Product Type: Drain Stopper

    And what do you do when the test produces a negative result (ie leaking into ceiling below)?

    Do you get the owner to sign off any damage that may result from the test?


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Which doohicky are you referring to?

    Bathtub and Shower Drain Stopper - Mfg# #144
    Item #: Q980
    Manufacturer: Pure Rubber Products
    Manufacturer Item #: #144
    Product Type: Drain Stopper

    And what do you do when the test produces a negative result (ie leaking into ceiling below)?

    Do you get the owner to sign off any damage that may result from the test?
    Well, I just turn off the water, pull the stopper and write it up. Unless its my client running to find me going on about how "its raining in the house". Then, I go upstairs and pull the stopper and write it up. And if I have time I'll help mop it up.
    AFA getting permission; I will if the house is occupied, otherwise I just go rogue.
    I figure, if there is a latent issue, I'm just helping facilitate the inevitable. The hash marks represent the spoils of my labor. I have 4 more just like it.

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Which doohicky are you referring to?

    Bathtub and Shower Drain Stopper - Mfg# #144
    Item #: Q980
    Manufacturer: Pure Rubber Products
    Manufacturer Item #: #144
    Product Type: Drain Stopper

    And what do you do when the test produces a negative result (ie leaking into ceiling below)?

    Do you get the owner to sign off any damage that may result from the test?
    Huh????????????????

    I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. So tell me, Do you not run a tub or flush a toilet or let a sink run on for a while on a second or third floor or ever test a shower pan? Three inspections ago I let the tub run on for a while. Afterward I noticed a wet spot on the ceiling on the first floor. Oh well, the tub leaks! What are you going to do. Certainly cannot be expected to fix a leak that you did not create or the damage from it. Well, you might be expected to pay but I never would.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Huh????????????????

    I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. So tell me, Do you not run a tub or flush a toilet or let a sink run on for a while on a second or third floor or ever test a shower pan? Three inspections ago I let the tub run on for a while. Afterward I noticed a wet spot on the ceiling on the first floor. Oh well, the tub leaks! What are you going to do. Certainly cannot be expected to fix a leak that you did not create or the damage from it. Well, you might be expected to pay but I never would.
    1000+1% Agreed
    When in doubt...."wasn't me..."

    Last edited by Marc M; 09-18-2011 at 03:00 PM.
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Here's a second story shower pan leak today. Just call me the "rain maker".

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    General question.
    Rather than lying, obfuscation, semantics or half truths about what you had done in testing the shower, would it not be better to get the owners permission to test the shower pan? If the owner refused the full test all you have to do is report to the client that you were not allowed to test the shower pan. Adding that if the shower pan is leaking the cost of repair or replacement could exceed $2,000. Leaving the client withe the information for potential repairs and the owner without damage to the property.

    Would it not be better to take the higher moral road?


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Garry
    Good reply.

    Marc and Ted
    You seam to be proud of the damage caused, and do everything you can to let it happen. Then you have an Oh well, attitude about it.

    Do you also overload circuits on an FPE panel just to see if it will start a fire?

    How about pull cabinets off the wall that are not secured as well as they should be?

    You are doing a disservice to the HI profession.
    No wonder HI's in general have an unfavorable reputation with many agents and homeowners.

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

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Ted
    If yell even louder and call me even more names, I feel very confident that you will be greatly elevated and highly respected, in your own eyes.

    BTW If you will edit your retort to a reasonable response, I will read all of it.

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

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Rick,
    You bet. I get paid to save my client money or worse. I just help facilitate the damage, I dont create the issue (e.g. missing hot mop). Take my stoppers for example; every notch is roughly $1500 or more x's 100. Cant help the damage. It was gonna happen while I was there or when I leave. At least in this case, I'm not getting a phone call.
    AFA ZInsco, what do you think? I carry partable heaters to load the panels? Dont be stupid. I load with lights and lets see..oh yea lights. And so what, I dig finding FPE/zinsco or whatever other panels that are bad and may cause a fire or worse.
    You can hide behind your stupid SOP's, I'm about helping my customer and doing the job they'd expect me to do.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Marc
    You, at lease, had a civil response, thank you.
    I do not have time to talk at this moment, will talk with you latter.

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

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    My issue with shower pan testing is it not testing using normal operating conditions. Yes, I run bathtubs, showers, sinks and flush toilets to check for leaks. But I don't purposely stop up their drains and let the water sit to see if anything seeps through.

    Letting the water sit in the shower pan is not normal operating conditions. Yes, I agree that finding the leak is beneficial to the buyer. But since since inspectors are purposely creating a situation that is not a normal condition, they should be held responsible for the damage that results.

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  43. #43
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    My issue with shower pan testing is it not testing using normal operating conditions. Yes, I run bathtubs, showers, sinks and flush toilets to check for leaks. But I don't purposely stop up their drains and let the water sit to see if anything seeps through.

    Letting the water sit in the shower pan is not normal operating conditions. Yes, I agree that finding the leak is beneficial to the buyer. But since since inspectors are purposely creating a situation that is not a normal condition, they should be held responsible for the damage that results.

    Yes it is. It is the only "normal" way to test it. So it is a "normal" operation. You cannot test a shower pan by running water in the shower. Unless of course it is leaking like a sieve.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    My issue with shower pan testing is it not testing using normal operating conditions. Yes, I run bathtubs, showers, sinks and flush toilets to check for leaks. But I don't purposely stop up their drains and let the water sit to see if anything seeps through.

    Letting the water sit in the shower pan is not normal operating conditions. Yes, I agree that finding the leak is beneficial to the buyer. But since since inspectors are purposely creating a situation that is not a normal condition, they should be held responsible for the damage that results.
    You know.., I can agree with that. As a matter of fact, I have had this same conversation with a listing agent ther other day. My answer to that is this; I had on not one, but two occasions where shower pans leaked because ironically, a rag got stuck on the drain (in both) and the water backed up in the pan and then leaked. Of course, this happened over a span of a few years, but in both cases, the buyer was disapponted in me. Even when I said it was "beyond the scope". They dont care or even want to hear that. They're just trying to figure how they're gonna pay to fix the mess.
    So believe it or not, I have never really made a mess. I scan the underside every 15 minutes so I catch it pretty quickly. Unless it's a situation where there is no mop, mortar etc...

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  45. #45
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    General question.
    Rather than lying, obfuscation, semantics or half truths about what you had done in testing the shower, would it not be better to get the owners permission to test the shower pan? If the owner refused the full test all you have to do is report to the client that you were not allowed to test the shower pan. Adding that if the shower pan is leaking the cost of repair or replacement could exceed $2,000. Leaving the client withe the information for potential repairs and the owner without damage to the property.

    Would it not be better to take the higher moral road?

    I read your reply again and I have to say, as I said to Ken. There is only one way to check a shower pan. Fill it up. If it is leaking the likelihood of a bit of moisture already being behind the pan is extremely great as just running the shower water will dribble into it. Filling the pan increases that dribble but I repeat. There is no other way to see if there is a leak.

    As far as permission from the seller I am not sure what you mean. You already got permission for the home inspection which the only way to test for a leak in the shower pan is to fill it up. Why would you need permission when it is already in hand.

    As far as leaving the client wondering if there is a shower pan leak what do you expect them to do. No pan leak, or proven leak, the seller is suppose to cough up 2000 (or much more) or the buyer waits until closing and calls someone back in at their expense to test a shower pan and if there is a leak coughing up 2000 himself. I am not understanding that flow of thinking. Not being sarcastic but, no testy, no leaky, no payee as far as the seller is concerned. No compensation or allowance. Client left holding the bag. Leak with test? It is not like the shower pan is going to let go and 10 gallons of water come ripping thru the ceiling. You see some slight settling below the line you fill to and pull the drain and empty it. There is already damage behind the pan if it has been leaking. Seller fixes it or gives allowance. I am not sure how simple beyond that that one can get.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 09-21-2011 at 06:38 PM.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    The problem I'm having is that using normal operating conditions the pan may not leak at all. Maybe the leak is in the corner of the shower off the floor that water doesn't get to. Now you're blocking the drain, allowing water to enter a place it doesn't normally get to.

    As I stated, good to find the issue, but not using the normal operating conditions should put all the liability on the inspector, in my opinion.

    You may be able to sway my opinion if you can post any documentation stating filling the shower with water (utilizing a shower pan testing device) is an approved method for testing the shower pan. I've got a suspicion its like the little GFCI testers we all use. None of them are approved by the outlet manufacturers, NEC, UL, or CPSC for testing GFCI outlets.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as permission from the seller I am not sure what you mean. You already got permission for the home inspection which the only way to test for a leak in the shower pan is to fill it up. Why would you need permission when it is already in hand.

    Because, as a trained and experienced professional inspector, you had a reasonable expectation that the "test" you want to conduct will cause property damage to their home, including damage to items not being tested.

    I have no problem with the test, as long as the tester (inspector) discloses that the resulting water in the shower pan may leak and damage walls, ceilings, hardwood flooring, baby-grand pianos, etc. While an inspector tests many items in a home, almost none of those tests will cause intentional property damage. For example, no one here would operate a GDO with a padlocked track and then say "it's broken, you fix it".

    the only way to test for a leak in the shower pan is to fill it up.
    But the seller doesn't use the shower as a Koi pond, a birdbath, a wading pool, or a "see-ment pond". It may, in fact, be damaged with the potential to leak, so if you want to find it with that type of test, then disclose it first.

    Dom.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Ted
    Since you seem to know everything you want to know, it’s unlikely that anyone, much less me, will be able to explain anything to you that you will benefit from, but I’ll try anyhow.

    On this forum you (we) have the chance to learn from others, and to teach others.
    With the way you react, you will lose the opportunity to teach anyone.
    Who will want to offer you suggestions when you go on a rant?
    If you do not teach anyone, or learn from others, then what are you here for?
    You are doing a disservice to the HI profession if you do not contribute when and where you have an opportunity.



    This was my statement:

    “You seam to be proud of the damage caused, and do everything you can to let it happen. Then you have an Oh well, attitude about it.

    Do you also overload circuits on an FPE panel just to see if it will start a fire?

    How about pull cabinets off the wall that are not secured as well as they should be?

    You are doing a disservice to the HI profession.
    No wonder HI's in general have an unfavorable reputation with many agents and homeowners.”

    Why did I say that?
    First, Marc’s post was;
    “Well, I just turn off the water, pull the stopper and write it up. Unless its my client running to find me going on about how "its raining in the house". Then, I go upstairs and pull the stopper and write it up. And if I have time I'll help mop it up.
    AFA getting permission; I will if the house is occupied, otherwise I just go rogue.
    I figure, if there is a latent issue, I'm just helping facilitate the inevitable. The hash marks represent the spoils of my labor. I have 4 more just like it.”

    Having “Hash marks” is bragging about how many times it has happened.
    To me, the whole statement sounds like he has a callous attitude about it.
    Callous | Define Callous at Dictionary.com

    The callous attitude, and not so much the testing of the shower, is what I feel constitutes a “Disservice to the HI profession” and which ultimately leads to “…an unfavorable reputation with many agents and homeowners.”

    Being irresponsible (disclaiming responsibility boastfully and vehemently)
    Vehemently | Define Vehemently at Dictionary.com
    only serve to strengthen feelings of distrust and thoughts of unprofessional conduct toward HIs by HOs and agents.
    You are a guest in the homeowner’s house; treat them and the house with respect.

    Now if you can have a civil discussion, we can talk about alternate, possible even better methods to test the shower pan.

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

  49. #49
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Running water in sinks and flushing toilets produces excessive amounts of water in that "test" as in leaks to lower levels.


    But you haven't dammed the drain, manipulated the stopper, plugged the bowl or otherwise stopped up the drainage assembly. That's the key difference.

    If the pan is manually stopped up, it may leak.

    If it leaks, it can leak catastrophically.

    Harry Homeowner may shower for 30 minutes/day for the past 12 years, but his shower pan doesn't have a rubber stopper preventing the drain from working. And he has no "leaks".

    Now you come in, and change the dynamics of the actual use of the product. Right or wrong, you shouldn't be subjecting the homeowner's property to an unrealistic test without notification or permission, with disclosure about what you suspect may happen. And since you've seen it happen, it makes the disclosure more important.

    The big difference, to me anyway, is in how we test the assembly.

    It's not our home, and I wouldn't want an inspector plugging my drains, causing a leak, and claiming it was bad, without getting my permission first. Especially when they knew it was very possible that the "leak test" would cause problems.

    Dom.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Marc,
    So you do get permission to test the pan "...AFA getting permission; I will if the house is occupied, otherwise I just go rogue. ..." I might take issue with the "...go rogue..." concept, but that is for another discussion. The fact that you request permission prior to the testing of the shower pan puts the owner in the position of being informed and consenting to possible damage of that test.

    Ted,
    I took issue with your statement "...I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. ..."

    Which is a half truth by the fact that you did not say that you filled the pan with water to test it. Your qualification "... I ran the shower..." seem to be a deliberate attempt to minimize the effort that you made in testing the shower. You did more than just run the shower.

    Something like; "The engine through a rod when I accelerated from the light. "

    When in reality; "The engine through a rod when I red lined the tack accelerating form the light."

    Both are factual and both are true, but the later is honest an complete statement demonstrating responsibility for the action taken. Now do not take issue with the exceeding the engines limits as a test. It is about stating all of the facts that went into the event.

    Ted you stated "I just think that the idea of asking for something that is not needed such as permission, I just don't get it, almost all leaks I have found in the past as an inspector never show up outside the shower pan but water has gone some where. It needs to be fixed and the one that has the leak, the home owner, is the one that should be stuck with the bill." Unlike a toilet or sink where a leak is not expected the shower pan is another story. With testing the tub do you fill the tub and test the overflow against leaks? Saying that I would say that the overflow being tested is more apt to be more part of normal use. The shower pan in normal use doesn't fill unless the drain is clogged.


    In general;
    I would hope that no inspector purposely and knowingly damages any property that the are inspecting. Like you I have had decades involved in the repair of faulty shower pans and the damage that they can cause. Along with the knowledge of what the potential cost of repairs will be. It is because of that experience I caution anyone with a shower unit of their inherent problems. Furthermore, I explain all aspects of any test that is done on a shower pan due to the potential damage that may occur though they may not have experienced any problems prior to the test.

    If the client is the owner, they have the implicit right to refuse any test that may result in damage to the their property. Do the test and make the repairs if needed now at the actual cost of that repair by the contractor of their choice.

    If the client is the buyer, they have the opportunity to adjust the offer on the property based on potential unknown repairs that may be needed. There by the owner pays for a $2,000 / $3,000 or more through the reduction in the offering price by the buyer. Its either pay now or pay later situation. Just a mater of timing.

    The actual cost of a repair post test will be less than the inflated potential cost attributed to the presumed future repair with no test. I did a shower pan replacement that ended up at $10,000. But, that is the choice of the owner and the buyer. Which is why it is call negotiation.

    I acknowledge that we all have issues at times being forthcoming with all of the facts, when doing so will create a situation that we may not want to be a participant. At times you know you will be opening a Pandora's Box of issues but ethics and prudence in liability makes you open that box.

    Kinda sorry that I started the entire rough and the escalation of verbiage and tempers. Was not my intention.

    Amen to Ted's view "...this type of conversation, what I am having with you and Ken above, is what this board is all about. Thoughts, ideas, opinions, rules, passion for your profession."


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    There is a little bit of right and a little bit of wrong in what everyone is saying.

    Everything possible (within reason) should be tested, but I agree if you do damage, that is could present a problem.

    When I do an EIFS inspection, (I know I am going to be damaging the finish) I always insist upon written permission from the building owner. In my "permission slip," I briefly explain the procedure and include that although all attempts will be made to match the color and finish, due to the age of the finish and difference in textures; the repair/seal may be visible.

    I have never thought to get a waiver from the owners during a traditional home inspection, but it may make sense, since at any time damage can be done, and although we have an agreement with the client, there is nothing from the property owner.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Since you seem to know everything you want to know, it’s unlikely that anyone, much less me, will be able to explain anything to you that you will benefit from, but I’ll try anyhow.
    I did try

    “…I know you are an intelligent guy
    Thank you

    (but all you care about is the Realtor and certainly not your client)
    Ted, that is just not true, where did that come from?

    With your perspective that your way is the only way and if not Inspectors are doing a disservice to the Profession
    Ted, I don’t think that way at all.
    I’m open minded to other methods and change my procedures when appropriate.

    “Don't say foolish things and insult others and there will not be a reason for a rant”
    You can say any damn thing you want, yeah right.


    You just did not agree and started spewing crap all over the place like you had diarrhea
    Yeah, I’m spewing crap.

    … I can guarantee you that I can learn countless things from you as far as home inspection because even though I have my way of doing things I still either learn something everyday or may even change my ways because it is a better way to do something and or better for my clients.
    Good, can we start there?

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

  53. #53
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Since you seem to know everything you want to know, it’s unlikely that anyone, much less me, will be able to explain anything to you that you will benefit from, but I’ll try anyhow.
    I did try

    “…I know you are an intelligent guy
    Thank you

    (but all you care about is the Realtor and certainly not your client)
    Ted, that is just not true, where did that come from?

    With your perspective that your way is the only way and if not Inspectors are doing a disservice to the Profession
    Ted, I don’t think that way at all.
    I’m open minded to other methods and change my procedures when appropriate.

    “Don't say foolish things and insult others and there will not be a reason for a rant”
    You can say any damn thing you want, yeah right.


    You just did not agree and started spewing crap all over the place like you had diarrhea
    Yeah, I’m spewing crap.

    … I can guarantee you that I can learn countless things from you as far as home inspection because even though I have my way of doing things I still either learn something everyday or may even change my ways because it is a better way to do something and or better for my clients.
    Good, can we start there?
    Cool. Isn't life grand. We do agree and what a wonderful professional relationship we can have ... I am just not gonna hug yeah .. is that OK.


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Marc,
    So you do get permission to test the pan "...AFA getting permission; I will if the house is occupied, otherwise I just go rogue. ..." I might take issue with the "...go rogue..." concept, but that is for another discussion. The fact that you request permission prior to the testing of the shower pan puts the owner in the position of being informed and consenting to possible damage of that test.

    Ted,
    I took issue with your statement "...I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. ..."

    Which is a half truth by the fact that you did not say that you filled the pan with water to test it. Your qualification "... I ran the shower..." seem to be a deliberate attempt to minimize the effort that you made in testing the shower. You did more than just run the shower.

    Something like; "The engine through a rod when I accelerated from the light. "

    When in reality; "The engine through a rod when I red lined the tack accelerating form the light."

    Both are factual and both are true, but the later is honest an complete statement demonstrating responsibility for the action taken. Now do not take issue with the exceeding the engines limits as a test. It is about stating all of the facts that went into the event.

    Ted you stated "I just think that the idea of asking for something that is not needed such as permission, I just don't get it, almost all leaks I have found in the past as an inspector never show up outside the shower pan but water has gone some where. It needs to be fixed and the one that has the leak, the home owner, is the one that should be stuck with the bill." Unlike a toilet or sink where a leak is not expected the shower pan is another story. With testing the tub do you fill the tub and test the overflow against leaks? Saying that I would say that the overflow being tested is more apt to be more part of normal use. The shower pan in normal use doesn't fill unless the drain is clogged.


    In general;
    I would hope that no inspector purposely and knowingly damages any property that the are inspecting. Like you I have had decades involved in the repair of faulty shower pans and the damage that they can cause. Along with the knowledge of what the potential cost of repairs will be. It is because of that experience I caution anyone with a shower unit of their inherent problems. Furthermore, I explain all aspects of any test that is done on a shower pan due to the potential damage that may occur though they may not have experienced any problems prior to the test.

    If the client is the owner, they have the implicit right to refuse any test that may result in damage to the their property. Do the test and make the repairs if needed now at the actual cost of that repair by the contractor of their choice.

    If the client is the buyer, they have the opportunity to adjust the offer on the property based on potential unknown repairs that may be needed. There by the owner pays for a $2,000 / $3,000 or more through the reduction in the offering price by the buyer. Its either pay now or pay later situation. Just a mater of timing.

    The actual cost of a repair post test will be less than the inflated potential cost attributed to the presumed future repair with no test. I did a shower pan replacement that ended up at $10,000. But, that is the choice of the owner and the buyer. Which is why it is call negotiation.

    I acknowledge that we all have issues at times being forthcoming with all of the facts, when doing so will create a situation that we may not want to be a participant. At times you know you will be opening a Pandora's Box of issues but ethics and prudence in liability makes you open that box.

    Kinda sorry that I started the entire rough and the escalation of verbiage and tempers. Was not my intention.

    Amen to Ted's view "...this type of conversation, what I am having with you and Ken above, is what this board is all about. Thoughts, ideas, opinions, rules, passion for your profession."
    If someone occupies the house I will ask. If it's an REO, I will likely just do the pan test. kinda hard to get a hold of a bank for permission. You guys cant assume I create damage as in the example I am posting right now. Leaking pan from today, absolutely ZERO damage to the ceiling. Not even a stain. That's 2 this week alone. Just for the record, out of all of the pans that have leaked, NEVER has a ceiling collapsed. At least not until I left...

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Here's another from today. This one, however, was a one story. Tried hard not to cause any damage the slab. Ya know what.... I think I'm batting 1,000 for pans this week.

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    If someone occupies the house I will ask. If it's an REO, I will likely just do the pan test. kinda hard to get a hold of a bank for permission. You guys cant assume I create damage as in the example I am posting right now. Leaking pan from today, absolutely ZERO damage to the ceiling. Not even a stain. That's 2 this week alone. Just for the record, out of all of the pans that have leaked, NEVER has a ceiling collapsed. At least not until I left...
    OK, Back to my original line of questioning and comments.

    I think that testing the shower pan is a very important thing to do.
    I have found that many inspectors do not test the pan. They operate the shower valves and check for blockage in drain. Then leave it at that with out filling the pan and testing for total containment of the water. Which is why I was curious how you did it. Have heard of many methods for testing.

    You stated that you (Marc) you get permission from the owner. Which I concur with as a standard practice. I do understand your view of dealing with bank owned property.

    My entire issue with Ted is that of attitude toward the owner and the attempt to distance
    the cause of damage from the inspector. And testing the shower pan is different than flushing a toilet or running water into a tub. Yes testing the pan is needed but the owner has the right to not have it tested and deal with the outcome of that decision. I look at as similar to walking on a slate roof (especialy an old one). The real potential for damage to the slate is extremely high and therefore the owner may not want to have to repair the damage. I have no desire to repair slate that I damage without compensation. Any test that knowingly stresses a component of a structure beyond what is not a common event is a test that needs discussion with the owner. It is not a "Oh well, I just ran some water and it leaked." situation.

    The reason for my discussion revolving around this particular issue is for a general enlightenment of others as how they may perform an inspection beyond their SOP without exposing themselves to needless liability for damage. I have become very jaded, when I have someone explain a procedure or how a product works, I immediently start looking for what they are not telling me. How are they phrasing statements as to make me believe that a failure is my responsibility rather than what they have done or how the product met stated expectations and the failure was a result of exceeding design limits or specifications.

    Its all about being honest and straightforward when dealing with the owners and clients. I may be as a result of how I have done business over the past 35+ years. I always want everyone to be informed and knowledgeable about all aspects of everything. If something could not be done, then the client deserves to know why and how it may effect them and if possible the potential cost.

    As in many discussions on the board it is about exchange of opinions, views and information that may aid others participating.


  57. #57
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    As to the original article of the thread " Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com" ; it was more of a filler article than a real informative dissertation. If you try looking at it with a neutral point of view it really doesn't say much, in my personal opinion.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    As to the original article of the thread " Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com" ; it was more of a filler article than a real informative dissertation. If you try looking at it with a neutral point of view it really doesn't say much, in my personal opinion.
    Garry
    Issue with me. Why? I and more thsn lijely thousands of ibsoectors test pans alk the time. Out of alk of them i bet the amount that "get permission" u would not need all of my fungers and toes to count them.

    I dont have an ussue with home owners about the sityation, ever. Never hsd

    As far as honesty to clients, seriously. Uf there us a leak then tgere was a leak. I created nothing. I unfortunetly at times am the mist hinest man on the face of the pkanet. In 39 years if wirking i have not only ever had ar luability ussue vut i have just about never, as in one in multiple thosands, gad ussyes with cluenrs or sellers and ni obe has ever accysed me if havibg a bad attitude to sellers or clients.

    Was there ever a wet spit ib the first floor ceiling? Yup. Was there ever an issue with ir?. Nope. Has anyone ever accysed me if creating a leak? Nope. There was akready a leak Nd the folks were treated with inteligence and acted intelkigently in kniwing that

    There was already a leak

    As far as seen dMage before the test? Then i do nit have to test now do i?

    Ussyes with me? There should be none. We jydt have a difference of opinion


  59. #59
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Ted,
    I may not have directed you to exactly what I was referencing.
    Last stab at this, will to qualify point:
    Testing a shower pan is not the point.
    Finding a leak is not the point.
    Reporting prior testing observed damage not the point.
    Creating a leak not the point.
    The fact that the owner will need to repair the leak not the point.
    Thousands of inspectors testing shower pans not the point.
    The drain line was clogged and water fill the shower stall not the point.
    Getting a singed understanding / release from owner for test not the point.

    The point is what you stated.
    Possibly you meant more than what you actually stated.
    Possibly that you paraphrased.
    Possibly you are focusing on other parts of the thread.
    Possibly you are just reading the posts to quickly.
    Possibly I am taking it out of context.
    Possibly not being an English major I am not reading your statement correctly.
    Possibly it is how I wrote my response.

    Your statement:
    "...I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. ..."

    Point I direct you to is:
    You gave the impression that you did nothing other than just run the shower as most people would under common use and convention. When in fact you sealed the drain and crated a pond of water in the shower. Which is not the standard or normal method of using the shower. There in lies the crux of my point.

    Sorry that you may not understand what I am trying to point out. I gave it one last shot.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Ted,
    I may not have directed you to exactly what I was referencing.
    Last stab at this, will to qualify point:
    Testing a shower pan is not the point.
    Finding a leak is not the point.
    Reporting prior testing observed damage not the point.
    Creating a leak not the point.
    The fact that the owner will need to repair the leak not the point.
    Thousands of inspectors testing shower pans not the point.
    The drain line was clogged and water fill the shower stall not the point.
    Getting a singed understanding / release from owner for test not the point.

    The point is what you stated.
    Possibly you meant more than what you actually stated.
    Possibly that you paraphrased.
    Possibly you are focusing on other parts of the thread.
    Possibly you are just reading the posts to quickly.
    Possibly I am taking it out of context.
    Possibly not being an English major I am not reading your statement correctly.
    Possibly it is how I wrote my response.

    Your statement:
    "...I just tell them that their shower pan is leaking and did not notice it until I ran the shower. It is the full and honest truth and hey, they need to fix it. ..."

    Point I direct you to is:
    You gave the impression that you did nothing other than just run the shower as most people would under common use and convention. When in fact you sealed the drain and crated a pond of water in the shower. Which is not the standard or normal method of using the shower. There in lies the crux of my point.

    Sorry that you may not understand what I am trying to point out. I gave it one last shot.
    Wow, I just read my last post. Darn phones are a nightmare. Unless you watch every letter you type it will pick about anyone of them it wishes. It actually makes me look like worse of a speller than what i am

    Not a problem at all Garry. We all have our points of view. We also do not always put as much into these posts as we should or they sound like me ranting on for a long time. In fact my rants are not rants but just trying to get as clear as possible with the info I am trying to convey. When ever I shorten it up I am always questioned on it.

    That is why I deleted a few posts because I got bored reading them over myself going on and on and on and on. Sometimes that is what it takes to convey a complete thought


  61. #61
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Garry
    Issue with me. Why? I and more thsn lijely thousands of ibsoectors test pans alk the time. Out of alk of them i bet the amount that "get permission" u would not need all of my fungers and toes to count them.

    I dont have an ussue with home owners about the sityation, ever. Never hsd

    As far as honesty to clients, seriously. Uf there us a leak then tgere was a leak. I created nothing. I unfortunetly at times am the mist hinest man on the face of the pkanet. In 39 years if wirking i have not only ever had ar luability ussue vut i have just about never, as in one in multiple thosands, gad ussyes with cluenrs or sellers and ni obe has ever accysed me if havibg a bad attitude to sellers or clients.

    Was there ever a wet spit ib the first floor ceiling? Yup. Was there ever an issue with ir?. Nope. Has anyone ever accysed me if creating a leak? Nope. There was akready a leak Nd the folks were treated with inteligence and acted intelkigently in kniwing that

    There was already a leak

    As far as seen dMage before the test? Then i do nit have to test now do i?

    Ussyes with me? There should be none. We jydt have a difference of opinion
    Ted,

    Hvae you been dirknnig?

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Ted,

    Hvae you been dirknnig?
    Do you think Ted and Lisa E. are on the same stuff???


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post

    Ted,

    Hvae you been dirknnig?
    .
    .......
    .

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  64. #64
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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Ted,

    Hvae you been dirknnig?
    No Steve. But thanks for wondering. As I mentioned my phone is having a bit of a dilemma with itself.

    I left that message from my phone this morning while waiting for a client to show up. My phone constanly tries to translate my words into some strange language. I have to keep correcting it. I do believe I fixed the problem.

    As for Garry's response I won't go there with the exception of it being completely insulating and he has lost all credibility from me. If it was meant to be funny putting an inspector with maybe a different opinion or view point in the same boat with Lisa? Not funny in the slightest. There seems to be a lot of that one opinion thing going around. Like I said. Agree to disagree. Everyone do their own thing and rally the boys with the same opinion to keep their opinions the only one worth counting.

    Lets see. "I will try to explain it one more time." Seriously, I have been saying that all along. You cannot make something leak or short. If there is going to be a short then it was going to happen. If it was going to leak, yes, it already had a leak. Not your fault. Folks want a permission slip signed. Go for it. It is their prerogative. If they don't test at all. Their choice. Don't walk roofs. Their choice again. Should you walk a roof. Every single time that is is remotely possible and safe (safe as walking on a roof can be)


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    Default Re: 10 Things Home Inspectors Won't Tell You - Smartmoney.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    No Steve.

    If it was going to leak, yes, it already had a leak.
    .
    Got it.
    * Whole lot of Yap before and after ( But I Got It.)
    .

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