Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Well this was a first for me today. While doing the attic inspection which had no floor boards, the client followed me up. As I saw him climbing through the hatch into the attic, I told him there is no floor decking and he needs to be very careful where he steps. He said he's OK and knows what to do. OK. I see him standing in the area around the attic hatch and take my eyes off him to point out some trusses that have some bowing and twisting. The next thing I know, I hear a crashing sound and turn around to see my client literally disappear through the attic floor in front of my eyes. It was like somebody opened a trap door beneath him and the ground swallowed him whole. I listened to the carnage with my mouth hanging open and my eyes popping in disbelief at what I just witnessed.

    Luckily the client was OK and just as luckily, the house was vacant so there was no irate owner to come home to the newly installed skylight in the bathroom. The realtor asked me how I handle it when these things happen. I told him I don't know because it's never happened before but my insurance only covers damages I incur and not others. I told the buyer he can fix it after they move in, before they move in, or if they choose not to buy the house that they need to settle it up with the sellers.

    pic #1 - my last pic before the earth opened
    pic #2 - the view from the attic
    pic #3 - view from the hallway
    pic #4 - view from the bathroom door

    Thank God for Captain n' Cokes.

    Now mind you, I'm not so naive as to think the sellers would not come after me for repairs but I'm going to bat any requests for repairs and payment towards the client.

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Certified Master Inspector CMI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    How large a Fella was he Nick?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Nick - If you had been at home praying for the Phillies this would have never happened!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Well this was a first for me today. While doing the attic inspection which had no floor boards, the client followed me up. As I saw him climbing through the hatch into the attic, I told him there is no floor decking and he needs to be very careful where he steps. He said he's OK and knows what to do. OK. I see him standing in the area around the attic hatch and take my eyes off him to point out some trusses that have some bowing and twisting. The next thing I know, I hear a crashing sound and turn around to see my client literally disappear through the attic floor in front of my eyes. It was like somebody opened a trap door beneath him and the ground swallowed him whole. I listened to the carnage with my mouth hanging open and my eyes popping in disbelief at what I just witnessed.

    Luckily the client was OK and just as luckily, the house was vacant so there was no irate owner to come home to the newly installed skylight in the bathroom. The Realtor asked me how I handle it when these things happen. I told him I don't know because it's never happened before but my insurance only covers damages I incur and not others. I told the buyer he can fix it after they move in, before they move in, or if they choose not to buy the house that they need to settle it up with the sellers.

    pic #1 - my last pic before the earth opened
    pic #2 - the view from the attic
    pic #3 - view from the hallway
    pic #4 - view from the bathroom door

    Thank God for Captain n' Cokes.

    Now mind you, I'm not so naive as to think the sellers would not come after me for repairs but I'm going to bat any requests for repairs and payment towards the client.
    Time for some new rules!
    1) Clients may not go on the roof.
    2) Clients may not follow me into the attic.
    3) Clients may not test outlets using "Uncle Bobs" homemade outlet tester.

    I would write up what happened and put it in the report.

    I had a client who wanted to test the revers cycle on a ceiling fan. The fan was on high and she threw the switch and sparks and strange noises came out of the fan. It no longer functioned. From my report: Fan in middle bedroom failed after the client flipped the reverse/forward switch prior to the inspector being able to stop her. Recommend the client and seller make arrangements for replacement of the fan.

    Maybe your guy tripped over that open junction!

    After what happened to your Eagles the other night, your Client feels like Donovan!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Eric, when I told my wife about this earlier tonight, I said the same thing you mentioned in points #1 and #2 of your post. I don't want to see anybody with me on the roof or in the attic if it is not floored. The last thing I want to worry about is wondering where somebody else is walking. I already planned on including verbiage in the report about what happened. There's no way this fiasco isn't getting documented, pictures and all.

    When the client was upright again and nursing his wounds, he said he thought it was strange how the ceiling supported me but he fell right through. I said "I stood on the trusses, you stood on the drywall". He said "Oh, that's what it was".

    I think what really saved him from harm was the cushioned Sponge Bob Square Pants toilet seat and lid in the bathroom .


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,314

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Van De Ven View Post
    Time for some new rules!
    1) Clients may not go on the roof.
    2) Clients may not follow me into the attic.
    *NEW* rules????

    I thought they were well established *OLD* rules.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Nick,

    I'm sorry things just aren't going well in Philly. First the Phillies run into the red hot Rockies and get swept at home putting them on the brink of elimination. Then you have a client demonstrate the theory of gravity the hard way.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Nick,

    He's lucky to walk away with falling into the bathroom. If he had hit his head on the toilet or tub, he'd be in trouble.

    What a mess?

    Luckily he didn't pull that open junction apart and been electrocuted on the way down.

    I know its a serious thing, but I'm laughing my arse off just seeing this happen. Hey, at least I'm honest.

    My fall through the ceiling 2 weeks ago got fixed for only 200. bucks. Can't even tell where it happened. Popcorn texture all matched up. Everyone happy.

    What I hated most was cleaning up all that insulation.

    Everyone, be careful. Our main goal should be to make it home every night.

    rick


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    *NEW* rules????

    I thought they were well established *OLD* rules.

    Apparently, not in Philadelphia!

    Perhaps all who see this can use it to make sure their clients do not violate the above "old" rules!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    You live and you learn.


  11. #11
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    I tell my clients and realtor if present that my insurance will not allow anyone onto the roof, in the attic or in the crawl. I they insist on following me onto the roof, I will pull the ladder up behind me. I don't even want them to stand on the ladder and look into the attic. Who would be liable if they lose their balance and fall off of the ladder while looking into the attic. Take pictures and describe the area/location and defect. They can enter on their own after they own it anytime that they want to.


  12. #12
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Van De Ven View Post
    Time for some new rules!
    1) Clients may not go on the roof.
    2) Clients may not follow me into the attic.
    3) Clients may not test outlets using "Uncle Bobs" homemade outlet tester.

    I would write up what happened and put it in the report.

    I had a client who wanted to test the revers cycle on a ceiling fan. The fan was on high and she threw the switch and sparks and strange noises came out of the fan. It no longer functioned. From my report: Fan in middle bedroom failed after the client flipped the reverse/forward switch prior to the inspector being able to stop her. Recommend the client and seller make arrangements for replacement of the fan.

    Maybe your guy tripped over that open junction!

    After what happened to your Eagles the other night, your Client feels like Donovan!
    Add to the rule no client near Service Panel. I had a client (Exchange student) reach over my shoulder and tried to put his hand inside the panel to show me something.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    I'm with you Dave. I'm amazed how many times I have to slap somebody's hand away when they are ready to stick it inside the panel box.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Add to the rule no client near Service Panel. I had a client (Exchange student) reach over my shoulder and tried to put his hand inside the panel to show me something.
    Definitely have to add that one!

    I had one guy who kept sticking his hands in the panel even pulling out some wires. I told him "Please don't do that"!

    His response "It's OK, I am an electrician"!

    AAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    I agee with Jerry - New Rules?

    Just yesterday I had to slap my clients hand away at the panel. What is it with people that they just have to stick there fingers in there?

    That guy is very lucky - it could have been really bad, maybe fatal.
    JF


  16. #16
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    First, that's just hilarious. When he turns black and blue you can call them "fall colors"


    Besides the frivolity, what's going on with the roof? Is there some huge point load being applied? The compression webs in the first photo are badly tweaked and the rafters are deflected as well.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,314

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Fabry View Post
    Besides the frivolity, what's going on with the roof? Is there some huge point load being applied? The compression webs in the first photo are badly tweaked and the rafters are deflected as well.
    That is all to common with that truss design.

    I have no idea why some truss designers opt *not* to have a vertical bearing block directly above the wall and instead opt for that diagonal web down to the bearing point (the wall).

    Over time, that almost always leads to what you see there, that diagonal bows under compression, which now upsets the triangulation factor of that section of the truss, allowing the top chord to deflect with it.

    I saw that day in and day out with trusses of that design, I eventually got some truss designers to put vertical bearing blocks at the wall, and some builders added those vertical bearing blocks when their trusses came with them.

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

  18. #18
    Randy Murray's Avatar
    Randy Murray Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Hi guys, first timer here. Up here in the north country we'd require some form of vapor barrier on that ceiling. I don't see one there. Could one of you tell me what is required.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Nick,

    He's lucky to walk away with falling into the bathroom. If he had hit his head on the toilet or tub, he'd be in trouble.

    What a mess?

    Luckily he didn't pull that open junction apart and been electrocuted on the way down.

    I know its a serious thing, but I'm laughing my arse off just seeing this happen. Hey, at least I'm honest.

    My fall through the ceiling 2 weeks ago got fixed for only 200. bucks. Can't even tell where it happened. Popcorn texture all matched up. Everyone happy.

    What I hated most was cleaning up all that insulation.

    Everyone, be careful. Our main goal should be to make it home every night.

    rick
    I'm with you, Rick.... after reading he's okay I can't help but laugh myself silly... that's just priceless seeing all the insulation in the tub.... I guess I just have a sick sense of humor.

    So, did he actaully fall all the way through or did he pull himself back up and go down the ladder with you?


  20. #20
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    There are two types of buyers that I have a disdain for...
    1). The ones who use your ladder to climb on the roof after you have already been up there for a while and they decide to join you without permission. Same with the attic inspection... URRRRGGGGHHHHH!!

    2). The type who have their Aunt's, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, Nieces, Mother, Mother-in-law, Father, Father-in-Law all show up. Once they are there in the home, they all (kids too) go through the home and look in closets, drawers, and basically have a blatent disregard for the sellers property.

    I Have to pull the seller aside and tell them this;
    "I pay for everything that I break, You are going to have to pay for anything that you and your guests break". "Also, I know this has never happened before, but there is always the first time, that if something comes up missing, I will have to get the police involved as I am not paying for something that I did not take."

    It's amazing how a crazed bunch of kids and family members suddenly becomes more docile in the home.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Matt, the client didn't need a ladder as he took the express-exit route straight into the bathroom. One second he's in the attic, the next he's in the bathroom. I'm guessing he had to go really bad and couldn't wait . You can't help but find humor in this especially since he was OK for the exception of some scrapes and bruises. The listing agent called me today and asked me to send her some documentation about what happened.

    The afterglow of this fiasco is making me think about putting together a set of rules/requests I plan to present to all of my clients prior to an inspection. I would e-mail it to them along with their pre-inspection agreement so they are prepared beforehand. Some things I have in mind are the following:

    1 - Follow me anywhere you like during the inspection except the roof and attic.
    2 - Consider having somebody watch your small or younger children instead of bringing them to the inspection.
    3 - Limit the number of friends or relatives you invite on your inspection.
    4 - Keep in mind that while your intention is to buy the house, it is still somebody else's property and we need to respect their privacy and not unduely inspect or look at things not within the scope of the inspection.

    These are just a few things that come to mind which I may expand upon. Any other suggestions for addition are welcome.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,314

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Some things I have in mind are the following:

    1 - Follow me anywhere you like during the inspection except the roof and attic.
    2 - Consider having somebody watch your small or younger children instead of bringing them to the inspection.
    3 - Limit the number of friends or relatives you invite on your inspection.
    4 - Keep in mind that while your intention is to buy the house, it is still somebody else's property and we need to respect their privacy and not unduely inspect or look at things not within the scope of the inspection.

    These are just a few things that come to mind which I may expand upon. Any other suggestions for addition are welcome.
    I made some changes, you do not want to limit yourself to specific things when others may come up later.

    1 - Follow me anywhere you like during the inspection except where it may be unsafe, including, but not limited to: the roof, attic, crawlspace, looking at electrical panels. If I see you following me where *I* think it is unsafe, *I* will tell you to leave, I do not want your injury *or death* on my hands.
    2 - Consider having somebody watch your small or younger children instead of bringing them to the inspection. Also do not bring extra family members as that not only disrupts the sellers home, it also disrupts the inspection process, and *I am sure* YOU do not want my inspection process disrupted as that will likely mean I will miss more things.
    3 - Keep in mind that while your intention is to buy the house, it is still somebody else's property and we need to respect their privacy and not unduly inspect or look at personal belongings.
    4 - If the seller states that something is missing or has been taken, the more people you bring with you, the more standing that claim could have.

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

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    And, leave your pets home!!
    I am an animal lover, but, I don't want or need to see your pets.

    I had a lady who brought three miniature poodles, her "babies" along with the four kids to an inspection. The house was vacant, so I guess she figured she could just bring everyone.

    After fifteen minutes of fighting off the dogs and answering the question,what are you doing...why, about twenty times, I instructed my Client that she needed to corral her kids and dogs or the inspection would be halted.

    She looked shocked when I said that. I told her that the longer this goes on, the more likely either I am going to get bitten by the dogs or kids, I will trip over the kids, or I will miss something.

    I asked her if she wouldn't mind if I rounded up a few nephews and nieces along with our, then 14 pound cat, and come visit her workplace.

    She took the "tribe" outside until I was finished. I told her I was sorry for being a little bit gruff and she said she understood.

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    I was asked one time if I could stop the inspection for a bit while the priest blessed the home.

    Seems the priest ran off and forgot the holy water so he'd had to run back to the church.

    I told the lady I could make up some if she wished. She asked if I knew how to make holy water and I said sure.

    You take regular tap water and boil the hell out of it.

    She (the agent) wasn't amused.

    The priest came back shortly, and I made an extra 75. for my additional time.

    I could already feel the blessing working.

    rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 10-09-2007 at 07:38 AM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    Rick
    I have to admit, that was witty, insensitive, but witty.

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

  26. #26

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    He should be lucky that he didn't "split" a joist. I know from personal experience!


  27. #27
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: CLIENT FELL THROUGH CEILING

    That client is luckier than he realizes. A local woman died a couple of years back after falling through her garage ceiling. She was home alone moving some stuff into the attic. When she hit the concrete, a bone snapped, cutting her femoral artery. That's right, the really BIG one. She bled to death on the garage floor. Her daughter found her when she came home from school.

    Can you imagine that trauma?


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •