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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Shelby NC
    Posts
    129

    Default Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Well it happened and I learned a valuable lesson. Never had this occur in 18 years. Always keep the keys to the house in your pocket or at least out of the house. I laid them down on the kitchen cabinet and went outside to check something. I know that I unlocked the door as I went. I shut it to save the client on energy. I know stupid but that's me. HECK the house was vacant. So I go back to the door and it is LOCKED. No window is open nothing. I'm thinking I had a huge ring of keys and the agent probably does not have a spare and I dang sure don't want to call and ask. I start thinking about cutting through the floor in a closet wit a saw zall then I have a brain storm. I had noticed a scuttle in the garage. It was about 12 feet in the air and I knew old folks use to live there. I thought, maybe they had installed a pull-down at some time or maybe there is another access on the interior. So throwing caution to the wind I take apart my extension ladder and put it up to the scuttle. Guess what. IT"S NAILED SHUT. But this did give me the feeling that maybe there was an interior pull-down. So after beating my way through, thank goodness it had only two poorly nailed finish nails although I did bruise my hand in the process. I get the hatch open and climb in and YESSS, I see a pull-down at the other end. SO in I go. That's my postcard from the field.

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    And you DID write up the unlockable access to the house interior by way of a the EXTERIOR attic access ... (seriously, that is what that attic access is )

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Quote Originally Posted by ren ramsey View Post
    Well it happened and I learned a valuable lesson. Never had this occur in 18 years. Always keep the keys to the house in your pocket or at least out of the house. I laid them down on the kitchen cabinet and went outside to check something. I know that I unlocked the door as I went. I shut it to save the client on energy. I know stupid but that's me. HECK the house was vacant. So I go back to the door and it is LOCKED. No window is open nothing. I'm thinking I had a huge ring of keys and the agent probably does not have a spare and I dang sure don't want to call and ask. I start thinking about cutting through the floor in a closet wit a saw zall then I have a brain storm. I had noticed a scuttle in the garage. It was about 12 feet in the air and I knew old folks use to live there. I thought, maybe they had installed a pull-down at some time or maybe there is another access on the interior. So throwing caution to the wind I take apart my extension ladder and put it up to the scuttle. Guess what. IT"S NAILED SHUT. But this did give me the feeling that maybe there was an interior pull-down. So after beating my way through, thank goodness it had only two poorly nailed finish nails although I did bruise my hand in the process. I get the hatch open and climb in and YESSS, I see a pull-down at the other end. SO in I go. That's my postcard from the field.
    Those pull-downs don't lower very easily from the attic huh.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    I always leave the key in the door. Agents have scolded me in the past but I explain it keeps me from locking myself out.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Yep I did that. One time I got back in thru a second floor window. Another time we had to call the owner. Not always but usually I will open another door somewhere in the first few minutes of the inspection.

    Sometimes a spring-loaded deadbolt will have a loose catch and that bolt will snap shut on you.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Yes I have locked myself out, and had to climb in a 2nd floor window that I remembered had a broken latch.
    However, I now confirm the operation of the doorknob from the outside to ensure it is unlocked. I also will unlock more than one door.
    Of course, it depends on the individual circumstances, but Knoxville is a pretty safe place, so I don't have the same concerns I did when I lived in So CA.


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

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Yet another reason not to be in the home alone.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    The key goes in my watch pocket in my jeans as soon as I unlock the door. This is why.
    Most houses around here have at least one door that locks when closed and I learned early on not to trust them. The garage to house door also stands open while I'm in the garage. Heck, I try not to even test closet doors from the inside.
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. - Will Rogers"

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    The key goes in my watch pocket in my jeans as soon as I unlock the door. This is why.
    Most houses around here have at least one door that locks when closed and I learned early on not to trust them. The garage to house door also stands open while I'm in the garage. Heck, I try not to even test closet doors from the inside.
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. - Will Rogers"
    Schlage locked me out on a 4th floor condo balcony several years ago because they open from the inside when locked and remain locked when closed. That is supposed to be a safety feature to prevent locking a child or elderly person in if there is a fire. I wonder how many have ended up in the emergency room from trying to get back in?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Funny story. The attic hatch in a 100-year-old house was in a small walk-in closet. I'm alone in the house most of the time. I got my telescoping ladder in there and I'm fumbling with shelves and such and that old wood door with the simple latch clicks shut behind me! Plus my flashlight is laying out there on the floor.
    Luckily I had my screwdriver with the slim blade, got my self out. But it was creepy.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Duct tape.

    Keeps the latch from going back into the strike plate and latching hole ...

    Remember, a tool box needs two things: 1) duct tape; 2) WD-40.
    - If it moves and should not - duct tape.
    - If it does not move and should - WD-40.


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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Yep. Climbed in the window. I try to keep the key in my pocket, as well as unlock another door at the start. Sometimes I get distracted and forget, though. Only happened once so far.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    I was inspecting a home that had a 2nd story deck. Out on the deck and a gust shuts the door. I grab it and its locked. Duhhh. Turns out the deck is really like more 3 stories because the lot is sloping and dropping away. So jumping off the deck is really not a healthy option. Fortunately the builder did not use the best door hardware and I only ruined two credit cards slipping the door lock open. I now check the locks twice before I go out on a high deck.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    Oh yes. Only vacant homes though. Came in through a dog door once, garage doors and unlocked windows several times. I maintain a "Failure is not an option" mentality when scheduled to perform.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Ever had to break into a house you were inspecting?

    This has happened to me once before. I always make sure both front and rear exterior door are unlocked. Also I typically leave the key outside.


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