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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    So I had a pre-settlement inspection today for some clients on a new construction house. When I get there, they tell me a rep for the builder is going follow me. A little different but no big deal. He's able to write everything down as I find it. So as I get started outside, I ask if he's OK with me getting up on the roof. "No". Ok.....no roof inspection today. Later on in the basement, I ask him if he's OK with me getting into the attic. "You can take the panels off the walls in the loft but I don't want you going and breaking the drywall". Ok......I can look in through the access openings but that's it. Then at one point in the family room, I shine my flashlight up the wall to look closer at the 2nd floor level windows.

    "You can't do that."
    "I can't do what?"
    "You can't shine a halogen light on a 20 foot wall like that. It's not fair. We've had inspectors do that and we shut it right down".
    "So how can I use my light?"
    "You can look at windows like that but you can''t shine it on a wall or ceiling. It's not fair".

    Liability on a roof I get. Can't go in an attic? Seems pretty lame but not my call. Telling me how I can use my flashlight? Really lame.

    I'll be going back to the house after the client takes possession. If I would have known the builder would be such a pill, I would have said let's hold off on the inspection until after settlement so I'm not handcuffed.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    If I would have known the builder would be such a pill, I would have said let's hold off on the inspection until after settlement so I'm not handcuffed.
    Which is why my clients would tell the contractor (when the contractor- builder, but they are "contractors" - started to talk about closing/settlement) ...

    Do you have any restrictions or limitations that you won't let my inspector do what they want and need to do?

    As soon as the contractor says "Yes, they aren't allowed to ... "

    My clients would say "No problem, my attorney will write in the closing documents that you did not allow our inspector to do a proper inspection, the list of items is ALL INCLUSIVE ... our inspector will perform an inspection after we take possession and remove items from that list."

    Superintendent stammered... "Remove items from what list?"

    Client - "You do know the meaning of "ALL", don't you? ALL INCLUSIVE means that NOTHING is right. We'll see if we can find something that is right and take it off the list."

    Usually, I would get to do the inspection before closing, if not, it didn't matter anyway.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    I understand him thinking that shining a bright flashlight across walls and ceilings is unfair. It is in a way, since it shows up EVERYTHING.
    However, it really is unfair for him to limit the way you do your job, and not allowing you to do your job as you see fit. Like Jerry pointed out, its not serving your client well to severely limit your ability to do your job.
    A drywall contractor showed me that technique in the 80's. While its a great technique, it does show a lot of imperfections that I may not always put into the report.

    You have more patience that I would have had with the builder. I probably would have told the client the builder was putting too many restricting on my ability to do a thorough job.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    I called the client afterwards to relay the limitations. I could tell she was disappointed but I told her to let me know when she goes to settlement and takes possession so I can get up on the roof and go in the attic.

    I don't shine my light on walls and ceilings with the intention of writing up every little imperfection....I do it more so to see if there are any drywall defects/bumps/waves that should have been addressed during the predrywall phase, if there are any water stains, or areas of spackle repair that were never painted. In a house of all white walls and ceilings, it's hard to see these things. At one point I mentioned during the inspection about some paint issue on the bathroom wall. His response...."If you can't see if from 5 feet away, we're not fixing it".

    But, I'm happy to document three specific items in this inspection report that were never addressed from my pre-drywall inspection two months ago with pictures from that inspection.

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    That's getting a little ridiculous/paranoid.

    I get that deficiencies are based on 'normal observational distances' and 'normal lighting conditions' and when the homeowner who hired me for a one year warranty inspection is pickier than I am, I certainly remind them of that. But with these great rooms with a massive wall of windows and 12 pot-lights around the perimeter of the room, I suspect that I'm not creating a condition with my little flashlight that can't be re-created. The raking light of early morning or later afternoon sun; or the downward raking light at night demand a higher level of performance from the framers, drywallers, tapers, and painters. The homeowners have found, or will find, the imperfections themselves this way.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    I had the builder (KB homes) asked me to leave a couple weeks ago for making their shower pan leak. He was pretty bummed to say the least.

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  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I had the builder (KB homes) asked me to leave a couple weeks ago for making their shower pan leak.
    "You" ... "made" ... his shower pans leak?

    What did you do, break out the tile and cut the liner?

    Added with edit:
    - He got mad because you "exposed his leaking shower pan" ... And now he has to do a lot of work to correct it.
    - Shame on you for pointing out a flaw in his supervision of his subs.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-19-2018 at 08:03 AM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
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    Default Re: Builder Rep Tells Me How I Can Use My Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "You" ... "made" ... his shower pans leak?

    What did you do, break out the tile and cut the liner?

    Added with edit:
    - He got mad because you "exposed his leaking shower pan" ... And now he has to do a lot of work to correct it.
    - Shame on you for pointing out a flaw in his supervision of his subs.
    LOL.... either way, he was super pissed..

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