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  1. #1
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    Default Inspection Observation

    I did a post on another thread about an inspector missing something. And boy was I yelled at! I guess I should have presented more information in the beginning but it really goes on to say that sometimes we all try to read between the lines and do not really try to figure out the whole situation. I did not really go into the entire report because it was more of an observation than anything else. I also did not badmouth him to anyone else nor do I plan to. It was just missed in some fashion or another and it was not serious.

    I went through the report that was provided to me so that I could see what kind of work would need to be done. The client is hiring me as a consultant/contractor and not as a home inspector. The inspector did a pretty good job under state guidelines. However, I went a step further and looked at some other things just for my information as well as to help the client. I found several items that needed immediate attention. One of the most serious was significant rot damage around a boxing and wall. This could not been seen from the ground. And before you start asking a bunch of questions, it was noted that the roof was inspected from windows and the ground using binoculars. He could not have seen this particular part unless he was on the roof, on a ladder, or in a lift. So to his defense, he reported what he could see.

    I really believe home inspections are very good for the consumer. Unfortunately, the clients are looking at the cheapest form. Regardless of who required or requested the inspection, in a sense they do not get the full "comprehensive" inspection that I think they need or deserve. They are not going to ask for it either. And then we get a situation like another thread where the inspector is getting blamed for something that they should not have even been blamed for. I mean, you go to the Doctor for your physical and he probably orders some tests like taking a sample of blood, maybe even getting an Xray. Why can't we do the same for the client? We can have a mechanical contractor check out the HVAC units, the plumber check out the plumbing, etc. If they do not want the deluxe package, then don't complain. They get what they paid for. Even then we cannot guarantee any more than a Dr can, so why are home inspectors the first to be attacked? Maybe we need to spend more time educating the consumer and more importantly the attorneys what we can do and what they can expect. I am not for taking the easy way out. If an inspection takes 2 hours or it takes 2 days, wouldn't the client be better informed? A client may look at a home a few times for just an hour at a time and then they make an offer and sign away themselves to a mortgage for a long time. And of course there some real estate agents and sellers who blame the inspector for "killing the deal". We did not kill the deal, the house killed the deal. The sellers are not going to necessarily admit anything. In our state, the sellers can mark the no representation block for just about every question on the disclosure form. Now what good is that?

    I discussed with my client some things that I found that I really felt that they needed to know. The look on her face was something else. More of like what have I done? I could also see dollar signs flashing in front of her eyes. She was too deep into the deal to try and pull out, they really need this property. But now they may have to pay for some things that they were hoping to use for something else. It was not necessarily the inspectors fault, it was not the sellers fault. This whole post is not about what the inspector did or did not see. It is more about why can't we educate the consumer that we want to help them protect themselves but we are also professionals and therefore we should be compensated accordingly.

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Hey we can only do what we can do on a job by job time frame.

    Most of the time the buyer is not at the inspection.

    or they just want the keys.

    and they will look at things later as the loan has a dead line.

    Thats life.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Mitchell,

    Let me ask you this; the things you found later, would you have found them if you conducted the original inspection?

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    Mitchell,

    Let me ask you this; the things you found later, would you have found them if you conducted the original inspection?
    yes. I would have gone a little bit further in looking. Being accessible is not the issue, I would have at least got a ladder and went to the edge. The main roof is slate so obviously I could not walk on that but the roof in which I saw this from was shingle and not a steep slope.


  5. #5
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    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    If an inspection is done in a thorough manner and according to the SOP there are not that many items that would be found by adding on a plumber, electrician or hvac tech on the vast majority of homes.


    The added cost of the more technically exhaustive inspection would rarely pay for itself. Then you have the problem where those guy's are allowed to find problems and make the repairs, this completely kills the whole non-biased approach.


    If you want to add on a service that finds problems at a higher rate than the above, you would recommend IR scanning of all surfaces. I plan to get into this eventually but have to wonder if these will become "included" in many inspections with shortcuts taken in other areas. If I do these, it would add at least another 1.5 to 2.5 hours of work including reporting the findings. This would be quite expensive and not considered necessary by many clients since they think we can see through walls already.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Hey Bruce, I agree with the infrared scanning. I bought a camera late last year and I have done a few specific look/see with it. I am thinking about doing a little diversifying with the inspection portion which will include the IR camera. I have not had time to really market the IR camera like I want as I have been so busy with my construction business.

    My point to this thread is not to blame the inspector or make him look bad in any form. My point is that sometimes things are missed either because of the time frame alloted to try and do the inspection and per the SOP. The cost will probably deter many people from doing a more exhaustive approach but for the most part they can pay now or pay later. Homes do not have anything like CARFAX so you are at the mercy of the homeowner to tell you what has been done or not. In NC they can mark the disclosure forms at no representation on pretty much anything and then it is going to be up to the buyer to prove otherwise.

    I have also seen other inspectors who did miss something and got a call from the homeowner that they sometimes just offer their inspection fee back as a refund. But the way I look at it is that unless you missed a tremendous amount of items, the homeowner needs to look at the value of the other items that were found. For instance, suppose a window was missed but yet the floor framing under the toilet was barely holding the toilet. The framing was noted which could be several thousand dollars to repair but yet the window could have been $200. I think they need to look at the value. One inspector told me of his procedure for someone filing claims and while I first did not agree with it, I started thinking about it then it made sense.

    I do not consider Home Inspectors as Tradesman. I consider all as professionals. We are generalists plain and simple. While some of us may have more experience in different areas like HVAC or electrical and not so much in others we still provide a service. Unfortunately I do not think Inspectors get compensated enough for what they provide.


  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    I know a couple of inspectors who have no experience other than what they have read and was told in a class who have to be nit-picky to make sure they cover their lack of experience. I have gone behind then at the request of seller agents and got some good chuckles. The best inspectors I know are the ones who have years of field experience as a (gasp!) Tradesman!! The later has enough experience to make a call based on experience and leave out the silly stuff that does not matter. There is no replacement for experience no matter how hard you wish it was.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    Homes do not have anything like CARFAX so you are at the mercy of the homeowner to tell you what has been done or not. In NC they can mark the disclosure forms at no representation on pretty much anything and then it is going to be up to the buyer to prove otherwise.

    Carfax is no longer reliable. I have heard from a few women that repair shops are telling them "we won't report this repair to carfax so you don't have to worry about resale". I guess this is a sales tactic to get their business but they really do not report the repair to whatever database car fax uses.


  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I know a couple of inspectors who have no experience other than what they have read and was told in a class who have to be nit-picky to make sure they cover their lack of experience. I have gone behind then at the request of seller agents and got some good chuckles. The best inspectors I know are the ones who have years of field experience as a (gasp!) Tradesman!! The later has enough experience to make a call based on experience and leave out the silly stuff that does not matter. There is no replacement for experience no matter how hard you wish it was.
    I agree James

    Silliness and bull have no place in home inspection. Educating the client is what I do with an elaborate gesturing, straight forward , no bull explanation at the end of the inspection on what an inspection is and what it is not. What may or will break down tomorrow. How things appear to be operating (that is all you can really tell them, so the folks who don't like the word appear, I am greatly sorry)

    I have inspected homes where the exterior brick and foundation looked like little to know movement have been going on. Three weeks later there is a crack running up through the brick and a crack in the foundation. Obviously things where about to pop. We have no control over that. A drain line is going to miraculously stop up a week or a month later. Did not have rain for a couple of months, the roof and flashing looked fine (for what we could see of the flashing) and then there is a 2 day rain storm and what do you know, a wet spot forms on the ceiling and it appears that for what you could see of a flashing that looked right is not. We have no control over that.

    The clients must be told with all the gesturing, wording, (writing if necessary) exactly where you stand and where they stand. We are generalists, period. If we find a concern about any item it must be turned over to the appropriate trade, we are done with it.

    We are there to *reduce* their risk in the home buying process, not completely cancel their risk and this is what they must be told and and a full understanding be reached before you leave there side. If you appear meek, unsure, not in control, not expressive enough then you look like a prime target. If they think they can get away with something (some) they will try.

    The bully on the block walks up to the mild mannered geek (not picking on brains by any means, just an expression) and has no resistance and he believes he can get away with bullying him he will. If the mild mannered kid halls off and busts his nose to the side the bully will leave him alone forever. (or beat him up but will certainly think twice about it the next time)

    If you leave not in control of the situation you lose control forever.

    Just my opinion


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    If an inspection is done in a thorough manner and according to the SOP there are not that many items that would be found by adding on a plumber, electrician or hvac tech on the vast majority of homes.
    My opinion is that if the different trades where used without an home inspector along with them, the effort would actually fall short of that of a competent home inspector by him/herself.

    This is because the different trades, with a few exceptions, have little to no 'cross training' and do not pick up on the inter-related items that a home inspector does. They are too 'single-track' minded.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My opinion is that if the different trades where used without an home inspector along with them, the effort would actually fall short of that of a competent home inspector by him/herself.

    This is because the different trades, with a few exceptions, have little to no 'cross training' and do not pick up on the inter-related items that a home inspector does. They are too 'single-track' minded.

    The majority of the big-dollar defects I find are water related. The majority of the water-related defects I find occur at the interface of two trades (plumber/tile contractor, roofer/mason, roofer/siding contractor, etc.)

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  12. #12
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    The majority of the big-dollar defects I find are water related. The majority of the water-related defects I find occur at the interface of two trades (plumber/tile contractor, roofer/mason, roofer/siding contractor, etc.)
    Excellent observation.
    I frequently find myself telling clients that water-related issues are the most commonly found things I write up. The lack of integration/communication among trades when building a home is a significant issue.


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My opinion is that if the different trades where used without an home inspector along with them, the effort would actually fall short of that of a competent home inspector by him/herself.

    This is because the different trades, with a few exceptions, have little to no 'cross training' and do not pick up on the inter-related items that a home inspector does. They are too 'single-track' minded.
    I agree with Jerry, however, I would at least recommend that a Home Inspector coordinate the reports and then present them to the homeowner/buyer/etc. That way you can see if there is any cross problems. In this one house I am looking at, the condensate pan overflowed and damaged the ceiling below. One might only see the ceiling and assume the roof where one who is paying attention will look and probably see that it is a condensate pan. The home inspector can also read all of the reports and then explain it to the homeowner better, but then again we all know that the homeowners are reading and understanding the reports.http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ons/icon14.gif
    Thumbs up


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Observation

    Main Entry: 1pro&#183;fes&#183;sion&#183;al Pronunciation: \prə-ˈfesh-nəl, -ˈfe-shə-nəl\ Function: adjective Date: 1606 1 a: of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b: engaged in one of the learned professions c (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace2 a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer> b: having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier> c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>3: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>
    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    tradesman


    The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English | Date: 2008

    trades&#183;man / ˈtrādzmən/ • n. (pl. -men ) a person engaged in trading or a trade, typically on a relatively small scale. __________________________________________________ ____________

    Gentlemen
    We are not tradesman?
    We are not tradesman?
    We are not tradesman?

    Why Is it that so many have such a difficult time being designated as a *Professional Tradesman*When I hung drywall for a living or when I owned my own Commercial Drywall company, I was a *Professional Drywaller*When I built or remodelled I was a Professional Builder/contractor/framer or what ever.In reality gentlemen we are really just professional artists.From the time we exit our vehicle and take a picture of the front of the home. inspect the exterior, inspect the roof, inspect the interior walls, ceilings, floors, doors, attic etc. all the way to finishing our report and standing back and observing our last brush stroke to the canvas we were painting we were an artist. We were inspecting every nail we saw and seeing if the proper hammer stroke was taken. We are inspecting every wire in the panels and seeing if any are loose or over heated. We are *Professional Tradesman* conducting the business of inspecting other tradesman. We may know more than any individual that worked on that home. We are not a professional HVAC man that knows his tried to the letter or an electrician or a roofer or a framer or plumber. There are professionals in all trades and we are a professional in our trade.We school on the trades so we can understand them. We are tested on the trades so we can inspect them. A good portion of us were in some construction related trade at one time or another.When one schools on all the trades what does that make us? A tradesman?To be more specific, due to our vast knowledge in so many areas we are professional tradesman. Don't make the mistake that you may be a Professional electrician. There is nothing to knowing the codes. To actually put it all together takes a vast amount of time investment in that trade. Knowing codes does not make you a professional electrician. Being able to perform the work from plans to installation and finish and doing it right and being proud of it makes you then and only then a professional electrician.Is it that some of you feel tradesmen in the construction trade are beneath you. I hope not. They are schooled or trained in the field for there trade. When they become very good at what they do they become professional tradesman. Why? Because they have excelled in their field. I personally do not have any qualm being a tradesman in my learned trade.

    What trade?

    A *Professional Home Inspector*.

    My *trade* of choice.


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