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  1. #1
    TOM DEEHAN's Avatar
    TOM DEEHAN Guest

    Default Your 3 best tools

    Hello Gentlemen My question is, what are the 3 most important tools you use day-in and day-out and why are they the best?

    Thanks Tom

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ft. Lauderdale Fl
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    My eyes, ears, and nose.


    mlc


  3. #3
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    eyes, ears and brain





    Seriously, you can not simply state 3 tools and stop. Each home is different and requires different tools.

    1. If you are inspecting a home with natural or propane, you need a sniffer (some use their nose, but I recommend an electronic gas analyzer)
    2. I highly recommend a CO meter for the homes above
    3. 3 light outlet tester w/gfci test button a minimum, but many like the SureTest.
    4. voltage sniffer
    5. 2 lead circuit tester
    6. Good Flashlight (streamlight or similar)
    7. Laser thermometer
    8. mirror to inspect heat exchangers
    9. assortment of screwdrivers, nut drivers and allen drivers to access heat exchangers and service panel covers
    10. Ladder for attics and roof access
    11. Awl for probing suspect wood
    12. An "extendable awl" for reaching soffits, fascia, etc.
    13. coveralls
    14. respirator
    15. gloves
    The above are a minimum, and I'm sure that I left things off. Below are other items that you may want...
    1. Computer????
    2. Printer????
    3. Digital Camera????
    4. Moisture meter (non-invasive preferred)
    5. Thermal imaging camera
    6. ????
    7. ????
    8. ????



  4. #4

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Don't forget about a dependable vehicle.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    A good flashlight - 30K candlepower +, usually a recharghable type Maglite or Stinger. I have one of each and they are pretty much interchangable. If you can't see it you can't report on it.

    Binoculars - There are lots of places you can't get... rain generally comes from above. A good pair of binoculars is priceless in verifying flashings and other exterior details.

    A voltage sniffer - If you're dead you can't report on anything either. These are great for checking things that could be charged while in crawl spaces, attics or anywhere. It's rare but there are several cases of workers being electrocuted under houses on metallic pipes that are charged.

    I don't know that these are the three MOST important things but they are 3 that I rely on heavily.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    I consider the information I learn on this message board everyday as a valuable tool.

    Thanks to all of you who contribute.

    Rick Hurst


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    I have to agree on Eye's , ears, and nose. Brain would be included in those as they would not work without it.
    None of the tools we use could be operated without our eyes, except the voltage sniffer which would be hard to locate unless you were holding a live wire.
    Ears allow you to hear what the foolish owner has to say who insists on staying around for the inspection.
    As well as the listing broker who know's it all. All, except when to keep her big mouth shut!
    Ears also allow you to hear the toilet flushing on the first floor when you are in the basement indicating the Broker has just made a deposit and the 1/2 bath will be off limits for the next hour or so.
    Ah, the nose. Don't enter a basement without it. Best, musty,mold,gas, moisture, indicator there is for a quick indication that all is not well in this,"you'll never find anything wrong here house".

    And # 4 would be the set of ear plugs, for when the jubilant listing broker who has just read your report calls you to thank you.


  8. #8
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    I have to agree on Eye's , ears, and nose.
    Man, I have been off this whole time. I though it would be the brain, eyes and hands.

    Hard to report if you never learned what it is, what it does, etc. "I knew I should have watched my little sister take that test on the Internet when I became a certified home inspector!"

    Hard to report if you can't see it. "I lost one of my contacts, but I can still do the home inspection."

    Hard to report if you don't know how to write it. "Sub-panel is wrong! That should cover me from any lawsuit."

    Obviously the ears and nose plays a part but didn't think it would be in the top three.


  9. #9
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Tom,

    After eyes, ears, nose and brain the top three for me are a good flashlight (streamlight), electrical circuit tester and now an infrared camera.

    The flashlight is tops because if you can't see it you can't report it. The circuit tester is mandatory and the infrared camera allows me to find defects most inspectors will not find.

    #4 would be the moisture meter.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    The brain processes the information. So if you don't see it, hear it, or smell it you brain won't process it.
    Your brain is your computer you must input something or the computer doesn't do anything.
    mlc


  11. #11
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Eyes to observe.
    Brain to figure out what it means.
    Mouth to explain the implications of what you found to the client and to recommend a course of action.


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

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    But how many times do we look, taste, smell or feel something and don't remember it the next day. How many times do we have to look at something and think about what we are looking at. We have to condition the brain to help process, store and recall the information.

    To answer the question.
    1. Good Flashlight(s)
    2. Good Ladders
    3. Good tool Pouch/bag for origination of the other tools.

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 03-05-2008 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Added the three answers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Flashlight - brightest I can find (I use a maglite rechargable). Really important so I can see what I need to see. #1 on my list.

    Moisture meter. I use pin type AND non invasive. Non invasive is not always accurate, pin type will not always be the best choice. Since moisture related problems are probably #1 in home inspector complaints, I want to check and confirm suspicions.

    Electrical tester. I use a Suretest, but I think you could probably check everything you need to with a simple Wiggie, just not as fast.

    Since Tom just asked for the 3 best, I didn't see the point in listing every tool I own or might use on a house.

    I guess an interesting list would be the bare minimum you really need to do an inspection according to SOP's. I would probably have to include a screwdriver and ladder in there, but maybe not much else.

    There have also been many threads discussing the problems that can come up by using all those fancy tools and gadgets. I know of one specifically regarding a gas sniffer.

    I'm curious why you asked the question Tom.
    JF


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Kevin, that's why I stated the Brain was included in the Eye, ear and nose thing. Mabey we should include patience in there too as reading the post slowly and understanding it is a mistake I also frequently make.
    I also think that within 2 years everyone will have to admit that the IR Camera is our best tool.
    Except those guys still hand typing narrative reports with no photos.


  15. #15
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    [wayne soper;34807]
    I also think that within 2 years everyone will have to admit that the IR Camera is our best tool.
    Can you get E&O insurance coverage for doing just IR Camera inspections?


  16. #16
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Without these three you can't do squat (right)...
    1. Ladder
    Camera
    Flashlight


    2. Electrical tester-- a good one
    Kneepads
    Dust particle mask (mininimum-- prefer a respirator)


    3. Thermometers-- 2x with clips and 1x IR
    Good pair of deer skin gloves
    Moisture meter



    rr


  17. #17
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Kevin, good question! I have not checked with my E&O insurance to see if that is currently covered. I will check with my insurance carrier and get back with an answer.

    Thanks for the reminder!


  18. #18
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    Can you get E&O insurance coverage for doing just IR Camera inspections?
    Kevin, I just talked with Allen Insurance and the infrared camera and inspection is included in the E&O insurance as long as you have a signed agreement, just like a regular inspection.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Good pair of deer skin gloves
    I may regret asking, but what do you use the deer skin gloves for Rich?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  20. #20
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Jim,

    You know darn well RR is going to give you a "very good answer"

    I'm just waiting!

    I happen to carry a pair as well, but mostly for hot summer days on the roof to keep from burns from hot stuff on the roof.


  21. #21
    TOM DEEHAN's Avatar
    TOM DEEHAN Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Thanks for all the replies gentlemen, I 'll take all of them into consideration. Better make sure I get all the wax out of my ears.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post

    I'm curious why you asked the question Tom.
    JF
    Jack I'm just a HI student at the present time and was just wondering what Pro HIs thought to be their best tools.

    Tom


  22. #22
    TOM DEEHAN's Avatar
    TOM DEEHAN Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    [quote=wayne soper;34807]I also think that within 2 years everyone will have to admit that the IR Camera is our best tool.
    quote]

    Hello Wayne

    I'm just a student in training, can you tell my why you think the IR Camera is the best tool and maybe a web site where I might find different types or manufactures of these?

    Thanks Tom


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I may regret asking, but what do you use the deer skin gloves for Rich?

    I hope this isn't one one those velcro and sheep jokes in the making.....


  24. #24
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Tom:

    1. Intuition
    2. Observation
    3. Experience

    In that exact order.

    In the beginning of your career you can temporarily substitute "tools" d.b.a. toys such as flashlights, meters, whizzbangs, et al. You can simply not do the work well minus items one and two.

    Aaron


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rocky Mountains of Boulder, CO
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    158

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Could one tool be...joe tester 1.jpg joe tester 2.jpg


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,315

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Benjamin,

    That's one tool I always did not bother with.

    There is nothing to relate any measurements to, and, if the receptacle is that loose, you can tell it plugging your tester in ... and watching it fall out ...

    If there are any receptacles which are loose enough to create intermittent readings or not hold the tester, or 'just feel too loose' - 'recommend replacing those receptacles and having an electrical contractor verify all other receptacles as being suitable for continued use or in need of replacement'.

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

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Your 3 best tools

    Ok after the human senses here are the tools that get used on every inspection:

    Camera
    Stinger Flashlight
    Suretest
    IR Temp Meter
    Multi-tip screwdriver
    Xtend and Climb Ladder


    Rick Bunzel, CRI
    Pacific Crest Inspections

    NPSAR Affiliate of the Year 2006-2007
    Pacific Crest Inspections Home inspections located in Anacortes offers home inspections in Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom and Island Counties
    360-588-6956
    Fax 360-588-6965
    Toll Free 866-618-7764

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

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