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  1. #1
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    Default How long to finish a report?

    Just wondering on average, (not a vacant, 500sq ft 1br + 1bath condo), how long do you take to complete a typical report? Say, a typical 1500 sq ft 20 yr old house.
    I'm finding that I am close to a 1 to 1 ratio. Example, One hour at the house, one hour at the computer.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Just wondering on average, (not a vacant, 500sq ft 1br + 1bath condo), how long do you take to complete a typical report? Say, a typical 1500 sq ft 20 yr old house.
    I'm finding that I am close to a 1 to 1 ratio. Example, One hour at the house, one hour at the computer.
    I'm in that ball park, which seems too long to me, but I haven't figured out how to spend less time on the report without lowering its quality.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    For me, I would say and average of 1: 1/2. 3 hour inspection, 1.5 hours on the report.
    I use 3D software and have for 14 years so I have lots of "canned" comments.
    I often do the report in about 1/2 hour "as if" everything was perfect then go back and fill in the deficiencies.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I'm in that ball park, which seems too long to me, but I haven't figured out how to spend less time on the report without lowering its quality.
    Yea, that's my problem also. Dont want to lower the quality. Although, my wife would say it's going to itunes, going to the kitchen, ebay...and going on this site...all while doing a report. Hey, Just like right now. Hmmm

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Yea, that's my problem also. Dont want to lower the quality. Although, my wife would say it's going to itunes, going to the kitchen, ebay...and going on this site...all while doing a report. Hey, Just like right now. Hmmm
    I do the same things plus I usually cook supper sometime during the report so I take 4-5 hours.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    On a really clean house.....1.5 hours. On a beater.....2.5-3 hours. On a BIG house with a lot of defects.......4-5 hours.

    Buyers don't realize the actual inspection is only 1/2 of the job.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Typical 3 bedroom 2 bath, 2000sf home with around 6-10 typical problems will take me around 45 min to an hour to complete a report.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    If I put the laptop on a counter and stand up and thud out a report I can do a report in an 1 1/2 max. The same home, same report sitting at a desk it will be and hour more at the least to 5 hours for a report.

    I love leaving the home that I inspected and heading home to do the report but befoire I get home it is

    Stop at the store
    Stop at the bank
    Get a snack
    Get a drink, get the laptop and camera out
    Check my email
    Maybe check IN
    Turn the radio or TV on for back ground noise
    Add comment on IN
    Double check email
    Go to the Bathroom
    Plug camera in and down load pictures
    Start Inspection software
    Get another beverage
    Answer a couple phone calls or emails about new inspections or even old inspections
    Put basic Clients info into software
    Add the cover page Pic
    Start on Report
    Nothing pending so I will check out TV background noise for a little bit
    By now it is supper
    Eat. brush teeth, get another drink to wash it all down
    Get back to seriously finishing the report
    No Inspection in the morning, I can finish in the morning
    etc
    etc
    etc
    But stand at the counter and bang it out in an hour to an hour and a half max


  9. #9
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    On average I'll spend anywhere from 45 min.-1hr. on a report.

    If its a POS, may 1.5hrs.

    rick


  10. #10
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Typical house that size is 2.5 - 3.5 hours total (inspection & report)


  11. #11
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    If I put the laptop on a counter and stand up and thud out a report I can do a report in an 1 1/2 max. The same home, same report sitting at a desk it will be and hour more at the least to 5 hours for a report.

    I love leaving the home that I inspected and heading home to do the report but befoire I get home it is

    Stop at the store
    Stop at the bank
    Get a snack
    Get a drink, get the laptop and camera out
    Check my email
    Maybe check IN
    Turn the radio or TV on for back ground noise
    Add comment on IN
    Double check email
    Go to the Bathroom
    Plug camera in and down load pictures
    Start Inspection software
    Get another beverage
    Answer a couple phone calls or emails about new inspections or even old inspections
    Put basic Clients info into software
    Add the cover page Pic
    Start on Report
    Nothing pending so I will check out TV background noise for a little bit
    By now it is supper
    Eat. brush teeth, get another drink to wash it all down
    Get back to seriously finishing the report
    No Inspection in the morning, I can finish in the morning
    etc
    etc
    etc
    But stand at the counter and bang it out in an hour to an hour and a half max
    OMG....Ditto! I laughed so hard my wife had to come in and check on me. Hey, we need to hang out with these other guys, maybe we'll get some work done... So funny.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Scott and Rick must have better software, or more comments than I do. Hey, can I sub-out my reports to you guys?

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    The 1:1 is close for me; 2-3 hours on inspection, 2-3 hours (last week I had an unusual one - 4 hours!) on the report depending on the number of issues; I start the report on site to make sure I get all the styles and materials right and also make sure I didn't miss anything (sometimes I'll take the time to actually stop what I'm doing and go look at something again, or get a picture from another angle), then finish and print later that day, or on site if the client is there and is willing to wait for it. Often I'll take the client through all the photos on the computer and then do a walk around if they want to see something up close. I get great feedback on the thoroughness of the report (HomeGuage, I'm still entering narratives which slows me down now) - clients love it so much that I'm calling this one of our "USP"s (Unique Selling Points) because people are willing to pay for it. The other inspectors in the area do not take the time that I do.

    Once I get all the narratives into this reporting system, I do think the time will drop to 2 hours or less though. Will see! So hang in there and eventually you will develop the right combination.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Maybe I'll just go to "triplicates" and do that on site. But then I will subject myself to call-backs regarding my handwriting. You know it's bad when you get home and cant read your own writing.
    I always found it interesting that inspectors can do an inspection and print the report on site in the time it takes me just to do an inspection. Unless you have comments for everything and anything possible, for every situation, how can this method be comprehensive.
    We used to use ITA in the 90's, I think it hasnt changed much from when we used it. It's a half check box and half narrative report. Which brings up another question to the guys in TX. Arent your reports half and half? And if so, doesnt that make it faster than a full narrative?

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Average of 45 mins - 1 hr. But, there is a pretty wide variation from there. A new place with only a handful of problems can be 20 mins while an old crapper can be 2 hrs +

    I have a bunch of canned comments that really save me a lot of time. It's the old houses with things I've never seen before that take the time.

    Also, by far, the best thing I ever did to speed up my report writing was to stop going home until I'm done. That almost cut my time in half.... there are just too many distractions. Sitting in my truck in a parking lot just isn't that interesting so I bust my butt to get done.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Just wondering on average, (not a vacant, 500sq ft 1br + 1bath condo), how long do you take to complete a typical report? Say, a typical 1500 sq ft 20 yr old house.
    I'm finding that I am close to a 1 to 1 ratio. Example, One hour at the house, one hour at the computer.
    I may have misread this but are you saying that you can inspect a 1500sf home in one hour?

    Or are you saying for each hour you spend at the home, you spend an hour of report time? (I believe this is what you're saying, but just checking.)

    Generally speaking, a 1500 sf home will take about 45 min to complete the report. However, I will spend about 3-4 hours at this home and that includes doing a walk-through with the client.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    I love leaving the home that I inspected and heading home to do the report but befoire I get home it is

    Stop at the store
    Stop at the bank
    Get a snack
    Get a drink, get the laptop and camera out
    Check my email
    Maybe check IN
    Turn the radio or TV on for back ground noise
    Add comment on IN
    Double check email
    Go to the Bathroom
    Plug camera in and down load pictures
    Start Inspection software
    Get another beverage
    Answer a couple phone calls or emails about new inspections or even old inspections
    Put basic Clients info into software
    Add the cover page Pic
    Start on Report
    Nothing pending so I will check out TV background noise for a little bit
    By now it is supper
    Eat. brush teeth, get another drink to wash it all down
    Get back to seriously finishing the report
    No Inspection in the morning, I can finish in the morning
    etc
    etc
    etc
    But stand at the counter and bang it out in an hour to an hour and a half max
    OK, this is absolutely true for me too

    You forgot to mention run by Lowes to just look at stuff and stop by the grocery store to pick up some item my wife needs for dinner.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Maybe I'll just go to "triplicates" and do that on site. But then I will subject myself to call-backs regarding my handwriting. You know it's bad when you get home and cant read your own writing.
    I always found it interesting that inspectors can do an inspection and print the report on site in the time it takes me just to do an inspection. Unless you have comments for everything and anything possible, for every situation, how can this method be comprehensive.
    We used to use ITA in the 90's, I think it hasn't changed much from when we used it. It's a half check box and half narrative report. Which brings up another question to the guys in TX. Aren't your reports half and half? And if so, doesn't that make it faster than a full narrative?
    The only check boxes required are just at the main sections like foundation, drainage, windows. From there you are free to use more check boxes or full narrative. The required format is more of an outline and defined order. It tells you the minimum your required to provide and in what order, font, etc. but no limit as to what additional.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    I may have misread this but are you saying that you can inspect a 1500sf home in one hour?

    Or are you saying for each hour you spend at the home, you spend an hour of report time? (I believe this is what you're saying, but just checking.)

    Generally speaking, a 1500 sf home will take about 45 min to complete the report. However, I will spend about 3-4 hours at this home and that includes doing a walk-through with the client.
    No way...I'm saying; for each hour spent at the house, do you spend an equal amount of time behind the computer...It takes me around 3 hours to do 1500 if its in good condition.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    No way...I'm saying; for each hour spent at the house, do you spend an equal amount of time behind the computer...It takes me around 3 hours to do 1500 if its in good condition.
    I thought that's what you meant regarding inspection to computer ratio, but on my first reading...I was thinking, "how on earth?!?!"

    So would you spend 3 hrs reporting on a fairly decent 1500 sf home?

    The computer is too tempting to surf other stuff while reporting. Ted's got that part right!

    Periodically, I will sit down and use a stopwatch to time myself sans interruptions. On most normal (if there are) homes, 30 min to an hour total. On older or junky homes, 1.5 to 2 hrs total.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    I thought that's what you meant regarding inspection to computer ratio, but on my first reading...I was thinking, "how on earth?!?!"

    So would you spend 3 hrs reporting on a fairly decent 1500 sf home?

    The computer is too tempting to surf other stuff while reporting. Ted's got that part right!

    Periodically, I will sit down and use a stopwatch to time myself sans interruptions. On most normal (if there are) homes, 30 min to an hour total. On older or junky homes, 1.5 to 2 hrs total.
    I'm in the same timeframe as Marc..about hour for hour. I have no idea how to do a report in 30 minutes. I spend that long on messing with the pictures.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I'm in the same timeframe as Marc..about hour for hour. I have no idea how to do a report in 30 minutes. I spend that long on messing with the pictures.
    You too. I have to change them in Photoscape first. My crappy software wont annotate images.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I just finished a report on a 1800sf, 3 br and 2bth home. It had about 11 items in the summary, including old fire damage in the attic that was never painted or repaired properly. I had about 9 pictures and it took right at 47 minutes to produce the report.

    On site I do use a PDA to input problems only. I use my camera and the gray matter to remember what I found outside of what I put in the PDA.

    I use 3D for my reporting software.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  24. #24
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I don't think I've ever done a 11 item...9 picture report. It is my dream inspection!


  25. #25
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Let's see, I sat down at 7:00 to do 2 reasonably good sized houses. One dog, one 50 yr old ranch in good condition. Ate dinner for 1/2 hour. Enlightened a 10 year old on a thorny math issue and just finished at 9:40. Pretty standard. My only edge might be that I can type pretty fast.

    JLMathis


  26. #26
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Apropos of nothing, Mr. Duffin.
    Where are you located in N.C. ?
    JLMathis


  27. #27
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I just finished a report on a 1800sf, 3 br and 2bth home. It had about 11 items in the summary, including old fire damage in the attic that was never painted or repaired properly. I had about 9 pictures and it took right at 47 minutes to produce the report.

    On site I do use a PDA to input problems only. I use my camera and the gray matter to remember what I found outside of what I put in the PDA.

    I use 3D for my reporting software.
    In Texas, there are more than 111 items that have to be reported on in every single home

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  28. #28
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    In Texas, there are more than 111 items that have to be reported on in every single home
    Not here...0 requirements.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Not here...0 requirements.
    Well...it's not really 111. I was being facetious b/c Scott said he only had 11 issues.

    But we do have a lot of mandatory reporting and most house's don't hack it.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  30. #30
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I'm curious as to you that are spending 3 hrs writing a report if you catch yourself every evening making the same comments day in and day out?

    rick


  31. #31
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    A Realtor told me today we have 600 items to report on. I don't know if that's true but I know alot of the time is spent reporting on items that are OK, just documenting that I looked at them, and how I looked at them, and what I couldn't look at.
    If I just had to report on the issues and problems, I could do the report in 15 minutes, but I would still need 50 or so photos.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Today's inspection; 1800 square foot rambler, detached garage took 3:20 minutes to inspect and report. 60 pictures were taken but only about 45 were actually used in the report. I don't take notes. Everything is documented with pictures or entered into my laptop during the inspection. The report was completed on site and emailed to the clients.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    There's really only two parts to any report.... required items to be reported on and the problems. Whether it be 6, 60 or 600 if you do it everyday you should be able to input the "data" of the required stuff in minimal time... not more than 30 mins? Realistically, this part of my report takes 15 mins at most.

    Next, are the problems. It's just pictures and comments. As others have said, if you're typing the same stuff over and over, you need to get organized.

    I can't imagine how to spend 3 hours on an average report as some have claimed..... If you're doing that it's time to get some new software... or an out of work CEO to dictate to


  34. #34
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Perhaps its just me... I'm sure it is, but I find it takes me about twice as long to write a report as it does to do an inspection... sometimes longer. Now, I have plenty of canned comments... but they almost always need tweeking to fit the subject. The part that takes the longest is the thought process. I find myself taking many different conditions into consideration when reporting on them. I also take alot of photos. Usually, the only written notes taken are serial numbers, etc. Even though most of my photos are my "notes," I still put alot into the report. Photo editing alone consumes a great deal of time.

    I am not knocking any of those who can bang out a report in an hour, some of you guys I know to be top notch inspectors. But on the same account, I've also seen some one hour reports that are nothing more than click, click, click, click, done.

    An EIFS inspection can take even longer. Entering all of the moisture readings can take quite a bit of time. Also, since my EIFS inspections include recommendations of repairs, much more thought is required in the process.

    I admit that I break quite often when preparing a report. The prolonged concentration is too much for me in one sitting.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  35. #35
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I'm with Rick. I don't re-invent the wheel each and every time I write a report. I also have a bunch of stuff pre-checked in my computer.
    For instance:
    1. Gas furnace, gas connection/piping part. I have a comment pre checked in the software where it says that the gas piping is OK at the heater. However, I also have about 15 comments I have used over and over again to call out defects. So, if I find that the flex gas line to going into the unit and rubbing on the side of the furnace, I UNCHECK the "serviceable" comment, and CHECK the comment where I call out the issue with the flex pipe. I will also attach a photo in that section. Time to do that is a couple seconds.

    My library contains hundreds of comments I use time and time again and can be from just a few words, to several paragraphs. I also have a graphic I use to explain reverse polarity preloaded. So, if I find reverse polarity at an outlet, I just click on that box and the comment and the graphic are put into the report. Again, just a second or two to do.

    I hate writing reports after the inspection at home. Like others have said, there are just too many ways to get distracted. If I'm working on an expert witness case I will spend a lot more time on the report.

    I recently went on an inspection with a friend of mine. We spent a lot more time at the house than I would have on my own, and he still went home to write the report. It's just the difference in our styles and comfort level.

    While some guys wonder how someone can do an inspection and write the report in 3 hours, I wonder why someone takes 6. We all just have different styles and comfort levels.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Bless your heart to anyone who finishes the report at the house and either prints it or emails it there. I never fault a person for what works for them, but I tired that for a while and just had too many of those "aw ****" moments lying in bed that night. By the same token, I don't know how anyone can spent 4 or 5 hours in the average house. I hear it all the time. One of my competitors does it. I don't know. Maybe a hundred year old one or complicated and big. There's just not that many variations on residential construction.
    JLMathis


  37. #37
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    Let's see, I sat down at 7:00 to do 2 reasonably good sized houses. One dog, one 50 yr old ranch in good condition. Ate dinner for 1/2 hour. Enlightened a 10 year old on a thorny math issue and just finished at 9:40. Pretty standard. My only edge might be that I can type pretty fast.

    JLMathis
    A dog of house and a 50 year old ranch in good shape and you did this between 7 and 9:40 (2 1/2 hours if anyone is counting) and ate dinner for a half hour and helped your son with math.

    All I gotta say is good luck with all that.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I guess the difference in the time is how much detail is put in the report. I may put too much but I just can't help it!


  39. #39
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I guess the difference in the time is how much detail is put in the report. I may put too much but I just can't help it!
    Me too.

    I'd like to know if Scott P. puts a lot of details in his reports. In my mind's eye, I picture his reports as being professionally minimalistic. I was thinking about that yesterday when I was going through a "Tim the Toolman special'.

    Of course, as I said before, we have a lot of "have to's" that we put in reports.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  40. #40
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    fwiw.... it takes the same amount of time to insert a three paragraph canned comment as one.

    The vast majority of the issues found are something you've run across before. Many times it takes no tweaking at all. You can be as detailed (or not) as you like.

    I find the older houses are the ones where I am writing a lot from scratch.

    Calling someone's reports "minimal" just becuase they can produce it more quickly than you smells a bit like sour grapes.


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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    fwiw.... it takes the same amount of time to insert a three paragraph canned comment as one.

    The vast majority of the issues found are something you've run across before. Many times it takes no tweaking at all. You can be as detailed (or not) as you like.

    I find the older houses are the ones where I am writing a lot from scratch.

    Calling someone's reports "minimal" just becuase they can produce it more quickly than you smells a bit like sour grapes.
    I agree, older houses is where a lot of the writing comes into play.
    Check this out.... i was using Dragon Speak the other night on a super old house with lost of issues. For me, the crawlspace & electrical in older POS is where the rubber hits the road. Anyhow, I was half way done, the worst components already in the books when I started playing with my dog....I turned around to start again and the whole report was deleted! I forgot to turn off the Mic and I guess I told it to ruin my life. Sooo bumbed.. Most of the comments were dictated.

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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    fwiw.... it takes the same amount of time to insert a three paragraph canned comment as one.

    The vast majority of the issues found are something you've run across before. Many times it takes no tweaking at all. You can be as detailed (or not) as you like.

    I find the older houses are the ones where I am writing a lot from scratch.

    Calling someone's reports "minimal" just becuase they can produce it more quickly than you smells a bit like sour grapes.
    Only way to know is if Scott will post one for us to read


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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    fwiw.... it takes the same amount of time to insert a three paragraph canned comment as one.

    The vast majority of the issues found are something you've run across before. Many times it takes no tweaking at all. You can be as detailed (or not) as you like.

    I find the older houses are the ones where I am writing a lot from scratch.

    Calling someone's reports "minimal" just becuase they can produce it more quickly than you smells a bit like sour grapes.
    If you're referring to my post about Scott P, you misread it.

    I value Scott's expertise. I imagine his reports to be very professional and yet minimalistic (only providing the necessary information without fluff).

    Last edited by JB Thompson; 03-23-2011 at 09:41 PM.
    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Please guys....you need to start looking at the possibility of using software AS you are doing your inspection and avoiding all the late nights of reentering the data. I have not been on here for a while and I feel like I am stepping back in time 10 years ago :-)

    Is it for everyone ? No....but I know from 14 years of experience in this field that it is worth your time to at least LOOK at the possibility.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Please guys....you need to start looking at the possibility of using software AS you are doing your inspection and avoiding all the late nights of reentering the data. I have not been on here for a while and I feel like I am stepping back in time 10 years ago :-)

    Is it for everyone ? No....but I know from 14 years of experience in this field that it is worth your time to at least LOOK at the possibility.

    Most of the guys here are not re-entering info. Most just do the inspection at home. I looked into the PDA kind of thing some time ago and off and on over the years. It is still entering it into the hand held and then entering it into the computer and then adding pictures. Most folks, if uninterrupted can do a report in a short amount of time if completely non distracted and most prefer to do the inspection at home. There only note taking device is there camera.

    Now, With my new smart phone (smarter than me) I am sure I could set it up to enter inspection items as I go, down load it later, add pictures etc etc etc. I am not and have never been one to click on the canned comments because they always need too much added into them or a statement along with them or they just look, well, too canned.

    I type out the report with the exception of automatic comments I must make for TREC rules. If it does not pertain to the home I just delete it and move on to the next item. Left completely uninterrupted I can add a multitude of pics and a good size report in under 2 hours and a smaller report in an hour to an hour and a half.

    I can change a template in minutes or automatically drop pictures in a template for examples of explanations. I can have a blank master or one loaded with all the norm examples of defects or the right and wrong pics for defects etc.

    I have seen in person and on videos inspectors walking around an inspection and just clicking away on their hand held. I just truly believe there is a whole lot more looking to be done at an inspection. Click, click, click and they are presumably done. Not my mind set as far as an inspection and report. My reports are as though I am talking to my clients and explaining along the way.

    Not

    There is a leak at the trap under the kitchen sink

    My reports are more to

    As I showed you at the inspection the right side of the home is very flat and drains water away so slow it pools water next to the foundation. If this is let go, over a period of time, this problem will continue to cause further foundation problems. This area needs both the slope of the soil way from the home corrected (see drawing below). As for getting rid of the rest of the water between that slope and the retaining wall so the soil does not remain to be saturated a French drain with surface drains would be in order.

    The answer to your question is ...

    Realtors hate me and clients love the report.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 03-30-2011 at 03:48 PM.

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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Please guys....you need to start looking at the possibility of using software AS you are doing your inspection and avoiding all the late nights of reentering the data. I have not been on here for a while and I feel like I am stepping back in time 10 years ago :-)

    Is it for everyone ? No....but I know from 14 years of experience in this field that it is worth your time to at least LOOK at the possibility.
    Looked at it 10 years ago. Comments are TOO canned, for my standards.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Marc,
    When you find a reverse polarity in a house, and report on it, and write that comment (whatever it is), do you not write the same comment the next time you find a RP, except for maybe saying WHERE you found it?

    I have many comments that I have used over and over again placed in my library. Many times I don't have to change one word, I just click the box, and that comment goes into the report. It might be 5 words, or 5 paragraphs. Sometimes I have to add comments such as where the defect is, or some other note. Again, most of my work is done already, I just use the library short cut so I don't have to type the 5 words or 5 paragraphs over and over again.

    The language is not canned, it's the language I use when I wrote the library.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Some of the same responses I got 10 years ago....these are NOT canned comments. They are comments that can be built for each type of circumstance. They may have some predetermined text (just like in your Word document template) but they have drop downs to select specific phrases or words to complete them.

    A SIMPLE example would be a comment like this....
    "There is moisture evident at the ^locations^ of the ^structure^ and should be ^action^ by a ^professionaltypes^ before closing."

    This comment has 4 areas where you can write in a specific word or phrase or better yet have a drop-down list of words to help complete the comment. ^locations^ may consist of "East,West,North,South,Right, corner"etc....^structure^ may be "wall,ceiling,floor...etc. I think you get the picture. These ARE NOT canned comments at all but building blocks to help collect the data as quickly and easily as possible.

    So very easily the comment would say something like....
    "There is moisture evident at the East corner of the ceiling and should be reevaluated by a general contractor before closing."

    It is not the greatest comment but I am just showing the concept of the NOT CANNED comments.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Marc,
    When you find a reverse polarity in a house, and report on it, and write that comment (whatever it is), do you not write the same comment the next time you find a RP, except for maybe saying WHERE you found it?

    I have many comments that I have used over and over again placed in my library. Many times I don't have to change one word, I just click the box, and that comment goes into the report. It might be 5 words, or 5 paragraphs. Sometimes I have to add comments such as where the defect is, or some other note. Again, most of my work is done already, I just use the library short cut so I don't have to type the 5 words or 5 paragraphs over and over again.

    The language is not canned, it's the language I use when I wrote the library.
    Exactly !!! The issue is too many inspectors are caught in thinking of reporting software instead of inspection software....it is a paradigm shift.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Some of the same responses I got 10 years ago....these are NOT canned comments. They are comments that can be built for each type of circumstance. They may have some predetermined text (just like in your Word document template) but they have drop downs to select specific phrases or words to complete them.

    A SIMPLE example would be a comment like this....
    "There is moisture evident at the ^locations^ of the ^structure^ and should be ^action^ by a ^professional types^ before closing."

    This comment has 4 areas where you can write in a specific word or phrase or better yet have a drop-down list of words to help complete the comment. ^locations^ may consist of "East,West,North,South,Right, corner"etc....^structure^ may be "wall,ceiling,floor...etc. I think you get the picture. These ARE NOT canned comments at all but building blocks to help collect the data as quickly and easily as possible.

    So very easily the comment would say something like....
    "There is moisture evident at the East corner of the ceiling and should be reevaluated by a general contractor before closing."

    It is not the greatest comment but I am just showing the concept of the NOT CANNED comments.
    The red highlight above, as far as I am concerned, is a canned, cold, robotic comments that needs to be added to greatly." All it says is have someone else figure it out

    As far as the moisture in the ceiling. I know it was just an example. I find it way to canned. I would never say the "East corner of the ceiling." I would explain the room that it was in and the left rear corner with the baring being looking at the home from the front that what already explained and pointed out earlier in the beginning of the report. There is also a whole lot more that needs to be said about that as well. How about where the leak may be coming from, if you know. How about if you do not know, you explain that you checked the attic and roof and found no particular area of concern that would have created that moisture but it does not mean there is one, and a contractor (most likely roofing contractor) should follow up for further evaluation and price for repair.

    All those comments add no personal, knowledgeable advise to your clients. All those canned comments are for Inspectors that have no past experience, are not confident in there inspecting and reporting and are specifically vague thinking they are keeping themselves out of trouble by not venturing past the blunt plane canned remark that just sent them scrambling with no apparent direction as to what to do next. These folks are not covering themselves. I have been inspecting all of my working life and full time for the past twelve years along with building, tearing apart, rebuilding, remodeling and being concerned only about the fact that my clients know as absolutely as much as I can offer for the short time I am at the inspection and doing the report.

    I added that last part because not once since I stepped out the door at 18 and years before that helping out as a teenager has anyone ever been able to come after me for anything real for anything at all and I turn 57 tomorrow.

    I can almost guarantee you that there are only a few folks out there that can come close to repeating that last paragraph and be sincere about it.

    As far as all the rest of what you added after the red highlight. There is so much drop down, adding in, editing, polishing up etc, one might as well just type it out.

    Not getting on you by any means. Everyone has their way or reporting.

    I say that if folks stopped with all the quick canned comments and actually wrote a report they would make far fewer mistakes and also show the clients that you offered as much info as possible and put a lot of thought into your inspecting and reporting.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 03-31-2011 at 09:49 AM.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as the moisture in the ceiling. I know it was just an example. I find it way to canned. I would never say the "East corner of the ceiling." I would explain the room that it was in and the left rear corner with the baring being looking at the home from the front that what already explained and pointed out earlier in the beginning of the report. There is also a whole lot more that needs to be said about that as well. How about where the leak may be coming from, if you know. How about if you do not know, you explain that you checked the attic and roof and found no particular area of concern that would have created that moisture but it does not mean there is one, and a contractor (most likely roofing contractor) should follow up for further evaluation and price for repair.
    The comment would be under the specific room section whether it be the dining room, bedroom, bathroom etc. and it would be under the "Ceiling" item so they are not needed in the comment itself. I know it is harder because you are forced in Texas to use the awful TREC form so it is much more difficult to layout the form of the report to make it easy for the client but in all the other states you can.

    All the stuff you said could be part of the picklists to build your comments from. You have the flexibility to do that. I can tell you we have an inspector in Florida that has been using our system for over 10 years and I am blown away by how elaborate his comments are and detailed but he can whiz through collecting that data quickly in the field and completely avoid the late nights of double-entry. There is no way I would call his comments CANNED.

    I have only seen one inspector in my 14 years in this business that I have seen that writes reports as a novel for each inspection. Usually over 100 pages long and he charges an arm and a leg for them ($800-$2,000) each. These reports are so detailed and unique that no computerized system would ever help shorten his time. But that is his niche market and there is nothing wrong with it.

    If you are running into a lot of the same issues in the homes you inspect then a computerized system will help you. If you are running into completely different issues you never expected all the time then it may not help.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    The comment would be under the specific room section whether it be the dining room, bedroom, bathroom etc. and it would be under the "Ceiling" item so they are not needed in the comment itself. I know it is harder because you are forced in Texas to use the awful TREC form so it is much more difficult to layout the form of the report to make it easy for the client but in all the other states you can.

    All the stuff you said could be part of the picklists to build your comments from. You have the flexibility to do that. I can tell you we have an inspector in Florida that has been using our system for over 10 years and I am blown away by how elaborate his comments are and detailed but he can whiz through collecting that data quickly in the field and completely avoid the late nights of double-entry. There is no way I would call his comments CANNED.

    I have only seen one inspector in my 14 years in this business that I have seen that writes reports as a novel for each inspection. Usually over 100 pages long and he charges an arm and a leg for them ($800-$2,000) each. These reports are so detailed and unique that no computerized system would ever help shorten his time. But that is his niche market and there is nothing wrong with it.

    If you are running into a lot of the same issues in the homes you inspect then a computerized system will help you. If you are running into completely different issues you never expected all the time then it may not help.

    Like I said, to each his own way. As far as the awful TREC form, I am not sure what you mean. It is extremely easy for the client to follow. That is one of the biggest all time comments. "The report is so well laid out and broken down into its own section it makes it so easy to follow." As a matter of fact I am not sure how you could make it any easier to follow. The only thing you could do is break out an extra page for each specific bathroom and bedroom which would take about a minute per extra page to add to the master template.

    But of course this is not about that, is it. This is about my system is so much easier than yours. Is it not. As in yours to mine or mine to yours. The only difference is that I do not own or recieve referrals and make zero money off of the system I use if someone wishes to try it. I just taught the software because it is an all in one program from start to finish including the adding of pictures that it automatically does for you and is easy to use. Now for anyone that wishes you may add all the canned comments you wish to the drop down canned comment drop down for each section ... just like yours. Pick a section, drop the box down and click. Still no double entry. Your system has 2 devices or actually three and a couple other programs on your computer so the software works. Again this software relies on no other software. It is all in one. As far as the picture edit one can add an arrow or comment if they wish and is also attached to the same program. I do not want to mention the extremely inexpensive cost of this program and absolutely no ongoing fees as with most programs. One can go to the Whisper Solutions site and check that out. I think they would be extremely pleased

    Your difference is you own the software and sell it to add to your income in life. Multiple rpograms and costs are involved as well.

    But who is adding programs and costs here


  53. #53
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Marc,
    When you find a reverse polarity in a house, and report on it, and write that comment (whatever it is), do you not write the same comment the next time you find a RP, except for maybe saying WHERE you found it?

    I have many comments that I have used over and over again placed in my library. Many times I don't have to change one word, I just click the box, and that comment goes into the report. It might be 5 words, or 5 paragraphs. Sometimes I have to add comments such as where the defect is, or some other note. Again, most of my work is done already, I just use the library short cut so I don't have to type the 5 words or 5 paragraphs over and over again.

    The language is not canned, it's the language I use when I wrote the library.
    No, no...I get that. I'm just saying, that works with houses that are lets say in average condition. But when you get to a house that is a total POS, there may be issues that have to be written out or manufactured. Just saying.
    I will spend almost 2-3 hours on average on a report. 2000 sq ft med damage. I will then spend another hour proofing it prior to sending it. QC

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    The red highlight above, as far as I am concerned, is a canned, cold, robotic comments that needs to be added to greatly." All it says is have someone else figure it out

    As far as the moisture in the ceiling. I know it was just an example. I find it way to canned. I would never say the "East corner of the ceiling." I would explain the room that it was in and the left rear corner with the baring being looking at the home from the front that what already explained and pointed out earlier in the beginning of the report. There is also a whole lot more that needs to be said about that as well. How about where the leak may be coming from, if you know. How about if you do not know, you explain that you checked the attic and roof and found no particular area of concern that would have created that moisture but it does not mean there is one, and a contractor (most likely roofing contractor) should follow up for further evaluation and price for repair.

    All those comments add no personal, knowledgeable advise to your clients. All those canned comments are for Inspectors that have no past experience, are not confident in there inspecting and reporting and are specifically vague thinking they are keeping themselves out of trouble by not venturing past the blunt plane canned remark that just sent them scrambling with no apparent direction as to what to do next. These folks are not covering themselves. I have been inspecting all of my working life and full time for the past twelve years along with building, tearing apart, rebuilding, remodeling and being concerned only about the fact that my clients know as absolutely as much as I can offer for the short time I am at the inspection and doing the report.

    I added that last part because not once since I stepped out the door at 18 and years before that helping out as a teenager has anyone ever been able to come after me for anything real for anything at all and I turn 57 tomorrow.

    I can almost guarantee you that there are only a few folks out there that can come close to repeating that last paragraph and be sincere about it.

    As far as all the rest of what you added after the red highlight. There is so much drop down, adding in, editing, polishing up etc, one might as well just type it out.

    Not getting on you by any means. Everyone has there way or reporting.

    I say that if folks stopped with all the quick canned comments and actually wrote a report they would make far fewer mistakes and also show the clients that you offered as much info as possible and put a lot of thought into your inspecting and reporting.
    Agreed.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  55. #55
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I agree that its always great to pull something out of a library, maybe tweek it and pop it in place. I'm sure we all have our favorites. But, at the same time, I strongly agree that if you really have something to say, and are not afraid to say what you know, and know what you say; You are almost always going to have to write original narratives about a condition(s).

    Writing a clear and concise narrative can take time and thought.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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  56. #56
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    If you're referring to my post about Scott P, you misread it.

    I value Scott's expertise. I imagine his reports to be very professional and yet minimalistic (only providing the necessary information without fluff).
    OK, this is from a recent inspection. I think I sanitized it fairly well. This report took me about an hour and a half to complete, this house was right at 3000sf. As you will see I report pretty much like I'm talking to the client with little fluff or fodder.

    If the page numbers do not match and it looks cobbled together, had to delete about half of the report so that it would fit the file size restrictions.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-31-2011 at 08:12 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    OK, this is from a recent inspection. I think I sanitized it fairly well. This report took me about an hour and a half to complete, this house was right at 3000sf. As you will see I report pretty much like I'm talking to the client with little fluff or fodder.

    If the page numbers do not match and it looks cobbled together, had to delete about half of the report so that it would fit the file size restrictions.
    Hmmm....I think I write too much. Good report Scott.

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  58. #58
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    OK, this is from a recent inspection. I think I sanitized it fairly well. This report took me about an hour and a half to complete, this house was right at 3000sf. As you will see I report pretty much like I'm talking to the client with little fluff or fodder.

    If the page numbers do not match and it looks cobbled together, had to delete about half of the report so that it would fit the file size restrictions.
    To me, that's about the perfect amount of information and detail. 1.5 hours seems to be a pretty good amount of time to put that together.

    BTW Scott... I'm curious about your conversion to PDF. Do you use Adobe? If so, are your settings set to "smallest file size?" I just checked a recent fairly long report I did and it was 3.3 megabytes in it's original form and when converted it was .6

    It's nice for storage.... and it keeps the little old ladies with dial-up connections from complaining


  59. #59
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    OK, this is from a recent inspection. I think I sanitized it fairly well. This report took me about an hour and a half to complete, this house was right at 3000sf. As you will see I report pretty much like I'm talking to the client with little fluff or fodder.

    If the page numbers do not match and it looks cobbled together, had to delete about half of the report so that it would fit the file size restrictions.

    "You should consider adding additional insulation to the home."


    Along with that statement I would give a guesstimate, and tell them it is a guesstimate, of what the R value is now and the R value for today's standards is an R38 which would be approximately XX inches added of loose fill fiberglass. This would reduce you energy consumption greatly. I may even add a comment about radiant barriers or solar roof vents for energy savings in the future.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    To me, that's about the perfect amount of information and detail. 1.5 hours seems to be a pretty good amount of time to put that together.

    BTW Scott... I'm curious about your conversion to PDF. Do you use Adobe? If so, are your settings set to "smallest file size?" I just checked a recent fairly long report I did and it was 3.3 megabytes in it's original form and when converted it was .6

    It's nice for storage.... and it keeps the little old ladies with dial-up connections from complaining
    Ya know, I really do not know about the file size settings. I use Adobe, but I do not see anyway to change the setting for a smaller file size.

    My reporting software is 3D and it is a file hog. The full file size for this report was right at 4 megs, mostly due to a large number of photos for all of the problems.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  61. #61
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Ya know, I really do not know about the file size settings. I use Adobe, but I do not see anyway to change the setting for a smaller file size.

    My reporting software is 3D and it is a file hog. The full file size for this report was right at 4 megs, mostly due to a large number of photos for all of the problems.
    Nuance PDF Converter Professional 7 is a PDF program I use on one of my computers. After you save something to PDF and it opens then you just click on tools and then optimize. It cut the file way down. You can optinize again and it cuts it down again.

    Most of the time it is on sale for 69 to a max of 99. I stopped using the hog Adobe a very long time ago. Create files, print files to PDF, correct documents, and it also opens any PDF.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: How long to finish a report?

    I access most of the Adobe settings through MS Word.... not sure if there is access through 3D? If not, you can probably do it through the Adobe pref. In both places you find "conversion settings" and select "smallest file size". I've never been able to notice any quality reduction in a standard 8.5X11 form.... of course, once it's blown up it goes bad quickly.

    As for other PDF programs, I've never been able to find one that has all functionallity that I need. Mainly, the table of contents that I create in MS Word carries over to PDF (with Adobe) so when you click on a section (plumbing, electrical, etc.) it jumps to the heading in that section. All of the free or less expensive pdf converters won't do that so I've always stuck with Adobe.... and paid the high $$$.


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