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  1. #1
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    Default acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I am always looking to cut wording in my reports.
    I've used and see others use the statement, The item was in "acceptable condition at time of inspection"

    If our agreement states the report is based on condition on the day of the inspection is there any reason to state this, or any like wording, after each item ?

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I am always looking to cut wording in my reports.
    I've used and see others use the statement, The item was in "acceptable condition at time of inspection"

    If our agreement states the report is based on condition on the day of the inspection is there any reason to state this, or any like wording, after each item ?
    I don't. I use the following words or phrases:
    Appears operable.
    It was cooling/heating.
    It is working.
    ___ is working as designed.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I am always looking to cut wording in my reports.
    I've used and see others use the statement, The item was in "acceptable condition at time of inspection"

    If our agreement states the report is based on condition on the day of the inspection is there any reason to state this, or any like wording, after each item ?
    Its a subjective finding. Acceptable to you as an inspector may not be acceptable to the client.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Its a subjective finding. Acceptable to you as an inspector may not be acceptable to the client.
    Agreed.. I meant to say , it was working, there was a leak, an outlet in the bath was not GFCI protected, or what ever , then add the words at "time of the inspection" after the item.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Dan

    "At time of inspection" is irrelevant given that the inspection is conducted on a specific date and time as indicated on the contract or cover page. Its a given if that makes sense?

    However if a client calls post inspection and says my basement is leaking, you would likely reply, 'well...at time of inspection the basement was dry and my moisture meter indicated the area was dry.

    Savvy?

    Regards,


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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I use INSPECTED and OPERATED. There is no need to state a time (at time of inspection). It is redundant since the inspection occurred at a specific date and time usually included in the report.

    I don't use terms like serviceable, functional, or any qualifiers "like appears to be" or other such nonsense. Inspected, Operated, Not Present. If they are anything other than functional, serviceable, etc. then I am going to write them up as defects. Implied functional by lack of comment about its condition.

    The SOPs require an inspector to INSPECT some items and DESCRIBE other items. About half a dozen items must be OPERATED (smoke detectors, kitchen appliances, exterior & garage receptacles, thermostatically controlled attic ventilation fans, faucets.) By using the terms Inspected and Operated I meet the SOP. I avoid the entire quagmire of conditional state.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    [QUOTE=Bruce Ramsey;165336]I use INSPECTED and OPERATED.
    .[/QUOTEJ
    Just curious.. Do you have a glossery or statement that defines what INSPECTED means?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I agree with Raymond. Get all the conditions spelled out in the contract and/or cover remarks in the report and be done with them. No need to clutter up the report with unnecessary repetitions. When I say "Satisfactory" it's already been specified that it's based upon conditions at the time of the inspection and visual observations.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I use INSPECTED and OPERATED.
    .
    Just curious.. Do you have a glossery or statement that defines what INSPECTED means?
    Nope. The state SOP defines Inspect "means the act of making a visual examination."

    There is a sample report on my website. Go check it out to find out how I write reports.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    The only time I use terms like "at the time of the inspection" is when I comment on a stain.
    I may say something like, "stain noted on ceiling of living room and tested DRY today", or WET.

    My reports document the date and time I did the inspection, so its pretty obvious when I am there.


  11. #11

    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I am always looking to cut wording in my reports.
    I've used and see others use the statement, The item was in "acceptable condition at time of inspection"

    If our agreement states the report is based on condition on the day of the inspection is there any reason to state this, or any like wording, after each item ?
    I use a rating system that is explained at the very beginning of the report.

    "Serviceable" "In the inspectors opinion, the item is functioning as intended. Normal, periodic maintenance is required to maintain this condition and to attain the maximum useful life span."

    "Needs Attention" "the item is not functioning as intended and either repairs or further investigation by a qualified specialist is required."

    "Not Acceptable" "The item is not functioning as intended, has ceased to function at all, or is at or past the end of it's service life and is in need of replacement. Contact the appropriate specialist for further information."

    All Not Acceptable items automatically go to the summary in red at the front of the report. This is a function of the HIP software I use.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I find if there is something that I feel might come up later, ( such as how come I missed an item on my report) I will put in, at time of inspection, ( ie such and such was working and functional. This protects me if item has problems after the inspection Also besides some of the wording mentioned by others I will use the wording, "safety issue" Any time I have a question in my report that I think needs attention I will recommend a certified or qualified licensed company to check out problem. I also encourage the person who hired me to do the inspection to walk with me and ask questions and observe anything that would bother them as concern on the property. This way the report is more meaningful to them and they are witness to actual visual inspection.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I don't. I use the following words or phrases:
    Appears operable.
    It was cooling/heating.
    It is working.
    ___ is working as designed.
    Scott,

    I don't like "appears". It worked or it didn't. I use "appears" rarely.

    I also don't like "working as designed" because I really am not often not familiar with the design specs.

    I will use "operated at time of inspection" or "operable".

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I use "appeared functional". Inspection is visual, so "appeared" reinforces that. Inspection took place at specific date/time, so past tense, "appeared versus appears". Functional - NAHI's definition from sop "performing, or able to perform, a function".

    Just my two cents.

    Gunnar's points are well taken.

    I'll read this thread closely, there's always room to improve.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Here, I use this one "looks good from my house"...
    You're welcome to use it.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Several have mentioned the terms they use and list their definitions.

    In my view the preferred term is "Inspected" which in my report is defined as "The System or Component was examined in accordance with the written scope of the inspection and no adverse conditions were observed."

    Adverse condition, System, and Component are also defined in our glossary. (Along with all other key terms in the report -about 20 words). The customer gets a copy of the glossary, inspection scope, and contract by email before the inspection when we send the confirmation of the appointment.

    I believe the key to successful reports is to use defined terms so that the inspector controls the meaning of all the important words.

    When you choose the key terms carefully and use a glossary, your reports become more concise, your remarks are more consistent, and you reduce the potential for misunderstandings. Remarks based on direct observations written with carefully defined terms create reports that defend themselves.

    The glossary and inspection scope of work, as well as other useful documents and services are available to subscribers of ProSpex.us, an inspector consulting firm.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    "at the time of the inspection" is obviously redundant.... unless we're breaking into houses and checking on things at some other time.

    But, I use it fairly often. Mainly, just to remind and drive home the point to the reader (buyer) that the inspection is just what conditions existed when I was there. I think it's an overall useful phrase as long as its not used in excess.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post

    The SOPs require an inspector to INSPECT some items and DESCRIBE other items. About half a dozen items must be OPERATED (smoke detectors, kitchen appliances, exterior & garage receptacles, thermostatically controlled attic ventilation fans, faucets.) By using the terms Inspected and Operated I meet the SOP. I avoid the entire quagmire of conditional state.

    What SOP requires that you operate Smoke detectors and kitchen appliances?


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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mcdonald View Post
    What SOP requires that you operate Smoke detectors and kitchen appliances?

    North Carolina SOPs.
    http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Engineerin...100excerpt.pdf

    .1110 ELECTRICAL(d)The home inspector shall report on the presence or absence of smoke detectors, and operate their test function, if accessible, except when detectors are part of a central system.

    .1115 BUILT-IN KITCHEN APPLIANCES
    a) The home inspector shall inspect and operate the basic functions of the following kitchen appliances:

    (1) Permanently installed dishwasher(s), through a normal cycle;

    (2) Range(s), cook top(s), and permanently installed oven(s);

    (3) Trash compactor(s);

    (4) Garbage disposal(s);

    (5) Ventilation equipment or range hood(s); and

    (6) Permanently installed microwave oven(s).



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  20. #20
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mcdonald View Post
    What SOP requires that you operate Smoke detectors and kitchen appliances?
    Pretty much the same in Oregon.....


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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Wow! A normal cycle on my dishwasher is about 3 hours! No doubt you should "observe" it the entire time it is running.

    I don't see a problem with using "appears", it does reinforce that it is a visual inspection and not technically exhaustive.
    "at time of inspection" is redundant, but again, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that it is a moment in time.

    Last edited by Benjamin Thompson; 04-29-2011 at 11:28 PM.

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    As recommended by a NAHI webinar I attended, I changed every instance of "appears" in my report template to "appeared". The webinar presenter felt that use of the past tense reinforced the fact that the report was written following observations made at a fixed point in time. Made sense, so I did it.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  23. #23
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    Wow! A normal cycle on my dishwasher is about 3 hours! No doubt you should "observe" it the entire time it is running.

    I don't see a problem with using "appears", it does reinforce that it is a visual inspection and not technically exhaustive.
    "at time of inspection" is redundant, but again, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that it is a moment in time.
    First thing I do when inspecting is head to the kitchen and start the dw. I carry a $12 leak detector that I place in front of the dw. Start it, wait a minute or two once started to let it get going. Open door to check to make sure the arm was spinning and it shuts off when door opens, then head off to complete the rest of the inspection. Usually completes by the time I finish the inspection and return to kitchen to collect payment and final client wrap up.

    NC licensing board strongly recommend removing the word Appears/ed from reports during the mandatory training a few years ago. Take a stand, either it is OK or it needs repair/replacement. The use of the term Inspected puts you on better ground. The term is defined in the SOP as a visual examination. Appears just sounds so wishy-washy. Kind of like I gave it a quick glance and it appeared OK but I dont really know.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    IMOFWIW Gunnar has ir right. "Appears" is way over used and at best a weasel word. It's operable or it ain't. Serviceable is another overused dumb word.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    In my opinion it is not a weasel word, it is used quite often in law.

    The suspect appeared to be drunk/intoxicated/high when arrested for running the red light. His eyes were bloodshot and pupils dilated.
    An officer can only surmise the person is intoxicated based on visual appearance and must conduct a field sobriety test and or breathalyser. Perfectly fine to use 'appeared'.

    A home inspector sees a stain on the wall, if he follows the SOP and does not use a moisture meter to test for moisture he can only speculate if the stain is from water, or from some other cause such as a an oil stain. He would be perfectly fine in using the term "the stain appeared to be caused by something other than water".

    Lets not suggest for a moment the word is not to be used, a weasel word or is not in keeping with facts that cannot be easily established at the moment of inspection.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I know this is an ancient thread from the beginning of the month .... but.

    It is absolutely imperative that somewhere, and not after every statement, The wording is used to express to your clients that absolutely, positively....... everything you inspected, worked however you wish to state that it did, at the time of the inspection and anything can stop working as soon as you walk out that door and turn the key.

    Most clients do not absolutely understand the fact that you are there in a given time frame and in that time frame you turned something on, opened or closed something or observed something but it can and some times does change almost immediately, a day after, a week after etc. You must also express in the beginning of your report that your inspection is absolutely not a warranty or guarantee of any kind.

    Those folks doing the free termed warranty or guarantee or double your money back guarantee garbage is exactly that, garbage. The inspection and its findings stop at the door or you will be eating those warranties or guaranties and then when you put it to them that to use such they are signing all rights of liability away from the inspector. At that point you become toast. Everyone that person ever runs into will hear how your fake warranty or guarantee screwed them over.

    As far as the term "appears". There is absolutely nothing wrong with a mechanic fixing the brakes on your car and when asked if everything is fine now "It appears we got the problem and everything appears to be working just fine.

    The disposal "appears" to be working just dandy. In fact you have no idea just how dandy but you turned it on., it came on, it was relatively quiet with no vibration but could die tomorrow. So, It appears to be working just dandy ..... and then all the way back at the beginning of your inspection report it reminded them that it "appeared" to be working just dandy "at the time of the inspection".

    You left them with no doubt what so ever that everything is at the time of the inspection and what happens after that ...... is called maintenance.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-30-2011 at 06:38 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Ted, it appears that you know what you are talking about!


  28. #28
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Ted, it appears that you know what you are talking about!

    Ah, but as some think .... Appearances can fool you . Yes I have self humility! That is why the term "appears" is not a weasel word.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    I occasionally use "at the time of inspection", usually to emphasize that based on what "I observed at the time of inspection" I cannot determine when something (water entry to a basement, movement of structural components, etc) occurred, or if, or how frequently, or to what extent it may occur in the future.

    The objective is to underline the fact that based on a different set of conditions (for example, unusual heavy rain, or if I had observed the out of square door frame on two occasions a year apart) I might have observed something different, or would have additional information, and the client should expect that they may do the same, and in some cases should even attempt to do so.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 05-01-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    IMOFWIW Gunnar has ir right. "Appears" is way over used and at best a weasel word. It's operable or it ain't. Serviceable is another overused dumb word.
    I too, do not like the word "serviceable".

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    "Functioning As Intended" is what I use.

    Lanny Freng
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Consider creating and including an inspection report glossary in which the term "inspected" is defined as: The system or component was examined in accordance with the contractual scope of inspection and no adverse conditions were observed.

    The contractual scope of inspection referred to in the above definition should include a reference to a recognized (or state-mandated where applicable) home inspection standard of practices.

    Including a home inspection report glossary which defines specific terms used in the report and applying each of those terms appropriately in the report provides the following benefits:

    •Allows the creation of a closed document by controlling and defining the terms used in the inspection report (“owning” your terminology)

    •Reduces the time required to prepare the report by reducing the amount of written information necessary to include in the report

    •Reduces the temptation to editorialize

    •Reduces legal exposure

    •Reduces the potential for misunderstanding on the part of both customers and others who may read the report

    By including a glossary which includes and defines the term "inspected," an inspector can succinctly indicate that a specific system or component was evaluated and that there were no conditions which required comment. It also allows inspectors to meet the requirements of some states such as Arizona which mandate that inspection reports comment on every component listed in the state standards and present at the home being inspected.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Ah, but as some think .... Appearances can fool you . Yes I have self humility! That is why the term "appears" is not a weasel word.
    But used in conjunction with "serviceable" is a weasel phrase - either you tested it or you didn't, it functioned or it didn't. Just what exactly does "appears serviceable" mean? "It looks like it "should" function, but I'm not quite sure?" Makes a person wonder what kinda spectin' people are doin' out there !

    Last edited by Jim Hintz; 08-27-2011 at 12:53 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Here, I use this one "looks good from my house"...
    You're welcome to use it.
    Here's my favorite: "Good enough for who it's for."


  35. #35

    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    But used in conjunction with "serviceable" is a weasel phrase - either you tested it or you didn't, it functioned or it didn't. Just what exactly does "appears serviceable" mean? "It looks like it "should" function, but I'm not quite sure?" Makes a person wonder what kinda spectin' people are doin' out there !
    Jim, There are times when it is not possible to actually operate a device or system due to conditions such as no power, water or gas or things like temperature conditions in the case of an A/C system.

    Definition:
    "serviceable" adj
    1. capable of or ready for service; usable
    2. capable of giving good service; durable

    "Appears Serviceable" is valid. This is usually accompanied by a comment about why it was not tested under normal working conditions and that further evaluation should be performed when conditions are more favorable to doing so.

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: acceptable condition at time of inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    Jim, There are times when it is not possible to actually operate a device or system due to conditions such as no power, water or gas or things like temperature conditions in the case of an A/C system.

    Definition:
    "serviceable" adj
    1. capable of or ready for service; usable
    2. capable of giving good service; durable

    "Appears Serviceable" is valid. This is usually accompanied by a comment about why it was not tested under normal working conditions and that further evaluation should be performed when conditions are more favorable to doing so.
    Dana, whenever I run across situations such as "no power, gas, water" then the items are labeled "NI" for not inspected. Unless a person physically operates or tests a device, you don't know if it's capable or not, but the client only hears and interprets "appears serviceable" as "good to go" and does not have it checked out. Then on one hot July afternoon, "YOU" get a call from the agent or buyer. "Usable?" how do you know? "Durable?" - how do you know? Again, for how long? That's why I like "NI" and recommend unit be evaluated / serviced by an HVAC tech. Of course, I do put the brand, size, serial and model numbers in the report so the client has it. When I do operate the A/C, I use "responded normally to controls" and I still recommend further evaluation/service by a licensed HVAC tech....... Have a Good Weekend

    Last edited by Jim Hintz; 08-27-2011 at 09:30 AM. Reason: spelling

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