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  1. #1
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    Default Categorizing your findings

    Just wondering what terms some of you use to describe your findings for issues you discover incorrect, functional, etc...
    In addition, if you use a summary, what term do you use to separate the "substandard issues", from those which require more immediate service?
    I mean, one, (not me) could make the argument that any substandard issue would require immediate service?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc: I very reluctantly use a summery - I don't like them. People's desires for what they want repaired can vary widely from my opinions. A few years ago my big issue on a home was the structural integrity of the roof. The client was much more concerned with the A/C condenser coil being dirty. I don't think that there's a good answer to your question.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    I have to agree. But in the area where I work, the agents require a summary. Im trying to get an idea of the different terms used when placing an importance level on items, or terms used to categorize the issues individually.
    I've seen good, poor fair. to me that is too subjective.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc,

    I have mine broken out into unsafe and improper/nonfunctional. Attorneys say this is a bad idea.

    Example of stuff that I put into the unsafe category:
    Uneven stairways
    Trip hazards
    Exposed electrical

    Example of stuff that I put into the improper/nonfunctional category:
    Inoperable appliances
    Leaks
    Framing problems

    Realize that any of this is subjective. For example, is a balcony guardrail that is 41 inches high unsafe? Certainly it does not meet current code, but if it dates from 7 years ago...

    Department of Redundancy Department
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Yea Gunner, thats what I'm taking about... The problem is if the railing is too low, isnt that a serious safety issue? I mean, what if thats the one thing you didnt choose to put on your summary or highlight as "safety", and it results in a catastrophe? Creek + no paddle ?

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Why are you rating the findings at all?

    I use Safety Item, Repair Item, Further Investigate. Those all go in the summary. Maintenance items and Recommendations stay in the body. State laws require a Summary and mandate what can and can't go into the summary. Maintenance and Recommendations are not allowed. The other three are allowed.

    Safety Items are things that may not be broken or required when the house was built. Missing GFCIs in older homes, old poorly built decks, open well in the back yard, dead tree branch over house, etc.

    The Realtors lobbied and got the law passed requiring a summary. OK, so everything goes in the summary. If the item is fine, there is nothing to write about in the report or the summary. If it is deficient in any way, it is a Repair Item and goes in the summary. Broken light plate switch cover, yep, in the summary.

    99% of clients attend the inspection. We discuss which defects I think are important and which ones I would fix sooner vs. later. The report does not. Everything is equally important.

    The only sorting of items in the summary is by systems: plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Just wondering what terms some of you use to describe your findings for issues you discover incorrect, functional, etc...
    In addition, if you use a summary, what term do you use to separate the "substandard issues", from those which require more immediate service?
    I mean, one, (not me) could make the argument that any substandard issue would require immediate service?
    Why not just tell them what you found?

    The stove is not working. Have it repaired or replaced.

    The sink is leaking. Have a qualified plumber make the needed repairs

    The handrail is missing on the stairs. Have a proper handrail installed.

    The electric panel has a two wires under one lug on a breaker. Have a qualified electrician make the needed corrections.

    I consider anything that I have to write about in the report as being "substandard" or in need of repair, replacement or correction.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    What state laws???? In california? Right.
    My software requires at least 4 comments which describe the condition, otherwise it will automatically put the word "blank" in its place. Yea, yea...I know, get new software.
    If I had it my way there would be NO clssification of the issues, at all.
    You guys also need to understand I dont work in the area you do. Here, almost 100% of our business is realtor referral. So, the realtors want/need/expect these terms on the report. It has been this way for so long, that it is now the standard. I'd rather not get into the business of California inspections. I do go over the items at the inspection, important ones. There just isnt enough time to discuss every single solitary issue, just the important ones. But I digress.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc
    The only reason the realtors' want a summary is because they want you to do their work for them. They take the summary content and use that - not the report - for negotiation purposes. If your software defaults to "blank" when no words are added, just type "See report, item xxx". Anything other than that could be duplicative and prone to misinterpretation.

    My reports include but not limited to, "Defective/non-operational/damaged or deteriorated requiring repair or replacement", "Unsafe or hazardous condition, requiring (immediate) repair or replacement", "Typical condition for the age of home and requires ongoing maintenance" and "(Strongly) Recommend further evaluation by fully qualified licensed technician" or whatever trade is indicated (S.E./Elec/Plumbing/HVAC/etc).

    If the client and realtor conclude the defects identified will be subject to further negotiation then I may include the necessary codes in support of the initial observations. But only with regard to the specific deficiencies subject of the negotiations. The report goes to the client (usually), I typically go over it with them verbally (usually), highlighting important issues and let them and their realtor decide what, if anything, needs to be addressed further with the seller. I will only do a 'summary' if they specifically request it but only for the aforementioned purpose.

    ip


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Ian,
    the program uses a short phrase to categorize the issue. Like, needs service...than the comment follows. If it were not for agents, there would be no summary or categories. I mean, were there to comment on issues as they are. But as you stated so well, some can be/are lazy etc....

    Here's an example

    Substandard condition:
    Loose wrought iron fencing was noted where the fence is connected into the block wall system...... We recommend the further review, advice .....

    Its the bolded comment that I'm trying to get other "terms" used by other inspectors.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc
    I think you could use any terminology you like, as long as you provide a standard template/boilerplate definition as to what those terms mean. That way you cover all the bases. Make up your own sub-headings (Bold) to serve a multitude of issues and then define the headings as part of the summary.

    e.g. Substandard condition: Includes but not limited to defects which were not installed pursuant to accepted trade standards or practices or are defective or damaged requiring repair.

    Hazardous condition: A condition which is currently hazardous to health and safety or may become so if not remediated immediately.

    Those headings and definitions would then be standardized and consistent with all future reports. Of course you can expand the definition to include whatever you think fits with your own business model and practices.

    ip


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Why not just tell them what you found?

    The stove is not working. Have it repaired or replaced.

    The sink is leaking. Have a qualified plumber make the needed repairs

    The handrail is missing on the stairs. Have a proper handrail installed.

    The electric panel has a two wires under one lug on a breaker. Have a qualified electrician make the needed corrections.

    I consider anything that I have to write about in the report as being "substandard" or in need of repair, replacement or correction.
    That is what I do with a little more wording than that but the basics of that is what I do. Everything I write up that is a concern needs some sort of repair/rehab/replacement/touch up etc. That is why I do not do summaries and that is why realtors do not run out the door to refer me. Everything I write that is wrong with anything would have to go into a summary.

    The pros at getting massive Realtor referrals break it down for them. The last thing a Realtor wants to do is go over a report. They want the major items in the summary and the lesser or not so major items not in the summary so they can say... " see, even the home inspector thinks it is no big deal and the sellers just won't deal with it.

    If I could learn that deceptive trick I would be busy 7 days a week. To me every item hooked up wrong, done wrong in some way, broken, bent, cracked, hazard old code and should be upgraded etc etc etc needs to be written and if it is concerns in the home that go into a summary then most of my report would be duplicated into the summary.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Why are you rating the findings at all?

    I use Safety Item, Repair Item, Further Investigate. Those all go in the summary. Maintenance items and Recommendations stay in the body. State laws require a Summary and mandate what can and can't go into the summary. Maintenance and Recommendations are not allowed. The other three are allowed.

    Safety Items are things that may not be broken or required when the house was built. Missing GFCIs in older homes, old poorly built decks, open well in the back yard, dead tree branch over house, etc.

    The Realtors lobbied and got the law passed requiring a summary. OK, so everything goes in the summary. If the item is fine, there is nothing to write about in the report or the summary. If it is deficient in any way, it is a Repair Item and goes in the summary. Broken light plate switch cover, yep, in the summary.

    99% of clients attend the inspection. We discuss which defects I think are important and which ones I would fix sooner vs. later. The report does not. Everything is equally important.

    The only sorting of items in the summary is by systems: plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.
    I am not sure I understand your states philosophy on what does and does not go into a summary. Who picked what does and does not go.

    Like I said above a maintenance item means more or less that something is worn out. If it is a dirty carpet I do not write it up. If it is a torn carpet, bad stain, excessive wear and needs replacing it is still a maintenance item but does need to be replaced.. Keeping anything out of a summary is setting the stage for a realtor or seller to throw anything back at a buyer as a maintenance item and they are not going to put it into an addendum because the state says it is a maintenance item. It should be the buyers and the buyers only decision on what they want to ask for to be repaired. replaced, updated etc. If they do not like a pink carpet in a room there should be no one in the transaction process slightly hinting or down right telling the buyer that a seller will never give an allowance for this or that.

    I know it is a bit off topic but that is why I truly believe that there should be no outside influence in the slightest between the inspection, the report and the buyer including first and foremost any realtor referring any inspector or even group of inspectors. Never mind a state demanding there is a summary and what can and cannot go into it.

    I guess I could read your rules and get a better understanding, but again, who is anyone, including the state to say what does or does not go into a summary and why is it mandatory for a summary. I don't believe it was the inspector or buyer in mind when someone sat down to make those rules. It sounds more like the Real Estate Associations may have had a bit of input into the decision making.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-13-2011 at 05:53 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    That is what I do with a little more wording than that but the basics of that is what I do. Everything I write up that is a concern needs some sort of repair/rehab/replacement/touch up etc. That is why I do not do summaries and that is why realtors do not run out the door to refer me. Everything I write that is wrong with anything would have to go into a summary.

    The pros at getting massive Realtor referrals break it down for them. The last thing a Realtor wants to do is go over a report. They want the major items in the summary and the lesser or not so major items not in the summary so they can say... " see, even the home inspector thinks it is no big deal and the sellers just won't deal with it.

    If I could learn that deceptive trick I would be busy 7 days a week. To me every item hooked up wrong, done wrong in some way, broken, bent, cracked, hazard old code and should be upgraded etc etc etc needs to be written and if it is concerns in the home that go into a summary then most of my report would be duplicated into the summary.
    Ted, I agree with that 100%. You are there to find things that are wrong, therefore, doesnt everything go into a sumamry? Too bad, I cant do that.

    I know it is a bit off topic but that is why I truly believe that there should be no outside influence in the slightest between the inspection, the report and the buyer including first and foremost any realtor referring any inspector or even group of inspectors.

    Agree again.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    I guess there's a difference in philosophy about here. I don't think that I'm there to tell the things that are wrong. That's certainly the prime component, but I'm there to describe what's there and to educate as much as anything. And the State of North Carolina requires that of me. I have to describe the components of a house. I have to tell the client what things are made of, where they are. I think it's my responsiblity to tell them the age of mechanical items when I can. Today I did a house with a tile floor over 2x8 joists and elevated moisture in the crawl space. The tile was sound with no cracked grout. It was installed one year ago. When the agent passed me in the room, the floor vibrated. I know it won't last. I'f I'm there just to itemize defects, I pass on that? I don't have to.
    Who decides what's on the Summary? Well hell yes it was politically motivated. Follow the money. In North Carolina there are under 1300 active home inspectors. There are over 10,000 Realtors with lobbyists and pacs. I'm not naive. The summary is strictly there to facilitate getting the deal to the table. But as an inspector, I can live within those parameters and still make my client knowlegable. The whole report is still there. It will never be my job to make them read it, but I've done my job as agreed without caving to other interests.

    JLMathis


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    I guess there's a difference in philosophy about here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    I don't think that I'm there to tell the things that are wrong. That's certainly the prime component, but I'm there to describe what's there and to educate as much as anything. And the State of North Carolina requires that of me. I have to describe the components of a house. I have to tell the client what things are made of, where they are. I think it's my responsibility to tell them the age of mechanical items when I can. Today I did a house with a tile floor over 2x8 joists and elevated moisture in the crawl space. The tile was sound with no cracked grout. It was installed one year ago. When the agent passed me in the room, the floor vibrated. I know it won't last. I'f I'm there just to itemize defects, I pass on that? I don't have to.
    Who decides what's on the Summary? Well hell yes it was politically motivated. Follow the money. In North Carolina there are under 1300 active home inspectors. There are over 10,000 Realtors with lobbyists and pacs. I'm not naive. The summary is strictly there to facilitate getting the deal to the table. But as an inspector, I can live within those parameters and still make my client knowledgeable. The whole report is still there. It will never be my job to make them read it, but I've done my job as agreed without caving to other interests.

    JLMathis
    I don't think that I'm there to tell the things that are wrong.
    You are there to tell them what is wrong with the home. If it needs a band aid then there is something wrong with it and it needs repair of some better going over by an expert in that trade. So, you are telling them what is wrong with the home.

    I have to describe the components of a house.

    So, you are telling them what is wrong with something if there is something wrong with it.

    [quote]
    tile floor over 2x8 joists and elevated moisture in the crawl space[/quote

    If the span was too great and there is elevated moisture in the crawl .... then there is something wrong with what you are describing and you should be telling them about it and it should be in your summary.

    I'f I'm there just to itemize defects, I pass on that
    That is a summary. The listing of details of components and what is wrong with them.

    Now granted, after a year I would have verbally told them that the floor span was a little greater than what it may have suppose to have been but I did not get the tape measure out. I also would have said that the tile appears to be holding up well and there are no cracks. If it was borderline as it appeared to be I doubt the tile and possible cracking would have made it into the written report. Greater moisture in the wood makes it more flexible and bouncy and the elevated moisture will cause concerns in not long at all and should have been addressed. Soak a 2x4 and bend it around a tree (kind of) try it with a dry 2x4 and there will be very little flex or in your case, bounce.

    You are in fact naming items of concern that need repair/follow up. I really do not see any difference in philosophy. You are in fact itemizing defects along with giving them sound knowledgeable advise.

    Just an opinion.




  17. #17
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    I put every deficiency or problem in the summary. With some disclaimers, I have 4 sections, serious safety issues, items that will cost alot to correct or are fairly major, items that are intermediate, and minor issues.

    Everybody likes it, the realtors dont have to read the report, cut and paste for the BINSR. The client can read the report at their leisure. I don't see the down side as long as you include everything.

    The summary I provide would be the entire report if it weren't for state standards.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Here is a short example of what my summary page looks like.
    My summary pages are normally 1 1/2 - 2 pages with no spacing & crammed plumb full of text.

    Following the summary page I normally insert 12 - 24 photos / illustrations with full descriptions.

    Please offer any advice / criticism



    ITEMS NOT OPERATING…Or not operating properly

    WATER SERVICE: Pluming supply & drainage lines where not tested…Water supply to the home is turned off.
    A/C: Exterior A/c compressor would not operate…Recommend this be evaluated / repaired as necessary before closing.

    **It is always recommended to contact…Expert / qualified / licensed technicians for any & all repairs**

    General Comments

    CHIMNEYS: Recommend capping the flue with a screened weather cap.
    Chimney cap has cracking, recommend resealing of the cracks. Keep the moisture out
    WATER SOFTENER: Culligan water equipment…Is this equipment leased or owned?
    FIREPLACE: Recommend having flue cleaned and re-examined.
    ATTIC VENTILATION: Ventilation was marginal and could be improved…Recommend adding soffit baffles inside the attic before adding insulation.
    FOUNDATION: Foundation walls are field stone & mortar at the north end of the basement, it is very difficult to evaluate for cracks in these types of foundations. Consider brushing / scraping & removal of any loose mortar & re-mortar where necessary. Also consider covering / sealing walls with a dry-lock / masonry style sealant.

    **It is always recommended to contact…Expert / qualified / licensed technicians for any & all repairs**



    POTENTIAL SAFETY HAZARDS

    GARAGE ELECTRICAL:Safety Issue: No GFCI electrical protection at the garage interior electrical outlets…Recommend GFCI protection.
    KITCHEN ELECTRICAL:Safety Issue: No GFCI electrical outlets at the kitchen sink / counter top areas…Recommend GFCI protection.
    STOVE / RANGE:Safety Issue: No anti tip range bracket installed.
    MAIN PANEL:Safety Issue: Branch wires are under sized - recommend licensed electrician repair and/or replace as necessary. Lower right hand circuit breaker is a 30 amp breaker wired to 12 gauge wiring.
    SMOKE/CO DETECTOR:Safety Issue: No Smoke/CO detectors - Consider new smoke & co detectors, test weekly.
    Illinois law mandates that Smoke / CO detectors be installed within 15 feet of all bedrooms.

    **It is always recommended to contact…Expert / qualified / licensed technicians for any & all repairs**


    DEFERRED COST ITEMS

    Items that have reached or are reaching their normal life expectancy or show indications that they may require repair or replacement anytime during the next five (5) years.
    (Big Ticket Items)
    Roof that is 15+ years.

    **It is always recommended to contact…Expert / qualified / licensed technicians for any & all repairs**



    ** Items listed in this report may inadvertently have been left off the Summary Sheet **

    ** Customer should read the entire report, including the Remarks **



  19. #19

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    I'm old school. I still use Satisfactory, Marginal, Poor, Hazard.

    Satisfactory is just that, nothing wrong.

    Marginal would be for things like the description above about the tile floor being installed on moist 2x8's, a dirty and/or out of level A/C unit that still has a nice 18 temp split, or a 15 year old water heater that's operating but will likely need replacement soon.

    Poor is anything "Not Functioning as Intended." NC Requires anything "Not Functioning as Intended" to be put in the Summary section of the report. I do not differentiate what goes in the Summary based on price, complexity, deferred maintenance, etc. I simply ask my self, "is this functioning as intended?" Deteriorated/cracked caulking, peeling paint, shingles not laying flat, inoperable lights, doors that don't latch or bind in the jamb, all of these are "Not Functioning as Intended. Therefore, these will be in the summary along with the more obvious things such as a leaking water heater or non-functioning A/C unit.

    I am personally not a huge fan of the rating system but I have asked hundreds of my clients what they like and dislike about my report and they all love the fact that they can scan down the side of the page and see the infamous check boxes that represent Satisfactory, Marginal, Poor, Hazard. Since they are the ones paying me, I will keep using my trusty check box rating system until they change their minds.


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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    I've seen multiple variations of rating systems, none of which seem to definitively separate the issues, IMO. My attorney advised me not to use check boxes years ago, my E&O confirmed it.

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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc
    I can, to some degree, understand why your attorney might have an issue with check boxes - if that is the only method of reporting findings but your E&O, now that's a puzzlement. How / why are they dictating a business practice which is accepted in a variety of industries nationwide? Just curious as to what their rationale was, how they dictated their demands and what, if any were the consequences.

    ip


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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Marc
    I can, to some degree, understand why your attorney might have an issue with check boxes - if that is the only method of reporting findings but your E&O, now that's a puzzlement. How / why are they dictating a business practice which is accepted in a variety of industries nationwide? Just curious as to what their rationale was, how they dictated their demands and what, if any were the consequences.

    ip
    Hey Ian,
    They weren't dictating demands or anything like that. They were just saying that they had more claims with check box reports than full narrative. They were simply confirming what the attorney was saying...that is that check box reports are more vague than narrative, thats all.

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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc
    Oh, gotcha...

    ip


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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    I put every deficiency or problem in the summary.
    Every deficient item should be in the summary, under one heading, such as "needs repair" or something like that.

    The summary I provide would be the entire report if it weren't for state standards.
    Your state standards require separating the items under different headings into a summary?

    My reports entered the information in two ways: geographical as to where I was and this is what I saw there (includes every system if I saw something from every system there) as this allowed one to go to the location shown and see what I saw; and systematical such that all electrical items were under electrical in the summary, all plumbing items were under plumbing in the summary, etc., as this made for a convenient itemization of repairs by trade - this systematical listing was the 'summary'.

    The client could go to a room and see what was in that room (geographically).

    The electrician could be given a page of all electrical items, the plumber could be given a page of all plumbing items, etc., everything which had a deficiency was in the summary (systematically).

    That solves the problems with the agents as it lists a summary (sometimes this was to the point that they wished they did not have a summary), and it made it easy to separate the repairs out by trade - which everyone like.

    This was done automatically in my reports so I did not have to spend any time doing it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Marc
    I can, to some degree, understand why your attorney might have an issue with check boxes - if that is the only method of reporting findings but your E&O, now that's a puzzlement. How / why are they dictating a business practice which is accepted in a variety of industries nationwide? Just curious as to what their rationale was, how they dictated their demands and what, if any were the consequences.

    ip
    I could see why an E&O provider would not want an inspector to use a checkbox style report which is probably the same reason many of us as HIs don't use them. Most checkbox reports provide little if any detail about a defect or condition which I can only assume has left the E&O provider in a position of needing to payout on claims due to a lack of detail. If a carrier is going to insure somebody, I'd say they have a right to make some recommendations on report style if they feel a certain type of report is going to open the insured party to increased liability.

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

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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    EVERY defect I find makes it into the summary, it's basically the report without the pictures.

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

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    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Every deficient item should be in the summary, under one heading, such as "needs repair" or something like that.
    I agree with the first part, but I like to separate it into sections s that a door that doesn't latch properly isn't in the same section as the Federal Pacific panel. The "disclaimers" I talked about are stating that the inclusion into different sections in the summary is my judgment and the client may not agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Your state standards require separating the items under different headings into a summary?
    No at all, but our state standards require reporting on alot of things that aren't deficient. The "real" report is the summary. The report to satisfy the standards is the additional 45 pages.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    I agree with the first part, but I like to separate it into sections s that a door that doesn't latch properly isn't in the same section as the Federal Pacific panel. The "disclaimers" I talked about are stating that the inclusion into different sections in the summary is my judgment and the client may not agree.


    No at all, but our state standards require reporting on alot of things that aren't deficient. The "real" report is the summary. The report to satisfy the standards is the additional 45 pages.
    Here is the same answer I, and others gave, but in simpler terms ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    EVERY defect I find makes it into the summary, it's basically the report without the pictures.
    "but I like to separate it into sections s that a door that doesn't latch properly isn't in the same section as the Federal Pacific panel."

    Correct: the door latch goes under structural/doors and the FPE panel goes under electrical ... why do YOU feel YOU have to decide what is more important to your CLIENT?

    More aptly said, why do you feel a need to DOWNPLAY any given "needs repair" item? That is your clients job - it is up to THEM to decide what they think is most important for THEM.

    When you decide you are simply putting yourself up for a bad phone call from your client asking you why you did not mention the sticking door is being as important as the broken (whatever). Those arguments and phones calls are ones you cannot "win" ... you have already "lost" from the simple fact that your client is calling you about it.

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

  29. #29
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    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
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    585

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Jerry, I see your point, but I am trying to help the client by catagorizing items that I know will be expensive or important safety-wise. I think it helps them with their BINSR, but of course they are free to ask for anything else they want.
    Here are my 4 categories and my disclaimer:

    The following summary is a list of items that in my opinion represent the most serious issues in terms of safety or cost.
    All CONCERNS / RECOMMENDATIONS noted in the report may not be listed in this summary.
    You may feel that other items are higher priority or equal in concern than these listed.
    Within each section, the items are listed in the order they occur in the report, not the order of concern.
    This is not intended as nor should be used as a substitute for the complete report.

    These items involve health or safety and should be corrected now:
    blah blah
    Consider the following items next:
    blah blah
    Consider addressing following items in the near future:
    blah blah
    The following items typically represent upgrades which you may want to consider:
    blah blah

    I haven't had any complaints about the "ratings" in 15 years.



  30. #30
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    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
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    562

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I could see why an E&O provider would not want an inspector to use a checkbox style report which is probably the same reason many of us as HIs don't use them. Most checkbox reports provide little if any detail about a defect or condition which I can only assume has left the E&O provider in a position of needing to payout on claims due to a lack of detail. If a carrier is going to insure somebody, I'd say they have a right to make some recommendations on report style if they feel a certain type of report is going to open the insured party to increased liability.
    Nick
    I wonder if anyone has experience of an Insurance company dictacting or restricting this particular business practice (check-box reporting). Not that your assessment doesn't have some merit but I have seen and been victim of some pretty crappy narrative reports over the years...seen some crappy check-boxes too but surely the content of the reporting method is the determining factor not the style. If your position holds true then all E&O carriers will dictate what style of report is most favorable to them, including what should/should not be included in a narrative. I wouldn't think they would want to go down that path...


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    No at all, but our state standards require reporting on a lot of things that aren't deficient. The "real" report is the summary. The report to satisfy the standards is the additional 45 pages.
    Same here, I have a section at the end of the main body of the report called:

    "Building And Systems Descriptions As Required By The State of Illinois"

    by default items in the BSD section are not included in the summary.

    Items such as a a "Method of Inspection" or a "Building/Systems Description" item (which would normally be BSD items) automatically move to the main body of the report (and the summary) and become a "Limitations" and/or "Findings" item if:

    1) I want them there there for liability control

    and/or

    2) I'm recommending the client obtain "Additional Information" and/or perform "Correction", "Repair", or "Replacement".

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 04-19-2011 at 05:40 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  32. #32
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Categorizing your findings

    Marc

    Are you talking about ->

    Say a few different plumbing items that are scattered thru-out different areas in the report (room by room report, right?) and having a summary that is organized into sections?

    There *ARE* products that report Room by Room and send/re-route to *Major Systems* within the summary. IE you can group all plumbing defects within the home into a Plumbing Section in the Summary or Electrical etc..

    Or, are you talking about conventions/terms to describe defects and items

    Like, our favorite - *Components or conditions requiring service/repair"

    I know that a favorite is NOT "Appears Serviceable"

    Short of that... Repair-Replace / Deficient / Needs Service or Repair are many terms being used out there.

    Having looked at a list of conventions not that long ago... there are a number of inspectors using Marginal / Recommend Upgrade and so on.

    I guess it just depends on your way of communicating. You can insert a *FORM* in IV4 and rename it to...well, whatever and create a page at the beginning of your report that talks about a list of terms you have and their description or explanation for your customer's reference.

    Lemme know if I can help!


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