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  1. #1
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    Apr 2015
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    Mississippi
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    Default Report software and device for just starting my business

    What are some good report making options for a Home Inspector that is just starting off? I have access to a Windows Laptop, New Android Phone, IPad Mini and an older Android tablet.

    Im pretty tech savvy but would like something straight forward to use. I would also like for most of the report to be created as I inspect the house.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I switched to Spectacular software that runs on i-Pad last year. I really like it.
    That said, any software you pick will take a fair amount of tweaking to get it to speak in "your voice". In other words, you will develop your own Library to do inspections.
    Hardly any software out there is all that great out of the box.

    Look at different ones, and see what kind of report it generates, and if you like the look. When you find one that you like the look of, then start using it, and develop your own Library.

    I used Inspectvue for many years. While I really liked the software, and the report it generated, the support dropped to nothing after the company was sold. I held on way too long. Aaron at Spectacular was able to convert my Library from Inspectvue almost completely. No other software company was able to do that, even though several tried.

    Since I had spent many. many years developing my Library, I did not want to start from scratch with a new system. I hit the ground running with Spectacular.


  3. #3
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,479

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    More and more folks that I know are switching to Inspector Pro. I used 3D for probably 14-15 years and have had enough.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Delmar NY
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business


  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Like Gunner, I also switched to Home Inspector Pro from 3D. I use an iPad that sits on the kitchen counter, I stop and type in my findings 2-3 times during the inspection or when needed and by the time I leave 95% of my report is complete and all I need to do is merge in photos. Many do it all on their mobile devices and I just do not like that, it's not for me. It's not all about speed and how fast you can complete the report, you need to reach a happy medium to do well in this profession.

    Whatever system you go with you will need to write your own template in your own words. Sure you can use a template made by somebody else but it will never be the way you want it, most out of the box templets sound and read like they were written by a robot with a learning disability!

    I would also buy the software. Pay as you go is less costly as long as you do not do more than 200 inspections. If you want to make a good living in this profession you will need to be in the 250 to 350 range of inspections, every year. You can buy HIP right now for I think around $600.. I would test drive the various reporting programs before you buy….

    Most of all, don't worry what other are doing. Do what works for you! You will make mistakes and this is how you will learn.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 05-15-2015 at 06:45 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    A question for anyone who knows the answer: When using an internet based reporting system ... does the report load on your device, or are you relying on have continuous signal in order to do the report, edit the report, file the report, and access the report?

    Just curious as that would be one super big drawback to an internet based reporting system if you had to rely on having signal and internet at all times you were doing anything to/with the report.

    And, if the internet based reporting system goes belly-up ... where are your reports and can you access them? Or are you SOL? That would be a real bummer.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
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    869

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I have been using Home Inspector Pro for Home Inspections for years and swear by it, and swear by Dominic and his crew.

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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    After several years of researching all the available options, and even starting the process of coding our own software, we finally found the program for us: InspectIt. No internet connection necessary; can generate reports on-site; no monthly fees or subscription or per-report charges. We are still working on getting the comment library populated and the template tweaked, but plan to implement it in about two months.

    I like the idea of wearing the tablet on a lanyard around my neck; I was wondering how I was going to carry the thing. Good suggestion.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I also searched for mobile reporting apps for a couple years, settled with noticeware reporter for now. A bit clunky and needs tons of improvements. A couple things stand out. On site PDF without data connection, clean report because whatever you didn't modify won't get printed, and cost low enough to be used on a specific type of properties.

    Last edited by Norm Zhang; 05-18-2015 at 09:10 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    If you're big on mobile inspection apps, I would suggest checking out Home Gauge Companion for Android. I have used Home Gauge since 2008. It's the best I have found so far. You would still need the desktop software to finish final report. I use a 7 inch tablet in the field for data collection, use a standard digital camera vs the tablet for taking photos. In my opinion our industry could use some better software options. Make sure you write and develop your own comments. No software is ready to use out of the box.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    NM
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    22

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I wear my i-Pad mini around my neck and input as I go, and shoot photos as needed. Since i-Pads do not have a flat, I use a regular camera for attics and crawlspaces, and download the photos to insert later. Speeds up the inspection process for me.

    Like Scott said, you will need to get a library tweaked so it fits your style, and this takes time. And its a continuous process. I am always adding to my library, and I've been inspecting since 1989.

    I also agree to no pay as you go, but to buy the program outright.
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Redmond View Post
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.
    Use an otter box case with clear screen protector. I don't use a lanyard but the otter box is grippy enough that dropping it is not a concern and the screen protector is way better than messing with a flap.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Use an otter box case with clear screen protector. I don't use a lanyard but the otter box is grippy enough that dropping it is not a concern and the screen protector is way better than messing with a flap.
    Jim, Thanks for your input, I saw one on ebay for 17.00 same one your talking about. and I saved it. That's when I was thinking about that screen protector..and would it be good enough vs the flap. im waiting for for my 7in. tablet to come in.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Livin' on Tulsa time!
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    As someone who recently got back into the business in a different state, I've been searching high and low for new software. I believe I have most demos from most of the companies out there and used them quite a bit.

    I first dismissed most, if not all, companies that require a yearly fee. I tried them and there's no software created yet that is worth a continuing payment.

    I used Whisper Solutions for over 8 years when I lived in Texas. I love it. It does have an option for a non-Texas report. I think their Cloaking feature is the bomb! I haven't pulled the trigger yet on the purchase. After 8 months, I'm still evaluating other software.

    Since ReportHost gave me 15 free inspections, I've been using them. Not a bad report system but I doubt I'll continue to use it once the free ones are gone. I find myself continuing to put defects in multiple locations. Not that it's a bad thing, just irritating to me. I also like the option of printing out a field checklist that closely mirrors the report. And they have one for IRC Code phase inspections!

    The only other software that I've tried and liked was HomeGauge. Took me a while of using it to come around, but I'm getting there.

    Maybe it's me, but Home Inspector Pro's layout just doesn't seem as user friendly as HomeGauge's.

    I also found some free Word and Excel templates on the Internet by using Google. I modified some of them, but as Sara Palin would say "Gosh darnit", by the time you jack with them, you've wasted a lot of time.

    The only reason I haven't bought either Whisper Solutions or HomeGauge is because I'm planning on buying a tablet and really want to get into the habit of inputting most of my data at the site. Once I get one, the evaluations will continue

    1A Home Inspections - Providing Tulsa OK home inspections for Tulsa and surrounding counties in Oklahoma.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
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    1,769

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Spectacular...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Spectacular...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Spectacular...

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

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    "PocketInspector," by Jeff Knight, is very good. Feature-rich, yet simple to use. Jeff pretty much started the mobile inspection software movement with the Borealis package, 20 yrs ago. I've used his products exclusively for over ten years. They keep getting better.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Jacob, download the app "spectacular" from the App Store. Done! Try it all you want. Use your iPad mini...you can use the microphone to compose comments, use the camera to take photos and generate report for a PDF. No need for a laptop or camera....the mini does it all. There are some advanced tip and tricks that you will develop as you go! Call Aaron at Spectacular if you need anything.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jacob, download the app "spectacular" from the App Store. Done! Try it all you want. Use your iPad mini...you can use the microphone to compose comments, use the camera to take photos and generate report for a PDF. No need for a laptop or camera....the mini does it all. There are some advanced tip and tricks that you will develop as you go! Call Aaron at Spectacular if you need anything.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jacob, download the app "spectacular" from the App Store. Done! Try it all you want. Use your iPad mini...you can use the microphone to compose comments, use the camera to take photos and generate report for a PDF. No need for a laptop or camera....the mini does it all. There are some advanced tip and tricks that you will develop as you go! Call Aaron at Spectacular if you need anything.

    Certified CREIA Inspector
    Certified NSPF Pool & Spa Inspector
    Level I Thermographer

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I like palm tech. Use an ipad mini with a hand strap on the back.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Discover Horizon. Carson Dunlop.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  22. #22
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Redmond View Post
    Do you Jack and Welmoed have mentioned wearing it around the neck, do you guys run into a situation where when you go to bend over and it swings out and bumps on something..maybe bumping the screen to where it might crack the screen.. I am looking into the shoulder strap but with a flap to cover the screen.
    Sorry, I didn't see this before to reply. I have never bumped my iPad on anything. I also wear my flashlight around my neck. I found it saves me a lot of reaching around to get it out of a pocket, or tool pouch. In an attic, I can just leave it on, and leave my hands free to balance myself. I guess it gets a little getting used to, but I have not had any issues at all.

    If I get in an awkward position, I just slip it off my neck. I do find that when I am going up and down ladders, I will swing it around to my back until I get up the ladder, or down.


  23. #23

    Default Re: Report software and device for just starting my business

    I made a pouch for my iPad that clips to my tool belt. It works perfectly. The only issue I had was one time when the pouch caught on the rim of a tight attic scuttle, but the iPad wasn't damaged.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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