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  1. #1
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    Question Report Writing Programs

    I'm using the 3D program and I'm not terribly happy with it's ease of use. It puts out great looking reports, but navigating the software is a pain to say the least. Any thoughts on other software? I met the guy from Porter Valley Software who wrote the InspectVue program and (suprise) he thinks they have the best stuff out there. I'm also thinking about getting into commercial inspections so I'll need additional software for those.

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    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    HOMEGAUGE,HOMEGAUGE,HOMEGAUGE, the best i,ve ever used and the support is second to none, check it out. Home Inspection Software and Reports - HomeGauge.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I've been using Inspectvue now for a few years and like it a lot. With any software, you will have to spend a good amount of time, tweaking it to fit your needs and reporting style.

    Something more important than how the report comes out, is what kind of support and updates do you get from the software company.


  4. #4
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    whispersolutions.com


  5. #5
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    Smile Re: Report Writing Programs

    Jon I use Reporthost, It is a web based report writing service that I have used this first year in business. It is free to try, but like most report software it takes a little time to figure out.


  6. #6
    tom p's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Report Writing Programs

    Check out Home Inspections, Inc. they allow you to download a FREE trial for your PC or laptop which is limited to 10 complete reports. after that, you have to buy and depending on the program you choose, the price seems fairly reasonable, especially if you are just beginning in the field as I am.

    I have also been looking at Home Guage but right now that is a bit out of my price range until I start making a few dollars.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    For Texas, I just use a Word program that has the State Template and I fill in the individual sections using a combination of a pull down auto-text I created and a printed copy of defects that I commonly find on home inspections. That way each problem is written in a similar fashion.

    The report is then printed to a password protected .pdf that has my own personal water mark imbedded into the document to protect it from the possiblility of anyone making "innapropriate" changes to my report. The report is then posted to my website for my client to print off as needed.

    Entire report prep time is usually between 1 to 3 hrs depending on how clean the house was.

    Ken

    Last edited by Ken Larson; 05-29-2007 at 02:58 PM. Reason: clarification

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up Re: Report Writing Programs

    Home Gauge. Training is great. Many templates to choose from. Tailor it to your satisfaction. Support is second to none. They also have a forum so you can ask questions and get answers from fellow users.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I would love to speed up my report writing. How long does it take you on average to create the reports with the software? I spend about 1.5 -2 hours on each report, depending on how much time I spend on Inspection News and watching porn.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Clean house 1 hour or less. Seldom found so 2 hours is typical because of all the findings. Real bad 3 to 4.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  11. #11
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Report Writing Programs

    Guys,
    You need to stop using "Reporting Software" and start using "Inspection Software"... and until you do you will always be spending hours every night reentering your inspection data no matter what "Reporting Software" you use.

    "Reporting Software" is geared towards helping you create an inspection report AFTER you have done your inspection...."Inspection Software" is meant to be used AS you are doing your inspection.

    If the interface of the software looks like it is helping you create a report then it is "Reporting Software"...if the main interface does NOT look like it is creating a report but concentrates on making it very flexible and easy to collect data as you are doing your inspection and it creates a report for you AUTOMATICALLY based on that data then it is "Inspection Software" and eliminates the need to rekey data at the end of the inspection.

    If you need help in designating which software is which let me know.

    Jeff

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 06-01-2007 at 03:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    C'mon Jeff, you ain't going to tell us which software company you represent??? Or at least that you DO represent one of the software companies??

    Y'all just get HomeGuage software and it'll help you collect inspection data easily AND write your report easily.

    Best combination of "inspection software" & "reporting software" & "tweakable for each persons preference" around. I've tried most of them's free trials.

    Support and trainings is great along with the message board for HomeGauge users to share ideas on how to tweak the software

    Home Inspection Software and Reports - HomeGauge

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    creates a report for you AUTOMATICALLY based on that data then it is "Inspection Software"

    And Pigs Fly

    Sounds Like can spam to me.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  14. #14
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Erby,
    No...I am not trying to promote our software.... but I am actually trying to get inspectors to understand the difference in the MANY software packages out there. With over 10 years in the software business for home inspectors I have a pretty good idea of what inspectors want and the confusion that seems to come over them after going to a big show like the national ASHI convention and not knowing the differences. All the software companies do their fancy demos and show all the neat things they can do to their reports but never tell them how much TIME they are going to spend doing all those fancy things to their report. I can tell you are a devoted HomeGauge fan and I have known Russell and Shawn since they first started their company and their software has come a long ways and I am not a person to bad-mouth any of the competitors but most inspectors that use HomeGauge reenter their data after the inspection process as I believe Mike S. in this thread said he does.

    Mike...sorry to tell you but there is software out there that is being used that inspectors are actually using data collection software as they are doing their inspection and then printing right on site from that data WITHOUT having to rekey the data again later...or they are creating the Word document equivalent of it automatically....and it is not "canned"...it is the data YOU decided to put in the report....if it seems "canned" then it is because that is the way you worded the comment...not because of the software.

    Some inspectors want "Reporting Software" and will never feel comfortable collecting the data electronically while they are doing an inspection and would much rather use a voice-recorder, or use a camera with a lot of pictures, or a pad and pencil, or a clipboard and form or even just their extensive memory. Every inspector has their preferences. I am just trying to help inspectors understand the differences in the 2 main types of software out there.

    Jeff Knight
    Knights Software Solutions

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 06-03-2007 at 01:01 PM. Reason: spelling error

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Thanks Jeff. I just think you need to let people know "upfront" that you do represent a software company.

    I'm sure you have many good ideas that work for some inspectors.

    I don't know why anyone would "reenter" stuff. If you plug it in on site, you don't need to "reenter" anything.

    I do "enter" some data off site (my choice NOT to keep customers and real estate agents sucking their thumbs waiting for me to get done "entering" data along with perceived value of the quickie report versus one delivered later.

    I certainly understand the "confusion" issue after vendor shows. I got sucked into that when I started. Cost me about $3,000 bucks and I certainly didn't get what I needed. Of course, back then InspectionNews was barely a gleam in Brian's eye with, if I remember right only about 2 or 300 inspectors signed up and even less participating. (I kinda miss the numbers Brian used to post about how many inspectors are signed up. If I remember right it was about 3,000 the last time I saw it posted.)

    But, live and learn. Now I have what I needed and do pretty dang good at it without "renentering" data.

    I agree with you on the "canned" stuff. The report should read like you talking. Not what some English professor wrote. I just kinda shrivel up when I see inspectors using that "further evaluation and repair" crap. It's broke. Fix it. But the schools keep preaching it?? Go figure.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I have been in the profession since 1994 and full time since 1995 and I have seen just about every type of reporting method you can think of. For the longest it was the fill-in the blank 3-part on site report. Then the computer age made its way to the profession and folks started printing reports and delivering them to their clients. Then for some unknown reason some idiot (IMO) started doing on-site printed computer reports. Then the swing started back to collecting the information and producing the report off site that is then emailed to the client or it can be retrieved from a 3rd party website.

    I have done them all! My hands down favorite is emailing the report from the comfort of my office, or if needed from a coffee shop or my truck. I have found this to work the best and cost less than any other method.

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

  17. #17
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Erby Crofutt View Post
    I don't know why anyone would "reenter" stuff. If you plug it in on site, you don't need to "reenter" anything.
    Depends upon what they use to "plug it in on site"....if they are writing it down on a paper form on a clip board in the field or voice recording their findings in a voice-recorder and then having to either retype it or select the text from a drop down in the software at home then I consider that "reentering" of data. They in essence had to enter the same information 2 times using 2 different methods....and there are a LOT of inspectors doing just this still across the country.

    Jeff Knight
    Knights Software


  18. #18
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    Smile Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    I don't know why anyone would "reenter" stuff. If you plug it in on site, you don't need to "reenter" anything.

    Depends upon what they use to "plug it in on site"....if they are writing it down on a paper form on a clip board in the field or voice recording their findings in a voice-recorder and then having to either retype it or select the text from a drop down in the software at home then I consider that "reentering" of data. They in essence had to enter the same information 2 times using 2 different methods....and there are a LOT of inspectors doing just this still across the country.
    Jeff, are you a home inspector?

    I have found that the more time an inspector is in the profession they tend to take less notes. They rely on their memory and take more digital photos so they can view later. Photos can show more at times than one might see in person.

    I use a PDA or laptop depending on the job to collect my information. When I'm done, I can compile and email a report in about twenty minutes.

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Thanks Jeff, Good info. I don't re-enter any information back at the office. I choose to use the software that best suits me. I could do the inspection on site and that is how the software is designed. I collect all the data about the home in my PPC and sync it when I get back with my laptop. Then I insert pictures and comments. I do have certain comments saved that is in my own language and insert that when possible. But there is to many variances in defects that need explained and I choose to write it when I get back. The library would be to large and time consuming to scan through the comments to see what fits the certain situation. It can be done but I choose not to.

    Erby
    Our Licensure board requires us to write repair or further evaluation. If not we will face the board.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Our Licensure board requires us to write repair or further evaluation. If not we will face the board.
    Well that is another stupid regulation! Ranks up with KY, not being able to report a code problem.

    Just hope that NC does not end up with a standardized report!

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Just hope that NC does not end up with a standardized report!
    There working on it.
    So far it's going to be a standarized summary. They are going to tell you what can and can not be in it. But you got to have one!

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  22. #22
    Bob Stark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Scott,

    What kind of PDA do you typically use? As far as laptops go, I have a 5-year old IBM ThinkPad that someone tells me is a good laptop. (It ought to be !)
    I'm with you: From the comfort of the office works for me.

    Bob


  23. #23
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Scott,
    No I am not a home inspector and sometimes that is a good thing because it lets me look at the issues sometimes from a different angle...for instance as a consumer (home buyer) and what they would like to see on a home inspection report. An example of that would be that as a home buyer I would probably want to get a home inspection report that has everthing broken down rooom-by-room because as a home buyer that is how I picture my home....not by major systems (electrical, plumbing, structural)...but I also know that a Real Estate agent would rather see a summary report by major systems so they know who they need to call and why and they don't have time or the need to read the entire report and figure out what the major issues are.
    But although I am not a home inspector I have ridden with many, many home inspectors over the past 10 years while they were doing a home inspection and have observed how they do it and the issues they faced. When we started our software 10 years ago it was based on what the home inspectors wanted and not on what we THOUGHT they wanted....and these inspectors are the ones that have been in the business over 20 years and started this industry and are the founding fathers of ASHI and NAHI so we trusted their judgement and experience.

    Mike,
    Last thing I heard for NC is that the mandatory report will be mandated to follow the SOP. Yes...the Summary report has been finalized. October is coming soon so I am hoping that at the last minute they do not decide to use the same form as there is in Texas. That will be a nightmare for all the homeinspectors in North Carolina if they do.

    (Side note: Texas was the first state to get licensed and the first state to have a required form....NC was the second state to get licensed and has now become the second state to have a mandatory form....I see a pattern...what was the third state to get licensed ? South Carolina ?)

    Working from the comfort of your home is fine as long as you do not have to produce 3 inspection reports you did that day and you just got home at 6pm. Makes a long evening if it takes you over an hour a report.

    Jeff


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Bob,
    I use HP Travel Companion that runs win 5. Has GPS built in as well as wifi, blue-tooth, MP3 etc. I use it for work and to find my way there as well as on my motorcycle for listening to music.

    Jeff,
    I have done 3 reports in a day a couple of times but will only do 2 now. I do one in the morning and finish the report by lunch or soon after then I do one in the afternoon and finish either that evening or first thing in the morning. Makes a long day if there is a lot of problems with the home but I feel confident I gave enough thought before handing over the report.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  25. #25
    David Betts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Jeff Knight makes good points and his software is solid. I used InspectIt for eight years and finally gave it up despite many excellent features---to save time, reduce liability, increase precision, and escape the relentless peccadillos of Microsoft Word. I think anyone who is serious about a career in the inspection business should take a careful look at Jeff's InspectMate software (formerly Borealis). This is not meant to downgrade Home Gauge, InspectVue, InspectIt, or any of the other viable products out there. It is not a question of whether they can "do the job" (they all can) but whether they foster accurate, fast, and comprehensive inspection reports. Also, do they hog your spare time, or protect it? For the inspector who decides that his main job is to determine and report verifiable facts, not to be a stage-performer, a lobbyist, an "educator," a crusader, or a building engineer, Jeff's distinction between reporting software and inspecting software becomes much more than semantics.


  26. #26
    Robert Moudree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    After checking out 4 or 5 different software programs, I chose eInspections.net a couple of years ago and have been thrilled with the program and their customer service. The pace of their upgrades has really helped me save time and the realtors and buyers love the look of my report. A friend of mine in another state using eInspections recommended them to me and I love the fact that I can create a custom report quickly and easily. I have some realtors that like their photos in the front of the report and some who like the photos in the back of the report and I can change where my pictures go with just a quick click. You can even put them in line if you wanted to. They also made some specific changes I requested and did not charge me any extra. They seem to listen to what inspectors want and need and their report keeps getting better and better with each new upgrade (which I get free). When Vista came around, they were quick to jump on it and make their program adaptable. Seems like there are some strong opinions on this site about inspection software but for me if you havenít checked out eInspections and you are serious about getting a new report, you are missing out if you donít at least check them out.

    Thanks Bob


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Mike,
    Last thing I heard for NC is that the mandatory report will be mandated to follow the SOP. Yes...the Summary report has been finalized. October is coming soon so I am hoping that at the last minute they do not decide to use the same form as there is in Texas. That will be a nightmare for all the homeinspectors in North Carolina if they do.

    (Side note: Texas was the first state to get licensed and the first state to have a required form....NC was the second state to get licensed and has now become the second state to have a mandatory form....I see a pattern...what was the third state to get licensed ? South Carolina ?)
    Jeff
    Jeff, I sat in on the last Licensing Board sub-committee for report standardization. Technically is a standardized format, not a standardized report. The idea is a common format is easier to define than how to actually write every possible defect.

    One board member wants the body and the summary page to follow the SOP order. Another board member is campaining for the summary page to follow the SOP and allow inspectors to arrange the body in a manner of their choosing. Guess which board member on the committee is a realtor and which is a home inspector. The sub-committe chair is from the public at large and neither a realtor or home inspector. The sub-committee has to present their recommendations at the next board meeting in Concord on March 27.

    Inspectors won the fight to keep safety items in the report. Now the battle begins to define what is a safety item and what is not. The side who wants to do away with safey items claims that all safety items are repair items so there is no need for safety items. What about items that are not broken but pose a safety hazard. For instance, I found an open 6 inch pipe buried vertically in the backyard. Pipe was not broken, just a trip hazard. Or maybe the next Baby Jessica event.

    The driving force are realtors who want all reports to be the same so they know how to respond/ignore them. A standard format does not solve that problem, it just arranges the data in a prescribed format. Realtors still have to decipher the writing style of each home inspector.

    Last edited by Bruce Ramsey; 02-13-2008 at 06:40 PM.
    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I use a Dell Axim to enter all my observations while I am walking around the house. I upload to my laptop and add the photos - and I'm done. It takes about 30 minutes to stick the photos into the report (depending on how many there are), another couple minutes to create the PDF and proof it, then another minute or so to upload to the website (depending on phone signal).

    My old Dell laptop is painfully slow and refuses to die so I can feel good about replacing it. I know a lot of people treat computers as consumables, but I'm too cheap to replace stuff every year or so.
    JF

    I have found that reporting software is all about the same. ALL have the ability to change it to fit your needs. Technical support is probably pretty much the same too, otherwise they wouldn't stay in business, since inspectors are a picky bunch and are not good at tolerating adverse conditions. (pun intended).

    I will switch systems when the new guy's software will allow me to generate a report without leaving my house. As far as level of satisfaction with computers go - here's my list, BEST at the top...

    Apple computer - Mac user since 1985 and have only had ONE big issue. Total number of freeze ups - 1.

    Inspectvue - Not only is it good software, but Lorne Steiner has been there for me from the first day. I not only had the normal learning curve with new software, but I was learning how to use Windows too. He went out of his way to walk me thru a bunch of really basic "Windows" things. When something comes up with the software, or users express a desire to add something to it, Lorne makes the changes and issues an update. We sometimes get several updates in a week when he is adding features that us, his clients are asking for.

    Dell - their technical support was pretty good (in the past), and their warranty response was very fast.

    Now toward the bottom of my list
    Microsoft with their LACK of decent support.

    Windows for all of the issues that just do not come up with Apple. I know that most of the world is Windows based, and ALL of the main software giants seem to love it - but, my gosh I've had more Windows based issues in a couple years than I have with a couple decades of Apple.

    Sorry for the thread drift and rant.
    JF
    Back to your normal programing


  29. #29
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I own Inspectit software, and I've used Horizon, which is Carson-Dunlop's web-based software. The Inspectit seems more comprehensive and exhaustive, but it lacks the photo import ability that Horizon has, and Horizon cuts the time nearly in half. You only have to upload photos once, and it automatically resizes them to fit the page. The Inspectit uses MS Word as its base, which really is just a piggy-back type program, while Horizon manages your reports, contracts, and sends them via email to your client, and whoever else, and its really easy to operate, but doesn't seem quite as comprehensive, which was a concern. The drawback to Horizon is you can never own it, as it is web-based, but they archive your reports for you, and customer support is great. If you can't afford paying $1000 right now, Horizon has a per use plan, or a monthly plan which is less than $80. Check it out!


  30. #30
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I never liked the idea of a web based report. I want something to throw in my computer, not be tied down by having to go on line for any reason. Email my clients directly. Not have to continue to pay for a program on a continuous basis. My belief is that all that uploading to their website. Creating the report on line. continuing to pay for the privilege. Is all just to keep you locked into them forever.

    I have checked out inspectit. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is tied to word.
    I am looking for a plane and simple. Stand alone. Insert my photos when and how I want . And I do not want to create my report at home, on line,upload to their site, send my clients a link, etc, etc,etc,

    I do not take notes, just pictures. I do not talk into a recorder. I am not going to carry anything around with me to input data into only to have to upload it later.

    All of you appear to be so burdened with the creation of an inspection report.

    I have an older ITA software. I walk over to my computer on the kitchen counter or at the table at my inspection . I open the program and start punching my report out. I add the pictures in the end. I hit the print button. The clients walk in the door and I go over the findings and report with them. When I get home it takes me 2 minutes to turn the report into a pdf and email it to the clients Realtor. All done. Plane. Simple. Thorough and complete. The only thing I don't like is I add the pictures at the end on a separate page. I would like to add them in each section but when I think about that and look at countless sample reports from inspector web sites I think to my self. Man is that a long report. It turns into what could have been a 7 page report into a 30 page report. So I kinda like adding them on the photo page with a note under them. They read the report. When they get to the end and look at the pics and automatically know what the pics are all about because they were mentioned in the report.

    Life needs to be kept simple sometimes. Too much is just too much sometimes.


  31. #31
    Peter Drougas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I wanted to be at least one person that replies who does use 3D Inspection software and is very happy with it. I have been using it for 6 years and would not consider switching. I am not sure why there was any confusion in how to use the program. I did have to spend some time making adjustments to get it the way I like. After 6 years, I still find myself coming up with new ideas, plus they make upgrades that allow me to do things faster. For example, once I create the client account I can just click and the report is loaded into my hand held. When the report is done I make another click and it's sent off in an email. I don't have to open another email account.
    3D has great customer service, regional training classes and regular version updates. I know many of the other inspection software versions are equally as good, I just wanted to make sure people didn't think that the 3D system should not be concidered because of this thread.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Ted,
    Interesting use of a voice recorder. I used on about 15 years ago, but quit using it because I didn't like the sound of my grunts and groans when I was in a tight crawlspace and talking into it.

    However, I think we are talking semantics here, and maybe what is comfortable for one, is foreign to another, and if it is foreign, then it must not be as good as "mine". I think we all feel that way.

    I really don't see the difference between typing in something from your voice recorder, and typing it in a Pocket PC and transferring it to the laptop. I think we are talking seconds here, if that.

    To me, if whatever system you use works for you, then stay with it. It's working.

    However, if there is something that you don't like about your reporting method, such as placement of photos, then I would look into changing.


  33. #33
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Hey guys, I'm not advocating one over the other, either...just giving my two-cents worth. I like the Horizon, but after using it for a year, a person could outright buy Homegauge, Inspectvue, Inspectit, or 3D. I've sampled the 3D, and liked what I saw. What it comes down to for me is "How much does it cost?"..."Is it compliant with my states guidelines?"..."Can I use a hadheld?"...and "Does it present a nice,tidy, easy-to-read report for my client?"

    I think we're all looking at cost, but efficient use of time is my next priority, because I didn't like writing stuff down on a pad, and taking pictures, then having to fill out a report and size my own pictures afterward, like I was doing with Inspectit. The info on the PDA never would transfer into the right places on the desktop, so it was pretty useless to me.


  34. #34

    Talking Re: Report Writing Programs

    IMHO, those computer program things are way too expensive. I've developed a method that works real well. i just send the client a disposable camera and a cheap voice recorder. The included instructions tell them to walk around the house and look at things and if it doesn't look right, take a picture and make a comment into the recorder. When they are done, they send it to me and I write it up. Only $69.95 And if there's a "miss", THEY did it, not me!
    I think this will work.
    Dana

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  35. #35
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Ted,
    Interesting use of a voice recorder. I used on about 15 years ago, but quit using it because I didn't like the sound of my grunts and groans when I was in a tight crawlspace and talking into it.

    However, I think we are talking semantics here, and maybe what is comfortable for one, is foreign to another, and if it is foreign, then it must not be as good as "mine". I think we all feel that way.

    I really don't see the difference between typing in something from your voice recorder, and typing it in a Pocket PC and transferring it to the laptop. I think we are talking seconds here, if that.

    To me, if whatever system you use works for you, then stay with it. It's working.

    However, if there is something that you don't like about your reporting method, such as placement of photos, then I would look into changing.
    Jack

    I used a voice recorder for about a totals of a week off and on. I agree with the grunting and groaning. I also use to use my Sony disc recorder and take a quick walk around the video of the home for investors or clients out of state. After doing that for a while I finally listened to one of the recordings on the video. I use to watch them just to make sure I caught everything in need of repair and general conditions. When I finally listened to it and heard grunt, groan, moan, climbing on the roof and up the stairs and into the attic I realized what I was sending folks. It would have made a good comedy skit.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 11-11-2008 at 08:36 PM.

  36. #36
    Paul Bousquet's Avatar
    Paul Bousquet Guest

    Thumbs down Re: Report Writing Programs

    Dana, I can't believe what you are doing. The idea is to have a profeesionnal with a trained eye look at the property and report deficiencies and recommend the proper action to take. How can you expect Joe Newhomeowner to be able to look at the home as an inspector with over 1000 inspections behind the belt.
    Yoy really are not doing the buyer any good making him believe that for $69.95, he will be well advised on the condition of his new home.
    I really hope you don't call yourself an inspector and with you final coment: And if there's a "miss", THEY did it, not me! I can see you don't give a damn. You give the Home Inspection Industry a real bad name
    I would be curious how your local association, if you belong to one, feels about your approach, I find it dispicable if not fraudulous


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Paul,

    The smiley face at the end of Dana's post labels it as a joke. He was kidding.

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

  38. #38
    Paul Bousquet's Avatar
    Paul Bousquet Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Thanks I hope your right, I'm kind of new to this forum and don't know the regulars
    Regards


  39. #39
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Say a paul can you spot me $ 5. for a cup of coffee. Gunnar will pay you back next tuesday.

    Thanks bub.

    p.s. there are some real wack jobs in this place. keep your eyes open

    Best

    Ron


  40. #40
    Paul Bousquet's Avatar
    Paul Bousquet Guest

    Smile Re: Report Writing Programs

    Back to the topic of Report Writing
    First, let me say that I am a Form Developer for 3D with a French Focus Edition.
    Having used the Carson Dunlop report system for 7 years, I felt it was time to move on and go digital. Living in french part of Canada, my choices limited to one program which I did not like.
    I also perform Marine surveys and had the same problem with my being able to do French reports. I found that 3D gave me freedom to configure their English Home Inspection Program to a French Marine Survey Program.
    That being done, I wrote my own very detailed forms for Home inspections. For a 2 story cottage, I have a total ot 10,500 menus, so that 95% of the problems I encounter while inspecting is already there with the proper recommendation. I used a PDA and lots of pictures. My inspection takes me about 2 1/2 hours and report writing takes me about 45 minutes , review, modify text if needed and insert pictures.
    It has been a very long process, starting from scratch but it sure was worth it.
    There are alot of different programs on the market and all have something special to offer. Do find the right one for you and it will make your life alot easier.
    The hardest thing for us is change, but you will have to invest time when going digital but its well worth it.
    If you can take 1 or 2 hours of your report writing and you perform 200 inspections a year, thats alot of extra time, 200 to 400 hours per year


  41. #41
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Lets get back to the coffee. Now 200 to 400 extra HR a year. I could drink a lot of coffee in that extra time Paul.

    Good advise Paul. Now I use inspectvue for my home inspection reports and i use msword for my termite inspection reports.

    That works for me. Coffee time.

    Best

    Ron.

    P.S. Just kidding around Paul L.O.L.

    HAVE AN EXCELLENCE DAY!

    EXCELLENCE HOME/BUILDING INSPECTION SERVICES


  42. #42

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bousquet View Post
    Dana, I can't believe what you are doing. The idea is to have a profeesionnal with a trained eye look at the property and report deficiencies and recommend the proper action to take. How can you expect Joe Newhomeowner to be able to look at the home as an inspector with over 1000 inspections behind the belt.
    Yoy really are not doing the buyer any good making him believe that for $69.95, he will be well advised on the condition of his new home.
    I really hope you don't call yourself an inspector and with you final coment: And if there's a "miss", THEY did it, not me! I can see you don't give a damn. You give the Home Inspection Industry a real bad name
    I would be curious how your local association, if you belong to one, feels about your approach, I find it dispicable if not fraudulous
    Paul, You crack me up!
    I'll give you a break for being foreign to this board. I sure everyone else saw my tongue firmly in my cheek when I wrote the above JOKE comment. Chill out man!
    Maybe you read a text only version and do not get the smiley icons displayed and missed that clue.
    I have been a 3D user for 6 years and have done thousands of REAL inspections. I know my chops.
    Dana Bostick

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Wink Dana is charging too much

    My gosh Dana,it just didn't work for me. All I got back was photos of their forehead and feet, and the voice recorder just said, "How does this damn thing work?", then a bunch of clicks, then a muffled sound of voices talking about what's for supper tonight. I guess he put it in his pocket when he walked around.

    He did send me $29.95 with a note asking if IT would really pick up a full can of spilled soda. I don't think he was wrapped too tight.


  44. #44
    mark ferrell's Avatar
    mark ferrell Guest

    Talking Re: Report Writing Programs

    Ted,
    Why are you uploading your reports to the clients' Realtor? Who pays you? Let your client give a copy to the Realtor if they so desire....and give a copy of your report to your client right then & there & be done with it.

    Just some constructive criticism...nothing personal..just business.


  45. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by mark ferrell View Post
    Ted,
    Why are you uploading your reports to the clients' Realtor? Who pays you? Let your client give a copy to the Realtor if they so desire....and give a copy of your report to your client right then & there & be done with it.

    Just some constructive criticism...nothing personal..just business.
    I provide a copy to whoever my client wants me to send on to. On my contract I have a space the allows them to put down who they want to have a copy if anyone at all. This satisfies my states confidentiality clause in our license law.

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

  46. #46
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by mark ferrell View Post
    Ted,
    Why are you uploading your reports to the clients' Realtor? Who pays you? Let your client give a copy to the Realtor if they so desire....and give a copy of your report to your client right then & there & be done with it.
    Just some constructive criticism...nothing personal..just business.
    Its just a convenience thing. I have always made sure both parties get a copy. The Realtors are nevr at the inspection. In Florida the Realtors use to at least pop into the inspection. Usually at the beginning. Then at the end of the day the client and Realtor go over the report and figure out what they want the seller to repair. Not to mention it takes me 2 minutes to turn it in to a PDF and that is how I save them for my files so I am not doing anything extra with the exception of send in email, add the realtors email and hit send. Most clients don't have a fax anyway and then they would have to take a trip to the Realtors home or office and get copies made.

    Maybe that is why I get a lot of return referrals from both the client and Realtor.


  47. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Does any one use Home Inspector Pro sofware ?
    I'm presently using it on the 30 day free trail period. Seems simple to use and the Phone support has been great. I like the price of $ 495.00 vs the $ 800 to $1000. I see for some of the othe programs. I keep reading about Homeguage on the site, but I rather not spend the extra money. Appreciate feedback.

    Joseph, Palm Bch County, Fl.
    HomeSafeSouthFlorida.com

  48. #48
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Melbourne View Post
    Does any one use Home Inspector Pro sofware ?
    I'm presently using it on the 30 day free trail period. Seems simple to use and the Phone support has been great. I like the price of $ 495.00 vs the $ 800 to $1000. I see for some of the othe programs. I keep reading about Homeguage on the site, but I rather not spend the extra money. Appreciate feedback.

    I hate to sound like a salesman because I hate the sales end of inspecting. I just switched to Whisper software a few months ago and not have regreted it for one second. About as user friendly than could possibly be and the price cannot be beet for the functionality and almost zero learning curve. I guarantee you that 15 minutes with the boys from whisper while they are controlling your comuter and arrowing around and explaining at the same time you will have it down with about zero future questions. Oh yeah. The price is the price. No extra buying reports or online usless garbage. It takes about three seconds to turn the report into a pdf and email it off.

    Check it out. Again , I think you will love the great and only price.


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,940

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Started making my own templates in Word years ago. I refine and add new ones as projects develop periodically. I'm in the process of making a major new template for a project now. I readily admit that my reports don't 'look' as pretty as many package reports. Pretty isn't my thing, I'm better at content.
    I have HGauge. Used it once and wondered why I should bother with all that pull down, copy/paste crap. I can type and write easier.
    Clearly, once again I'm the odd man out.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,720

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I've been using Inspectvue now for a few years and like it a lot. With any software, you will have to spend a good amount of time, tweaking it to fit your needs and reporting style.

    Something more important than how the report comes out, is what kind of support and updates do you get from the software company.
    Did inspectvue stop updating the program??


  51. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Lorne sold the company. The updates were fine up till then. The new company has been pretty bad about returning phone calls or e-mails for support.

    I guess there was some moving and new computers involved, so maybe it's just a temp. thing. I'm not sure.


  52. #52
    JORY LANNES's Avatar
    JORY LANNES Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I WANT TO JOIN THE CHORUS..HOME GAUGE IS GREAT....THE SUPPORT IS EVEN BETTER. TRY IT FREE FOR 30 DAYS.

    ...I LIKE HOME GAUGE.


  53. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Craig View Post
    I couldn't find an affordable reporting system for what I wanted to do so I ended up designing one specifically for that purpose. The software is called EZ Home Inspection Software.
    Rusty,

    You finally came clean with why you have three (3) posts and each of them touting that software ... because you are selling it.

    This is not a free advertising board, Brian operates this board and businesses, such as yours, MUST PAY to advertise on this board, that is what keeps it available for us.

    Contact Brian using the 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of the page and sponsor a forum.

    Thank you,

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

  54. #54
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
    Anthony Alderman Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Report Writing Programs

    I've used Home Gauge for over a year now and it just keeps getting better. Awesome to start with but the more you use it the better it gets. I love it!


  55. #55

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I am retired now but I have tried Inspect view to many problems and had a hard time to get refund without threat!1

    I always used 3-D very good reports and good service great people.

    Rolland Pruner Livermore, Ca


  56. #56

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    I used to use Report Pro, too cumbersome, relies on Microsoft Word. Switched to 3D system, focus edition, upgraded to premier. Life is easier, better report, faster to use blah blah. Don't care for the E mail tech support, I like to call and get a person who can help me fix it immediately.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  57. #57
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
    Ryan Stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Try discover horizon. discoverhorizon.com It is an internet based system. No software to buy. My only negative about it is that it is redundant.


  58. #58
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Stouffer View Post
    Try discover horizon. discoverhorizon.com It is an internet based system. No software to buy. My only negative about it is that it is redundant.
    Ryan,
    Just curious...what is redundant about it ?


  59. #59
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
    Ryan Stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    You have 2 sections to it. The bottom line and then a more detailed section. In both sections it uses the same photos and same items that need to be repaired or replaced.


  60. #60
    Desmond Kelly's Avatar
    Desmond Kelly Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Has anyone ever used inspection report creator from PHII, I just ordered it recently and would like to know if its good or not

    Thanks
    Desmond Kelly


  61. #61
    JORY LANNES's Avatar
    JORY LANNES Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Report Writing Programs

    I have tried several report packages. For the last four years I have been using HOME Gauge. The software is easy to use out of the box. Customization is a snap and the Tech support is great.

    I was in the micro computer consulting business for 25 years. Home Gauge in my opinion is the finest software I have ever used.

    Great software,ease of use and wonderful tech support at a reasonable price. What is there left to say? Oh, I do not sell the software or work for Home Gauge.


  62. #62
    Desmond Kelly's Avatar
    Desmond Kelly Guest

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Thanks Jory, I think I will use what I have for now but when I go to upgrade I will order Home gauge. I will check out some of the sponsers on this site.


  63. #63

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Stouffer View Post
    You have 2 sections to it. The bottom line and then a more detailed section. In both sections it uses the same photos and same items that need to be repaired or replaced.
    You have control to turn off photos in the Bottom line (Summary) or turn off the Bottom line completely. Might help eliminate redundancy, although a little redundancy may not be a bad thing when you want to highlight certain deficiencies.


  64. #64
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Anyone out there doing narrative reporting using Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance? I am tired of typing. I have been using Palm-Tech for the past 8 years along with NEC Mobile Pros 790 and 900, which BTW, are no longer produced. I want to cut my report writing time down... . 99% of Clients and Realtors are only interested in the deficiencies anyway and could care less about what is right with a property.


  65. #65

    Default Re: Report Writing Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hintz View Post
    Anyone out there doing narrative reporting using Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance? I am tired of typing. I have been using Palm-Tech for the past 8 years along with NEC Mobile Pros 790 and 900, which BTW, are no longer produced. I want to cut my report writing time down... . 99% of Clients and Realtors are only interested in the deficiencies anyway and could care less about what is right with a property.
    I use Dragon 10 extensively when building the reports back in my office. It's a real time saver and does not make spelling mistakes! It takes a bit of getting used to to add the proper punctuation and such but I'm used to that process.

    I tried using it in the field for a while but it was too cumbersome and I would rather use my notes and my pictures as my memory and produce a much better report under more calm and quite conditions of my home office.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

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