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  1. #1
    Andy Petrick's Avatar
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    Default Inspection tools

    Hello my name is Andy Petrick and I am just starting a home inspection buisness. I have a list of tools but I was looking for a little help in building a list of tools from poeple that are in the buissnes. Thanks for any help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Flat head screw driver with assortment of heads
    flashlight
    adjustable wrench - small
    torpedo level
    moisture meter
    12 volt spot light
    ladder
    safety glasses
    wooden tongue depressor
    pens/markers
    band-aids
    small binoculars
    thermometer
    biz cards
    compass
    marble or ball bearing
    white out
    extra pair of shoes to wear inside house
    voltage sniffer
    outlet tester w/ gfci test button
    digital camera
    tape measure


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Flat head screw driver with assortment of heads
    For the screwdriver or the operator?

    torpedo level
    For inspecting boat houses?

    wooden tongue depressor
    For agents?

    band-aids
    For fathers, uncles, and brothers who tag along with their inane questions?

    marble or ball bearing
    For those boring days?

    Boy, those Canucks are some strange folks . . .


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    We are like we are because of neighbours like you!


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    We are like we are because of neighbours like you!
    RW: You mean "u", like the extra one you tossed into the word neighbors? Stick with your French and leave the English to us . . .


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    AD what I like about you is that you are wordy err.... sorry I meant to say worldly.


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    AD what I like about you is that you are wordy err.... sorry I meant to say worldly.
    RW: My wife says "other worldly" . . .


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Andy

    Here is the kit I carry.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I always keep my trusty torpedo level handy...







































    in case I encounter a hostile sub panel.

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

  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I recently did a pre-pour inspection for a new home being constructed in the Castle Hills area. I used a ZipLevel Pro 2000 to determine that the center of the north 60-foot long form board was about 1-1/4" out of level. The builder claimed to have repaired this and sent me the following photo as evidence:

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Don't forget to pack a nice cool drink on those hot days in the summer.

    rick

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Electrician' pouch on a belt loaded with the following:
    Blade screwdriver, large
    Blade screwdriver, regular
    Phillips screwdriver
    Nut driver (HVAC access)
    GFCI tester (2)
    Thermometer
    Paper towel (to wet and test mwave oven)
    Moisture Meter
    Razor Knife (cut wallpaper & paint at electric panels)
    Telescoping magnet (retrieve dropped panel screws)
    Bright Flashlight
    Blue painters tape (buyer to mark cosmetic stuff)
    Cell phone
    Measuring Tape
    Camera in case on tool belt

    Take with me to the front door:
    Contract and Pen
    Broomstick (for testing smoke detectors)
    Watchdog water alarm (for dishwashers)
    Painters drop cloth(keep house clean under attic access)
    Clean set of booties

    In crawl:
    Tyvek bunny suit
    M95 mask
    Leather gloves
    Patella Knee pads (expensive but worth it)
    Camera
    Flashlight
    Headlight
    Cell phone
    Surveys Tape (to mark problem areas)

    In truck:
    LG Ladder
    Telesteps ladder
    Binoculars
    2' bubble level
    Yard sign
    Business cards
    Laptop
    Extra batteries
    Extra flashlights
    Water pressure gage
    Toilet Paper
    extra tyvek suits and booties
    extra gloves

    Everywhere:
    Pen
    Business cards in wallet
    Daytimer

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

  13. #13
    Travis Sallee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    There are some good things mentioned on this post. Here is a couple items with

    Respirator (Mold rated - There is lots of nasty stuff down in those crawl spaces)
    Coveralls - (Waterproof if you have much moisture there - Tyvek are okay, but I ended up getting a heavier duty version from Lacrosse
    Heavy Duty Knee Pads
    Ladder (Little Giant - Can't get more convenient)
    Flashlight (Ultra Stinger - Brightest Bulb on Market)
    Rock Pick Hammer (If you are going to be doing any WDO stuff)
    I wear a headlamp down in the crawl spaces.

    Other than that, getting what is on this list will prepare you well.


  14. #14
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Respirator (Mold rated - There is lots of nasty stuff down in those crawl spaces)
    TS: I am not a believer in the whole mold scare thing. I use my respirator for meetings with agents.

    Coveralls - (Waterproof if you have much moisture there - Tyvek are okay, but I ended up getting a heavier duty version from Lacrosse
    TS: I bought turtle-neck fishing waders for the meetings mentioned above.

    Heavy Duty Knee Pads
    TS: Those are only for advanced groveling.

    Ladder (Little Giant - Can't get more convenient)
    TS: Little Giants are too heavy. Jaws, from the land of the Ice and Snow, are much better.

    Flashlight (Ultra Stinger - Brightest Bulb on Market)
    TS: Too expensive with a short battery life.

    Rock Pick Hammer (If you are going to be doing any WDO stuff)
    TS: Handy when someone locks the door behind you.

    I wear a headlamp down in the crawl spaces.
    TS: That's a miner point.


  15. #15
    Andy Petrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Thanks Raymond and everyone else for your input.


  16. #16
    Eric Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I'm really picking up some good ideas, guys.

    I keep most all my tools in an Occidental Leather Pro commercial tool bag on my hip. These include my SureTest receptacle tester, the trusty Ridgid mini 12V driver with a phillips, flat, and 5/16 nut driver bits. There's an infrared thermometer, a mini maglite flash light, a voltage tester (for those ungrounded 2-prong outlets), a moisture meter, a torpedo level, a pair of marbles (for when I feel like I've lost mine), a non-contact voltage detector, a long-frame paint roller frame (cut off app. 8" above the handle and slightly sharpened, for a probe), a NACHI microwave tester, and a rag (for drying my hands after checking underneath a sink).

    The trusty Ultra Stinger (which does NOT have a short battery life) hangs from the loop on the tool belt, and I've got a spare in the truck on charge in case I use the battery up or the bulb blows, or I drop it from the roof, etc. There's a mini maglite in the tool pouch and another in my thigh pocket on my 6-pocket Carharrts.

    In addition, I wear TYVEK elastic coveralls and a Bullard Rescue Helmet with a chin strap, along with gel kneepads, Comfort Crawl gloves, a respirator, and eye protection for the crawlspaces.

    I shed the TYVEK for the attics, and my Little Giant 17' ladder (they are a little heavy), 4' level, and a Ridgid SeeSnake (which is for sale) round out the rest of the tools.

    Plenty of pens, biz cards, caps and brochures for the agents!!! Gotta market yourself when you can!

    Don't forget to keep your cellphone with you at all times! Ya never know what might happen, and I don't want to waste time and incur further injury crawling back to the truck to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

    Finally, I drive a 2008 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax diesel with a cross box in the bed and two fender well boxes mounted on the sides where I keep all this stuff. Extra batteries for the infrared thermometer, digital camera, moisture meter, etc.


  17. #17
    Eric Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Oh yeah...I almost forgot...you need to be professional LOOKING, as well as professional acting, and remember to use as few technical terms that the average homebuyer won't understand and be able to describe it to them so that they DO understand. Right AD?


  18. #18
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Russell View Post
    Oh yeah...I almost forgot...you need to be professional LOOKING, as well as professional acting, and remember to use as few technical terms that the average homebuyer won't understand and be able to describe it to them so that they DO understand. Right AD?
    ER: Aren't you forgetting the sandwich board?

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    I recently did a pre-pour inspection for a new home being constructed in the Castle Hills area. I used a ZipLevel Pro 2000 to determine that the center of the north 60-foot long form board was about 1-1/4" out of level. The builder claimed to have repaired this and sent me the following photo as evidence:
    AD,

    What's the problem? The bubble is still "within the lines" ...

    What they fail to realize is that represents about, say, 1/32" per foot out of level, taking a 60 foot long form, that would be 60 x 0.03125 = 1.875 or 1-7/8", and that much "out of level" shown in your photo may well be 1/16" per foot, making it 3-3/4" out of level.

    BUT ... a torpedo level can fit in your back pocket, a REAL level won't fit there (read REAL as meaning a Smart Level or the Sears digital equivalent of it for 1/2 the price).

    While your Zip Level 2000 is nice and can do configurations other than straight-line-of-sight, an electronic level with a laser will give very accurate straight-line-of-sight readings with the laser beam. My Sears electronic has a built-in laser, my Smart Level does not, so I have to place a laser on top of it (however, my Smart Level is from 1995 and my Sears electronic level is from 2008, so the newer Smart Levels may have a built-in laser too??).

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

  20. #20
    Bruno Talotta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    A cheap tape measure with a backup. Clients are always asking to borrow them and sometimes forget to return them.
    Yesterday I found a coat hanger handy when I was inspecting a sump pump. The opening was small and the pump was too far down for me to reach the float. The coat hanger did the trick and it's a good thing. The pump was not operational.


  21. #21
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    JP: My SmartLevel is from the stone ages with aluminum and mahogany frame - no laser, and someone stole my 8' frame, so all I have left is a 4' and a 2'. With or without a laser though, at least for me, they are not as easy to use when leveling a slab form.

    But then, I'm old fashioned I guess. I still have my old optical dumpy level with its oak tripod. It takes up a corner of my office . . . out to pasture.


  22. #22
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    Cool Re: Inspection tools

    You should add a 4 in 1 personal alarm: CO, LEL, H2S, O2

    You should always give your schedule to someone who will be expecting you to check in after a pre-arranged time frame. If you fail to call in, your cell phone gets a call. If they cannot reach you after a second call within 5 minutes, the Realtor gets a call. If they are not on site or cannot be reached, a call goes out to 911. When you disappear into an attic, basement, roof or crawlspace, you should notifiy the agent/ client where you are going and approximately how long to give you before they go check on you.

    You should carry a high quality low level CO monitor in your jump kit for your protection as well as those present at the inspection. Your contract should state your action levels such as evacuate the building at >35ppm CO or >20% LEL of combustible gas.

    Always carry a spare camera battery, 11 in 1 screwdriver, backup pocket flashlight and a loud whistle.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  23. #23
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    BH: All good ideas.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Although some may not think of this as a tool, I'll add, a copy of the IRC.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    You should add a 4 in 1 personal alarm: CO, LEL, H2S, O2

    You should carry a high quality low level CO monitor in your jump kit for your protection as well as those present at the inspection. Your contract should state your action levels such as evacuate the building at >35ppm CO or >20% LEL of combustible gas.

    Bob can you recommend sources for personal alarms?

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  26. #26
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Raymond,

    What do you use the tounge depresser and white out for?


  27. #27
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    Raymond,

    What do you use the tounge depresser and white out for?
    PM: While he is examining the interior of the lying-ass seller's agent's mouth for any sign of a single word of truth, with the tongue depressor in one hand, he is with the other hand doctoring the equally devious seller's disclosure statement in order that it may contain a morsel or two of honesty.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Patrick,

    In addition to AD's uses, the tongue depressor is non conductive. It can be used to push wires out of the way in the electrical panel, or used to probe for insulation around outlets and switches.

    As to white-out (the tape type) its great to correct mistakes on the contract or report.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    When it comes to flashlights, shell out some dough and get good ones. The ability to see is most important. I like the Fenex TK12 with rechargeable Li batt.

    My most used inspection tools are flashlights, screwdrivers, ladders and digital cameras. If could only pick 4 things, that's what they would be.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I didn't think Mag lites where very good at least those w/ incandescent bulbs, until I replaced the bulb with a 3 watt LED.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    At an inspection yesterday my client had a Shurefire with LED. My Fenix blew it out of the water...totally.


  32. #32
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    As to white-out (the tape type) its great to correct mistakes on the contract or report.
    Raymond,

    Yes, but it is dang hard to get all those white strips off my monitor!!!


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I am with John Dirks - keep it simple. The essential tools used on every inspections are Ultra-Stinger, Digital Camera with 10X optical zoom, SureTest, Combo Screw driver, Infrared Thermometer and towel. I have other tools in my electricians tool belt but they're nice to have but not essential.


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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I am with John Dirks - keep it simple. The essential tools used on every inspections are Ultra-Stinger, Digital Camera with 10X optical zoom, SureTest, Combo Screw driver, Infrared Thermometer and towel. I have other tools in my electricians tool belt but they're nice to have but not essential.


    Friday Harbor Home Inspections - San Juan Island Home Inspections
    Orcas Village and East Sound Home Inspections; Orcas Island Home Inspections
    That is pretty much what I use 90% of the time. I might add that a good moisture meter like a Protimeter SM should be on the do not do without list!

    I hate wearing those dang tool pouch belts so I go for sticking what I can in my pockets. If I need something else or more tools I head back to my tool bag in the kitchen.

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

  35. #35
    Eric Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Anybody know of a good deal on a GE Surveymaster? I've got the Aquant non-destructive, but I need a pin-type for some work.


  36. #36
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    Smile 4 in 1 personal confined space alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Bob can you recommend sources for personal alarms?
    LOL! Bruce, I wish but there are so many and they are exploding with new models all the time. This is a hot new area. You can spend as little as $450 up to $3,250 (Drager) with a full 'confined space kit'. These kits include calibration equipment, chargers and data logged downloading. There are several nice monitors in the $600-800 range such as BW Tech. and MSA. There is a cool new tiny one from RKI industries that will just about tie your shoes for you (GX-2009 model). There are also RAE, Sperian, and a whole bunch of others. I'm nursing along my single gas CO alarm from Scott Bacharach, which as alerted me on numerous ocasions including a hotel lobby at a convention, airplane, and in traffic daily. It was esp. fun when it read 17ppm in a training room of an HVAC distributor. Their LP fork lifts were running on the other side of the wall. I ALWAYS carry it with me on trips and place it on the podium when I teach.

    Note these monitors do not rely just on a Time Weighted Avg. but many offer this feature as well. Otherwise, if you crawl into a vapor cloud or oxygen deficient atmosphere, it will alert at once. Nicer units have a pump, which makes it more reliable to the point it samples from farther away but that eats up battery power, too. All these monitors will require a new O2 sensor every 12-24 months just like combustion analyzers do. It is best to get the calibration kit as sending it in for cal. checks can get very expensive and take weeks.

    Bruce, all I can say is do some searching for "confined space alarms" and read up. Compare features, warranties (2yr is std.) and cal. kit/ charger. Fire Service, EMS and inspector supply houses carry them. I know one of these alarms saved the day at a local grocery store when the bake oven fan was off resulting in 33 CO cases. EMS had one on their jump bag, which alerted them.

    Yes, they are expensive but what is your life worth? Rule #1 is to come home safe every night. Think of it as a cost of doing business just like phones and insurance.
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  37. #37
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Thank you Raymond and A.D. too,

    I happened to be at a home when a Energy Auditor was doing and audit and he showed me how to use a wooden skewer for checking insulation.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Flat head screw driver with assortment of heads
    flashlight
    adjustable wrench - small
    torpedo level
    moisture meter
    12 volt spot light
    ladder
    safety glasses
    wooden tongue depressor
    pens/markers
    band-aids
    small binoculars
    thermometer
    biz cards
    compass
    marble or ball bearing
    white out
    extra pair of shoes to wear inside house
    voltage sniffer
    outlet tester w/ gfci test button
    digital camera
    tape measure
    Good list, Raymond but where's your .........
    Magnet on a handle for retrieving panel screws (and checking metal roofs)?
    Mirror on a handle for reading hidden labels
    Magnifier for old guy with bad eyes
    Water pressure guage for that one guy that wants you to use it.
    Power screwdriver (does not need to be a Milwaukee, either, Bob)
    Piece of stiff wire for hooking things, like insulation in walls
    Tape, duct, clear packing, electrical, for fixing things you break, or to put the blanket back on the tank.
    X-acto knife and a narrow scraper, for cutting paint and drywall plaster around the panel cover
    Multitool or pliers or both for opening access panels and nailing them back in place
    Clean sheet and a garbage bag goes with me to the attic hatch
    A few napkins for the dirty old fireplace damper
    There's more, but that's a good start.
    I have spares of all the essentials, too. Some of the spare stuff goes in my little condo pack. Condo panel covers are almost always painted into the wall, so you need ..
    Knife, scraper, magnifier, outlet tester, multi-bit screwdriver, tape measure. To that, I add the moisture meter and the power screwdriver.
    In the truck, a 4 foot level, 3 or 4 ladders, and my camera pole.
    And a shovel, used it once last year to see inside a pit.
    But I don't have a tongue depressor.
    Can I use a coffee stir stick?


  39. #39
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Good list, Raymond but where's your .........
    Magnet on a handle for retrieving panel screws (and checking metal roofs)?
    Mirror on a handle for reading hidden labels
    Magnifier for old guy with bad eyes
    Water pressure guage for that one guy that wants you to use it.
    Power screwdriver (does not need to be a Milwaukee, either, Bob)
    Piece of stiff wire for hooking things, like insulation in walls
    Tape, duct, clear packing, electrical, for fixing things you break, or to put the blanket back on the tank.
    X-acto knife and a narrow scraper, for cutting paint and drywall plaster around the panel cover
    Multitool or pliers or both for opening access panels and nailing them back in place
    Clean sheet and a garbage bag goes with me to the attic hatch
    A few napkins for the dirty old fireplace damper
    There's more, but that's a good start.
    I have spares of all the essentials, too. Some of the spare stuff goes in my little condo pack. Condo panel covers are almost always painted into the wall, so you need ..
    Knife, scraper, magnifier, outlet tester, multi-bit screwdriver, tape measure. To that, I add the moisture meter and the power screwdriver.
    In the truck, a 4 foot level, 3 or 4 ladders, and my camera pole.
    And a shovel, used it once last year to see inside a pit.
    But I don't have a tongue depressor.
    Can I use a coffee stir stick?
    Hey John, I think I found your tool box!

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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    Hey John, I think I found your tool box!
    Looks a bit like it, but mine's got handlebars and wheels.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: 4 in 1 personal confined space alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    LOL! Bruce, I wish but there are so many and they are exploding with new models all the time. This is a hot new area. You can spend as little as $450 up to $3,250 (Drager) with a full 'confined space kit'.

    Bruce, all I can say is do some searching for "confined space alarms" and read up. Compare features, warranties (2yr is std.) and cal. kit/ charger. Fire Service, EMS and inspector supply houses carry them. I know one of these alarms saved the day at a local grocery store when the bake oven fan was off resulting in 33 CO cases. EMS had one on their jump bag, which alerted them.

    Yes, they are expensive but what is your life worth? Rule #1 is to come home safe every night. Think of it as a cost of doing business just like phones and insurance.
    Bob
    Thanks Bob. I was a member of a confined space rescue team for a few years. I have been in quite a few small places with questionable air quality. We used multiple gas monitors that did not perform continous monitoring. Wearing SCBA, we were really more concerned about LEL and UEL.

    Looks like I need to do some shopping around to find a monitor that will work under typical HI conditions.

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

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Get a hold of an old golf club, cut of the clubhead with a hacksaw & you've got a good tool for probing for dry rot and reaching smoke alarms.


    The clients usually insert a lame golf joke when they see it...to which I chuckle and begin a good rapport.

    Chris


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stichter View Post
    Get a hold of an old golf club, cut of the clubhead with a hacksaw & you've got a good tool for probing for dry rot and reaching smoke alarms.


    The clients usually insert a lame golf joke when they see it...to which I chuckle and begin a good rapport.

    Chris
    Put a piece of tape at 30". Comes in handy for the picture.


  44. #44
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by smth sonny View Post
    Home inspector services are easily available from online and you can hire Certified Home Inspector from Certified Home Inspector for Home Inspection Service in Torrance, Manhattan Beach site also!! This site is really good and this site has Certified home inspectors!!!
    SS: I assume that you meant "certifiable" home inspectors, right?


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I am in the same boat as the OP. Not to hijack the thread but what kind of vehicles do you drive as your work transportation? I have a compact hatchback car. the only tool of significant size is a ladder and I have a little giant type that fits perfectly in the truck when folded up. I know most inspectors roll in trucks or SUV's. Would pulling up in a compact hatchback car to do a inspection look unprofessional or bad?

    Last edited by TcDuhon; 02-19-2010 at 07:45 AM.

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by TcDuhon View Post
    I am in the same boat as the OP. Not to hijack the thread but what kind of vehicles do you drive as you work transportation? I have a compact hatchback car. the only tool of significant size is a ladder and I have a little giant type that fits perfectly in the truck when folded up. I know most inspectors roll in trucks or SUV's. Would pulling up in a compact hatchback car to do a inspection look unprofessional or bad?
    I have had an F-150 club cab (4 doors) for many years. Plenty of room in the back seat (folded down) for all of the gadgets, and the LG 17 sits in the bed. It is a comfortable ride and my petite 6'2" frame fits in it just fine.

    But,,,,,,, I need to downsize for better mileage. It will most likely be either a Ford Escape or one of the Hyundai or KIA SUV's. Whatever I get my LG-17 must fit in the rear.

    The F-150 on a good day gets around 16 City and 20 Highway mpg.

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

  47. #47
    Lisa Turner's Avatar
    Lisa Turner Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Levels . . . how about a smart phone level? Just got this app for the DROID phone for free and it is able to be calibrated - appears to be every bit as accurate as my smart level and a lot more convenient. What will they think of next.

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    Last edited by Lisa Turner; 02-20-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: Add picture

  48. #48
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Turner View Post
    Levels . . . how about a smart phone level? Just got this app for the DROID phone for free and it is able to be calibrated - appears to be every bit as accurate as my smart level and a lot more convenient. What will they think of next.
    LT: Very cool . . .


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    There is a similar one for Apple i-phone and i-Pod touch, but AD will never use that one.
    It also has a plumb bob.


  50. #50
    Lisa Turner's Avatar
    Lisa Turner Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Yes, in fact there were so many tool apps it was hard to pick them. But I would guess that if you could prove that the tool in electronic form was accurate, you could legitimately use them on the inspections. Gee, in the year 2030 our tool belts will be gone?

    Great contributions by all on the tool and equipment lists, (and of course all the other threads as well) this is a terrific forum.


  51. #51
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I drive a Hyundai Elantra. I have a collapsible ladder in the trunk and a 5' step ladder in the back seat. I have never had any bad feed back. It has served me well now for 5 years. My wife's Suburban is my back up for those rare occasions when I need more space (maybe three times a year).

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  52. #52
    Hunter Hoffman's Avatar
    Hunter Hoffman Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    That is pretty much what I use 90% of the time. I might add that a good moisture meter like a Protimeter SM should be on the do not do without list!

    I hate wearing those dang tool pouch belts so I go for sticking what I can in my pockets. If I need something else or more tools I head back to my tool bag in the kitchen.
    I to hate the bags and can't find a one that is comfortable in most situations and the kitchen is where I stag my beginning also. I'm glad to hear that I'm not all nuts!


  53. #53
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    botl cutters. Keep them in your truck


  54. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    But I don't have a tongue depressor.
    Can I use a coffee stir stick?[/quote]

    From working in communications, a small non-conducting probe is the best. Go and get Chinese for lunch and ask for chopsticks. Use them for lunch, if you can, and then you have a strong non-conducting probe.


  55. #55
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    There is a similar one for Apple i-phone and i-Pod touch, but AD will never use that one.
    It also has a plumb bob.
    JF: You are soooo right!


  56. #56
    jackt0402's Avatar
    jackt0402 Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Hi. I am new here and in the business.

    I started using a computer on-site while it was on the kitchen counter. I noticed that the counter was too low, both ergonomically and hard to read through my trifocal glasses. I tried using a 6" high cardboard box that folded up (came from the post office), but it was kind of hokey. I spun my wheels about what I could use, from making some sort of fold-up wooden thingamajig, or some kind of Japanese folding box, but wasn't successfu in finding a solution. Then, I found a fold-up stool that stands 9 inches tall. It's a little tall, but if I decide to cut it down an inch or so, that can be done.

    Here's a link to the EZ Foldz stool at your local ACE Hardware store
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=1378227

    and a big picture of the stool
    http://ace.imageg.net/graphics/produ...-1126417dt.jpg

    No more stooping over the computer, causing neck and back fatigue. No more spreading legs to lower down to the computer, causing undue pressure on ankles and lower legs.

    Have a good one,
    Jack


  57. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dearborn Heights, Mi
    Posts
    38

    Thumbs up Re: Inspection tools

    Scott,
    I drove and E150 for years, loved the carrying capacity, hated the gas mileage. Bought a 2010 Escape last August. What a dream. I am able to store a 13 and 17' LG ladders. Tool kit, brief case, back up supplies, in other words all the essentials that we HI's use on a daily basis. I used to come home after a two or three inspection day and felt like I was beat up. Now when I finish my day after riding in the escape I still feel pretty good.

    Regarding portable seats. I found a folding stool at Walmarts, that sits 24" high (perfect for kitchen counter height 36"), when folded it is less than three inches thick. On one inspection my client was a woman who weighed over three hundred pounds. When I was not using the stool, she was. So I know the stool will support three hundred pounds. The most common comment I hear is from agents asking where they can buy one.

    Speaking of Milwaukee tools, I purchased their combo tool kit, consisting of a bore scope and cordless drill. I use it for furnace inspections, looking behind stored items, insulation etc, etc. Paid $249 for the kit, The drill has a light that turns on when you are using it, makes putting screws back into electric service panels in dark location a breeze.

    Add to the list of items to keep on hand, toilet paper. You will be a hit with female clients and female agents.

    I also carry a portable heater during the winter months (comes in handy 4 or 5 times a year, does not take up much space and everybody at the inspection will appreciate the warmth), in the hot summer months I take a small portable personal fan that operates on batteries and AC.

    I also keep an assortment of screws in plastic prescription bottle, never know when you need them.

    I also keep a supply of Electric service panel bolts on hand to replace some idiots pointed sheet metal or drywall screws that I seem to find on at least one out of five inspections.

    For us HI's in the north, I also recommend keeping disposable hand and toe warmers for the house with out heat.

    I carry a change of clothes just in case.

    Add to that a pair of rubber boots.

    On some of Little Giant copy cats, the pads are made of hard plastic, usually black. these will mark the wall every time (not so with the LG's). A cheap solution, cover the ends that will contact the wall with a pair of old gloves.

    My latest addition is a wooden screw together painters pole. I take two sections, the handle part and one of the extensions that has been planed down to a tapered point, about 3/8 " (looks like the end of a chop stick). Great tool for the vertically challenged HI. Makes testing those smoke alarms on 9' ceilings a breeze. Also a lot safer for lifting the float valve in the sump.

    For you HI's that are tall and are doing your reports on a lap top. One of our inspectors that is 6'5" uses a fold out computer stand that sits on the counter top, has room for a lap top and mouse. Says it relieves his back stress.

    You guys have made some great recommendations that I will be adding to my bring to the inspection list of essentials.


    Derek Lewis


  58. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    I recently did a pre-pour inspection for a new home being constructed in the Castle Hills area. I used a ZipLevel Pro 2000 to determine that the center of the north 60-foot long form board was about 1-1/4" out of level. The builder claimed to have repaired this and sent me the following photo as evidence:
    Well at least he has the first 9" level


  59. #59
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Boy do inspectors love there tools, most of them are just gimics to make you look like you know what you are doing. Less is best! I recommend using tools which suit your needs, develop your own style and don't get to complicated you will scare the hell out of the real estate agent and never see them again. Do carry a portable hand held screw driver it really saves time looking in the panel box. Also don't forget to have a "T-Bar" wrench in the trunk of your car it will make you a hero when the agent fails to have the water turned on at the street. Don't ever use a golf ball or marble to check if a floor is level, you can use your flash light to do that. Rolling a marble or golf ball on the floor is just dumb looking. Sticking any thing in the electrical panel box is just looking for trouble once you light up one of them you will never do it again. Be careful with your tools.


  60. #60
    Steven Bynum's Avatar
    Steven Bynum Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    If you are looking for a great flashlight, checkout the 5.11 tactical light for life. They are expensive, but with no batteries to change and a 90 second full recharge time, how can you go worng?

    I swear by mine and now they even have a smaller size to boot!

    Check it out here...

    5.11 Tactical Light for Life LED Flashlight Free Shipping SAVE $20


  61. #61
    Philippe Heller's Avatar
    Philippe Heller Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    If you work on top-hinged panels (usually at the exterior), you should get a Panel Pal, too. It's cheap and can keep you from getting electrocuted by resting the panel cover on your head.


  62. #62
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I have had an F-150 club cab (4 doors) for many years. Plenty of room in the back seat (folded down) for all of the gadgets, and the LG 17 sits in the bed. It is a comfortable ride and my petite 6'2" frame fits in it just fine.

    But,,,,,,, I need to downsize for better mileage. It will most likely be either a Ford Escape or one of the Hyundai or KIA SUV's. Whatever I get my LG-17 must fit in the rear.

    The F-150 on a good day gets around 16 City and 20 Highway mpg.
    You're right on the nose with gas mileage with an F150. But I can't bring myself to using a car. I can't see pulling up to an inspection in a PT Cruiser, HHR or Scion box car. It doesn't seem professional (in my warped head).

    A small SUV or van is OK, but I like trucks and this gave me an excuse to buy one .

    I bought this one used and it came with the topper (with which I have a love/hate relationship).

    If any of you inspect aerobic septic systems, I use a 4 ft. painters extension with a 4" inch paint roller handle screwed to the end of it. This works for lifting floats.

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

  63. #63
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Lewis View Post
    Scott,

    I also keep an assortment of screws in plastic prescription bottle, never know when you need them.
    Derek Lewis

    Good idea. I have a magnet that has my bits on it for taking off electric cabinet covers. There are a few extra screws on it, but I like your idea better. thx

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

  64. #64
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    I'm waiting on someone to say that he rolls up in an old fire truck and use the extension ladder on the truck for roof inspections.How many tools should you carry?Very few.Buy all the toys that you want but you might use it once or twice and then it will stay in the bag.Did someone mention bolt cutters!!!! 4ft level? Tool belts are fine until you scratch a door or piece of furniture.We used to built houses with less tools than some home inspectors seem to carry.Whatever floats your boat as the saying goes.
    The best tool.Good communication with the client.It prevents a lot of problems.


  65. #65
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Inspection tools

    "The best tool.Good communication with the client.It prevents a lot of problems."

    You got that right Micheal, we tend to play with our tools too much which leads to ignoring the client and sometimes missing the obvious.


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