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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?

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[#1] Posted: 09/21/2010 - 7:17:58 PM
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Hey all you Building Analysis Report users, do you know what is going on with Home Tech? I have been calling their 800 and FAX number for two days and it rings busy. Today I got their local number from Information and it rang busy too after hours. Also, they are not answering emails.

Any idea what is going on? Out of business, just phone issues, natural disaster?

Howard Maxfield
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#2] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 05:49:31 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by plusonehm

Hey all you Building Analysis Report users, do you know what is going on with Home Tech? I have been calling their 800 and FAX number for two days and it rings busy. Today I got their local number from Information and it rang busy too after hours. Also, they are not answering emails.

Any idea what is going on? Out of business, just phone issues, natural disaster?


Might be a good time to switch over to a computer generated report that you can email to your clients.

Scott Patterson
http://www.traceinspections.com

"Minds are like parachutes they only function when open"
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#3] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 06:04:33 AM
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I'll second that. I took their two-day course back in 1998 and they gave me a handful of those NCR reports. Gawd, what a nightmare to work with. You've got my sympathy.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#4] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 06:24:49 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by hausdok

I'll second that. I took their two-day course back in 1998 and they gave me a handful of those NCR reports. Gawd, what a nightmare to work with. You've got my sympathy.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike


Yes, that very reporting system was what moved me to develop, over the course of two years, my own reporting system - The Guardian Building Inspection System, which was how became a vendor for a few years. My promise with the Guardian back then was "If it's a condition that an inspector would find on a weekly basis, it's already in print in a concise statement ready to be checked." And, that was true. No one ever complained about the Guardian, in that respect. It took two years and about 2500 inspections to get it there.

But the paper form is ancient history now - I'm a HomeGauge guy using a template that mirrors the Guardian.

If you're still using a paper form, you have no idea how much potential business is not available to you. Not to mention, the cost of a paper form. Even though I was at a point where I was both publishing and binding the form I used, there was still a hard cost per inspection that never went away.

Software brings all of the elements of reporting and presentation into a neat economical package.

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#5] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 06:55:09 AM
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If they are out of business, then you could have your local print shop type set and print them for you. For a little less coin you can buy blank NCR stock and print them yourself with a laser printer. Or for even less money you can purchase reporting software.

Tom

http://clearcreekhomeinspection.com/

Life is tough enough as it is, it's tougher when you're stupid. Don't do stupid things.
Dr Joe Lstiburek
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#6] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 07:19:22 AM
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BAR was a good idea for many years.
A wholesale condemnation of paper reports is not warranted.
Many, most, software versions are total crap and filled with liability. Generally they take novice inspectors and try to make an them expert.

Before a decent discussion can be had about reporting forms, we need protocols. I still have a bare bones inspection that meets all national standards and my CLIENT' needs.

You can email anything, if you want.

Les
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#7] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 08:39:21 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Les

BAR was a good idea for many years.
A wholesale condemnation of paper reports is not warranted.
Many, most, software versions are total crap and filled with liability.


All very true. The first thing I had to do with my software was purge it of a lot of unusable boilerplate and passive voice meandering language screaming for the aid of an English teacher's red pencil.

My main complaint with the BAR was that it was SO minimal, that I found myself hand writing the same phrases day after day, which actually had me in a wrist brace - no kidding!

I finally abandoned the paper form in January of this year - not long ago.

Recently, I've had several agents who, through a client's request, worked with me for the first time in years, indicate that they were willing to refer me "now that I'm using software".

Unfortunately, the world is addicted to, and pretty much expects, the whole Officer Obie deal from Arlo Guthrie's Alices Restaurant: "the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one"

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#8] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 08:50:33 AM
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Aren't you from a little too far south to spell color with a 'u'?
Tom

http://clearcreekhomeinspection.com/

Life is tough enough as it is, it's tougher when you're stupid. Don't do stupid things.
Dr Joe Lstiburek
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#9] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 08:56:25 AM
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Tom,
I think I see a customer coming in. There ain't no such thing as too far south!!!! Well, maybe Patagonia.

BTW Tom, what do you think is the best kitchen cabinet in the universe?

Les
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#10] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 09:07:18 AM
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Quote: The first thing I had to do with my software was purge it of a lot of unusable boilerplate and passive voice meandering language screaming for the aide of an English teacher's red pencil.


A teacher's aide gives aid to the student.
Unless the pencil had a helper.

Chad Fabry
StructureSmart Home Inspection Rochester, NY
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#11] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 09:18:33 AM
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Walt Stoeppleworth's report system lives............I remember when I first met Walt, back in about 1978......

I think BAR was just fine in some regards, but the problem inherent in paper reports goes to things like complicated building science issues.....it's just not possible to provide the info one needs to provide with a handwritten checklist.

And the photo thing......gotta have photos nowadays. There's just no way to describe some stuff so folks understand degree of difficulty without a photo, especially if it's going through an attorney, which all my reports do.





Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#12] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 09:18:50 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Quote: The first thing I had to do with my software was purge it of a lot of unusable boilerplate and passive voice meandering language screaming for the aide of an English teacher's red pencil.


A teacher's aide gives aid to the student.
Unless the pencil had a helper.



Bless you, oh kind and gracious teacher...

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#13] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 09:23:16 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Tom Raymond

Aren't you from a little too far south to spell color with a 'u'?


That's a "cut and paste" right out of the lyrics for Alice's Restaurant. I questioned the spelling myself, but decided to leave it as it was.

"Aide" - well, that's another story. It's scary how diligent one must be about, not only spelling, but word usage (meaning). A spell checker will definitely betray us in that area. I'm constantly getting schooled, and happy to receive the admonishments.

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#14] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 1:40:21 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by plusonehm

Hey all you Building Analysis Report users, do you know what is going on with Home Tech? I have been calling their 800 and FAX number for two days and it rings busy. Today I got their local number from Information and it rang busy too after hours. Also, they are not answering emails.

Any idea what is going on? Out of business, just phone issues, natural disaster?


Hi Howard,

I don't know. However, if you need some reports, Professional Equipment sells them and might have some in stock.

http://www.professionalequipment.com/

It'd be a shame if the BAR went away. It's a venerable old system. I like it's simplicity.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#15] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 2:26:59 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Les

Tom,
I think I see a customer coming in. There ain't no such thing as too far south!!!! Well, maybe Patagonia.

BTW Tom, what do you think is the best kitchen cabinet in the universe?


Hope you don't mind if I jump in. Tom might actually be working.

Mine are the best in the universe. However, the shipping would kill you.

Seriously, if they're made from real wood, most of the names you're familiar with are as good as the next. They're really nothing more than plywood boxes with fancy doors.
The things to look for are, quality slides, hinges, and strong joints.

I'm Gary Blum and I approve this message

www.gtbinspectionservices.com
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#16] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 5:07:04 PM
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I used BAR for a long time also but there was really no room for remarks. I would speak in severely broken English to fit things on the page.

Howard, you can make your own BAR the way you want it by buying some Carbonless paper. You need a special type of carbonless otherwise it will ruin the rollers on your printer. I use Xerox 3R12420. You need a 3 ring binder, a 3 ring punch, heavy stock separators with tabs and it’s pretty easy. I made my own template with Word.

I give this field report to my client at the inspection. I then go back home and scan the report and attach an addendum with photos of anything I think needs a more detailed explanation. This all gets emailed to my client and their lawyer.

My cost for printing a 15 page 2 part carbon is about $2.25.

Click to View

59.4 KB

Mike Lamb
http://www.inspection2020.com/
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#17] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 5:12:24 PM
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Prima!

Once again, the guys at TIJ come through for someone by finding another way to skin a cat.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#18] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 6:57:28 PM
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Heck, I've got at least one box (maybe more) of 3-part NCRs left over from the Guardian, that I have nothing to do with. So, if you pay for shipping, you can have them. They're taking up space. In fact, I've also got an OKI color laser printer and a HP B & W laser printer, both of which are fast as the dickens. The B & W prints double-sided. You can produce your own forms for life!
"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#19] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 10:42:21 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by plusonehm

Hey all you Building Analysis Report users, do you know what is going on with Home Tech? I have been calling their 800 and FAX number for two days and it rings busy. Today I got their local number from Information and it rang busy too after hours. Also, they are not answering emails.

Any idea what is going on? Out of business, just phone issues, natural disaster?

Please note that this is not intended as spam but as a open line of communication to the industry, as this has just happened suddenly,and has affected the community.

The owners of Home Tech have retired unexpectedly.The company that has published their products for decades is currently revamping the entire line of publications.The BAR's can be found at www.buildinganalysisreport.com. There is also a BAR software program that is readily available.

If you are interested i would like to work directly with forum members to redesign/layout the BAR's so that they better suit the needs in the field.
Thanks,
Duane

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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#20] Posted: 09/23/2010 - 04:49:25 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by duaneadd

If you are interested i would like to work directly with forum members to redesign/layout the BAR's so that they better suit the needs in the field.
Thanks,
Duane


Nice! That's what I used to do - start with the basic Guardian and modify to what folks needed in the field. Unfortunately, some folks would simply work with me long enough to get what they wanted and then walk with what they could reproduce themselves.

I cut my teeth on the HomePro HomeBook for about four years, and then, when I want out on my own, the BAR for about eight years.

Best of luck with the BAR, Duane.


"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#21] Posted: 09/23/2010 - 11:40:32 PM
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Hey, thanks to all for the inputs. Too bad the folks at HomeTech let me order the computer program just 3or 4 weeks ago. Oh well, life goes on. Howard
Howard Maxfield
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Home Tech Bar Reports--Still in business?
[#22] Posted: 09/30/2010 - 10:58:55 AM
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Just a follow up: we now have a resource for the BAR reports and CBARS.

The long time publisher of the printed matter has taken over the business and can be contacted at:

The HomeTech Publishing Sales Team
443.721.4333
Sales@HomeTechPublishing.com

Thanks to the Journal for helping ferret this resource through the outerspace! We rest a little easier tonight!
Howard

Howard Maxfield
   
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