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  1. Today
  2. Well, no Jim, she didn't mind a bit! 😎😎😎 What do you think all those stores that take cards do with their processing fees. They just raise the prices on everyone. So did I.
  3. Here before mid-60's, it was common to add just one clay liner at the top for looks. In an older house, if you don't shine a light in there or take a pic with a flash, there is no guarantee of a lined chimney. I will call out any unlined chimney for repair. New rules demand full scaffolding and fall protection for a mason before he can even repoint the outside. Old chimneys are a liability because there is no cheap fix and fire insurance keeps going up. Cheapest and best is a conversion to NG with a metal liner.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I do not inspect fire escapes. They are only supposed to be used in emergencies and in Chicago, the owner of the property is supposed to submit a report from an architect or structural engineer as to their soundness every five years. The bottom set of the stairway is 10 feet off the ground or so – So people can't climb up from the alley – with a counterweight that when you step on the stairs they should hopefully slowly go down to grade.
  6. I rarely find problems with unlined chimneys that run up the middle of the house in cold Chicago. However, chimneys run-up the outside wall of the house is a different story.
  7. In my area, chimneys didn't start to have liners till about the '60s. Most of the houses that I look at are older than that.
  8. Last week
  9. Would make a great setting for an action film chase scene.
  10. There is a single clay flue liner in the middle, likely straight up.
  11. A true spiral would leave a clear vertical column for the liner about its axis.
  12. I love giving credit where it is due, but I would never include these comments in my all-business report. I get paid to find not to gush. Anyway this mason had to find his way from the hearth to the middle of the roof ridge, so he did it with a spiral corbel. Not sure how he worked out his liners!
  13. How long ago was that? For the past several months, clients are surprised when I tell them that I don't charge a processing fee. It's becoming common enough that people are starting to expect it. I just found out that one of my partners has been adding a surcharge for years. When it came time to pay, he'd tell the customers that he would add a 3% fee to the bill. When they balked, he said, "that's fine, just pay with a check and there's no fee," then he handed them an invoice and a self-addressed stamped envelope. He said that in years past it worked great because basically no one would pay by card, but lately people are fine with it and willing to pay the fee. And she didn't mind? The difference is that you don't use the van only with certain customers who desire it. Would you accommodate customers who ask you to drive a special rented van to their inspection? Raise your prices across the board to cover it? Or would you say, that's fine, but it costs extra for me to show up in the special rented van?
  14. Bob is a great guy and an asset to the inspection business. inspectorpro gains great credibility as a result of his involvement.
  15. very insightful. thanks for the reminder.
  16. I got some pushback for adding a processing fee. I stopped. I raised my prices 5% across the broad and consider credit card processing fees a cost of doing business, kind of like buying gas for the van. Though, like Jim, I actively discourage it.
  17. As someone who's never lived in a big northern city, can anyone just legally use those stairs or is it reserved for fire escape only?
  18. People who live in humid areas are likely to experience the problem of algae growing on their asphalt shingle roofs. These people know that it is not a pleasant sight. The dark streaks covering the roof are really bad for aesthetics it just doesn’t look attractive at all it just makes your roof look dirty, dull and un cared for.
  19. Hyde Park, Chicago. "You can't Hyde, and you can't Park."
  20. Bob is a good guy and has been a fixture in the home inspector insurance scene forever. His move to InspectorPro is one reason that my company is considering moving to them this year -- if Aaron's quote is good . . .
  21. I just added up my numbers for July. I actively discourage clients from paying by card, but they sometimes insist, so I accommodate them. In July, 9 of them succeeded in getting me to accept their cards. The fees on those 9 transactions added up to $265. It might not seem like much, but it comes straight out of my wallet and I resent giving $265 to the pig/dog credit card company so that my clients can get a small bump in airline miles.
  22. The $19.95 doesn't all go to Pair. When I asked them about it at the conference, they told me that their system automatically adds 4% to every charge. About 3% of that goes to the credit card company and 1% goes to Pair. Several other companies do the same thing. The credit card companies used to prohibit you from doing this, but a Supreme Court ruling several years back determined that they could't stop you from adding an extra charge for taking credit cards. Since then, it's starting to become the norm. I must admit that I don't appreciate paying for my customers' airline miles. With our fees, the average credit card bite is $20-$30 per transaction. That adds up to some serious pocket change over time.
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