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  1. Yesterday
  2. Some folks never need to "manage" anyone's expectations. They're the ones that consistently and assiduously exceed all expectations. There seems to be some of those types of folks here at the Inspector's Journal. It's evident in replies to this topic and many others.
  3. Here's one for Mike lamb and the aesthetes among us. Next door to my job I spotted this roof vent array, that cleared up for me any question why this box vent is called a turtleback. Been down many a river where these guys line up on logs and slide off when you pass.
  4. I agree with that. It's in everyone's best interest--especially the client--that the client properly vet the inspector they're using.
  5. No Stephanie. It just means that a client should not rely on an agent's recommendation of inspector. If he wants to consider that recommendation, he should screen that inspector to verify to his satisfaction that he's a good inspector. Don't act on that recommendation without doing so because it came from an agent that was compromised. There's no better way to find a good inspector than to read his recent reports. Nothing, not his certs, not his association memberships, not his designations, nor his years of experience, reveal his performance as well as reading his reports.
  6. I agree with everything you said except the last part: "The agent cannot make a fair decision on the best inspector for the client because he will be affected by the result." This would mean that all agents would only refer clients to inspectors with "don't kill the deal" attitudes. Based on anecdotal evidence of speaking with inspectors that receive realtor referrals, I don't believe this is the case. And, from a data standpoint, we're constantly looking for similarities between claims so that we can offer better risk management solutions to inspectors based on trends. In reviewing thousands of claims, we have yet to pick up on a correlation between realtor referrals and poor inspection practices. So, if one exits, it's not big enough to be blatantly obvious. The bottom line: We don't have any evidence to suggest that receiving realtor referrals puts our clients at increased risk, either because of the agents' or their own actions. Until we do, we think it best to let the home inspectors individually decide if agent referrals are helpful or detrimental to their businesses and respect the decision either way. Returning to the article that started this conversation: The intent of the article wasn't to endorse agent marketing or argue that all inspectors should market to agents. Rather, the intent was to explain a common insurance policy endorsement through the lens of something we know a lot of inspectors are doing: marketing to realtors. We hope that, by putting referring party indemnification in this frame, we can both better engage our readers and increase their understanding of how their policy applies outside of the "named insured."
  7. Yes. In the '50s, the architectural fashion was to have long, low houses with linear, horizontal windows that were generally high in the rooms. (Thank Frank Lloyd Wright for this.) Adding modern egress windows to a mid-century house will generally destroy the design.
  8. The rules - if they apply - apply to all bedrooms, not just basement bedrooms. If this is boilerplate, you might want to clean up the spelling and grammar.
  9. We call them "under-shingle intake vents" and they're getting more popular here as well, not just to meet fire codes. They avoid the occasional issue of steam rising up off wet walls in the morning and flowing into the attic via soffit vents. I wonder, though, how they perform in ice-dam country.
  10. I thought this might be interesting. I have been seeing this type of lower continuous ridge vent installed about 5 feet up from eaves. The pics is this example were called out for poor installation. I found out they are installing this type of venting to meet fire code when the homes roof lines are located close together in developments.
  11. I find allot of 50's built homes with corner windows that don't meet current minimum 5.0 sq ft egress for main floor.
  12. Here's my standard comment. The basement bedroom windows have inadequate egress in the event of a fire due to being to high from the floor and having to small of an opening. Basement bedroom windows should have: A maximum sill height of 44 inches from the floor A minimum width opening of 20 inches A minimum height opening of 24 inches A minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet
  13. Last week
  14. If the client is the buyer, he's in this transaction for the house and has an enormous stake in the fidelity of the inspection report. The agent's stake in the purchase agreement is his commission. He earns it if the house arrives at a closing. He doesn't earn a penny otherwise. Home inspection reports do not sell houses. They're not intended to. They're intended to reveal the issues with the house so that the buyer is informed on what he's getting for his money. Buyer wants the best deal for his money. Agents wants his commission. The agent cannot make a fair decision on the best inspector for the client because he will be affected by the result.
  15. Hi @Marc. I'm kind of confused by your response. You say that recognition of agent expectations can be a detriment to the client. What do you mean by that? Here's some clarification on what I meant: Many home inspection clients turn to real estate agents not just for inspector recommendations but inspection information. As such, it can be helpful to make sure that the real estate agents involved understand the basic definition and scope of a home inspection. It also helps if agents know to direct questions and concerns about the inspection back to the inspector rather than weighing in themselves. We've seen some agents mitigate and other agents exacerbate issues for our inspector insureds based on their understanding (or lack of understanding) of home inspections. While it isn't a home inspector's duty to make real estate agents aware of basic home inspection protocol, helping set appropriate inspection expectations with agents can serve inspectors' and agents' shared clients immensely.
  16. Agent expectations? The agent is not the client, but a professional in service to the client, just like us. We're two separate jurisdictions that happen to be next door to each other. Any inspector recognition of agent expectations, or vice versa, when in service to the client and is contrary to the interests of the client, is to the detriment to that client. It is a disservice to that client, and the bulk of it is not illegal.
  17. Great points, @Marc! Client expectations definitely need to be managed, and I think management of those expectations contributes to making clients happy. (i.e. When your client finds mold behind a wall during renovations, they're not going to point the finger at you if they have a good understanding of your inspection's scope and are satisfied with their interactions with you.) I think the same could be said about agent expectations.
  18. The two views are not opposing each other. You and Jim are looking at different sides of the elephant. He's from the inspector's view of the elephant, you're from the insurance side of things. Views that don't seem to mesh can be expected until both parties fully understand each other, then the whole becomes better than either alone. Near impossible to do that on an online message board. My version of what I think Jim is saying is that the primary defense against legal difficulties is to be dang sure that your client is happy. Don't give him a reason to put your service under a microscope in the first place. But that's not where I begin. My contract has to cover every aspect and has work with applicable laws. Client expectations need to be managed. A single wrong sentence in the report (or even the verbal) can turn your entire efforts upside down, etc. You've got to be a practicing home inspector for quite a few years before you have a chance to understand every facet of minimizing your liabilities, and then an insurance guru who knows what she's talking about comes along and makes it better.
  19. @Jim Katen, thanks for your response. Based on your comments, it sounds like we're working off of completely different paradigms. You say that you "believe strongly that there's no 'delicate balance'" and that "if you cover your client's butt, [yours] will be covered automatically." Our philosophy dramatically differs in that we believe there are specific things home inspectors should do to manage their risk and limit their liability outside of being a good technical inspector. So, I believe we've reached an impasse. However, I do appreciate you taking the time to articulate your position and read our content—even though we don't always agree!
  20. Depends on the building. Residential single family, yes. High rise multifamily, no.
  21. The window manufacturer has no responsibility for ensuring their product meets your needs. The window installation contractor and sales person on the other hand should know and ensure the work he does is compliant with all local codes and manufacturers instructions. The home owner / purchaser is not without responsibility in the equation though and a judge may apply a percentage of responsibility to each such as 50/50. This would be a crap shoot depending on the judge in my estimation. The nice thing about inspectors jobs is we don't have to decide these things and can make recommendations without worrying about who has to pay. The "fixed double slider" term means what the window manufacturer says it means as it is, to my knowledge, a marketing term, not a defined architectural term.
  22. A "fixed double slider" could mean anything, including a cocktail.
  23. Fiberglass is an approved material for fireblocking around ducts and other penetrations - as long as it's installed so that it securely remains in place. The latter is left open to interpretation.
  24. I agree. I think I’m going to have to convince a small claims judge the same thing to get pella to resolve my concern, unfortunately. Would you think a “fixed double slider” referenced a window that has two sliding sides that would be removable or just one sliding side that is removable?
  25. In my area, it's been accepted. In fact, I had a city inspector suggest it to me at an inspection of my very own personal house.
  26. I believe strongly that there's no "delicate balance" there. Serving my customer and limiting my liability are indistinguishable from one another. For decades, I've preached that viewing them as separate, conflicting tasks is what gets people in trouble. I summarize my philosophy in this maxim: If you cover your client's butt, you're will be covered automatically. You've completely deflected my point with an unrelated, if interesting, side issue having to do with an *incredibly* dopey home inspector. Doesn't matter. It's all about the perception. If you can see it happening, then it happens. Saying, "but wait, let me correct your perceptions" is not a very convincing alternative. The analogy is flawed because the primary doctor has nothing to gain from referring to a specialist who botches things up. A real estate agent, on the other hand, has something to gain from referring an inspector who is "soft" - even more so if he's the indemnifying type. That aside, I'll observe that by the time we get to a lawsuit, it's too late anyway - everyone has lost. My objection to the scheme is that it create perceptions that I'd rather avoid.
  27. Any contractor who installs windows for a living should know what the requirements are. It's unreasonable to expect the homeowner to know these things.
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