Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chris Bernhardt

Functioning as intended

Recommended Posts

It's really about deficiencies. An expensive exterior door can be badly damaged by a dog constantly scratching to get out, but still "function as intended". The term "deficiencies" includes defects, but "defects" doesn't necessarily include deficiencies (such as the door).

"No deficiencies were observed by the Inspector" works pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Katen    11

It's really about deficiencies. An expensive exterior door can be badly damaged by a dog constantly scratching to get out, but still "function as intended". The term "deficiencies" includes defects, but "defects" doesn't necessarily include deficiencies (such as the door).

"No deficiencies were observed by the Inspector" works pretty well.

You're still relying on a special meaning for the word "deficiency." Ten people reading a home inspection report might have ten different ideas of what "deficiency" means. You can define "deficiency" within the body of the report, but that make it a hassle to read. You open yourself to the chance that someone can misunderstand you. Besides, a lot of people are going to think that looking nice is part of the "function" of an expensive door. Is there a problem with writing, "The front door is badly scratched but still works fine?" It's impossible to misunderstand because it doesn't rely on specially defined code words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can argue about the meaning of almost any word or term. Sooner or later, you just have to pick a term. I started out with "serviceable condition". Now:

"The Inspector observed no deficiencies in the condition of..."

or

"The Inspector observed few deficiencies in the condition of... notable exceptions will be listed in this report".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I propose they are wrong. It means absolutely nothing as far as I'm concerned.

As time goes on, I believe more and more the report writing systems and their "catch phrases" are one of the largest problems in this gig. I have to stop now or I will burst into flames....

I agree 100%, except every time I've seen the phrase in someone's report it's "appears to be functioning as intended." Combined with other statements in those reports, it seems the purpose of the phrase is to not commit to anything. It seems to me they're trying to avoid upsetting "the deal" while also attempting to deflect any responsibility.

If I don't use those terms while I'm talking to someone, why would I write that way?

Because an inspection report is not an everyday conversation. Your report language may have to protect you in court. You can write in a reasonable language and still protect yourself.

Mostly, it's about being accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Katen    11

You can argue about the meaning of almost any word or term. Sooner or later, you just have to pick a term. I started out with "serviceable condition". Now:

"The Inspector observed no deficiencies in the condition of..."

or

"The Inspector observed few deficiencies in the condition of... notable exceptions will be listed in this report".

At the risk of repeating myself, why not just say what you see instead of translating it into pre-defined categories?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Katen    11

. . . Mostly, it's about being accurate.

The best way to be accurate is to just describe what you see in simple terms. If a door is scratched up, but still opens, closes, and latches properly, why talk about servicablity, deficiency, or some other vague concept? Why not just say, "The door opens, closes, and latches shut properly, but it's finish is scratched."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kurt    0

How about...."The door is scratched"....(?).

If the door didn't work...."The door is scratched and it doesn't open/close/latch/knobs busted/whatever".

Include a picture of the scratches so the reader has context for how bad the scratches are.

"Traditional" ideas about how to write reports are completely screwed up; it's about time folks understood this. It's not necessary to say 2/3's of the crap everyone talks about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alpha Man    0

For a door that was just pet damaged, but latched closed, locked, was not a hollow core at a entry location and sealed out the elements.

I would write something like this... "Door appeared functional with cosmetic damage"

The buyer probably already saw the pet damage. I would still include it so the client could see the detail of my inspection and feel comfortable I wasn't leaving anything out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marc    6
14 minutes ago, Alpha Man said:

For a door that was just pet damaged, but latched closed, locked, was not a hollow core at a entry location and sealed out the elements.

I would write something like this... "Door appeared functional with cosmetic damage"

The buyer probably already saw the pet damage. I would still include it so the client could see the detail of my inspection and feel comfortable I wasn't leaving anything out.

'The door has a little damage on it but works just fine.  Just so you know I didn't miss it.'

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RK52    4

"Functioning as ANYthing (intended, designed, advertised)" is nothing more than just "functioning". I suppose a furnace could be installed improperly, yet still warm the building without CO sharing airspace with the residents. It's "functioning", doing its bit as a furnace, but that can have little or nothing to do with a proper installation.

I'm new to this, but that strikes me as a BS phrase designed to make someone sound high brow. And, apparently, in some places it is functioned and intended.. 9_9

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
inspector57    1

I don't do positive affirmations.

As required by my state, I check the box "Inspected" and move on if there is nothing negative to report. 

Like Hausdok, I report on what is wrong.

The one exception is the requirement in the SOP to give an opinion of the foundation. In that one instance I use the dreaded "Functioning as intended" phrase just so I don't start writing foolish things that I might regret later. (i.e. it is hard, flat, located on the ground, and I like it just fine but the color is a little boring) - just to meet the state requirement to give my opinion)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marc    6
7 hours ago, inspector57 said:

I don't do positive affirmations.

As required by my state, I check the box "Inspected" and move on if there is nothing negative to report. 

Like Hausdok, I report on what is wrong.

The one exception is the requirement in the SOP to give an opinion of the foundation. In that one instance I use the dreaded "Functioning as intended" phrase just so I don't start writing foolish things that I might regret later. (i.e. it is hard, flat, located on the ground, and I like it just fine but the color is a little boring) - just to meet the state requirement to give my opinion)

Sheesh, I don't hold back on my disgust of the silly state-mandated mentions:

"There is no moisture retarder installed at the ceiling level.  The State Board of Home Inspectors requires that I report this but you can disregard it.  Moisture retarders are not of much consequence in this hot/humid climate we love here.  That's mostly for folks up in northern frigid climates to worry about."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×