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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/22/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Lack of brevity. Some people just go on and on. They keep talking about the same issue in multiple ways. They can't just state things simply and concisely. They feel the need to hammer the issue in from many angles. They just ramble forever about that which could be easily stated in one sentence. They just go on and on and on. . .
  2. 2 points
    Once again, the article starts off great and then goes off into the weeds. Instead of advising people to never exceed the standards of practice, here's an idea: Take the time to find the problems and tell your customers about them.
  3. 2 points
    The best piece of report writing advice I've come across in a long time comes from this article from The Atlantic magazine from April of this year. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/what-makes-candidate-authentic/587857/ The article is mostly about politicians trying to sound authentic, but the ideas translate well to many different professions. Basically the idea is that the more authentic you sound the more you're believed. Quote: In a paper published last month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the academics Rachel Gershon and Rosanna K. Smith described the results of a variety of tests showing that listeners perceived speakers to be less authentic when they were told that the speakers were repeating themselves. Self-repetition, they argue, “confronts observers with the performative nature of the interaction” and challenges our assumption that “social interactions, even those that are typically performed and repeated, are assumed to be unique.” In other words, we’re wired to assume that all speech is extemporaneous. When that assumption is revealed to be false, we penalize the speaker. This is true, the authors found, even in contexts where it makes no sense to expect speakers not to repeat themselves, such as listening to a tour guide or a stand-up comic. End Quote I don't really even know how oral speech and written reports might contrast in this respect. But to me, this helps make the case that referring someone to a "qualified roofing professional" is a bad idea. Referring them to a "good roofer" is a good idea.
  4. 2 points
    You don't want one of my reports. I write full-narrative and it's guaranteed to put you to sleep - especially if you're brain has been conditioned to social media where you are limited to posts less than 148 characters and you've developed too short of an attention span. What Jim calls "mushy mush mush" report writing I call inspectorspeak because it pervades this profession. There should be a dark room somewhere staffed with hundreds of retired fifth grade English teachers sitting in front of computer screens. Every home inspection report created anywhere on the planet should have to be emailed to them for proof-reading and correction before being sent out to clients. This profession's reputation and respectability quotient would see a huge uptick if that were the case. The geezer English teachers would probably appreciate it too. Like Jim, I like to write like I speak - even if the bluntness of it shocks the crap out of all agents present and sets their teeth on edge. More than one report I've sent out said something like, "The deck stairs look like they were constructed by a fourth grader who watched one episode of This Old House," or something similar. Tell it like it is and don't mince words. One of the advantages of never sucking up to agents for referrals is that you can get away with that kind of s**t and the phone will still continue to ring, 'cuz it will be past clients and their friends, relatives and co-workers calling you most of the time instead of agents. Oh yeah, and your hair, or at least what's left of it, will gray more slowly - hah! ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  5. 2 points
    Yep, A growing problem with teenage squirrels - sewer gas huffing and huffing parties. A side effect is the urge to gnaw on the nearest object. The squirrel authorities are concerned and want to get the message out to all squirrel parents that sewer gases contain methane, hydrogen-sulfide and other toxic fumes and that huffing sewer gas can lead to death. The teens aren't listening. In fact, a week ago, three of them under the influence of sewer gas knocked over a walnut cache and overpowered and killed the elderly security squirrel guarding the nuts. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  6. 2 points
    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.
  7. 2 points
    Of those inspectors who use this coverage as part of their marketing to real estate agents, I'll bet that most, if not all of them do not advertise the fact to their actual customers. In fact, I'll also bet that they intentionally keep quiet about it. Look at it this way: if you were a home buyer and you knew that the inspector that your agent recommended was paying to indemnify that agent, would that elevate the inspector in your eyes? Would it make you think twice about the agent's motivations and the inspector's loyalties? In my experience all but the most credulous home buyers would view this as a "scheme" or perhaps as an "arrangement" that benefits the home inspector and the agent, but not the consumer.
  8. 1 point
    It seems that if an inspector wants to serves his client as best he can, he's gonna have to tolerate more liability on the job. Fine with me. Is Inspector Pro going to deny me if I apply for coverage next year? No claims in 16 years.
  9. 1 point
    As an insurer, I suspect your experiences and advice are focused more toward the "bottom end" of this profession. I've been fortunate to have been able to interact with the "top end" folks for over 3 decades. Deflecting, defending, or even worrying about claims is not part of any discussion in that group. Training, educating and inspecting to a level well above the minimum standard would probably reduce the claims significantly. This whole profession should be constantly improving their knowledge and service to their clients, not hiding behind minimum sop.
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    Those work just fine Jim, you just aren't familiar with the new IDP technology. Inter-dimensional Portal suction devices aren't operated by a switch. You just need to know the correct invocation incantation for exhausting to another dimension. Recite the wrong one and nasty odors from the other dimension blow into the room.
  12. 1 point
    The inflation back then... amazing. 😄😀
  13. 1 point
    Ya know, I wonder: I have an IR attachment to my iphone that I deploy when, and only when, visible conditions suggest a moisture issue. It's for confirmation of the issue. Without that visible evidence, the attachment stays in my truck. So what do you think? Bad practice?
  14. 1 point
    That approach is designed to avoid the situation that would bring the insurance company into the picture in the first place. It's unreasonable to expect an insurance company to adopt such an approach as policy. Having said that, the number of substantial client complaints I've had in over 16 years can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I credit that on satisfying whatever client needs I can reasonably offer, even if it means exceeding the SOP. The SOP, without an educational standard and a mandated writing style to go with it, is a ridiculous standard upon which to base a quality inspection/report. JMHO.
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    Even better: make the kids dump the bins.
  17. 1 point
    There was a problem after the last update on the weekend that caused errors and prevented posting. The errors have been fixed and all should be working as expected.
  18. 1 point
    Damned acid reflux! ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    It's still a parapet. At the end of a building it's a 'gable parapet' aka Dutch gable.
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    Well, it's not sexy, but spelling is important. An occasional typo is no big deal, but nothing in your boilerplate should be misspelled and you should never misspell construction terms that might not be part of the customers' vocabulary; when they go to look them up, they'll be baffled. There's just no excuse for a report that talks about "rusting lentils" and "lathe & plaster." It makes you look like a dumb hick. (And if there's more than one furnace, don't call one of them the "principle furnace" unless it has high moral standards.) I'd also focus on getting rid of what I call "mushy mush mush" report writing, "It was observed that the roof is older than it's average condition and might or might not perform satisfactorily over the course of its remaining service life, which it might or might not have exceeded. Hire an expert licensed roofing specialist to advise." (Taken verbatim from an actual report.) Strive to tell the customer exactly what the problem is and exactly what to do about it. Avoid word salad. Use clear words. Don't say, "Debris between the deck treads can facilitate rot." Deck treads? Facilitate rot? Who the heck speaks like that? Here's another, "Confined spaces were inaccessible." What this mean? Why might it be important? What should the customer do about it? One of my favorites: Have any rot in the deck removed and replaced. (Where can I find some "replacement rot"? )
  23. 1 point
    Ohio just enacted a chapter on regulating home inspectors that has 2 public member seats out of 7 total. It's an improvement but a majority of public members seats is needed, otherwise the inspectors have a majority and will simply do whatever they want.
  24. 1 point
    takes a bit to appreciate it.
  25. 1 point
    the above statement alone is disgusting... teaching others how to ride on an insurance policy is absurd... relying on this tactic to gain referrals is appalling... to me hth
  26. 1 point
    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.
  27. 1 point
    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.
  28. 1 point
    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.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    My spouse keeps me wound up.
  31. 1 point
    got a couple out in the barn.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    That method works only with folks who can hold their liquor, cause the bottle needs to be about half full.
  34. 1 point
    That's a myth. Most certifications aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Association membership translates into nothing at all. An inspector's actual reports are the best litmus test there is on his performance. That's why I asked to see this inspector's report. A lot can be learned from an inspector by what he writes, whether in a report or on this message board. I can tell from your post alone that you're either a fake or new to this business.
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    One of these days, I'm going to combine a stand-behind dozer, like the Sutter 300, with a tilt blade equipped with laser sensors tied to hydraulics, and a laser transit capable of slopes and offer residential landscaping services like you're doing.
  37. 1 point
    The project is shaping up. We’re putting the finishing touches on.
  38. 1 point
    just keep the hares at bay
  39. 1 point
    I'm happy to see Mike participating again.
  40. 1 point
    While we all base our inspections loosely on code, to try and make our reports sound like an enforceable document is folly. " By today's standards this is a zero bedroom, three den home. Better building practices dictate that window openings must be at least blah blah to provide egress from a burning home and just as importantly to allow a firefighter wearing full gear access to the home and occupants." I would probably use the terms unsafe or dangerous when describing these rooms as sleeping rooms.
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