Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points
  2. 3 points
    Years ago, Helped Mike and Rose improve their report format. Then took one of my reports, where I liked the format, and I just saved it in MS Word. Then I overwrote it again, and again, and again, changing the descriptions where necessary, names and dates and places, and word-searching and then grabbing an old comment about whatever issue from an old report and editing it as needed to make it fit the current report. I guess I've been doing that for the past 12 or 13 years. I write all full narrative. Some of you will note that I've never posted reports here. Reason is simple, I know they'll generate a lot of blather that I just don't care to hear, cuz they are long and boring; and, someone above was right - it is a 144 character world now, 'cuz most Americans - particularly millennials - tell me they want me to boil it down to a couple of sentences per issue. I tell them if they want to boil it down to a couple of sentences, wait until they get the report and then have at it, 'cuz I write the way I write and I don't see a need to apologize for it. I hear what everyone is saying about the 144 characters, etc., but most of my clients are Chinese, Indian or Russian university graduates; who've got more initials after their names than it takes to spell my name. I must be doing something right, 'cuz, oddly enough, they seem to love my reports just the way they are. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of customers from years ago. They are buying again and moving into more expensive neighborhoods. Lots of them tell me they still use the old report(s) all the time as guidance for how to care for their homes and the detail in the report was why they came back. A couple told me that in intervening years they'd tried a different inspector on their next house, had not liked the inspection or the reports, and when they'd got around to buying again had called me because they wanted to get that same kind of report again. I'm not averse to trying something new, I just say that if it ain't broke I'm not going to try and fix it. From '96 to '01 I used a different format. Some liked it, some didn't but I eventually achieved a following and things got solid. Then I sold my franchise, dumped the franchise's report format and went to a full-narrative format like I'd used when I'd written investigative reports in the military. Business died off for quite a while until my new way of writing reports caught on with certain demographics. After that, Native American clients went from being the majority of my clients to the minority; and the number of Chinese, Indian and Russian clients, who incidentally in this area tend to buy bigger and more expensive homes (= higher fees), went through the roof. A couple of weeks ago, one of them needed the report done within hours. Told him, "You know me. I've got two speeds - slow and careful - ain't no way I can get it to you by then. I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll throw together something super brief with the issues as simple bullets along with the photos, and email it to you in a couple of hours. You know what the issues are, so you'll understand what the comments are about. You and your agent can use that to respond to the seller. Meanwhile, the report will be in the queue and I'll get to it when it's turn comes up and you'll get it in a couple of days. OK?" I got him the bulleted version with the photos. It was easy to throw together; but sending that over felt like I was somehow shortchanging the client. The bulleted version worked and he was able to negotiate what he wanted to negotiate, but he wasn't really happy with it. He still ended up pestering me for the full monte before it was completed, explaining to me that my report was the icing on the inspection cake as far as he was concerned. I guess, to him, in his native country, that's the kind of report he expects and appreciates. I think what this proves is that, though most new customers come to us without the faintest idea of what kind of an inspection or report they're going to get, or what they should get, they all have their own ideas of what they want in terms of an inspection and the resulting report. There are lots of different types of clients. Some want short and simple, some want check boxes and icons, some want big photos with captions, some want anal retentive and long. There is no one-size-fits all answer for the entire profession across this continent. Play to your own strengths and you'll eventually find your niche - then just keep on repeating what works for you. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  3. 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
  4. 2 points
    I think we can make the numbers work. Bill has contributed tons of ideas. Between us we contacted: Kenny Hart, Glen Mathewson, John Bouldin, Frank Woeste, Don Norman, Lstiburek and Joe Tedesco, I'd love to have Douglas Hansen if I can convince him to come. If you guys have any suggestions for presenters, please post them here and we'll consider them. The venue will provide 24 hours of ASHI, NY, MA, and by default, PA CEU's. Working on CT, NJ and OH. If there are vendors you'd like to come, share those thoughts. This is a chance to build the conference you want to attend. Room rates at the Henry are reduced to $130 with free parking. If we pull it off, the conference will provide breakfast, beverage service for the day(s), and a nice lunch. Tentatively planned for late February, early March 2020
  5. 2 points
    TIJ has lost lots of expertise this past year and I've joined the Inspector Brotherhood, found some other TIJ members there too, but TIJ will forever be my favorite. It still has more expertise, has more answers, than any other site I've ever been to. When the questions get tough, head for TIJ.
  6. 2 points
    I still use a candle and a bit of tin foil.
  7. 2 points
    Hmm. Someone is trying to send a message.
  8. 1 point
    That was a success! Kurt M was involved with something similar years ago. Your thought process was the key. These masonry stories always make me think of Tom the Builder from Pillars of the Earth.
  9. 1 point
    To make the flame yellow, you have to have incomplete combustion which means a fuel-rich mixture.
  10. 1 point
    ...probably burns like those black invisible fires of Hell... "...Our earthly fire also consumes more or less rapidly according as the object which it attacks is more or less combustible, so that human ingenuity has even succeeded in inventing chemical preparations to check or frustrate its action. But the sulphurous brimstone which burns in hell is a substance which is specially designed to burn for ever and for ever with unspeakable fury. Moreover, our earthly fire destroys at the same time as it burns, so that the more intense it is the shorter is its duration; but the fire of hell has this property, that it preserves that which it burns, and, though it rages with incredible intensity, it rages for ever...."--James Joyce
  11. 1 point
    The New Yorker did a story a few years ago about survivalist developments, some done inside de-commissioned missle silos!
  12. 1 point
    Interesting concept-intentionally enticing mobsters to buy in small-town New England. I read the linked listing and found it incredible that the listed property taxes are just $10k? That can't be right. A 5 million dollar house in NY State would have roughly $200k in property taxes per year. Most counties in NY have tax rates around $40 per thousand of assessed value. A house that's worth just $250k has $10k in property taxes.
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    First one speaks volumes.
  15. 1 point
    As the saying goes... "it's never safe to update" LOL Sorry for the interruption. Michael
  16. 1 point
    Even better: make the kids dump the bins.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    It was done to make it draw better. No wonder the hearth was covered - that stack is taking on water and they never figured out it was due to the cracked and almost non-existent crown (If you can call it that).
  19. 1 point
    takes a bit to appreciate it.
  20. 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.
  21. 1 point
    Sounds like the moisture that allowed the mold to grow was interior moisture that got into the attic. It's warmer in the interior than the attic in the winter so if that interior air gets into the cold attic, condensation might result, giving old spores what it needs to grow. I don't see what the lack of a firewall between garage and attic has to do with this mold growth.
  22. 1 point
    As well as the one on the left....
  23. 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.
  24. 1 point
    Jerry, The top picture is the front of a postcard listing Chad's upcoming classes at his school next month. The back of the card is an anouncement for the seminar for March of 2020, where Jim will be presenting.
  25. 1 point
    Foreign buyers leave it up to their realtor on this side to take care of the inspection, and sometimes they don't even come to see the house. Even so, the best advice is to refuse to inspect until the contract is read and signed by the buyer. It is even more important to get that signature when you don't meet the buyers face-to-face.
  26. 1 point
    thanks for the information. However, I think we have to be mindful about the topic. Insurance coverage and legal indemnification are not synonymous. I am sure you agree that everyone must read and understand what their coverage is and establish a good working relationship with there insurer. Thanks for your input on this board, we all have learned "stuff" from your participation!
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    A tough job, but somebody had to do it. 😄
  30. 1 point
    Agent is an idiot (THERE ... I've said it). Also your client does not know what the difference is between an inspector and an appraiser. Tell them to contact the appraiser for those measurements. No ... it is not something an inspector should do or be expected to do.
  31. 1 point
    Wind thread on bobbins. Power an ice cream maker. Use it as a bearing press. Use it as a mouse trap. (If you have to ask, your sensibilities are too fine.)
  32. 1 point
    ...when it gets full you can send it to RJReynolds for a free carton.
  33. 1 point
    I think the original question is about gas log lighters for solid fuel fireplaces, not gas log sets. No pilot, no thermocouple. Just holes in a pipe. I have to turn the valve to know if it functions (gas comes out the holes). I never thought it necessary to go get a match or lighter to prove that the gas is flammable.
  34. 1 point
    Sure, I understand your position on that. You are saying the interior of the panel is not accessible because of the paint. And in a multi-family building, there would be the time factor to consider, because it can take a while to get that cover off. Even so, it is important for someone to open those panels up, so eventually there will be some cutting and scraping.
  35. 1 point
    What style Type Ball do you use in your IBM Selectric?
  36. 1 point
    I was taught (30+ years ago) to write reports without referencing myself as being the one that conducted the inspection. There was no reason, it's just what everyone did. It continued until I started getting really good advice and examples here at TIJ. "I am open to new ideas if someone's got a good replacement for "further evaluate". Don't replace it, eliminate it. Jim K. posted a perfect example. "If the presence of mold bothers you, hire a contractor to remove it - but be aware that it'll just come back again if you don't fix the moisture issue first". No kicking the can, no reference to mold is gold scam artists. No perpetuating the myths.
  37. 1 point
    We were one of the first states with licensing (over 25 years now) but I can't see that it sets a very high bar for beginners and as far as I can tell rarely prohibits the unqualified from retaining their license. It does mandate some continuing education but since licensing is regulated by the TREC, an agency run by realtors, it does not really promote excellence since that might kill deals. Licensing would do absolutely nothing to prevent the situation of the OP.
  38. 1 point
    Authors can be judged by how well they write. Read enough books by an author and you get a good idea how good he is. In similiar fashion, you can tell an inspector by his reports and by his posts here and by whatever else he writes. It's much more revealing than his certs, association memberships, website and just about everything else. Jim K has said "write in present tense, active voice". Kurt has said "what is it, what does it mean, what to do about it". Les once said "methods and materials" in regard to home inspector curricula. Those few words alone, after long consideration on my part, was all it took for me to realize that each of these guys were at the top of their game. Inspectors who've yet to arrive can't originate things like that. It comes only with great expertise.
  39. 1 point
    The manufacturers' instructions usually contain very specific details about if, where, and how the intake and exhaust piping can increase or decrease dimension. Same with direct exhaust water heaters. After looking at just a few different manuals, you'll see there's no rule of thumb. More often than not though, a diameter increase for the exhaust is not permitted outside of the furnace cabinet.
  40. 1 point
    Why heck, Kurt. That's one of the nicest ways I've ever seen it said.
  41. 1 point
    ........and on the bottom surface (just below what you can see in Chad's sketch), just in from the outer edge is a routed groove. The purpose of which is to break the surface tension of the flowing water so it drips off, rather than flow down onto the band trim and foundation surface......Greg
  42. 1 point
    South Dakota The Badlands Black Hills Mount Rushmore Custer State Park Needles Highway If you're into cars, you could spend all day here! http://www.motionunlimitedmuseum.com/classiccars.html Wyoming Devils Tower & Yellowstone
  43. 1 point
    I guess my new advertising slogan will be, "I won't shoot you."
  44. 1 point
    FRT plywood costs about 3 times as much as drywall. People don't use it unless they need the fire resistance and the structural properties that come with it. I'd also guess that it's only 1/4" thick. You gave your opinion. I see no need for you to change it.
  45. 1 point
    That's good. I can smell it.
  46. 1 point
    Page 5, lines 16 thru 24: This line may impose significant accountability upon the Board where in other states accountability is ignored. What’s important here is whether the Secretary of Labor/Industry himself is held accountable for his performance. Page 6: This model of HI regulation brings 3 public members, an engineer and a real estate agent into the Board member list along with 6 HIs. Excellent planning, in my view. Page 8, lines 16 thru 23: Good to see someone exceeding the usual 90 hr pre-licensing requirement. An issue comes up on the 75 mentored home inspections: Licensure might effectively be limited to those applicants who are able to gain the cooperation of an existing licensee. With this model and with my deafness, I would never have succeeded in getting a license. Page 20, lines 12 thru 20: There are about ten other exemptions that should be in there including FHA Fee inspectors, insurance inspectors, certain contractors in the performance of their duties as contractors, etc Page 21, lines 21 thru 27: This language should clarify that the word ‘violation’ means any number of violations of a single type considered by the board at a given adjudicatory hearing. The reason is, for example, if an HI unknowingly commits a violation ten times before discovery. The hearing that follows might consider this as ten violations instead of one, where the intent of the statute was to consider it as one violation with a limit of $1,000 fine. The Louisiana HI Board makes this mistake on a regular basis, resulting in single fines well in excess of the statutory limit of $1,000. Page 23, line 6 thru page 24, line 7: These are the measures against COIs. They are seriously flawed and omit several COIs common in the real estate industry, including one of the most damaging of all. Consumers and inspectors of the highest competence and ethics will be harmed the most by the omissions in this section. I stopped at page 20 and this was just a quick overview. The response of the PHIC might as well have been that of an emotional and hysterical child.
  47. 1 point
    I received a response to this question from the state of OR Building Codes Division. Please understand that this answer is relative to this exact problem, and that input should be gathered from the local AHJ. "While this isn’t a duct, it is a penetration between the garage and the occupied space that should meet R305.2. Also, the pertinent sections of Chapter 24 of the ORSC that aren’t being met are: G2407.2 and G2407.4 for combustion air. Obvious that there isn’t adequate combustion air; the occupied space is at a negative pressure to the garage, especially with the fireplace not operating (the pilot light might reduce some backdraft by drawing heat/vent air flow up the fireplace vent) G2427.3: Positive flow required for any vent. The “home” is obviously at a different pressure than the garage, and the system is back-flowing into the home. The maximum “negative pressure” (draw) of the water heater and furnace will be about -0.05”. The interior of the home can have bath fans, kitchen fans, temperature difference between the warm home and the outdoors (creating stack effect pressure similar to that created by the vented flue), wind effect, etc. that can easily overpower the draft up the water heater to the roof vent outlet, especially when just the pilot light of the water heater is the only heat source in the vent system. The system is not meeting code. Are you still in contact with the customer? They should be made aware of the possible hazards; we hope they have working carbon monoxide detectors. I’m unaware of a method to equalize the pressure between the garage and the living space, since a duct/opening can’t be made between the living space and garage (per ORSC R305.2)."
  48. 1 point
    I have been with the InspectorPro program (Citadel Insurance Services, LC) for more than a few years, rate keeps going down as the years go by. I'm happy.
  49. 1 point
    I was recently reading a book on framing (1909 vintage) and came across a reference to block foundations. It mentions using 8x12x24 block. Download Attachment: Concrete Block-from book titled Framing-1909.pdf 363.2 KB
  50. 1 point
    I just don't know how else to put this, That is why I posted in bold! There is no such thing as an emergency load only when you are transferring all circuits. I meant its right there in black and white.. If a automatic switch is installed the generator must be able to run every thing that is connected to it or have load management installed. It seams the only other people that understand this issue are people on the electrical boards and a hand full of city inspectors.. Here is what i will do let me do a load calculation sheet and show you why you can not run a all electric house on a 20kw gen set and it meet the code requirements with out installing load shedding. I wold expect you to grasp this quick Marc. I never said the generator has to put out 200A.. If your load cal calls for 150A then you need a 38kw gen set 150A*240V=36000W plus 2kw for safety. If you load call calls for 125A then you need 32kw gen set. If no house used over 100A then no one would have 200A and 400A service going to the house. A 20kw gen set is just about the right size for a house with a 100A service. If the generator you selected does not meet 702.4 "2011 code book" Full load rule then it must be the load management rule. If it does not meet nether one then it is installed in non-compliance to the code. This rule is not for the ones that know hay I cant run every thing in the house when I am on generator power.. It is for the idiots that sue McDonalds because the coffee was hot! Sam
  • Create New...