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  1. I have had mixed success with doing this. It does get your name out there. I don't think I would do one for a group of realtors though. I donate inspections for the silent auctions for a local abused women's shelter organization. The org then uses me at half price to inspect property they are purchasing as shelter homes. My company name goes on all of their brochures etc., and I have done several inspections for employees, and several discounted inspections for single moms refered from the group. All in all, that has been a rewarding experience, helping out people that need it. BTW, of the seven inspections purchased at the charity auction, only one of them has actually scheduled an inspection. Make sure you put an expiration date on the certificate for the purchased inspection. Usually a year is good. Also, make sure you right your own description of what you are donating, including that it is NOT an appraisal or a guarantee. I have had a couple of calls for appraisals from people that bought the inspection at the auction. I hope this helps!
  2. The duck quacking thing is a myth. They echo. During this slow time, for some insane reason, I bought a fixer upper 5 bedroom house. It hasn't been updated since it was built in the 70's. There was a crack in the foundation that one of my fellow inspectors reported on, and it scared the buyer out of the deal, and scared the trustee of the estate into unloading the house for super cheap. So I'm going to spend the lean season living in the house while I rent out my current house and fix up the other one. Of course, this pretty much guarantees that the real estate market will completely crash while I own two houses...
  3. MelB

    HVAC age

    Just throwing in my 2 cents here. What I have always done on an older furnace like this, on a home purchase inspection, is tell the client this: "The furnace is older than 15 years, and has exceeded it's life expectancy. It looks to be (neglected, maintained, completely fried, in amazingly great) condition. It is (running, not running, dying, in great shape for it's age), but every day from now on is a gift from the furnace gods. I think that once a furnace or water heater or ac unit is that old, an exact age isn't required. AM I way off base here? I've never had a client complain that they didn't get the build date of an old appliance.
  4. Joe, Maybe the problem is that you searched for the wrong society. Carefully reading the logo reveals that it is the Society of "Engineerss" and "Indepenent" Inspectors.
  5. I've only been doing this for four years, so I may be abit naive. Is there any reason to bring any of that equipment onto a roof, into an attic, or through the interior? I have my flashlight on my belt, and my three prong tester in my cargo pants pocket. Toolbag goes to the garage, the kitchen, then the mechanicals room. Am I missing something?
  6. I did an inspection yesterday on a 100 year old house in Chicago, and came an electrical issue I haven't seen before. The whole house seemed to have been wired well, with a couple of exceptions. I haven't ever seen electric service without a mast before. It was just flex cable, like UF, but had the correct size aluminum wiring for a 100 amp service. Has anyone seen this before? I'm guessing that it was put in when the addition on the back of the house was built. The service comes in, drops down through the addition, clamped to the wall in the room, then goes through the floor, travels along the floor of the addition to the meter which is on the exterior wall of the addition, then travels back into the basement, into the service panel. Image Insert: 22.47 KB Image Insert: 24.16 KB Image Insert: 19.31 KB
  7. Be careful if you are jumpiing to the conclusion of pest infestation based only on woodpeckers. I have them at my house constantly, and they are only nesting behind my wood siding. Guess I should have left that ant infested elm tree alone in the backyard, they always stayed out there.
  8. I have been using a Toshiba Portege tablet, and it has worked very well. It has completed 600 inspections in three years, and I was getting nervous about how much longer it will last in the field, so I bought a Dell Axim X51 on ebay for $200. So far it and I are getting along well with the calendar, contacts and email functions. I am running Inspect Express, and will be upgrading to get the handheld software. I am anticipating a pretty big learning curve though, so I have been putting it off. I'll probably do it in May or June when I am so busy it will be the sink or swim method of learning. Has anyone made this switch? How was it?
  9. Inspected a condo today, new construction. In examing the garage, I noticed that the lintel does not go past the opening of the door. I'm not sure what is holding up the two stories of brick above this opening. Any thoughts? I'm hoping that I missed some other support, but can't imagine where or what it would be. Download Attachment: Lintela.jpg 26.67 KB Download Attachment: Lintelb.jpg 34.45 KB Download Attachment: Lintelc.jpg 21.2 KB
  10. If you check a lot of roofs for leaks, you got a great deal...
  11. I have the exact same problem in my house. The first one was after I hooked up my new surround sound. The next day, I noticed the interior pane of my pricey Gilkey window was smashed. I thought 'Wow what a subwoofer!' A couple months later, two windows on the upper level, one on each side of the house, spontaneously smashed themselves. Gilkey replaced all three under warranty, and told me that they had never heard of it. The installer though, told me that it happens on occasion due to a design problem in the window. He wouldn't or couldn't elaborate on it. It has happened at night, and during the day, in winter and a warm spring day, so the weather and sun didn't seem to play a role. Hope this helps.
  12. On second thought, maybe I don't want you boogers reading my report.
  13. Does anyone have the time and inclination to help me out with a peer review of a report? I am trying to switch from a boilerplate checklist report to a narrative style, and wanted to get some input from the guys that have made this switch, or are currently doing narrative reports. The report is about 12 pages. Thanks again for your help. Mel
  14. Why are there seven nuetrals, and seven grounds, with only four breakers in the box? The doubled up mains are probably because they already tripled up the breakers? I think that this photo should be part of the Licensing exam, ie-find the problem(s) in this picture. Thank you all for your informative and entertaining answers. I have learned a lot in the past year from you regular guys, and it is very appreciated. Mel
  15. I am doing my first large industrial building on Monday morning. I've done about 600 home inspections, and a couple dozen commercial/industrial buildings but nothing on this scale yet. It is an 80,000sf building, with drive in docks and all. Is there anything different about this size building? I would think that it is going to be the same as the other 3-12k sf buildings that I have done in the past, but I wanted to check with all of you before I go out there. What kind of price would you quote on this, with five a/c's, eight furnaces, Cinderblock construction, flat roof, 15k office space, six bathrooms, and four drive in docks? I have been asked to completely exclude the electrical system, as they have already gone over it with an electrician. Thanks for your help guys, I appreciate any input. Mel
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