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Chris Bernhardt

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Everything posted by Chris Bernhardt

  1. Click to Enlarge 32.47 KB Click to Enlarge 34.86 KB Chris, Oregon
  2. I don't like doing them either. Never had a problem. But I feel compelled to document more of the stupid piddly stuff that I would otherwise ignore. Chris, Oregon
  3. One thing about Carbonite is that if your back up is windows, you can't restore to a mac and vice versa, but you can still go on the site and grab individual files and download them to your mac or pc. Google drive is also convenient. You can retrieve your stuff no matter what you're on: phone, tablet, mac, pc, etc. I transfer stuff all the time between my mac and my android devices via google drive. Chris, Oregon
  4. In my neck of the woods, there are some realtors who prefer inspectors who deliver the report on site, so that they can work up and get signed an inspection addendum by the client and be done with all the hassle and stress of trying to meet up again with the client and rehash over the clients concerns. Good for the realtor, bad for the client. The vast majority of realtors are fine with getting the report within 24 - 48 hours. There's another set of realtors who just want you to do the inspection as fast as you can, so that they can go get their hair done or go shopping. This group could care less if you gave them a report onsite and would prefer you not do it if it adds to their time on site. The only time I find clients asking for an onsite report is when they are going out of town or they are at the end of their inspection period. A 24 hour cooling off period or sleeping on it model I think is best for everybody. Chris, Oregon
  5. The Tramex has more than double the sensitivity then the SM. I use them both. I use the Tramex more often, but under certain conditions I'll use both on the same same area to characterize the depth and breadth of what might going on. I use the SM as a practical manner on tight spots like the corners of window sills. I also usually go for the SM when scanning tile surrounds. Using both I can weed out false positives. The Tramex will detect moisture on the back of a drywall ceiling under certain conditions that the SM can't. Chris, Oregon
  6. Assuming it's not from condensation, It's from mis-driven fasteners. Roof can't leak unless there's hole in it. Chris, Oregon
  7. Roy, 1) There's lots of passive voice in your writing, long and boring statements. A lot has already been said in this forum on the use of the passive voice. Passive voice will have you thinking in terms of the defects, not what they mean. The client doesn't care what the defects are, they care about what they mean. Transform your writing and your thinking from the passive voice to the active voice. 2) Don't describe your SOP's required descriptions in full sentences. Organize them in a table. Save the full sentences for your narrative and recommendations. 3) More clearly demarcate between your observations and your recommendations by using form not words. Don't run your observations and recommendations in the same paragraph. Run them in separate paragraphs and format recommendations different than observations, i.e. in bold. Doing so, you won't have say things like "I recommend ..." or start your paragraph with "Recommendation: ...". 4) Use the imperative when writing your recommendations. 5) Understand that you don't always have to have a separate narrative paragraph. You can many times phrase the problem in terms of the recommendation for simple defects. In those cases, I have a subheading, my narrative paragraph is simply "See photo", and the recommendation terms the problem. 6) Start your narrative with the location of the problem or issue i.e. "In/on/at/where the ..." 7) As Les said to me along time ago, don't use "we" unless there's more than two of you. Follow the Kurt's rule: limit your paragraphs to two sentences or less. If you need another sentence, then you probably need to break things out in terms of a separate observation or recommendation. 9) You flag your individual observations/recommendations by recommendation type. Group them instead. 10) Consider starting your observations with a brief summary. See one of Hausdok or Jim Katen reports. Chris, Oregon
  8. Mike, does Washington's SOP require an affirmation indicating satisfactory on items you inspect that don't have problems? Oregon's SOP does. In other words, you can't just say no problems found with the roof. You could say no problems found with the roof coverings, gutters, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations. Also I've heard of complaints about getting knocked by the ASHI report reviewers for not doing just that. Chris, Oregon
  9. When you throw those terms around i.e. functional, operational, satisfactory, serviceable, most clients nod their head as if they understand what the terms mean, but the words are not worth the ink on the paper when a problem arises. I think this is because the terms represent a compendium of unexpressed possible affirmations that might be relevant for a particular item, i.e. appears to be: undamaged, installed in a workmanlike manner, installed to code, working, etc. I think the terms only mean something to an expert witness. If the expert witness supports or denounces an inspectors use of the term, the jury will go along with it in spite of the fact they have no clue what the terms mean. Les, you're an expert. I consider you a founding father. I would think that whatever you want to say, will be accepted. By Mikes definition if I understand it correctly, functioning as intended means: in spite of everything else that's wrong with it, it's working doing what it was intended to do. Chris, Oregon
  10. Functioning as intended doesn't mean anything to a little old lady reading a home inspection report and it doesn't mean anything to a jury. The term functioning as intended as far as I can tell is a compendium that home inspectors have a sense of but if you ask them to define it they ordinarily can't. Many inspectors use terms like functioning as intended, satisfactory, operational in their reports which I admit to myself. I originally took the terms from requirements in various SOP's which require the inspector to indicate whether or not an item is ... functioning, satisfactory, etc. I know I have never seen Jim Katen use those terms in any of his reports that I have ever read and I can't remember him even using those terms ever in speech when I've talked to him. Hausdok, Les, Kurt, Bill Kibbel do you ever use those terms in your reports describing in the affirmative the condition of items you inspect? Has anyone come across a useful definition of the terms in the context of a home inspection that a little old lady could understand? Chris, Oregon
  11. Is there a distinction in anyone's mind between functioning as intended and satisfactory? I guess the real question is what to heck does functioning as intended mean and how does it have any utility for anyone other than a home inspector? Chris, Oregon
  12. I got it from Les years ago. I very rarely use writing narrative, but I use it in disclaimers. But even considering terms like "Satisfactory", "Operational", etc. the same thing applies. Can something be functional, satisfactory, operational and at the same time be installed in an unworkmanlike manner and or not to code? Chris, Oregon
  13. Can something be functioning as intended and at the same time be installed in an unworkmanlike manner and or not to code? Chris, Oregon
  14. Check list style has a place, but it's not in communicating findings to someone uneducated in housey stuff. It can be very hard to cut loose this framework, and there's no way to significantly improve the readability of this report. Checklist frameworks force good inspectors to pigeon hole defects and risks muddled thinking and reporting on them. Narrative unencumbers a good inspector to translate their opinion into their own words that are most beneficial for that particular client. My advice, dump this entire report format and start over. Use Jim Katens format as a starting point. There are many very well thought out elements to Jims report and it's the best one out there in my opinion. Chris, Oregon
  15. That's a good question. When it's winter time, I can measure the moisture content of the decking and come to a determination as to whether I think there is an ongoing issue, but if it's summer, I have no idea if there's an on going issue. Also, it depends on the weather that day. On a cool cloudy day in the spring, the decking moisture content could read high, but if it's a sunny day and the decking is heated up, the moisture content will read lower, sometimes much lower, but the humidity in the attic will be high. Chris, Oregon
  16. I've been recommending Concrobium for several years now. The stuff appears to actually work. Funny though whenever I get a chance to ask any of our local mold remediators, they've never heard of it. It's sold here locally in the rental department of Home Depot where they rent the cold foggers. Chris, Oregon
  17. Mike, do you have any familiarity with Concrobium? Have you ever heard of or is it even possible to cold fog Boracare? Chris, Oregon
  18. What's your opinion on this white-ish mold like looking stuff, mold or dust? Chris, Oregon Click to Enlarge 37.18 KB
  19. I had a lawyer tell me at the start of the recession to expect an increase in complaints for every little thing. I haven't seen an increase in complaints in my business, but it does appear that there are more complaints on stuff totally outside of the SOP. Has anyone else noticed a trend? Chris, Oregon
  20. I think there's a useful difference between: Dishwasher - satisfactory and Dishwasher - I ran the dishwasher empty thru a normal cycle. It completed the cycle, it didn't leak, and the soap door popped open. It may not stop a complaint, but the conversation usually starts differently. Chris, Oregon
  21. That exact thing happend to me on a wet deck when I transferred from the ladder to the roof, except I didn't have the harness and bean picker back up, and I went all the way to the ground. Clients and agent came running to see what all the crashing was. I popped up off of the ground, I'm all right (not), my bad. Note to self, please don't be that stupid again. Chris, Oregon
  22. It's not enough information to go on. I would call them and get more information. On a recent inspection, I found the dishwasher wired on a light switch circuit, light had to be on for the dishwasher to run, and this was new construction. Also, if it's older construction I have found dishwashers on counter circuits protected by GFCI's, which when tripped will kill power to the dishwasher or breakers may get turned off or trip between the time you inspected and the clients move in. Maybe they didn't push the dishwasher door in far enough, who knows until you talk to them. While the vast majority of stuff doesn't deserve an expanded positive statement more than "Satsfactory", etc., I think they have some value on some things like furnaces, A/Cs, dishwashers, ranges, etc. Chris, Oregon
  23. Hmm, I agree with Marc. Overcurrent devices protect the wiring, overload devices protect the equipment. Fuses and breakers are rated as overcurrent devices. Chris, Oregon
  24. I don't check them as a matter of practice, but if the sink or toilet, etc. are not working, I'll investigate further and turn them on if they are off, so I can proceed with checking the fixture. These days, so many bank repos have fixtures turned off in addition to turning the water service off to the home. But I'm well aware that they will probably leak if I operate them and many do, but most of the time a little cranking on the bonnet nut fixes that. If I get one that I can't fix, I'll turn the water off to the building at the end of inspection. If the valve feels stuck, I won't even try to operate it. The whole matter is one of those "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't" inspection dichotomies, that Jim Katen brilliantly stated. Chris, Oregon
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