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  1. A 15-year-old water heater could be one of those that had the dip-tube problem back in the late 1990s. If it's got a bad dip-tube it would run out of hot water quickly and probably would not do a good job of supplying hot water to that type of system.
  2. Wanna see a veteran whose my hero and a slime ball that deserves to have the snot kicked out of him? Check it! Click Here! It starts to get good after the 4:30 mark. Chris
  3. Whew! CoolSigns, Here's a suggestion. 1. Give the client back his/her fee. 2. Stop inspecting. 3. Take a basic electrical systems inspection course from a reputable electrical trainer. 4. Ride along as an observer with an experienced inspector for several months and pay particular attention to how he/she evaluates electrical systems. 5. Ditch the IR camera until you've had more training on how to use it properly. 6. Once you've got a better handle on the subject matter, go back to work. Chris
  4. I'd stop short of doing police work without proper training. I don't think I'm qualified to determine, or obligated to speculate whether or not the previous occupant held naked square dances on the third tuesday of the month. I'm there to report on the condition of the home, and only that. I'll leave that sensationalized self serving dangerous stuff for Jack Wagon's like Mike Holmes to puke out. But hey that's just me.Mike is a friend of mine. Please share with us why you think he'sa "Jack Wagon" (presuming you mean the same Mike Holmes on the show "Holmes On Homes". that receives hundreds of thousands of emails from homeowners ripped off by unscrupulous contractors who do shoddy work). Your buddy won't receive any props here. The standards for this profession were outlined when he was still a kid. It's a tenate of this profession that inspections are non-invasive and inspectors are not permitted to cut into walls and are only permitted to disassemble certain components of a home to perform inspections. Yet, there is Mikey, week after week, going into a home where he's being allowed by the current homeowners to use extensive invasive techniques, opening up walls to find concealed things that no reasonably competent inspector would have been able to find; and then he broadly paints the entire inspection profession as a bunch of incompetents - except for his own inspectors, of course. We've known for decades that there are problems with the home inspection profession. You won't find anyplace with stronger critics within the profession than here; the people that hang out here and make TIJ what it is are the most dedicated to improvement of the profession in the entire business. They spend countless hours here trying to improve the profession by educating their fellow inspectors and together they have helped, even if just a little bit, to raise the bar in the profession. Holmes hasn't done that, he just shouts criticism without providing solutions and paints all inspectors with the same brush - except his, of course. If home inspectors had carte blanche to tear into any home they inspected, without worrying about the seller demanding they make repairs and/or suing them in court, we too would be able to position ourselves as super persons. Unfortunately for us, we can't and it's unlikely to ever be the case. This profession could have been populated by his most ardent fans. He chose to trash it; now this profession is anything but Mike Holmes friendly. Top
  5. DIMWIT and TWIT - Cute Send me $289 and take a simple online unproctored test and you too can join N.A.C.D.I. - National Association of Certified Drywall Inspectors. Chris
  6. Huh, The 'not code compliant' plumbing worked fine for 10 years and now it's wrong? Someone needs to snatch a knot in that homeowner's a** and the plumber needs a WD40 enema. de Oppresso Liber Top
  7. Hi, Since there is no E & O requirement for home inspectors in Washington state, I'd go with OREP at a $100,000 coverage a $1000 deductable for $1600 a year. Personally, I don't see the point of wasting money on E & O; it only paints a dollar sign on your back for attorneys and then you have that huge deductible to pay out even if the insurance company denies the claim but settles out of court for an amount far less than your deductible. Some profer the idea that if you don't carry an E & O policy that you're not being a responsible and professional business person; I think that's silly. If that's true, why doesn't every single profession require all business owners to have E & O coverage? I've only had one instance where I'd ever called my insurance company about something - it was a flaky customer. The insurance company agree with me - that she wasn't owed a thing - but they charged me my deducible, just for talking to them about her. That year, my E & O had cost me about $4200 and the five years before that I'd paid out a total of about $18,000 for E & O for a grand total of about $22,200 in six years. So, on top of all of those premiums paid to them, they charged me $1000 for talking to them. In the end, my total out-of-pocket costs for those six years was about $22,650 so they made a pretty good profit on that deal. Gee, I could have paid the refund out of pocket and been $23,650 less in debt if I hadn't been paying for an E & O policy! I dropped my E & O after that year. I once heard that the average claim paid out in disputes with inspectors is $7500. I have no idea where I heard it so I have no idea whether it's accurate or not or even whether I'm remembering it properly. However, let's assume that I am remembering that properly; that would mean that $100,000 worth of coverage is way more than you actually need to carry. Look at my situation that I'd described above, if I had paid her out of my own pocket, I still would have been way ahead of where I'd have been with an E & O carrier. So, instead of paying that money to an E & O carrier, why not bank the equivalent of what you'd pay out in premiums, and then deal directly with the unhappy clients when/if you must? At least that way you'll be earning interest on what's banked. Team up with a good attorney and keep anything paid out under that national average and you'll always be ahead. Who pushes the E & O? Franchises push it - actually require it - and they require that they be listed as an "additional insured." The franchises are hedging their bets; sure they do a lot of training and have a proven system that they think is bulletproof, but they want to be covered if one of their franchisees screws up, even though that franchisee's - being an independent business owner - screwup, if it ever happens, will have absolutely nothing to do with them. Associations push it 'cuz they know that, on the off chance that one of their members screws up, E & O will probaby settle out of court and that will help them avoid the unwanted negative publicity that would accrue if an uninsured member gets sued by someone who runs to the media. Consumer groups push it, 'cuz they want to ensure that whoever they sue has deep pockets; otherwise, what'd be the point? I've never had a situation where a legitimate claim has been made against me where I'd need the help of an E & O carrier and the number of times I've refunded a fee for a customer that has had his/her nose out of joint about something can be counted on one hand. I think that all one has to do is do a thorough and careful inspection. If you do that, you stay out of trouble. Chris
  8. Hey, This is just what I need. Welcome, Mr. Stuart. Here is my question: Does staying with the same insurance company lower my rates after the 1st year of two? Thanks for caring. Chris (Top) Sergeant
  9. Ookay, Not sure I understand. So the sales goal is going to be my gross sales target for the day, week, month, year divided by the number of home inspections I think I can do in that same period? I guess that ought to make sense to me, and on paper looks pretty good, but with the travel time to and from site, plus the fact that no two inspection times ever seem to be the same, or the time it takes to write up the report, plus the time stuck in traffic, etc., I think I'm missing something, because some months there's barely enough left to buy oatmeal after the bills are paid. I love doing what I'm doing, but obviously I'm not doing something right. Well, the value is there, but I'm competing with a guy down the street that does inspections for $100 less per inspection than I do and we essentially do the same thing. The only difference is that I've been in the business longer. Since I'm not really making any money, I can't figure out how he's making money. How can I raise my prices? We both sell a service. From all accounts I've heard, he does a decent job - he just costs less. Do I just grin and bear it, raise my prices anyway and hope that I can still attract enough referrals to pay the bills? Well, I think I'm over the denial part. I figured out long ago that at this rate I'll be working right up until the day I keel over and get planted. Trouble is in this business there's almost no way I can market to the real client, the buyers. It's a referral business and most referrals are word of mouth from old customers or from the real estate people and the real estate people pretty much decide who's going to survive in this business. Becoming unique in this business is doing a really good job - going carefully over the home and making sure you inspect carefully and write up everything you find. The trouble with that is, If you do too good a job, many of the real estate people won't refer you and they tell others you are a deal killer. If you do a bad job, the client won't refer you and you put yourself in danger of a lawsuit. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I'm trying to figure out how to price my services where I'm charging a fair price without everyone going with Johnny-come-lately down the street, and still be able to have enough to go on vacation once in a while. (Im not even hoping to be able to save enough to retire on at this point.) Chris.
  10. How do I set my fees. I could call my competition, but I've heard that that's not the best way to set one's fees. Can you give me a couple of ideas? Chris
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