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Jim Katen

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Everything posted by Jim Katen

  1. Home inspector standards of practice are the bare minimum performance standard; the floor that you stand on when you do a home inspection. They define a dollar-store home inspection product.
  2. This isn't an interpretation. It's a fact. The first sentence of the ASHI SOP under "purpose" reads: The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to establish a minimum and uniform standard for home inspectors who subscribe to these Standards of Practice. The opening paragraph of the Oregon State Standards reads: OAR 812-008-0202 through 812-008-0214 of this rule set forth the minimum standards of practice required by Oregon certified home inspector. Nothing in either of these standards even comes close to suggesting that the standard is not to be exceeded. (I can't speak to the standards of other organizations or other states - especially stupid states like Texas.) By parroting myth that exceeding the standards increases your liability, InspectorPro is contributing to the problem, not helping it.
  3. I think your just plain wrong here. There are, of course, times when those conflicts are present, but they're rare. In the vast majority of instances, the thing that best protects the inspector is for him or her to do that thing that best serves the customer. In other words, cover the client's butt and yours will be covered automatically. By the way, the people who framed the original standard of practice for this profession clearly intended for that standard to be a *minimum*, not a maximum. An inspection report that doesn't exceed the standard of practice is a piss-poor report.
  4. 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.
  5. Too easy. Make the little ankle biters work for their keep.
  6. It had to just be a mnemonic device by 1965. Five number dialing within the same exchange was probably phased out by 1965, no?
  7. https://austin.craigslist.org/cto/d/san-antonio-1979-dodge-star-wars-van/6976267552.html 'nuff said. Jim L: it's only a half-day drive for you, you lucky dog. Marc: you could be there in 6 hours.
  8. I assume you're not just filling up the storage card?
  9. 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"? )
  10. Is this the same building and the same crack in this topic:
  11. It looks interesting, but I've never heard of it before. I've had excellent results with the Schluter products. I'm not sure what this does that Schluter doesn't do.
  12. I think that by "sanitize" he just means to remove the actual names and addresses from the report. That shouldn't remove any good stuff. I know some excellent inspectors who have less-than-excellent writing skills. Their customers still get a great inspection. No one excels at everything. Still, if you have nothing else to go on, the report can tell you a lot. It's really amazing how a person's writing reflects a person's thinking and vice versa.
  13. Of course you don't. Here's how it works: The agent wants the home inspector to find all of the important defects but then report them in a way that discloses the defect, but downplays its significance in such a way that it won't kill the deal. Later, when the home buyers realize that they have serious problems with the house, there's little that they can do because the home inspector did, in fact, find the problem and report on it, but then he downplayed it in a thousand little ways - none of them too obvious. This doesn't, of course, apply to all agents or all home inspectors, but it's the agents' ideal world. In places like Texas, where agents control the home inspector rules, it's baked into the laws. When this paradigm is successfully executed, it never comes to the attention of the insurers because there's no claim - just a disappointed home buyer. Check out Herner vs. Housemaster. It's very telling case in which the judge found the real estate agent to be the "client in fact" and where he called the inspection report "pablum." Unfortunately, this model of agent/home inspector relationship is still very widespread.
  14. I've never seen that with northern turtles. Is it a southern turtle thing? Is there a name for a group of turtles, like a flock or a herd?
  15. It's an alternative to soffit vents, which can scoop up flames and smoke from a burning neighboring building. You can't have soffit vents in a rated wall.
  16. Yes. In the '50s, the architectural fashion was to have long, low houses with linear, horizontal windows that were generally high in the rooms. (Thank Frank Lloyd Wright for this.) Adding modern egress windows to a mid-century house will generally destroy the design.
  17. The rules - if they apply - apply to all bedrooms, not just basement bedrooms. If this is boilerplate, you might want to clean up the spelling and grammar.
  18. We call them "under-shingle intake vents" and they're getting more popular here as well, not just to meet fire codes. They avoid the occasional issue of steam rising up off wet walls in the morning and flowing into the attic via soffit vents. I wonder, though, how they perform in ice-dam country.
  19. A "fixed double slider" could mean anything, including a cocktail.
  20. 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.
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