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Method or Plan of Inspection


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I see that there are a lot of questions from new HI that are just starting out in this business. No matter what tools that you might buy for your business you still need a plan on how you are going to do your inspection. Your inspection plan will save time ($) and thoroughness in your visual inspection.

This is the method that we use;

1. Check the Assessor Office for data on the property to be inspected (Year, size, Etc....

2. We inspect the Interior first before doing the Exterior (Less tracking)

3. We start the dishwasher first (45 Minute cycle)

4. Crank up the Air if summer or the heat if winter

5. Start at thermostat and Inspect in one direction (I walk right because of being right-handed)

6. Complete each room component (Walls, windows, vents, electrical and Etc ...).

7. Attic is the last item to inspect because of dust or insulation that you can bring back into the interior.

8. Exterior & Site components again starting in one direction.

This is just our method, I would like to here about other methods because if it can save us time which equals $$$, we welcome new ideas?

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Nothing to do with time or money, but if you don't start with the roof and attic in the summertime around here you might pass out when the time comes. Our climate dictates a lot of the order for me. Start outside in the summer (roof, attic, exterior) and move inside as the heat rises, then more or less reverse the order in the winter.

Brian G.

In the Steamy South [:-crazy]

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Everybody is different but I think the most important thing is to have a good plan and to be organized when you show up so you don't look like a $400 monkey. We were talking about tub overflows and someone noted that they always do their catch-up while filling the tub so I started that. Two days later someone else posted pics of a PEX set up for testing the overflow and what do you know I'm right back to square one (with PEX).[:-thumbu]

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The most important thing is to develop a system that works for you and do it the same way every time. This will help to reduce the chance of missing something.

I personally start on the exterior. I like to look for areas of potential problems and make sure that I double check these areas when I get inside. Another reason is I lose less time when the real estate agent is late. I can't even count the number of times that the agent says "Oh, I know I am late, I figured that you would start on the outside so I did not have to rush to meet you."

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I'd never articulated my inspection method before. Always did wonder where the time went. . .

15 Exterior & grounds

15 Roof

15 Attic (Go outside to dust off if necessary.)

05 Check exterior doors from the interior.

30 Stop & write.

00 Start heating or AC

15 Kitchen (start dishwasher)

30 Bathrooms

20 General interiors

10 Stop & write

05 Garage

30 HVAC & water heater

10 Electrical

10 Stop & write

20 Crawlspace

20 Finish writing

45 Review report with client


Damn. One of these days, I'm going to have to tighten up my routine.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I guess I'm a wanderer. I start in the Kitchen and from there it's anyone's guess where I'll go. I have no set pattern of inspecting the interior. I just go with the flow....must be the Feng Shu in me. [:-blindfo

The same is true for the outside, clockwise..counterclockwise...flip a coin...I don't have a pattern. My decision is usually based on where the gate to the backyard is.

It it's really hot and the home is vacant, I'll pull down the attic access stairs and turn on the bathroom exhaust fans (provided they don't actually go outside like they should) while I'm inspecting to cool the attic down a little.

Donald Lawson

Houston Texas

"A rebel against organization"

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Pahrump (55 Miles NW)is just like Las Vegas as far as heat (108F at 5:30 PM Outside Temp.) for those attic's conditions. We try to do the stick built homes in the morning between 7:00AM and 9:00AM because of the heat in these attics. We have about 30% of the homes listed as manufactured housing so doing the exterior last is best for us after crawling around in the crawl space.

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Originally posted by monte

Pahrump (55 Miles NW)is just like Las Vegas as far as heat...

Pahrump? Are you trying to clear your throat Monte? [:D][:-dev3][:D]

Sorry...couldn't resist that unusual name. [:I]

Crawls I do last, when there is one. I'm frequently tired and dirty when I come out, ready to get in the truck and go.

Brian G.

My Wife Keeps Me in Practice [-crzwom][:-crazy]

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Pahrump, in the Land of Nye? Say Monte, you ever run into Art Bell?

I use to come through by there the middle of the night when I hauled trailers. It would give me the creeps listening to him on the radio and being the only vehicle out there for miles around.

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Yes, I have ran into him at a local casino restaurant. The community is now about 35,000 and it is expected to double in 7 years. There are four large developments on going which are expected to add 8300 new homes, so I don't think that you would be the only vehicle on the road now.

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  • 5 years later...

I show up early (1/2 hour to 45 mins) to get a head start on roof and exterior, if im done those before client arrives, i start typing those sections.

inside to kitchen where i talk to client and do paperwork, start dishwasher

basement and all its systems


bedrooms and bathrooms on second floor

first floor, and garage

kitchen and its appliances


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1. Get through the introductions

2. Start the dishwasher and the Cooling systems so it's been running for quite a while before you assess it.

3. Photograph and view each exterior elevation from a distance and view it with binoculars making mental notes of there to give extra attention.

4. Walk every exterior wall and railing surface counter-clockwise around the entire building making notes as I go.

5. Do it again clockwise.

6. Mount the roof if possible.

7. Begin at the front door and keep turning right to walk EVERY wall surface in the joint (I affectionately call it the mouse techique) - testing outlets, switches, doors and windows as I go. I scan each room from the door as I enter and leave. Note: I address systems as I come to them. If you permit your reporting system to dictate how you move through a home youl'l waste a lot of time and effort. Know your form and do systems as you encounter them. Modify you report system layout, within reason of course, to conform to this method and you'll literally flow through a home inspection aving easily 30 - 40 minutes of wasted time and effort.

8. Crawlspace and/or Cellar

9. Present preliminary findings

10. Complete the report at the office and send it out.

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