Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In the last couple of years I am now averaging about 200 photos per inspection. About 70% of these are meaningless. I am now taking wide shots of every side of the house and 2 wide shots of every room. The basement I take several wide shots for no particular reason.

I got a call a couple days ago wondering if I broke a mirror in the basement that was in storage. They claimed it was under the stairs and that I moved it to look at a sump pump. I just so happened to have a wide-angle of the sump area before I inspected it. There were a bunch of boxes and other crap but no mirror and I sent them the picture and told him so.

I have not heard back from them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

About 120-130 per house. I'm not sure why, but every house seems to end up being about that many, regardless of size or complexity. Depending on the house, I will focus attention in different areas. When I'm really paying attention and thinking like a photojournalist, I can reduce the number to about 90-100.

I use about 1/3 of them in the report; I'm big on pictures instead of paragraphs. Pretty much every comment, no matter how insubstantial, has a pic or two.

The rest are to show where I was and what I looked at, should there be the sort of questions/accusations you just dealt with.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Way too many when I store them but then you get "the call" claiming you did or did not do something and it is worth every penny. Sometimes I wish I had more, especially wide shots. 200-300 is average with lots more on a big or complex inspection.

Given that you can buy a 2 tb disc drive for $100 or get vast quantities of online storage for cheap $, storage shouldn't be a problem these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right around 250. I take a few establishing shots of each exterior elevation, shots of each room from the doorway that include at least some flooring,walls and at least some ceiling. I take under-sink pics, maybe 20 of every panel including establishing shots, data plates, stairs, decks, walkways, handrails, a couple sash, and defect shots.

A competent practitioner could write a nice report from my photos, including the mandated must-report items, the defects and the causes.

As others have stated, the pictures are insurance against spurious claims.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A competent practitioner could write a nice report from my photos, including the mandated must-report items, the defects and the causes.

I write my report from my pics. I rarely make any written notation at all during an inspection; the pics are my notes.

After a while, one develops a different eye, and a different method for remembering. I can look at a pic from a year ago and remember exactly what it was and what it meant.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around 100 pics and climbing. I think of about a dozen things I wish I had shot when I'm about half way home. Around a third end up in the reports now, but that number is climbing too.

I still record data plates with pen and paper. If they are barely legible in person I won't be able to make out anything in a pic. The only plates I rely on the camera for are horizontal or inverted down draft mid efficiency furnaces. It usually takes me three attempts to contort into a position where I can reach it, and 3 or 4 shots to get the damned thing in focus.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A competent practitioner could write a nice report from my photos, including the mandated must-report items, the defects and the causes.

I write my report from my pics. I rarely make any written notation at all during an inspection; the pics are my notes.

After a while, one develops a different eye, and a different method for remembering. I can look at a pic from a year ago and remember exactly what it was and what it meant.

How does a camera record a doorknob that won't latch in the closed position or a dust-clogged HVL in the bathroom when I can barely see through the grilled cover with my bare eyes? What about a GFCI that doesn't work? There's hundreds more examples but I just can't think of them right now.

Marc

EDIT: Low angle of exiting air flow on a condenser that indicates a badly clogged coil? This one often lends much help in recommending the replacement of a HVAC split system.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I take a picture of my finger on the door knob, and hold the camera such that it establishes where I'm at. A glance at the photo, I know what it was, and describe in the shortest sentence possible....next....

Same with a GFCI. Or anything else.

Sometimes I'll take a picture of something with my hand in the frame with a thumbs up or thumbs down; with the object and my thumb gesture, I know what it means. Two quick pics; one with thumb, one without for the report. Quicker than writing, and I have a picture (without thumb) for the customer.

Customers need visual cues. They don't want to read the stupid shit we write. We flatter ourselves thinking they do. They want it quick, and understandable, and since few if any know all the nomenclature, pics provide the reference for understanding. You still need words, good ones and very few of them, but a good pic and a few words is way better than the other way.

It only sounds complicated and confusing because you've never tried it. Trust me, it makes life easier.

I've actually seen an uptick in business from attorney referrals that have seen my reports. Every contract in Chicago has an attorney review the report; they see one of mine and they forget the guy they used to refer.

When I stopped thinking like an HI and started thinking like a civilian with no understanding of the thing I was buying, I had a few revelations about how one might convey information about that thing.

Hint..... it doesn't involve a lot of words.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, think about it. There's a few thousand (at least) HI's out there hunting and pecking with a stylus through long lists on their little handheld device, or fumbling with an iPad trying to take pictures and punch buttons on the screen, all the while having to worry that their device might be damaged.

I use a water and impact resistant camera in the palm of my hand.

Which is easier?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I take a picture of my finger on the door knob, and hold the camera such that it establishes where I'm at. A glance at the photo, I know what it was, and describe in the shortest sentence possible....next....

Same with a GFCI. Or anything else.

Sometimes I'll take a picture of something with my hand in the frame with a thumbs up or thumbs down; with the object and my thumb gesture, I know what it means. Two quick pics; one with thumb, one without for the report. Quicker than writing, and I have a picture (without thumb) for the customer.

Customers need visual cues. They don't want to read the stupid shit we write. We flatter ourselves thinking they do. They want it quick, and understandable, and since few if any know all the nomenclature, pics provide the reference for understanding. You still need words, good ones and very few of them, but a good pic and a few words is way better than the other way.

It only sounds complicated and confusing because you've never tried it. Trust me, it makes life easier.

I've actually seen an uptick in business from attorney referrals that have seen my reports. Every contract in Chicago has an attorney review the report; they see one of mine and they forget the guy they used to refer.

When I stopped thinking like an HI and started thinking like a civilian with no understanding of the thing I was buying, I had a few revelations about how one might convey information about that thing.

Hint..... it doesn't involve a lot of words.

I use the exact same method, for the exact same reason.

Loose toilet. Move on.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201371110352_%20GTB00001.jpg

41.91 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here with the sign language. Thumbs up, thumbs down, finger-pointing, a flat hand when something is out of level, a picture of ear for noisy, picture of me holding my nose, you get the idea. I do not include these in the report. And I don't include a picture of the doorknob if it does not latch properly. If the picture does not tell an obvious story it is not included.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly what you guys say- the pictures are my notes. Lately, I've been Phillip Smithing my annotations by using a Fat Max tape rule as a pointer and in so doing I've cut 30 minutes from my reporting time because I don't don't have the need to annotate my photos.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, think about it. There's a few thousand (at least) HI's out there hunting and pecking with a stylus through long lists on their little handheld device, or fumbling with an iPad trying to take pictures and punch buttons on the screen, all the while having to worry that their device might be damaged.

I use a water and impact resistant camera in the palm of my hand.

Which is easier?

Kurt,

Which camera are you using these days? I'm still doing well with my Pentax Optio.

Most of my data collection is via my camera, but I still have a small ring notebook in my hip pocket, but relying more and more on JPGs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the pointer method with a finger, a tape, sometimes I've even had the customer stand there pointing at it (yeah, dog & pony).

Time spent annotating photos with inserts, arrows, or whatever else, adds a lot of time I can't afford.

MacOS has Preview where one can add arrows and simple stuff pretty quick, but I still keep it to a minimum. God Bless those Photoshopping their photos for the customer, but it isn't in my budget.

Link to post
Share on other sites

40-60. I only snap a few pics as "notes" or reminders. Most of the pics are intended for the report, to illustrate an issue or location.

I've never considered taking hundreds of pics and saving them as proof to dispute some possible claim. I can't get myself to worry about what might happen. I worry about enough other shit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...