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Pier and Beam Foundation Issue


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I'd like to see Gary's and Tom's actual remarks- and Kurt's too. Write exactly what you would put in the report.

I just checked, worked for 24 attorney referred clients last year coming from 6 different attorneys for a total of 31 inspections. None of the attorneys suggested that my reporting left me susceptible to conflict. What

concerns did your attorney have, Kurt?

It's called editorializing. If you're an expert witness, you're supposed to be a fair witness to conditions and describe them without bias or subjectivity. While I might have commentary in a summary similar to your comments, when I'm running down the list I keep it to specific facts and let the facts show why it's a problem.

More in a minute....I'm writing a real report now. I can't show you how my report would look without importing the pics and putting it all together in the finished format. It also wouldn't show the interface where I assemble the report, which is a big part of the operation.

Our report styles are very, very similar. I use 1/8 to 1/4 page pictures and insert text boxes in the photo. I supplement the text box with the body o

f the report which wraps around the the photo.

There is no editorializing in the the comment I made. If you're referring to "hodge podge" it's a term that means confused mess or disorganized disarray. Words have meanings and I always endeavor to use the best choice.

I just re-read my comment, Breslawski's comment, Baird's comment and Marc's comment. With a photo and some annotation, they're all fine.

I like your report look, but it's not the look that makes me want to try it, it's the speed that you claim that makes me envious.

I bet each of us says something like "call me to discuss further". I say, "If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me now and any time in the future." We disagree here, the report is the document that everybody will refer to- it should include enough information so that future communication to further discuss the conditions at the inspection site are unnecessary.

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Speed would be a be huge plus. Currently a fast report takes at least as long to generate as the inspection. A house deserving of Erby's stamp, the writing is a day's work.

My reports take twice to 3 times as long as the inspection. No fluff, I just like a report that's attractive as well as useful. HI software can't do what I want, so I look for whatever I can find that does. I can manage only one inspection per day at present.

Marc

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There is no editorializing in the the comment I made. If you're referring to "hodge podge" it's a term that means confused mess or disorganized disarray. Words have meanings and I always endeavor to use the best choice.

I've been informed by a lot of attorneys that you are wrong. "Hodge podge" was consistently pointed out (in my old reports, I used to use it all the time) as editorializing. What they suggested is a short technical description tied to a reference if possible. Maybe they're wrong.

I just re-read my comment, Breslawski's comment, Baird's comment and Marc's comment. With a photo and some annotation, they're all fine.

Sure. Everyone gets to do what they want, and most folks in here do it OK.

I like your report look, but it's not the look that makes me want to try it, it's the speed that you claim that makes me envious.

Reread the part about "don't get hung up on the look/form/color/words, etc."

I say, "If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me now and any time in the future."

That's the last sentence in my reports, right before the signature.

We disagree here, the report is the document that everybody will refer to- it should include enough information so that future communication to further discuss the conditions at the inspection site are unnecessary.

My "call to discuss" comment is a tool at the end of specific passages where it's ridiculous trying to explain lengthy technical issues in the report. An example is an old house with little to no insulation and no particular way to do it without remodeling the house. I might say........

"The house has minimal to no insulation...this means etc., etc. You can't improve insulation without complicated renovation work that I'm not going to describe here; call me at my office if you want to discuss methods and costs for retrofitting insulation in this house."

Or.....

"The crawlspace supports have multiple major problems including but not limited to:

1) blah

2) blah blah

3) etc.

Repairing them involves complicated and likely expensive construction work with multiple options for accomplishing the task. I can think of a dozen ways to do it, and every contractor will have their own approach. You should call me at my office to discuss the options."

Or.....

"The house was built with a soft lime mortar. Subsequent repairs used a hard modern Type N mortar. Applying hard Type N over soft lime mortar damages the masonry, sometimes so badly it can't be salvaged and entire walls have to be rebuilt. I am not going to describe the specific chemical and physical effects that cause the damage; it's a lengthy technical description. Just understand this is an expensive problem to repair. You can call me at my office to discuss specifics if you'd like."

I may not use this comment in a report, or maybe I use it a lot. People like it. Attorneys love it. Some attorneys give me good advice, more than I can share here. If you'd like to hear all the good advice, call me at my office to discuss.

Or, one can spend a lot of time writing reports describing in great detail all the stuff that fascinates me but that my average customer couldn't give two shits about.

I have almost no unique or self generated ideas. I find smart people, listen to them, and work to integrate their ideas into this thing I do. My reporting, and life, got a lot easier when I figured this out.

Les is the only guy that's ever grasped what I am talking about, back in the days when I was using the term "comic book" a lot. He tried it, but lacking a system to tie it to, I think he left it behind.

It's about system. It's not about all the stuff everyone keeps taking it back to.

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As my Daddy always said:

A smart man learns from experience.

A TRULY smart man learns from other people's experience.

Though I must confess, I do still occasionally have to hit my thumb with a hammer to make sure it hurts.

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Daddy was a smart guy. I wish I woulda had someone tell me this stuff about 50 years ago.

Another way to look at problems is they are a sum of parts. I don't try to solve a problem until I figure out the parts that comprise it.

Lengthy reporting times were a big problem for me. I started looking at the parts.

I propose that several parts of everyone's reporting system, including a couple in mine, are wrong. It's the wrong parts that are the problem.

One of the parts is perception. Folks perceive what they are doing is right. A few of the reasons they think it's right are.....

a) everyone else does it

b) I do it that way so how can it be wrong

c) antiquated notions about nearly everything; it's 2015, the worlds different than it was 20 years ago. Shit, it's way different than it was 5 years ago.

d) fancy technology with infinite options makes it seem right

e) Momentum. People continue as they begin. The HI report world started out wrong. I have a history of this going all the way back to a night in 1979 and a conversation with Mike Lennon; if anyone's interested, call me at my office to discuss.

After looking at what's wrong, what's right becomes self evident. What's self evident will conflict with several notions you were trained to believe.

Start by forgetting what everyone else is saying, doing, or selling. It gets easier after that.

Double shit, forget what I'm saying. Go blank. Imagine a form, content, and system that would let you generate reports. It almost certainly will not look anything like what everyone does now. (Imaginary mind meld thought creations aren't allowed...keep it real.)

That's how I got started. Which led me to database systems. Collections of data points. That's what a house is, isn't it?

How might one collect the data points and turn them into a report? No sane person would imagine taking them all and stuffing them into a Microsoft product, let alone a Microsoft word processing product.

I propose therein lies a big part of the problem. Data points fit into databases better than word processing systems.

Apologies to sponsors.....

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As an example.....

Click in a field. Double click the function key. Dictate your comment. Drag a picture to it. Hit the tab button.

Repeat.

All the above is contained in a widely recognized computer operating system and a single software product. No secondary or tertiary software, no utilities, no nothing. A single software product and a dictation system built into your computer.

Just one example.

Personally, I type faster than I dictate. I clock around 110wpm. But, if one wants to dictate....

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Speed would be a be huge plus. Currently a fast report takes at least as long to generate as the inspection. A house deserving of Erby's stamp, the writing is a day's work.

My reports take twice to 3 times as long as the inspection. No fluff, I just like a report that's attractive as well as useful. HI software can't do what I want, so I look for whatever I can find that does. I can manage only one inspection per day at present.

Marc

It would be nice to just do a summary report without worrying about the SOP's, the average person could care less about knowing whether the house is rafter or truss, they only care about what's wrong and maybe even then not care or realize and are just getting a home inspection because that is what they are supposed to do.

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It would be nice to just do a summary report without worrying about the SOP's, the average person could care less about knowing whether the house is rafter or truss, they only care about what's wrong.......

Yep. That's why I have the two things separate, with the SOP part taking about 5 minutes to fill out, allowing focus on what matters. I can deliver one or the other, or both. I stuff the SOP stuff in the back. Few/no one cares.

.......and maybe even then not care or realize and are just getting a home inspection because that is what they are supposed to do.

Very common, and the reason for short, concise comments with pictures and big red arrows and infantile icons.....in an attempt to drive home the idea this is stuff they should be thinking about.

Excellent observations, btw.

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Speed would be a be huge plus. Currently a fast report takes at least as long to generate as the inspection. A house deserving of Erby's stamp, the writing is a day's work.

My reports take twice to 3 times as long as the inspection. No fluff, I just like a report that's attractive as well as useful. HI software can't do what I want, so I look for whatever I can find that does. I can manage only one inspection per day at present.

Marc

It would be nice to just do a summary report without worrying about the SOP's, the average person could care less about knowing whether the house is rafter or truss, they only care about what's wrong and maybe even then not care or realize and are just getting a home inspection because that is what they are supposed to do.

The SOP is sent alongside my report but is a separate document.

A description of the framing methods is required by the HI laws in my state, though I get your drift.

Marc

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