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See be pasted copy of my last report.  One of those where your buyer dogs  your heels and you talk a lot.  As with some I convinced her to call off the search and to declare the offer a blunder based on scathing review by a disinterested inspector.

C&C welcome.

At the request of Cleo Clark I visited the site at 196 Some St., Sometown, GA the morning of August 2, 2042.

 

The inspection found many major items of serious concern regarding the structural viability of the building floor system, major and unforeseeable problems with restoration of a central heating and air system, extreme roof cover overloads on about half the roof area, coupled with very restricted and/or unavailable access to attic portions, along with a completely inaccessible crawlspace, all conditions together disqualifying the property as the subject of a diligent review by any kind of inspector or contractor.

Edited by Jim Baird
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2 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

The inspection found many major items of serious concern regarding the structural viability of the building floor system, major and unforeseeable problems with restoration of a central heating and air system, extreme roof cover overloads on about half the roof area, coupled with very restricted and/or unavailable access to attic portions, along with a completely inaccessible crawlspace, all conditions together disqualifying the property as the subject of a diligent review by any kind of inspector or contractor.

My reaction: 

It's a little too much for a single sentence. 

I don't know what you mean by "roof overloads." 

Attic portions? 

The last phrase doesn't quite ring true because there's probably "some kind of" inspector or contractor who could perform a diligent review. 

I'd write: 

Items of serious concern include a non-viable flooring system, major problems with the heating and air conditioning system, extreme failures of about half the roof, no access to the crawlspace, and inadequate access to the attic.  I can't perform a diligent review of this property without having access to these critical areas. 

 

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Posted (edited)

As usual I appreciate all replies here.

How ironic to praise brevity and post a one sentence paragraph.

I have seen lots of overloaded roof covers lately.  

When my goal is to get my client off the hook of an unwise offer I can tend towards hyperbole.

Edited by Jim Baird
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There's a little too much writer aspiration in the inspector. 6th grade level, in perfect grammar, is all you need. Even that alone can be difficult. Few can do it.  You can.

What Jim said.

Edited by Marc
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Too wordy? New architectural asphalt shingles installed. Recent inspection.

·         Typical installation instructions for this type of roof cover calls for a complete tear off. There are likely several roof covers under this. The original wood shingled roof is still in place and should have been removed before any asphalt shingle roof was installed. Roofing nails may not bite and you may experience sagging/loose shingles. I cannot predict if this will happen or not. This roof is also very heavy. Some structural reinforcement was done in the attic and I did not see that the rafters were adversely affected. I cannot predict if the extra weight will cause any structural issues in the future. Secure any warranties the seller can provide for the roof installation. Note: the manufacturer of the shingles will typically not honor warranties if the roof cover was not installed to their specifications.

Edited by Mike Lamb
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9 hours ago, Jim Katen said:

So what's an overloaded roof cover? 

What Mike said.  Too many layers.  This building had so many layers the topmost surface looked like the choppy windblown one of a huge lake.  Just as many places for runoff to gather as places to drain.

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At the request of Cleo Clark I visited the site at 196 Some Street, Sometown, GA the morning of August 2, 2042.

I found major items of serious concern as noted below:

·       the structural viability of the building floor system,

·       major and unforeseeable problems with restoration of a central heating and air system,

·       about half of the roof area has too many layers, overloading the roof structure

·       very restricted and/or unavailable access to attic portions,

·       a completely inaccessible crawlspace,

These conditions together prevent a diligent inspection by any kind of inspector or contractor.

==============================

I like white space

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Mad credit to @Jim Baird for posting this and inviting critique. Few among us would be so bold. Virtually no one enjoys push-ups or sit-ups, but great athletes accept they are necessary for peak performance. Here's an ungraded exercise you will not enjoy, but it will make you better writers: Jim's sentence is 78 words long. Rewrite it privately or publicly and convey everything he did more clearly and in half the words or fewer. Great writing is re-writing. Go.

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Challenge accepted in 36 words: 

Serious concerns include non-viable floor framing, major heating and air conditioning problems, too many roof layers, no crawlspace access, and inadequate attic access.  I can't perform a diligent review without access to these critical areas. 

Lesson learned: Prepositions can be a huge waste of words. 

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9 hours ago, Jim Katen said:

Challenge accepted in 36 words: 

Serious concerns include non-viable floor framing, major heating and air conditioning problems, too many roof layers, no crawlspace access, and inadequate attic access.  I can't perform a diligent review without access to these critical areas. 

Lesson learned: Prepositions can be a huge waste of words. 

35

Serious concerns include non-viable floor framing, major heating and air conditioning problems, too many roof layers, no crawlspace access, and inadequate attic access.  Access to these critical areas is needed for a diligent review.

Nahhh. Last sentence is backwards. Disregard.

Edited by Marc
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HIs generally don't complain about the time they spend on inspections, but they all complain about time spent writing reports. How much better would your work and your life be if you could cut your reports -and your report writing time- in half? Or in quarters? Practice it and see.

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7 hours ago, Jim Morrison said:

HIs generally don't complain about the time they spend on inspections, but they all complain about time spent writing reports. How much better would your work and your life be if you could cut your reports -and your report writing time- in half? Or in quarters? Practice it and see.

Time for true confessions of a home inspector.  Several years ago I decided to limit our inspections.  Still stay with the SOP's, but cut them way down.  I implemented little changes - Went to a narrative, checklist report, spent more time managing client expectations by the office, etc.  I would NOT suggest you do this.  It worked for us.

Sometimes, just sometimes you need lots of words.  It makes you look smart.  For instance, don't just tell the real estate lady she is "hot".  Stretch it out and tell her she is beautiful, smart, your hero and hot!

 

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10 hours ago, Jim Morrison said:

HIs generally don't complain about the time they spend on inspections, but they all complain about time spent writing reports. How much better would your work and your life be if you could cut your reports -and your report writing time- in half? Or in quarters? Practice it and see.

Good writing takes time. I could cut it to 2% of the time it takes me now by just purchasing any of the phone apps that print out a checkbox style report onsite. No one would like it.

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21 hours ago, Marc said:

Good writing takes time. I could cut it to 2% of the time it takes me now by just purchasing any of the phone apps that print out a checkbox style report onsite. No one would like it.

I love writing.  Not good at it, but still admire, respect and envy those that can do it. (read Jim Morrison). 

As far as changing or using a particular report or format goes, I have changed my mind over the years.  I now think you can write a perfectly good report with just a few sentences.  The deluge of 70+page boiler reports was a huge factor in my change of mind.  I'll go so far as saying "99.999% of home inspection report are crap when viewed by other inspectors.  My report is perfect!  My report is bigger!  My report can save lives!  My report is for you and only you!  You get the idea.

Some of us are good inspectors.  Very few, including me, are good writers. 

Bonnie Trenga, Walter Jowers, Norm Sage and Jerry Peck have to be a part of any writing discussion. 

 

 

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