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Naughty chimney sweeps


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Yesterday on my first inspection a chimney sweep was on site.

As I inspected the interior of the home, I listened to this guy sell the poor young lady about $3400.00 worth of crap!

The house was constructed in 1950. The fireplace had NEVER been used. (56 years new!) Firebox, throat and flue appeared very acceptable. (I'm a mason remember) No camara was used (a screen was set into the crown). There were no visible signs of voids between liners.

What is it with sweeps and conscience?

I strongly encouraged her to get a second opinion.

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Was there anything specific that the sweep put in writing that was a problem or a hazard? Did you talk to the sweep directly on behalf of the owner?

If the con job was that bad, I would have stepped in, but it may not have been appropriate in this case.

Of course this type of ripoff isn't with sweeps only; would he have tried the same BS if the husband was there?

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This happens quite frequently around here.

My wife tired of waiting for me to check/clean one of our chimneys for the dining room fp, so she called a sweep. They told her it needed $3800 worth of repairs or the house will burn down. Went on to say that if she doesn't have the work done immediately, they're required to report it to the fire marshal who will condemn the home.

Sold a house a few years ago in a municipality that requires chimney certs as part of the resale c/o. You have to use an approved sweep on their list. The first one said the open hearth fireplace flue was unlined, needed a s/s liner and can only be used with an insert. I showed him the contract, permit and inspection of the cast-in-place liner I had installed when we restored the home. He quickly left without asking for a check.

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Originally posted by mgbinspect

Yup, when I was doing insurance work I used to jokingly say, "The greeters in h#ll will be chimney sweeps and roofers."

Please forgive me all honest sweeps and roofers, but most honest ones know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

You might as well throw in home inspectors too.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Jim's always ready to throw in crooked home inspectors when someone starts kicking crooked contractors. I wish I could argue the point, but...alas. [:-indiffe

We don't have chimney sweeps here, so roofers hold the top spot all alone. [:-vamp]

Of course, crooked HI's work in reverse. They don't take the client for $3800, they just leave the client wide open for $3800 in repairs on things they ignored. No better I'm afraid. [:-irked]

Brian G.

Lowndes County Roofer's Requirements:

1 truck, 1 hammer, and the Colassal Gall of a Con Man [:-headach

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Originally posted by mgbinspect

Ya really think, Jim? I'd like to think that most home inspectors really want to do the right thing, but hey, I tend to be naive and overly trusting.

I think that good, honest and trusting home inspectors tend to hang out with other good, trusting and honest home inspectors, both in person and on the web.

The shysters run silent and deep. There are plenty of them.

Or, in the immortal words of Bill Loden, "Don't tell my Mama I'm a home inspector. She thinks I play piano in a whorehouse."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by mgbinspect

Ya really think, Jim? I'd like to think that most home inspectors really want to do the right thing, but hey, I tend to be naive and overly trusting.

If an HI does not know what he/she is doing they can cost the buyer more than $3,800.

They are out there I have seen it first hand.

By the some Realtors love them and I just can't understand why.

Paul Burrell

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Originally posted by Erby

Paul said "some Realtors love them and I just can't understand why".

It's easy to understand Paul. It's real hard, in most cases, to kill a deal in 30-45 minutes when you're mightily trying to keep the realtor happy by not saying anything.

Erby I was being facetious. You have hit the nail square on the head[^].

Paul Burrell

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  • 1 month later...
Originally posted by newguy

Paul's going to hell with the roofers

My only consolation is that I will not be lonely for company. [:-hot]

Anyway my Son is a roofing contractor. What is wrong with roofers. If home inspectors had to work as hard as roofers and put up with their atrocious working conditions within 6 months there would be 65% less HIs and the rest would be gone in a year. The labor turnover in the roofing business is very high.

Paul B.

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Why single out construction trades? There are thieves and liars all over (to me, there is little difference between a thief and a liar).

Can anybody think of even one trade or occcupation that is free of this infestation?

Whether it be Chimney Sweeps or Judges or even Presidents and anything in between?

But, if you do want to stick to construction, what about siding contractors? In many cases, the whole purpose of the product itself is to hide the truth. When I was a kid, I had a job (for about two weeks), as a door to door siding salesman. We were taught, never to give the price, but to tell the people "how much a week" it would cost.

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I suppose what you say is dead on, Steven.

The only reason that I coined that little phrase was because, as a disastor restoration contractor, I was constantly being sent out to the homes of little old ladies, young ladies, and new home owners to learn that a chimney sweep or roofer had convinced them they had an expensive problem that the insurance company would fix. Quite often there was no problem at all and the client was in the process of getting taken for a long expensive ride.

Gosh, How does someone rob an old widow of thousands of retirement dollars and sleep at night?

But, you are right. My exposure to those two contractors was through insurance. They're everywhere for sure and in every trade.

Ehhh... except of course ours, right? [:D]

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Mike,

Funny you should say that.

In the past, other than the few times during a sale that I met a home inspector, the only contact that I have had with H.I.s, has been either at school, ASHI meetings, or on this website.

So far, it seems that to me, that to the home inspectors I have encountered, one's reputation is very important, no matter who they piss off. (I've even gotten the impression that some take great pride in pissing off RE agents/builders in the process of being honest and accurate.)

Although, I'm sure there are some that are shady... there always are. I'm also sure that in states that allow HIs to do the repairs on what they find (as NY used to allow), there is some funny business going on. I'm not implying that any HI that does repairs is dishonest, it just affords more oppertunities for the dishonest ones.

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