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Peer Review Request


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Does anyone have the time and inclination to help me out with a peer review of a report? I am trying to switch from a boilerplate checklist report to a narrative style, and wanted to get some input from the guys that have made this switch, or are currently doing narrative reports. The report is about 12 pages. Thanks again for your help.

Mel

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Hi Mel,

I do full-narrative reports. If you'd like to, you can send me a copy of the report and I'll see if I can give you some help. Send it to hausdok@msn.com .

By the way - a shameless plug here for our primary sponsor, DevWave. Their report system, Inspect Express can be configured in either full-narrative or partial-narrative style. With the full narrative style, which is designed basically for those who's typing ability/speed is very limited, you drop responses that describe the home into the report and the software writes the report for you in full sentences and paragraphs. For issues encountered, you choose the deficiency from a menu of deficiencies and the report drops a fully-written, narrative boilerplate comment into the report. If you take pictures on-site you can include them in the report and you can produce separate summary reports if you wish. However, it's not a data-based reporting system like Kurt's or Inspect-Vue. This is a word processing-type report in MS Word format.

The program is extremely customizable, is bug-free and switching from full-narrative to partial narrative is as simple as going into the settings and clicking on one checkbox, so you aren't hamstrung with only one report format. I think that the partial narrative is ideal for those of you who do on-site reports, because you can use one of those palm computer devices to collect data, transfer that data to a laptop and print a report right there.

However, like any report that uses boilerplate, if you aren't happy with the boilerplate it has, you'll end up re-writing it to your own style. Knowing that would be the case, DevWave has gone to great lengths to make the process of tweaking the comments or completely replacing them pretty much computer-idiot simple, so it's not a laborious process.

I've been using it for nearly 5 years and I'll be happy to share a sample report with anyone who wants to shoot me their email via PM above.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by cguffin

Joe,

I am currently looking for report software to use. Would you not recommend Inspectvue?

Thanks,

Craig

Well Craig, I'd have to say no .... mostly for reasons unrelated to the program.

I didn't see any organization affiliation in your profile. Me, I'm ASHI all the way. Lorne Steiner, Inspectvue's developer and Porter Valley Software's owner has said disparaging things about ASHI in the past. When confronted about it at Inspection World a few years ago, he defended what he said and actually got belligerent about it. He was given the title 'NACHI Director at Large". He gives Nachi members discounts. No such discounts are offered to ASHI members.

The program itself is very flexible, but the price of that flexibility is a very steep learning curve. It's advertised that one can use it without having any prior computer experience. Well, that's a crock of bull$#!+.

It's also about the most expensive program out there, as far as I can tell. Then you have the annual 'maintenance fee'. Paying that allows you to upload your reports to their server. There, they're vulnerable to an astonishing security flaw. I accidentally discovered that I can access other inspectors reports on the server - no hacking involved (not that I would know the first thing about how to hack into something). Not only can I read them, but it would be possible to delete them, or even replace them with something else.

Hey, DevWave sounds pretty good!

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I didn't see any organization affiliation in your profile.

Joe,

Yes I am that new to Home Inspection's. I have been studying for the past seven months and have just received my certificate from ITA. From the information that I have gathered, I will also be going with ASHI. Thank you for your assistance.

I've checked my email several times today. Are you sure you sent it to the right email address? Use the private message feature above, it's less prone to glitches of the net.

Sorry Mike,

I sent it to the msn.com address. I will fix that. Thanks.

Craig

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I just looked at a sample report from myreportwriter. I can't endorse a report form that includes:

SKYLIGHT: Warning! Item not inspected because it was not on the property.

Where the heck was the skylight? The fence, deck and a few other items were missing as well.

I don't care for the phrase "overall condition seems acceptable" It gives you liability for the entire system being described and it looks funny as the only phrase on the page.

If the boots for the plumbing penetrations are patched poorly and done amateurishly, yielding a temporary repair then one should not monitor the condition, one should repair the condition.

Someone like Bob probably had enough experience

and knowledge to re-write all of the boiler plate that accompanies the myreportwriter.com program. A new guy like Craig may think that the program is adequate because a couple of experienced inspectors wrote the boiler-plate.

The mix of new inspector and the verbiage in the sample report at the company's website adds up to a court case where the inspector appears as a defendant instead of as an expert witness.

Back to topic: I'd be happy to review a report. It'll be interesting because my observations will be based on the ass chewing that some of the guys here gave me when I asked for a report review. My ego will never be the same.

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Hi,

Thanks, it's probably a mite "wordy" but that's just me. It's a great engine and you can always easily modify any of the boilerplate with a couple simple clicks. There are examples of both partial-narrative and narrative format reports at the Inspect Express site. Just go to http://www.inspectexpress.com.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Thank you, Mr. Fabry, for your comments on our report writer. I always appreciate any constructive criticisms. I do need to ask that if you quote our product, you do so correctly. Your comments are wrong and misleading to potential users of our system. I will address each item below.id="maroon">

I just looked at a sample report from myreportwriter. I can't endorse a report form that includes:

SKYLIGHT: Warning! Item not inspected because it was not on the property.

Where the heck was the skylight? The fence, deck and a few other items were missing as well.

The actual comment is;

Skylight:

DISCLAIMER - This item was not inspected because it was not present on the property.

According to the SoPs of most, if not all, of the associations the skylights need to be inspected. If you do not inspect an item, you should state why. A possible reason is that it is not present. Fences are not part of any SoPs that I am aware of. You can add a fence section if you choose to go beyond the SoPs. Decks are part of the inspection and can be found in the exterior section.id="maroon">

I don't care for the phrase "overall condition seems acceptable" It gives you liability for the entire system being described and it looks funny as the only phrase on the page.

The phrase is “The overall condition is acceptable.â€

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Originally posted by chuckb210

. . . Insinuating that our system can cause an inspector to become a defendant in a lawsuit is not only out right wrong, but it is also slanderous. . .

Not if it's his *opinion*. Eh Chuck?

Also, I think you mean "libelous". Slander is oral, libel is written.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by chuckb210

[

The actual comment is;

Skylight:

DISCLAIMER - This item was not inspected because it was not present on the property.

According to the SoPs of most, if not all, of the associations the skylights need to be inspected. If you do not inspect an item, you should state why. A possible reason is that it is not present. Fences are not part of any SoPs that I am aware of. You can add a fence section if you choose to go beyond the SoPs. Decks are part of the inspection and can be found in the exterior section.id="maroon">

Sincerely,

Charles M. Bellefontaine

www.myreportwriter.com[/maroon]

Hello Charles:

You could also go on to say the septic tank wasn't inspected due to the fact that there isn't one. The private well water system wasn't inspected due to the fact that the isn't one. The garage wasn't inspected due to the fact that there isn't one. I didn't inspect the oil fired furnace due to the fact that it's an all gas home, ad nauseum. If you stop to think about what you're disclaiming it's really absurd and when you say it out loud to yourself, you have to laugh.

Chad is absolutely correct.

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Mr. Bellefontaine,

First, please feel free to call me Chad. This a friendly place where people gather to share opinions and it is mostly on a first name basis.

Thanks very much for clearing up any confusion I created when you reiterated your report content and presented it word for word. I didn't use quotes around the skylight disclaimer because I wasn't sure if I was quoting or not. I apologize; I was too apathetic to go copy and paste. After reading the entire report that is posted as an example on the website, I was unimpressed and I feel my clients would be as well.

For what it's worth, I think your report system is as good as many that are out there. Many franchises use similar verbiage and it works for them.

Here is a constructive criticism: At least write the software and the boiler so that folks don't think their appurtenances have run off. I also think that an entire blank page after a phrase like "plumbing system is acceptable" is just not tree friendly.

These are my opinions and I'm only one guy and I have no desire to promote or denigrate any report system. A new guy asked for opinions and I presented mine.

Even if you wrote this format you have to admit there's room for improvement.

Nice meeting you, stick around and chat some.

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