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Writing up too many conditions


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Do you write up every item individually or lump them altogether in one governing concern?

For example lets take electrical outlets. Do you write an individual piece of narrative for reverse wired outlets, grounding type outlets without a ground, outlets dead or outlets with out covers or stuff broken off in a plug, worn, loose and a zillion other things that could be wrong with outlets or...

Write one piece of narrative listing for example the problems with outlets and just say have an electrician go in and clean up the mess.

It's crazy. Sometimes the client or rather his agent will want say a GFI fixed but not address say the reversed wired outlet or whatever. In otherwords they cherry pick through the individual items.

Writing things up individualy on a system I think gives the impression that you don't have to fix everything for the system to be satisfactory. If the individual items all are needed to be repaired for the system to be satisfactory then we should say that which is something I know I have not been making clear.

The thought got initiated when I saw Jim's recommendation for an electrician to just go and clean the wiring mess up in the attic etc..

Chris, Oregon

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I will tend to lump them under one piece if there are lots of issues. If there are only a couple of items to list in the category, I will be specific. I also mark affected items (outlets as per your example) that need attention. Sometimes the problems are so great you really have no choice but to recommend calling in the electrician (or other professional) to clean up the mess.

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Writing HI reports will drive you crazy if you let it.

To keep yourself sane, and your reports readable: Think about providing only useful information to your client, and organizing it in a useful way.

If I found a hatful of miswired receptacles, I might say something like:

I found many improperly wired eletrical receptacles throughout the house. You should hire a qualified electrician to test all of the receptacles and repair them as needed right away. The electrician should pay particular attention to the receptacles with reversed polarity in the bedrooms, those with open grounds in the dining room, and loose boxes in the hallway. Blah blah blah

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Do you write up every item individually or lump them altogether in one governing concern?

For example lets take electrical outlets. Do you write an individual piece of narrative for reverse wired outlets, grounding type outlets without a ground, outlets dead or outlets with out covers or stuff broken off in a plug, worn, loose and a zillion other things that could be wrong with outlets or...

Write one piece of narrative listing for example the problems with outlets and just say have an electrician go in and clean up the mess.

It's crazy. Sometimes the client or rather his agent will want say a GFI fixed but not address say the reversed wired outlet or whatever. In otherwords they cherry pick through the individual items.

Writing things up individualy on a system I think gives the impression that you don't have to fix everything for the system to be satisfactory. If the individual items all are needed to be repaired for the system to be satisfactory then we should say that which is something I know I have not been making clear.

The thought got initiated when I saw Jim's recommendation for an electrician to just go and clean the wiring mess up in the attic etc..

Chris, Oregon

Lots of problems = Lump.

Few problems = Individual.

In the example you cited about the wiring mess in the attic, I had already noted the problems I'd found and that was the final recommendation sentence. The whole comment ran along the lines of, "In the attic and basement, there's lot of poor wiring including open splices, uncovered junction boxes, unsupported wiring, rodent-damaged wiring, etc, etc. Some of these things are dangerous. Have an electrician clean up the wiring mess in the attic & basement."

If there were just one or two isolated problems, I'd make one or two isolated recommendations.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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In some cases it's a clear case of "is/isn't" a defect, I lump identical defects together in a sentence: a sentence for the missing GFICs, one for the open grounds, one for the polarity, etc.. I call out the locations of each (and mark then with a 1/8" plastic self-adhesive dot) but also note that I didn't test every receptacle (unless I did - which is unlikely).

In the case of things that are less "binary" - say, the condition of a few dozen old double hung windows in various stags of decrepitude - I'll call out a list of the *sort* of defects I encountered, but not their individual location unless I observe a safety issue.

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