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Originally posted by AHI

Obviously there are too many tools to carry on your belt at all times for home inspection. I am sure some of you who have been in the business for a while have figured out what the most important tools to have on your belt are. So lay it on me. For practicality, what do you carry on the belt always?

Left belt: Stinger HD

Right belt: Camera

Left front pant pocket: notepad & small mirror

Right front pocket: 3-light tester & small pocketknife

Left breast pocket: Pen

That's all.

- Jim Katen

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We don't use tool belts.

Our protocol is a tad different from most, so will give you what we have at different stages of process.

1. Arrive early, jamb a couple of shoe covers in left rear pocket, grab a business card and approach house.

2. Carry the camera up and down roof and around house.

3. During inspection: three prong tester, volt stick, small led flashlight. All in back pockets.

4. Go back to kitchen counter or wash machine top to get any other tools we need.

5. During inspection both hands are free, nothing hanging on body, mouth running constantly.

6. We carry into house many tools, but always in cases. For instance, folding ladders for attic access, large flashlights, tiny flashlights, paperwork, camera, etc.

7. Never carry anything other than a wallet, pocket knife, and loose change in our pockets.

8. never will carry a cell phone.

Part of the reasoning for this protocol is we use the time fetching tools to record notes away from client. We do carry a wide variety of stuff in case and use many tools during inspection, just don't carry them. We also leave our ladders against the eaves so they know we have been on roof. Last thing in truck is the ladder.

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NO tool belt as well. Everything goes in my pockets or belt. Pretty much as Jim has described, but I carry my voltage stick around with me as well.

If I need additional tools I simply return to my tool bag that I try to keep in the kitchen.

When you think about it, why do you need to carry a screwdriver, pliers and everything else around with you. Keep them in your tool bag and life will be easier.

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I don't like running back and forth, in and out of the house. I carry a small shoulder electricians pouch (man-purse) with

Stinger, IR thermometer, Li-ion screwgun with various bits, leatherman, outlet tester, volt stick, reading glasses, camera and various other odds and ends. The whole thing weighs maybe 4 pounds and saves lots of walking.

When I head to the roof or crawl space, I stuff my flashlight, camera and leatherman in my pocket.

I recommend always carrying a cell phone, especially to the roof or crawlspace, especially if no one is attending the inspection.

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I use a man-purse as well- more like a lineman's bag. I just set it down as I go room to room and take what I need. Funny, it's gotten to the point where I can tell if something wasn't put back in the bag the second I pick it up!

I carry a digital recorder on a lanyard around my neck, that way my hands are always free.

I NEVER leave my ladder against the roof, or anywhere for that matter. Wind, kids, and stupid adults have taught me better. They'll know where I've been when they see my pictures.

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I use a Veto Pro Pac bag. I've got the XL, the original model.

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I kind of wish they'd had the LC model below when I'd bought mine, because I don't think I really need all of the room that I've got.

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When I walk into the house, I set it down on the floor in the foyer and open it up so Yung, my wife, can grab her Protimeter and SureTest. Then I go and take care of the pre-inspection agreement with my client while she goes through the interior like Grant through Richmond.

After doing the pre-inspection deal, I stop by the bag on my way outside and grab a pick and my Maglite. Then I do the exterior, roof and grounds, and the pest portion of the report, while making notes on my clipboard.

When I get done with that, I swing through the foyer, pick up the bag and move into the garage, basement or wherever the electro-mechanicals are, set it down someplace where it will only be a step or two away and grab what tool(s) I need to open up the panel or the furnace, test equipment, or whatever.

After that, I go upstairs or into the house, deposit the bag by the main entrance, and then go through Yung's list with her to confirm everything that she's found. Then I check the fireplaces, stoves or flues. After that, I do the attic and/or crawlspaces, sum up with the client, collect the check, and we're out of there.

I typically don't have more than one tool in my hand at a time and I'm not walking around clunking and banging like a lineman with gizmos projecting from every pocket and orifice and bouncing off the walls and furniture. If I need to carry an extra tool or two, I have a pair of back pockets for that. I don't need 10 - 15 lbs of leather and hardware hanging around my waist to do that.

I also don't need to worry about taking the belt off to do the roof, putting it back on again, taking it off to do the attic, putting it back on again, taking it off to do the crawlspace, putting it back on again.

When I'm done, I pull four zippers, pick it up like a briefcase, walk out and place the bag into the back seat of my vehicle and I'm off.

Works for me.



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I use a very small tool pouch from Bucket Boss on a cloth, quick-release belt.

Please note the model below.

I had a little extra time on my hands so I figured I'd have some fun with it.

In the pouch are 1)three light tester 2) SureFire flashlight 3) 10 in 1 Screwdriver 4) inspection mirror 5) 1" flexible putty knife 6)Sharpie 7) Protimeter MM

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There is a metal loop for carrying my pick hammer when needed for masonry work.

The loop will also hold my 30" flathead screwdriver like a sword--great for clearing cobwebs and poking all sorts of things.

On the belt are a 12' tape measure and laser thermometer.

Note: Scale of tool belt is not accurate based on human model. The belt-pouch is much smaller on my 6'-2" frame

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I never wear my tool belt while working.

I bring it bearing hand tools into the kitchen,along with a tool bag for the gadjets, widgets and paperwork.

Everything goes straight to kitchen HQ and I bring what I need in my hands by returning to the kitchen when needing to switch,so I have time to think during my walk.

Once I get down to the basement I bring the bag with me.

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I started out wearing an electricians pouch on a belt. In it I placed everything I thought I would need. Lately, my plan of action has been: If a tool isn't used on two consecutive inspections, it goes in the big tool bag that is left at the front door (lately it's been left in the truck). After a couple weeks of doing that, there is very little left in the tool pouch. As Kurt said, a pair of cargo pants would do now. The only "all the time" essential tool is the flashlight. Everything else is pocketable.


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Originally posted by AHI

Obviously there are too many tools to carry on your belt at all times for home inspection. I am sure some of you who have been in the business for a while have figured out what the most important tools to have on your belt are. So lay it on me. For practicality, what do you carry on the belt always?

A screwdriver, a flashlight and a ball-point pen.

From the beginning, (1956) to the mid 1970's, these were the only tools you really needed. The growth of the profession led to the "new tools of the trade" and the list continues today with new technology coming in on a regular basis.

Do you know that if you get sued and you did not have in your possession a new gidgit that other inspectors have and use, you could be in deep do-do.

My point is that the more tools there are the more you are susceptible to falling into the tool trap.

Plaintiffs lawyer - "Mr. Peck: Why did you not have a window refractometer density counter, reflection angle gauge to prevent the left front window from burning the siding off of the neighbors (my brother-in-law's) house?"

A screwdriver, a flashlight and a good ball point pen worked for many years.

Oh, I forgot one tool. A brain with some experience.

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I carry in the big bag and wear a tool vest while working (Skillers, with the mesh back). The vest lets me carry more and go back less without having to turn sideways to get through doors. Up front I have a flashlight and small towel in one big pocket and my camera in the other. Smaller pockets hold a 3-light tester, small inspection mirror, voltage stick, pens, notepad, pocket screwdrivers, and a few other knick-knacks. The two big back pockets get whatever I need for where I'm going next, swapped out as needed while I move through the inspection.

Brian G.

Will Someone Please Invent the Magic Floating Tool Bag [:-thumbu]

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