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ASTM Organizational Meeting Failed to Unite

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You're writing of big ideas and sweeping change, and seeking others to join your cause. It's not going to be an easy task and the people joining you are going to shed some blood, sweat, and tears along the way.

I wonder what impact the Declaration of Independence would have had if, after it was penned, John Hancock and the other signers chose to use pseudonyms. These men all knew before they signed the document that if the cause to which they had committed themselves failed, they had signed their own death warrant.

It takes courage to lean against the prevailing winds. Men of courage who want to change the world don't hide. By hiding, no matter how persuasive you sound, you're nothing more than just another bunch of electrons swirling around in cyberspace or words on a piece of paper. The changes of which you write will never move from ideas to action.

You may have some very good reasons for wanting to remain anonymous. If you choose to do so, don't be surprised if nobody wants to jump on your train.


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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Les, buddy, your name gets 23,000+ hits on Google. Mine gets 64,000+.

Not really.

Entering Chad Fabry brings out pretty much every reference containing either Chad or Fabry or both.

entering "Chad Fabry" in quotes yields more accurate results.

Gasp! I went down to 3340! Les went to six. Way to go, Les!

Brother Chad scores a whoppin' 6640! Which means somebody's buying a Lamborghini with his credit card right now.


Even in quotes, I get 408,000 hits. But then, evidently, I'm a gubernatorial candidate in North Carolina, a poet, and a well published cartoonist. All this and the HI thing, and no wonder I need my naps!

On national standards, I haven't chipped in because, although the discussion has been interesting, I'm just not a political animal out to save the world or the profession. My hat's off to those willing to do that work. As I get older I find the world I care about shrinking to my family, my neighbors and my clients. I doubt that any new standards would really affect the way I go about my business in my few remaining active years...one client at a time to the best of my abilities.

Frankly, I don't know enough about the proposed standards to really have a valid opinion, but my one fear is that we would eventually end up with a standardized (bastardized?) inspection and report that would disuade anyone from going above and beyond even if they wanted to.

I'm all for raising the bar, but I also don't want it firmly fixed so low that I have to limbo under it!

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

The idea that home inspectors will ever speak with a unified voice on any issue for any reason is wonderful. . .

Why would we have to speak with a unified voice?

Why couldn't someone start an "entity" that sets the bar very, very high? If you want to join and you can pass muster, you're in.

If you don't like it, then you can keep with the status quo.

Why bother with getting everyone's approval.

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John, I hate to say this but you're right. Nick has united many, many inspectors.

But, that's not really what this is all about at this point. it's not about the masses, the associations or even the majority. Most of the folks here don't give a rat's ass about the marketing potential, associations or personal profit. It's a discussion about how to raise the bar for our profession. It won't be solved with a three letter acronym.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

John, I hate to say this but you're right. Nick has united many, many inspectors.

But, that's not really what this is all about at this point. it's not about the masses, the associations or even the majority. Most of the folks here don't give a rat's ass about the marketing potential, associations or personal profit. It's a discussion about how to raise the bar for our profession. It won't be solved with a three letter acronym.

I feel that each inspector who stops working for the local realtor will take

a huge leap forward in the steps of becoming a better inspector. Follow

the money. As long as 80% of the inspection are referred by realtors and

inspectors keep writing reports to make them happy, our industry will

always be second class.

I do not solicit realtors.

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seriously, What was your take on the meeting? I was not able to make the 500mile trip, but have heard from many that were there. It does seem that Justin's take is a bit opinionated.

John, If you know of any ASHI Certified inspector that has never done an inspection, I personally will take it to the Board of Directors.

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Originally posted by kurt

One has to wonder a little about anyone involved in this gig that thinks there's something so extra special to keep private.

It's not likely anyone that crawls around in ratshit for a living is going to have their exclusive veil of anonymity collapse into shards around their ankles by coming out of the closet on an HI internet forum.

Just about the time one comes to the conclusion things can't get any sillier, along comes something to disabuse one of the notion......


I would think you will agree that there are things said here among fellow inspectors that we would not necessarily want the great unwashed masses who might Google us to read out of context. I don't think there's any paranoia at work here...

As for the ratshit comment, around here it's usually squirrel shit. I'm not saying that's any better; it's definitely not. I call squirrels "rats with a press agent" since some misguided souls think they are cute. Apparently, a rodent with a bushy tail endears itself to folks more than one with a skinny tail does. Perhaps it's the fact that they are seen frolicking about unashamedly in broad daylight that does it.

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I have already asked but I'll try again. "What is the problem that a national standard would have solved?"

It would not have solved the biggest problem in my opinion which is the lack of competency of HI's. I have said it already but it's just too easy to get into this business. The bar needs to be raised.

The way I propose to raise it is to refocus on education and the elimination of folklore and mis-information as W.J. has recommended. Eventually the distance in ability, knowledge and skill of a few of us at the local level will so out distance a newbies perhaps our local governments might take notice and be willing to raise the bar. Right now I wonder if the average inspector is perceived as not being much better than a newbie.

Such a revolution I believe would occur first at a local level and spread to a national level instead of the other way around.

Chris, Oregon

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Maybe they are all in cahoots!

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Frank Lesh (ASHI President) Nick Gromicko (interinterinterinterNACHI) Scott Patterson (ASHI)

Look at those smiles - who woulda thunk?

Quick question. Would ASTM override or be supplemental to state licensing? In AZ, it doesn't matter what organization "certifies you", it is the state that has the ultimate say. Us lowly Home Inspectors are overseen by the same board who oversees Architects and Engineers. Those guys with the 4+ year degrees think nothing of us because our requirements are minimal.

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This thread had proceeded to discuss home inspection and home inspectors as a community. Nobody, absolutely nobody was discussing associations or individuals. Then, like an idiot, someone posted, "I want to thank Mr Gromicko for what he has done to unite so many inspectors."

What do you think happened to this thread after that? A single individual with a shallow mind and over-zealous loyalty can bring intelligent conversation to its knees.

How is progress ever to be made with such individuals believing they are our peers? Yes, hasn't Gromicko done a great job bringing us all together.

Shame - simply a shame.id="maroon">

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A wise man, that Gary Randolph!

John, you are simply wrong. You have have drunk the kool-aid. I can't remember ever making this personal nor about associations.

I am done with this thread. Some day we can discuss it, in the meantime I will continue doing business.[:-taped]

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Well, here's the sad state of this biz, as I see it.

HIs, taken as a breed, just don't have the education to do the job. Even those who want education are funneled through HI schools that are populated by incompetent teachers.

Sure, there are some smart, curious lifelong learners and keepers of knowledge in this biz, but probably just enough to fill a few school buses. On any given day, I have a fair-sized stack of HI reports on my desk, all ungrammatical, illogical and nonsensical, written by illiterates and borderline illiterates full of HI-school folklore. It would be laughable, but it's more cryable.

Standards, such as they are, are widely ignored. I and other folks on my little ligitation-support team have noticed recently that the standards on any given building job aren't the building codes. The standard is the sorry-ass work that the unskilled laborers do as they follow orders from the untrained-in-building bosses, who are just one click smarter than the laborers. Code enforcement is nearly non-existent, largely because the muni codes guys are less competent than the HIs.

Best I can tell, nobody cares about HI orgs' SOPs. Judges' and juries' eyes glaze over. They just want an expert to tell them if the client got screwed or not.

What's called "helping" HIs here is just a scheme to pull gullible folk into a "profession" that exists only because reeltors need HIs to bless the cracked and leaky houses, and pay out the insurance claims via the E&O insurance that the reeltors' lobbyists got written into the HI laws. The average HI is a shill. A toady. An easily-replaceable unit. As far as reeltors and state legislators are concerned, we're just there to write checks to cover the reporting errors, puffery and outright deceptions that reeltors know we'll cheerfully supply.

The best we can hope for is that the skilled HIs get up every morning and go out and do a decent job. The HI "infrastructure," such as it is, is more crumbly than a Minnesota Interstate bridge or a New Orleans levee.

But that's just me...


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Since the thread has been perverted anyway...

John, I hate to say this but you're right. Nick has united many, many inspectors.

I said the words in that quote and I think it's the very first time I ever quoted me.

Lest I be misunderstood: (I live in fear that my parsimonious nature may leave too few words on a page to accurately convey my thoughts.)

Nick has united home inspectors everywhere, but they're united on distinctly different fronts, engaged in ethical combat. One side is led by a guy who likes to bind the hands of young girls behind their backs while he uses them to cheat on his wife.

Hopefully, there are no other leaders like that.

Both sides voted against the ASTM because they know in their hearts that it would make associations redundant. Obsolete.

As Mitchell said: Follow the money.

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