Jump to content

Wasted opportunity or a good decision?


Recommended Posts

OK again, as we all know, I'm not the most experienced inspector out there. Everything I have done has revolved around homes being sold, one owner to the other. I have never done a new construction. I really didn't think about it a whole lot. Well today I got a call asking to do a new construction. Although he didn't say so, I got the gut feeling the guy was angry at the contractor and wanted an inspector to use as leverage in something. he kept saying he wanted me to look at, and walk the roof and get up close on the roof. He said roof like 10 times.

Anyways, I just didn't feel right about it and I referred the call to a fellow HI who has plenty of new construction experience. (BTW I also asked the guy to give me a few ride alongs on new construction which he agreed to do).

So, is new construction really any different or did I just lose money because my stomach was rolling from bad eggs this morning and not something to worry about?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that new construction inspections are a little different, but dramatically different. You are still inspecting the same items as you would do in a pre-owned home, so this is no different. What you don't have many times are visible clues or signs that something has failed, not working properly or was installed wrong.

With new construction I have found that my clients really want me to spend time on cosmetic issues. I get around this by telling my client that what their eye might perceive as a problem, I might not see it in the same way. I then hand my client a roll of blue painters tape and tell them to mark everything with a piece of tape that they want corrected by the builder. This works very well and it keeps the buyer from following you every inch of the way.

With new homes, I tend to be more critical on craftsmanship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by sepefrio

So, is new construction really any different or did I just lose money because my stomach was rolling from bad eggs this morning and not something to worry about?

A decent new-construction inspection is way different from a resale-house home inspection. An HI can't just go about the job the same way he would an inspection on a resale house. If the HI isn't ready to cite reputable sources (building codes, manufacturer's specs, trade association publications, etc.), he's not ready to do new-construction inspections.

Inspect new houses just like resale houses, and sooner or later you'll end up facing an expert who'll (rightly) say that you didn't meet a reasonable standard of care. Because you can see through the walls of a house that's under construction. And you can see where the required flashing isn't, where the bathroom vents don't vent to the outside, etc.

New-construction jobs are not a good venue for HIs who don't write up defects "unless there's a real problem," and it's tricky work for HIs who don't like to "rock the boat." New-construction jobs are all about boat-rockin'.

WJid="blue">

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm retired Navy, my job was to sink the dam boats. I have no problem with that, I just had a real bad feeling that it was a legal dispute and I was being asked to step in and give my opinion. I can see it now, "Our expert witness with a total of Zero previous New Construction Inspections". Even if I did everything perfect, I doubt I would last long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... Because you can see through the walls of a house that's under construction. And you can see where the required flashing isn't, where the bathroom vents don't vent to the outside, etc.

WJ

I agree with almost everything that you said, however, not all new construction inspection requests are necessarily "under construction" inspections.

Dom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Home Pride

... Because you can see through the walls of a house that's under construction. And you can see where the required flashing isn't, where the bathroom vents don't vent to the outside, etc.

WJ

I agree with almost everything that you said, however, not all new construction inspection requests are necessarily "under construction" inspections.

Dom.

True enough. We did most of ours as two-parters: pre-drywall and finished product. Usually, we got to look into the walls.

WJid="blue">

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, John, it sounds like you turned lemons into lemonade.

Got the customer a decent inspector, AND got yourself some ridealongs on new constructions.

How can you lose operating like that.

Love that line about sinking the damn boat.

Unfortunately, ours is a contrar profession. A big part of our job is to show where someone else screwed something up.

I've found that, while I often enjoy pissing matches just for the hell of it, I don't enjoy them in my professional life. I avoid them by always having an authoritative source for calling stuff wrong, boneheaded, etc.

It's not Erby saying cut valley's should have the cut on the higher slope with more drainage. It's the NRCA Manual or the shingle manufacturer's instructions.

It's not Erby saying they should have weep holes in brick veneer, it's the Brick Industry Association Tech Note 7.

The internet is a wonderful resource, properly used. Ya gotta make sure it's an actual reputable source besides the buiding code.

Because here, in consumer protected Kentucky, it's illegal to tell them it's a buildng code violation "in writing in the initial home inspection report".

Soon to be "orally or in writing" period.

It's a wonderful world out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Erby

Well, John, it sounds like you turned lemons into lemonade.

Got the customer a decent inspector, AND got yourself some ridealongs on new constructions.

How can you lose operating like that.

Love that line about sinking the damn boat.

Unfortunately, ours is a contrar profession. A big part of our job is to show where someone else screwed something up.

I've found that, while I often enjoy pissing matches just for the hell of it, I don't enjoy them in my professional life. I avoid them by always having an authoritative source for calling stuff wrong, boneheaded, etc.

It's not Erby saying cut valley's should have the cut on the higher slope with more drainage. It's the NRCA Manual or the shingle manufacturer's instructions.

It's not Erby saying they should have weep holes in brick veneer, it's the Brick Industry Association Tech Note 7.

The internet is a wonderful resource, properly used. Ya gotta make sure it's an actual reputable source besides the buiding code.

Because here, in consumer protected Kentucky, it's illegal to tell them it's a buildng code violation "in writing in the initial home inspection report".

Soon to be "orally or in writing" period.

It's a wonderful world out there.

"Soon to be "orally or in writing" period."

Erby,

Whose bonehead idea was that? And what was the impetus for the amendment?

How do we validate anything we say if we're unable to cite sources?

Isn't the KBHI's purpose to serve and protect Joe Citizen? Rather than prohibit the use of the word "code," they should instead mandate gobs of CE to make certain HIs know what the bloody code is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Erby

Because here, in consumer protected Kentucky, it's illegal to tell them it's a buildng code violation "in writing in the initial home inspection report".

Couldn't you end-run that by handing the customer an addendum immediately after handing them the "initial report?"

That's an anti-consumer law y'all have there. My guess is no HI will ever get busted, and that no govt lawyer will ever take that bullshift to court. It's a loser.

Run this one by your lawyer(s), but I think any building code, once adopted by a municipality, is public domain. That means anybody can use it. I think your KY legislators have written an unenforceable law. But don't go by me.

Here's my source: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_a ... 8/8-a.html

"These decisions and their underlying rationale—that the laws and opinions created by public officials belong in the public domain—previously did not necessarily apply to model codes. Model codes are regulations created by a private business and which may later be adopted by a public entity. For example, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) is a non-profit organization that develops modern building, fire and mechanical codes. These codes are adopted by municipalities and the SBCCI earned revenues by publishing and selling the codes or licensing the codes for publication. In 1997, Peter Veeck, the operator of a website, posted the building codes for two small towns in North Texas. The SBCCI sued for copyright infringement. In 2002, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a company that creates a model code may not claim copyright in it once the code has been adopted into law. Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., 293 F.3d 791 (5th Cir. 2002)."

You can Google "building code public domain," and find out the excruciating details.

WJid="blue">

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Kentucky HI Law is up for amendment this year. Some good, some bad. It's the original bill with markup for amendments proposed by the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors (KBHI).

Read it here:

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/08RS/SB22/bill.doc

John: KHBI made the propasal.

Walter: Did that a few times, when necessary. So did others. Perhaps that's why the amendment.

I can tell you what I found.

I can tell you what the International Residential Code says.

I can even tell you what the Kentucky Residential Code says.

But thanks to the consumer protection interests in the State Legislature, I can't tell you that what I found is a code violation.

Just more semantics bullshit.

All those customers and agents asking: "Does it meet the building code?" can no longer be answered Yes or No.

(and I can imagine some agents setting inspectors up with that question)

I can tell you the speed limit is 75 MPH

I can telly the builder was driving 90 MPH

I can't tell you he was speeding.

You have to make that presumption yourself or call the local code guy for a ruling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Erby

Walter: Did that a few times, when necessary. So did others. Perhaps that's why the amendment.

I can tell you what I found.

I can tell you what the International Residential Code says.

I can even tell you what the Kentucky Residential Code says.

But thanks to the consumer protection interests in the State Legislature, I can't tell you that what I found is a code violation.

Just more semantics bullshit.

You've probably already thought of/done this, but just in case, here's the workaround:

*Here's what I found.

*Here are the bad things that could happen.

*I recommend that you get the whatzit fixed.

*Here's the source of my opinion: (Insert C&V from IRC here.)

With this method, you're not blessing or condemning anything; you're not saying that the bad whatzit is a code violation. You're just offering the code, which is in the public domain, as a reputable source.

WJid="blue">

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...