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This has happened to me three times now so I'm at a crossroads.

In my report I always recommend things that are not a defect but would be a good idea to do IE. Change all the locks on the doors, replace a hot water tank (that is still OK but over 12 years old) - leaf guard system on a 2 story home situated in a wooded lot etc.

The latest one was my client wanted the seller to replace all the locks on the doors because the home inspector said so.

At this point my thoughts are to mention the items verbally but not to put it into writing and just keep the actual report for pressing issues.

Anyone else every run into this?

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In North Carolina, the licenseing board requires a Summary Page. They only allow Safety, Repair, or Further Investigate items in the summary page. In the body of the report we are free to include anything we want. So Recommendations and Maintenance items would be in the body of the report giving them less importance.

There is usually enough defects to report that I don't feel the need to add much in the way of recommendations and maintenance items. My report is a description of all the broken items, it is not a how to use and maintain your home manual.

Recommending replacement of systems past their life expectancy (ie. worn water heater) would fall into the area of defect and is a reasonable inclusion. Rekeying locks, cleaning gutters, etc. is general maintenance and probably ought to be left out or clearly labeled as Maintenance Recommendations vs. Repair Item.

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In my report I always recommend things that are not a defect but would be a good idea to do IE. Change all the locks on the doors, replace a hot water tank (that is still OK but over 12 years old) - leaf guard system on a 2 story home situated in a wooded lot etc.

How about sticking that kind of stuff on your website and then put a reference to it in your report.

For other good things to do and maintenance to be aware of goto Terence's website.

Chris, Oregon

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I report only what I find.

If I find a 12 year old water heater, I'm going to report that it is at the end of its life and it could fail at anytime. Replacement should be done before it fails.

As for advice on locks, cleaning gutters, etc., I don't add it to my report.

If you want to add it to your report why not place it in a section that you label as "Things to do when you buy a home" this would keep it out of the main body of the report. You are telling everyone, not just this client.

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I'm with Terence on this one. I tell people to change their locks, clean their gutters, extend downspouts etc. I also show people how to change the air filter, how to maintain a steam boiler etc.

It' my opinion we not only inspect a home, we inform our clients on normal maintenance.

How many times have you opened a furnace to see the filter clogged solid with dirt; the sellers inspector never told them how or when to change the filter....

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I have only advised replacing locks in a report once. The house was c1906, and the original door and hardware didn't latch without considerable fiddling. Beyond something similar I wouldn't mention changing locks in writing, it's kind of a no brainer. I think Chris's thought of putting that kind of info on your website is a good idea though, one more thing to differentiate you from the competition.

I often include enhancements when describing items that should be repared or replaced, like "replacing the (fill in the blank) will improve your comfort and safety, and may reduce your energy consumption through improved efficiency" or "there may be tax incentives tied to replacing X". I think it leads the client to negotiate dollars rather than repairs, and hopefully keeps me out of the position you're in.

Tom

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This has happened to me three times now so I'm at a crossroads.

In my report I always recommend things that are not a defect but would be a good idea to do IE. Change all the locks on the doors, replace a hot water tank (that is still OK but over 12 years old) - leaf guard system on a 2 story home situated in a wooded lot etc.

The latest one was my client wanted the seller to replace all the locks on the doors because the home inspector said so.

At this point my thoughts are to mention the items verbally but not to put it into writing and just keep the actual report for pressing issues.

Anyone else every run into this?

Yes. Frequently.

I can't worry, though, about how folks will use my information. If it's accurate and helpful based on my professional judgement and insight, then I've done the job well.

Then again, if the information I give continues to generate confusion and messiness, then it's time to re-evaluate what I'm saying or how I'm saying it.

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I'm with Terence on this one. I tell people to change their locks, clean their gutters, extend downspouts etc. I also show people how to change the air filter, how to maintain a steam boiler etc.

It' my opinion we not only inspect a home, we inform our clients on normal maintenance.

How many times have you opened a furnace to see the filter clogged solid with dirt; the sellers inspector never told them how or when to change the filter....

I guess it's a matter of degree.

I always show folks how to deal with their steam boiler, change a furnace filter, humdifier, etc. That's necessary, can't live without it information.

Telling folks to change their locks seems intrusive. That's just me......

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I'm with Terence on this one. I tell people to change their locks, clean their gutters, extend downspouts etc. I also show people how to change the air filter, how to maintain a steam boiler etc.

It' my opinion we not only inspect a home, we inform our clients on normal maintenance.

How many times have you opened a furnace to see the filter clogged solid with dirt; the sellers inspector never told them how or when to change the filter....

I guess it's a matter of degree.

I always show folks how to deal with their steam boiler, change a furnace filter, humdifier, etc. That's necessary, can't live without it information.

Telling folks to change their locks seems intrusive. That's just me......

Hey Kurt...

The reason I tell them to change the locks is you never know how many copies of keys are out there - the neighbor has one to keep an eye on the home should the owner be on vacation, the owners sister etc. I've had quite a few people say "that's a good idea, I would have never thought of that". However I'm not going to put that stuff in the report anymore as the few always ruin it for the many.

I like the idea Chris had about driving it to my web site. Gives me a good excuse to update it anyway - been a few years since I gave it a face lift.

Thanks all.

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I've been rethinking it......

I kinda like the idea of a web page of stuff along the lines of......"You may not have thought of these things, but check it out because some of it may be useful".

Have the key thing, or whatever else is outside of the stuff we normally flog.

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The only time I would mention a lock is if it was broken or if it required a key to be operated from the inside.

The web site thing sounds like a good idea. Could not only help with the report problem, but drive more traffic to your site from previous customers or get more hits on search engines when people search stuff like "What to do after I move in". So if you make the page, or pages, be sure to add phrases that people may pop into google or such.

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