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on the belt


John Dirks Jr
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I think I finally got myself organized. Now, I should have 98% of what I need for a home inspection hanging on my Dickies leather belt. No snaps or metal clips on the holsters, all sewn loops to prevent things from falling off.

1. mini vice grips

2. multi screwdriver

3. fenix TK11 flashlight

4. 16' lever lock tape measure

5. digital camera

I think I'm going to like the mini vice grips. I just picked them up today along with the holsters for the grips and the screwdriver.

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Yes, that is it. I remember reading a post on TIJ about the clamp ladder to gutter process. I don't remember it being wind related, just more secure.

Ok, I'll have to try it. I like the vice grips for all types of fasteners like the hex head sheet metal screws on air handlers and such. I clamp them on with tip facing in like so.

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I had been carrying larger vice grips in my pocket but they tend to be bulky and wear a hole in my leg. Vice grips come in handy for all different sized and shaped stuff.

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I think those small items on my belt are not overkill. They get used often and it's easier to have them with me.

I do set a bag with other stuff on the kitchen counter. I go to it periodically during inspections.

Vice grips are versatile and just plain cool in my opinion. Go ahead and laugh if you want.

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You want a welding clamp for the ladder. If you use plain vise grips, you'll crush the gutter lip.

I'm with Kibbel on the consultant look. If I didn't hate wearing ties so much, I'd be wearing one as Marc does.

Most tools stay in a Tamrac camera bag that sits near wherever it is that I'm working. I fetch them and put them away as necessary.

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I've ended up in Bill and Jim's camp for a different reason - about seven years ago I had to abandon hanging anything on my belt or shoulder or open an account with a chiropractor. It's one of the more profound decisions I've made during my career. Back troubles pretty much vanished. Hanging stuff on yourself is hell on posture and alignment.

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I prefer the consultant look as well. I always wear a lightly pressed white oxford shirt, charcoal pants and black loafers. I carry very few things on my belt, just a flashlight, a camera and my awl. If I'm inspecting a condo I leave the awl in my bag.

I like the Veto Pro Pac and I carry it with me through the property as I am inspecting. It's a sturdy and well constructed bag, and although it is a bit heavy, I highly recommend it.

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For 25 years, we've made it a point to try to look like professional building consultants, not Schneider.

Fetch the tools as you need 'em.

Why would I want to be constantly running back and forth to fetch tools? That is the definition of professional?

I use a small electricians pouch on a tool belt. Along the back there is a camera case. I use every tool in the pouch with the exception of the razor knife on every inspection. If I am heading into the attic, I am likely to need a moisture meter, a nut driver for the HVAC, a camera, a probe, and a flashlight. So I rummage through a tool box that is filled with all kinds of who knows what looking for the correct assortment of tools to cram into the pockets my pressed slacks. Once I get in the back dark corner of the attic, I realize I forgot the XXX or some tool falls out of the pocket to be swallowed up by blown insulation. That makes me more professional?

I think that lugging around an oversized tool bag filled with gadgets that get used once every fifth inspection that I have to constantly bend over, tote to the next drop location, rummage around looking for the tool, and then begin to inspect the room less professional. I say it gives the impression you have a bag of stuff because you cannot organize yourself enough to carry just the essential items. Maybe I just don't have enough gadgets to be a professional home inspector.

Lets just say I disagree with your assessment.

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For 25 years, we've made it a point to try to look like professional building consultants, not Schneider.

Fetch the tools as you need 'em.

Why would I want to be constantly running back and forth to fetch tools? That is the definition of professional?

I use a small electricians pouch on a tool belt. Along the back there is a camera case. I use every tool in the pouch with the exception of the razor knife on every inspection. If I am heading into the attic, I am likely to need a moisture meter, a nut driver for the HVAC, a camera, a probe, and a flashlight. So I rummage through a tool box that is filled with all kinds of who knows what looking for the correct assortment of tools to cram into the pockets my pressed slacks. Once I get in the back dark corner of the attic, I realize I forgot the XXX or some tool falls out of the pocket to be swallowed up by blown insulation. That makes me more professional?

I think that lugging around an oversized tool bag filled with gadgets that get used once every fifth inspection that I have to constantly bend over, tote to the next drop location, rummage around looking for the tool, and then begin to inspect the room less professional. I say it gives the impression you have a bag of stuff because you cannot organize yourself enough to carry just the essential items. Maybe I just don't have enough gadgets to be a professional home inspector.

Lets just say I disagree with your assessment.

Happy future back problems... just wait... I was fine for the first 10 years, then the ole' bod just started protesting... I have concluded it isn't a matter of fitness or conditioning. It's just that subtle off balance weight tugging at your core alignment for hours each day. Eventually, it wins...

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I tried a lot of different ways and carried a bunch of differnet stuff in the beginning:

double pouch tool belts stuffed full,

carrying bag

rolling tool box

needed tools in the pockets

I've settled on a little clip on tool pouch on the belt containing just the stuff I use on almost every inspection. The rest, I go get out of the tool box if needed.

Mini-vice grips

Torpedo level

Multi-head screwdirver/nutdriver

Infrared thermometer

Volt Stick

Black sharpie

Flashlight

Probe/tile tester/cob web clearer/sword/pointing thingy/

Tape measure

Outlet tester in the pocket.

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Happy future back problems...

A bad back is a big trouble. 19 years ago I fell (actually got tossed) off the third rung of a 60' three section extension ladder while trying to set it up. Two guys held it off the wall, the gorilla on the crew had the rope, and being the lightest on the site I was on the ladder trying to get the dogs loose and provide a little momentum so we could extend the first section. It moved, then suddenly jambed and the bottom swung up and pushed me backwards off the ladder. I landed hard on my heals with my knees straight compressing three lumbar disks, and my full tool belt displaced my left sacra-illiac (the fixed joint where the hip meets the spine), rotating it back about 3 degrees and pushing it upward about 1/4". I finished out the day, but the ride home was agony. When I stopped moving around the swelling really kicked in and I was having such bad muscle spasms that I couldn't swing my legs out of my truck.

I still have stiffness and discomfort on good days, and at least twice a year end up barely able to walk for a few days. I've gotten very well aquanted with my chiropractor. I don't wear a tool belt, ever, but I do wear a lift belt every time I set up my ladder.

Tom

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That is funny stuff right there. And I am with you on the tie thing. When I first started doing this, I would wear nice khaki dockers and a nice polo shirt. What I found was that, I was going through the Dockers because the knee's would eventually get stained. Even if I thought about wearing a tie, I might have to get Marc to walk me through the proper knot tying technique. Even in the Air Force, if I had to wear blues(like 15 yrs ago), I would wear the clip on type. Fortunately, now that I am in the AF reserves, it's all DCU's and they are wrinkle free with boot's that don't require shining. Bet that get's Mike O pissed.

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