Are we leaving details in the reports when No Defects present?

Hello, I am still in the certification process and have a silly question… If there is no defect detected on a roof per say. Are we just leaving it at that? No Defects Detected. Or are we making redundant comments in the reports such as, No Defect(s) observed, everything looks good. Essentially, are we only making comments and detailing observations when something is amiss?

Welcome Ryan! If no “defects” were observed, I would keep it simple but include “at the time of inspection…”


If a roof has no issues, I’m still taking numerous photos to prove it’s in good condition.

And I never say no defects were found. l say something like “early in its useful life”


I always thought less was more, if I found nothing wrong with something i said nothing about that item, You can write novel length inspection reports if You comment on everything You look at in/on a home. I only mentioned things I thought required attention. You have to decide what type of inspection report You want to present…


I tell inspectors we are only paid to tell what is not good


Depending on the SOP you are following and personal preference, there are some “observations” to report on, even when there are no deficiencies. Roof covering type? Electrical service size? Location of main water and gas shutoffs? Exterior cladding type? Home occupied? Type of wiring?

As you build out your template, you will probably discover other things you want to add as “observations.”


Makes sense to me. Thank you everyone!

The front of my report has this catch-all:

Unless otherwise noted in the comments below each section, all building systems and components within the scope of the inspection, as outlined in the INSPECTION AGREEMENT, were found to function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear, and did not, in the opinion of the inspector, negatively affect the habitability of the dwelling.

A lot of that statement is right out of the SOPs that Oregon follows. With that, I have no problem leaving sections blank (other than identifying type/age of materials, etc.). I generally don’t just put things in that aren’t problems but I do take and save pics in case of a callback.


Just to build on this topic, because I think it is a good one, I find that the report “reads” better with a very short introduction to each section. Below is my intro to the Doors section of the report. The Windows section has similar verbiage. You may find doing something like this useful if you are looking for ways to transition from one section to the next.

“A representative number of doors and associated hardware were inspected and tested for proper operation. Doors are a high wear item. Periodic monitoring and maintenance is highly recommended.”

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You should be getting well paid. In each section of the report when no defects are reported you should describe what you did.

i.e. “I opened the service panel to observe the conductors and proper wiring installation.”

In the case of the panel I also take a picture with the cover removed.

Following the SOP you will HAVE TO describe how you viewed the roof.
Have to show /describe the location of fuel, and water disconnects.

The idea is that in an immaculate, pristine home with no defects (no such thing) your report will indicate in words and pictures how you spent three hours going over the home from top to bottom. This is to earn the client’s fee and to fulfill the SOP you are using (which should also be in the report).

Look at your SOP. The three operative words (highlight them) are: Inspect, Describe, and Report.


Evening, Ryan. Hope this post finds you well and good luck with your certification process.

Redundancies can be common while writing reports.

My narrative for no issues is; 'No adverse conditions observed the day of the inspection."
Remember, at the minimum, everything requires servicing.

I’m somewhat “stuck” with how my software reports “no issues”: Green check mark in front of the item name, such as Flashing, Water Pipe, Attic Ventilation, etc. I am happy with that because it doesn’t leave to question whether or not I inspected that particular component. The client also understands the volume of items inspected, thus justifying my fee.

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As an additional note, you still have to include the “description” component of the SOP, even if no defects are reported.

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No one knows where you will be licensed Ryan. You should include this information so we will know what SOP you will be following.

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You should be describing what you are inspecting and reporting the condition per the SOP you’re inspecting under.

Roof Access - Walked
Roof Style - Gable
Roof Surface Materials - Composition shingles
Number of Visible Layers - One
Roof surface Materials Conditions - Normal aging with no defects viewed
Flashings - No defects viewed
Attic vents - Ridge
Number of Vents - Four
Vents Condition - No defects viewed
Gutters & Downspouts - No defects viewed

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“no reportable conditions were observed”.
Never predict the future.
“early in the service life” is good.
even “pass” is better than getting wordy. It passed your inspection, is not a promise for the future.

These discussions are always so funny because nothing matters at all until it’s being read at a deposition :slight_smile: :slight_smile: OP, read and take in all the comments and shape your report how you see fit.


I would add, if the report is read at all.

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On the description page where I select type of roof finish is selected, ex. “Asphalt”, I will include images of the roof. Then when I get to recommendations, I select “No recommendations at this time” I will add the text "No defects noted at the time of the inspection. Your options will vary based on the software you are using, but this should serve as a guideline.

Since I don’t use any of the commercial software reports, you can take this FWIW. I like the old ITT phrase, “Appears Serviceable”. I still think that is a great term and covers the two important aspects of what we do. A visual inspection (Appears) and summarizes our conclusion (Serviceable).

I usually throw in a photo of something that the client may not be able to easily see for him/herself. The roof, attic and crawlspace, whether there are defects or not.