Asked to do a construction inspection

I need some words of wisdom. I have a client (realtor) whom I’ve inspected for on multiple occasions that has asked me to do an inspection on a house he is planning to have built. A construction-type inspection at various points along the build. I’ve never done one of these, and while I’m crazy about the amount of experience I’ll gain, I’m also apprehensive that I won’t be able to provide the level of service that I would like, being that I don’t have a construction background. I teach courses online so I’m well familiar with continuing education and know how to do research, but, this is new territory for me. I’ve talked to my insurance company and they say I’m covered as long as it remains a visual inspection. How often do I inspect; at what intervals, how do I bill for this?

Any words of advice, knowledge, or resources would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Tony

Look this over here, it might help you along a bit.

Hey Marcel, that’s very informative. I think it provides a good foundation to build on in regards to the inspection process. Thanks a bunch!

Construction phase inspections are much more technical than a home inspection. Study up and research what you have questions about.

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If you do not have a construction background and have never performed construction phase inspections, you should pass on this one. When the buyer decides to sue over defects in the home, you’ll likely wind up being a defendant, without a defense.

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Be safe and pass

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I agree 100% with Russell. New construction inspections are the majority of my home inspection income. If you are not familiar with all aspects of construction you may want to pass on this.

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Wow. If you’ve never done one, do not start now. I get refresher training every year to do these. I can’t imagine what it’s like going into it without knowing how to do it.

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Anthony, you might consider contacting an inspector that has done many of these phase inspections and team up with him to see what is involved.

However, I am with the others that say to pass on it being your inspection. Have the experienced inspector do the report, and responsibility and learn from him.

Typically, phase inspections are done by inspectors with much code experience and often ICC (International Code Council)certifications.

https://www.iccsafe.org

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I’m going to agree with Larry. Pass on it, and do some ride alongs until you feel comfortable with these. Like when you did your first HI ride alongs. Review the materials shared on this thread, and start hitch hiking.

You might want to consider referring these inspections to someone who already does them, preferably a colleague, and do your first ride alongs with him. Take lots of notes and pictures. Everybody wins.

Personally I don’t think that anyone should be performing new construction inspections without being first certified by the ICC, I know that this is the minimum requirement for being a county inspector here.

I think you guys might be underestimating this guy’s intelligence. He does not look like a 20 year old and might have the proper knowledge to do so with very little guidance on protocol.
You don’t need an ICC certification to inspect a new build especially when most jurisdictions require the critical inspections like plumbing, electrical, foundations, footings, be inspected by the code officer.
A little bit of knowledge and a code book for reference and know how to goggle like most people on here, you should be good to go.
If something don’t look right, chances are it is not right. From there a little research will confirm it.
It is not rocket science.

Very impressive Posts Chuck.
Do you post/blog (not sure the proper term) regularly? I would like to read them, very informative.
thanks
Matt

Thank you, Matt.

I retired last year. What you see on the site is all there is or is likely to be https://homecert.com/articles/. I’ve been trying to sell the website/intellectual content in the classified section here and had little interest. If Someone doesn’t buy it, I’ll chose one or more of my colleagues and give it to them to use. Surprisingly, InterNACHI doesn’t seem interested in having it.

Since I’ve retired, I’ve begun posting some of my typical report language in response to some posted questions. When I do, folks are welcome to adopt or adapt the language for their own use as they see fit.

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Anthony, here is the searches for CMIs and InterNACHI members that you may find in your area:

CMI member search: https://certifiedmasterinspector.org/members

InterNACHI member name/state search: https://www.nachi.org/findnachiid.htm

Hey Chuck

Appreciate the reply. Crazy why Nachi wouldnt be interested, its Gold!

I always look forward to your posts, as they are one of the handful that are truly educational. Good luck and good health with the retirement. Look forward to more of your insight down the road

Thanks

Matt

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Hey Matt
Not to be a Chuck suck-up, @cevans but I too look forward to his posts. I copy any report language that he shares, learn from it & modify it to my style. I have read all his sample reports & recommend you do the same to learn about defects you might not have know about & how to report them.
The 3 most common defects I find on pre-drywall inspections I have learned from Chuck’s posts/reports. They are:

Members can harvest from my sample reports too (you have my permission).

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Has your client already signed a contract? If the contractor used his contract read it before you take the job. Some contractors prevent anyone on the job site during normal working hours. I have seen contracts where the homeowner couldn’t be on site. Sounds harsh but anyone that interferes with his production cost him money. Homeowners are notoriously trying to bypass the formal change order process by asking the carpenters to change things in real time. Second question is the house being built to any building code standard? If so you may be exceeding your authority if your E&O provider doesn’t cover that. I would advise you and your client sit down with the building contractor and discuss each person’s role and responsibilities. And get it documented. Over the past 40 years working with construction projects, when a project gets completed on time and under budget everyone wants to know who the contractor was. If things go bad the first question is who was the inspector? If you send me your email I will send you a phase inspection agreement you can modify for your use. Good luck!
PS-Inspectors can easily be the scapegoat on a construction site if he/she observes poor workmanship or defects and says nothing. Saying nothing can be considered acceptance. If you see something that looks incorrect put the contractor on notice and take whatever time you need to verify. If you were wrong say so and move on. Of all the contractors I have worked with the most difficult one for new inspectors is the one that agrees with you but never does the work. They always have an excuse knowing new inspectors will usually give in and trust the work will be done. I find the contractor that gets in your face are easier to deal with, because you know where they stand. The golden rule in my experience is if you control the contractor’s payday you control the contractor. That’s why your client should always hold back money until the final walkthrough.

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Hey everyone,

I want to thank you all for the input and the information. Marcel is absolutely correct when he says you may be underestimating my intelligence. At 56 I’m no spring chicken and I have learned a thing or two over the years. One thing I learned is to recognize your deficiencies and shortcomings and to act accordingly. In reviewing the requirements for this type of inspection I realize the learning curve would be to steep in too short a time for me to do the job properly. I relayed this to my client who appreciated my honesty and has asked for referrals.

Huge thanks to Marcel, Chuck, and Larry for their resources and to everyone else for their thoughts and opinions. You’ve all been a tremendous help and confirmation of what I suspected when I initially posted. Once again this forum proves invaluable.

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