I became an InterNACHI member in February and just received my New Jersey inspection license in the mail last week (after waiting four grueling months upon submitting my application). My field background is in masonry, so admittedly my experience has been limited to the great outdoors with few interactions with other tradesmen aside from excavators and framing contractors once foundations have been completed. Regardless, I’ve been an avid student of the home inspection industry and follow the board on a daily basis to pick up on new things that I may see on the field and get a feel for the personalities of the people on here.
*** Feel free to skip past this software experience story ***
Quick side story about my experience just as the New Jersey Advisory Board approved my license-- I looked around for report writing software toward the end of my Inspection course and decided on PalmTech after much deliberation. I loaded hundreds of verbiage comments into my template. It was okay until I started filling out my Mentorship inspections. The software (Version 9) glitched like crazy as soon as I had about three sections filled out (slow scrolling, random freezing, randomly closing without saving my progress). After doing a bunch of practice reports I couldn’t take the glitchiness of PalmTech Version 9 and I had to drop it. While searching for a replacement, I realized that they’d just launched the web-based “PalmTech Complete.”
They were able to move my template to the new version. I think it’s actually really nice but I had to go through every comment I had and add a title to each one since the old method of labeling comments is different on Palmtech Complete than Version 9 and it didn’t translate well at all.
Anyway, so after three days nonstop of adjusting my template (I have some time as I’m nearing the end of my paternity leave to care for my firstborn daughter), the server completely erased the template draft I was working on based on my main template. After the experience I had with PalmTech, including all your comments about Porch and ISN, I finally made the switch to Spectora and it is excellent in every way. I planned on moving to Spectora eventually but the price threw me off since I am just starting my company.
Sorry for the long-winded story there but some of you may be happy to know another Inspector has thrown PalmTech into the trash.
*** End of software rant ***
Now that that’s out of the way, I have two questions about flashing details that I see often (my current job brings me to close to a thousand houses a year, so I have a lot of opportunities to check stuff out in all kinds of communities).
1.) I understand the installation of windows with flashing tape and housewrap, but rarely do I find drip caps installed over windows. Do you write this up as a deficiency every time (aside from when the height between the window and the eaves is 25% of the overhang), or do I just accept that contractors trust the flashing tape/housewrap/caulking to appropriately protect against moisture intrusion?
2.) Similarly, I find that more often than not I don’t find metal flashing at the bottom of ledger boards. Is tar paper acceptable, or should we be writing up missing metal flashing at the bottom?
Thanks, had to find a way to break the ice with the forum and these two questions have been eating at me.