Has this ever happened to you?

Today on a home inspection, I was up in the attic and lost my balance while stepping onto a floor joist. I slipped and cracked the drywall and stucco on the bedroom ceiling. Ahhh… Sh…t.

Has anyone out there ever have a similar experience? This was the first time that I ever damaged any property I was inspecting. I would like to hear your story.

I told the home owner and the buyer that I would get it repaired. The worst thing is that it was the first time that the buyers agent used me (she was from out of town). Talk about embarrassing…:oops:


Sorry to hear about your accident. If the house was in Toronto I would repair it for you at no cost.

I allways inspect from the attic hatch. I know some of the guys will disagree with me.

Now this, guys and gals, is what the Nachi Family is all about…helping each other !!!

You’re Awsome !!!

18 + years inspecting attics and never a mishap (knock on wood)…however 15 years ago I was with a partner in the attic and right before my eyes… POOF he was gone…slipped between the joists into the master bedroom…he didnt get hurt other than some scrapes and bruises…

Could of used on that one Mario.

Only once. Up in the garage attic getting some pictures of a couple trusses that had been cut and homeowner repaired. It was nice. He had plywood all the way down to the end. Crawled all the way back and when I turned around, the tip of my boot came off the plywood and hit the sheetrock at a weak corner. Down dropped one whole side of the rock. Luckily it was held up by the garage door opener track.

Lucky I had my cordless drill and some drywall screws in the truck from working at my kids house. The worst part was the blown in insulation that went everywhere. Had to crawl back up and pull the insulation back from the edges and then it was time to re-attach. Minor problem…it had probably happened before. There was hardly a clean edge anywhere. They were crumbled and had never been taped. Took an hour after the inspection and the owner kept saying…leave it alone. don’t worry about it. When I was done, it was clean, taped and mudded. Special type of mud. It was mixed with ego, embarassment and pissoffedness.

PS. The buyer was also an agent. He must have been happy with the repair, he still uses me when he can. And I got an inspection from the seller.


I’d recommend that you DON’T fix it yourself. Hire a contractor of the seller’s or seller’s realtor choice. It gets you off the hook if they are not happy with the repair.

Been there, done that.

BUT, I’ve found so many things wrong in attics that I could NOT see from the “I inspect from the attic hatch” view, that I feel it’s worth not ripping off my customers by just taking that minimialist view.


Here is the “minimalist” view;

Everything I need to know is in plain sight. There is no need to place myself in danger or in a situation where I’m looking for a contractor.:shock:

Now would you walk in here? Ripping customers off? Give me a break or better still get a grip [insert smile here]



Your partner is lucky!

Karl lives 45 min. from me and if I wasn’t so busy I would have done the repair for him (I’m a contractor and an expert in drywall) . What I’m not an expert in is those fancy stucco ceilings! BTW good luck trying to find anyone that repairs those types of ceilings .
Erby argues that one is a minimalist if the attic is not walked. I argue “Is it worth it”?

Haven’t gone through the ceiling yet, but did manage to open a hatch and a large quantity of cellulose fell out all over me and the floor. To make matters worse when I climbed up through the hatch my flashlight and belt caught the attic hatch finnished trim. Couldn’t move up or down, finally got free but not before my body weight pulled all the trim off.

Client was slightly upset and cleaned up the cellulose and said he would fix the trim.

This is why I carry a drop cloth to place under the hatch and stairs. Fold n’ Go! …not left for the homeowner…
Flashlight, moisture meter, IR therm. or camera and screwdriver will get the job done, no need for tool belt. Pockets man pockets. :wink:

Maintain 3 points of contact at all times or retreat

I’m with you Mario. The last time I was rummaging around in an attic I emerged to find a very neat row of about 20 drywall screws newly popped through the ceiling. As I have done this sort of repair for years I fixed the ceiling and painted it for the new owners. The agent and several relatives of the purchasers have used me numerous times since.

It’s not “short changing” the client. It is being prudent.

Poor Mario, How do you get out of bed in the morning, let alone drive down the street!

Life is dangerous.

Know your limitations and stay within them.

And I do keep a firm grip when I’m in the attic (three points of contact) and on life.

*“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOO HOO what a ride!” *Author unknown.

I don’t walk “every” attic or “every” roof. Just those I’m comfortable in (most of them).

Did you tell your client to ditch that hose?

I was assisting another iNACHI inspector, as a guest. I was leaning over a dry stacked wall to see if it was properly supported and I yellow-jacket flew in my face. In the process of pushing myself away, I actually pushed over the wall. I went to fix it fast, but I quickly attacked by a bunch of yellow-jackets. So fixing it was out.

I was embarrassed by what I did to the wall, and the sight of running around in circles screaming like a little-girl. The clients must have had a story to tell their friends when they got home. :wink:


Would you find this from a hatch view.

It’s at the far end of the attic sideways to the hatch. In other words way to the left of the hatch.


Hey guy’s
Do only what you are comfortable with as you both made points.

"Would you have found this from a hatch view.
It’s at the far end of the attic sideways to the hatch. In other words way to the left of the hatch."

Probably. I inspect the lower edge of the roof by lifting the edges of shingles, pounding on the roof in this area and looking for signs of subsidence. One thing is for sure; I wouldn’t have fallen through the ceiling, or popped any screws out while doing it!! :mrgreen:

I don’t tell my clients to buy or not to buy. I provide the report and they make up their own minds!

Nice talking to you Erby!!:smiley:

There are subtle ways to inform your client that they should NOTwaive the home inspection clause in the purchase agreement.

  1. So do you have the wherewithal to undertake the repairs?
  2. Gee these repairs are starting to add up, have you given yourself a budget?
  3. Are you trying to make a silk purse?
  4. How handy are you?
  5. Am I scaring you?
  6. I can see you are deep in thought; are you concerned about what I am telling you and pointing out to you?
  7. Would you like me to stop the inspection?


You are a big guy 6’ 3" maybe more? I can’t picture you in the attic:p

I’m 6’ 220 lbs if I fell through the ceiling I would also cause a lot of damage both to me and the house! I don’t need this BS for what $500. No thanks.

I know and have seen some large framed inspectors, and I know there is no way they will fit in a small hatch let alone a standard size. How do they disclaim their inability or inaccessibility due to weight/build?