Home inspection report +ADU

I have a property that I’m inspecting tomorrow morning that has an ADU which will be my first…and yes, I’m charging extra for it. The largest accessory unit that I’ve inspected so far is a detached garage and my Spectora template has this covered in my main template but it doesn’t cover components such as additional plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc., otherwise, I would just modify it to work in this situation.

In my specific case, the easiest solution would be to duplicate my main template and use it to perform the ADU inspection to keep the two structures completely separate, although, it will generate two separate reports.

I searched the archives but couldn’t find much 411 on typical solutions from y’all. How do you normally have your Spectora software setup to handle this?

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If the client has not specifically requested separate reports, I just use a location tag differentiate between units.

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I chose this route on this inspection, especially since this is a seller pre-listing. Thanks for the input! A separate report would not be ideal considering that my reports are included in the seller disclosure package. Two reports would add a lot of extra fluff that is not necessary. And, in the case of this ADU portion of the inspection, there were only a handful of defects that needed to be noted which is easily handled with location tags.

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That’s true.
But I typically do separate reports. I just delete all the additional info from it, leaving just the relevant info.
(Unit number, and then the systems)
It’s pretty quick to just de- select all the additional info

I can definitely see the benefit of a separate report. Thanks for mentioning that! I’ll determine if that is a better route after this inspection.

Being that this is my first true ancillary ADU report, I’ll determine, after reviewing the end product, if this is in fact the best “client facing” way to go. Again, since I mostly perform pre-listing inspections, I will also check-in with the realtors that use me on pre-listing inspections to get their feedback. With that being said, I understand that the realtor is not my client but I feel that their feedback is important to note and use as a facet of the overall client experience.

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I base the second report vs. single report completely on what’s easier for me. And, more to the point, what’s easier for me to accurately convey the info to the client so my choice is made with them in mind. It often comes down to age. House and ADU built at the same time? A single report is usually easiest and most identifiers are the same. 1928 remodeled house w/2007 ADU? Too much time clarifying everything so I’ll likely do two reports. I’ll also factor in how many defect there are write up with each and how many times I have to clarify which structure something is in. I guess my overall point is that it’s a “gametime decision” largely based on what I find once I arrive.


I also use spectora. The promulgated form in Texas has a section for “optional-outbuildings”, but I think I still encounter the same problem you’re describing.

When the ADU is a particularly complex structure with electric, hvac, plumbing, kitchen appliances, etc, I put any deficiencies regarding the building in the main body of the report and include the following informational comment in the outbuilding section:

“Due to the complexity of the outbuilding, comments regarding deficiencies observed there are located in the main body of the report. Comments regarding the outbuilding will be labeled as such. Informational comments can be found below”

Then I copy all of the informational items that could possibly exist in an ADU to the outbuilding section.

So, let me get this straight, as I’m not sure I am understanding you all since you are jumping around with this-n-that with Spectora…

Are you all saying that you are only allowed ONE template for Spectora, and that you CANNOT have a library of multiple templates to choose from, where you would store them for future use until needed?

You can have as many as you want. Most people only need one though. Or possibly two if you maybe want to have a different one for commercial vs residential.


I have several… (Standard, New construction, 11th month, pre-drywall, etc)


I could see a different one for pre-drywall I suppose. What’s the difference between your standard, new construction, and 11th-month warranty templates?

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The standard and the new construction are almost identical, its just that I have alot of comments for cosmetic stuff in the new construction that I dont for normal. (paint overspray, stucco flaws, and comments that refer to the builder fixing this, or that.) That way I dont have to sift through those comments on the standard one. (and different comments regarding old systems, dont apply to new construction)

But actually, I dont have a different one for 11th month, I just keep thinking I should, haha

Pre-drywall obviously is just a systems report, while my standard and new are room by room.


Reason I questioned this is because everyone posting seems to be leaning towards this ‘Location Tag’ method for ADU’s.

IMO, a Professional Inspector should be prepared with three different templates to cover the different TYPES of ADU’s, (instead of forcing an inferior option to work where it can’t or shouldn’t)…

  1. Suite, such as a Hotel room with a Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchenette
  2. Apartment, such as a dedicated basement with it’s own access/entry door, full kitchen, etc.
  3. Detached, Cottage type structure, basically a full, self-contained, second residence with same address on the same lot
  4. Detached, Same as #3 but with different address

So… please explain how you would easily use ‘location tags’ with #2 and #3, and maintain the clearity that is necessary for a profession report?

Note: IMO, #4 should have it’s own seperate report, and possibly other paperwork depending on overall situation

Interesting, but I can understand your viewpoint, as you are relatively new to Commercial. As an FYI, I have four Commercial and two Residential templates ready to load in my primary software at a moments notice, with many more optional available if/when I may need them. Also note: I use three different software/programs as there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all”, so each has it’s own library of available templates.

ALWAYS be prepared. There is nothing worse than f*cking around with a template the night before the inspection, or as you mobile guys seem to like… “on-the-fly” while you inspect!

That’s just crazy stuff right there!!

Location tags aren’t really some mysterious thing. All it is is a tool that allows you to easily save location names and apply them to your narratives and/or pictures. I have tons of location tags and use them for more than just locations actually. Location tags are the name of the tool, but it basically applies any wording you would like.

So if you have a basement apartment, you can use a “Basement Apartment” location tag and apply it to the picture of the defect. That tells the client where the defect is that you are showing them a picture of.

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I understand that, but simply naming where something may be found, without there being a defined seperate location, is amateurish at best. This should not simply be treated like an extra bathroom in the basement, or an additional bedroom on the second floor, unless thats all that it is, but then it shouldn’t be referred to as an ADU.

I don’t see why not. The client knows they are buying a home with a basement apartment and a separate living unit above. So you tag the location of defects as “Upper Unit” or “Basement Unit” or whatever you want to call them. I do this for outbuildings as well. :+1:

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Theres Mutli-ADU’s, aka. Apartment buildings!

Residential- One to Four, (or Less than Five) Apartments
Commercial- Over Four, (or Five or more) Apartments

How you gonna handle that?

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I personally don’t care how you do your reports.
I’m just showing ideas/thoughts/things that many don’t think about, or take into consideration.
It’s your business and reputation at stake. Do with it what you will.

If you and your client decide all units will be in one report, then you tag the defects by unit #. You could use “Unit 1,” Unit 2" etc,. Or you could use whatever else makes sense. The purpose is just to tell the client where the deficiency is.

If you and your client decide a separate report will be done for each unit, then you simply create multiple separate reports. That’s not a big deal and could be desirable as well if that works better for the client.

You could also duplicate sections within one report and label the sections per unit. For instance “Unit 1 Electrical,” Unit 2 Electrical," etc. You’ve got different options. Just depends which one fits the situation best!