How do you report?

I did an inspection on Friday and the house was inspected by a collegue in the area before me and his report was on the counter when we arrived.

After my inspection I went and looked at it to see how we compare.

I noticed that we word our reports much different.


“Improperly installed flashing” I saw this and went back on the roof and saw nothing wrong with the vent pipe flashing and neither did the roofer who was there two days before me. No leaks were present or reported on.

I was just wondering is this how most write problems up? I would have stated something to the effect that the pipe flashing has an exposed seam which could allow for water intrusion have this area evalauted by a licensed tradesman and take corrective actions on findings.

I would have elborated on WHY it was a defect and WHY it should be repaired. I am I wrong?

Some times I elaborate, some times I explain with pictures, some times I point them to a web page. It depends on the specific defect.

In the case you sited I would either write it up as you did or do what your colleague did with the addition of a captioned picture.

If figure if I can say it’s improper, I ought to be able to tell the person paying me for my opinion why I think so.

Hi Russ,

That method of reporting has worked well for me…

I don’t ever receive calls from past clients regarding the report…

Couldn’t imagine doing things any differently either…

I try to give specific areas and directions when calling out a defect. To just state “Improperly installed flashing” is too vague. I would have to imagine that not all of the flashing on the entire home is improper, but there was some that was discovered. Where?? I also back up these claims with photos with all of the fancy red circles and arrows.

I always include a picture of the defect and a reason why I think it is a defect.

Improper installation if you have the knowledge.

Location of were the failure is.

Picture with arrow or circle with proper identification.

Explanation as to why there can be a problem.

A way to fix the problem if needed.:smiley:

There’s an inspector around here who only writes 2 words in his reports. Serviceable or not serviceable

i cAn’t make thiS sHIt up.

How did you know it was the pipe flashing? Sounds like you are not giving us the full report.

Maybe the homeowner made the repair just after the other guys inspection.

I was inspecting a home once and the only one who was at the inspection was the homeowner and he made every repair I found and did a really great job. He would fly down to home depot and fly right back. Then he would make the repairs needed. I even came back later that day when he was done and did the re-inspection of what he did not get done with while I was there. I figured I may have saved time not writing up the defects by just going back.

I would not have let him know what the defects were, or was he your client?

There was a picture in the report of the pipe flashing. No arrows, no lines, no nothing just the pipe flashing and in the picture it looked acceptable.

Sorry for not elaborating.

Thanks all. This is a good guy and actually I was surprised to see the lack of elaborating. Just didn’t know if other go into detail or not.

Thanks for the responses.

Generally the seller is not present. However “this time” he was and he was involved in the transaction.

Not my business but if your contract does not state you can freely discuss your findings with all parties involved then you are probably wasting allot of your valuable time sneaking around, obtaining permission to discuss the report, losing business downhill, and coming off as a jerk.

Once the client signs my contract that states I have the right to discuss the report with the homeowner then there is no problem. In fact it is appreciated throughout the sell.


I would do what you do except this part.

YOU know what the problem is. You know what needs to be fixed.
You do not need to “invite” another persons “opinion” into the equation.

Absolutely Not!

Putting in the “Why” reinforces the need for the repair (otherwise it may not get done).
It helps the client understand better.

I report on many small and unseen issues that if left alone to do their thing will cause huge damage with more time. If they can’t see it, another contractor also may not and it won’t get fixed. Contractors will fight about it. Agents will sweep it under the rug…

As I said in another thread, some HI’s blast through the report writing process with check box comments (specifically includes report software). If you want frustrated Clients, contractors and Agents calling all the time, trying to understand your writing, go for it. You should be charging for the time to prepare the report. A $199 Inspection does not cover it…

Before anyone goes out to study Mold, Radon, Thermal Imaging, or the Wind Thingey, try spending some time on your report.

When the client calls for a price, ask them if they want a detailed report or a check list.
Check List = $199
Detailed Report = $364

I have yet to find a client that wants an incomplete un-detailed report.
They will reply; “That’s why I’m calling You, I want a good report. I hear you are very thorough.”

The amount of money you make in an inspection is proportional to the quality of service you provide. Quit fighting with low ball inspectors. Make a better product and make it known state wide.

Side note: I had a wild hair a few years ago when gas prices went up. I work 50 miles away exclusively in the most affluent county in the State. I have low ballers infesting my local service area. I advertised locally one of Russel Ray’s “fly buy” inspections for house shoppers for $99 per inspection (expecting to look at more than one house to help the buyer decide).

I got slammed for it!
Not by the local inspectors, but by Realtors and Buyers!
Can you believe that?
Beyond popular belief, cheaper is not always considered the best deal out there.

Now the plot thickens.

I just found out the Home Inspection sub-contracted the roof inspection. But the roof inspector found the defects and then REPAIRED what they found. Is this in direct violation of the COE? The contract holder is the home inspection company and NOT the roof inspector. So did the Home Inspection company violate the COE? Whats you take on the situation?

David I understand you point of view. The reason I tell the licensed tradesman to further evalaute is if I tell them EXACTLY what to do and it does not fix it for some unforeseen reason. Then who is liable? They did what I told them. I would rather them determine the repair process needed and then assume the liability.

Just different way of doing things…

Isn’t being a Conspector all the rage in Florida? :smiley: