I just hate the software

I’m a new inspector. I’m working, the phone is ringing, and I like doing inspections. Here’s my problem: I cannot find a reporting software that I enjoy. I tried several while I was in training, and I ended up going with ITB out of the gate but I honestly just hate them all.

Is anyone doing it the old way, but with digital tech? I mean, taking pics with their phone, or a camera; but using a checklist (either on paper or digitally) and just creating a report more or less on the spot?

Why do you feel a need to do on site report generation?




Not many I would venture to guess for a very good reason. I’d rather finish my report in the quite of my office (with my prog rock music going in the background) than spend an extra 45 minutes on site whether with or without the client buzzing about.
Check out EZ Home Inspection reports. Cheaper and simple.
Many years ago, in the infancy of digital reports, I didn’t care much for any of the digital reports out there, so I spent a hundred or so hours creating my own combo checklist/narrative report that I still use. If I was younger with a lot of inspection years ahead of me, I’d probably use Spectora or check out IRC (I recently was told that a large company has been using Inspection Report Creator for years and like it a lot).

I used to listen to progressive rock, now they call it classic rock. :grinning:

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Some active good prog rock bands are Riverside, Tool, and Opeth. But I love the “classic” ones, like Rush, Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Pluto, Anathema, Cressida, Eloy, Jefferson Airplane, Camel, Illuvatar, The Cure, and of course, The Who, Led Zep, etc.


I Would suggest you bite the bullet and get in bed with your software. It will make or break you. I chose Homegauge, and many have other preferences…However the more you spend to tweak the template you opt to use, it will make your life better in the long run and you will do better reports in the long run. I am nearly at 1800 inspections done, and still fine tune my template almost every report that is done. I guess you will have to see how much you care about making a good report and how it balances out for you.
On site reports in my eyes distract you from doing a good report.
If you were a paying client, would you want a report that was worked on more than looking at issues, or would you want a report that was done after the inspector worked the house and was not distracted by manipulating his/her phone? I have tried them both, and it just does not compare. Practice them both on your own home and you will see.


I’ve tried several different cloud based products. They claim to be the best. I always turn back to Report Form Pro Nitro. You can find information at https://homeinspectionform.com
Clients and agents always compliment my reports. Reports are easy to understand and flow properly from the top to bottom outside to inside.
My reports are always 95% complete before I leave property making it easy to review it with the client.
One time fee of around $400. You produce a pdf report. I have it installed on all of my devices (iPads - 5 and iPhones - 2).
Their support is excellent if you have a problem - only had to call them 2 time in 7 years.


Desktop software and phone apps are two different things. You have to decide how you want to work and the order of operations.

Most desktop software follows a fairly consistent layout. Toolbar at the top, center work section and right and left panes for needed action panels (more tools). Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Home Gauge, and a multitude of others are set up this way. If you were going to create your own report you would still be limited to this work structure. The hardest part of using any of the platforms I mentioned (Word, Acrobat) is adding pictures.

Best to just learn your software inside and outside.

Phone apps will help you miss things.

The question was directed at the OP of the thread.

Been using a MS Word based template for 24+ years and have no plans to move away from it. Report writing time averages 30-45 mins and I can do it on my laptop on the kitchen counter or back at home (while listening to classic rock :slight_smile: )

I suppose if I’d started with one of these new slick, report on your phone systems I’d be more into it but I just don’t like the idea of stopping constantly to input crap into my phone. I have a routine and can pull my camera out, snap a pic and move on in seconds. Stopping to play around on my phone would break my routine and is just not my ideal way to inspect.

I recently got to look over a Spectora report and was horrified. What a busy mess of information. Tiles, clickable boxes, tabs… damn. Talk about over-complicating things. I didn’t know where to start or finish and had no confidence I had received all the information. There’s a reason books are written the way they are. Just give me a report… as in one that reads top to bottom, left to right. All these tech geeks that never leave their offices… well, never leave their offices. KISS.


Tried one software package when I first started 24 years ago. Grant it they were in their infancy but the concepts have not changed. They basically tie you into their method of report writing with little flexibility for my own style. Additionally in Texas we have a promulgated form we are required to use and can be fined for even a sentence out of place or missing. None of them really keep up with the form as they should.

Moved over to MS Office first and then quickly changed to OpenOffice (Now Libre Office) as it is just as functional and it’s FREE! If I want to take the time I can just about emulate any other software package out there. There was actually an Inspctor who wrote a software package based around MS Office and sold it for awhile.

Agree 100% especially with the bold sentence.

Some, if not most, of these packages are a convoluted mess that takes way to much time to not only learn how to use their functions but also how to set them up just to do what you want to do in somewhat of your own style but not fully (see above). If there is a glitch in the software you can easily be down for awhile trying to get it straightened out. As for backing up all the configuration I expect it is available but not to the granularity and flexibility of MS Office or Libre Office. I have two laptops fully configured with all of my important report info/configurations easily backed up and portable. If one fails I can move to the other in less than 10 minutes and be pounding on a report, even if it fails in the middle of the report writing.

The concept of “KISS” seems to be lost these days on the glitz and glamor of saying “Hey I am high tech in my inspection business!”.


:slight_smile: :slight_smile: 20+ years ago I was in a CE class at a national conference and the presenter claimed (and from what I’ve seen, I agree) that in consumers’ eyes, all HIs are the same. No one thinks of us until they need an inspection and never again until they need another. As a group, we’re all trying to change that and stand out from our competition, and confusing reports are just a bi-product of that. I regularly get great feedback on my report. Consumers need information. Quick, clear, easy to understand information. They don’t need slick clickable boxes and tiles. Speeding up writing time? I’m all for that but I think far too many inspectors are fooled into thinking some new-age report system will make or break their business. Last I checked, reports from doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers still come as a (boring) regular old PDF that you just scroll through and read… and quickly/easily get all the information you need.


If someone don’t know how to drive, it don’t matter what brand of car you put em in. :wink:

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Wait until those new AI inspector glasses hit the market. You haven’t see nothing yet. (pun intended).


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Any idea how his meeting with Cuban, Barbara, Lor, Robert & Mr. Wonderful went?

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Maybe an upcoming episode. :man_shrugging:

Exactly. I was the first to respond to that guy and I didn’t even warrant a response. Bah humbug. Must be shitty tech that they don’t want an actual programmer to experience.

My former company sucked me back into some meetings(for pay, mind you) and they still don’t have anyone who can even understand the simple concepts of my programs, much less the more complex features. Ah well, easy money I suppose. Write a bit of code, do some hand waving and like magic, my bank account grows $150/hr.

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Who here didn’t send off their hard earned paper route money for one of these bad boys?


And we all wanted them for the exact same reason.

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