Ideas needed on how to expose builder to the media

I recently uncovered a bad business practice with a builder and verified it as necessary. In general, it involves them telling home buyers and home inspectors that workers comp is required even for one-man companies.

When questioned about this, they said their insurance company requires it.
I spent a lot of time on the phone with govt. officials to track down their insurance company, which replied, “no, we would never require something like that because it would benefit no one.”

I am waiting to see how they react to the phone calls they will receive from their insurance company and a home buyer monday concerning this.

I am thinking they might take it personal and refuse to cooperate so my plan is to expose this to the media and the general public as I feel obligated to do.

Any ideas on how to do this for maximum effect?

I really don’t care if it puts them out of business, it probably will only cost them a few dozen sales but that is a big hit and exactly what they deserve.

Should I warn them beforehand or would that be considered a threat?
I’m thinking business type threats are legal unlike physical harm type threats, right?

Expose what? They don’t want you on their property?


IMO, let the insurance co. handle their end and let the buyer handle it however they want.

I’d keep my name and reputation away from it. You’ve done your part in letting the insurance co. know about it and you’ve also explained to the buyers that what they are doing is not a best business practice.

I’d walk away from it clean right now, instead of getting pulled into some other suit or altercation later on.

Have the buyers take it to the media, instead of you. It would have more of an impact to the general public if the discovery came from another consumer.

Since you went to all the trouble to find this info through the gov’t you may as well let this company know before throwing them under the bus. It is possible they didn’t realize it was unnecassary to charge for this. How would you feel if you were accidentally charging an unnecassary fee and some yahoo blurted it out to the media before giving you a chance to address it? I doubt you’d be to happy. Give them the same consideration.

This is just my opinion based on the facts presented.


Expose the fact that they lied.

And expose the fact that some homebuyers were not allowed to use their first choice inspector and possibly get frustrated trying to find one and end up not getting the house inspected.

They own the property and can set any rules that they want to. Down here some of them will not let you on site unless you have a one million dollar properlty damage policy on your car. You can still do the inspection the day of or after the closing. Your client has 30 days to still file any complaints and now you can bring your equipment with you. Down here, during a walk throuth, we are only allowed to bring an electrical tester with us. We cannot remove the electrical panel cover, walk the roof, or remove the attic hatch

This has nothing to do with any “charge” or any cost’s.

Where in the world did you come up with that I wonder… :slight_smile:

I agree that they can set rules but lying about them is another issue.

If they set too many rules, it becomes obvious as to their intentions and the public needs to know that the builder is afraid of having his product inspected.

Builders who don’t like home inspectors are ashamed of their product.
In the case where some inspectors write up issues that are normal, it should be easy for a good builder to explain why it is normal. The ones who lie and say “it meets code” when it does not, should have their license revoked.

The few inspection issue’s I have had with builders ended up being caused by the local code inspectors allowing them to do it wrong for years therefore the builder was fooled into thinking he was doing it right. I have found builders with 25 years experience that did not understand basic stair and handrail codes, deck construction and foundation strapping.

Most likely it is their Business Attorney, not their underwriter, that has suggested that they require Workers Compensation Insurance.

They can not require workmans comp for a one man shop. Stoke the fires at the Govt level.

The Builder owns the Property… The Builder owns the Home…

The Builder can require anything he wants from Contractors performing work on his premises.

I think the “media” would laugh in your face. What you have found out, while regrettable, hardly rises to the level of a “scandal”.

Not here in AZ they can’t. And I do not believe builders can require anything they want either, unless they are in China perhaps.

The only way to beat them at their game is… get to the customer before they sign the contract, then have them enter in the contract, all inspections to be performed by an inspector of their choice, and a statement claiming they will not close until all inspections and repairs are completed.

Good luck with that on 1st time home buyers. Most are excited about their new home, don’t want to PO the builder, and will back off with any resistance by the builder…

As previously posted, they actually told me it was their insurance company so they were found to be lying.

It does not make any difference if I have WC or not, it won’t pay if I get hurt.
Is called a ghost policy where the insurance company has zero risk.

Ghost policies are BS, and anyone who has ever paid for one got ripped off. The law prohibits insurance companies from collecting premiums on anything where they have zero risk. Refunds for ghost policies are occuring for those who purchased them and smart enough to know how to get the refund.

Bruce…there’s the answer to your question. You need to get Brent Adams to draft a ‘cease & desist’ statement to the builder’s legal counsel. It may cost you something to get him to do that but you would be forever thanked by all SC inspectors.

I’m not one of the builders contractors anymore than a realtor and they are not required to have WC.

I guess these types of builders will end up shooting themselves in the foot.
Imagine most new home inspections being done after closing where everything goes down as warranty repairs. Their chances for builder of the year awards will evaporate and buyers will be displeased with having workers in their new occupied home.

Remember when Lexus cars came out and were ranked the highest in customer satisfaction? You don’t think it was because the cars had few problems do you?? Nope, they had just as many problems as all cars. The smart move by the Lexus dealers was to do some serious customer a$$ kissing so the customers would answer surveys etc. favorably.

See, we have (still) a high volume of new homes being built in this area by many different builders so I get to see the big picture and compare each one’s technique and mannerism as related to what I do (which is way more than the minimum SOP on new homes) and evaluate their response in terms of actions (repairs). The majority of builders like to get a good inspector because it makes their life easier later. I have saved a few from major disaster after doing framing inspections and they were very glad I did, somewhat embarrassed but overall very happy to have the problems discovered before it became a $50,000 problem.


Builders don’t like us because alot of us think we are code inspectors. Unless we are ICC certified we have no business pointing out code violations. Even then you should still have a license within that trade to declare a code violation. It clearly states in our SOP that we are not there to verify code or regulations. Unless your ICC certified I wouldn’t mess with a builder in that arena. They will win everytime. Remember we are generalist inspectors nothing more. Dig to deep your going to get burned. If I feel I see a code violation I explain what I see and if it needs further evaluation I tell my client it’s in their best interest to have it looked at by a licensed tech. I never say it’s required. That way the ball is in their court and they can bounce it however they want. I never refer to any referrences specially stating what the code should be. That’s up to the specialist with a license not me. As for workman’s comp. Honestly, I don’t know what your state law dictates. Personally every one here is right IMO. The builder owns the land and the house. No one can dictate that they must let a contractor onto their land without insurance. Why they told you the insurance company requires it I have no idea. Honestly, I think the builder is requiring it so it limits his or her risk if you happen to fall of the roof or anything else. Honestly I don’t think anyone is going to help you on this for the simple fact I don’t think they done anything illegal except for lie to you and their client which is stupid and makes for bad business.


Above statements in blue are mine.