"Illinois Standards of Practice & Legal Issues for Home Inspectors" online course

My inspection agreement;

Many times my client has not been able to be in attendance on the day of the inspection and I have received permission for the buyers agent to sign the agreement in their stead. Never had a comfortable feeling with this procedure as I was not able to review the contract provisions with my client.

This year I am changing my procedures and providing my prospective client with my pre-inspection agreement immediately after setting the inspection date and time. Send an electronic copy of the agreement in a fillable document format and gaining an electronic signature.

Ceramic Tile and Stone Inspection: ceramic tile and stone are easy to clean and maintain , this is what so many people like about them.Made primarily from clay and other organic, as well as inorganic, materials. Here are some things to look for when inspecting,uneven tiles,cracks, loose tiles and splitting, and cracked or discolored grout lines.To keep stone looking good use an impregnating sealant.stonefloor.jpg

I read “Firestops” for my research article.

Firestops prevent the spread of fire through unprotected openings in rated firewalls. Improper or missing firestops can lead to the spread of a fire that should otherwise be prevented. Inspectors should call out any instance of missing fire stop material.

For “Research Exercise” part of the course I studied article “Inspecting a Deck, Illustrated” by Nick Gromicko.

Deck failure is major safety hazard causing injuries. Decks should be inspected to check for its stability and its overall safety.Among the others things, Deck load check, footings and posts, Girders and beams , ledger connection, cracks,connectors and fasteners, corrosion of connectors and fasteners, and post and rails are the very important components to inspect.

I used the following image from the image library:

This is an image of a two hour fire rated ceiling. There if fire rated roofing material over wood fiber insulation board. There is a 1/2 inch steel roof deck.It has steel joists. Then the interior has 3/4 inch gypsum plaster on metal lath. IT is important that all materials on the outside and inside of a home are fire rated so fire cannot take over the entire house as easily.

The article I read for the research assignment was titled “Writing Report Narratives”. Since I haven’t written a report yet I felt like it was good to start with the basics. This is an excellent article that talks about what might be important to include in a report and how to convey it properly to a homeowner - clear concise easy to understand language would appear to be best. Most importantly though is the issue of passing on liability to the buyer or existing homeowner. If the observations are appropriate and the ramifications can result in serious consequences then the gravity of the matter must be conveyed and a description of the corrective action required must be included in the report. It is important to neither overstate or understate a matter so good comprehension of what should be corrected or is not serious must be considered.

Essay on Attic Pull-Down Ladders:

Attic pull down ladders do have some common defects. The main defects include in the field modifications to structural members during the install of the pull down ladders. Some other defects include being improperly fastened and fastened with an insufficient amount of screws.

Carpeted Bathrooms

Although there are some comforts involved with having carpeted bathrooms, it seems as if the dangers of having carpeting in the bathroom outweigh the benefits. Splashing from the shower, sinks, moisture in the air…small leaks in the toilet – all will contribute to the possibility of developing into undetected mold and/or bacteria. Obviously, any steps to avoid the buildup of moisture in a bathroom or other dwelling would be prudent to the homeowner.

I studied the article; https://www.nachi.org/respa-compliant-inspector-gift-certificate.htm.

Knowing that gifts can easily become unethical, reading this article helped me understand the standard for gift giving. Knowing that offering a gift that does not cost me anything eliminates my concern of running afoul of any pay-to-play situations.

Pull Down Ladders
The article stressed the importance of proper installation. Properly framing the opening with proper double headers, and not cutting any engineered trusses is critical along with proper fasteners and quantity of same. Also important is that the panel is fire rated and insulated.
For child safety, if the unit has a cord hanging down from the unit, it should be removed or shortened so a child cannot reach, even standing on a chair. Installing an eyebolt works well using a pole with a hook to grab the eyebolt to pull the ladder down. Providing a locking or latching mechanism would be best.

I read the Roofing and the residential fire sprinklers

While I have worked with a lot of roofing contractors I have never had one do anything for me personally. So I was interested to know how much care you take with the contract. I had a few bad experiences with roofers at work doing a poor job but we always caulked it up to a loss. Was defiantly interested to learn of ways to protect yourself.

For the fire sprinklers, we just moved into a new house built in 2003 and it had sprinkler in the laundry room. I was surprised by this having only seen them in commercial or large apartments. I am amazed to learn adding sprinklers would only cost 1%-1.5% of the house total. That seems totally worth it for that kind of peace of mind

Article: A Garage Inspection

In this article I learned to look out for improper altercations to truss and to make sure that trusses aren’t load bearing on interior walls garage. Also don’t secure a truss through drywall.

I’ve read the article on marketing to real estate agents in way that impacts them and their business. In the state of Illinois its unethical to work with real estate agents in a way that will put a client in an unfair position. Home inspectors do need a relationships with real estate agents in order to grow as a business. The marketing strategy used in the article is one that displays an inspectors knowledge and at the same time it teaches the agents about a method of home contraction that they can use with their clients.

I chose an article about inspecting bath exhaust fans because that is a hot issue in my state. The article recommended that the first 3 feet of smooth rigid duct coming out the of the fan be straight prior to making large radius bends as needed. A lot of spaces are hard to meet this requirement without some forethought. I also read about the usefulness of building an insulated box out of rigid insulation to cover the fan and sealing it from the air space around it to limit the heat and moist air movement in to the attic space from the vented room.

The FHA was created during the great depression to help lending institutions ease up on their requirements for loaning money for homes by providing sufficient insurance to cover loans in case of default.
Some benefits include low down payments, low closing costs, easier time qualifying for a loan, no prepayment penalty, assumable loans, possible leniency.
Some disadvantages are lower loan amounts, limited options, upfront mortgage insurance premium.
You should always weigh out all your financial options when buying a home.

For the research assignment portion of this course, I read the article titled “Closing Costs” located in the Library of Inspection Articles. In this article, Nick Gromicko outlines and explains several possible charges that buyer may be required to pay upon the closing of a home purchase. Some of these costs include inspection fees, prepaid interest, title fees, survey fees, and appraisal fees to name a few. Some options for reducing these fees are for buyers to roll the fees into the mortgage to pay them over time along with the principal and interest, or to possibly negotiate with the sellers for them to incur a portion of the costs at closing.

This photo was used in another course; however, I will use it in this course as well as this course covers the legal requirements for inspections in my prospective state, Indiana. This photo shows significant damage to the eaves. Per Indiana Statutes, I would be legally bound to disclose this in my written report to my client.

For completion of this course, I read an article titled, “How Agents Can Limit Their Liability with Regard to Home Inspections”
by Joe Ferry, Esq., and Nick Gromicko, InterNACHI Founder. My full-time occupation is one that has a high propensity for civil suit. As a prospective home inspector, I have frequently found myself concerned about liability once licensed, and working. This article provided me with a better understanding of how suits can be mitigated should they occur.

while inspecting a home.I found the service panel with exposed wires leading into box. looks like someone was adding wires. need to add brace for wires. also close up the exposed wires. big safety item. that needs imediate attention quickly

I have seen inspectors that doesnt seem to present a professional look. I believe that a person should demonstrate a professional look to the public. A uniform with company logo should be seen. First impressions are what can make or break you!