Inspect Express Software

I changed reporting software a little over a year ago and am now using Inspect Express Software. The program really puts out a nice report that my clients have really liked.
I used Reporthost in the past and it too is a good program, however when printing a report photos’ would contantly get cut in half and there was no real way to solve that issue as it is we based, plus it took forever to make changes as you had to wait on the server to catch up to you.

IE has a report uploading feature now to upload reports and then having the client log in to access their report anytime.

All the features they’ve added to IE in the last year or so are really nice. Unlike some states, in WI we HAVE to report the condition of everything…good or bad and IE modified their program to accomodate those with that requirement. Also added an easy way to insert photo’s in the report either in-line, word wrap or photo insert page (refer to photo 1, etc.)
The boilerplate setup is nice and you can start writing reports out of the box but it also allows you to change it any way you want. That does take a little time, but it is well worth it IMO.
They are constantly updating it to make it better and now it’s PDA compliant… (I don’t have one, but I’m thinking hard about it). It’s a nice report for those that like narrative description type formate over the check box only reports.

Anyways, just thought I’d give Mike and Rose over at IE Kudos for a great product at a pretty fair price.

P.S. They have NACHI standards of practice as well as a few state standards as well so you can follow your SOP with your report writing.

It’s actually Pocket PC based but it’s worth it Kevin. It does take some getting used to on the hand-held though. I had to heavily customize mine to get the data in a more logical format that would flow a little better.

Now when I get home, it’s just customizing and adding pictures, the data entry portion is complete. Hopefully after I get Dragon Naturally Speaking, the customizing will go quickly too.

As a caveat however, it is Microsoft Word based and I seem to be a magnet for every Word foible or glitch that has ever existed. So sometimes I spend more time fighting the strange ways Word wants to format things than I do actually writing reports!:smiley:

I never had a formatting problem with word.
I also have Dragon 8 but I don’t use it…it was too much of a pain and it always wrote the wrong words than what I was saying.

I am seriously considering a pocket PC…but I have this issue with leaving small items at my inspection and that’s a bit of money to leave in a crawlspace!:slight_smile:

With the weather here for the past few weeks being either below zero or getting socked by storms which slowed business down to a crawl I’ve had time to really customize my InspectExpress Software and the test reports really look good. Plus, I’ve had time to organize the comments for ease of finding what I need, which will reduce my writing time…
But, I want the Pocket PC to write as I go and then only have to spend 1/2 hour or so at home inserting photo’s and adding the basic home info.

I use a PPC with Inspectionwise. I bought the expensive one with a really nice screen that works well in bright sunlight, so I am trying hard not to break or lose it. I also got the specific belt holder for my model and it works great. I have developed a good habit of always returning it to the holder after entering something. I try to never lay it down or keep it out while walking around. So far it has worked well, I haven’t lost or damaged it. Although you can see wear on the unit from the constant in and out process of putting it in the holder.

One difference for me, crawlspaces are pretty rare in my normal area, my system is a little harder in those.

Haven’t left it behind yet. Although that may have to do with how much money it cost me to buy the @#$% thing! Nothing like picturing it wrapped in a few $100 Bills to remind you to keep it close! :smiley:

I’d like to see how you ordered your observations Kevin. I’ve been customizing mine forever and am always looking for new/better/different ways!

Broke down and bought the Dell Axim x51v today…should arrive next week! I’m sure it will take time to get used to inputting on the fly.

Jeff, I’m oragizing my comments to flow with the inspection. Like in Exterior Obs1 I have all my landscaping and site drainage comments, Obs2 I have my exterior surface comments, then flashing/trim comments, then ext windows/doors comments, etc.

I had a bad habit before of just adding a comment anywhere if I couldn’t locate one…bad thing about that is next time I’d have a hunt job finding it. This should make life a little simpler…the boilerplate setup was setup fairly organized when I started, but my organization afterwards sort of messed it up, so I’m getting it where I want it now.

I don’t follow the NACHI SOP. In WI we have our own SOP per licensing, so I follow that as far as my report templates are concerned. It covers the same stuff, just not in the way NACHI requires…a little more stringent here.

I am looking to get Inspect Express because the price is about all I can do since I’m just now getting ready to startup.
I do have one question thought…do most inspectors take some kind of form out to the actual inspection and then fill in everything else back at home or office? How do you guys do your inspection?
I have no laptop as of now…so I’m just wondering on how the seasoned professionals do things.



This should help you out. IE comes with these inspection checklists for field use. Just print and take with you. When you come back to the office, the form follows your IE program and then just write your report.

The great thing about any of the database manipulation programs that use a PPC is that you only have to write things once on site, if that much. The one I use allows me to use canned comments with or without customization and write completely custon comments as needed. Then when I get home everything is uploaded into a Word doc from a template.

The beauty of this type of system is that you only write things once. My report writing time went from 1 - 2 hours when I took notes by hand onsite and then wrote the report at home on the comp, to 15 - 30 minutes with my Inspectionwise PPC software. The report is basically written onsite. The time at home is mostly adding photos, cleaning up spacing and proofreading, along with the occassional long descriptive comment that I didnt want to write out on the handheld.

Regardless of what program you use, you will have to spend time developing your database. Some come with comments and some are better than others. But ultimately you have to customize it to your common inspection needs. I think it is good to do it the long note way at first to help you decide what is important and exactly what you want in the program. I have been using mine for a year now and still canstantly making changes and upgrades to my DB.

Another tip…I bought my PPC, a HP IPAQ 4000 series, from the HP refurbished website, at the reccommendation of another NACHI member. It came with a full warranty, just like a brand new one, and has worked like a charm. I don’t remember the exact amount, but I saved several hundred dollars. Usually I shy away from refurbished, but it worked well this time for this item. I imagine all of the manufacturers have the same thing.

The #1 reason I bought it was to reduce report writing time at home. Why write everything twice? Laptop was just too cumbersome to lug around on inspections…keep having to go back to the kitchen and enter data…time waster.
The next reason was that I wanted it to be a gps map locator. I can buy any GPS software like tomtom and use it on the Axim…the one I bought has bluetooth, wifi and infrared technologies. reducing the need for wires. Downside to this is limited memory for maps. You just have to pick the regions or states you travel and just load them. (because the PPC is used for so many differing apps, you have to share memory - unlike a gps unit whose sole purpose is gps mapping)
I really don’t see the use of surfing the web with a PPC, unless I’m just bored. I’d just use my laptop…however, now I can carry this anywhere with a wireless signal and get email, and don’t have to lug around my laptop case…and can watch movies or listen to mp3’s.

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about the unit and looking forward to getting it, installing the report software and taking it out for a spin.
I’ll post my opinions after some good testing is completed.

I was torn a bit about a dell or HPIPAQ, however after reading lots of reviews about customer service (HP CS routes you to india) horror stories with HP, I chose the DELL.

Well, I’ve been using Inspect Express Mobile for about a little over a month now on my Dell Axim. Took a little getting used to but I like it…a lot!. Takes me a bit longer on site as I am spending more time inputting data into the PDA, but it cut my time at home down a ton. I just input the custom stuff at home, enter the pictures and then I’m done. Cut my home report writing time somewhat over half and increased my site time by about 45 minutes. I’m geting faster inputting data on site, but it’s only as fast as your PDA can handle and switch between different forms.
All in all, I give it a thumbs-up!

That’s good to here, I have Inspect Express and have been debating on getting a Dell Axim,since I have a Dell Xp, or if I should just keep taking notes and pictures. Anything to save time and keep producing a good report sounds good to me.

I love the Mobile version.

Careful though. I dropped mine halfway through my 2nd inspection of the day and lost everything. (Talk about a stressful day!)

OUCH! So I guess you ended up doing 3 inspections that day for the price of 2.

Like Ryan I am just starting my business as well. I still haven’t decided on which software package to go with, but instead of the pocket pc, I am leaning toward a convertable notebook. A notebook computer that converts to a tablet with a stylus type touch screen. The notebook will have tons more storage than the pocket pc and a keyboard if needed.
Has anyone used this type of setup on the job before?

As I said, I still haven’t decided on which software package to use…and I could sure use some advice from you old salts.


Just be more careful with a Tablet PC since **when **you drop it (and you will at some point) it will be at least a $1,500 drop instead of a $350 drop for a PocketPC…plus they are harder to carry around with you as you are doing your inspection. A PocketPC is all you really need when actually collecting inspection data during the inspection. I always recommend trying a PocketPC first and if it does not work for you THEN get a TabletPC and use the PocketPC as a backup device.


I just wanted to ask you if are still using your pocket pc and if you have cut your time down. I just ordered my Dell yesterday and am looking forward to it’s arrival. Wanted to get some feedback from yourself and others that are using a handheld for thier inspections.


Sorry, I just saw this.

To answer your question, yes I am still using my dell pocket PC and yes it has decreased my hometime report writing time. Like everything else, it has a learning curve.
It takes a little longer on site inputting the data, but it’s more than made up for at home.

Thank you Kevin. I giving it a try. Slow going becuase Im just so darn busy. I have entered a moc inspection and am playing with it a bit. Ill keep you posted. Thanks.

I too still use my IPAQ. After 2.5 years I just had to order a new one. Downgraded a bit to save a little money because I don’t use it for anything but inspecting and scheduling.

I love mine. My report is basically done on the handheld onsite. Report work at home is simply inserting pics and cleaning things up a bit spacing wise and proofreading. Works great for me because it goes everywhere with me during the inspection.