Making it your own

New inspector here. Got my top 3 choices for software. Curious as to how much time you spent learning, tweaking and making HIP your own.

I have been using HIP for a little over two years now and I am always tweaking it to specifically fit the inspection I am reporting on. The bones of the reports stay the same but the small differences get changed to make the report specific to the house.
With that said I would not change to another software program. I love my software.
Good luck.

It’s like a website… never ending to keep it the best product available for your client as it is a direct reflection of you and your company!!

Note: This should apply to ALL software, not just HIP, and a strong argument against certain ‘subscriber’ software’s that have minimal or no customization allowed. Never understood why everyone is content with being the same as everyone else!!

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Right. I understand it’s a constant learning and everybody’s different but guess I was wondering how long it would take for someone to be ready to walk out the door to start an inspection. I want my reports to look clean, finished and very professional when I get done. And if someone is coming from a different software to a new one they kind of know where to look for components, narratives etc. I’m about as green as new grass.

I guess the next question would be… What is your intended method/format of preparing the Report?
In the field?
Back at the office?

Susan - This will be an ongoing process. Save the comments you are making and what would apply to your area for future use(s). The more time invested in the background and as used, will pay dividends in the long run. And if it means anything, I have only done about 350 reports or so, but I am still tweaking it to make it better. I personally went with Homeguage, but they are both good systems. Just know that once you start, it will be a deal killer to swap, so get comfy with it and use it for what it can do for you.

Susan, we need to know your location so the appropriate people will chime in. Click on your picture and select profile. Modify it to indicate your state and click SAVE.

As an example I live in Maryland and my report has been modified many times to indicate the current MD statute regarding Home Inspection. We are required to state certain things pertaining to the law in the report. I still see many MD reports from other inspectors that lack these items. Your state may have requirements as well.

You may want to add a section with general service points in the home that are useful to know. When a pipe leaks it is too late to run around finding the water valve. If you smell gas do you know how to turn it off. Many people don’t even know how to reset a breaker, much less anything about GFCI or AFCI. These are add ons that add value to your report and can be written in to your report template before you do an inspection.

A good practice is to read other sample reports and take or adapt what you like.

Hang in there and good luck.


Back at the office. I want to be able to see nice clear photos on a large monitor. Not on a tiny cell phone screen


Try doing some mock inspections (your house, friends etc) with the different report writing software. Most have trial periods for this purpose. Do the same house with different software and see what feels right for you. Once you pick your inspection software you will tweak it for the rest of your career. After your mock inspections you will be more confident to enter a strangers home and do real inspections. Best of luck with you new career.

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I’m with you 100%. We are not working with 3 part OCR check the box, paper reports anymore. I have never had a client (in the past 10 years) ever expect a report be handed to them onsite. And you are smart to take what you have and review the pics on a full size screen. I have seen some of those reports by the guys that deliver them from the truck and brag about doing 2-3 inspections per day…I found them to be lacking in detail and was able to pick out many defects in “their pics” they never reported on…also many typos because they were done in a hurry.

Most of the good Software will give you very nice looking reports right out of the box and you will be able to adapt it as you go. As for me I use Homegauge.


I’m approaching this as my new PT job. And I’ve already had to contact customer service with a question and they were super fast responding.

I have been using HomeGauge and it is serving me well. There customer support is excellent. I don’t know the other ones that are out there. I’m sure it is mostly what you get used to. The software is just the tool
You are going to provide the details. That is what is going to make a good report.
All the best.