Narratives for Inspection reports

Hello,

Again I am a new Inspector and am seeking council from those of you who have been around awhile. I see that InterNACHI has a listing of narratives that can be purchased. Are they worth while? I ask because I am still learning and thought they might help me to ensure I word my concerns correctly.

Also is there a form that is computer based for Wood Destroying Organisms?

Thanks for any and all input.

I started inspections before Kenton wrote his narratives, so I have never used them all.

However, those that have purchased his narratives, that I am aware of, have gotten off to a great start and continuation of their inspection career’s challenges in coming up with their own narratives.

I think you would benefit by using them just because you are here asking about writing narratives.

Enjoy inspecting! :smile:

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I purchased them. It takes a lot of work to weed through and customize the template properly with them. Think several full days of just narrative filtering, shifting, rewriting etc… but it was worth it. It helped me to be a better narrative author and I have received a lot of positive feedback on how I write reports.

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Michael,

Are the narratives broken down into systems such as roofing, electrical and so on? How many narratives are there in the package? Any other feedback you think would be useful. Thank you,

What software are you using James?

Homegauge as of right now.

So in Homegauge when you install the narratives, it is actually a full template. It is a system by system template that is very inclusive but has a couple of holes. The best thing that you can do is to install it and if you use homegauge connect go ahead and try to follow it’s layout with your standard inspection procedure on your or a friends home. You will note that you do things differently and will ahve to move some sections around. Then after it is in order for you, the task of clearing out comments that do not apply to your region is semi daunting. On top of that there are sections that are missing the proper comments so you need to move comments around and tweak them, this is not super simple in homegauge, lots of clicks. Once you get all of that it will become a living template. You will find things you want changed, added, deleted as you continue your career and will constantly be updating the template. I am pretty sure I modify it almost every time.

Everyone wants to speed up their report process. Canned narratives do not speed things up. They also do not apply exactly to your particular issue, so they have to be modified (for a good report).

I know your trying to learn, not just go fast. These narratives are a good learning tool to learn how to report things.

We all use narratives to some extent, but I recommend you make your own. Make them so that in every inspection they apply to the issue. Like when reading building codes. A long winded explanation of an issue that applies in every instance, so you down have to type it out every time. Then add the particulars like location and unique observations you want to report.

Also when using someone else’s narratives; you have to find the narrative, read it and see if it applies, modify it to fit your case, and post it. If you wrote it, you know if it applies or not.

If you can’t write a narrative about what you see and why it is an issue, your not ready to be inspecting yet. Report writing is a hundred times more important than inspecting the building in this business. Communication to your client, REA’s and sellers is paramount in keeping your butt out of the fire.

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David,

Thank you for your input. I have been using Homegauge software and have found the few narratives they have confusing and difficult to use. I have been writing my own narratives as I have performed inspections. I would and do make adjustments to any narrative to fit the situation and circumstances of the particular inspection.
I have alwàys tried to learn from others who have had more experience than me in what ever field I have worked in be it education or management. I would be using the narratives as a learning tool as much as a work resource. I enjoy seeing and understang others thought process and how they might word things. Even the narratives I have written in my short time I have adjusted and improved on as I learn more.
Thank you again for your suggestions.

Good luck with it, it’s a long ongoing journey! :sweat_smile:

Narratives do not have to be scientific, they just have to describe what your looking at and what is wrong with it so someone can find it and fix it (if requested by the client). I prefer to keep things short (no opinions, justifications, or potentially unrelated content). This keeps the arguments down and confusion on your clients part. If they want to know more, make yourself available to follow up phone calls any time after the inspection.