New to the florida area

Hello every body, I am a home inspector for the last 7 years from the north east area of NJ, NY and PA.I have relocated down here to expand my business and to bring a possible change of life to both my children and older father who has now become part of my household. I am writing to ask if there is any helpful advise you guys can give me as to the wind mitigation, roof certifications, etc…
I have been a contractor for over 9 years spent all my career in the construction business for over 30 years, both commercial and residential as well as 10 years in the carpenters union. I have been doing inspections for myself for over 7 years and for others for over 5. I have taken the InterNACHI recommend courses and have spoken with Nick Gromicko regarding Florida inspections. He has informed me about this forum and from what I have seen in the other forums, you all have been both kind and insight-full.
Understand I am not trying to steal any ones business, but do right by what we all have been striving to do in our respective areas by this industry and give the clients what they deserve and bring our experience to them for there gain.
I am only really questioning, right now how to verify the permits and information for the wind mitigation forms. I heard and seen some of you mention approval zoom, and calling the building departments for information. Is there an on line data base for each building department that we can use, or can we call and get the information, or do we have to go there in person and fill out forms to get it? If the clients do not have the proper documentation? I’ve noticed some of you mentioned giving the completed forms to the clients at the end of the inspection. I personal am not and have not been interested in rushing anything. I like to verify and do a little quality control before I hand over a report both to make sure I have covered myself, and my clients. Can any of you offer any insight into how you and your other inspector friends like to do these things? (I’m not looking for mommas secret recipe, I just want to be part of the elite. No question is dumb, just the one not asked)
Any things or trends to watch out for, that you are seeing that we as inspectors should change both for our clients and our own benefits?
What local organizations would you suggest would be beneficial to be a part of, so I can look into them?
Any thing you can offer I would greatly appreciate.
Thank you all in advance for any advise you could give.
Thank you
Michael Morales

Welcome to Florida.

Welcome. Where in florida are you setting up?

Mike, read all you can here in the Florida section. There are a couple of active Inachi chapters in Florida. Consider attending some of the Fabi.org meetings.

I just moved to Jupiter.

Jupiter is sweet. Should be plenty of work to keep busy

In most cases, you should not have to physically visit a building department. Much of the information you need to help complete a wind mitigation inspection form can be found online, through email or with a phone call.

You will want to get familiar with these websites…

Palm Beach County Property Appraiser… http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/papa/

Martin County Property Appraiser http://www.pa.martin.fl.us/tools/property-map-searches

There is a lot of useful information on these sites. These sites will also tell you the municipality where the house is located. Once you know the municipality, contact their building department for the re-roof permit information. You’ll also want to become familiar with at least the following websites…

Unincorporated Palm Beach County… http://www.pbcgov.com/epzbcommon/asp_html/epzbMenu.aspx?ReferrerID=ezinfo&FROM=EZ&TargetMenuItem=Permits+%26+Inspections

Town of Jupiter… https://www.jupiter.fl.us/index.aspx?NID=609

…also, websites related to opening protection…

https://approvalzoom.com/
http://www.miamidade.gov/building/pc-search_app.asp
https://www.floridabuilding.org/pr/pr_app_srch.aspx

There are many municipalities. Some with good websites, some not. Obviously, it will take some time to get familiar with them. It’s easy enough to find the municipality’s website online and then navigate through to search for what you need. If you can’t find it online (not all information is available online), an email or phone call may be necessary.

Fortunately for you Mr. Morales, you have chosen the right business as this industry is full of individuals willing and able to give you their opinion. Seldom, if at any time, are those opinions based on fact or reasonable building practices. Insurance inspections is one of the better examples as home inspectors seem to think the form(s) was written for them and only them…even thought they were only added as qualified to complete the form 5 years ago.
I will not, and have not, completed an 1802 report without physically visiting the building department, and I have caught MANY mistakes by other inspectors by doing so.

That being said, welcome to the great state of Florida and good luck in your future endeavors…

Thank you, and I personal feel as you do about getting these right. Do the building departments have any problems with home inspectors asking for permit history on properties? Do they charge any fees for this? are there extra forms to fill out?
Just curious as to if this causes more time to put into the inspection and or report to justify the pricing.
Once again, thank you for any information from you and any and everybody else on these topics.
Michael

The building departments in my area are very cooperative and usually provide the information on the spot. Some municipalities, such as Pembroke Pines, take a few days and charge a couple bucks for the information. My inspections tend to be very different from other inspectors, my client base is attorneys and lawyers with a few mortgage brokers thrown in for good measure and my rates start at just under $1,200 per inspection (home inspection only, no insurance inspections).
I visit the building department on every inspection, they have information I need to confirm compliance that can not be found on any website or other source. My recommendation to you, being a new inspector to the state, is that you familiarize yourself with our standards and practices before jumping into the insurance inspection arena. Most of the information being provided for these inspections is inaccurate and based off of outdated practices that wasn’t correct in the first place.
Do the best you can, charge for your valuable time, and be as accurate as possible! Some inspectors have even written an insurance disclaimer, which throws in the face of the argument that the standards and statutes of our licensure do not apply when they are the very thing that allows you to do so. Don’t expect any help from the OIR or DBPR anytime soon on this issue as they are mum on the subject.

One thing you will get is lots of advice and opinions…and you know what that’s worth.

Thank you very much. I appreciate the information and advice and hope to use it wisely.
Michael

Michael, if you would like to meet for a cup of coffee let me know.