New WDO inspection reporting form.

WDO inspection reporting form.

Please compare this, item by item, to the NPMA 33 and explain what makes it better, in your opinion.

That’s nice, but considering that most lenders require the NPMA-33 form it’s not all that useful.

Here ya go:

  • The NPMA form asks for a Company Business License Number. Some of our inspectors are not licensed for WDO inspections because their state doesn’t have a WDO license, or their state only has a WDO treatment license. InterNACHI’s form does not ask for this.
  • The NPMA form uses the word “findings” instead of “observations” which is contrary to a visual-only inspection. Also, the word “finding” means “determination.” Inspectors can’t determine if there is WDO infestation, they can only observe things. InterNACHI’s form uses the word “observations”
  • Section II of the NPMA form reads “is not to be construed as a guarantee or warranty against latent, concealed, or future infestations or defects.” This implies that the NPMA form IS a guarantee or warranty against infestations or defects that aren’t latent or concealed. InterNACHI’s form doesn’t include this high-liability language.
  • The NPMA form uses the word “visible” a lot, implying that the inspector’s job is to find any evidence that is visible. That is harder than simply noting what was observed. The word “visible” is not used in InterNACHI’s form.
  • The NPMA section III requires the inspector to make recommendations for correction. Inspectors aren’t paid to make recommendations, they are paid to observe and report. InterNACHI’s form does not require the inspector to make correction recommendations.
  • The NPMA form requires the Seller and the Buyer to sign. However, many InterNACHI inspectors wish to offer WDO inspections annually to their previous customers. These customers are not involved in a real estate transaction. InterNACHI’s form does not require that there be a Seller or a Buyer.
  • The NPMA form costs money and is copyrighted. InterNACHI’s form is free to all members to use.
  • The most government-approved WDO inspection course uses InterNACHI’s form.

Interesting. I’ll consider using it. Thanks.

Not to start a fight or anything… Like I said, NACHI’s form is fine and I do like it and would prefer to us it.

But I don’t see a real need for it, especially since the industry has already standardized on the NPMA-33 from, and HUD and many mortgage companies requires it.

I know if I started to use it, I would end up having to re-do a lot of reports on the NPMA-33 form for my clients when their banks reject the first one.

Mark, my responses are in order to yours:

It may not be required but leaving a blank box where a license number should go makes it look like you are not qualified. I know. I did WDO inspections in a state that doesn’t license WDO inspectors. Leaving the box blank caused me a lot of grief.

There is a big difference between a “finding” and an “observation.” The latter is simply what you saw. A finding is a determination.

Then the NPMA form should have said that it isn’t a guarantee or warranty at all, like InterNACHI’s does, and not just in certain situations.

LOL! No, we get sued for missing things that are visible and invisible. Whether something was visible or invisible can be argued (and often is, in court). But whether or not the inspector “observed” something or not is not subjective and can’t be contested by a plaintiff.

I know, I don’t want to sell a service that requires me to perhaps recommend treatment when none is needed, or recommend no treatment where treatment is needed… especially the latter.

It makes the inspection seem, to our clients, to be something they should only do when they buy a home. I want to get 1,000 miles away from the idea that inspections are only for real estate transactions and anything that implies otherwise harms our profession.

Nope. Just because something is online doesn’t mean you can use it. Print off a copy from the link you posted, take it to Kinkos tomorrow, ask the man behind the counter to make you a copy. You’ll discover something… He will refuse.

The InterNACHI form has a checkbox that “mold” is is or is not observed. Unless mold testing is actually performed, this seems a bit risky.

"Wood decay, mold and/or fungi observed (description and location): "
In contrast, The NPMA form includes the statement:
"This inspection does not include mold, mildew or noninsect wood destroying organisms"
Perhaps the InterNACHI form should use the word ‘mold-like’ or ‘consistent with mold growth’ or better, remove it AND include that the inspection does not include mold or other environmental hazards.

Good point. The only person qualified to record the “observation” of mold is the lab tech examining the sample and the inspector wanting to rid himself of his assets.

InterNACHI’s form doesn’t require you to determine if it was mold or not. Wood decay, mold and fungi are all associated with one check box on InterNACHI’s form. The NPMA form makes it critical that the inspector correctly determine if the damage was caused by WDI or mold. Why is it critical when using the NPMA form and not InterNACHI’s? Because if you use the NPMA form and incorrectly determine that the damage was not the result of WDI, the form provides no other alert to your client. If you are incorrect with the NPMA form (and the wood decay was actually WDI damage), your client is harmed. If you are incorrect with InterNACHI’s form, your client isn’t as harmed (as mold is not much better than WDI). And again, you don’t have to determine if it is mold or what type of mold it is. You are simply observing WDO damage that is something other than WDI damage, "wood decay, mold and/or fungi, but not exactly which one.

Another way of putting it… InterNACHI’s form makes it less critical to be right, because being wrong about WHAT IT IS is less important (in terms of damages) than being wrong about IF IT WAS THERE AT ALL.

Nick, did you, or have you ever, read the back of the NPMA-33 form? I do not note, or check-box, any termite damage of the home, as noted on the front, since on the back, it is taken care of. I only note if there is activity, evidence of activity, or no activity.

Start saying things like mold, damage, rot and fungi gets you in hot water, even if there is a check box for it. IMHO.

Just the reverse.

Hey, I have a question for you. Do the following two sentences mean the same thing to you?

  1. No visible evidence of wood destroying insects was observed.
  2. Visible evidence of wood destroying insects was not observed.

I say yes. What do you say?

Not a valid form in Washington but those holding their Structural Pest Inspectors license should recognize that quickly.

We’ve submitted a WA version of the form to Washington State Department of Agriculture for review, this is the same Department that has already approved our online WDO inspection course. It includes a WSDA control number box and other changes to meet the WDO inspection reporting criteria required in WA.

It is interesting to note the the WSPMA form currently used in WA includes a check box for “Visible Evidence of Active Wood Decay Fungi” and refers to WDO not WDI.

Back to the question. Do the following two sentences mean the same thing to you?

  1. No visible evidence of wood destroying insects was observed.
  2. Visible evidence of wood destroying insects was not observed.

I say yes. What do you say?

I don’t understand the need to reinvent the wheel. We know that it is only an extremely small percentage of home inspections that ever end up in court. Is the litigation rate for termite inspections higher? Why do insurance companies continue to conceal this data if not to hide the fact that they are overcharging for premiums?

Life insurance premiums vary by age, health, smoking habits…etc. Car insurance varies by age of driver, driving record, etc. E&O providers, however, always assign an almost uniform rate for newby and experienced inspector, alike. And some will throw in ancillary services for “free”. How can they do that if there is a high enough litigation rate to justify modifying the form?

Thats because WA State SPI must also report on wood rot and conducive conditions. They also do not allow a limit of liability due to their bond / E&O requirement. I think you can limit anything over their minimum, but you are stuck with the first $25k.

As you noted, there are other changes in the position and type of information required. I am sure Nick and the staff have already researched this but the information is available HERE and the report information / position starts on page 6

Personally I don’t care anymore. I dropped my Pest License when they licensed Home Inspectors. In fact many Pest Control Companies (applicators) no longer have anyone on staff to perform Structural Pest Inspections because the liability is in the inspection and the money is in the treatment.

InterNACHI views all inspection related space as its property. All of it. And we view anything or anyone foreign (non InterNACHI) to be occupying that property as temporary squatters, operating at our pleasure, until we find time to get in there and clean it up.

Back to the question. Do the following two sentences mean the same thing to you?

  1. No visible evidence of wood destroying insects was observed.
  2. Visible evidence of wood destroying insects was not observed.

I say yes. What do you say?

Slight difference but there is a difference.