On site Inspection Reports

Originally Posted By: loconnor
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For those of you who perform on site reports, can you provide some information on:


1- Type of report used. Since I use ReportHost, it would be difficuly pulling up their website in the middle of someone’s driveway…or Not


2- Do you use any special printer for these onsite reports? Do some work better than others.

3- Do you use a laptop to generate your report to the printer?

4- What setup do you use to provide the 120 volts to the computer/printer ? I don't know what they have out there.

5- If you're using pictures in your report, how do you set that up?

I never realized how computer illiterate I was, until I started in this business.

Thanks for any helpful info you can volunteer.


--
Larry
Western Michigan NACHI Chapter
http://www.w-michigan-nachi.org

"We confide in our strength
without boasting of it.
We respect that of others
without fearing it"
Thomas Jefferson

Originally Posted By: psabados
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Hey Larry


Run on down to one of your local electronic supply houses. There are power converters that plug into a cigarette lighter that are in the 100.00 range and should work quite well with a laptop and standard printer.

Personally, my reports are generated at home after the inspection and sent out email and hardcopy the next day.

Paul


Originally Posted By: cmccann
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Larry I can try an help with general info,


1.) I'm getting ready to switch software to Porter valley Inspectvue software. I've been going over the demo CD so far so good.

2.) I have a standard HP printer 7350, I have only done an onsite report once and it worked fine. Has the memory card slot to insert from your HP digital camera. Also you can plug the camera via an Ethernet plug from camera to laptop and down load the pics to your documents or wherever and add to the report. With Inspectvue seems easy enough.

3.) A laptop is a must. I just picked up a new one..(broke the screen) for around 1000.00. There is cheaper, but be careful about operating power.

4.) As far as power goes use the house your inspecting. Plug in and go. If no power I have an inverter that plugs into the cig lighter and I can plug the printer or lap top if battery is low into it. The inverter can be found almost anywhere, Radio Shack or your local nerd store.

Hope this helps a little.
![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)


--
NACHI MAB!

Originally Posted By: Peter Foxe Smothers
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If you have not looked at 3D Inspection System I would recommend that you do so. Their site is www.3Dinspection.com. If you order the free demo they are very quick about sending it to you. Before I purchased the software I looked at EVERY demo out there and also downloaded multiple sample reports from different inspectors websites. Most of the software from all the companies is user friendly but I went with 3D because of the level that you can custonize the report format and setup. The price tag depends on what add on you get with the software and is a little higher then the others but to me it is worth the price. I plan on purchasing a Dell PDA in the very near furture. The 3D software has a add on called Pocket Report Writer that works with the PDA. Simply carry your PDA instead your checklist. When you are done you can sync the PDA to your home computer, upload the report, add your pictures and you are done. You can still do the whole process in the field without the PDA and with a laptop if you choose. I have also heard that the support with 3D is top notch, but I have not had a reason to try them out yet. They also have support fourms that are adminastreted by 3D employees.


Good Luck!!


Originally Posted By: charper
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Gentlemen,


I use HomeGauge Software. I think it is the best out there. I use a laptop PC and Canon A75 digital camera. I use a Dazzle media USB port which is very fast if you have USB 2.0 on your laptop. I print the reports on-site and give a copy to my client. With HomeGauge you also can upload the reports to their server which in turn sends an e-mail to whomever. That saves me overnite mail and extra copies. The folks at HomeGauge are all top notch. You can download a free 30 day trial version from their website. www.homegauge.com.

Charlie


Originally Posted By: awatson
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I went to the homegauge website and printed what they recommended for a setup and took it to an electronics store.


Here’s the link for there recomendations: http://www.homegauge.com/inspector/store/hardware.html


*The inverter I had to order online. Got it cheaper than homegauge was selling it.
*I used a Nikon coolpics for the camera. Which is an ok camera.
*I bought a toshiba Protege tablet pc which is as good or better than the Acer.
*The printer was interesting. I went in and asked for the HP1100D. The sales person said he had it but recommended the Epson Stylus C84. (http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?cookies=no&oid=36033903). I thought he was crazy. The Epson is $99 and has a $20 rebate. I told him I needed the speed of the HP1100D. He showed me that the Epson is faster. OK, I need the print quality of the HP, the Epson has a higher print quality.
I bought the Epson and have been very pleased. It's no problem to do a 20 page report high res in 5-7 minutes. There is one drawback. It uses pressurized ink catridges. So, you're not going to be able to refill them yourself. Some of the ink refill stores will refill them for you. Otherwise, you are going to shell out some coin in ink. -So that's why it sells for $79.


Originally Posted By: rdriggers
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I use a imitation of homeguage. It is in word format and it looks exactly just like homeguage. If anyone wants to look at it, let me know.


Originally Posted By: loconnor
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Richard


I'd be interested in looking at your word format report.

Thank you to all for sharing your information. It shows that onsite reports are necessary to stay competitive.

thanks again.


--
Larry
Western Michigan NACHI Chapter
http://www.w-michigan-nachi.org

"We confide in our strength
without boasting of it.
We respect that of others
without fearing it"
Thomas Jefferson

Originally Posted By: jhagarty
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icon_question.gif



Joseph Hagarty


HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
www.householdinspector.com

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

Originally Posted By: gluck
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I use 3D with a Dell P.D.A. and an HP printer.


3D because it is entirely customizable. You can modify and or include virtually any changes or extra information in your report that you want. This allows you to generate the type of report that is specific to your area ( for example I have included an entire segment about oil tanks which would probably not be of much use to you guys in the southern U.S.) as well it is an extremely stable platform; no bugs; no blue screens of death; no lost files; no lock ups. It also accepts pictures and diagrammes etc.

I use the dell P.D.A. because ....well .... the price was right. Is there a better argument? Besides it looks terribly "high tech" which the clients love and, frankly, has a better memory than I do.

I use an HP printer because they are robust enough to survive being driven around in the back of my van, have large print cartridges that last through 20 to 30 reports and are refillable for next to nothing, and the printer cost me $79.00 which means that I can carry an extra one, just incase!

I power the whole set up with a power inverter ( 12 volts to 115 volts at 75 watts) which I bought up here at Canadian tire for about $40.

The end result is a custom written report that the clients like, delivered at the time of the inspection ( no Emailings and no "go backs", twenty or so pages takes about 25 minutes to "edit" and print) and I am paid when I hand them my report. It doesn't get much better than that!


--
Hi! I have a university degree. You want fries with that?
Dominion Home Inspectors
domspec.net

Originally Posted By: troberts1
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rdriggers wrote:
I use a imitation of homeguage. It is in word format and it looks exactly just like homeguage. If anyone wants to look at it, let me know.



Originally Posted By: rdriggers
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if anyone is interested in looking at a example report from my imitation of home gauge, go to http://www.dhinspection.com/images/Sample.mht if would like to play around with it email me at dhinspection@msn.com and I will send you the first four pages.


Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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Richard, my computer had a heart attack trying to open that link and locks up…what file extension is that?



Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC


Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: charper
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My PC won’t open that extension up either. What program are you using?




Charlie


Originally Posted By: bgriffin
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It’s a M$ Word single page web document. If you don’t have DSL you’ll be up a while. It’s just over 15MB.


Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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I have a cable conx…and what MS word document is 15MB? I have an 8 minute hunting video that’s only 12MB.


I just don't recognize that file ext. as word??


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: dbowers
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We used to use a typed narrative report - sometimes done on site, sometimes we took it home. Good looking stuff, but cumbersome. Then we switched to a 29 page on-site checklist with many standardized comments already in place, such as:


(1) The chimney flue is covered with creosote. It needs to be cleaned and then checked by a competent CSIA chimney sweep prior to closing.

(2) There is abnormal bowing and/or cracking at the ________ foundation wall. Have a licensed structural engineer evaluate and design the proper repairs for it.

The 29 pages is 11 pages of inspection report, a cover page, a index page, a Overview page, a definition of terminology page, 14 pages of graphics (negative grading, S-traps, etc, etc). Our clients love it cause its very explanatory and easy to read, we have to do very little writing so its very neat and when we're done - we're done.

I still use typed computer narratives for expert witness or speciality jobs (construction monitoring, stucco, etc) but I wouldn't go back to typing all my reports for any amount of money in the world.

Dan Bowers


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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I use Word Perfect, and (with photos) my largest report was a little over 120 MB. Many have been in the 40-60 MB range.


In Adobe .pdf. they average 10-20 MB.

I was able to open it, but don't see why it is 15 MB.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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I got it opened…just took awhile.



Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC


Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: loconnor
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Dan B


Is your 29 page report custom made, or
is this an existing program available to anyone?


--
Larry
Western Michigan NACHI Chapter
http://www.w-michigan-nachi.org

"We confide in our strength
without boasting of it.
We respect that of others
without fearing it"
Thomas Jefferson