So ive been doing inspections with another inspector for a couple months now. Got some inspections under my belt. And now that ive got that hang of things id like to see what you guys think of my inspection reports (the other inspector is interested in having our reports judged as well). I think constructive criticism is definitely going to help me improve as a home inspector. So some context before you guys read it. Red means something is out right not working or is a safety concern. Blue means either cosmetic or minor deficiency thats generally easy to fix. Black is just a comment and green is a suggestion like an improvement. Our average inspection takes about 2 hour (4 for one person) And i know iv already said it but I really do want some good critiques, im not looking for compliments. 49324_RR_33_4-15-21 Revised.pdf (11.0 MB)
Steven, My only comment is I would not include maintenance items or general comments in the summary. I typically save the summary for Repair, Safety and Mold related comments. As for the report itself I don’t like the items where you only list the material or style. For example under Doorbell you just state the type is hard wired. I prefer to write a full comment good or bad. For example I would write the following depending on the condition:
COMMENT: The doorbell responded to the button at the time of the inspection.
MAINTENANCE: The doorbell at front of the building did not respond and needs serviced. This is a maintenance item for your consideration. (See Picture 21, Appendix A)
In general you have a lot of items in your summary I would consider a maintenance item for the new homeowner to do. For example 4.1 Deteriorated boards. Repair or replace. If the boards are only weathered I would say the following:
MAINTENANCE: The deck is weathered and needs cleaned and sealed with a waterproof sealant. This is a maintenance item for your consideration. (See Picture 22, Appendix A)
If the steps were rotten and could potentially fall through, I would say the following:
SAFETY: The steps on the rear deck are deteriorated and unsafe. I recommend repairing or replacing all loose, rotted and defective components. This is a safety item for your consideration. (See Picture 22, Appendix A)
Every inspector has their own method, I just prefer to write a report with a little more detail that could be read and completely understood by someone that did not attend the inspection.
I personally like to keep all the inspection photos I reference in the report in an appendix in the back of the report. I only put generic graphics in the body of the report for reference. Like the following:
Did you state in your report that the roof has 25+ years remaining of service life on page 13. Why would you write that?
Looks like you guys do a very thorough inspection. If I were a home buyer and I got your report I would think you guys did great and that your report is huge. I would probably be confused by some industry jargon in the report if I was not a DIY-type person familiar with construction terms.
Do you get a lot of snow sometimes in Canada? How tall were the ABS plumbing vent pipes above the roof? They look short. The home is 31 years old. This is probably the second roof covering. Were the plumbing boot flashings in good shape. They only last about 10 years in the direct sunlight down here in TN. How old were yours?
In the attic you say insulation depth averages 10-12" deep but your only pictures show only 6.5" and 9" deep. Were these examples of low spots? There is no mention of areas with severely deficient insulation such as 6.5" @ R=3.5/inch = R-23. How did you arrive at your 10-12" average? Did you get any pictures of the average thickness?
10-12 average depth would give you R-38.
You recommended R-49-60 which 14-17 inches deep. That’s right for your climate.
What information are you trying to communicate on page 34?
Page 36, what is meant by: “10. Unable to Inspect
Page 37, programable thermostat? Is that right?
Do you ever put labels on pictures to identify locations?
On page 54 does your home buyer know what a “wet location” is?
Do you inspect gutters and downspouts and downspout extensions and comment on water drainage and grading (slope of ground, rain water management)?
Materials: Single wall. B-Vent…which is it?
You identified a loose shower piece in photo but it was not in narrative.
For me personally, location of defect is important.
Sink had faulty drain. Which sink?
Stairs had loose post. Which stairs?
Leak in attic. Where in attic?
I want my defect narrative to read clearly without the need for a photo. Only then is a written summary is useful.
Telling the client that you do not remove panels etc. for heating systems is good. Telling the client they can have it further inspected as desired is doing nothing for them.
The component should be inspected further or not and tell them why. For example, I recommend to my clients gas fired furnaces be inspected annually and why.
I do not think they need to be told when to clean their gutters or how to avoid propane runs. This is all filler material that makes your report long
So, was the slope good or bad? Is the buyer supposed to “make sure” or was that your job?
“It is very important runoff water drains away from the foundation to minimize the chance of water
leakage into the basement, as cracks in foundation walls are common. Make sure patios and walkways slope away from the house for the first six feet (2 meters) around the perimeter of the home. Slope should be at least 1 inch per foot.”
Once again, is this not your job to identify? Is this a tip or a defect.
Recommend ensuring all exposed areas (holes, cracks, pipe entry points, or at any dissimilar material
abutments, etc) are sealed to reduce the risk of water intrusion and subsequent damage.
I see a maintenance tip: When landscaping, keep plants, even at full growth, at least a foot (preferably 18inches) from house siding and windows…but in the photo, the plants were in contact with the home. Just tell them to cut them back.
Again, seller has this job?
As with all areas of the house, we recommend that you carefully examine the roof immediately prior
to closing the deal.
Defect or tip?
The application of caulking may be required on your roof in such areas as exposed nail heads, nail holes, slight imperfections in the granular material, etc. Caulking will shrink with age and must be maintained, to reduce the possibility of moisture intrusion.
And finally, I do not know what this is, so I am curious.
Good job overall IMO.
Thank you soooo much for that. This is exactly what I need. I know alot of people are saying that everyone does inspections differently but my point in this is to get criticisms based off of subjective values. I know there’s not one way of doing things but if you have a method that I’m not aware of that might be better than mine, then I can take that and learn from it. I really appreciate your reply! I’m not sure what you mean by your last question? Are you asking what they are or why we have them in the report?
I do not know what surface discharge is for sewage disposal. (Remember, I am way down south in Georgia, things are different).
Morning, Steven. Hope this post finds you well.
For a member with 2 years behind you, very thorough reporting. Bravo.
Personally Steven, I think you covered your Butt. Lol…
*Note: I will not comment on your report but to say it looks like you covered all the bases.
*Note: Many on the MB have varying levels of experience, expertise, inspection equipment, reporting styles, and use any number of the home/building inspection software out there meaning that, reporting and reports never look quite the same.
I will say this, though. As long as you cover SoP and continue inspecting and reporting like this, you will definitely carve out your market share in the home inspection industry in your location/s.
*Note: Remember, social network, market, and blog regularly. I am sure it might drive you crazy at times but your phone will not stop ringing day and night.
All the best.
Robert Young’s Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
I recommend that you start by reading “How to Write Better Home Inspection Report” and “An Opinion Is Mandatory”. I am not averse to giving some free advice occasionally but you need more help than you are going to get from forums. You need professional help. You won’t be in business long if this is representative of your reports.
Hope this post finds you well.
I remember I posted an inspection report and was meet with words similar to, but much more fitting the occasions. “Mr. Young. If you want to be taken seriously in the industry you are going to have to do better.” That report netted my client $20,000 rebate.
I pretty much stayed away from being negative respectfully understanding, I have years of experience under my belt.
I have read tens of summaries. I thought it was mindful. So, what specifics are you eluding to and remember, this member has 24 months behind him?
Perhaps, but could it have ‘netted’ $50,000 ??
Those numbers are growing everyday. Here in Atlanta, if a home is on the market for more than a week, it is a turd. Just on major defects alone, it is not unusual to see $20k + worth of repairs several times a week.
Yup. My area… vinyl siding and a re-roof… $50,000 !!
Statements like this can get you into trouble.
WETT - Factory Built Fireplace
Page 61 Item: 21 Comments and 21.2.
This is a well designed unit. It appears to have been correctly installed but there is insufficient information to certify it as safe to burn.
Personally I would avoid “certifying” anything as safe. Not your job - It’s either broke or it isn’t.
Read your report as though you’re the homebuyer and you live in another state, and see if it all makes sense. Better yet, read your report as though you are a judge reading it.
My biggest words of advice - keep it simple and keep it real.
This thread is the best read of the year.
I had to stop after two pages. This report is horrible. Sometimes you list the defects along with the hazard and a recommendation for repair. Other times you say GFCI did not trip. I don’t know I’m just a homeowner is this a defect? There was no recommendation for repair. There was no statement about why this may be a safety issue. Do you really inspect doorstops? The rails are loose with gaps larger than 4 inches. Why is this a defect and should it be repaired? Blades on a fan are not operating. Maybe the fan was not operating. A well designed fireplace are you kidding me!
Best of luck but I recommend consistency. Call out the defect and why is it a defect. Is it a safety hazard? Recommend repair if it is.
The way I read it, “but there is insufficient information to certify it as safe to burn.” I agree less is more.
Observation: Factory built fireplace/fire-box/wood stove/solid fuel burning appliance.
No adverse conditions observed the day of the inspection, if there are.
Recommend further review by a licensed Factory built fireplace/fire-box/wood stove/solid fuel burning appliance installation and service repair contractor.
Inspect and sweep prior use.
No, but imagine that. My first report. Satisfied client. Solid advice from a solid member that pushed me to work harder objectively…
From what I recall, and I could be mistaken, you enlighten members JJ, you stated on the form you laughed at your first ‘300 inspection reports’ when you knew better. Hmm?
Canned narratives and maintenance tips will not set you apart from your competition nor improve your reputation.
You must inspect hard and write hard.
“Talk soft. Write Hard!” Roy Cooke Senior. InterNACHI 2006 Home Inspector of The Year. First inductee to InterNACHI Inspector Hall Of Fame.