Reference materials

What types of reference materials are inspectors using to assist if needing to refer to there report.

I use:

Prestons Guide
Illustrated Home Book & CD
Nachi message board.
I use the Internet for sites like the CPSC for recall information.
Code check books (Mine are getting outdated)

I plan on purchasing the 2005 NEC

.Do the inspection write the report and on my way in about three hours
Roy Cooke.

Preston’s Guide:
Many times I have read that the Preston’s Guide is virtually valueless…I say virtually because I feel that NO book is without value of some type. There have been times that some may have found the information they needed there. I do not own one, and did consider a purchase until reading said messages.

Illustrated Home Book & CD:
Again, I considered it as to add to the perceived value of my reports, but decided to write a better narrative and description within my report.

NACHI message board:
INVALUABLE TOOL! I set aside two times a day to come here, learn enjoy and make myself a better inspector. You can learn from every post…even if it’s how NOT to act in a quasi-public forum.

Code check books:
I use them for reference data and to double check myself. There are times (for me) that I need to see how ‘it is supposed to be done/built/installed’
I have found that they often bolster my position in reporting some issues/systems.

I plan on purchasing the 2005 NEC:
I see no need, but then again…knowledge is power…well, not really. Knowledge is information…action is power.

Just my take on things…

As good as teh message board is, unless I have documented sources for things, I do not quote them in my report. I may use them as a starting point, and paraphrase the ideas expresses, but I always scour the internet for industry resource, manufacturers sites, etc.

Most times, I can find some great info from sites I never knew existed (Vinyl Siding Institute or the Portland Cement Association, etc). Often they can provide a credible source to support the opinions expresed in my report and add other valuable information for client use.

This MB has helped with things like HVAC dates, water heater codes, etc and techniques.

Never seen a Preston’s, so I can’t comment there.

I also make extensive use of the ICC on CD-ROM as a reference point for homeowners to help them understand the current standard (as well as additional info about the recommendations we make). COde check would probably fall into this category as well if I had it.

Given the amount of additional material I collect and use, it would make sense for me to ge the CArson Dunlop CD, but I am just too cheap right now. One day I will.

There are some usefull illistrations in the illistrated home to add to my reports or for reference.

For instance today the fireplace, water was observed between the throat & firebox. Recommend a specialist. I used the illistration as I dont remenber all the components of a fireplace

And I use the vent illistartion in my report because most people dont know what a B vent is.

I use the grading illistration often.

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Best reference materials around. Can’t beat them.

Phone numbers for Jeff Pope and Paul Abernathy on the cell phone.

Jeff is always helpful with free info.

Paul costs a greasy burger anytime you meet him. (I promise Paul, no salmon next time you come to Seattle) :mrgreen:

This message board is invaluable. Well worth the cost of membership.

I found it to be almost useless. Use it very little, preferring the Technical Reference Guide over Prestons Guide. I’ve found much of the information in the Prestons Guide to be just flat-out wrong.

I used to use this book a lot. The illustrations are excellent. However, now I use pictures from my own inspections as illustrations, such as chimney crickets. However, when needing to show what a sill plate is, or something like that, the illustrations are very good and I will resort to them when necessary.

I go there sometimes, but I find the members to be holier-than-thou, boorish, condescending, and… Huh? Oh. Sorry. That’s NACHI is invaluable.

I’m still the only one that I know of here who does recall and safety concern research for my Clients.

Although I own these, I think I’ve used them maybe once each year. I’m not a code inspector, so they generally don’t interest me.

I own this, as well as all the various codes going back to 1997. Generally, they are dull, boring, and uninteresting. They do, however, help put me to sleep when I need to get to sleep quickly. However, they do not make good pillows. Also see my comment on the Code Check books.

You’re getting there: Action based on knowledge is power.

David, do yourself a favor if you’re going to buy the NEC, spend the extra money and get the Handbook To The NEC instead. It’s the code book on steroids. It contains the entire code book text but gives explanations and examples within the text.

I also do this.:wink:

My reference materials are pretty basic.

California Code of Regulations Title 24
CA Energy Code
Uniform Building Codes
International Residential Codes and Commentaries
National Electric Code (my '05 is collecting dust as CA is still using the '02)
Code Check(s) for quick field references

Most of these I have on CD for easy searches. . .

So I now know three of us nationally who do it. Perhaps I should start a poll. Where’s Todd? Oh, to heck with Todd. I’m off to the polls. :mrgreen:

Note that the CPSC web site underwent significant changes last week.

Okay, I got the poll up, but it’s in the Members Only area.