Need advice about limitations. Is it best to put them in the applicable section or will putting them at the end of the report suffice? Thanks John
If there is a particular element / component that is not inspected, I would note the limitation specifically in the applicable section for that component.
Limitations in the report are typical and to be expected most if not each time based on things you may run into on site…such as boxes stacked up and no access. But, of major importance, make sure that the big limitations are, generally, spelled out in your contract, so the client has in theory agreed to them. Even having the client agree to specific standards of practice, that explain the limitations, is helpful. Limitations in a report provide comments and true facts about problems encountered inspecting certain areas but the contract is the place where the client signs that they agree to your limitations. They might disagree with a limitation in the report and that is why it is important that the language in the contract helps protect you in that event as well.
Steve sums it up quite well.
I don’t hesistate to insert blanket limitation statements in the report directly before reporting on the subject or system. Citing them orally is equally important because the client’s understanding of the limitations and hopefully agreement with them (never had a disagreement, at least so far) is crucial to me. Inserting limitations into the logical flow of the report is great means to accomplish understanding (and likely prevents many liability disputes).
I put them at the front of the report. That way they read them before getting to anything else, and before they get tired from reading all that other stuff.