The Home Reference Book

Do any of you give a copy of Carson Dunlop’s (megabinder!) The Home Reference Book with your inspections?

Yes and Most inspectors in my area use this Book .
I have been using it for 7 years and do not think I will change .
I find my clients are happy with the book and the instant report .
Send Me email and I will try and help you .
Roy Cooke …

I find that it is full of lots of good info. The problem is by merging the report with basic information it makes it overwhelming to many people.

I think it is unrealistic to expect someone to read…sorry, cipher through the binder in the limited few days they are trying to arrange financing, selling their house, possibly relocating their employment, making moving arrangements, etc.

Those that use the Home Reference argue that the section titled “The Bottom Line” which is basically the summary is there for a quick review of the client. While I agree a summary of some sort is important and I provide one in my reports (average 35-45 pages) personally I think it should complement the rest of the report and not compensate for it.

While it is true many people do not read the reports regardless of length or complexity. I prefer not add to the confusion.

Here is an exercise, the next time you do an inspection used the Home Reference book. Then remove or black out all the information that does not pertain directly to that house. I think you’ll be amazed at how much information is removed.

I use CD reports only, compiled in a three ring one inch binder of 143 pages.

As Paul has alluded to the feedback from my clients was that the full CD report binder was to volumous. Most clients comments were related to size and the fact the info was too much. In other words keep is simple, and that is exactly what I did. Subsequently I have rec’d great feedback from clients as to the layout of my report and ease of understanding. Never any negative comments.

I use the home reference book and find it is a little unprofessional in that it requires me to manually enter (in pen) all of the info that pertains to the house. It ends up being crowded and a little messy (my writing) there is also a lot of spaces that I dont write anything in as I have found no apparent problems with that portion of the home. I find myself explaining that blank is good and means no problems. I will say that I have had mostly good feedback from the book itself.

Read this whole post I think it is the one on Check list reports have less law suits then the electronic reports

Roy Cooke

Aulden I have never had anyone complain about blank space, maybe its a regional thing or type of client.

I suggest if your handwriting is lousy that you print. That is what I do and again no one has ever complained about my writing fwiw.

Ray, you say you are using the CD reports with a total of 143 pages, I don’t see on the CD website anywhere you can purchase the reports without buying the Home Reference Book. Am I missing something?


Yes you can order the report forms only. They cost $5.00 each.
Call CD and tell them you want to order reports only. They will ship them out to you.
And fwiw, the CD report forms exceed the SOP.

Thanks for all your info!

Anytime, we are all here to help one another! :slight_smile:

This might be a little off topic, but I have moved from the book to the Carson Dunlop, Horizon Reporting Software & Pocket PC.

The software incorporates all the great features, illustrations, descriptive pages and organization of the book. I can copy the final PDF report to a CD, as well as print, email or post online. Excellent tool for those who are computer savy.

The age of wireless has definitely provided additional time for customer service and more time for inspections.

Aurelio . Can you tell us how long you take to do an Inspection including your complete report and its delievery .
From those who have made many posts I do not see where they have been saving time .
I also hope you did read
I also wonder what % of experienced Inspectors do not use an electronic reporting system .
I use the C&D .It might just be the most popular reporting system being used .
Roy Cooke … RHI… CAHPI-ON…

Hello Roy,

The inspection report tools I presently use for the field inspection are the following,

  • Dell Axim X51v with integrated wireless & bluetooth

  • Carson Dunlop, Horizon Reporting Software

  • HP wireless printer (for optional on-site printing, if requested)

  • Digital Camera & Laptop with docking station & card reader in van
    Using a 2400 square foot fully finished, 2 car garage, raised ranch home with client present at time of inspection as an example,

  • 15 mins on-site intro and signing of inspection agreement (read, review, faq & signing)

  • 1.5 - 2 hours home inspection, briefing client of defects throughout inspection.

  • 10 mins upload report and pics from memory card to Horizon online report system via wireless internet or bluetooth cellphone connection.

  • 15 mins for adding captions to photos

  • 20 mins for report review, printing of report on paper, CD and online.
    I will print the report on-site (paper & CD) if client is present, eliminates time costly follow-up appointments.

If the client is not present and is in a need of a report immediately, I will complete the report on-site, upload to the Horizon reporting system and publish report for online viewing by the client (seamless upload & publishing). Horizon allows me to directly send an email to the client with the report URL link address. The horizon system also logs date, time & ip when the report is viewed online. The client will be able to view the report, site photo’s & captions, and defect relative illustrations and descriptive pages that are normally found in the Carson Dunlop Home Reference Book.

This took some time to understand and minimize the amount of time for the inspection and delivery process. Depending on the client there is opportunity for flexibility, innovation and time savings.

Any experienced HI that has refined his or her inspection and delivery process, the introduction of online reporting and a hand held or a tablet PC will greatly enhance and significantly reduce time and waste for an inspector. (for those inspectors who do not know how to type, the hand helds and tablet PCs allow you to hand write and the software will transcribe your hand writing into text.)

I hope I was able to illustrate how new technology is furthering the HI industry.

Aurelio Roncone
AccuSpec, Home Inspection Services


There is also another valuable tool available where you can do an online presentation of the report via internet and phone conferencing. This is a value added premium service.


  • House/Cottage in the Muskoka area
  • Client in Hamilton
    *]Realtor in GTA
    Report is uploaded via internet on location wireless or bluetooth, Report is captured within a web conferencing application and the HI, Client and Realtor view the report via internet and communicate via land or voip (voice over internet protocol) phone. The HI presents the report page by page and answers questions along the way. The report is delivered.

Hi Aurelio
Horizon is what I use ,not as fast as you with it but I will stay with it for a while, so far all my clients got their report within 48 hrs nobody complained yet, I was told that it looked very professional compared to others.