Typical inspection includes...?

Originally Posted By: Douglas Williamson
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Evening all. I have a few questions for you.

In my area there are few home inspectors available. In fact the nearest inspector lives ~ 50 miles away (50 miles in any direction). The inspections for my city are scheduled roughly 2-5 days out before somebody can show up and cost what appears to be on average according to the great members here.


How broad of an area do you normally cover? Given my location (heart of Michigan's upper peninsula) the 50 mile travel time is to be expected, but I'm curious how far most of you travel. Do you have a fuel sur-charge or any type of distance based fee?

Do you do more seller's or buyer's inspections, and do you charge differently for each? I have looked over seller/buyer inspection reports done in this area and the price quoted was 30% difference.

Also the HI's in this area do not use software (that I have seen). I've read from two separate HI's and they use two different book form reports. One is the hreporter book/checklist, the other is the bound AHIT Home Inspection Report - neither HI included much information beyond what could be written in the brief space after the report checklist/summary - is this normal or parochial format for a report?

It seems the reports (judging by the samples I've found through this board) offered from many of you are more "worth the money" than the few statements scribbled on the pre-fab report booklets around here - the reports are informative but still seem to be thin.

Thanks for any replies!

PS: This website has SO much information available. I'm impressed at the interest shown by this Assoc.'s membership!

Originally Posted By: rwashington
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Depends on how hungry the inspector is. icon_biggrin.gif Typically, I will travel about 25 miles max but I am in the Houston area.

Just about 100% of my inspections are buyers inspections.

I use adobe. Too cheap to splurge on report software but will in the future.

Glad you have found the NACHI BB helpful. Welcome to the board.

Richard W Washington


Originally Posted By: jrivera
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Good Luck Doug, great to have you along !!!

This is an awesome joint.... Have fun !!!!

Originally Posted By: bkelly2
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Douglas, welcome. I will travel 50 miles one way for an inspection. I do not like to but I have done it. I have done three inspections in one day and put over 150 miles on my vehicle (scheduleing error). But then again it is pretty spread out here in Phoenix and the surrounding area. I drive a 4-runner and get very close to 20 mpg. Your milage may vary icon_wink.gif

“I used to be disgusted, Now I try to Be amused”-Elvis Costello

Originally Posted By: dandersen
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Douglas, I travel 50 miles a day almost any day.

I do mostly buyers inspections.
You will normally see a price difference between buyers and sellers inspections because the sellers inspection is normally less detailed. The seller knows what appliances work etc. and you don't have to spend time testing those. You spend more time on the big stuff and less on the cosmetic type areas. Even though we don't do cosmetic inspections, clients want to know what those little cracks in the wall are and if they are structurally devastating.

I use Microsoft Word.
I built a template with pulldown options that cover all the things that must be reported upon; roof, plumbing, HVAC, electric, interior, siding, grading, crawl space/basement, gutters, etc. Then I use voice dictation programs to cover the narratives. I frequently will dictate these narratives while I'm driving my 50 miles a day. I e-mail the report by the following day after I get a chance to sleep on it (saves a lot of mistakes).

There are just too many variables in a home inspection for me to rely upon a fill in the blank type report.
It takes a little while to get your voice dictation programs trained, but if you are a sole proprietor, you know what you want to say and it is faster to dictate than to look up, cut and paste (or select). If you have employees, using a cut and paste or checklist report keeps everybody on the same sheet of music and is a little more necessary. I keep a document with the most commonly used narratives. This document is upgraded and updated as necessary. It is set up in the same format as the report so as you go through this document you will find most of what you need. Triple click the paragraph hit "control" "C", continued to put up to 24 paragraphs on the clipboard, using the document outline in Microsoft Word gets you to the report section where the paragraphs can be pasted ("control " "V "). It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to paste 24 paragraphs (if you have that many issues). Paste your photographs, format the report (take out the extra spaces etc.). And e-mail it off to the client and their realtor.

I use a checklist on site which I also designed in Microsoft Word. This helps you make sure you've covered all the steps and is amazing what small stuff you forget by the time you get home. The checklist helps you keep track of code requirements and other technical information also. If there are numbers you have trouble remembering off the top of your head, put them in the checklist. Such as, deck railing: > 36 inches high, balisters <4 inches apart etc.

I do about three inspections myself per day. I try to schedule on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I attempt to leave Tuesday and Thursday mornings open to deal with reports and other company business. I try to get the reports dictated the evening of the inspection but it's been a long day and delay sending the report till morning after I have my coffee and get to proofread the report with a good nights sleep under my belt.

Originally Posted By: Douglas Williamson
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Thanks for the info! One of the great things I noticed about this board is the willingness of members to reply to any posts - whether they are from other inspectors, nachi members or otherwise - even if to just say Hi. We newbies appreciate this!

The MS Word seems to be the most ideal way to do a report and save money in the process. Some of the samples I have seen through member links here are impressive.

What about the HI's around my area using only the purchased binders and no further reporting? Is that rare or completely dependant upon location? I know most things in this area are about 10 years behind (a HI around here couldn't possibly offer email/burned reports because a large portion of the clientele wouldn't have access or know what to do with them!) - I think the HI's here use the cheaply purchased booklets for two reasons

1) Because they can. - if everybody here does it, how is a consumer to know any better?

2) Because it's an easy way to deliver the full report at the end of the inspection. - Don't have to lug a laptop/printer around and print dozens of pages of report for the client.

One of the reports I reviewed for a friend was using the hreporter manual/checklist - the report was simply the checklist and a 3 paragraph (short paragraph) summary of a few items. The inspector hit the nail on the head for the home but without any detail or real explanation even.

Another report I read was an AHIT binder report/checklist - the entire report was the checklist with a few notes scribbled at the bottom of the page (hardly legible) and the summary page at the back of the booklet had about 10 items scribbled (again nearly illegible) on it. The home was 50+ years old - 10 sentance summary?!?

Both of these inspections were performed in Michigan (unlicensed control state) but the inspectors were both from Wisconsin (and licensed in WI.) - it just doesn't seem that these simple reports would be enough to satisfy the state licensing!

Anyway, babbling. Thanks again for the info.