You don’t always get what you pay for…

All too often I’ve heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”. But it works both ways.

This inspection was performed by our local high price multi inspection firm. The first two photos are from the original report, the last was my photo. The client complained of outlets and lights not working. We found multiple grounded conductors on a single lug on the neural bar and the burnt wires. No mention of the burnt conductors or multiple conductors on lugs in the report.


Probably improper MWBC or undersized wire.

So that defect was visible in the photo included in the original report?

First two photos are original from report (my mark-up).

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Interesting, why did the 1st inspector bother to take the cover off if not to inspect? I am not an electrician, therefore I specifically look for issues such as this. It is a good thing you were called in.

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They remove the cover to snap a quick pic. Pics are important, you need to take like 300 of them! Then you will appear professional, yeap!

Have you not seen inspectors boast how they send out the report at the end of 1-hour inspection? Well… they only look at the panel for 30 seconds and close it. Then they don’t review any photos. End product posted by OP.


RB, you implying your a cheap inspector? by calling the others “high price”

could you walk into a court of law and truthfully testify all you found was present the day the other inspection was performed?

ftr…not fully redacting report info could get you in a world of hurt

Aardvark 3205 Oak Glen Trail Fort Wayne, IN

karma’s a bitch
best to mind mama
“if ya can’t say something good best not say anything at all”

I cannot speak for other inspectors, some may be more talented than me. But, I personally need the office time to review photos and write in order to do my job. I have accepted this fate and I encourage others to do the same. But, it is apparent my style is falling to the wayside.

I had a ride along a while back. He seemed very distant and not into my process. I asked him about his attitude. His response “I just can’t get into your old style of reporting. I am only interested in onsite reporting”.

I started to explain the importance, but his eyes glazed over.


While there are exceptions to every rule, 95+% of 1-hour onsite supermen miss good amount of defects (of course they will argue otherwise). And also they defer a lot to cover their @$$. Almost everything they inspect is deferred in a clever manner so in case a client comes back they will ask: did you get a plumber like I told you? did you get an electrician like I told you? did you get a roofer like I told you? :expressionless:

The onsite reports are demanded by agents, why? less defects discovered, they get the contract signed faster, they get paid $$ faster – their end-goal. The agents market these home inspectors to their clients: this [our] great home inspector will give you the report at the of the inspection. We won’t have to wait until tomorrow or worse, 48 hours, OMG! The end justify the means! Very simple, really.


Excellent point since the description is relative. It would be interesting to hear what the two fees were for the inspection; the so called “local high price multi inspection firm”, the fee charged by the OP.

Another good question and well worded!

Very true!

Maybe we will get answers to the questions? Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath?

Agree, on site reporting leads to missed information, but boy do the Realtors love that quick report. The Realtors I deal with do not tolerate an onsite report and expect time to be spent on preparing the report. As said the review of pictures is very important.


Unfortunately the agents who demand and tout same-day reports, will have no issues throwing the inspector under the bus, when something gets missed.


I have no problem churning out same-day reports but NEVER send while onsite. I need to get away, review photos and just take a breath. I’ve been throwing my laptop on the kitchen counter and stopping by a few times to input information for over 20 years and admit I’m set in my ways. But, what I really can’t comprehend is all these new programs where you just input stuff in your phone as you’re going. I feel like I get in an efficient rhythm and couldn’t imagine all the stopping/starting. That being said, if I were starting out today I’d probably just learn it that way. I think I just described the old dog/new tricks analogy :slight_smile:


Nice catch, whatever you charged.

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It worked well for me, Matt! problems that couldn’t be solved easily.

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As a Spectora user, I can confirm that their biggest pitch is speed of onsite reporting. That is one of the reasons I chose them actually. In reality though, unless you are doing a 1000 sq. ft. slab-on-grade built within the last 10 years, there is too much info that should go into the report to get it done in a reasonable amount of time on-site. At least for my fingers on my phone.

What I have found to be the most efficient is to get all pictures and annotations (arrows, locations, etc.) into their correct report location while on-site. Then review it all at home and add the additional narrative comments that are needed at that time.

I don’t know why there is this fascination with sending the report immediately after the inspection. It is not a race as far as I’m concerned.


Some inspectors get their “wiggy” on saying they can provide it this way. I can say I’ve seen many of these reports where lawyers are licking their chops.

To each their own, but it’s not a way of reporting I’m risking my business on.


Agreed. I used to try for same day, then I touted 24 hr turn around. Now I tell people that they will have it within 48 hours and I have had nothing but increased business and happy customers. Sure, there are situations where the inspection contingency and my schedule force me to same day or 24 hour but that is not the norm at this point. It was for most of last year and early summer here but things have leveled off a bit and gained me back my flexibility.
I would rather turn the job down than race to output an inferior product.


That’s funny - I’ve fallen into the exact opposite routine. I get all my narratives in while on site then put pictures in and proofread later. No right or wrong way really. All this report writing just comes down to what we’re comfortable with.

I see the subject of time coming up as a reason to use one system vs. another. Honestly, more often than not I find myself trying to kill time onsite to justify the $400-$500 I’m charging. After 20 years of inspecting and using basically my same software, I’m embarrassed to admit how fast I can do an inspection on many houses. If I’m not talking with the buyer and/or agent I can easily do a 2000sf house and have the whole report written (except for a final proofread) in 2 hours. $200/hr is fine by me and I don’t feel I need to give some software developer a cut of my $$. Realistically, I find myself talking with people a lot so my average inspection is closer to 3 hours. Aside from just enjoying the chatting I think that part of the inspection is where you really connect with people. It convinces buyers you know what you are doing and give agents confidence in referring you.


Is the industry adopting the Starbucks approach where efficiency is more important than accuracy and if only 1 in 50 bothers to complain it’s a success? Does this still make the statement “you get what you pay for” true? If an employed inspector who has adopted the same approach gets 40% of an inspection fee and I make double that, who is the “cheap” inspector?