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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by I_bend_metal View Post
    You know what Larobj63.....I just read this thread again and I think I need to apologize...around these parts we have HOME inspectors and then we have CITY inspectors...City inspectors are the guys I deal with after an install and these are the guys my anger is directed at. I honestly haven't dealt with a HOME inspector in a very long time....my bad....seriously....I meant no disrespect.

    Unless you're a city inspector too
    I just got all warm and fuzzy. lol

    No really - I appreciate the apology.

    I'm not a municipal inspector... lol

  2. #41
    Thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to share their feelings and opinions here. Even those who might come across harsh are offering information that can be helpful.

    First, to those who want home inspectors not to even look at electrical or mechanical systems, I would say that they are not being realistic. It is our job to (as one poster correctly said) determine "if" they work - not how well. The fact remains that HI's will continue to be paid to perform this service, and I was simply looking for information about how you (as a professional community) feel we can most responsibly and effectively perform that function for the benefit of both professions and our clients.

    As noted, often, this results in a referral to an HVAC pro for evalaution since it exceed the basic perfunctory operational inspection we are equipped to perform. So, in many cases it does lead to work for HVAC pros, but I do feel for thse who are called back out for corrections that do not need to be performed (waste of time and money).

    I am intriuged by the idea of working with a local pro to offer a more professional evaluation of the system, but that seems like it will have to be an upgrade feature offered to clients since there is no way to properly compensate for the time and fees.


    If some have interpreted this as an attempt to get a complete education for free, all I can say is that was not the intent. I don't think I ever asked for you to give me a complete breakdown on how to evaluate a heat exhanger or coil. I just asked what you could pass on to help us do our jobs better. Not everything needs further evaluation, but many things do. Better information from pros like yourselves can help us prevent nuisance calls to you, manage our clients expectations better, and know what is useful and useless information (like the laser thermometer for example).

    I'm a generalist - and in my experience most good HIs don't attempt to be experts or know-it-alls. We do have to refer things out when it exceeds our knowledge or experience. But not everything needs to be referred out, and not all items we would prefer to have replaced are REQUIRED to be replaced. It is a tricky line to walk sometimes.....

    Using the electical example cited and applying to the mechanical example cited: One poster was upset about an HI offering the opinion that screws would be a nice upgrade to their work (totally WAY beyond what the HI should be doing and inaccurate as proven by the manufacturer specs). However, another poster wants that same HI to off an opinion that the knob and tube and number of outlets would be nice to upgrade (although neither may be necessary) since code at the time of construction would cover both these, and they are not inherently unsafe.

    Clearly, we would all want an HI who would point out the inherent flaws of the knob and tube, ungrounded outlets,and lack of adequate outlets. All are acceptable by code and current standards, though.

    We also would want to avoid the pain in the ass HI who opined (incorrectly) about the screws in the vent.

    But knowing where to draw the line in offering some opinion and helpful information, and when to recommend further professional evaluation is what separates the good ones from teh bad ones.

    Thanks to those here who offered some info that will allow me to hone that fine line a little finer. I truly appreciate your time and thoughtfulness.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by joemichalski View Post
    However, another poster wants that same HI to off an opinion that the knob and tube and number of outlets would be nice to upgrade (although neither may be necessary) since code at the time of construction would cover both these, and they are not inherently unsafe.

    Clearly, we would all want an HI who would point out the inherent flaws of the knob and tube, ungrounded outlets,and lack of adequate outlets. All are acceptable by code and current standards, though.
    You thoroughly misunderstood the context of my comments regarding the knob and tube electric.

    I was being sarcastic - in responce to someone saying an idiot HI told his family member that their fuse box was breakers. I was bringing up an exagerated example.

    I have done a few HI's, and was put on the defensive by some of the less than professional comments being thrown around.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    194
    It may be different in other parts of the country but around here a HI is usually demanded by the mortgage company and who pays the fees are negotiated between buyer and seller. The purpose of the inspection is to cover the lender. All they want to know is are there any big ticket items that might cause the new owner to walk away from the property and leave the bank holding a condemned building. Again, around here the big thing inspectors look for is rot and water damage. They'll look for obvious code violations that might get the property red tagged. The most common recommendation is repair/replace the roof. If rot is found then a licenced structural engineer might be called in. Unless such work receives a PE stamp there is no liability or warranty. The inspector is merely a guide pointing out obvious problems; not a blessing that any thing is good.

    A second level of home inspection may come from the insurance company. My agent personally inspects all properties he insures. His concern is liability the insurance might have to pay for. Number one on the list is any code violations that would create a hazard; bad wiring, gas leaks, open wells, etc. The roof and drainage come in a close second as their number one payout next to fire is water damage.

    If the HO gets stuck buying a new furnace shortly after moving in that's their responsibility. That's considered just like any other appliance that came with the house. Unless it comes with a transferable warranty all bets are off. A free standing fireplace or woodstove on the other hand gets the third degree from any inspector.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,310
    Ok to even do one of these right you need to charge at least 350 to 400 dollars .
    The reason .... is all the money you will ever see from that job. Because when you do inspect it PROPERLT and find issues , the home owner isnt going to come running to throw money at you to fix it.
    Its a lose lose proposition. The diference between an HI and pro is he gives his opinion , no obligations just his opinion. We are held to a higher standard,,,,,,,,,theres a reason for that.
    You sure are cocky for a starving pilgrim.

  6. #45
    Alden,
    Interesting input. Inspections here couldn't differ more from your scenario. Our client's lenders may insist on a WDI inspeciton (but even that is only about 50% of the time) and certainly not a full home inspection. That is done by the buyer for their own benefit and to negotiate defects with the sellers.

    For that reason, an HVAC pro who does the inspection with me would likely get teh buyer's business. Most buyers here ask for cash at settlement to take care of the defects since they do not trust the sellers to do it properly. Thus, they already know an HVAC guy who has identified the problem, and who has an insde track on the job. Doesn't always work that way (some sellers don't budge and some buyers don't evr get stuff fixed) but when it does I would think the pro first in teh door has a huge advantage in landing the work or setting up an annual maintenance contract.

    As for insurance agents, in over 6 years, I have only ever seen one agent at a property and he had no idea at all what he was looking at. Left before he even got to the knob and tube.

    larobj63 - sorry I missed your point. I got a little lost in all the responses. As for the attacking tone in some posts, I let it roll off my back. No one here knows me or my work (or my background) well enough to judge, so I give those opinions the weight they are worth, and look for the helpful information in the posts. Thanks again!

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    omaha
    Posts
    343
    inspections should bne done by a pro for that area. elec by a electrican, plumbing a plumber, etc.etc.etc.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246

    I do Agree With home Inspections

    BUT

    Your job is to see that everything is done safetly and professionally. Put yourself in our shoes and cut the bullshet, with stupidity and ignorance.



    PS; I had a inspector call us on a B to C adapter. This is a CSA approved Fitting for venting in Canada ( for the guys that don't know what it is) So I phoned him and said what are you calling us on, his reply was The fitting was to thin. I said to him, what part of CSA approved did you miss. ( he didn't like that to much!
    Do it right the first time.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Thank God I don't deal with home inspectors much anymore...


    Listing has been removed. You want specifics, email me.
    Last edited by iraqveteran; 11-14-2008 at 07:14 AM. Reason: felt like it
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,023
    No, I don't think you should make that list here.

    The guy wanted some feedback. He got it.

    He doesn't need you running his profession into the ground.

    As you well know, any number of us could run our own profession into the ground with the crap that we see.

    So, let's just cool it.
    Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.

  11. #50
    Thanks, jrbenny. I have a pretty thick skin though, and I'm not at all worried about anyone running my or my profession into the ground.

    For 21 degrees, that is pretty much our job exactly. Some guys (like every profession) are better and have more common sense than others.

    The advice about the laser thermometer is also useful (and something I have heard before). Temperature differences are the kind of thing that seems best left to you guys to calculate or determine.

    Additionally, I hear several people say that they would like HIs to be more up to date on materials and methods you employ. Admittedly, that is pretty hard to do since we don't work with them as you do, and there is so much (electrical, mechanical, roofing, plumbing, etc) for us to try to keep up on. Forums like this (at least what I can access of it) do help though, as I read what I can to learn about different materials, problems, etc.

    I understand the sentiment that all inspections should be done by trade pros, but I think we have already established that the going rate for an HVAC inspection by a pro is in the $300-400 range. Add to that another $300-400 for each structure, roofing, electric, and plumbing (not to mention termites, radon, mold) and the buyer would soon be at $2000-3000 for all these inspections (and just try to coordinate all those guys to show up on the same day at the same time with less than 3 days prior notice!)

    It just doesn't seem practical. That said, I am going ahead with plans to offer an Exhaustive inspection which will include inspection and certification of specific items by trade pros in that field. I can cover structure, roofing and all minor items, and will offer the client the option to add in a trade pro for HVAC, electric and/or plumbing. I am curious to see what the response will be. High end clients might really be attracted to this (as might relo or insurance companies). Unfortunately, there are few relo's or high end homes selling here right now.....

    Thanks again for the input!

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    I think you should offer 1 inspection. If you choose to offer a second option, I would recommend getting the contractors lined up and have a contract with them. That may get you a better contractor/inspector, inspector/homeowner, contractor/homeowner relationship.


    On the home inspection, record your findings. And whether it pass or fail....recommend a specific inspection by a licensed HVAC technician. Explain to the potential homeowner that your findings are based solely on the system running. Whereas a HVAC technician has the authority, knowledge, and experience to open the system up, inspect it thoroughly and make more recommendations from there. Just becuase its working today doesn't mean it will work tomorrow. For all you know, the HO had Back Yard Bill Heat em Cheat em fabricate some crazyness that is a potential health/fire risk just before the home went on the market.


    I didn't care for making specific calls just because a HI failed a home. Only to get there and find the system is running properly. And then have to get on the phone with the HI and explain to him why he is wrong.



    Thats my .02......I have a nice example of a poor HI causing nothing but grief for the HO. If you want to hear it, send me an email. It may be something that you could use for future reference.
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  13. #52
    Thanks for the thoughts! Your description is pretty much what my current inspection entails. I will reach out to you for your war story sometime, but at the moment I am headed out for a week's vaca..... Thanks again!

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