Switch Me Twice

June 18, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionGenerally, when checking lights during a home inspection, I’ll switch all the switches on the wall in the opposite direction to see what comes on and then I’ll put them all back to there initial state. Exceptions to this?

I thought so, but once again paid for my mistake. Here’s what took place. I went into an attic and switched on the light, it didn’t come on. No problem, probably a bad bulb. Just then I noted that I had thrown the switch down to check the light which is off on a single pole switch. This left me thinking that the light indeed had been left on and had burnt out. So for safety’s sake I left the switch in the off position.

Ring, Ring. What did you do in the attic, my TV doesn’t work anymore. Apparently, the electrician wired her antenna to the attic light fixture and not a constant source because that would have meant another 10 feet of wire. The bulb wasn’t burned out just unscrewed so the switch could stay on.

Leaving power off to a fixture not in use logically makes sense, but it makes more sense to leave any room the way you found it. Call backs like this can really screw with your day. She lived 1 1/2 hours away from me and demanded that I return immediately for her evening programming.

Another long day that just got longer. Stop thinking so hard and just hit the switch twice.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

Home Inspectors And Resistance

June 3, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection My home inspection today started off just like any other inspection of a new home. Arrived 15 minutes early, met the owner and like some nervous nellie’s she followed my every move. Were at the garage when I performed a pressure test on the overhead door opener. This is done by standing at the door and when the door gets to about my wrist I give it some resistance. Sometimes the opener will quickly reverse other times it take a bit more resistance. How much more resistance to give it before quitting is a function of good judgment. Ever get that feeling of “something’s wrong” Yeh, that’s right, something just didn’t feel right just before it reversed. With nervous nellie standing there I didn’t want to examine the door just yet.

Anyway, on with the inspection of the exterior, the metal paneled garage door down. I notice that there’s a damaged top panel at the garage door and point it out to the owner who says “that was never there before” and gives me a look. I couldn’t say that it wasn’t there before as the garage door was up when I arrived.

Now its time to start taking a good look at the door. I notice that the door has windows at the upper panel; gazing at the rest of the neiborhoods garage doors I see that no one else has this type of panel. The owner admitted that she installed them herself to let in more light. The attachment point of the opener was where the damage was and you could not help but notice the small amount of metal it was attached to after her modification.

Now I can’t say for sure if I damaged the door with the pressure test or if the door had already been damaged when I arrived and the test just confirmed or made worse the damage. This could explain the “something’s wrong” feeling during the pressure test. I do know that I’m going to closely look over any door with a row of windows in the top panel and I’m sure as heck going to start my inspection with the door down from the exterior.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

Masked Man

May 24, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection The other day I attended an InspectVue users group meeting. The author of the program Lorne Steiner was there explaining the in’s and outs of his program and awnsering questions. As with most meetings of this sort “Lorne” went into a standard speech that lasted about 20 – 30 minutes on just why the software was so great.

One of the most interesting aspects of the speech was that home inspectors should be paid more, and that an illusion or perception of being overpaid, was held by most realtors and clients. Lorne then went on with a solution to this problem by explaining that if you were to finish your reports back at the office, no one would know how long you worked for your money. Interesting thought.

In my opinion, and do about 600 inspections personally a year, this is not a good idea unless you just don’t enjoy maximising your earning potential and free time at home with the wife and kids. For me, it takes an extra 20 minutes on site to get the report printed and handed over to the client. Off I go with check in hand. How many things can go wrong if you don’t finsih up then and there, plenty. One of my greatest benefits to my realtors who use me regularly is that were all done when we leave. No loose ends.

It may be better to educate the general realtor population as to the true costs of scheduling, expenses, liabilities and total hours worked per day rather than altering what you do to fit there present perceptions. For instance, go to www.inspectorsuccess.com and download the Profit Calculator. Using the Profit Calculator showed me that there is a cost of $140.00 in expenses for each inspection booked. The parameters used were; I wanted to do about 350 inspections a year and make $50,000.

I think what was really going on was that Lorne has had unfavorable remarks made as to how long it actually takes to input an inspection on site with his software. An average on site inspection time of two hours or less is expected and generally sought out by busy realtors. If your taking more time than this at an average inspection you may well want to finish at home to keep your realtors happy. Taking your work home to finish, sort of masks the input time drawback. Nice spin don’t you think?

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

Eye Remember

May 22, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection Some things seem like small details, like the type of tape used for the testing of electronic eyes for the exterior lamppost or garage lights. Generally the use of black electricians tape is used to cover the eye and it sometimes takes a few minutes for the light to come on. Most often I continue my home inspection routine and glance back to see if the light activated. Occasionally, I’ll forget to go back and take the tape off before leaving the inspection site. Nothing like a call back to take a piece of tape off.

Use friction tape. It falls off after a day or two all by itself. Friction tape is made of cloth and has less adhesive. I wrap the lower part of my screwdriver with a good bit of it so it’s handy and with me at all times. Haven’t had to go back for this oversight since I switched to the friction type. Just one less detail to remember.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

Sink Or Swim

April 19, 2005

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection Sink or swim is a question you ask yourself when you’re stuck in a wash and the water rises to about the door panel area. Spinning the wheels just sinks you down more and you feel conflicted as to weather your going to open the door and let in a small amount of the Santa Cruz river or get out through the window.

I choose the door not quite thinking it all through, a poor choice if I do say so myself. All the water made the car even heavier to push out. Good Samaritans are still around. I convinced a nice young lady to get wet and sit behind the wheel and give it a bit of gas as my new best friend and I pushed.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Always have an extra set of clothes tucked away, you never know when or why you’re going to need them. You’re going to thank me one day for reminding you to tuck them in just like I’m thank’n Gayle today.

By the way, I gave my business card to both of these kind souls and offered to do a free home inspection for them or anyone in there family. I really hope they call on me, it was a great feeling to be able to offer something in return for there gracious efforts.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

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