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Report Writing Rules &Tips

Use language which identifies what the inspector did or did not do while performing the inspection, a complete comment of the inspectors observations, descriptions which distinguishes the component from other similar components and descriptions of locations which contain relative information.

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PROfessional Home Inspection Report Writing, Templates and more..

Defensive Report Writing Guide

Improve your HOME INSPECTION REPORT writing skills.

The purpose of this guide is to enlighten you as to how you write reports. Not the report format but the observations and recommendations you write.

As you read through this guide you’ll be briefly exposed to many procedures, which have been used by both successful and unsuccessful inspection professionals.

Limit your liability!

Most consumer complaints can be eliminated with a properly written report.

Included within this publication are universal “Dos and Don’ts”, misunderstandings of descriptions, definitions and corrective recommendations. You will read how Court Judges, Arbitrators and Attorneys act and respond.

Within this guide you will find many real world examples.

Absolutely the best 10 bucks I spent! Improved my confidence and saved report writing time.
Fred Freer,
www.foursquarehomeinspections.com

We show you how to write a home inspection report.

Inspectors shall be objective in their reporting and not knowingly understate or overstate the significance of reported conditions. A component is not defective unless it is failing to perform its intended function. Not because you would have constructed it another way. An example is roof to sidewall flashing. The flashing is continuous although you would have preferred step flashing.

Included in this guide are chapters on;

  • Your industry expected responsibility
  • Common Report Writing Mistakes
  • Preparing and Delivering Reports
  • Dos and Don'ts
  • Report Writing Rules to use everyday.

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What's wrong with this?

Here is what the inspector wrote under the heading of "Basement Water Heater TPRV and Drain Tube: Missing... Drain tube not present at TPR valve. Recommend a qualified contractor install and extend pipe to within 6 inches of the floor.

Reads OK, right? I don't think so. First let's review the observation...Can someone with limited knowledge or an 8th grade education easily understand?

How about writing like this... ""Basement Water Heater safety valve discharge is unsafe!" Is that not easier to understand? Plus it required 5-less-words.

Read more...

 

Delivering Reports (Registered Users)

Members can now upload their PDF Inspection Reports as a new FREE benefit.

By providing your client with a link to view and download  their report with any device, you are providing a very secure process for report delivery.

The entire process is very user friendly. The reports are stored on the server for 15-days with unlimited downloads. And because the folder is "Forbidden from direct access", no one can access the other uploads, therefore a password is not required to access this report, only the direct link will have access.

Members are suggested to log-in and on the Member Menu, click the "Upload Reports" link and give it a test run. Send it to yourself to see what your clients receive.

How we came up with this membership feature.

Over the last few months I started a new thread titled, "Preferred method of Report Delivery", on LinkedIn and the ASHI Forums and received over 50-replies. The short story is, like everything else they each had variations of on-site or email delivery. And unless you hand the report to the client on-site having a download link rather than the report itself sent to the client  is faster and much more secure, and never blocked by the recipient's setting, like "Block all Attachments", or another security setting.

 

Convert Any Document to a PDF for FREE

The best way to deliver your reports is in PDF format and with this FREE software it installs on your PC and runs like a printer. I have been using this product for about 6-months with both Windows XP and Windows 7 without a glitch.

Even you folks which prepare hand written reports can scan-in the images and convert in a few minutes using a scanner or portable scanner which can be acquired for $50+. Click for a suggested list of scanners.

You can download the FREE PDF writer from HostngByEDS

 

Stupid Comments Inspectors Write

Most all inspectors write into their reports that the inspection is "visual", "not technically exhaustive", and limited to "direct observations". They also comment, "this is not a code compliance inspection". Yet time after time I read where they contradict themselves in their reports.

When an inspector is challenged in a court of law, the first tactic of the opposing attorney is to destroy your credibility. They will hire an expert witness to review your report as to assumptions you made via the comments you wrote and trust me, they do not care if the comment came with the software you are using, you wrote the comment into your report, period!

Here are a couple of my favorite Stupid Comments.

  1. The inspector describes how an asphalt shingle is manufactured (technically exhaustive and direct observation) and in the last line he writes, "covered with GRAVEL". Gravel, how about mineral granules?
  2. Inspector writes: "The visible portions or the conventional STACKED framing are in acceptable condition, and would conform to the standards of the year in which they were installed."  I have two questions; how did the inspector "directly observe" the stacked framing and how does the inspector know they conform to the standards in the year it was built?
  3. Here is x-ray vision, "Poured in Place slab concrete, 8 inches or more thick."
  4. The inspector discovers lead water piping. The inspector goes on to write; "Lead can be a risk for small children when it is ingested. You can manage your own usage and risk by running the water before it is ingested." "....... replacement may be necessary." WOW!! Talk about liability! I would have written; Presents of lead water piping was observed, lead water piping is a proven health risk. Replacement is required.

More real case examples are located in the members section titled "Stupid Comments 2".

 

Home Buyer Checklist

Home buyers ask, How do I minimize the risk of purchasing a home especially a foreclosure which is listed to be sold  "as is"? Just because the listing states "as is" does not mean you can not have the home inspected. Before making the final decision a professional home inspection should be performed but prior to that you should perform your own walk-through inspection. We have prepared a simple 9-page checklist you can use which asks you all the questions you will need to know prior to making your offer.


When contemplating purchasing a new home everyone has the same question. Is this house a money pit? This home buyers checklist will self alert you of warning signs from the neighborhood to water stains. Because this is something you do yourself your costs are minimal and will arm you with the real questions to ask of your sales person, home inspector and anyone else who will guide you through this process.

Our staff of real estate professional was recently contacted about answering this need. What does the potential buyer need to know to go forward? A task force composed of agents, home inspectors, and investors assembled and created this checklist.

Watch the slide-show of checklist screen shots. Slide-show is two minutes long.  Watch Now

We have created 2-versions available for download. One version for the real estate profession which is editable (MS Word Template) so they can brand the checklist for distribution to their clients and contacts. The second version is for the home buyer which is not editable but can be reprinted for unlimited uses.

 

The editable version for professionals sells for $9.95.


The home buyer version sells for $3.95.
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When to use a Hyphen

Most of our readers know, we are all about report writing, easily understandable by the reader requires the use of proper grammar. This article features hyphens. Other articles like when to use 7 or seven are located in the members area.

You may want to print this cheat-sheet and have on your desk.

Hyphens are used to link words and parts of words. They are not as common today as they used to be, but there are three main cases where you should use them:

  • in compound words
  • to join prefixes to other words
  • to show word breaks

Hyphens in compound words

Hyphens are used in many compound words to show that the component words have a combined meaning (e.g. a pick-me-up, mother-in-law, good-hearted) or that there is a relationship between the words that make up the compound: for example, rock-forming minerals are minerals that form rocks. But you don’t need to use them in every type of compound word.

Read more...

 

Professional Home Inspection Report Writing

So now you have completed the home inspection training course, put your name out to the folks and you are ready to go to work and hopefully make a buck or to. But is your report BULLET PROOF?

OK, you did very well on the course and bought yourself some expensive software to use and you are comfortable in the fact that the boiler-plate comments are good enough. But are you willing to bet your house on what some young programmer wrote, after all he gets paid by the line? Read the stupid comments piece, most of which came from boiler-plate text.

Inspectors oftentimes attempt to quote one of the building codes and most of the time their comments are in error to an extent. To write a professional good quality home inspection report, you must understand what you are writing about. Do not embellish your writing, do not write content you did not visually observe and please leave the editorial writing to the editorial writers.

InspecProWriter is the only dedicated source to correct and "Defensive Report Writing". Our goal is to provide you with the information and understanding to make you a great report writer for a better home inspector. You learn what to write, what not to write and to do this in a complete and concise professional manner.

 
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