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#206752 - 08/06/12 09:00 PM Home Inspectors
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
From a home inspection report:

"A licensed electrician shall certify the the wiring and related components as safe"

I have seen this more than once. I tell the buyer or agent the only wiring I "certify" is that which was done by my company. I also tell them to ask the HI to explain what he means by "certify", is there a special sticker or something? wink Recently I had an agent get angry because I refused to "certify" the wiring and sub panel in a 60 year old home.
How would you handle such a request?
With a lot of bank owned properties starting to sell we are seeing a big increase in home inspection repairs, just wonder how some of you handle it.

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#206753 - 08/06/12 09:17 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
And just for the record I an not trying to bash home inspectors, there are many good ones and we are grateful for the work. I just have an issue with that one particular statement.

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#206754 - 08/07/12 01:21 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I hung out at one of the home inspector web sites for a while and I just got too disgusted to stay. The problem is not that they are not good about looking for things that the average home buyer would not see. It is simply the fact that they do not have the qualifications to actually inspect the systems in a home. The buyer usually never complains because they end up with a long punch list of items they can use to drive the price down but it seldom actually reflects the actual code or the enforceable code.
They limit their own liability by saying the buyer should have the house checked out by a licensed trade in whatever disciplines they "ding" but that leaves the customer wondering what the home inspector actually did for them.

BTW I got a 94 on their 50 question test and I was $350 away from being a "certified" home inspector. I would have done better I guess but I have never seen an oil fired boiler and I found a question in the electrical section that was simply wrong.
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Greg Fretwell

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#206756 - 08/07/12 05:03 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6786
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Ditto to what Greg says above. Here in NJ the HIs are Licensed by the state. I have no clue as to what you need to 'pass'.

I field quite a few calls (as AHJ) from people buying/selling resi about Code related issues that an HI has written in the report, and if "I" require the work to be performed. Here is my 'stock' response....

"Call a NJ Lic. EC"

As to what the Ec will do? Check out the structure, and provide a report/estimate on what is an issue. I also mention that the EC will charge a fee for the above. Next reply is "NO, I am not allowed by State Regs to look at the issue".

In my time as an EC, I did a few as favors for neighbors, etc., and took a few HIs to task on 'BAD' reports, almost to the point of 'seeing the Judge', which settled the issue, obtained a refund, and payment for required repairs.

'Certify' can be a legal issue. Providing clear, detailed info on what you find, and what you repair is very important.

BTW, one of the favorite 'boiler plate' HI comments is related to the "Unsafe FPE panel" of the Federal Pacific Brand.

BigB, yes there is and hopefully will be a lot of resi repair & service work. Stick with it if you can.
_________________________
John

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#206758 - 08/08/12 06:17 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Well, it's good to hear that some work is coming out of this market. One of the main complaints I've had is the way the inspections are ignored once the deal is closed. The repairs never seem to happen.

It seems everybody is an electrician. Everybody is an engineer. Everybody is a lawyer. It can get pretty aggravating.

Certify? Safe? Just what do those terms mean? Just as important - since when does the HI tell us what to do?

Well, it's too easy to find fault with HI's. Finding faults there is like finding sand on the beach - not much of a challenge.

So, try to be the only adult in the room. Get paid, then make your own inspection, make your own judgement calls, offer your professional advice. Most important, use your own words.

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#206774 - 08/09/12 10:59 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: gfretwell]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Greg, Sounds like you were over at the same site I was for a while. There's a few good ones over there, but I too got disgusted with some of the "chip on the shoulder" guys" who were too stupid to realize someone was trying to help them. Then when they started withholding posts from us non members until they were approved by a moderator, I just left and never looked back.
Originally Posted By: gfretwell
I hung out at one of the home inspector web sites for a while and I just got too disgusted to stay. The problem is not that they are not good about looking for things that the average home buyer would not see. It is simply the fact that they do not have the qualifications to actually inspect the systems in a home. The buyer usually never complains because they end up with a long punch list of items they can use to drive the price down but it seldom actually reflects the actual code or the enforceable code.
They limit their own liability by saying the buyer should have the house checked out by a licensed trade in whatever disciplines they "ding" but that leaves the customer wondering what the home inspector actually did for them.

BTW I got a 94 on their 50 question test and I was $350 away from being a "certified" home inspector. I would have done better I guess but I have never seen an oil fired boiler and I found a question in the electrical section that was simply wrong.

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#206775 - 08/09/12 11:35 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
At no time did I ever take home inspections to be anything more than a ploy to develop negotiating leverage.

The whole matter is a hustle, something that Angel Martin would come up with on the the Rockford Files.

My immediate neighbor sold his home - -inspectors were involved.

One fool turned off the sump pump / un plugged it because it was a 'trip hazard' or some such...

48 hours later and $5,000 in damages later...

A small army of repair troops roamed the basement to remediate the water damage.

You see, both of our properties are at the mercy of an underground river/ spring -- fed by up hill residences watering their yards.

I understand that there was 4" of standing water before the boo-boo was discovered.

Since the blame was shoved back on the inspector -- he destroyed the deal in escrow as retaliation -- so it took another month to close escrow with yet another buyer and inspector.

All in all, a perfect testament to the inspection con.

BTW, no one wants the inspector to have anything to do with fixing / and getting paid for fixing / electrical work.

So, under no circumstances should you waste even one second of your life inspecting a residence pursuant to a sale negotiation.

Such is for fools, idiots and saints -- that don't need to eat.
_________________________
Tesla

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#206776 - 08/10/12 07:50 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6786
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Tesla:

I know of two (2) ECs that do very well ($$$) doing resi resale repairs/service work. With new resi being very few, they found a niche.

Yes, the HI is a negotiation lever for the buyer, but it also opens a door that generates work. I was not implying that the EC should do the 'inspection'; but to follow up on the HIs 'report'.
_________________________
John

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#206962 - 09/08/12 07:56 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: BigB]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
BigB

If they want you to "Certify" wiring in a house you might be able to write a letter such as,

On this date, I did a NON destructive inspection of the wiring in your house, and judging by what I could see, the wiring in the house seems to meet the present electrical code.

This way by doing a non destructive search, you didn't rip out any walls or ceilings, yet you don't know if there were any hidden splice boxes behind these walls.

This happened to me personally. My son bought a house, and after I started to renovate a little bit, I found hidden splice boxes behind the walls and ceilings. Needless to say, that I had to rip out 90% of the drywall to make sure I removed all of the hazards.

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#206965 - 09/08/12 10:10 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: harold endean]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: Alaska
Dumb question. How can a "certified" inspector not be able to certified the electrical system. It's a package deal. A co-worker of mine who moon lights as an inspector does the wiring as well. On larger jobs, he brings in an electrician or consults on the oddities he comes across. Either way, the customer pays one price for the package not have to piece meal one together. The point of hiring a professional is to deal with an issue. Just like having to remediate finish surfaces after a wiring job. Unless the owner wants to play the project manager, if you get called in, you are responsible for the finish product, not the customer.
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