What we like about Housecall is their service.  It has been many months since our home inspection, and my wife and I still call them to ask questions.  They always take the time to talk with us and we never feel rushed.  This is our first home, and it is nice knowing you have someone you can call.  They deliver on their promise.        -  Mr. & Mrs. Pickard, San Diego

Blog Inspector Rants An Informed Buyer
An Informed Buyer
Inspector Rants
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So today while out on an inspection I get a call from a client. A very nice women on the other end of the call is looking for a home inspector and she found my website listing on Google. I can tell that this call might take some time, so I excuse myself from my current inspection for a few minutes and retreat to a cool spot under a shade tree in the front yard of this beautiful house in Escondido.   Now these are the kind of calls I like. The caller is well prepared and with checklist in hand begins working through her list of questions from top to bottom.

So how long have you been in business as a home inspector in San Diego?

I explain to her that I've been in business as a home inspector since 2003 and prior to that I was a general contractor and spent 18+ years in construction.  We talk about my experience remodeling homes. I bring up a funny story about a past remodeling project and she counters with a story of her own. I learn that she has bought her share of houses, twenty to be exact, and each one her and her husband putting in the sweat equity to make "sweets from sours" she says. I've never heard that term, but perhaps it was popular before my time. But this is not a rookie by any stretch of the imagination. With a portfolio of homes stretching across the Good Ole' U.S.A. she and I takes a journey through cracked slabs, falling roofs, and crazy tenants. What a hoot!

So what type of high tech equipment do you use on a home inspection?

"My good sense, and I add whatever tools I need that are necessary to answer the question that my experience cannot," I mention. My caller rattles off a very specific list of tools of the trade, and asks if I carry such tools as a moisture meter, combustible gas detector, infrared camera and so on. "I use high tech tools if they provide data that I can rely on," I tell her. "I own and use most of the tools you mentioned, but I don't prescribe to the use of infrared cameras for a home inspection," I say. I explain to my caller some of the background surrounding these high tech tools and mention that while they have utility in mechanical and industrial applications, the usefulness to a home inspector is limited. An infrared camera is simply a very expensive gadget around which a new or lesser experienced home inspector can market their services. In fact, in the short time that they've been marketed to home inspectors and real estate agents, infrared cameras have damaged the home inspection profession more than helped as they allow individuals with very little experience in building science to enter the field of home inspection and promote their ability to "see through walls", and offer to "see what other inspectors miss".
 
Most infrared camera manufacturers have disclaimers on their website or user manual which in no uncertain terms caution a home inspector to not "rely" on the data that the camera provides, and that if the camera detects moisture in a wall, that the only way to be sure you have moisture is to use a moisture meter. So we've come full circle, back to having tools that I can rely on as a professional home inspector. My moisture meter has never failed me and I can rely on the data it provides me.

How long does it take to get my inspection report?

"We provide inspection reports within 24 hours," I explain. "Have you taken a look at the sample home inspection reports on our website?" I say. "Already done that," she says. I go on to explain how many home inspectors in San Diego use software to produce their reports and the end result IMO is blocky reports, poorly formatted with strange fonts, colors, margins all over the place, etc. I explain to her that we used the same software for years and only recently have unveiled what we feel is a better mousetrap. We produce our home inspection reports using a custom designed scripted version of Microsoft Word. We think it makes a nice looking inspection report. My caller agrees. She had previously downloaded several from different local home inspectors in San Diego and liked mine the best. So that made me feel good given that we've spent a lot of time turning "sours into sweets". Hmm. It sounded much better when she said it.
 
Until next time...
 
About the author:
Darin Redding is a certified home inspector and owner of Housecall Property Inspections, a professional San Diego home inspection company. Visit them on the web at http://www.sandiegohomeinspect.com

Areas Served: We serve the areas listed above as well as many others. If you do not see your city, please contact us. We will be proud to serve your city.
Darin Redding
Written on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 18:39 by Darin Redding

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 12:55
 

Housecall Property Inspections

Housecall Property Inspections
6826 Millbrook St.
San Diego, CA 92120
619-663-8740