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scotbaker
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Joined: 07/01/2014 10:28 AM EDT
Messages: 1358
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I just approved your request, welcome aboard.
Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Location: Carmel, IN
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We should start a HomeGauge forum here. LoL

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scotbaker
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Joined: 07/01/2014 10:28 AM EDT
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Nathan wrote:We should start a HomeGauge forum here. LoL

Hatfields and McCoys for everyone. Even though, I believe most of HIP HG haters are not here, like over there.
Kris Svendsen
49er
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Joined: 06/22/2014 08:52 PM EDT
Messages: 337
Location: Dallas, TX
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scotbaker wrote:
A_Carl wrote:I use HG, really like it for the most part. However, I like to color code my reports for various categories but find no way to do it effectively where it keeps them distinctly separate in the general summary. If you make any comments, they all end up in the general summary. In other words, if Iwant a category for cosmetic = blue, Safety = green, and repair or replace=red I currently find no where to separate them so they don't all end up in the general summary in comments together. I want a separate report that only has repair or replace comments showing, but haven't found a way to do it so the other comments for cosmetic or any other category that doesn't warrant immediate attention doesn't get collected on the general summary. If you follow me on this, is anyone aware of a program that makes this easy to do?

Yes. it's called HomeGauge. I am working on a new template with the comments colored for each summary as you mentioned above. You have to make a new summary and assign it a comment color.
Go here to see different HG examples. You do not need to be a member. http://www.nachi.org/forum/f83/time-vote-which-homegauge-inspection-report-best-winner-gets-500-a-106666/
A friend and I created a Facebook HG users Group (146 members now). Ask to join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomeGaugeUsers/.
Very powerful software, over 700 inspections into it and still learning. That is why I am redesigning and taking my report to the next level.


FWIW I use HG and 99% of the time I've uploaded the report to ISN before I leave the property. After we review the actual PDF report, I tell them I'm uploading the report now and you and your agent will get an email in about 15 minutes with a link to the report. It's done and they say, "That's awesome and easy". If it's a house with a lot going on of course it takes me longer and I may have to finish it later that day, but we go over the rough draft on site and I still delver by the end of the day. I don't include a lot about things that are working because no one cares. They're interested in what isn't. I've never had a complaint. I attribute most of this ability to the report format that we're required to use in Texas which is a "by system" report which I really like. I attribute the rest to issue consolidation. My reports are typically 20 pages or less including required state verbiage at the beginning, pictures in the body (in the section they belong), and pictures in the summary. I"m not saying this because I think a report with fewer pages is superior, I'm just saying that it typically doesn't require much more in my opinion. If I need more pages, I take them but not just because. And by the way, I decided to start including pictures in the summary because there have been instances where the agent only forwarded the summary or sent portions of the summary to the listing agent and it was a source of confusing for them/sellers because the picture provided context. The goal was to make it easier for the agent to send the repair amendment. Of course, HG does this for you when you select the "Summary" checkbox for the itemized comment.

A_Carl, as scotbaker hinted at, there are a couple options in HG that it sounds like you will most certainly benefit from. First off, I personally think you can simplify. I don't think you need multiple summaries, color coding, and definitely not separate reports. All you need is a single report with a body and a summary. Let me explain. This is in Texas report format (i.e. by system/component) so try to follow me here and translate to your template format. One setting that HG has tells the system to NOT to include ALL itemized comments in a component into the summary just because I marked the component as "Deficient" (or maybe R/R in your case). As you said, there may be deficiencies within that particular component that are important and some that are not very critical and this setting lets the auto comment's summary setting do the work of determining what should be in the summary or not. You can see this setting and disable it in Template > Edit Column Headers. I recommend it.

The second setting HG has ties into the first and that is the option to set the itemized comment to automatically be included in the summary. This, of course, is a setting that you would set when you create the canned comment. This way, no one has to think about what should be included in the summary and what shouldn't. This would be especially useful if you have a multi inspection firm to ensure consistency. However, because of HG's robust framework, you can shoot yourself in the foot on this one because as you add phrases to the comment through HG's smart text, an itemized comment may end up critical or non-critical (i.e. summary worthy or not summary worthy) but since the "Summary" option is at the auto comment level it can be tricky to deal with. That being said, I prefer to tell the system which comments I've built should be included in the summary and not let the "Deficient" checkbox do that for me.

So, with the summary, you've already identified what is critical and what isn't and you can drop the color coding and multiple summaries. If it's important, it's in the summary. If it's not, it's not. I tell my clients at the end of the on site report review that there is a summary and that it includes the more important items that they will want to be aware of, but that I recommend they read the full report so they have a full understanding of the condition of the property. There is also some required Texas verbiage that we include on the report too.

Kris Svendsen
Viking Inspections
Professional Real Estate Inspector, TREC #20511
Certified Level III Infrared Thermographer #10829
469-209-8130
http://vikinginspections.com
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Michael Altizer
General
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Joined: 10/31/2014 06:20 PM EDT
Messages: 1154
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William Chandler wrote:Unfortunately, this is what the industry has evolved to - software, pictures and video. Sad. Our goal is the delivery of a 5 page report with pertinent information rather than 100 pictures of nothing. Pictures promote inept and lazy inspectors. Try doing a report with only relevant information once instead of a color brochure.


Okay, school me - please. If I miss something, I'm liable. In each category below, I provide a description, record my observations (which is where my narratives would make the report longer), include limitations, and any comments that I'd like to add to that section.

Cover Page (Include photo)
Inspection Agreement
Receipt/Invoice
The Report Summary
Overview
Structure
Roofing
Exterior
Electrical
Heating
Cooling
Insulation
Plumbing
Interior
Appliance
Fireplace
House in Perspective


By Virginia's licensing law, I have to provide a written report. They dictate the minimum requirements but don't state how I should write the report. Virginia just defines what areas need to be inspected and excluded (like a SOP). I am seriously thinking of going old school. I'm on the verge of doing something similar to this:

Dear Mr. Chandler,

Thank you for choosing our company for your home inspection needs on Monday 05/02/2016. Our inspection started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 11:00 a.m. at 123 your new home, Your Town, Your State, 12345. Regarding the structure, the inspection did not find evidence of significant movement requiring immediate major repairs. The roofing is near the end of its life. Watch for leaks and expect to replace the roof soon.

The door between the garage and the interior of the house should be rated to resist fire as per local codes. Hollow core doors do not meet this requirement. This is a safety issue and it is recommended for replacement with an approved fire rated door. Your new home has a 200 Amp 120/240v electrical service, which is sufficient for typical single family needs. Inspection of the electrical system did not reveal the need for improvement.

The baseboard heaters are old and are showing signs of wear. Expect to replace in the near future. There was no cooling system located on the property, at the time of the inspection. This may be something that you want to run past the seller, before taking ownership of the property. With that being said, this is a well insulated home.

As a courtesy, we tested all of the appliances and are providing you with recall information on the homes appliances. They consist of: Electric Range, Microwave Oven, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Clothes Washer, and a Clothes Dryer. The kitchen cabinetry is above average quality and the appliances that have been installed in the kitchen are of good quality.

Overall, I felt very comfortable on today's inspection. It was my pleasure to have you accompany me and I appreciate you assisting me by holding my flashlight.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me, from the information provided below. Please have your unique identification number ready, when you contact us. Your unique # is 16-0502-01

Sincerely,
Your Home Inspector:
Michael Wayne Altizer

I have typed on my phone for the past 1/2 an hour or so. I am hoping that spelling is good and that all makes sense.
Michael Altizer
General
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Joined: 10/31/2014 06:20 PM EDT
Messages: 1154
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William Chandler wrote:Unfortunately, this is what the industry has evolved to - software, pictures and video. Sad. Our goal is the delivery of a 5 page report with pertinent information rather than 100 pictures of nothing. Pictures promote inept and lazy inspectors. Try doing a report with only relevant information once instead of a color brochure.


Okay, school me - please. If I miss something, I'm liable. In each category below, I provide a description, record my observations (which is where my narratives would make the report longer), include limitations, and any comments that I'd like to add to that section.

Cover Page (Include photo)
Inspection Agreement
Receipt/Invoice
The Report Summary
Overview
Structure
Roofing
Exterior
Electrical
Heating
Cooling
Insulation
Plumbing
Interior
Appliance
Fireplace
House in Perspective


By Virginia's licensing law, I have to provide a written report. They dictate the minimum requirements but don't state how I should write the report. Virginia just defines what areas need to be inspected and excluded (like a SOP). I am seriously thinking of going old school. I'm on the verge of doing something similar to this:

Dear Mr. Chandler,

Thank you for choosing our company for your home inspection needs on Monday 05/02/2016. Our inspection started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 11:00 a.m. at 123 your new home, Your Town, Your State, 12345. Regarding the structure, the inspection did not find evidence of significant movement requiring immediate major repairs. The roofing is near the end of its life. Watch for leaks and expect to replace the roof soon.

The door between the garage and the interior of the house should be rated to resist fire as per local codes. Hollow core doors do not meet this requirement. This is a safety issue and it is recommended for replacement with an approved fire rated door. Your new home has a 200 Amp 120/240v electrical service, which is sufficient for typical single family needs. Inspection of the electrical system did not reveal the need for improvement.

The baseboard heaters are old and are showing signs of wear. Expect to replace in the near future. There was no cooling system located on the property, at the time of the inspection. This may be something that you want to run past the seller, before taking ownership of the property. With that being said, this is a well insulated home.

As a courtesy, we tested all of the appliances and are providing you with recall information on the homes appliances. They consist of: Electric Range, Microwave Oven, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Clothes Washer, and a Clothes Dryer. The kitchen cabinetry is above average quality and the appliances that have been installed in the kitchen are of good quality.

Overall, I felt very comfortable on today's inspection. It was my pleasure to have you accompany me and I appreciate you assisting me by holding my flashlight.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me, from the information provided below. Please have your unique identification number ready, when you contact us. Your unique # is 16-0502-01

Sincerely,
Your Home Inspector:
Michael Wayne Altizer

I have typed on my phone for the past 1/2 an hour or so. I am hoping that spelling is good and that all makes sense.
Johnegraham
Alien
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Joined: 05/16/2016 01:50 PM EDT
Messages: 2
Location: New York
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Hi, I use Home Inspector pro. it great but You will need to get a full blown computer or pay 20 mo. For Cloud service if you want to use you Ipad.

John Graham
[Email] [WWW]
Johnegraham
Alien
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Joined: 05/16/2016 01:50 PM EDT
Messages: 2
Location: New York
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Thank you

John Graham
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rthowell
RockStar!
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Joined: 05/17/2016 06:54 PM EDT
Messages: 137
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We all like software for different reasons, and I came into the industry without a preference. That said, I've found a newer company, HomeHubZone, to be the most forward looking, both in terms of design (which is more than just looking pretty), and the way they pull MLS data to build an accurate template of each house I inspect. It saves me a lot of taps on my tablet. That said, I prefer sending the report through ISN, and they don't automatically pass that off just yet. They do, however, have their own report delivery method that automatically sends to the client. Finally, they are also integrated with ISN in terms of pulling order data. So, I just open the app and tap on the address to get started.

Just my two cents as a n00b.

Ryan Howell, Owner
Coastline Home Services
http://coastlinehs.com
http://calhomewarranty.com
888-788-4228
scotbaker
General

Joined: 07/01/2014 10:28 AM EDT
Messages: 1358
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rthowell wrote:We all like software for different reasons, and I came into the industry without a preference. That said, I've found a newer company, HomeHubZone, to be the most forward looking, both in terms of design (which is more than just looking pretty), and the way they pull MLS data to build an accurate template of each house I inspect. It saves me a lot of taps on my tablet. That said, I prefer sending the report through ISN, and they don't automatically pass that off just yet. They do, however, have their own report delivery method that automatically sends to the client. Finally, they are also integrated with ISN in terms of pulling order data. So, I just open the app and tap on the address to get started.

Just my two cents as a n00b.
Cartoon driven website. Serious player? Don't think so.
rthowell
RockStar!
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Joined: 05/17/2016 06:54 PM EDT
Messages: 137
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I hear ya. Believe me, I do. Only speaking from my experience with the software and working with their CEO on making changes to their system. I count them as serious because she's willing to get on the phone when you've got an issue.

Ryan Howell, Owner
Coastline Home Services
http://coastlinehs.com
http://calhomewarranty.com
888-788-4228
scotbaker
General

Joined: 07/01/2014 10:28 AM EDT
Messages: 1358
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Nothing of substance on the website and you have to request to see a sample report? Have one you can share?
Bensoelberg
Expert
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Joined: 10/21/2014 06:14 PM EDT
Messages: 204
Location: Bakersfield, CA
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I switched to them a month ago. They may have cartoons on their site, but they are dead serious about making the best software out there. I was struggling to figure out how to make my report software do what I wanted it to, and was getting no where. HHZ basically read my mind.

Here's what I can do:
Inspect room by room, but the report is organized by system
I can easily include pictures and videos
There is a dedicated (and simple) way for me to take photos/videos that I can use for reference later, but that do not go into the report
Simple and concise summary
Very clear and easy to read report that is detailed as I want it to be
On every concern I describe it, reference where it is, list implications, suggest an action and add additional comments.
Reporting in the field is done on a phone or tablet, and can instantly be viewed and edited on any computer with internet access.
Over 80% of the report can be edited for typos or corrections while previewing the report as it will appear to the client.
Super useful inspection review option on my phone, so that I can meet with the buyer and just show them all of the concerns/photos that will be in the report
Multiple inspectors can work on the same report at the same time
No software to purchase, and a loooooong free trial period (2 years if your are an Internachi member)
Still cheaper to use than any other software with similar features

The response from both clients and realtors has been overwhelmingly positive. I've picked up new agents who called to schedule inspections based on the report alone. The customer service is amazing and they take suggestions for improving very seriously and respond quickly.
Scot, send me your email address, and I'll send you a sample.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/21/2016 01:51 AM EDT


Ben Soelberg
www.smrthomeinspections.com
Bakersfield, California
661-747-3337
[Email] [WWW]
RCHI1434
Ninja
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Joined: 11/06/2016 08:40 PM EST
Messages: 37
Location: Northeast Ohio
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Troy Pappas wrote:I use HIP Mobile

It is easy to setup however you want. It is easy to use. I produces a good looking report. It is easy to merge if you have multiple inspectors.

I am able to do my whole inspection from the roof to the crawlspace all on my phone. I take pics and caption them as I go. When I'm done I have about ten minutes of work left on my laptop to finalize the report.

Customer service is great as well.


I recently decided on HOme Inspector Pro for myself, they gave better discounts for being certified by a large number of different groups. They were very accessible on the phone, helped answer all my questions and I just found it super easy to navigate and customize. Very happy with the demo and am excited to get to using the real mode asap.

RCHInspections
www.recknerhomeinspections.com
www.facebook.com/recknerhomeinspections
Northeast Ohio
"Take the time and do it right"
[Email] [WWW]
Archer Inspections
Alien
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Joined: 02/09/2017 11:17 AM EST
Messages: 2
Location: Calgary AB
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I'm using Home Inspector Pro and have been for three years. It's a good system that helps structure my inspections. However I find it very difficult to do anything custom like adding a thermography page for instance. Moving photos or having them come up in a specific order can be a challenge. I agree their customer service is very good, but I hate paying every year for software so I'm l ooking for an alternative.

Doug Bowman CHI
Archer Inspections Ltd.
Calgary Alberta
403 700-9633
ArcherInspections.ca
[WWW]
 
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