About Inspection Reports
There are three main types of home inspection report formats used today. The following is a description of each.
Check list report
A check list report is an old outdated home inspection reporting format that was used extensively before computer reporting software was available. It typically consists of a series of check lists contained in a binder surrounded by a few stock illustrations. Immediately after the inspection, the inspector will quickly check a bunch of boxes and present the binder to his client. Inspectors, who still use this outdated format, advertise that you will receive your report immediately after the inspection. Although this sounds great, this type of reporting format is very undetailed, difficult to read and to understand.
Some inspectors also advertise that they will give you all of the inspection pictures that they took during the inspection. A typical home inspection consists of 200 plus pictures. This also sounds good, but you will receive a CD or USB stick with hundreds of un-labeled pictures that you will have to fish through in order to find a condition which has been checked off in the binder. This is assuming that you know what to look for.
Conclusion: This old and outdated report writing system provides very little value when there are far better modern reporting formats available.
The inspector walks around the house taking a video. As he does this, the camera is moving all over the place which makes the video difficult to watch. When the inspector finds a condition with the house, he explains what he sees, which is great if he describes everything correctly. However, with everything that is going on in a home inspection, the inspector could unintentionally describe something incorrectly. Since it is on video, that’s what you would receive.
Another issue with this format is that a typical home inspection takes 2 ½ to 3 hours to complete. This means that, unless the video is edited and labeled into sections or for different conditions, you will have to watch hours of video to find what you are looking for. This can be very difficult, frustrating, time consuming and is contingent on the video being in a format which is compatible with your computer and its playback software.
Typically, you will not receive your report immediately after the inspection and will receive it at a later date.
Conclusion: This type of report format can be hard to watch, and unless properly edited, can be difficult and time consuming to navigate.
Peter's Professsional Home Inspections
uses Horizon reporting software for all reports !
Click on the picture to the right to go to a
sample home inspection report.
Modern home inspection reporting software provides the best way to accurately report on the condition of the house. After the inspection, the inspector will usually go back to their office and write up the report on the computer. This has several advantages. The inspector can take an appropriate amount of time to really think about the inspection; examine pictures; review notes; research things such as the age of the furnace or air conditioner; then write up the report. This software has the capability to add pictures; illustrations; links to relevant websites; and a format to provide a detailed description of a condition; the location in the house where the condition is found; the implications of the condition; what to do about it and how soon it needs to be addressed.
The report is typically in two sections. A summery page of any large conditions found, if any, that could influence whether to purchase the property or not, and the main bulk of the report containing all of the conditions found during the inspection. The report is usually delivered by email, the same day as the inspection. Since the report is divided into sections, it is easy and convenient to look up anything that you wish to review in the future.
Conclusion: Using modern report writing software, such as Horizon, is the best way to provide a detailed, accurate easy to understand report.