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What is a Home Inspection?
MAINTENANCE VS DEFECT in a report  XML
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Keven
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Joined: 06/19/2014 02:09 PM EDT
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Location: 28078
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The BIGGEST QUESTIONS when should a concern be NOTED as a maintenance issue vs a DEFECT within a Inspection Report.

1. Such as how bad does a AC condenser unit's fins need to be bent or damaged to become a defect verse a maintenance concern ?

2. Is missing insulation on the refrigerant lines a defect or maintenance issue ?

3. At what point is a roof a defect verse typical aging/monitor ?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/06/2014 12:27 PM EDT


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Juan Jimenez
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Joined: 06/18/2014 08:53 PM EDT
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Why do you need to label them as a defect or maintenance concern. Why not just write your observation and recommendation?

The condenser unit was dirty and some of the fins were bent and damaged. This condition can restrict air flow, lower the efficiency of the unit, and shorten it's life. I recommend having a qualified HVAC technician repair/service as needed.

The insulation on the refrigerant line was missing/damaged at (location). I recommend having the insulation replaced.


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Keven
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To me repair / service = defect. I use repair/service in my own reports. Here in NC we are required to have a report summary and the summary is limited to elements not functioning as intended, investigate further, or a safety issue, etc. So repair/replace vs maintenance makes a big difference. Maintenance does not qualified for a summary item. we actually I have to have tangible evidence that the system or element is not functioning as intended.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/06/2014 05:21 PM EDT


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Juan Jimenez
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I don't understand. If you need to recommend repair, or service by a qualified professional, why does it need to be labeled as a defect or maintenance issue?

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Keven
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It does not need to be labeled. But you have to decide what category it fits in (even if only in your own mind). Does it fit in a category of maintenance, monitor, investigate further, Safety hazard or repair/replace as a needs service puts it back into a maintenance item and there for does not make it land in the summary.

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greenvalley
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IMO If the insulation is missing that is a defect, Bent fins is a defect. Curled roof tabs is a defect, Maintenance is done to keep things they way they were when installed, changing air filter, painting, trimming trees. it you licencing body is requiring you to group things in a specific way shouldn't they have guidelines.

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Keven
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[quotnogreenvalley]IMO If the insulation is missing that is a defect, Bent fins is a defect. Curled roof tabs is a defect, Maintenance is done to keep things they way they were when installed, changing air filter, painting, trimming trees. it you licencing body is requiring you to group things in a specific way shouldn't they have guidelines.

I agree with you and NC does. I'm interested in opening a dialog to get inspector's to ask report writing questions about there findings. Some home inspector's are a bit overzealous and others May not put things they should.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/06/2014 06:34 PM EDT


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Isaacq
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Joined: 06/20/2014 10:10 AM EDT
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I often will state, "xxx shows to be in need of maintenance, recommend correction."

I also will state, "xxx shows to be defective, deficient, not functional, not functioning properly, recommend correction and or repaired."
I dont necessarily separate them, as i will let the client decide (based on verbage) what is most important to them when its time for negotiations with their agent.
Lastly, if the client is there with me, i discuss maintenance issues and what to expect when they are the new how owners

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Leigh Gate
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In some (NOT ALL) cases these answers are very subjective; I always approach it from the point of view "if it were my home". It is sometimes a good idea to stress to a client what is regular maintenance vs. a defect too, because when you list off a bunch of items requiring attention it freaks some clients right out..... and in turn the realtor too.

I usually let people know that something is wrong and must be fixed; something is wrong and it's a normal maintenance issue, or this should be done different / better and most homes have this issue......

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Keven
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It's interesting to see the different mind sets when it comes to reporting issues and when to call issue out to the client. After reading many of the comments I think maybe I've been to harsh in my report writing for the past 25 years. Maybe it time to lighten up a little.

I've always had
Satisfactory
Average
Repair/Replace

and only Repair/Replace, Safety & Investigate Further type issues when to the summary section.


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Fred Sylvester
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Joined: 07/01/2014 07:01 AM EDT
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If your buying a 20 year old car it is going to have some nicks, dings, and wear and tear, the same for a structure, its called deferred maintenance and that's how I report it . If somethings is a Life Safety issue, leaking or not performing as intended then its a different matter. Of course there are always exception to the rule. Great discussion !

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08/02/2014 08:27 AM EDT


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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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I now know this is the best forum in the industry, thanks to Keven.

He stated that maybe he has been too harsh, and he's taking a realistic approach to the matter, analyzing and conferring with other professionals. Anywhere else there'd be some lecturistic novel posted by someone doing two inspections a year telling us all how awesome they are.

Kudos. Invite other professionals here and let them know I'm blocking all the IP addresses of those that aren't deserving.

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Russ Hensel
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Joined: 06/18/2014 08:36 PM EDT
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I went with

Acceptable
Fair
Defective

and that is the first word in all lines.

This is a Real Estate legally binding contract. Why not make it definitive instead of ambiguous? If the first word is defective, it plain and simple is a safety issue or does not operate as intended.

Fair is something like small cracks in stucco and no water intrusion was noted and they were hairline cracks. seal and paint in the near future.

Acceptable, the items operates as intended.

I went this about 6 months ago and some of my regulars got a little hot and bothered, but when I explained that it was for a definitive answer, they began to like it. Sure I still get, a defective GFCi is in the same area as a defective HVAC system and there is a significant cost difference. I tell them, its not up to me to determine what is and is not important it is up to the buyer...

Just the way I do it and it now takes away any gray area that may have existed.

Russell Hensel
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Gskeeters
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Joined: 10/21/2014 06:51 PM EDT
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Your call but i think it's quite clear. Maintenance is service for longer life/better operation and defect is broken, not operating properly, missing, etc...... ALWAYS tell clients to read entire report as many items may not be in the aummary or red that are important to the home.... Post 8

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Pete Campbell
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Gskeeters wrote:Your call but i think it's quite clear. Maintenance is service for longer life/better operation and defect is broken, not operating properly, missing, etc...... ALWAYS tell clients to read entire report as many items may not be in the aummary or red that are important to the home.... Post 8


RED tends to get people excited. George, stop being so alarmist!

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