New Jersey Licensing

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New Jersey Licensing

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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 21, 2003 9:19 PM       Post Subject:
Absolutely correct, Phil.

The problem with all of this is that the HI business is an in-exact science, full of best-guesses. Theres the reality in it all. I believe that good report writing isnt made up of the "appears to be" kind of stuff. Nor is it necessarily contained in a checkist format. I'm not knocking either, it's just my feeling.

The most important thing to do is t properly set the client's expectations, and t COMMUNICATE throughout the inspection process. That's what they are paying for. Our job is to identify the good, the bad, and the ugly. If I know how to fix the problem, that's a feather in my cap. Some HIs get into trouble because they think they know how to fix stuff, but when the contractor comes, the guestimate the HI gave was way off the mark.

I steer clear of this stuff.

My personal feelings are that it is much harder to teach someone how to communicate effectively and professionally, in a verbal or written format, than to teach them how to be a good inspector. My inspections improve everytime I go out. They will continue to improve throughout my HI career. As construction technology, material, and techniques improve, many of the "old standards" of construction will evolve with them. So, even the experienced craftsman is forever in a learning curve, of sorts.

You must also take into account those of us who have managed large-scale projects, where supervision of various trades was involved. This experience is just as relevent as being in the trades. Because, we cant be in ALL the trades at the same time.

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Joe Farsetta

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nlewis
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Posted: Dec 21, 2003 11:15 PM       Post Subject:

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Philip,

I can believe that in some cases a H.I. could recommend up to 7 experts to "complete the information to make their buying decision". One reason could be that the H.I. is not giving "cost of cure" estimates for items in need of repair or replacement. As Joe said, it would be wise to stay away from providing estimates in the report. I do give some estimates verbally during the inspection if I feel comfortable about the price, but I try to avoid it.

Also, there can be a situation where the magnitude of the problem might not be visible until the contractor starts removing finish materials, so there is no way for us to know the extent of the problem. For example, if you are recommending upgrading of knob and tube wiring, you don't really know the extent of the K&T, so I would recommend to have an electrician provide a cost estimate.
And here's to ya if you can say with confidence whether a 30 year old oil fired warm air furnace has a good or bad heat exchanger. I'll bet some of those 7 recommended experts are because of the CYA attitude necessary to survive in this business.

Phil, you've seen 7 inspections. I think you'll find that after you do a few hundred or a few thousand inspections and you are assuming liability for those inspections, you may change your tune alittle bit.
I'm sure you are aware of the NJ minimum standard that "The home inspector shall provide recommendations where material defects were found to repair, replace, or monitor a system or component or to obtain examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman, or service technician without determining the methods, materials or cost of corrections".
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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 22, 2003 1:11 AM       Post Subject:
Neal stated it better that I could have...

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Phillip R. Hinman
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Posted: Dec 22, 2003 8:01 AM       Post Subject:

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Just a few of the things I have heard come out of inspectors mouths while at inspections and the local HI meetings.

"Get a qualified roofer to look at the way the valley was installed. It is not woven and therefore installed improperly". This inspector has no construction experience and 20 years in the business.

" The vapor barrier on the insulation is installed incorrectly. Insulation CONTRACTORS do it wrong all the time!". As my father always told me their are carpenters and people who do carpentry work! An experienced construction person knows how this stuff happens without slamming an industry!! Same guy!

Serious ventilation problems were overlooked on 2 homes because the inspector who in this case happened to be a tradesman did not understand how the structure was built!!

There is a licensed NJ inspector who talks about faking a page so he can go out to call his boss when confronted with something he hasn't seen before and readily admits his lack of construction experience is at fault!

I only said those without construction experience are at a disadvantage to those who have it.

The reference to the report with seven referrals was reviewed by a PE who is mentoring me and he also said it was excessive.

Although not done to " Industry Standards" I have been inspecting residential and commercial properties for 30+ years as a carpenter contractor and general contractor. I'm also the VP of the Tri-County Construction Code Association.

I too would recommend the required number of referrals as warranted but my belief is inspectors without construction experience will be forced to refer more to cover their butts.

I can recognize materials and poor procedures having done the work myself. And I believe my experience is added value to the inspection!!!

I appreciate your comments and thoughts!!!
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Richard Coleti
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Posted: Dec 22, 2003 2:44 PM       Post Subject:

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Phil
SI may have the same situation as NJ. Myself and a few others are visiting the NY legislature soon to explain that grandfathering does not give the industry experienced HIs. Many of the HIs on SI are following the NJ law. Your story is one of many that plagues NJ HI industry. Myself and a few other HIs have 1000 + HI and still we don't think grandfathering is a good thing for the potential home owners of SI, NY.
The problem with grandfathering is the potential power in gives a fist full of covetous HIs. The grandfathering gives the feeling of superiority to those who qulaifiy. Those on SI who claim they performed 10K to 12K HI in 4-5 years are the HI who will get their grandfather to give them the license. Phil you now can see the problem.
People will tell you that the cost is the major reason why the HI will call in the troops. Not so, it is the time factor they must adhere to in order to perform 3-5 HIs a day. Most of these HI on SI don't even write the report.
They have no time.

Rich
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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 22, 2003 5:45 PM       Post Subject:
Rich,

So what do you propose?

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nlewis
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Posted: Dec 22, 2003 7:06 PM       Post Subject:

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Phil,

There's no question that your construction experience is added value to the inspection. It sounds like you want to do the job the right way, and as you have observed already, we need more guys doing the job the right way and less guys taking the shortcuts. You're points are valid now that you have explained the situations.

I have to agree with you that 10 hours per module seems excessive. I have a situation that I am able to take the courses for free, but sitting through 10 hours seems pretty tedious.

I'm curious about the ventilation issues you mentioned. Can you just describe the situation that was overlooked?

Neal
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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 12:05 AM       Post Subject:
Rich,

The REAL problem is that the need for licensing is bogus, but no one has the balls to tell the legislature that. NY cant justify the need. Period.

Grandfathering doesnt guarantee you a good inspector. Neither does experience, as all your experience could be BAD. The truth is that the licensing frenzy doesnt guarantee you anything, or protect the consumer from anything. Its protectionism for the "established" inspectors turf.

And, what do you mean that the SI inspectors are following the NJ law? How and why would they follow something like that? Its meaningless to them...

Now, to state that licensing is coming to NY is absolutely defeatist in nature, unless of course you WANT licensing to protect your turf.

The math... Hmmm...At 5 inspections every day, for 7 days per week, for 52 straight weeks, nets you 1820 inspections per year (I'd be dead, by then). That rate for 5 years (no time to pee) nets you 9106 inspections. Not the 10,000 or 12,000 you mentioned. Are these guys wearing rocket belts when they inspect, or what? Seems high to me. Even allowing 2 hours for inspection, including all travel time, etc, makes 5 inspections a 10-hour day. We dont have 10 hours of daylight to work with for a good piece of the year. Where are your numbers coming from? You referred to an inspector's experience with performing over 10,000 inspections. That assumes only 1.

So, who are you and a "few other inspectors"? And, what are you proposing to stop the two proposed bills in assembly, and one in the state senate?

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Joe Farsetta

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Richard Coleti
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 7:27 AM       Post Subject:

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Joe F

I mentioned following, meaning following the actual status of the law not adhering to it. Sorry

Rich
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Richard Coleti
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 7:31 AM       Post Subject:

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Joe F

Proposal

//Register with the state //Get E&O //Let market competition do the rest.


Rich
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Richard Coleti
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 7:33 AM       Post Subject:

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Joe F

$$$$ is needed to scap the bills. And know what I mean

Rich
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Phillip R. Hinman
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 7:42 AM       Post Subject:

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Neal,

On recent inspections with mentors I have seen the following ventilation problems left unaddressed to the best of my knowledge by the mentors.

1. Missing proper vents in tray ceiling. They need to be the length of the lowest sloped portion on the tray when the tray starts on the outside wall of the home.

2. Blocking of the continuous soffit vents in older construction-70-80 ish- with wood soffits and fascia. Often the continuos soffit vents are at the end of the soffit where a subfascia, used to control the end of the soffit material, blocks 1/2 the vent!

3. Lack of proper vents in older homes not allowing the soffit vents to work adequately.

4. The biggest issue is really assuming the existence of any type of ventilation is sufficient to do the job. Premature roof and sheathing life spans are severely impacted by lack of proper ventilation. Vented aluminum soffit on a retrofit does not mean the proper holes were cut in the existing soffit to allow ventilation to take place!!

These are typically easy fixes for a potentially severe problem. I have spent much time in the past explaining to my clients, whether new home or remodel, the importance of maintaining the flow of air in attics and crawlspaces.

I forgot to mention on Saturday I got a call from a friend who works at an engineering firm I do roof truss inspection for to look at a problem with his house. He had a home inspector who was recommended by a family member to inspect the house.

He told me on the phone there was moisture on the bottom of the sheathing so went out and was in utter disbelief at what I saw!

In the entire attic there was one gable louver and water was and had been dripping from the underside of the sheathing!! What appears to be mold covered about 60% of the underside of the sheathing!!! We will know today if it is in fact mold.

There was a severe backdraft in the water heater vent and numerous gas leaks!! Several other structural issues were overlooked that will cost $$$ to fix.

The inspector is not new to the business and I'm sure unlicensed in NJ to date. He is although an ASHI candidate!!

Although a newbie I am finding out fast why licensing is being required!!! I hear these stories all the time since I know many lawyers and real estate professional!! This was my first eyewitness to such a poor inspection!!

I New Jersey I am sure grandfathering has given many guys a free ride as Joe pointed out!! Better testing of existing inspectors is needed along with the classroom work.

Unfortunately, in my opinion licensing has attracted the early retirees and friends of those (most with no experience) in the business who can massage them through the mentoring and supervised inspection requirements and not starve. I witnessed it first hand in my classes. I met about 35 people getting into the business. A story for another post!

Phil
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Tom Logan
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 8:12 AM       Post Subject:

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Phil

The HIs defending the NJ law are most likely the HIs that have a license number and majority are ASHI members. The NJ law only serves a few HIs.

There a a few HIs on this BB that most likely conform to that mold. Phil you can see that the law only protects and serves them not the consumer.

Phil what should NJ do?

TL
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Tom Logan
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 8:21 AM       Post Subject:

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Phil

In NY the proposal talks about a carson and dunlop material. The way the propsal is written the instructors are not even certified teaching instructors. Phil do you have certified instructors in NJ?

TL
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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 8:52 AM       Post Subject:
Phil,

At what point does the inspection stop, or do you simply poin something ouit as a recommendation, rather than a defect? I have this argument all the time. Its kind of hard to argue with the fact that a home has stood the test of time, after 70+ years in existence, then you come along and rip apart how the soffits or roof were or weren't vented correctly, in your opinion.

Its like the HI who sees a petrified tree trunk supporting a hand hewn timber, supporting the 1st floor in a house, built circa 1820. Some HIs would insist its a defect. Some would state that its fine, and the structure seems robust 180 years after initial construction. As building codes do vary from town to town, as do construction methodologies, things may not have been done to your liking. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is defective. Be wary of the lawsuit which can come from the other side... the seller. Thay can and do happen, on occasion.

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Joe Farsetta

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Ivor Bigun
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 12:47 PM       Post Subject:

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farsetta, what a load of bull, if you saw something like that you should at least report it as not upto current building standards.

Ivor
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Joe Farsetta

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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 2:02 PM       Post Subject:
Ivor,

At least have the balls to step up to the plate and isentify yourself. Phoney ba$tard that you are. Tell me... Did you think of that name all by yourself?

As to your ridiculous assertion, what older home IS up to current building standards? Yeah, you may mention it, but is it a defect? Think about it, in between conjuring phoney names to hide behind.

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Joe Farsetta

Illigitimi Non Carborundum
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Tom Logan
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 2:53 PM       Post Subject:

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Anybody out there know someone on the NJ HI board?

TL
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Tom Logan
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 2:56 PM       Post Subject:

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Chad

Do you know where General Dynamics is in NJ? I thought it was located up your way

TL
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Ivor Bigun
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Posted: Dec 23, 2003 3:31 PM       Post Subject:

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Farsetta, well thats nice I must say

Quote:
Phoney ba$tard that you are.


I was only pointing out, the stupidity of your last post, not attacking and name calling you.

Are you that unproffessional in all your dealings, or do you just save it for guests on this board.

Ivor
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