attic access blocked - what do you do?

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attic access blocked - what do you do?

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Peter Siposs

Absolute Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 3:01 PM       Post Subject:
I have a house I need to inspect soon that I've been inside before. The attic access is a set of 1x6 boards sitting atop the ceiling of a closet. The closet is completely full of stuff and the only way to get to the access hole will be to completely empty the closet. I want to do a good job but I don't want to take everything out and fill a room full of stuff with more stuff. Owner might freak out too. The owner has been in the home for 49 years so its been a loooong time since somebody has gone up there I suspect.
do you guys havea rule of thumb to follow about about how much stuff to move to gain access?
Peter Siposs
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cmccann
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 3:10 PM       Post Subject:

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If you can, have the sellers move it. If not, ask them if you can move it.

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NACHI MAB!

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Michael Boyett

Capital City Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 3:17 PM       Post Subject:
Quote:
do you guys have a rule of thumb to follow about about how much stuff to move to gain access?

Yep, not much. Is there a Realtor involved? Let them know what you need the homeowner to do and leave it up to the Realtor to ensure that access is available. Let the Realtor earn their keep. Providing access is also the #7 suggestion on the "Speed Up Your Inspection" e-mail that went out or is going out to Realtors and #4 on the e-mail list I use. If all else fails I do clear the way if I can do that in about 5 minutes or so.

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Mike Boyett
Capital City Inspections
Austin, Tx
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Peter Siposs

Absolute Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 3:38 PM       Post Subject:
This is a pre-sale inspection and no RE agent.
I know some guys say they aren't furniture movers, or otherwise have a concern about breaking something.
Peter Siposs
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Joseph Hagarty

HouseMaster
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 3:46 PM       Post Subject:
If the Inspection is a Pre-Listing and you have been there before........ request the Client to provide access to the attic prior to your arrival.

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Joseph Hagarty

HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
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Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

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Michael Boyett

Capital City Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 4:10 PM       Post Subject:
psiposs wrote:
The owner has been in the home for 49 years & This is a pre-sale inspection and no RE agent.
Well, that's a different story. That leads me to think the owner may be elderly. In that case, I would probably cut him some extra slack and risk moving the stuff myself. If it were really significant, i.e. more than ~ 20 minutes of work, then I'd discuss this with the Seller prior to the inspection and charge a little extra. There's some added risk involved but if you have GL insurance then that minimizes the risk. Besides, it's the right thing to do.

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Mike Boyett
Capital City Inspections
Austin, Tx
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Peter Siposs

Absolute Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 4:12 PM       Post Subject:
Yup, seller is elderly and wheelchair bound. I'll have to move it all myself. Might have to bring some things into another room.
Ok!
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Kevin Williams

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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 4:21 PM       Post Subject:
psiposs wrote:
Yup, seller is elderly and wheelchair bound. I'll have to move it all myself. Might have to bring some things into another room.
Ok!


I would go the extra mile for them, it's a pre sale ....elderly and wheelchair bound...
nobody has been up there for years....
I think it would be important to take a look....
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Marcel Cyr

Cyr Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 7:08 PM       Post Subject:
icon_smile.gif icon_smile.gif

Heed the warning signs. Old people, old stuff, old containers. old closet.

There might be some old valuable relic in those old containers or bags that contain old relics or valuable items that could be broken when you take them out of the closet.

Too much to gamble for me.
Report would say the the access to the attic in unaccessible and further inspection of the attic when access is provided.

Follow the SOP and stay out of the Courtroom.

Marcel
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James D Mosier
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 7:11 PM       Post Subject:

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Now, if you find something bad do you put everything back so that the buyers inspector finds the attic not accessable to help your elderly and wheelchair bound client? icon_lol.gif

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Jim Mosier

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Peter Siposs

Absolute Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 7:19 PM       Post Subject:
Good points all of them. Unless the buyers inspector would be the same day I would have to put everything back if only to give back access to the room for the wheelchair bound party.
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Jason Sieg

Home Sleuths
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 8:50 PM       Post Subject:
Most older, wheelchair bound people have assistants that come over 2-3 times a week paid for by disability. Or they have family members that come over to help them out. Ask this person if they can have someone come over to move the stuff before you inspect. If it's too late to have that done before you get there ask him to have it done and call you back to inspect it later. ( I would put a limit on how long later, like 7 days, but make a not on the report of the date of the attic inspection and that the only part of the home inspected on that date was the attic.
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Mark Timpani

PRIDE PROPERTY INSPECTIONS - SOUTHERN ARIZONA
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 10:58 PM       Post Subject:
I'm with Marcel..

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Thank you, MarkTimpani

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Jay Moge
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 11:03 PM       Post Subject:

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if it were me, i'd have a nice long talk with the old fella and see if there is any way that maybe he could make arrangements, or if not, at least get some moving boxes handy,(he's gonna move anyway) and pack the stuff up real nice and put it somewere convenient for the movers to grab. i mean seriosly, this guys' been threw enough in his fruitfull live and i'm sure he's giving many people a helping hand when he could, so why not. and if you can word it right, have him sign an "agreement" saying he gave you permission, that will also be worded to write you out of any liability.....that's what i'd do. icon_cool.gif icon_wink.gif
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Doug Edwards

Acorn Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 11:54 PM       Post Subject:
The problem with moving items is that whether you are the one that broke that expensive Ming vase or not that is how it will be remembered. You moved the stuff therefore you "broke" it. It is just an easy way to get into a problem. We do not move items, look under carpets, dismantle anything and I always take a couple of photos for my files that shows the area that is blocked off. Been doing this a long time and have never had to buy anything. Heard of an inspector that broke and bottle of olive oil from Italy that the couple had bought on their honeymoon. It got ugly. Of course they played it up like he had broken a national treasure. How do you prove you didn't break something. Do what you must or whatever trips your hammer but I do not move anything that could come back and bite me.
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Jay Moge
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Posted: Nov 14, 2005 11:57 PM       Post Subject:

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i guess us New Englanders aren't as sue happy as others. icon_cool.gif icon_wink.gif
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Doug Edwards

Acorn Home Inspections
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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 12:08 AM       Post Subject:
I have been known to ask the homeowner to move something. I know in this case the wheelchair bound person isn't likely to do that. I did have one guy who was a GC (he told me that before I could even get out of my truck) and he had built this house himself. He had a large power boat pushed up against the back wall of the garage. It looked very odd to me due to the angle he had positioned it. I asked him to move it and he got pissed but I kept insisting by telling him I could not access the Service Equipement panel. When he moved it I knew why it was there. Wet drywall coming from the second floor to the ground. He had a sweating HVAC vapor line inside the wall and he knew it. He got made as hell and suddenly had to leave but "thems is the breaks." Made my day.
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Jason Sieg

Home Sleuths
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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 9:07 AM       Post Subject:
Quick comment on the sue happy comment.

U of M puts out a lot of doctors... Michigan State puts out a lot of Lawyers that after finishing school can not afford to move back to the state they came from until they make some money. Every 3rd to 4th commercial on TV is a law firm. No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions any more around here... (It's not my fault your car was hit by my car while I was driving, you should not have been in the way while I was drinking my coffee from Mc Donalds that was too hot and spilled in my lap when my car hit the pot hole.) To most there are at least three people that the person who caused the accident to take to court and at least to that would settle out of court, cheaper, even though they were not in the wrong.
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Gary Porter

GLPs Home and Mold Inspections LLC
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Posted: Nov 19, 2005 3:14 PM       Post Subject:
They should ban Lawyer commericals just like they did with smokes. Bad for everyone's health.
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jrabanus
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Posted: Nov 20, 2005 9:48 PM       Post Subject:

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Knock a few dollors off of your price if you cant get into a spot, or offer to reinspect for free. Good customer service is the best marketing.

Josh
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