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Exterior Inspections Contains discussions about the exterior portion of a home inspection. This includes roofs, gutters, downspouts, decks, patios, windows, etc.

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  #1  
Old 3/16/07, 12:54 PM
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI's Avatar
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI Gregory A. Liebig, CMI is offline
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Default Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

I performed an inspection about 2 weeks ago where I discovered the garage door did not reverse. It was an older opener and there were no electric eyes part of the original installation. I reported the door as a defect because there was no reverse system in operation.

About a week later, I received a call from the Buyers Agent asking me to clarify the door. I told him about and e-mailed him the section of the Wisconsin Standards of Practice that requires and Inspector shall observe and describe the condition of the following:
RL 134.03.5.4 Garage door operators, including whether any garage door operator automatically reverses or stops when meeting reasonable resistance during closing.
He asked how much it would cost to fix something like this and I told him I didn't know, but a whole new opener is only $150 at a big box store.

I talked with this agent today and I asked him about this situation and he told me it turned into a real pain in the *ss. He then asked me if I inspected homes for what they are or what they should be. I told him that if there is a device that is safety related (eg. GFCI that doesn't externally trip or garage doors that don't reverse) installed and not working it is a safety defect.

He mentioned that there are other inspectors in this area that would not have noted this as a defect.

How you you report this non-reversing or stopping garage door???



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  #2  
Old 3/16/07, 1:03 PM
Brian E. Kelly's Avatar
Brian E. Kelly Brian E. Kelly is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Like you did, older doors are not safe and my finidngs are a remendation only. How the parties negotiate the deal is not my problem. You did good.
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Old 3/16/07, 1:06 PM
Jae Williams Jae Williams is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that garage door operators manufactured or imported after January 1,1993, for sale in the United States be outfitted with an external entrapment protection system. This system can be an electric eye, a door edge sensor, or any other device that provides equivalent protection. This provides protection from damage and offers child safety.

If an electric eye is installed, it should be a height of 4 to 6 inches above the floor.
This location can be a factor in preventing injury or worse to a small child.
External entrapment protection system should include a reverse contact mechanism.

http://www.ohdstl.com/safety.html
http://www.dasma.com/safetygdmaint.asp

Even if the door is older than 1993, the safety factor in such an appliance is still effective today.



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Old 3/16/07, 1:07 PM
brepanshek brepanshek is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

I'd take out the word defect and put in "recommend safety reverse divice be added to opener system to ensure safe operation" I'm finding out that the word dect is a very bad word to use, unless it is truely a defect, then that labels us as a professional for that type of item????????? I was taught this, maybe wrong but I see their point.????
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  #5  
Old 3/16/07, 1:16 PM
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI's Avatar
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI Gregory A. Liebig, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by brepanshek
I'd take out the word defect and put in "recommend safety reverse divice be added to opener system to ensure safe operation" I'm finding out that the word dect is a very bad word to use, unless it is truely a defect, then that labels us as a professional for that type of item????????? I was taught this, maybe wrong but I see their point.????
I don't disagree that the word DEFECT is not a great word. I use it because that word is used in the Offer to Purchase contract and I wish to be consistent.

the Wisconsin SOP states to either:
Describes the condition of any item identified that, if not repaired, will have a significant adverse effect on the life expectancy of the identified item
or
Lists any material adverse facts that a home inspector has knowlege of or has observed.
What is a true defect? Just because something is broken doesn't necessarily mean it's a defect.



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Wisconsin Home Inspector License 1955-106

4-Square Home Inspections, LLC
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  #6  
Old 3/16/07, 1:19 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

The garage doors openers on my current residence are at least 30 years old and have the reversing function when resistance is encountered. Some people turn the adjusting screw too far one way to avoid nuisance tripping or because they were never set up correctly in the first place. It's an easy adjustment in most cases.
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  #7  
Old 3/16/07, 1:21 PM
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Justo Mickey Rivera Justo Mickey Rivera is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

That guys an idiot.........must be related to the guy who called today.....

"$450.00 wow, thats alot, I know another guy who does it for $350.00." and I told him "Well that may be true, but I tend to deal with people that actually do higher end houses".........(silence).....uh, oh, well thanks alot.

I wanted to reach through the phone and choke him.

I'm feeling better now though.

Mic
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  #8  
Old 3/16/07, 1:49 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Realtors get very nervous in WI when the word "defect" is used. It's a defined term in a WI realestate purchase agreement.

I stopped using the term "minor defect" as it often caused confusion. I now use "deferred maintenance" or some other less inflammatory term to indicate items that do not significantly effect the properties value but are deficient in some sense.


"DEFECT" DEFINED: (from WI approved PA)
For the purposes of this contingency, a defect is defined as
that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the Property; that would significantly occupants of the Property; or that if not repaired, removed or replaced would significantly effect on the expected normal life of the Property.
Defects do not include structural, mechanical extent of which Buyer had actual knowledge or written notice before signing this Offer.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Greg stated WI HIs are required to report "material adverse facts"

Glossary Terms(From WI HI law)
RL 131.02 Definition. As used in RL 134
(17) "Material adverse fact" means a condition or occurrence that is generally recognized by a competent home inspector as doing any of the following:
(a) Significantly reducing the functionality or structural integrity of components or systems of the improvements to property being inspected.
(b) Posing a significant health or safety risk to occupants of the improvements.
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  #9  
Old 3/16/07, 2:08 PM
Jae Williams Jae Williams is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

"Issues of concern"...

"Conditions for your consideration"...

...but never say "defect"...

...or "marginal"...I saw that on somebody's check list once...

What the heck does "marginal" mean, and how does one determine it to be so??



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  #10  
Old 3/16/07, 2:49 PM
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI's Avatar
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI Gregory A. Liebig, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Quoted from the Wisconsin offer to purchase (WB-11)
"DEFECT" DEFINED: For the purposes of this contingency, a defect is defined as a structural, mechanical or other condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the Property; that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of the Property; or that if not repaired, removed or replaced would significantly shorten or have a significant adverse effect on the expected normal life of the Property

I use the following classifications in my reports:
  • Acceptable--Functional with no obvious signs of defect.
  • Not Present--Item not present or not found.
  • Not Inspected--Item was unable to be inspected for safety reasons or due to lack of power, inaccessible, or disconnected at time of inspection.
  • Maintenance Item--Item was functional at the time of inspection and/or requires normal maintenance. The Item should be addressed in the future as a part of normal home ownership.
  • Defect--A condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the Property; that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of the Property; or that if not repaired, removed, or replaced would significantly shorten or have significant adverse effect on the expected normal life of the Property.
My thought process was, if there was a child (or anyone else) that could get seriously injured by the garage door not reversing that would be significant safety issue.



Greg Liebig, Owner
Certified Master Inspector
Wisconsin Home Inspector License 1955-106

4-Square Home Inspections, LLC
Where Knowledge will put your Mind at Ease ©
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  #11  
Old 3/16/07, 2:55 PM
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI's Avatar
Gregory A. Liebig, CMI Gregory A. Liebig, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlarson
Realtors get very nervous in WI when the word "defect" is used. It's a defined term in a WI realestate purchase agreement.
I didn't see this post until I just posted mine. IMO, the Realtors get nervous with Defects is because that is the only way the buyers (our typical clients) have to address any undisclosed issues that may have been discovered during the home inspection.



Greg Liebig, Owner
Certified Master Inspector
Wisconsin Home Inspector License 1955-106

4-Square Home Inspections, LLC
Where Knowledge will put your Mind at Ease ©
Sheboygan, WI 53081
(920) 451-4646
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  #12  
Old 3/16/07, 3:07 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by gliebig
.... IMO, the Realtors get nervous with Defects is because that is the only way the buyers (our typical clients) have to address any undisclosed issues that may have been discovered during the home inspection.
Exactly. I like your classifications, of course they are similar to mine.
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  #13  
Old 3/16/07, 3:48 PM
Brian E. Kelly's Avatar
Brian E. Kelly Brian E. Kelly is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

http://www.dasma.com/default.asp
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  #14  
Old 3/16/07, 5:14 PM
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tneumann tneumann is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

As odd as it may sound....

I think " the reverse feature is defective"

Sounds better than....

Defect: Garage door reverse feature.
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  #15  
Old 3/16/07, 5:22 PM
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Larry Kage, CMI Larry Kage, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Garage Door Safety...No Reverse...Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by tneumann
As odd as it may sound....

I think " the reverse feature is defective"

Sounds better than....

Defect: Garage door reverse feature.
...or the garage door safety reverse is not operating.




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