In the early years of the home inspection industry, inspection reports were just a simple checklist and a couple of descriptive report sheets.
The checklists are just this, very little is actually written. The report consists of a series of lockers with short descriptions on the side. Descriptions are often abbreviated, two or three words, such as “jumped painting.” The complete checklist can be four to five pages in length. Today, some legal agreements are almost of the same extension!
Due to lack of detailed information, checklist reports may be open to interpretation, and buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, lawyers and judges may interpret them differently, depending on their interests.
In the inspection business, phrases describing the conditions encountered during an inspection are called “reports.” Descriptive reports use descriptive language that more fully describes each condition. The descriptions here are not abbreviated.
Both checklists and descriptive reports are still used; however, many jurisdictions exclude checklist reports because of the limited information they provide, they result in legal issues.
From the point of view of accountability, descriptive reports are considered to be broadly safer because they provide more information and make it clearer.
Many of the issues and problems of accountability with the inspection process are due to misunderstandings about what should be included in the report or what the report says.
For example, in 2005, an investor bought a hotel with 14 rooms in California. The six-page descriptive report mentioned that the Tapaha where the cement walkway of the first floor was with the building was incorrectly installed, and the condition could result in rotting of the wood. Four years later, the investor paid almost $ 100,000 to demolish and replace the upper gangway. In some places, it was possible to insert a pencil between the support beams.
Although the inspector’s report mentioned the problem, the seriousness of the problem, or possible consequences of ignoring it, had not been clear. Today, a six-page report would be considered short for a small house.