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Exceeding the minimum in Home Inspections
It is important to understand that this is not an attempt to undermine any other home inspector. Nor is it an attempt to instruct, advise, teach any home inspector as to how to do their job. The following is an example of how I document an inspection and why. As most may know, A home inspector in Louisiana is not required to take photos of the inspection. That is left to the discretion of the inspector. But! – (you knew that was coming) … in the long run it is actually in the best interest of the inspector to have a photo file of the inspection. First – having clear and colored photos with a time and date stamp pointing out an issue to the client is beneficial to that client – not just helping them or their contractor to locate the issue put to help them remember that there is / was an issue – concern. Second – it’s in the best interest of the inspector to have a photo record. In the event an issue arises that the inspector needs to defend themselves they will have that documentation to counter a claim. As an example, I personally take on average between 200 to 300 photos.  Of course the client isn’t going to have “all” the photo’s in the report. Only the one’s that show a concern for further evaluation.  But keeping all photo’s in a file for that particular inspection can be beneficial to the inspector later. I Did have a client come back and tell me that I didn’t check the faucets at a hall bath.  I knew in fact that I did and I had photos of that specific sink and faucets running, showing the orientation of each handle in the open position.  Turn on the cold water – take a photo, shut off cold, turn on hot water – take a photo.  Not only was water flowing, but also showed draining and no leaks under sink.  Turned out the husband screwed something up and they wanted me to pay for a plumber and such. A very recent issue – HVAC tech told the client and realtor that there is a drain line on the back side of a drain pan – well … no there isn’t … I have two photos of that drain pan at the front showing a drain stub and no drain line – and a photo of the back side – with no drain line. To share my process, I will take a broad photo of the area, room that I am looking at (no less than three photos per room), then I will take another one that is closer to the problem area or spot of concern for emphasis / details etc. as it may apply.  Not only do I want to make sure that an issue is documented clearly, but to ensure I have documentation that can counter a claim if needed. So even if nothing is wrong, just having photo documentation can prevent unwanted and maybe unwarranted issues with a client, home owner, realtor and even techs. Having clear – color photos will benefit the client and inspector. Ultimately it is up to the inspector. The first time I came to a Board Meeting – I found it to be extremely eye opening! I have learned so much at these board meetings. Attending is great, it provides a few CE hours, but learning from other’s mistakes and incorporating corrections into an inspection is priceless. While working for DOTD as an inspector I understood the importance of good documentation. This industry has put an exclamation point on that importance.  
Paul’s Home Inspection LHI #10813 / Ph: 318-820-1187