Almost all of my note taking during inspections is done by camera. Very rarely do I ever write anything down.
I photo everything from data plates to just general reminder pictures that tell me what kinds of floors there are and what the driveway and roof is made of.
I have found that there is almost nothing I can’t create a record of photographically. Sometimes I have to resort to “symbols” to designate what I want to be reminded of. Like squeaks in the floor. For this I simply photograph my voltage tick-tester lying on the floor and that is my reminder.
Sometimes though, it is difficult to photograph things that “move” that should not be moving. A “still” photo will not necessarily remind me that the thing moves. This is common with improperly supported gas lines or barrier railings. For these kinds of items I typically will take a “still” photo and then a short video clip of the offending item. Sometimes when I revisit these videos, while writing the report, I can’t help but laugh as to how well the video conveys what the still photo had no clue of. The video will work for “sounds” as well–how do you, after all, photograph a bathroom exhaust fan about to self distruct?
Here is a picture of a stair barrier railing from a recent inspection. It would be quite a fall if the guard were to give way.
As you can see from the still photo—it pretty much looks like a normal acceptable barrier. It is perhaps not acceptable by current regulations but nonetheless adequate for its day.
Here is a 7 second video of the same stair barrier.
It communicates the issue quite dramatically don’t you think?
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
If you enjoyed this post, and would like to get notices of new posts to my blog, please subscribe via email in the little box to the right. I promise NO spamming of your email!