In my 12 years of performing home inspections I have seen many changes on how reports get done. We started with NCR forms, which were difficult to read at best. Then trying to get all parties involved a copy was another story. Whoever ended up with the bottom of the NCR form couldn’t read much of it. Plus, they had to try and read my hand writing which was and still is terrible. A few years later we added a book with some pre-printed forms which was nicer. But, we still had NCR forms and my penmanship to deal with. Around 2001 we purchased our first reporting software. Along with it we bought our first digital camera! The camera cost over $500.00 and pictures were saved to a floppy disc. Technically, we were way ahead of everyone else in the home inspection field.
Our next big step was to buy a laptop and do the inspections on site. Nobody else was doing it, I could even fax the report from the site, unless we added some of those pictures. You know what happens when you fax a report with a picture? Lots of wasted black ink. Around 2003 we went to a different computerized report which took a lot longer to complete. So, we stopped doing them on site. I started using a PDA and did some of the report on site. We started adding lots of pictures. Cameras got much less expensive and home inspections got more complicated.
Customers starting demanding more information, home inspector schools were online and every home inspector is trying to out do, out report and out work the other home inspectors. For several years I did the entire report at home where I could get on the internet to look things up like manufacturers installation instructions.
So, today I take 40-50 pictures at a home inspection, set up my lap top somewhere at the home. I generally do some of the basics on site, then go back to my home and finish the report process. Lots of this can be done now with a Smart phone, but my fingers are too big for those little buttons. When finished it is uploaded to our website and emailed to all parties the buyers wish for it to go to.