(▲Reader warning: This is a longer blog post, so don't waste you're time reading it!)
Well Mrs. Homeowner, normally I can get in and out of a 3,000 square foot house like this in 3 hours. Your house presented me with a few "less-than-favorable" conditions that took some extra time. I did the best I could following the circumstances that were present and/or that transpired.
Let me share a few:
The lockbox code wasn't right. After punching in the wrong code 3 times, we had to call your Real Estate agent. Fifteen minutes later, the agent finally calls back, and apologizes for giving us the wrong code. No problem, mistakes happen, I get it. But after getting the door open, imagine our surprise of being pleasantly greeted with an eardrum-piercing, nerve-damaging, drop-to-the-floor in a hand-to-ears fetal position, security alarm. So after finally getting that code from your agent again and dealing with your entire neighborhood lining the streets wondering what's going on, we finally could proceed with inspection. I wonder what time it will be when my hearing comes back?
– Estimated waste of time: 15-20 minutes.
You did mention in your note that there were a few indoor-only cats and not to let them out. No problemo! What you didn't mention is that your "few" was about 7, and 3 of them acted as if they were "lifers" in prison. So when there was any chance of "escape," they'd bolt to any ajar door in a matter of .3 nano seconds, obviously thinking its their only chance of freedom. Not to mention, every cabinet door, every closet door, hatch door, etc. etc. So carrying ladders, tools, etc. through the doors and going in and out, I had to play the unwanted role of Mr. Goodshepard and herd them back into the house.
p.s Getting the one that got into the crawlspace and then scurried to the very back corner was a treat. It only took me a "few" minutes to corral it and carry it back inside. I then had unwrap 25 individual Band-Aids, from an entire box in my vehicle, to cover the red tic-tac-toe boards all over my left arm. ( BTW, have you ever heard of de-clawing?)
– Estimated waste of time: 20 - 30 minutes.
You didn't mention to me, however, the dilapidated condition of the freshly-painted deck. It sure "looked" awesome, though. Of course, falling through the painted over rotten deck boards didn't feel awesome. Getting my leg(s) out, was no picnic either – some of those splinters and cuts were quite large! I am, however, so very thankful it wasn't a balcony. Things could've been much worse. And wouldn't you know it, I'm fresh out of Band-Aids (thanks to your cat.)
p.s. Could you let your husband know that painting over rotten/deteriorated wood doesn't fix it or make it any more structurally stable? I take that back, don't worry about it, it'll be in your 158 page report with a few other things in need of fixin'.
– Estimated waste of time: 10 - 20 minutes
Oh yeah, the bathroom door lock sticks when you lock it (as if you didn't know.) That sure would've been a nice trinket of info to know beforehand! I mean, good Home Inspectors check and look at everything, don't you know? Even door locks. Another 10 minutes of cursing and persuasively jiggling the door handle/lock and to no avail, still didn't open. Good thing the window worked!
– Estimated waste of time: 10 - 15 minutes
Thanks for also telling me that you removed a tree stump in the side yard two years ago, but never bothered to fill in the hole with dirt. So when I was traipsing around the house, taking pictures of all your husband's handy work over the years, imagine the shock when I back-stepped into a 3 ft. deep grass-covered, earthy abyss. As if the fall from the bathroom window wasn't enough. This stunt garnered your neighborhood's attention again after seeing me hobbling and hopping around on your lawn on one foot screaming colorful obscenities like a drunken sailor. What your neighbors must be thinking!
– Estimated waste of time: 10-15 minutes (my ankle still hurts, BTW)
Last but not least, I'm also so very glad your "handy homeowner" hubby replaced the lost/missing screws at the electrical panel cover with the ever-so-common .875 mm trapazoid-head screws that he must've purchased at the Dollar Store.....in France. After sorting through 150+ bits in my vehicle, I finally located one that would work - and I found that in the back seat catch-all crack (along with some green Cheerios and Cheetos - which had to suffice, because I had to miss my lunch as well due to all my lost time.)
– Estimated waste of time: 15-20 minutes
So as you can see Mrs. Homeowner, we encounter different situations day in and day out that affect our time. I do and try to respect everyone's time and conduct my business in a timely fashion, but things happen, most of which are out of our hands. I am certainly not going to "short-change" my clients by them not getting a complete Home Inspection, and I'll take the extra time to make sure of that. Please understand, we don't purposely take extra time in an effort just to make you see red. There's always a reason (that usually involves DIY husbands) – I hope you can respect that.
p.s. You might want to do a head count on your cats. I could've sworn I heard some meowing coming from the hood/engine area, when I was traveling down the freeway heading to my next inspection. I didn't have time to stop and look for sure, though, cause I'm already late and I need to be on time☺