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The 3 Phase Inspection Rip Off

There's great excitement in having a new home built and surprisingly divorce and disappointment are a few of them. In Texas home builders and contractors (including remodelers) are not licensed. The ease of building in Texas with minimal governmental influence attracts builders across the nation which are protected with limited liability thanks to lobbyists. Everyone comes to build in the USA and Texas, even the Chinese, English and Japanese.

Many buyers decide to get their new home inspected because either a sales agent or friend at work suggested it. So, in a state with minimal or selective code enforcement you search for an inspector. Unknown to you there are different kinds of inspectors and each markets his or her skills to you in a myriad of formats that you begin to think they are all the same. This is far from the truth. Reviews can be bought and posted by third party companies or by one's competition or other nefarious person. Everything on the internet is true, ok?

In Texas a TREC licensed only inspector specifically excludes codes in all of his/her inspections. The state doesn't require any home inspector to be full code certified and many are not. Some are apt at passing tests but don't have the experience and knowledge of home building to be a construction inspector. It can take decades to learn the concept and purpose and intent of codes and manufactuer installation instructions. From start to finish when you can get a business license to become a home inspector in about 6 months there's simply no experience, knowledge or skills. (The higher the license number the less experience. Well, start at #1 and go from there.)

So here you are and you want inspections of your new built home by construction expediters and schedulers (not builders) in a high turnover rate industry that won't last if they can't meet the 90 day or less construction schedule of the builder. Do you feel it yet?

The vast majority of home inspectors are not ICC Combination Code Certified. That is the only national and state accreditation accepted. Of course one can rent a "certification" just by being a member of an inspection association as long as dues are paid. Those are called "cereal boxtop" certifications as you yourself are just as qualified and herein lies the fraud in inspections where you believe you are getting a real certified inspector. Nope.

• Ask your inspector is he inspects for code issues and if he/she supplies the code section the item pertains to every line item. If he/she says no then that's not the inspector you want. Even the TREC standard is based on codes so accept no less. Your inspector that is freshly licensed doesn't know the code or generally what a construction defect is. Cosmetic construction inspections only provide you a false sense of security. Many have no substance. When one can get an inspection business license in less than 6 months with a entry standard that lowers the bar you are just fooling yourself.

3 Phase ... Really?

Foundation Inspection

Every buyer wants a home inspector to be something he is not and engineer is not one of them. The (Texas) 3 Phase Inspection is taught in less than 8 hours by for-profit schools in how to extract money from the buyer.


  • Measure the form to see if it matches the blueprint or whether it is square or bowed before the concrete is placed.
  • Measure the top of the form to see how high it is from the center of the street or other flood baseline.
  • Know what type of earth the concrete is placed upon. The earth supports the foundation. Foundations do not fail. It is the earth under them that fails.
  • Measure and inspect the grade beams per the plan and assure the proper number of post-tension cables are installed per the engineer design.
  • Measure the form plumbing to see if the plumbing will fit inside the walls or whether the builder will come back and jackhammer out the foundation and move the plumbing or electrical which is in almost every home due to a lack of skilled labor and supervision. No one checks but there's plenty of excuses. All these necessary inspections and measurements above can take up to a minimum of 4 hours. They can't be done without blueprints and you will never get a set of blueprints from a builder. (Today's blueprints are on 11x14 size sheets of paper and hard to read and certainly not able to scale off of.)
  • If you found a inspector that can stop what he is doing and run to a foundation at night with a flashlight or at 4:30 am in the morning before a 5 am concrete pour what are you asking for? Nothing stops concrete. It's ordered 24-73 hours before the pour and cannot be cancelled. It's setting up inside those trucks as they head to the jobsite so they won't wait and it is doubtful your for-profit inspector even looked at anything anyway. They know once it is poured all crimes are covered up. Again, you want your home inspector (not a construction inspector) to be something he is not and can never be.

    Look. If you don't trust your builder to pour a foundation then don't buy a home from them. We see concrete pours all the time and there is no superintendent or manager present. They are too busy and over-loaded. The not very good home inspector you found can't stop the placement of concrete or order anything to be done.

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Your Texas Licensed Home Inspector is Most Likely Not Code Certified and Would Not Know a Violation from a Lollypop.

Builders love these guys. They don't find anything.

Ask Your Inspector if He/She is Going to Look for Code Violations.

The answer you will get is that inspections are not code inspections or if something is not installed per a manufactuer installation requirement.

I ask then why are you going to hire him/her? Code violations can kill you, burn down the home, cause mold and moisture problems and cost you a ton of money. You end up with a brand new substandard non-code complaint home. Excuse me?

Every inspection on every line should have a reference standard or code section supporting the inspectors opinion. If not, it's worthless. Being a previous builder I laugh with your builder at your inspector. Look. A pretty store bought website with boxtop faux credentials is the last thing you need to rely on.

A Inspection License is Not a Certification. It's a occupational license for regulatory title purposes. The state does not train you. The state does not educate you.

Home Inspectors Learn Home Inspection ON YOUR HOME. You can't teach anyone the experiences of being in a trade. The limited schooling teaches one how to pass a test. Some of what is taught is simply incorrect. The school doesn't know. It's just a cirriculum for profit.

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