Ethics and integrity demand obedience to rules.
The sign says a $1000 fine can be assessed for damage.
And I have been blamed before! Of course, it wasn't my damage then, and this wasn't my damage now.
As a home inspector, I am very careful when I enter another person's house. And I am just as careful when I enter a builder's house.
IT ISN'T MY PROPERTY.
Other people's property deserves my respect. Other people's property gets my respect.
So I obey the rules. The rules here state that shoes must be removed to enter the property. I remove my shoes. The rules ask me not to put blue tape anywhere. Or not to take components apart or go inside things (sometimes even the panel boxes). If there is access to an attic space that is sealed I ask the supervisor to remove the cover.
Integrity does not mean to be honest. Integrity shares the same root with the word integer. An integer is a whole number. Integrity means to be whole, or in harmony. If there are certain rules, integrity dictates that I pay attention to those rules, and BE IN HARMONY WITH THEM.
My habit is to arrive at new construction was before everyone else. I want to look at the house and the other houses nearby to compare them all.
Following me is the paint touch up crew and the cleaning crew.
The rear deck was muddy. The painter went outside onto the deck and returned.
These are his footprints.
To make CERTAIN I am not blamed for creating those footprints I took a photo of my shoe next to them. My foot is larger, and the sole is different.
Clearly those footprints did not come from my shoes.
The entire time the painter was there touching up, no drop cloth was used under his painting or ladder.
Why use a drop cloth?
Then he spilled paint.
What did he use to clean it up?
Whatever he used damaged the hardwood flooring. I watched him. He spent a lot of time. Later I tried to buff that spot out with my sock and it would not come out.
This is permanent damage. That flooring will need to be replaced.
Would you be surprised to hear that these two photos, and observations, went on my inspection report? Of course they did! Do I want to be blamed for this? My report could be rejected by the builder, and the money my clients spent on me could be wasted, if I go around doing damage to anything. And then, of course, I could be blackballed by the builder and not allowed back onto the property (for the wrong reasons...).
I have been banned before, but for other reasons, like, oh, I find lots of "stuff" that needs correction.
My recommendation: professionals have codes of ethics. Ethics require integrity. And a professional is not only cognizant of those ethics, but also understands basic civil behavior when dealing with other people's property. Professionals do "unto others" as professionals would want others to do "unto them" in the same circumstance. That rule is so tarnished.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560