What I'm Seeing Now


Ethics And Integrity Demand Obedience To Rules

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. 


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


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • May 23 2016 03:35AM


Jay Markanich I suspect that will be the last job that painer ever gets from this builder. Smart on your part to take the photos. Sad, very sad for the builder to have to deal with this.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay! There is power in photographs! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 4 years ago

Passing the buck and ducking responsibility...contractors who have these hallmarks...ie the painter will soon be finding their business evaporating !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 4 years ago

I would have taken those pics too... CYA!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 4 years ago

Hi Jay - It never hurts to be cautious. And I'm proud to say that Mary was banned by a builder once for being too thorough on final walk-trus - she would have been all over that damaged flooring.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 4 years ago

S&N - I HAVE to take photos to document.  And this builder will not let the buyers on site during a home inspection (silly, as the buyer is the process, but true).  So they needed the photos.

More than a thousand words, in this case Wayne!

Fred - this is the builder who once accused me of flattening ALL the insulation in the attic to a level 7".  Oh yeah, that's me.  I do it all the time.  With my mind.  Like bending spoons, but not the same.

She get a smooch from me Dick!  And the "supervisor" should have been all over that floor later.  But I wonder, I do.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

How disappointing to see a painter not giving a hoot about the condition of the flooring.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 4 years ago

Really, Christ Ann?  You mean the wonderful backbone of our economy?

When asked about builders I say people/buyers need to look into the supervisor and subs.  Nuff said.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay, I used to work with a person we all called "Teflon". Nothing she did ever stuck to her, she made sure. Every wrong decision, every wrong move, every foolish thing she did she blamed on someone else. Amazing!

Great post!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 4 years ago

Thank you, Andrea.  Those people seem to be everywhere!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

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