When to Hire an Inspector
November 19, 2007
Fortunately for most of us, if we do great installation, we don’t have problems getting paid, and the customer is happy. However, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we are unable to satisfy the end user or our customer. When that happens, you may need an independent third-party expert to inspect the job, render an opinion, and position you for a legal solution.
How do you know when you should get an independent inspector involved in your job? Usually this is when your client or the owner is being unreasonable about accepting the job and you know, technically, you have done the installation according to the manufacturer’s standards. You may have already tried, perhaps several times, to appease the client and rework the installation or negotiate a settlement.
Perhaps it is a visual issue, a seam that is not invisible, or a slight shade variation in strong light. Before you contact a professional inspector, just be sure you are on solid ground technically. You may set this up as a solution by saying, “Since I believe I have installed the product properly, I would like to have a third-party industry professional, an expert in this type of product and installation, look at the job and give us their professional opinion. Perhaps we can share the cost, fair enough?” The implication is that both parties will abide by the expert’s opinion. This way, you don’t have to pay all the costs and the customer feels they have a stake in the solution.
If the problem has large dollar potential or if your customer has already hired an inspector, you should hire your own. Hire the very best you can find and look carefully at their credentials. The larger the dollar potential, the more likely lawyers will be involved, so pick someone who expresses themselves well in written reports or as an expert witness in a court of law.
My experience has been that excellent credentials and great writing skills will trump specific technical expertise that isn’t presented well. Sometimes, the very best decision you can make is to get the help of a skilled industry expert in the form of an inspector.