One thing that I have decided after five years of total immersion in the trials and tribulations of home inspectors is that I could never be one.

Now, my father was a union carpenter and worked for decades as such on literally thousands of houses constructed in Philadelphia, once known as the City of Homes, and its suburbs. On weekends, he would take a busman’s holiday and work on our house, conscripting his home-grown workforce as gofers. No tradesman ever came into our house to do anything. My dad did it all: painting, wall-papering, plastering, masonry, electrical, plumbing, roofing, tile work.

One day he decided that we needed to convert to gas heat. And took a sledge hammer to our ancient and massive coal furnace. Now that furnace could take a punch but, by and by, it yielded to my dad’s John Henry-like determination. Then he installed and plumbed the gas boiler.

Another day, he removed the superannuated and very dead maple tree in front of our next-door neighbor’s house before it could effect any collateral damage on the ‘hood.

In other words, my dad was the handiest of handymen. Notwithstanding that pedigree, I’m the opposite. I’m a footy-man. He could remove a diseased tree. I can look up the telephone number of the local arborist.

But that’s not the reason I could never be a home inspector. It’s just that I don’t think that I could be civil to the sort of folks who predominantly populate the cases that home inspectors engage me to resolve.

Of course, I may be seeing a skewed sample. By the time that I see these folks, the home inspector has generally already made exhaustive – and often exhausting – attempts to explain why an isolated leak, some six months after the inspection in a roof that the inspector reported as being “near the end of its life expectancy”, is not the fault of the inspector and does not entitle the inspector’s client to a brand new roof. Or why the failure of a heat pump, which the inspector reported as operational at the time of the inspection and which performed satisfactorily for several months thereafter, is actually a quite common occurrence peculiar to home ownership.

By the time that inspectors report these pests to me, their rageometers are often redlining dangerously close to the never-exceed zone and they have begun threatening completely unwarranted consequences should the inspector not acquiesce to their preposterous demands.

These ultimatums invariably include the threat of legal action, an unfortunate but hardly career-threatening consequence of being a businessperson in this litigious culture. But lately, these ingrates have begun to threaten to file complaints with home inspection licensing boards and to make reputation-damaging posts on social sites like Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau and the like, as well. And that is something that a businessperson simply can not permit to happen.

The good news is that I am batting 1.000 at extinguishing those insidious threats ab initio and at forcing the incredibly malicious cretins who had already filed such complaints to retract them with prejudice.

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