When inspecting a condo, apartment building, duplex or similar building with repeating areas you may choose to modify your template for the job, or you may use your existing template and duplicate sections. This article explains how to duplicate existing Components in your template for multi-unit inspections.
The following instructions are for HomeGauge version 5.5.3 and higher. Please make sure you are on the latest version by going to Help > Check for Updates in the main menu.
The heart of a multi-unit inspection resides in utilizing the Duplicate Sections feature. To find this feature, click on Components on the left-side menu after opening a template. The Duplicate Section toolbar will be at the bottom of the window labeled Duplicate Sections.
You can use the Duplicate Section toolbar to make subsections under your main component sections. These subsections, or duplicate sections, can be then labeled as a single unit number or building that is being inspected. For more information on duplicate sections, click here.
Making a Duplicate Section
- Open a template to edit.
- Click on Components, on the left-side menu.
- Right-click the component that you wish to duplicate and choose Duplicate Current Section; or click the component that you wish to duplicate (it should then have a dotted line surrounding the name) then click Duplicate Current Section on the bottom toolbar.
- A box will appear with two default sections, an existing section, and a new section. You can replace the name of the first duplicate section (e.g., "Unit 101") in the existing section and the second name (e.g., "Unit 102") will be the new section. You can add additional units or sections by clicking the Add button.
- Click OK.
- The section that you applied the duplication to will now have subsections below it.
When creating duplicate sections, it's very important to make sure that the box "Prepend Section Name Also" is checked. This will ensure that the section name always comes before the duplicate section name. More on that is below.
Understanding the Duplicate Section Creation Box
The box shown below is what is displayed when the button to add a duplicate section is clicked. It is asking for you to type in info, but what does it mean when it asks you to type in an "existing" duplicate section and a "new" duplicate section?
Instead of thinking of the duplicate sections in terms of "existing" and "new.", simply think of them as "section A" and "section B." Key in the info into each row, and they will be split up accordingly.
Using Duplicate Sections in a Report
Once a duplicate section is made, you will see a change to the components menu in the left-side panel. It will show those duplicate sections in blue, meaning they can be clicked on. The parent section will not be blue, meaning it can not be clicked on.
The above image shows that Rooms have been split up into two separate units, one for Unit 101 and the other for Unit 102. Clicking on each duplicate section would reveal that they contain the exact same inspection items as their parent section.
When split up in this way, each separate unit or building can be inspected on its own, however, it will still be a part of the larger report. This makes setting up unique reports within the software for each unit or building unnecessary, as one can simply duplicate the component sections depending on the particular inspection.
Utilizing duplicate sections offers the freedom to split up Component sections that need separate inspections. For instance, an apartment building may only have one roof or exterior to inspect. Things like plumbing and electrical systems will need to be inspected in each and every unit. In this case, duplicate the plumbing and electrical sections and leave the roof and exterior as single Component sections.
What if the Inspection Has More Than Two Units?
Making a duplicate section will initially offer the ability to create two sub-sections. What if the inspection you are conducting is an apartment building with many units or another similar scenario? You can create as many duplicate sections as needed for the inspection. All you need to do is click the Add button under the duplicate window.
Editing a Duplicate Section
It is very easy to edit existing duplicate sections or delete them entirely.
- Click on Components on the left-side menu to view the full list of component sections.
- Right-click on the duplicate section that you wish to edit or delete.
- If editing the name, simply retype it and click OK. If deleting it, you will be asked to confirm the deletion. Click OK.
How Duplicate Sections Appear in the Report
You might be curious to know how duplicate sections appear for customers. Duplicate sections are designated by letters A, B, C, etc., and this can be observed by clicking on each duplicate section when writing a report. These letters translate to the final report and can help customers navigate the different items.
This image above shows the table of contents of a report with three duplicate sections for the Rooms Component. Notice the letter designating each section. The name of the duplicate section that was typed in earlier can also be seen.
Take note how the name of the parent section ("Rooms" in this case) is prepended to the duplicate section name and that this is the only real place you see it listed. This is why it's so important to keep that checkbox to prepend the section name checked when creating duplicate sections (see above). Otherwise, there wouldn't be enough description for the customer to understand what that section is covering.
It just says Unit 101, 102, and 103. Your customer will be confused and not sure what it's referring to.
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