What Affects the Cost of a Home Inspection?

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Milagros Lagares

Subject: Home Inspection

A real estate person recommend us a home inspector to do a home inspection of a home that we were thinking of buying. He only took 23 minutes to complete the home inspection. I know it has to be 3 or more hours to do home inspection. My husband paid $480.00 for his job. I think we were robbed blind. How can I get my money back or what do you recommend we do?

Edie Sherwood

Subject: Home Inspection

I'm so sorry to hear that! First, let me ask, you said he only took 23 minutes to complete the inspection, but you didn't say if you found any items the Inspector missed after the purchase. Were there items you believe he/she should have seen?

If there were, you should first determine if your state requires a license to be a home inspector. If there is an agency governing home inspector licenses, you can contact them to see what procedures are in place to help settle disputes with their inspectors. Another option is to find out if your home inspector belongs to a professional organization, like InterNachi, ASHI, or the like. They also have procedures to handle this type of situation.

If there were no items in dispute, you should call your inspector to ask these questions of him/her (cost of inspection, time spent on the inspection, etc.) It may be that he or she arrived earlier than planned and got a head start, but you never know until you ask.

I hope this has given you a starting point to help resolve the situation. Good luck!


Subject: home inspection

We recently bought another home and we are not sure if we want to rent or sell the old property. When do we need a home inspection?


Subject: Home Inspection

A pre-market home inspection can give you peace of mind either way. It will give you a good idea of the areas of the house that need some attention. That way, if you decide to list the house, you will know what a home inspector is likely to find and can diffuse potential problems by addressing them in advance. If you decide to rent the property, you can be more familiar with what maintenance you'll be looking at long term.

Edward Robinson

Subject: When to Inspect

You should inspect to obtain information you wish to receive and define the scope for the inspection accordingly. If you are selling having specific concerns addressed such as the condition of the foundation, structure, or roof can be an effective way at putting buyers at ease or determine what you need to address to get top dollar. If you are looking to rent having an assessment of the general condition of the property can help you put together a maintenance program to care for the building. Some engineering consultants can even put together a reserve study to help you accomplish this. If your concerns are specifically related to the structure or foundation you should strongly consider hiring an engineer licensed in your state. The National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (http://www.nabie.org) is a good starting point resource.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.