Home Inspection Cost
What determines home inspection cost?
Several factors influence what you pay for a home inspection. Some aspects, such as the type and age of the building being inspected, are directly dependent on the property. But home inspection cost is also based on the quality of the inspection, including the inspection report, and on the authority and professionalism of the home inspector. These indirect aspects help establish the value of the overall product and are property independent.
Property-independent home inspection costs derive from the worth of the inspector.
Home inspectors are generalists, but their expertise is broad and to achieve it requires extensive training. The qualified home inspector has a good understanding of plumbing systems, electrical systems, heating and ventilation systems, air conditioning, foundations, masonry, framing, cladding, roofing, flashing, insulation, and flooring. He or she must also be adept at finding evidence of leaks, at probing for moisture conditions conducive to wood and structural damage, and at investigating potential pest infestations. To become a certified home inspector and/or pest inspector, one must pass the requirements to obtain the appropriate state licenses. One must also abide by state bonding or insurance regulations. All of these factors set a baseline value for a home inspection that is essentially equivalent for all certified home inspectors.
However, one can differentiate value by examining variations of home inspector practice in three areas-inspection report, communication skills, and thoroughness. The most important of these is the inspection report. Some inspectors cut corners here, while others spend as much or more time on the report as on the inspection. Cogent writing, references for further information, and photographic documentation increase the likelihood of remedying defects properly. Similarly, translating technical jargon for the layman and a willingness to teach the client about the home are communication skills worth paying extra for. Inspections can't properly be done quickly. To be thorough takes time and a complete home inspection checklist.
Some home inspection costs scale with the property.
The type of dwelling most commonly inspected is the single-family residence. The inspection cost for other types (condominium, mobile home, and duplexes) is typically substantially less than that for the family home. However, special circumstances, such as the nature of attics, crawlspaces, and roofs may be cause for a further price adjustment. If a building's age is greater than a certain threshold (usually 12-15 years), the rate often goes up, as more things can go wrong and the inspection takes more time. Very old houses typically trigger a larger price increase. Size is another factor; home inspectors usually charge more when square footage exceeds a threshold in the 1500 to 2500 range.
Other home inspection costs are client specific.
Home inspectors often provide additional services for which they charge a separate or additional fee. Re-inspections after defects have been corrected fall in this category. Most but not all home inspectors in Washington State include a pest inspection in their quote, but some are not authorized to perform full pest inspections and may reduce their price accordingly. If a client wants normally excluded items inspected, such as unattached structures, fences, retaining walls, and swimming pools, the cost is apt to increase. Examples of separately priced add-on inspections are those for mold, radon, air quality, thermal imaging, lead paint, and asbestos. Finally, a home inspector who has to travel a great distance or get to the site by ferry may feel the need to pass those expenses on to the client.
What determines HomeInspectionWA inspection costs:
We start with a baseline price according to the dwelling type. We make upward adjustments of about 8% each for buildings older than fifteen years and larger than 2000 sq. ft. We make further adjustments up or down corresponding to specific client requests for extras or exclusions. Finally, we reserve the right to charge more for having to come by ferry or for weekend inspections.