How Long is a Home Inspection?

I recently say another blog where someone commented that a home inspection should take about an hour and a half, I almost had iced tea come out my nose when I read that.

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life, and you want someone to check it out and tell you what the condition of the home and all it’s systems are. A quality inspector will take much longer than an hour and a half. Most homes that are under 2000 square feet will take 2.5-3 hours depending on the age and condition of the home.

I spend almost an hour on just the exterior and roof. I can’t imagine a home inspector passing off a one hour inspection as a professional job.

Arizona Home Inspectors (like many other inspectors) are required to follow a Professional Standards of Practice. These standards require the home inspector to observe and describe several components of the home and/or  their condition.

Fro example on the exterior they have to inspect the:

Wall cladding, flashings and trim

entryway doors, windows

Garage doors and their operators

Decks, balconies, stoops, stairs, area ways, and porches including railings

Eaves, soffets and fasciasRoof sheathing rotted on the edge

Vegetation, grading, drainage, driveways, patios, walkways, and retaining walls with respect to their effect on the condition of the building.

We haven’t even gotten to the roofing section yet.

I looked at a home the other day and includes some of the photos here for your review.

The roof had several issues but there were hidden issues throughout the home.

The home had new carpet and new interior paint, this almost prevented me from seeing where the master shower had leaked under the living room wall. Baseboard stained from leaking shower on the other side of the wall

The wood shingle roof was shot, the patio cover had a hole in it.

The duct work in the attic was falling apart and you couldn’t see the duct work unless you crawled through the attic.

There were open electrical boxes in the attic as well as lights hanging from the wires.

The garage door opener was plugged into an extension cord that ran across the attic, through the ceiling and plugged into an outlet in the laundry room.

Moisture damage to patio coverThe bottom line is you should a professional home inspector to take 2.5-3 hours to inspect your home, longer if they are preparing the report on site.

One of my favorite advertising ploys is the big home inspection company that promotes the fact that they inspect over 400 item when they look at a home. Some will do the inspection in two hours and print the report on site. 400 items in 120 minutes, that is 7200 seconds or 18 seconds per item. How good do you think that inspection is.

I know many fine home inspectors and they will schedule their inspections 4 hours apart, it they get a home over 3000 square feet they might just schedule that one inspection for the day.

If you have a home inspector that is performing inspections in two hours or less, check to see how well they are insured, they are going to need it.

Hire someone that is educated, experienced, and ethical, or hire the cheap fast guy and after you move in you might find this in your attic.

Insulation falling off the duct workFor more information on how to select a home inspector or answers to other home inspection questions please visit our Arizona home inspection site.

If you are not in Arizona and you need a professional home inspector check out ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors

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  1. It is amazing how quickly some inspectors are in and out of a home. On average, we take 4 hours for our inspections in order to provide an accurate and comprehensive inspection. Good post!

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