Can an HI write an Estimate

Here is a question for the group. Can a licensed home inspector write an estimate for repair at the request of a client?

How could a home inspector have the expertise too possible write an estimate? Certainly you jest?

In my opinion no. Not an accurate one if they are just a Licensed Home Inspector. A great many things must be taken into consideration to provide a true estimate. They should NEVER do so for the benefit of all inspectors.

Sure, it’s only an estimate. Most inspection software programs have the option to add estimates… BUT, I wouldn’t go there for any reason. It would only be a “WAG” on my part, and I would probably be wrong.

Can they?..I don’t think there is anything against the Code of Ethics. Its your business and as long as there is nothing morally or professionally against it, do as you like.

There are several here who give bids. I guess if your carreer can handle the outcome, go for it. Do whatever your career can handle.

I can see where if you inspected a home and the listing agent says that roof will only cost $1500 to replace and you as a licensed roofing contractor, licensed insurance adjustor, licensed Home Inspector and whatever other credentials you have and tell the person its more like $10,000 to replace then its your business…go for it.

Been doing it since day one. Never had a complaint or a problem with regards to estimates.
I make it quite clear that estimates are just that.Costs are different altogether.
I also make it clear in writing, that in some instances, the estimates may be higher depending on hidden damage, other repairs needed to complete the repair properly, etc. and that the issue in question be resolved prior to purchase.

I am not asking if an inspector is capable. Is there some law in Florida that prevents me as a licensed inspector from writing an estimate for a client. I do not intend to do the work but I am more than capable of creating an accurate estimate. I also can rebuild an engine, fly a plane and every now and then say something funny.

An estimate is not a Proposal so why not? I do not believe it is illegal. The parties involved may not accept it but who knows. Try it and let us know.

Sounds good. If anyone has anything else to add please let me know.

Actually, you can write anything you want. But be prepared for a significant backlash.

It might work OK–for a while…then one day the phone rings…

“This is the Law Offices of…”

Inspectors can provide estimates as far as I know. The only mention I remember in the law, is that inspectors are not required to provide estimates. I give them when requested, which is almost every time.

“The law offices of…” something no one really wants to hear… I have to say, your business is your business. I haven’t read in the code of ethics anywhere where it may violate the code, but always CYA. As we are professionals in home inspections my reply to a question about an estimate would not be documented, it would be verbal only, with clarification that they should contact someone more proficient in that scope work as i can only provide an educated guess in most cases.

I believe he asked about this for an isolated instance.

Thanks for all the advice.

There’s a lawsuit award (now under appeal) up in Vancouver, Canada in which the HI (also an architect) was hit for $180,000+. It resulted from his estimate to the purchasers of $20,000 to repair structural damage from water intrusion/wood rot in a million dollar home. The cost of repair was over $200,000. The judge awarded the purchasers the difference between his estimate and the actual costs paid by the purchasers for the repairs.

Know what you’re estimating or refer it out!

Great point.

Jim…I mean new user, that isn’t exactly true, now is it?
He was sued for acting as an engineer when he wasn’t licensed to do so.

To date, there has never been a case where a home inspector was sued for providing estimates.

Interesting. It would be prudent if an estimate is provided to have a contract explaining what the purpose of the estimate is and the liability it creates.

You mean like this:

Nice work Eric.