Cost estimate feature to home inspection report

Do anybody charges extra giving cost estimate to home inspection deficiency? I’m thinking about adding this feature as a up charge?

That is something I don’t and won’t do. Contractor rates vary greatly within each field. Quotes that are given when there is a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard can be significantly above standard rates. The risk of a mad client are too much for any up-charge. jmho


There are way too many variables. I was in the insulation business for over 30 years and since I have been out of it for several years now I don’t even try to guess on that. I have been approached by companies that offer to do just this and add it to the report, but I just feel it is going to come back to bite you.
All it will take is a client wanting X$ for a repair from the seller (thinking they are covered) then finding out it is going to cost 2X$ …and you are going to get a phone call wanting you to reimburse the difference…however you could put a disclaimer something like on your side view mirror>>

Estimates are based on my best guess at the time of the inspection, however if you interpret this to be accurate, forget it because my estimates are coming from my crystal ball and are simply not credible.


Depending on your state and local HI laws, giving an estimate for repair gives the appearance of soliciting work from the home inspection (which is a conflict of interest).

What is your answer to your client when they come back and say they purchased the property based on your estimate, only to find they can’t afford what the actual cost of repair turned out to be? Do you want to be making up the différance? What does your Insurance carrier think about this business model?

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Agree with all previous comments. You can bet the client will come back on you if your estimates don’t reflect actual costs of repair, more so if you charge extra for a wild guess.


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I think the company Majodomo does this. They provide cost estimates for each write up and I think even list local contractors to do the repairs.

There are several inspectors on here that do it as well. Some have success or at the least, no lawsuits. To each their own I suppose.

I totally do it.
The idea is to help the owner prioritize cost/benefit.

Read this if you feel the need to offer “guesstimates”…2000 MBQB 138 (CanLII) | Cudmore v. Home Chec Canada Ltd. | CanLII


At one time as a courtesy/marketing ploy in south Florida it was the standard of care expected by the Realtor community, not so much though after the real estate crash when most of the homes were trashed.

I only know of one home inspection software to have estimates bundled in and that was PalmTech.

The off chance of being sued due to cost estimates are low if you can actually justify how you arrived at your estimate, After all it is only an estimate.

Here is a good cheap estimating tool which I have personally used over the years.

Craftsman Estimating CostBooks - Shop By Type - Books & Software

Of course your mileage may vary. :mask:

Thank you for all of the suggestions. A brief history, I sometimes do some inspections for NACA and one of their requirements is to input estimates for discovered defects. I thought I would offer similar services as an option into my services. My cost estimate sources are from Craftsman Estimate Costbook, Homewyse and historical experiences. Lastly, under my Pre-Inspection Agreement, and through conversations with the buyer, I state that the estimates are just that, estimates and whomever contractor that you are going with that the repair number will vary.

First, it depends on your State laws. Next, how comfortable are you in doing it. If you already have experience, I think it would be a good thing to offer. Or, ask your Client if they want estimates which is one fee, or, if they don’t, which would be a discounted fee.

As some have pointed out, correctly, estimates are just that. Costs are the exact amount spent, and in some cases, cannot be determined until the work has begun, especially when you have to correct someone elses mistakes.

I have always given estimates since I started my company in 1994. I feel it is an important part of the inspection process. If I, as a client, have to find all of these tradesmen just to give me estimates, why didn’t I hire them in the first place to do the inspections?

And I am sure that someone will bring up the one case with regards to being sued for “providing costs to repair estimates”, unfortunately, the reason that case was brought in the first place, was due to the inspectors failure to perform a proper inspection.

I believe that the level of accountability for the accuracy of an estimate will increase exponentially when the homebuyer pays for it rather than receiving it as a courtesy. I think you’ll agree.

With the skyrocketing costs of building materials being what they are, and what they are expected to be for the next year or two, the insurance industry is finding that an “estimate” becomes obsolete the day after it is written.

Contractors give them away for free and disclaim their accuracy for a reason.

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