Do some home inspectors still want to tell buyers the cost of repairs

ya know lol but do what you like

home inspector estimated the cost of replacing 2 beams $4,000… the actual cost was $35,000

inspector estimated other costs around $15,000… the actual cost was over $100,000

Good observation. Home inspectors do not know the cost of a remedy … period. I make a very good living helping home insurance policyholders recover money from their insurance companies to cover the cost of repairs to their damaged property because even their insurance adjusters, fully trained and equipped with the most up-to-date models and estimate generating software programs, fail to correctly predict repair costs.

I have turned $2,500.00 estimates written by insurance adjusters into $50,000.00 settlements fast and easy based upon real costs (versus estimated costs) to restore property.

The definitive cost to affect a repair can only come from the party contracted to do the work. Anyone else is merely guessing.

HI ya JB, good stuff for you man… i slapped this up because some HI’s were recently discussing how some here DO give some homeowners estimated costs , as guy in article did

I’ve always been amused and confused, at the same time, by the inspector who uses doublespeak, canned descriptions, vague narratives, and disclaimers throughout his inspection report, presumably to minimize his risk of litigation … and then jumps outside of the protective scope of the inspection to add repair estimates for work that he can neither bid on or assure a bidder for the estimated amount. It appears to be very inconsistent, at best. To each his own, I suppose.

It is kind of you to share the opposing point of view so that prudent newbies can consider all sides. Not everyone will be kind and respectful toward ideas that challenge theirs but, while social media has always been the platform best suited for the uninformed opinion, there are still good posts to be read. Thanks again.

1 Like

Back to this BS again?
You left out the important parts:
In his inspection report, Mr. Toth identified two significant problems: two rotten beams in the A frame structure and moderate settlement of the foundation. However, Mr. Toth did not advise the plaintiffs to consult a structural engineer or a geotechnical engineer for either of these problems and estimated the repair costs to be approximately $20,000. At the conclusion of the inspection, the Salgados were told by Mr. Toth that they should complete the purchase.

The court found that Mr. Toth failed to “conduct the home inspection and prepare the report in a competent manner.” For example, Mr. Toth failed to warn the plaintiffs about rotting beams in the A frame’s structure. While he did identify two beams that were rotting, he failed to inspect the remaining beams, many of which showed signs of visible rot. He also estimated the cost of replacing the two beams he did identify at $4,000, while the actual cost was $35,000. Further, Mr. Toth failed to advise the Salgados to consult a structural engineer to determine the full extent of the problem, the total cost of which came to $90,000.

Mr. Toth also failed to warn the plaintiffs that the settlement of the foundation he observed required attention and professional advice. Although moderate settlement was identified, he failed to advise the Salgados to consult a geotechnical engineer. Further, Mr. Toth estimated that the cost of this remedial work was approximately $15,000, against an actual cost over $100,000.

Lastly, the court found that the Salgados relied on Mr. Toth’s report and opinion to complete the purchase and but for Mr. Toth’s negligence and advice, the plaintiffs would not have purchased the home.

I assure you and everyone else, if you fail to recommend that an expert or at least a tradesman be called to investigate/evaluate a “significant” defect, then, advise your client to purchase the home, you will be sued, and in that event, you will lose.

This is a good reason why referrals to structural engineers work. I got called in on a honker of a property a few years ago, and provided an opinion of repair cost at $109k. Got a call a year later from the new homeowner, saying that after 6 separate trade contractors were done, the final tally was $105k.

1 Like

Are you related to “Mr. Toth”? Seems like you are from your response.

No, just pointing out the facts of the case, which were, the inspector was negligent…

of course the home inspector was negligent, SOME peeps here get all cry baby like when i say a homie screwed up


A Home Inspector should not even be telling How the repair is to be made or how it is to be accomplished…and so estimating a cost should never even come into the equation.

Good Grief I (and I’m guessing many of you) have even underestimated the cost of what I Should have charged for the Inspection on some (pos) homes…

Then why wouldn’t a potential home buyer, just call an electrician, roofer, plumber, a/c company, etc…to perform the inspection?

Two very good reasons. 1) Each of those Contractors are going to charge at least (my best guess) $150 for each section of the inspection…and then do not forget they will need to get at least another contractor (or more) for inspection of the insulation, structural components…etc Oh yes and someone to check their garage door, and which contractor is going to call out that stain on the ceiling or the really nasty smell of cat urine???

Reason # 2: Those Contractors are in a perfect position to pad their own pockets performing the “Recommended” repairs of the Defects “they” find.

Many of the defects we find, we can not determine the full extent of the damage, neither would we have the tools and the time to determine what components may need to replaced if an AC is DOA. (Simple capacitor replacement? or a complete replacement of the system if the R-22 has drained or compressor shot)


In 1999, I did just this. The only reason it didn’t work out, was because the Realtors had no negotiating room anymore.
I had an electrician, plumber, hvac, roofer, and structural engineer, come out. They got between 300-400, each. I did everything else. I had them come up with forms, which I then made for them, and they filled everything out. The inspection only took an hour and a half on almost any home.

Then, everything was in writing, including code issues. The fee was $3,000.00. I did eight of them and those clients couldn’t be happier.

Your second reason, in this day and age with pictures as proof, is not valid.
In fact, I have not had anyone argue about any defect since I started adding pictures to my reports.

Using your example of the a/c, since the unit is at least 10 years old, more than likely, it may need a minor repair, but, sine it uses R-22, if it has to be opened up, it may be advantageous to switch out the system so it can use R-410.

I have been giving “estimates”, not costs to cure or anything else containing the word costs, since I first started in 1988. I started my own company in 1994, and have never had an incident regarding estimates.

And the point I am making is that the case, the lone case that even has anything to do with estimates in a report, is in reality, a case of gross negligence. I would imagine even if the inspector didn’t give any estimates, he still would have been responsible for the actual repair costs, which is exactly what the Judge ruled.

Do the inspection properly, and you will be fine. Perform an inspection as poorly as the inspector in the case cited did, prepare to lose everything…

Related: JLC Article: Job Pricing Blunders