Draw Inspection Question

I’ve been inspecting for 20+ years but have just started taking on a couple draw inspections due to moving to a new area and taking any work I can get. So, I have a single property I’m working on and the first assignment was pretty easy - Basically, has the lot been excavated?

Now, I’m getting my second request about six weeks later and am thinking when I show up tomorrow there may be several “line items” done. There are +/- 25 “line items” total and, given how much time has passed, I’m getting the feeling I won’t be getting a separate assignment for each one (unless it’s going to take them 5 years to build this place).

So, how does it standardly work? Do I just roll in and note everything that has been done? I’m starting to think if I get a single trip fee for numerous sets of pictures and line items this may be even a worse endeavor than I initially thought. And, fwiw, I initially thought it was terrible. Despite the pay I am actually excited to closely see a house built from the ground up in my new area (Maui) vs. where I’ve done all my inspecting (Oregon).

Don’t take my experience as the standard but I am doing draws on a small commercial property at the moment. They are typically about 3-4 weeks apart. I assign a percentage of completion to each line item at each visit. There are about a dozen line items. Pictures are needed of each exterior side, the roof if accessible, and each interior room.

These are not lucrative at all but the drive is short and it is super-easy. And like you said, it’s fun to watch the building come together. Also, make sure you have your hard hat and safety glasses with you.

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If you’re doing these for an aggregator, they typically have a process or form you fill out. They want to see percentage of completion for each line item (your judgment on that number), materials stored onsite, etc.

Lenders don’t want to cut a draw check for this project, if the builder is using the funds to build something else (or to buy a boat).

The builder is the one who requests the draw, so if they’re not ready, it’s on them. Just report what’s done or not.


I do a few of these a year. There is a huge range in pay for them. My normal rate is $450-$500 per draw on commercial work. Other places want to offer as low as $30.00 each for residential. Yes, there is a difference in the size of the project, but not a significant time difference spent between the two. As inspectors, we all need to reject these low rates.

Like others have said, you check the percentages against what they have billed. Some require you to note # of workers on site, check permit status, and condition of the site. They may also require photos of stored materials.

I too like seeing a project go from conception to completion. It almost makes me miss working construction.


How do you find those draw inspections?

How much are reps getting these days for residential draw Inspections?

This particular place found me here on the InterNACHI “find and inspector” (Thanks Nick!!)

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I’m in Maui where everything in expensive and they offered $50. I told them that just wasn’t worth it so I’m getting $100 per visit. It’s completely not worth it for the money as it’s +/- 30 minutes away (albeit a nice drive up the ocean) and a part of the island I have no other business on. I talked to the builder a bit (see below) and he said there are quite a few more houses coming in the area so it could turn into something a bit more profitable. $100/stop and multiple stops could be nice.

So, crazy story with this - I roll up to the first job and meet the builder and realize we went to 5th grade together in Oregon! I just happened to remember his name and he looked similar to what I remembered. 2500 miles away, 40 years later!!

Thanks everyone for the replies.


I am new inspector in Florida, and in need of some help. I purchase the spectora software and the narrative library but the information on the library is so advance that I dont what where to start. can someone show me how they have each section of their spectora app set up and what is the basic setup? i dont want to turn off any important section

I appreciate that. I was getting $65, bumped it to $75 if they are close, getting $85 if they are further out. This is mainly all I do. I do 3 to 5 everyday. I just found out they are charging over $200 to the homeowner. We should get half.

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Don’t hijack someone else’s thread with your off-topic questions.
Go to the Spectora section with Spectora questions.

Wait until you hire inspectors to work for you, and see how fast you go out of business paying them 50% of what you charge!!

Is it some kind of lender?

Residential draw work through a 3rd party jobber will pay around $50 to $100 on the average. It is simple work, that takes less than 15-20 min on site for most homes and maybe the same amount of time for the report. Most of the time the company will provide a form, or you will need to develop your own form. Yes, you will make more if you secure your own work through local lenders, but that is not an easy thing to do. I only do larger custom homes for a few local banks, I charge $200 for each draw and I provide it on my own forms.

Commercial construction progress or draw inspections are very profitable. Sometimes it is a simple tenant build-out like a store or restaurant, those are usually 1-3 trips and pay in the area of $300 to $400 per trip. It could be a hotel that is being built and that will take 12+ months, and each trip will be $450 to $700, the price just depends on the project. Also new subdivisions and conducting draw inspections on the infrastructure as it is being put in, those go for $300 to $400 and are very simple. Local lenders are the best for this type of work.

Apartment complexes are usually 18 to 24 month long projects and they pay in the $550 to $750+ range, just depends on the project. Again, you are on site for 30 min to an hour and then it can take a hour or so to put the report together and upload photos. I usually have 6-8 commercial draw projects going at one time. Sometimes you will have a few hours of drive time to reach a site, but you need to also realize that this is reoccurring income and look at the total picture. Most of the commercial projects will earn me around $6,000 to $8,000+ per year in billings. Multiply that by 8-10 and that it not a bad income for fill-in work with little liability. I always have one wrapping up and it seems another one starting. Right now, I’m finishing up a hotel that I have been going to the site since August of 2020! It is a huge project in the $40M range. Many times you are also required to attend what is called an OAC (Owner, Architect, Contractor) meeting every month or when needed.

I have been doing this type of work for about twenty years, it is not that easy to break into the commercial part of this work. You do need knowledge of the commercial building process.


I just signed up for nachi and someone told me if I needed help to ask in the forum. I apologize if you think I hijack a section on my first day obviously this forum is not friendly for new comers so I will leave. Just a friendly reminder at some point in your career you were new and I’m sure you hAs questions.

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He gave you the information on where to find the answer to your question.

Agents are going to tear you apart if you are going to leave every time someone does not coddle you.


What was not friendly about this? He didn’t use exclamation points, he did not use all CAPS. In fact, he gave you exactly the information you needed. Maybe a few emoji’s would have made it better? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :heart_eyes: :couplekiss_man_woman: :kiss: :couplekiss_woman_woman:

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The companies I work for charge $250 and pay me $75. I’m going to $100 or I’ll talk to the banks directly. I’m not hiring anyone, but if I did, I would make more. $75 -100 to the rep & pocket $150, how would I go out of business? Lmao.

Don’t let him bulldog you. Stick around and learn more. I’m new here too. They aren’t all like him. I’ve had other people help me.

Doesn’t look like Scott Patterson is going out of business…