Duplex Inspection

Good night,
I would like to see what is the general practice across the board for duplex.

I am doing a 3 bedrooms 1 bathroom general home inspection for a client, and he has an additional detached duplex as a living area in the back yard.

I quoted the inspection based sq ft, and the client gave me total square footage including the duplex.

I will end up honoring my original quote, but i want to hear what you guys have gone through to better quote in the future.

Essentially for the inspection i am doing two general inspections, one for the one bedroom duplex and another one for the main property with 3 bedrooms.

What are your thoughts?

thank you,

The first time I had a house like that, I made the mistake of pricing it at my normal sqft rate. It was a lot more work. I can tell you now that inspection your referring to would probably be $700-$900 without knowing all the details

For the most part I do not sweat a small one bedroom duplex/mother in law suite/cassita.

Is the separate building actually a two unit duplex? Making the total three units?

I made that very same mistake. Never again.

It’s a good question.

Extra kitchen, extra bathrooms, extra heating and air, water heaters, etc, a duplex can be much more work than a house of the same square footage.

Right now, I look at what I would charge if it was just one big house, and then what I would charge if were two separate condos inspected as two different jobs. And then find a place in the middle of that that makes sense for me and the client.

I charge multi-plexes at the total square footage plus $95 per unit.

Sorry for the confusion christofer, is just the main house plus one duplex.

Thank you Steven, Thats a practice i can incorporate.

Thank you everyone for your input. I will do the inspection tomorrow and share my lessons learned. Thanks to your feedback it looks like i have to revise my prices when it comes the property includes a duplex.

I like your method.

If you learn how to adjust your template and combine then focus on big ticket items it will go fast.
Try not to dwell on micro.

When we book any job we ask if it has an in-law or second unit. People sometimes act surprised when we ask because the price goes up and some people have an expectation that one price will covers anything on the lot. We also look up the property through the MLS system after booking and sometimes even while booking so we know exactly what we are quoting. If we find the quote doesn’t match what the buyer told us we call back and adjust price. No inspector likes to feel they are working for a cut rate price. Even if you don’t have MLS you can look on Zillow or similar sites and see if there will be any surprises. If you really need the work honor your price…if not call the client and raise the price because you can’t and shouldn’t do 2 separate structures for the price of one.

Thank you Mark, I honor the quote because I am starting and I need to get my name out, but yes i learned my leasson and from now on I will quote base on what is physically on the property. These two properties had alot to report, i am still writting the reports for it. on the bright side i have learned a ton with this experience, but i dont think i will repeat this experience under the same price. :wink:

Everyone thank you for your input,

Same goes for a detached garage, I’ve had some almost as big as the home.

Mine is similar, but I charge $100

I’m a bit confused by the OP, however. The post implies 3 separate living quarters (1 SFR, plus a “duplex,” which is two units).

The SFR would be one rate based on sq ft.

The duplex would be based on sq ft plus $100

Additional charges would be for detached structures and/or pool/spa.

If it’s a SFR plus a detached guest quarters, my fee would be based on the SFR sq ft plus $150 for the guest quarters.

We do the same here !!


Almost sounds like a single family house PLUS in-law house NOT duplex.

A SF house and actual duplex would be 2 separate inspections AND 2 separate fees.

Anywhere from $850 on out depending on size of each unit

I think you’re right, Dan. I think the OP has mistakenly identified an in-law house as a duplex. It’s actually two houses, a big one and a small one. I’d price them separately.

I look at duplexes like houses, with an additional hvac, water heater, and breaker panel. I have flat rates, not based on sq ft, So I charge my usual fee, then add $100 for the additional stuff on a duplex.