Infrared thermography Cost?

Just wondering how many of you include infrared in your inspections. Noticed some that offer it as a “free” service during general home inspection while others charge $150+ for the scan. Trying to figure out what is customary.

Jeanete,
I took an IR class and I’m camera shopping right now and my personal opinion is I must charge for it. After spending money for a certification and a camera I just can’t see offering for free.

If it ever comes down to a direct competitor giving IR away I would say perhaps that my fee based IR is more thorough and comes with a report. I can’t bring myself to offer free IR.

Free IR, free Recall Check, free donuts and coffee, how is this promoting the profession?

I totally agree that infrared scans must be charged separately but if making it part of your regular inspection increase your business by 15% then it become a marketing tool. Once I’m an inspector, business will start slow, I will most likely have to include it as part of my inspection to get the business going. I suppose it all comes down to how busy the inspector is.

In my area there are some who are including a free complete scan with each inspection and others are charging quite a bit extra. Wasn’t sure what to do myself, but I agree. Seems like a lot of work and expense ($1000 for scanner) just to give it away. However, in that it limits my liability by allowing me to better see something I might have missed, I am tempted to include it just for personal liability safety reasons. On the fence on this one, but if the market allows would love to just raise rates to cover a “free” scan. Curious, how much on average is everyone spending on scanner? Is there a preferred brand?

$136.00/hr.

And unlike Home Inspection Standard, that includes report writing extras not just out in the field.

Ya’ll ***** about the cost of good TI training and equipment.
Then you work for free.

I agree… but some also do not have any real IR training to speak of. So really what are they giving away. It also depends on what they call IR… I have heard some guys locally pull it out, look around for any signs of moisture… maybe a clue on any insulation variance… and call it an IR inspection.

So… what is an IR inspection… they do not say… simply include it free. The other issue is the low cost wanna be smart phone attachments only propagate this type of activity.

Realistically proper training is going to set you back several hundred dollars to a couple of thousand… a thermographic camera between $5K to $25K or so… anybody who has training and a decent camera likely is not giving it away.

But how does one sell that to the customer… they have to point out the differences and the value.

Infra red is just another tool, going to charge for using a moisture meter too?
We use “tools” needed to do the best job.
We have 5 infra red cameras, after at least 10,000 inspections and never once charged “extra” for using our tools.
Do the best job and charge accordingly.
No offence, but that’s how we see it.

**BUT… **you are NOT charging $199 for an inspection! I am sure the IR usage fee is included in your base fee, is it not?

When an inspector buys the “piece of crap” $1000 camera, and “get’s certified” for less than $500 or even FREE, they have no option but to “give it away”.

If you are serious about Commercial and IR, go see the guys/gals over at www.nacbi.org I guarantee you that nobody over there uses a POS camera or gives it away for free.

Most of us are in this to make a profit, which means you must run your company as an actual business, not a hobby, if you intend to be around for the long haul!

You need to add another zero to your “scanner” cost. If you are advertising infrared imaging and lack the proper equipment, training and don’t apply appropriate protocols, you most certainly are NOT limiting your liability.

Infrared thermography is a professional service. professionals get paid for their work.

I took Building Science and Thermal scanning class. 45 min. into tape 3, Mr. Decker mentions that he charges more, but includes the service for free. Think I will do the same. He makes a good point. If you make it an optional service and someone neglects to purchase it, takes you to court later, your only defense it “But your Honor. He said he didn’t want to pay me to use thermal scanner so I didn’t notice that problem”. Charge more and everyone pays instead of just some.

So how does one handle it when you front load your thermography fee into your basic inspection rate, and advertise that you do thermography on each and every inspection, but conditions aren’t suitable on the day of the inspection to produce meaningful thermography results? Do you waive the imager around and say it all looks good to me? Now you have charged for an advertised a service that you cannot perform in a competent manner because of conditions. Seems like a big new liability to me…

Does doing a job in an incompetent manner because the conditions weren’t suitable produce less liability than not doing it at all? Instead of explaining why you did not perform a service that the client made a conscious decision to decline, you will get to explain why you didn’t follow the basic thermography protocols that the plaintiffs Level-III expert witness testifies are part of documented, accepted, standards of practice for building thermography.

Does doing a job in an incompetent manner because the conditions weren’t suitable produce less liability than not doing it at all? Instead of explaining why you did not perform a service that the client made a conscious decision to decline, **you will get to explain why you didn’t follow the basic thermography protocols that the plaintiffs Level-III expert witness testifies are part of documented, accepted, standards of practice for building thermography. **

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Great point!

Do you have any formal training in thermal imaging? I notice you list your certifications, but I cannot find any thermal imaging training on your web site. I also notice that you refer to your infrared service as a “quick scan” for mositure while your doing a mold inspection.

Is this what you give away for free?

Depends.
If all you have is a 700.00 camera and a level one ticket we would not recommend additional charges. But what if you spent money to further yourself and to set yourself apart? I spent almost 30K on my camera and have a level 3 ticket. Education is a tool as well and it needs to be appreciated. No free services if it benefits someone else. Fair pricing implies fairness for both parties.