Inspection prices for IR

I am sure this has been discussed somewhere, I just cant find it. Many of the web sites I have been checking are giving this service away for free with a home inspection. I am usually booked out a week or more without this service, but would like to add it if it makes additional money. What are most people charging for this added service and is it paying above and beyond what the camera cost over time?


Im $ 200.00 limited moisture scan. but i do ask if the payer wants to walk around with me. Im doing 10 plus scan a month as an add on.



FLIR told me that the average inspector charges approx. 50% more than
their average fee when adding an IR scan.

Thanks for you input Ron. John, what increase in your business can you attribute to doing IR scans?

The market is up and down. I can not put my finger on anything in this market as to my work load as a hole. but i am converting a standard inspection into IR SCANS and that is kicking in over $ 2.000.00 a month.

The added income from IR Moisture scans has been a big help. and this winter i will have more of a foot hold in my market area.

IR Is working big time for me.



Had a general scan this week - moisture and insulation basically. Charged $200. The client was thrilled.

When he called the first time he asked about the full inspection with the IR. Said he had already booked with another inspector for a warranty inspection but wanted to use me and would call back after he canceled with him.

Called back a little later and said he just wanted the IR scan. I said fine and set it up. Found that the builder “forgot” to insulate most of the master bathroom ceiling. At the end of the scan, he commented that the other inspector (whom he was happy with and thought was very thorough) had bad mouthed the whole IR thing and called it a scam and told him to beware and basically talked him into still using him.

Good thing the client was interested enough in the IR to go ahead since that inspector had not found the insulation problem, it was in the furtherest corner of the attic (I would not have found it either probably without IR on a normal inspection.) So who looks good now?

Then the best part. This other inspector who bad mouthed IR charged $200 for his COMPLETE inspection. I charged $200 for a 30 - 40 minute scan (it was a 1500sf single story home) and a short report showing the problem pictures and the client is thrilled.

Long live inspectors with this other guy’s attitude. I will happily do limited scans for the same amount he charges for a full inspection and full inspections for double (in this case anyway.)

As for the bad mouthing part. If you are not an IR fan, don’t believe in it, whatever. While you are certainly entitled to an opinion, be careful bad mouthing it. In the hands of someone properly trained and not overselling their ability, this technology provides something you CAN NOT, there are simply things we can see with IR that you cannot see with the naked eye - no matter how good, experienced, thorough you are. You could end up looking pretty bad - without the IR inspector ever saying a word against you. Before I had IR I would have people call and ask about it. I would explain int to them, I was looking at it at the time, and explain that all other things being equal and assuming the Thermographer is properly trained and knowledgable, the IR was a valuable tool. I still booked half of those people. But I NEVER bad mouthed the technology. Since getting it, my business, like Ron has said, has changed dramatically and I am excited again about exploring all of the possibilities.

Great post Kevin!

How do you like that M7800?

I like it for the most part. Very powerful and relatively easy to use. I wish the screen resolution was a little better and brighter. I also have some concern about the long term durability of the hinge on the flip up screen. All in all I am very happy with it.

Good post Kevin.

Still trying to see how people are making money at this. Here is another example of free IR with home inspection.

A friend of mine bought a new house 9 months ago. He informed me that the bedrooms were cold during the winter months. He hired this company to do an IR scan of the wall and this company verbally informed him that the wall was lacking insulation. When he was telling me this, I informed him that I had basically the same camera so I went over to take a look. After looking at the wall, I told him that I needed a reference of what I was looking at so I needed to create a hole where the IR shows it coldest. There was no insulation in the wall at that location so I was able to use that as a reference when it came to the rest of that wall. We did the same thing on two other walls which resulted in those walls being properly insulated.

Without a reference, how do you know how much or how little insulation is in the wall?

Heat transfer theory and lots of practice/experience.

Early on I had many examples of missing insulation where I could get to the other side of the wall non destructively, ie from the attic space. So I saw and learned the IR characteristics and was able to actuall see the other side of the wall to see what was happening. With practice and experience I am able to tell when insulation batts are present but not properly installed, when they are half falling out, missing completely.

I would have to say that it is not foolproof. I still have situations where I cannot say with absolute certainty what is happening behind the sheetrock. I am not afraid to say this to the client, or here. In those cases, sometimes I have to just say it is an IR anomaly. Often I suspect it is that the insulation is present but there is a air space between it and the interior wall, ie it is improperly installed. This can be a problem because it is there and the builder will try and use that. I explain this to my clients if it happens.

Often times your “reference point” is the other proper walls or ceilings in the house. When one room’s ceiling is suddenly inverted in color scheme, there is a good chance you are seeing missing insulation.

I firmly believe you must be upfront that this is not magic, nor is it foolproof or absolute. But with proper technque and honesty it is an invaluable tool in my opinion.

There are a lot of things that can cause energy loss. I would not say
that insulation is missing unless I can verify it first. Air gaps look just
like missing insulation in some cases, even when the insulation is still

Hi Kevin and all,

To expand on Kevin Weiss’s post…
One typically can’t tell how much or how little insulation exists… only that it is marginal and/or missing. With proper understanding of Thermodynamics and material thermal properties, determining an uninsulated wall from an insulated wall should be fairly simple (without invasive investigations) as long as you have created a sufficient thermal window or difference of temperature between interior and exterior.
When you observe a wooden framed wall with your imager, you should notice that the temperature of the 2x4’s differs from an insulated or uninsulated wall. This is because they change temperatures at different rates. The uninsulated areas will change temperature faster than the stud, and conversely the stud will change temperature faster than the insulated area. The rate of temperature change is based on the specific heat and the density of the material.
Once you understand that, you should be able to confidently declare marginal or missing insulation from insulated walls and ceilings.

The seasons will have an effect on what you see.

Cooling Season (with A/C running… ideally for 45 minutes prior to scan):

  • Studs will appear warmer in an insulated wall

  • Studs will appear cooler in an uninsulated wall
    Heating Season (with heat running)

  • Studs will appear cooler in an insulated wall

  • Studs will appear warmer in an uninsulated wall
    Missing insulation.jpg Marginal or missing insulation in winter (note studs appear warmer at dark areas near ceiling where insulation is missing - and studs appear cooler where insulation is present)

Missing insulation at kitchen ceiling.jpg Missing insulation in summer (note studs appear cooler)

missing insulation at kitchen 1.JPG Confirmed missing from attic

In a report I would state something to the effect…“Thermal imaging indicates areas consistent with marginal and/or missing insulation…” if I could not physically or visually confirm missing insulation.

Thanks William, your explaination was very good.

I meant to say something about determining “how much insulation is present.” For the most part, I make no attempt to do this from the IR. In some cases with blown insulation you can tell where really light spots or spots where a contractor has disturbed the insulation and not spread it back out are in the ceiling, but it is not very useful, in my experience, in being able to determine whether there is a consistant R-30 or R-38 throughout the attic.