Inspection Time

I am in my third year being a home inspector. We are still building our business and each year gets better I am expecting a great year. I am very proud of my work and try to be as thorough and accurate with my inspections as I can possibly be. I usually spend about four hours on a property, and deliver my reports the next day at noon.
We are selling our home, and today the buyers had there inspection.
The guy showed up at 9:00 with a ladder and a screwdriver. He spent a half hour talking with the buyers as we left. Two hours later at 11:00, we were told the inspection was over and the buyers were reviewing their report. When I mentioned to our realtor, our surprise that the inspector only spent two hours on the property, I was told, " That’s all it should take for an inspection and report".
My question… Is two hours for an inspection the norm?
If so I really need to streamline.

He is a minimalist. SOP required items are all that he / she inspects. I would bet the report doesn’t even include some of the mandatory items that WA inspectors must include. You would be surprised how many don’t pay attention to exactly what the State SOP actually requires.

So if you are in WA, it’s a good probability the house has a crawlspace. Even with a small house that can take 15-30 minutes if you are performing a halfway decent inspection. And then you have the required traverse of the attic as well. What type of home do you have?

Unless you are doing multiple inspections per day, there is absolutely no reason the report should not be delivered before you go to bed at night. I would never make someone wait until Noon the following day, even when I did 2 a day.

You should be happy that’s who inspected your home!

Two hours on site with report in hand is way too short in my opinion. As Alan said feel blessed.

And his fee was $199?

How big was your home?

2 hours is relative.

And like many things, “it depends”.

your inspection will take as long as you need to feel confident that you have done your job.

I schedule 1 hour per 1000 sqft. as a general rule.
I do not supply the report on site.

All depends. I usually take 2 1/2 hours for an average house (1500 sqft), no on site report. That’s an average. I did a 1300 sq. ft house the other day that I thought would take less than 1 1/2 hours because all the utilities were off. Turns out I spent 2 1/2 hours there because I spent a lot of time talking with the buyer about the home and all the repairs that were needed.

On a few occasions I have completed my inspection in a little over two hours. Newer home, relatively small, slab foundation, all-electric, very few deficiencies, these go pretty fast, but most homes take 3-4 hours, depending. I budget 30 minutes to review the inspection with the client. I will not attempt more than two inspections a day, and I try to make it a policy to deliver all my reports before my head hits the pillow. That way if the last-minute inspection comes in, I’ll be free to do it. I have delivered a few reports from the field when the client was in a rush, but I prefer to finish them at my desk.

I do things a little different.

Today I did a 6,600sf house. Started at 12:30 and was saying goodbye at 2:55 (includes walking the roof , checking 5 HVAC units, the attic, 6 bathrooms, 4 tankless water heaters, and a 1200amp electric panel with 4-5 sub-panels. Had another inspector with me and a trainee, setting up ladders, opening electrical panels, etc.

When done I hit the 5-6 high spots of the report with the buyers … Told them that with 3 inspectors onsite, we’d get together tomorrow AM / compare notes and Pics, and come up with our final hit list … Then we’d generate a report.

Told them they’d have their report within 2-3 days.

For fee’s … I quit giving set numbers on bigger property’s. They get a range. It will be at least $1,384 and won’t be over $1,637

I did not feel like we rushed the job. This type inspection relaxes me AND makes me feel good.

I quit doing the hurry-ups. I get home, take a nap, go hit happy hour, come home and watch a movie. Tomorrow I start the report.

Dan is my role model. That’s the Way DAN!

James first focus on everything but how long.Just last night had my longest 4,000 sq ft home ever.I kept apologizing for the length to the poor Agent . It happens but you must go through your process and if not sure about anything it always takes longer .Being new you in general will be less sure but need to try and figure it out on site if you can .

You got the perfect seller and listing agent inspector. Don’t look that gift horse in the mouth. Definitely, don’t say anything to your buyer.

There’s a place for inspectors at each end of the spectrum. That one happens to be at the other end. Your challenge is to make prospective clients and their agents aware of and appreciate the difference. Get your report out by the time your client wakes-up next morning.

A couple of years ago, I inspected a 6200 sq ft, 3 story log home on 50 acres. It had 9 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. It also had 2 kitchens and guest quarters. It took me a day and a half to inspect and my 80 page report was delivered on day 2. I received a $2500 check for my efforts.

I suggest that you have a defined process to inspect every home and inspect it in the same order using your process. Our process on an average home takes about 2 hours for the technical portion of the inspection and about an hour to write the report.

Like several of the others, don’t be in a hurry. I believe that any inspector doing more than two inspections a day is not doing the job properly.

With a defined process, you will be more confident in your work and save time.

Happy Inspecting!

In the Seattle area my “norm” for home inspections is 3 hours. I schedule four. My clients receive their report that evening no later than 8pm. I usually spend about two hours on my reports at home. I like to personalize the report for each home.

No two homes are the same just as no two inspectors are. That being said, I’d ask for a copy of the inspection report and compare it to the s.o.p./ your typical report for a good chuckle. There are plenty of inspectors in the area that use a “checkbox” report method and don’t adhere to the state regulations for whatever reason. Here’s the kicker- They’re successful. I’m sure you can guess why.

About 1 year ago, I was contacted by a newer inspector (under 2 yrs) who had got my name from someone at iNACHI headquarters. He had various questions about doing different things … Two of those were inspection time and report time.

I talked to him several times, then agreed to let him go on 1 job with me AND later go on one of his jobs with him.

On inspections, one of his big issues was he was taking 3.5 to 4 hours to inspect almost ANY house … even just a 15-20 yr old split-foyer (3/2/2) of about 1,650sf to 2,000sf. He was spending 20 minutes on a roof or in an attic.

Even Realtors or Buyers that liked him were worn out and bored long before he was done WITH a house that had almost NO issues. I immediately realized his problem by tailing him. The kid was way too talky. He found it necessary to talk non-stop about everything, no matter how trivial. AND he could not “walk & talk” … He came to a dead halt EACH time.

He’d see a dirty furnace filter and come to a DEAD stop and spend 10 minutes explaining the importance of having clean filters. He’d see a piece of wood rot on the trim and come to a dead HALT and go into a 10 minute dissertation on how to remove it, repair it, paint it, etc. He did this on EVERYTHING.

If he had a 6,000sf house, he’d of been here all day. I’m guessing that many inspectors under the guise of thinking they are being USER FRIENDLY … spend way too much time talking AND not enough “Blindering Out” and inspecting whats important.


You state that you usually take about 4 hours to do the inspection, yet your website states that a home inspection takes a “few” hours. I know that few is not a defined number, but I certainly wouldn’t consider a few hours to be 4 hours. Not trying to be critical, but you may want to change the verbiage on your website, or the way you do inspections.

I agree with others that delivering the report by noon the next day does seem a little long. My commitment is within 24 hours of the inspection, but typically they get the report the same day. The exception is if I do a late afternoon/early evening inspection to accommodate the clients, which they do appreciate not having to take time off from work, but I still usually get the report done that evening.

The biggest complaint I hear from agents about other inspectors around here is either they take too long at the inspection, or they take too long to send the report. I know that I don’t work for them, but I do work with them. Most agents around here do truly have their clients’ best interest in mind.


This is the biggest issue I have with myself. I lose more time talking than I should.