1. Size of the home
2. Number of systems to be inspected, one or multiple HVAC systems, number of electrical main and sub panels, number of water heaters, wells, water softeners and filters, pools and spas, and multiple kitchens will all add to the inspection time.
3. Condition and age of the property
4. Access to areas to be inspected, crawl space and attic for example.
5. Weather conditions, rain, snow or extreme heat can slow the inspection time.
6. State requirements for a home inspection.
7. The amount of question the client has during the inspection. I always recommend the client have a list of questions for the inspector about the property. The inspector can then address those specific questions or investigate that area further. It is the inspectors job to make sure all the clients question have been addressed and have covered any concerns they may have about the property.
Several of the associations of home inspectors have been discussing this over the last year. There are many opinions about drafting rules about the depth and length of time an inspection should take. Most are in agreement a one hour inspection can not be a thorough inspection. If it is not a thorough inspection is it a good inspection?
An average report will take me 3 to 5 hours to complete including research, marking pictures and proof reading the report. A home is a huge investment and you should expect a good return on your investment. If you do not have all the facts up front it reduces your ability to negotiate the sale price and could cost you more in repairs later.
Frank Carr, Owner/Inspector
First Choice Home Inspections
We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.
After reading the previous 6 responses, none of them addressed the basics of an inspection. Inspections are available in 3 sizes, and each size has a different timeframe for completion. The first is a low level, kind of gloss over routine which besides being the least expensive ($150-175) is also the fastest at about 1-1.5 hours for the average home. A mid-range inspection, at $225-295, is much more thorough and runs around 2.5 hours. This is usually adequate unless there are structural issues or concerns which brings us to the third type. This is performed by a structural engineer, is the most thorough, and will take at least 3 hours at an average cost of $300-400. Feel free to contact me for more information.
Metro Brokers - The Realty Werks
Best of luck with your inspection, ask a lot of questions! :)
I give a brief summary at the end of an inspection verbally and guaruntee a maximum 24hour turnaround on the final digital report.
I have worked with several inspectors and the average time frame has been 2-3 hours. A good inspector will start at the roof and go from there through all of the aspects of the home. My inspectors take photos of any items in the home that are of concern and explain to my buyers how much of a problem it is and what will need to be done. By the time they get to inspect the furnace and finish up it usually is about 2 hours and then they finishe up the reports and paperwork. Hope that helps.
Your Castle Realestate
I recommend asking any perspective home inspector for thier estimate of time based on the home you are considering.
Also, I have a blog post here on Trulia that lists criteria in choosing a qualifed home inspector. The same list is on bottom of my home page http://(www.id-inspections.com) as a printable worksheet to compare perspective home inspectors.
I have one that is able to include a termite inspection with this process (for one fee)and never takes longer than two hours.
The previous answers are all correct. I would also take into consideration the age of the home as well. However, I always advise my buyers to be more concerned with the quality of the inspection rather than the time it takes to complete.
Recently I had a buyer who chose not to utilize an inspector that I had recommended but found her own inspector, who in the beginning appeared cheaper. Unfortunately, once at the home she learned there was an additional charge for the inspector to include photos so in the end she ended up paying more.
If you are looking for a recommendation on a great home inspector give me a call. I will refer you to the best!