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  • Writer's pictureMike Diehl

Common Questions

I thought it might be interesting to write about some of the common questions I get asked as a home inspector. You can probably guess the most common one, "How much do you charge?" Before I answer that, I think it's important to tell you this. You will find home inspectors that are on both sides of my fee. Some are less and some are more. What I think is a more important question to ask is what are your credentials. It is most important that you find a home inspector that is working for your best interest and that has professional training. Here in Colorado, as in many states across the nation, there are no requirements to be a home inspector. It is one of the easiest businesses to start because of the "cost of entry." I have read, there are some associations/organizations that allow you to "buy" a certification. Other organizations require that you take continuing education (CE) classes and actually send reports to have them checked for content, clarity and adherence to standards. I belong to the latter. As an ASHI Inspector, ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) requires that I conduct my inspections to the same level of professionalism that a licensed Realtor performs and they require 20 CE's a year. That being said, I feel a more important first question you should ask is, "what are your credentials" instead of "what do you charge?" You owe it to yourself to find a qualified professional inspector to inspect your home, this is not a good time to try and "save a buck."

Another question I get asked a lot is, "how long is it going to take?" That's kind of a tricky one. Because I haven't seen the house yet and have no idea of the condition, I have only an idea how long it will take. The more issues I find with the home, the longer it will take. I inspect your home like I would inspect a home that I was purchasing. When I finish the report, I have done my best to inform you of all the safety and health issues with your home and hopefully uncovered as many of the deficiencies in the home as I could in the short amount of time I have. The average inspection is around 3-4 hours. That doesn't include the time that goes into the report after I leave the site. There is time involved in searching serial numbers to determine appliance age, possible recalls and problems associated with appliances, and commenting on the photos taken for the report. All in all, a home inspection, depending on the size, age and complexity can take anywhere from 5 to 8+ hours including report writing time. Perhaps a better question to ask your inspector would be, "Will you spend at least 3 hours at the inspection?" Because if you are getting an inspection that is considerably quicker than this, you are probably not getting a very thorough inspection. And you are doing yourself a great injustice.

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