How much time does it take to perform a home inspection?

How long does it take to perform a home inspection?
How long does it take to perform a home inspection?

There are 4 factors that affect the time it takes to do a professional home inspection.

1. The size of the home

1. size of the home

The larger the home, the longer it takes.  Pretty straightforward.

2. condition of the home

2. Condition of the home

A home is like a slide.  The smoother it is, the faster the inspection.

So the time it takes to perform a home inspection has as much to do with the condition of the home as the home inspector’s skill.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve inspected a home that took longer than expected because of the stop and go nature of analyzing all those defects.

I block out 2 hours for a home under 2,899 sq. ft.

3. Distractions

3. distractions

Somewhere along the line, people began thinking it was a good idea to follow the inspector and ask questions or have loud conversations within earshot.

It’s not.

I’ve never understood why anyone would want to distract a professional who’s paid hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars to find the hidden defects inside a 5, 6, or 7-figure property.

Those who do are robbing themselves of the skills, expertise, and results they expected to get when it’s over.  Especially if they cause the inspector to miss something.

This is why a home inspection is NOT a hands-on workshop in home ownership.

In fact, the home inspector is paid to do 2 things:

  1. Determine the home’s real condition
  2. Communicate it to you in simple terms


That’s it.

And the fewer distractions they have:

  1.  The better they can focus
  2.  Fewer missed items
  3. The clearer the picture
  4.  Better answers to your questions
  5. Better negotiations for you
  6.  Less you pay for the home
  7. Fewer surprises after you move in
  8.  More accurate budgeting for repairs
  9. Less time wasted at the inspection
  10.  Most of all, you’re much happier 


Besides, no one likes interruptions while they work.

That’s why I do most talking at the start of the inspection – where I go over the inspection process, jot down your concerns, and set expectations.

Then again, at the end – when I discuss the major areas of the home, address your concerns, and answer your questions.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I encourage you to attend and take part in your home inspection.  It not only gives you a chance to talk to me, it makes understanding of your home inspection report easier.

We just won’t be chatting it up while I’m inspecting your home.

4. Home inspector experience

4. home inspector experience

It takes 7-10 years of full-time work to master the home inspection trade.

Because it’s not just about finding problems (which is hard enough).  

But when a home inspector is new, they’re learning: 

  1. The components of a home
  2. How a home works
  3. Inspection software
  4. To interpret defects
  5. To write comments
  6. To communicate effectively


Nothing is coming easy and they’re trying to do all this without letting the inspection take hours longer than it should.

They’re also learning how to:

  1. Inspect a home
  2. Understand the difference between homes of different ages
  3. Understand the difference between homes from different eras
  4. Understand the different building materials
  5. Understand the difference between homes from different areas (rural homes sometimes don’t follow the same rules as homes in the city or suburbs).
  6. Spot the things that should be there but are missing


And that’s STILL not all.

They still have to distill all that information into basic terms you and your real estate agent can understand and use.

Without using technical jargon or confusing concepts.  

Because the best home inspection reports are written around a 5th grade level.

In fact, inexperienced inspectors:

  1. Take longer
  2. Miss more items
  3. Misdiagnose problems
  4. Miscommunicate their findings

Because they’re still learning.

That being said, a 2,000 sq.ft. home in average condition should take between 2 to 2.5 hours to inspect.