How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

If you’re ready to seal the deal on buying a new home, then it’s probably time to schedule a home inspection. A home inspection is an essential step before you finalize a property purchase so that any potential material or construction defects can be identified and fixed before you move in. But how long does a home inspection take?

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

A home inspection will usually take about two to four hours to complete. This is the average time it will take to complete a full home inspection, including inspecting areas such as the roof, exterior, basement, foundation, fireplace, attic, driveways, garages, and patios. Full home inspections will also look at heating, cooling, plumbing, electricity, drainage, and built-in appliances.

Other types of home inspections may be completed more quickly. For example, a four-point home inspection will usually take twenty to thirty minutes to complete since this type of inspection will focus on elements of HVAC, electricity, plumbing, and structure. This type of inspection is also quicker because it is a visual inspection only.

Factors That May Influence How Long an Inspection Will Take

To unpack a question like “How long does a home inspection take?”, it’s important to understand that all homes and properties are unique. Several factors may influence how long it will take to complete a home inspection, such as:

Property Size

The size of the property is one of the biggest influencing factors for how long a home inspection will take. For example, homes that are between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet will usually take two to four hours to complete a full home inspection. For every additional 500 feet on the home, an additional 30 minutes will be added to how long it will take a home inspector to finish looking at all home systems.

This means that if a single home inspector is looking at a 4,000 square foot home, it may take up to five hours to complete the inspection. This is why inspections for larger homes may be completed by a team of home inspectors.

Property Conditions

The condition of the property can influence how fast a home inspection can be completed. For example, new homes or homes that have been newly renovated and are in good condition will usually have faster home inspections because there are fewer issues to document. Homes that are not in good condition, on the other hand, will have more safety issues that need to be documented, so these inspections will take more time.

Property Age

As a rule, because property permits and safety regulations change over time, inspecting an older home will usually take longer than inspecting a newer home. In addition to older homes being more vulnerable to structural defects, an older home may have unique challenges that require more time to identify. For older homes, it’s common to add an hour to the home inspection.

Property Systems

The number of systems in the house can also influence how long a home inspection will take. For example, if there are multiple HVAC systems, cooling and heating systems, or water heaters, it will take more time to inspect all of these systems to identify potential problems. This is why a home that does not have an AC hookup will take less time to inspect than a home that has both heating and cooling systems.

Property Foundation

The type of foundation a property has is also important. If the property has a cement foundation, then the inspection for the home will take less time than if the home has a basement or crawl space. Inspecting a basement, even a finished basement, will take additional time because of potential water damage, mold, and other issues.

Other Factors

There may be other factors that can influence how long a home inspection will take. For example, if weather conditions are bad at the time of the home inspection, this may influence the access a home inspector has to certain areas of the home, such as the crawl space.

If a home inspector has to field questions from a real estate agent or homeowner, this can also add time to the home inspection. Although there is nothing wrong with tagging along on your home inspection, be aware that asking questions instead of waiting for the finalized report means that the inspection will take longer. If you’re on a time crunch, it may be best to wait to ask questions until after the home inspection is complete.

Common Types of Home Inspections

How long does a home inspection take? Sometimes, it depends on the type of inspection. There are multiple types of home inspections that are available for property owners. Depending on the goal of your home inspection, you may not need a full inspection or a four-point inspection. Some other common types of inspections include:

Wind Mitigation Inspection

A wind mitigation inspection will examine the wind-resistance features on a property, which can be used to reduce property insurance premiums. A wind mitigation inspection is often necessary for homes that are vulnerable to high winds, especially if you live in areas of Florida where hurricanes are likely to fall.

Water Intrusion Inspection

Water can cause untold damage to a home and often goes undetected for too long. A water intrusion inspection may be necessary if you have seen any signs of water damage or leaks in a home. A home inspector will be able to identify water damage, find leaks, and test the home to document water damage for your home insurance company.

Signs that may indicate there is water damage in your home can include wet carpets, musty odors, cracks in drywall, water spots on the ceiling or walls, and much more. Even if you do not see visible leaking, or you can’t hear leaking pipes in the walls, your home could still be suffering from water damage. The only way to make sure is for a home inspector to use thermal imaging.

New Construction Inspection

New construction doesn’t always mean the property is without any problems. If you’re interested in buying a newly constructed property, it’s important to have multiple new home inspections to ensure all construction permits and safety regulations are correct. This can help you prevent repairs in the future and also reduce home insurance policies.

Some common construction issues that are found in new homes can include structural defects, drainage issues, leaks in windows, electrical problems, HVAC issues, and plumbing problems. A home inspection can also identify incomplete projects, such as missing hardware pieces or insufficient insulation in the walls.

Pre-Listing Inspection

If you are selling a property, then it’s likely a good idea to schedule a pre-listing inspection. This will circumvent any issues that may be found by the buyer’s property inspection when your home is being sold. A pre-listing inspection will allow you to fix problems before you sell your home and help you accurately price your home. Having a pre-listing inspection can also put the potential buyer at ease.

11th-Month Warranty Inspection

The majority of home warranties will last for one year after purchasing the home, which is why it’s a savvy plan to schedule an 11th-month warranty inspection of your home. By scheduling a warranty inspection, you will be able to identify and fix any issues while your property is still under warranty. This can help you avoid expensive repairs and out-of-pocket costs.

General Concern Inspection

If you have any concerns about your home, such as water damage, leaks, cracks in walls or flooring, or water pooling near the foundation, it can be a good idea to schedule a general concern inspection. Scheduling a general concern inspection is often a better option than calling a repair service, since a home inspector will likely be more honest about the issues that need to be fixed.

Do You Need a Home Inspection Report?

Another factor in determining “how long does a home inspection take” is generating the home inspection report. While the main portion of a home inspection will be completed when a home inspector does a walkthrough of the property to identify and document issues, the most important aspect of a home inspection is the report.

A home inspection report is an essential document that lists the conditions of all the major systems in the home, identifies any safety code violations, and can even make recommendations on how to correct violations. This report is important for homeowners to have, especially for those who are interested in buying a previously-owned property. Home inspection reports may also be important for your home insurance company to document.

How long does a home inspection take? For a full home inspection, you can expect the process to take two to four hours. The type of inspection, the condition of the home, the size of the home, and other factors can influence how long a home inspection will take. To learn more about your home inspection options, please contact Hound Dog Home Inspections in Brevard County, FL today.