A home inspection can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. The length of time a home inspection takes depends on many different factors. The main factors are age, size, and condition. The main factor I use to give a rough estimate of how long the inspection will take is the size of the house.
Before I dive deeper I want to put a little disclaimer or note in here. My suggestion when calling around for inspectors and getting quotes is to ask them how long their inspection takes. If they answer with anything less than 2 hours then I would find someone else. They aren’t doing their do diligence and I can guarantee that.
For my inspections I take minimum 2 hours, but average 3 hours for a typical condition house 1500 to 2500 sqft. Houses over 2500 sqft the time starts to increase due to more bathrooms, multiple electrical panels, multiple HVAC systems etc. If the house is greater than 4000 sqft then I will set aside 4 hours to complete it.
For homes that are in poor condition and have many defects these times can start to increase. That’s why I say age and condition matter when factoring the time for a home inspection. If the house is older it likely has more issues. More issues = longer time on site taking pictures and writing up defects. The same goes for poor conditioned homes or homes with many defects, more time on site taking photos and writing the report.
A great example of a house I did recently (as of the writing of this article). It was just shy of 6000 sq ft, built in the late 1970’s and had been vacant for over 5 years. It’s condition was bad, it was old, and it was big. Triple whammy! It took me 2 hours just to inspect the exterior! That doesn’t include anything inside the house! So those 3 factors play a big role on time.
Another great example is of a new construction 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house I did last year than was less than 2000 sqft and on a slab (no crawlspace or basement). It took me 2 hours to inspect it. This is very rare for me and it didn’t take me long because it was a slab (nothing to inspect under the house) and because it was brand new.
On average though your typical condition house 30 years of age or less under 2000 sq ft will take around 2 to 3 hours.