Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Providing a cost estimate for repairing defects found during a home inspection is not required by the Florida’s Standards of Practice (61-30.801) for home inspectors, determined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Most inspectors don’t do it, and with good reason. The kind of “ball park” estimate that an inspector might make can be wrong by a significant margin because of changes in the competitive marketplace, concealed problems, materials, or code requirements. Getting a real price from a tradesperson or contractor while still in your inspection period is always best.

    We do provide rough estimates on repairs that are easily quantifiable, like roof or water heater replacement, but always followed with a warning about getting an actual bid from a contractor for all big-ticket defects. Luckily, most of our estimates turn out to be a little on the high side, but some customers ignore our recommendation to get a real price and call later to tell us how our number was too high or low—after they have closed on the property.

    So we provide only limited estimates, based on our experience and average prices from an insurance adjuster’s estimating guide. There are also many defects that cannot be priced without further evaluation and sometimes, for example, even opening up a wall.

    The big question we always get asked when inspecting a bargain-priced fixer-upper is “Do you think ten-grand will take care of everything?” We can’t answer that one, because we have no idea what level of remodeling the customer expects. Plus, totaling up all the expenses of a house renovation project is a time-consuming and separate job in itself.

    If the home inspector you select is unwilling to provide cost estimates for repairs, we think you should not be disappointed. Your inspector is there to  tell you the condition of the house you are buying and point out things that need to be fixed. A contractor will provide accurate pricing.

    By the way, “ten-grand” is never enough to remodel a fixer-upper.

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window/wall air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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