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How long do home inspections take

The answer to “How long do home inspections take?” gets tossed around from real estate agents and even Zillow. But who better to answer the question than a home inspection company?

Personally, I have worked with two separate home inspection companies and their times to finish the inspection were drastically different. Not because either company was more or less experienced, but because their process for inspecting was different.

Some may say the average home should take an inspector about 2-3 hours to complete, but that ultimately depends on the house, and the home inspector’s process for inspecting.

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So how long does it really take?

Well, as I mentioned before it depends on the house and the inspector’s process.

A company that inspects a house as a team will probably take about half the time as one inspector would.

A single inspector may take 2-3 hours on an average sized/aged home. A team of inspectors may only take 1-2 hours on that same size.

Moreover, an older house that has a crawlspace, difficult attic, and is aged, may take 2 hours longer than a brand new home that is slab on grade (concrete pad, no crawlspace).

I know as a buyer or Realtor this may seem frustrating because we want to be prepared, knowledgeable, and attend the end of inspection review in a timely fashion.

So my best advice, is to ask the home inspection company how long the inspection should take them on that house. Also ask if the inspector can call you towards the end of the inspection so that you can arrive for the review.

However, I have also created this baseline chart for how long a home inspection may take.

Square Footage# of InspectorsInspection Time
0-100010-1 hour
1000-200011-2 hours
2000-300012-3 hours
3000-400021.5-2 hours
4000-500022-3 hours
5000+2+2-4 hours
This is based off of how Waypoint Property Inspection inspects homes. As the house exceeds 3,000 square feet, we will add more inspectors. This does not include home age.

There are also other portions of the house to consider like the age of the home. Here is another chart that shows as the house gets older, the inspection time takes longer.

Age of the HouseAdditional Time Added
1990-200015 minutes
1980-199030 minutes – See caption below
1950-19801 hour – See caption below
1800-1950Depends on the home
Additional time is needed on an older homes, because generally speaking, older homes have more issues. This table becomes invalid if a home has been remodeled in some or all areas.

Concluding Answers

From the information above, you can find on your average sized home (1,800 square feet), that is relatively new, it should take an inspector 2-3 hours to complete.

Also, for every 1,000 square feet, it should take about an hour to inspect. This does not include if the attic is inaccessible or difficult to maneuver. The same goes for if a house has a crawlspace or not. Other features that are being inspected like a pool/spa, detached garage, separate mother-in-law suite, etc. can also add to the inspection time.

I hope I was able to answer your questions. If I did not, comment below!