What determines how long a home inspection will take?

Published On: March 30, 2023

There is no exact answer as to how long a home inspection will take. Every home is different, and there are several factors that can determine how long the inspection will take. Some of the key factors that affect the length of the home inspection are:

House size

The average size of most homes in our area is 1,500 – 2,000 square feet. These homes, if relatively new and in good condition, will typically take 2-3 hours on-site, with additional time to complete the inspection report. A general rule of thumb is to add 30 minutes to the estimated time for each additional 500 square feet of living space.

Condominiums will take less time to inspect than a single family home of a similar size because the exterior and roof are typically maintained by the HOA and are not included in the inspection. A 1,500 square foot condominium in good condition will usually take 1.5 hours on-site, with additional time to complete the inspection report.

House age

The age of the home is probably the second biggest factor in determining how long the inspection will take. Newer homes typically have fewer issues than older homes, and therefor, less items to report. Older homes come with and inspect and will add time to the home inspection. Some of these issues may include older electrical wiring, plumbing, additions/repairs made over the years, etc. Homes that are older than 50 years will typically add 30-45 minutes to the estimated inspection time.

House condition

The condition of the home is also an important factor when it comes to estimating the inspection time. A well-maintained home in excellent condition will take considerably less time to inspect than one that has been neglected or is in poor shape. This is because there are several more items to document and add to the inspection report in a neglected home than there are in a home that has been properly maintained.

Type of foundation

Inspecting a home with an off-grade foundation (crawlspace) or basement will usually take 30-45 minutes longer than a home with a slab foundation. In a crawlspace or basement there are other components of the home to inspect, such as exposed plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. that are not typically visible in a home with a slab foundation. Inspecting these items, as well as the foundation beams, piers and structure adds time to the overall inspection.

Number of appliances/systems in the home

Small to average size homes usually have one water heater, electrical panel, etc. Larger homes may have multiple HVAC systems, electrical panels, water heaters, etc. to inspect. Inspecting these additional items will add time to the overall inspection.

Weather conditions

While we inspect homes in all types of weather, certain conditions can add to the overall inspection time. Heavy downpours, lightning, etc. can delay the inspection of certain components of the home, such as the roof or exterior elements. Extreme weather conditions may require the

Person(s) present at the inspection

The number of people that are present during the inspection can also add to the inspection time. While not ideal, sometimes contractors, cleaning crews, movers, etc. are present at the inspection. Working around each other adds time.

If the client and/or their Realtor is present at the home inspection, we will go over a summary of our findings and answer any questions they may have. This can add anywhere from 15-30 minutes to the inspection time.



As you can see, there are many different factors that determine how long a home inspection will take. The items listed above will give you a good general idea of what to expect for your home inspection.