How Much Does a Building Inspection Cost?

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Abbey Orzech
Updated on Sep 30, 2022 · 4 min read
Depending on the building type, a building inspection can cost between $200 and $1,500 or more. Residential home inspections will be cheaper and quicker than commercial building inspections. 
The housing market has been competitive lately, which means housing prices are going way up. In that environment, it can seem tempting to lower the asking price by any means—including bypassing the home inspection. But opting out of a building inspection could leave you with massive structural or systematic problems, meaning massive repair bills, down the line.
It is always recommended that new property buyers pay for the security of a building inspection because whatever you’ll pay for the inspection is most likely far cheaper than what you may pay in repairs. And here to give you some price point estimates for what your building inspection could cost is
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How much does a building inspection cost?

The average cost of a building inspection varies depending on the type of structure being inspected. The national average cost of a residential building inspection sits right around $340, but the typical range is between $200 and $500
Let’s run through typical pricing for various residential building sizes:
Size of the building
Average cost
<1,000sqft
$200 to $250
1,000sqft
$250 to $300
1,500sqft
$300 to $400
2,000sqft
$400 to $500
>2,000sqft
$500+
On the other hand, commercial building inspection costs can vary widely based on the building’s size and the pricing method. An inspection for a small strip mall storefront, for example, will likely be less than the inspection for a massive warehouse, and a flat rate based on the type of building is usually cheaper than a charge based on a percentage of the building’s sale price.  
Some factors that will usually affect your building inspection cost:
  • Building size. Expect that a 50,000-square-foot warehouse will have a higher inspection cost than an 850-square-foot home. 
  • Building age. Inspectors may need to spend more time in an older building than in a new construction building. 
  • Local comps. Inspectors may alter their prices to be more competitive with other inspectors in their area. 
Building inspections, while an upfront expense that many may be looking to avoid, have the potential to save you thousands of dollars on costly repairs for hidden problems. 

Do I need a building inspection?

It is not necessary to get a building inspection in every scenario, but it is almost always recommended. Even if you’ve done the property-buying dance many times before, there are some issues that just can’t be noticed without an inspection. 
Building inspections will ensure any hidden hazards are revealed and the problems remedied before buying so you’re not locked into a so-called money pit. Inspectors perform a thorough visual examination of several components of your prospective home or property, including:
  • Yard and parking surfaces
  • Drainage systems and plumbing
  • Roof 
  • Foundation 
  • Electrical 
  • HVAC
  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Windows and doors 
There may not be any glaring issues during your inspection, but it’s usually better to be safe than sorry and have to pay out of your pocket for major remediations. Here are some common problems that come up during building inspections and how much it can cost to fix them on your own: 
  • Mold: $500 to $4,000 
  • Plumbing: $275 to $3,000
  • HVAC: $100 to $13,000 
  • Foundation: $2,000 to $10,000
  • Electrical: $700 to $15,000
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How to choose a building inspector 

With potentially thousands of dollars on the line, you’ll want to make sure your building inspector is fit for the job and won’t clear out your piggy bank to get it done. Keep these tips for finding a reputable building inspector in mind when you’re on your search:
  • Ask a friend, family member, or colleague for recommendations. Depending on what type of building needs inspecting, your friends, family, or colleagues may have some suggestions for inspectors that they have already used and vetted for you! 
  • Search online databases. Plenty of specialized search tools on the internet can present you with the most experienced—and highest rated—inspectors for your needs. Remember to read the reviews! While some only reflect a poor outlier experience, many contain precious nuggets of insight for working with a particular inspector. 
  • Create a budget and collect quotes from multiple inspectors. Once you have a list of potential building inspectors, make a few calls or check their websites to get an idea of their prices. Compare the amounts you’re quoted for with your budget to narrow down your options. 
Whether you need to get a building inspection done before selling your home or purchasing your company’s next warehouse, it’s important to ensure the inspector is knowledgeable and experienced. Unfortunately, not every state requires building inspectors to be licensed, so look up the certification credentials needed in your area

How to save on homeowners insurance

Ultimately, shelling out for building inspection costs will save you time and money in the long run. You’ll find greater peace of mind knowing you’re not investing all of your resources into a property that will come back to bite you. Expand that peace of mind even further by protecting your belongings with a solid
home insurance
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And, if you want to make any changes to the policy—Jerry can do that too.
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