Home inspections aren’t something that should be rushed.

They’re a pivotal part of both the buying and selling process. Whether you’re looking for a commercial building inspection, a pre listing inspection, or a buyer’s inspection, you want home inspectors to be thorough and detailed in their work.

However, that doesn’t mean that home inspections need to drag on and on. 

As home inspectors, we pride ourselves on the quality of our inspections, and sometimes that means taking a little extra time. However, everyone (including us) would love to save time.

Saving time on the inspection doesn’t mean reducing the quality of the inspection, either. In fact, with the right tactics, quality can be increased while the time the inspection takes can be significantly shortened. 

So, how long does a home inspection take? And what can you do to make it more efficient and streamlined for both you and the inspectors alike? 

Keep reading to learn tips right from the experts to make our lives and your life easier.

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

In general, a home inspection can take anywhere between two and four hours

That’s a wide range, the time it takes to complete the process depends heavily on a number of variables. The size, type, and age of the property can significantly impact the inspection process. Different home inspection services also vary in length.

Make the Inspection Process Fast & Efficient

All that being said, it is possible to help streamline the process. 

If you’re selling your property, you can do these things yourself. If you’re getting an inspection for a property you’re considering, you can request these steps be taken by the seller through their agent.

1. Make the Home Accessible — Remove Clutter & Pets

Clutter, boxes, household items, stored items, mementos, and artwork are all amazing additions to a home, but they’re also some of the things that cause inspections to take longer than they should. 

With clutter and obstructions in key areas, inspectors must move things around and work harder to gain visibility in tough areas. Clutter can even obstruct problems or issues making it more difficult for inspectors to provide an accurate report. 

Not to mention the risk of items breaking or receiving damage as inspectors attempt to move things. 

Pets can be another factor in how long a home inspection takes. Not only can they be distracting and sometimes stressful for the inspector, but inspections can also be dangerous for them. It’s best to keep pets out of the home on inspection day, or at least out of the way. 

Make things easier for the inspector by:

  • Moving all furniture, clothing, shelves, storage bins, clutter, etc away from access panels (i.e. electrical panels, attic access panels, basement access panels, attic knee walls, and basement crawl spaces that are inside of closets, etc)
  • Undoing any painted or screwed-closed panels 
  • Cutting (or give the inspectors permission to cut) any bonded paint between electric panel covers and the wall 
  • Unlocking any locked doors or access panels that require keys, combinations, or any special knowledge
  • Shutting down any computer systems 
  • Moving all items away from window areas, including opening all blinds and window treatments
  • Moving boxes and other stored items that are in front of walls in the basement, garage, attic, electric panel, main water piping, heating system, water heater, or other utilities
  • Cleaning out the fireplace and above the fireplace damper
  • Cleaning out dirty dishes in the sink or on the countertops
  • Removing anything inside the oven and microwave
  • Moving items piled up in bathrooms on the sink areas, shower valves, and toilet
  • Removing pets

2. Let There Be Light

If there is insufficient lighting in the home, it will take the inspector a lot longer to make sure they are inspecting all key areas of the home properly. Of course, inspectors bring a flashlight, but when areas have no lighting at all, it makes a huge difference in our ability to inspect. 

Proper lighting also helps keep our inspectors safe while they work.

On inspection day, make the process as easy as possible by: 

  • Ensuring that all light bulbs and fixtures are functioning
  • Installing bulbs in any fixtures where they were missing or non-functional
  • Ensuring that there is sufficient lighting throughout the home, especially in utility areas

3. Let Inspectors Know About Broken or Damaged Areas

If anything is broken in the home and the inspector is not made aware of it prior to the start of the inspection, this guarantees that the inspection will take longer. 

Before inspection day, be sure to have anything that is broken in the home labeled and the inspector informed of these issues. This includes anything that’s broken: from pipe leaks to loose door handles to electrical issues, let us know everything

Inspectors are there to inspect and test systems. Inspectors have to operate windows, doors, electrical, plumbing, heating, and other components. Understanding what’s broken or damaged allows the inspector to: 

  • Exercise caution when inspecting the component
  • Determine if testing should be limited or not completed at all based on the condition of the item
  • Avoid further damage to other parts of the home due to testing of this item

If something is broken and the inspector is unaware, inspectors have to then deal with the issue, clean up, let the owner know, etc. If informed beforehand, all of that excess time and energy could be saved. 

Make the Home Inspection Process Easier for Everyone

How long does a home inspection take? Well, as you can see, it depends on both the inspectors and the clients they’re serving. 

Our inspectors work hard to make things as fast & efficient as possible while maintaining our high-quality and detailed inspection process for all of our clients. You can help us by following the tips we went through here! Clean, bright, and accessible properties make for the best inspections.

To learn more about home inspection services and how the process works, check out our services page. You can also contact us with any questions or set up a consultation here.