The home-buying process can be stressful and difficult. Once you’ve finally found your new house, you’ll want to sign on the dotted line as soon as possible. But don’t be tempted to skip the inspection because it could prevent you from making a mistake that ruins your financial future. So, how long do home inspections take? Will the examination significantly delay the buying process?

Fortunately, most general inspections only take a few hours, so they can fit into even the busiest schedule. If you’re looking to buy a commercial property, you might have to wait a bit longer, since there are more elements to inspect. Today, we’ll have a look at the various inspections offered by Frontline and discuss how long they might take, so you can figure out which one is right for your situation.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

There are various types of property inspections, and the time they take depends on the size of the building, the complexity of its structures, and the level of detail required. The quickest option is the four-point inspection, which might only take one to two hours. A more comprehensive solution is the general inspection, which is suitable for individuals considering a home purchase.

People who are looking to open a business in a new location must get a commercial inspection, which can reveal any problems with the business’s building. This can take much longer, especially if the company is large. A new construction inspection is the most comprehensive, and inspectors often work together with developers for weeks or even months to make sure the property is constructed solidly.

A General Frontline Inspection 

A general inspection is usually performed on a home before you buy it. The aim is to check all the readily accessible components for issues and therefore give you a better idea of the condition of the property. The time it takes for this kind of inspection varies depending on the size and accessibility of the home. On average, you can expect the inspector to remain at the house for about 2-2 1/2 hours. If you have a condo, they might be done within 1-1 1/2 hours.

During this time, they examine both the inside and the outside of the property and check the electrical components. The inspection isn’t designed to address cosmetic defaults but rather issues that could affect the safety, resale value, and livability of the home. Once the process is complete, the inspector will send you a report of their findings, and you can decide whether the property is worth buying.

A 4-Point Inspection 

A 4-point inspection is shorter and less comprehensive than a general inspection because it only includes your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and roof. Therefore, your inspector might not need to stay for more than one to two hours, and they won’t charge as much. The 4-point inspection is often required by home insurance companies because it allows them to better assess your risk levels and give you an accurate quote.

It can also be a good idea to complete this type of inspection if you’re ready to sell your home. That way, you’ll know whether any repairs are outstanding and what price you should charge for the property. However, the 4-point inspection isn’t a great option for people looking to buy a new house because it isn’t comprehensive enough, and a structural problem might be overlooked.

A New Construction Inspection 

While a home is being built, quality control is crucial. To help developers stay on track, we also offer evaluations of building schedules, either before, during, or after the construction process. This type of inspection can make sure that plans for newly built homes are sound, and it can indicate whether the building works have been executed to a high standard.

In addition to having a look at the home’s structures, including the foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, we can evaluate a site’s location, drainage, orientation, and more. That way, there won’t be any surprises once the property is built. Because a new construction inspection is more extensive and may involve several visits, it can take much longer than general inspections.

A Commercial Inspection

Commercial inspections work just like general inspections. They are designed to evaluate commercial buildings, such as malls, shops, and factories, before they are purchased by a company. Our inspectors can help you determine the condition and life expectancy of a building’s foundations, roof, floors, walls, ceiling, HVAC, electrical system, and plumbing.

The inspector will create a report about all of these systems and structures, and they will also double check the property’s documentation to make sure everything is in order. The time a commercial inspection takes varies greatly depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the setup. A small cafe or office might be examined within one to two hours, but a large hotel, factory, or mall might require several inspectors to work for several days.

What to Expect from Your Inspection 

Now we’ve answered the question “how long do home inspections take?”, you might wonder which parts of your property will be examined. During a standard inspection, the professional walks around both the outside and the inside of your home and observes the structures related to your roofing, exterior and interior walls, electrical system, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

At the end, they will produce a report that details the findings. If there are any problems, you can ask your inspector for more details and for an estimate of how much the repair will cost. Because our employees are highly trained and have extensive experience with a variety of homes, they can judge whether a house is in good condition and needs minor repairs or whether there are major issues that could make it a bad investment.

Exterior Inspection 

Your inspector will closely examine the exterior of the home to find out whether there are any problems such as leaks. They will check for issues with the sidewalks, driveways, gutters, walls, fences, patios, decks, and gradings. Then, they will move on to the roof and make sure that the flashing, coverings, skylights, and vents are all in working order.

It’s also important to note that a home inspector can evaluate the structural integrity of a home’s foundation. This is extremely useful, since problems with a property’s overall structure aren’t always easy to spot unless you are a trained professional. By finding issues with the property’s foundation, your inspector can let you know whether the house will be safe and reliable long-term.

Interior Inspection 

Once the outside has been examined, the inspector will move indoors and walk through every room of the home. They will look at the walls, windows, ceiling, stairs, floors, doors, and smoke detectors. If there are any issues with the insulation, such as insufficient air and vapor barriers, your inspector will be able to point out the problem and potentially suggest solutions.

Your inspection also includes all the systems that provide you with your utilities, including the plumbing, your electrical system, the heating, and the air conditioning. The professional visiting your home will make sure that all the circuits are intact and that there aren’t any issues with the installation of these systems.

How to Choose an Inspector 

To find the best inspector in your area, you should visit providers’ websites and have a look at their “About Us” information. Great companies have extensive experience and offer detailed reporting, but they also focus on good customer service. Since getting a quote is free, you should reach out to see what your inspection will cost. If the inspector gets back to you with a reasonable offer within a few hours, it’s likely that they will provide you with a great service.

What to Do with the Results 

During the inspection, the professional will highlight both the issues and the positive aspects of the home. They might give you an indication of whether the property is a good buy, but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to purchase the building. Before going ahead, you should find out more about any unexpected issues that were uncovered. How much will it cost to fix them? Will you have to find alternate accommodation in the meantime?

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate with the seller, who will either lower the price of the property or pay for the repairs. It’s important to remember that every deal is negotiable, and an inspection gives you the information you need to obtain the best result.

During your inspection, the professional will walk around the outside and inside of your building and run various tests. That way, they can figure out whether the home’s foundation is strong, the structure is durable, and all systems are working well. Get in touch with us at Frontline Inspections to find out more about the various options or to schedule a property inspection.