How much should I pay for a home inspection?

After completing a survey of home inspection prices for homes in Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee the average cost for a home inspection is $551.  These are the results from the best home inspection companies that service these areas:

 

 

*We believe there are only 3 companies that provide the best home inspection available in Middle Tennessee.  Those companies are Diligent, Ultrasound and Magnolia Home Inspections.  For additional results please see more stats at the bottom of this article.

Home inspection costs vary among the wide selection of services that home inspectors offer. Understanding the relationship between service coverage and cost can help you choose the right home inspection for you.

 

Level of Services

There are three premiere home inspection brands in Nashville: Diligent, UltraSound and Magnolia Home Inspections.  These companies all provide different levels of service.  To understand a a specific home inspection company can best serve you it is important to understand the cost versus coverage of additional services.  Ancillary inspections to be considered are as follows.

Radon Testing

Awareness of the carcinogen Radon gas inside of homes is creating a much bigger concern today.  This is extremely important as Radon gas leakage from the surrounding soil into your home could cause lung cancer among your family members.Quick Facts:  Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers21,000 deaths every year are attributed to Radon gasRadon gas mitigation can be simple and effective.

Adding this test to your home inspection is a simple and cost-effective procedure that will help you protect your family from the carcinogen Radon gas.  We highly recommend this test for all home owners in Middle Tennessee as this is considered an at-risk area.

 

For More Information: What is Radon Gas?

 

Termite Letter

In Middle Tennessee there are approximately 14 active colonies on every acre of land.  Maintaining an active termite contract on the home is highly recommended.  Adding a Termite Letter to your home inspection typically involves a 3rd-Party pest control company performing an additional inspection and writing a clearance letter (Required for FHA loans).  Having a second set of eyes to searching specifically for termite damage and termite activity is an added bonus in itself.

 

Sewer Scope

A Sewer Scope inspection involves opening the sewer drain and running a camera head on a cable through the drain pipes.  This is expensive equipment and when operated in the right hands can provide significant information about the condition of the drain pipes on the home.  Typically, these videos are embedded into your report and can be viewed with a simple click of the play button. 

Click Video: Explain Sewer Scopes!

 

Mold Test

The second indoor air quality test is a mold test.  Add this test to confirm or rule out mold growth and identify the mold types present. The best method for testing a large indoor area like a home is by taking air samples.  A control sample is taken on the exterior house and that is compared to the sample taken inside the home.  Confirm that your inspector is using an accredited laboratory for accuracy and reliability. 

 

Drone Roof Inspection

Many higher-end homes are typically multiple stories tall, preventing access to a home inspector with a ladder.  Boots on the roof is the absolute best way to inspect a roof but if the roof is not accessible video and photos can be made of these locations with a Drone.  Flying a drone for commercial use requires an FAA 107 UAS pilot’s license.  If your inspector offers this service ask to see a valid license and registration of the drone.

 

Risk versus Cost

Home inspectors that are really good at their job will charge more than the average rate.  Consider the risk you may be taking with hiring a home inspector based on price alone.  Mitigating your risk with a trusted professional service provider is where you will find the greatest value for your dollar. 

 

Is it worth the Risk?

Typical Costs

Foundation repairs: These repairs are the most significant and can be the most costly ranging from $2,050 to more than $35,000. Soil conditions and limited access will reduce or increase the cost of repairs.  If your home inspector recommends review by a structural engineer, make this call as soon as possible as the repair costs may significantly alter the value of the property. 

 

Microbial and Mold: Treating microbial growth in crawlspaces is a very common recommendation in Middle Tennessee and is now a standard service completed by our Pest Control Vendor.  Typical cost $720 to $1,100

Mold remediation inside the home is comparatively very costly with estimated damages between $6,200 to over $30,000. Mold remediation in ducts, walls, attics, etc. can cost up around $6,200. Structural damage as the result of ignored mold growth can cost between $10,000 to well-over $30,000 to repair, requiring multiple contractors.

 

Plumbing: Although the majority of plumbing issues in a home inspection report will be considered of a handyman repair nature, these can quickly add up to over $2,000. Significant repairs required as the result of a sewer scope video will start at a minimum cost of $3,550 and could increase to $8,000 depending on the depth and length of the line in need of replacement.  These same costs apply to replacement of galvanized plumbing.

 

Electrical: Older homes still exist with original knob and tube wiring with replacement cost ranging between $10,000 and $15,000. Electricians typically have a minimum charge of $275 for half a day of work to repair a handful of home inspection report issues.  Other significant repairs include replacement of an electrical panel and typically range from $1,500 to $2,200. Remember: All electrical repairs are recommended to be completed by a licensed electrician!

 

HVAC: Repairs to HVAC equipment can quickly become a big ticket item with costs ranging between $1,710 and $13,300 Home inspection reports often recommend tune-ups and that service fee from a technician usually runs between $350 and $700.

 

Windows: Windows defects are very common and the repair costs of a single window sash can be around $147 with full window replacement around $315 each.  Keep in mind that a 2,250sf house full of windows in need of replacement can easily be budgeted around $34,000.

 

Roof: Simple roof repairs can be quickly completed with a minimum charge typically around $250.  However, storm damage can quickly escalate that cost with a full roof replacement from $8,000 to over $24,000 on larger homes.  It is very important that your home inspector complete a thorough evaluation of the roof!

 

Which home inspection service is best for you?

Consider the financial risks you will be taking by choosing a home inspector solely based on price. Reviewing all of the services available should help you with a final decision regarding you and your family’s needs.  Remember, the better home inspectors are highly sought after by buyers ‘in the know’.  These inspectors are also very busy taking care of realtor clients who have been referred to them by realtor’s who have done their research and looking out for their client’s best interests!  Hiring the best home inspector can be just as competitive as finding the right home.  Schedule your home inspection as early as possible!!!

We encourage you to do as much research as you can.  Remember, a home inspector is a consultant that is advising you on one of the largest investments you will make in your life-time.

All data has been sourced directly from each firm’s publicly available websites and other records.  If you see any errors or inaccuracies, please reach out to us so we can correct them.

 

 

About the Author

Benjamin Hammond has been in the construction industry for over 20 years and has personally completed over 3,000 home inspections.  He is a trusted resource providing consulting services for new construction builders, remodel contractors and property managers today as well as residential home buyers. 

 

FREE Additional Resources

Article: Who Should I Hire for a Home Inspection?

Article: Top 5 Purposes of a Home Inspection?

FREE Download: Checklist for Hiring a Home Inspector

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