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John Dirks Jr

fee quote for big house

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I have a chance to do a 1 yr warranty insp on a pretty big place. It's bigger than I've ever done yet.

What would be a reasonable price quote range for an inspection on this place?

It sold for 2.5M. 6 beds, 6 1/2 baths, 5 HVAC systems, 10k + sq ft.

I took these pictures when I did a radon test at this house about 8 months ago.

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John,

Anytime I go over a certain sq footage I always charge between 12-14 cents a sq ft. I am sure your market is different when it comes to inspection pricing, so your going to have to determine what your time is worth to you. I would also have to take into consideration the numerous HVAC systems that are present. I would be tempted to sub that part out and include it in the quote.

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It looks like the HVAC system may be high efficiency furnaces, so I wouldn't personally sub those out since there's not much to them.

I'd figure out how much I like to earn an hour, how many hours it would take, and charge accordingly. If you think you can get that job done in one full day, then 1k sounds fair in my opinion.

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I'm thinkin' about $1000. Am I way off the mark?

I'd be two or three times that price. You'll be a whole day inspecting and a whole day or more researching installation guides and manuals, manufacturer's instructions and code.

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I figure 6-8 hours on site inspecting and another 4-5 report writing. It's a bit of a haul at 1 hr travel time one way. Maybe $1500 would be more like it.

For a warranty inspection!!?

Marc

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Jimmy's right; big new houses are a pain in the ass.

Charge a lot. If they don't bite, don't cry. Some of the best jobs are the one's you don't do.

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I figure 6-8 hours on site inspecting and another 4-5 report writing. It's a bit of a haul at 1 hr travel time one way. Maybe $1500 would be more like it.

For a warranty inspection!!?

Marc

What part is shocking to you? The time, the fee or both? What would your estimated figures be on this job?

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That house is actually quite simple for its size and the sq. ft. includes the finished basement. We'd put 2 guys on it for 3 to 3.5 hours on-site (nobody wants a guy pokin' around their house for a full day). Referencing sources and report prep would be another 3-4 hours for the lead inspector.

What we figure per man-hour is ridiculously high compared to our "competitors". We'd be well up into the thousandssss. They'll easily find several schmucks who will do it for $700 to $750.

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What we figure per man-hour is ridiculously high compared to our "competitors". We'd be well up into the thousandssss. They'll easily find several schmucks who will do it for $700 to $750

Yeah, well they'll probably earn more per man hour than you [:-monkeyd

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BTW, it's a 1 yr warranty that has prompted the home owner to hire an inspector. As far as "warranty inspections", I dont do 'em. I just do home inspections. The same principles and efforts go into every one of my inspections, regardless of why I was hired.

Some of you very experienced inspectors feel comfortable with higher fees and you should when you're among the best, the elite. I don't feel on par with that top rung just yet. I'm not the schmuck at the bottom either.

So, 1/2 way between the schmucks $750 and the elites $2500 is my modest $1500.

This thread has interested me in thinking about exactly how a person places value on himself. I mean, for me to accept less than what the best in the field would charge, am I then discrediting myself?

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.13 psf not counting the generator, septic, etc. Of course I don't see basements so I'm counting on just living area but then our furnaces, etc. are generally located in the attic which can easily be like another floor of living area due to the complexity of ducts and mechanicals.

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Given the hours you'll put in, and the fact that you are tied up and can't do other inspections, your 1500 is not out of line. If they cry, discount it to 1495 but they have to provide lunch. :)

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I'm wondering how well I'de be able to coordinate the large scope of this job by myself in an efficient manner. Some in this thread mentioned subbing parts or having multiple inspectors assigned to it.

I might end up referring this client to a multi inspector firm if I can find one that is trustworthy in that service area.

If anyone knows any respectable multi inspector firms who serve the Potomac MD area, shoot me an IM or email.

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As I understand warranty inspections, only the items covered by the warranty need to be inspected. My impression was that such an inspection might take 1/4 the time required of a home inspection with the report consisting of a two or three page check box form.

Marc

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John, do you know another local inspector you trust that can walk through with you and assist? Pay him a reasonable amount. I wouldn't give the job away.

And Marc has a good point. Of course you want to do a thorugh inspection, but do you really need to check the oven temperature, etc and other non-important stuff?

And I think your fee is reasonable for this type of inspection, but not for a resale inspection.

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For years I have heard inspectors say they charge $.10-$.25 a sq ft for homes over X000 square feet. $.10 a square foot made the math easy when quoting so that is what I used for years. Then one day I decided to raise my prices on the lower end. I did the math for what I was charging per sq ft. I was charging $.28 on the smallest homes and it dropped to $.12 as I approached 5000 sq ft homes. It dawned on me that I was making less money per sq ft for larger homes. As a result I completely restructured my pricing plan. I accept a little less on the low end which I seldom do anyway and charge more for the medium to larger homes.

$300 for a 1500 sq ft ranch or $1500 for a 10,000 sq ft McMansion. You make $.20 sq ft on the small house but only $.15 on the large house. If you could book 4 small inspections at $300 in 2 days or 1 McM at $1500, you are making more in the same available time period on the McM even though the price per square foot is lower.

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As I understand warranty inspections, only the items covered by the warranty need to be inspected. My impression was that such an inspection might take 1/4 the time required of a home inspection with the report consisting of a two or three page check box form.

Marc

Everything is covered by the "warranty". One year inspections are essentially ( at least the way I do them) a compliance inspection to ensure that all components and assemblies were properly constructed to the applicable standards.

I spend as much, maybe more time inspecting and reporting on one year old homes as I do on 150 year old homes. The house Dirks posted would take me at least 16 hours of effort to inspect, research and report. If there's stuff wrong, and there always is, it'd probably be more like 20 hours.

Considering travel time, vehicle expense, insurance and consumables, a 2,000 dollar fee would yield ~$75 an hour. That's what a mechanic charges, less than what the appliance repairman charges, far less than the plumber charges. 2 grand would be a bargain- and folks that can afford a $20K mortgage payment can afford 2 grand.

How much does ten percent of your mortgage payment mean to you?

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John, I don't know what type of warranty you'all are dealing with, but for warranty work here, I go to the National Warranty Program website and use their guidelines.

The warranty we use covers all the work done by the builders, so basically it is a home inspection with extra attention to details like settlement or shrinkage cracks, floor squeaks, door fit, etc.

Square footage is a bit of a distorted comparison, when the kitchen is 800 sq ft but still has only four appliances, ditto the huge bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. So the per sq ft price can come down a little on the larger house and you are still making decent $$. But walking farther. [:)]

If they had an inspection done when they bought last year, ask if you can see the report. Then just take pics of the pages of comments for cross reference. I do this once in a while to see what other guys are getting away with. [:)] Good luck, and don't get lost in there.

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I thought I was the only one that guestimated P&I like that. At one of the IBS shows I toured an $11 million dollar house, and mentioned out loud that it would only be $110k a month. The builders on that tour looked at me like I had two heads. Apparently the uber rich finance things differently than the rest of us.

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