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Crawlspace pricing


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Had a conversation with my Pest Control Contractor the other day and he mentioned servicing a home while some other inspector was inspecting that home for a buyer. The HI asked him if he saw anything unusual while in the crawlspace as he charged extra to inspect the crawl and the buyer did not want to pay the additional fee. So that got me thinking, should we be charging extra to inspect the crawlspace? Is not the crawlspace part of our normal inspection? Did I get beamed to the wrong planet?

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It's part of it here.

Inspectors are required to enter and traverse crawlspaces. They can exclude the crawl if the access opening is less than 18 by 24 inches or there is less than 18-inches below joists and 12-inches below beams, or there are obstructions, inadequate clearances or conditions which in the inspector's opinion are hazardous to health and safety of the inspector or will cause damage to the home.

Inspectors can still charge for doing crawlspaces. Why not? It doesn't mean that they don't do them; it just means that they build the price around the configuration of the home and that's what it costs the client. There's nothing wrong with that if that's the way you want to price them. Obviously, folks with houses built on slabs or without an attic will pay a little less but then again one doesn't have to spend all of that additional time inspecting those areas and then documenting what's in them and the issues therein.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks for the input gents. For me and those I trained with, inspecting the crawlspace has always been SOP, assuming acceptable entrance and safety concerns. Now, altering pricing due to crawl or not and your explanation of it, just never entered my thought process before. Always good to get another point of view on things. Glad I asked the question.

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When I am screening a call I always ask if the house has a walk-in basement or crawlspace beneath it. I charge extra (about $50) for the crawl and explain that it is usually a very dirty job, and if there is a deal killer it's probably down there because most people never go in and problems are unnoticed and fester. Everyone understands this and no one has ever blinked at the extra fee.

Another type of construction I charge more for is split-levels. Around here they usually have a 1/2 crawlspace and at least two attics sometimes three.

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We go in unless we can't fit.

However, we charge extra in the sense that our fee matrix includes variables for size, age, location, and whether there's a crawlspace, unfinished basement, or slab.

We don't offer a choice to the customer.

that's what I was trying to say above. I think some folks still don't get that it isn't an extra fee. A client can always opt to eliminate a component of an inspection and have the price reduced by whatever we think is fair, but we are required to do the entire house unless it's specified in the contract what components the client does't want inspected.

The OP says that the pest contractor said that another inspector charged extra and that the customer didn't want to pay that. If there isn't any home inspections laws there requiring a complete inspection unless it's excluded, I guess they can get away with that but the only way it would fly here is if it met one of the reasons for being excluded or if the client asked that it not be inspected.

When it comes right down to it, nobody is charging extra for the crawlspace; they are charging for the additional time it will take to do it and document it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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I don't charage extra, but maybe I should. If there were two identical houses with the only different being one had a crawlspace and the other a basement the fee would be the same. I was at a house the other day and the crawl was about 10 inches deep - no way I could have gotten in the opening. The buyer understood, but I did not reduce my fee and he did not ask.

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Clients don't have a choice on whether I enter the crawl or not. To borrow Jim's words...If I can fit into it, I enter it, barring flooding, deep mud or lots of broken glass/debris. Crawl, attic and roof are the best places to find the biggest fish.

The fee quoted includes the crawl. I always ask when making the sale if there's one. My HI invoices are not itemized, ever. The only time I recall adding to the fee upon arrival is when the SF was under-reported by the client.

Marc

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I stopped doing crawl space properties ~two years ago for multiple reasons I won't go into.

We don't have that many down here, but as Katen and others noted by the time i collected all the information from the client about the property my pricing matrix was then able to provide a fee for that property. Those with P&Bs were always $150 additional due to the time it took to effectively inspect ... no options were provided.

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I found a neat way to do a really tight crawl is to go in feet first. That way I can call for help and they can bring me water until I shrink small enough to get back out. [:)]

I don't upcharge for crawls because in general, they are pleasant places to squat for a while - concrete floors, often with heat and sometimes even a carpet.

The client doesn't know what is in the crawl when we talk prior to the inspection, so it would be hard to price more for a dirt floor. Interesting regional diffs.

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When I'm booking the inspection, I ask about basement, slab, crawl space and add money to the inspection fee if it's a crawl space.

Sometimes they're a bit tight but that' where the bad stuff is usually found. i charge more to crawl through this kind of stuff.

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And then there is hauling in my crawl space laundry basket kit with my jumpsuit, respirator, drop cloth (I'm usually a mess when I come out), heavy neoprene gloves and trouble lamp.

Plus I have to go outside and find a nice small branch to serve as my cobweb wand.

Around here the crawls are 1950's, frame ranch, mud floor hell holes.

Sort of thread drift: I post poster type ads for my biz on Facebook every so often. Here is one that is coming soon!

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Hey, if you are bored, Like me on Facebook. In 3 years I have 12 likes. That's pretty good.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-Lamb ... 3672645274

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And then there is hauling in my crawl space laundry basket kit with my jumpsuit, respirator, drop cloth (I'm usually a mess when I come out), heavy neoprene gloves and trouble lamp.

Plus I have to go outside and find a nice small branch to serve as my cobweb wand.

Around here the crawls are 1950's, frame ranch, mud floor hell holes.

Sort of thread drift: I post poster type ads for my biz on Facebook every so often. Here is one that is coming soon!

Pretty cool poster Mike.... what program do you use???

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