Did you know that over 600,000 new houses were sold since April of 2020?
Whether a house is new or old, most homes go through an inspection before they hit the market. Home inspectors are hired to ensure there aren’t any dangerous problems that could prevent a house from selling.
But what exactly does a home inspector do? It’s worth knowing whether you’re considering a career as an inspector or simply a curious homeowner.
We’re here to help you out! Check out the guide below to learn about a day in the life of a home inspector!
Typical Home Inspector Schedule
Home inspectors tend to have a lot of flexibility when compared to other professions.
However, their schedules can vary depending on whether they work independently or under a company. Those who run their own business and work alone may work up to 80 hours a week. Those working for someone else can expect to work between 50-60 hours.
For the most part, though, most home inspectors follow roughly the same general schedule, whether they’re their own boss or not!
Beginning Their Day
Most inspectors begin their day roughly between 7:00-9:00 AM. During this time, the inspector will review information on their first inspection before traveling to the job site.
A good inspector will observe the neighborhood as they approach the house. This helps give them a good idea of how the homes in the neighborhood are maintained and the quality of the homes. They’ll also learn what qualities the homes have in common, shared building materials, etc.
If the clients are home, the inspector will introduce themselves to the owners and/or real estate agent and answer any questions. If the clients aren’t present, an inspector will make sure no pets or other potential hazards are present before returning from their car with their tools.
Each inspector approaches a job differently. Some start from the outside and work in, while others conduct the inspection in the opposite direction. Either way, an inspection must include an indoor and outdoor component, regardless of the weather.
An inspection generally takes three to four hours. During this time, an inspector will travel the property and inspect the different subsystems found throughout the home.
The inspector will simultaneously be taking photos and recording notes. It’s common for an inspector to review a room then spend several minutes entering information into report software on their computer before moving on to the next room.
After an inspection, an inspector may brief their clients on the results in-person. They won’t usually do a walkthrough with the clients unless the clients have location-specific questions or an inspector wants to address a specific problem. Alternatively, the inspector may simply show clients the photos taken to expand on the results.
Midday to Late Afternoon
Following their first inspection, most inspectors will take lunch. Some inspectors use their lunch break to get additional work done. For example, independent inspectors may use this time to call clients and schedule appointments with booking software.
After lunch, a home inspector will travel to their second job site. If time allows, they may even conduct a third inspection afterward.
Inspectors can usually conduct inspections on around 10,000 square feet of property each day. This means that the number of inspections relies more on the size of the property than anything else.
During an appointment, an inspector will test out the plumbing, review the heating and air conditioning units, and inspect everything from electrical outlets to pet doors. They’ll test fire alarms, search for mold, and search for major functional faults.
A review of the foundation of the home is critical. It’s also required to check the roof of every home. This can be a challenge, depending on the height of the roof and its stability, but it’s an essential part of every home inspection.
Late Afternoon to Evening
The work of an inspector isn’t over even after the job visits have been completed. After they’ve finished their appointments, an inspector has to complete their reports.
Since an inspector takes notes during their inspection, reports can typically be completed quite quickly. If a house was relatively simple to inspect, a report won’t take very long since the majority of the information is already present.
However, unruly homes make for more complicated reports. An inspector will likely have to spend additional time adding comments and expanding on results.
After completing reports, an inspector will edit them and send them off to their clients.
An inspector will also take this time to reply to any emails or voicemails, returning calls if needed. This is an additional time period where an inspector might contact clients or agents to set up appointments. If you run your own business, you may have to complete other bookkeeping tasks, like payroll.
Inspectors who belong to home inspector associations may also attend organization meetings in the evenings.
A Day in Review
Many home inspectors enjoy their work because their schedule is fairly flexible. However, days often run long, far beyond a typical 9-5 job.
An inspector’s job is unique because it’s a combination of indoor and outdoor work. A typical day as a home inspector requires travel, exercising customer service skills, physical work, and note-taking.
A Worthwhile Profession
If you like stationary cubicle jobs, a career as a home inspector probably isn’t for you. However, if you are looking for a job where you can help others, be on your feet, and plan your own hours, a home inspector career is worth considering.
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