If you subscribe or follow my blog you see I’m always talking about how to save money.  Saving money and getting a good value for the money you spend are two different things.  I receive phone calls and emails from potential clients that need home inspection services, condo inspections, pre- listing inspections, home buyer inspections, new home inspections, radon measurements, mold measurements and so on.

“How much does your home inspections cost?”  is one of the first questions we receive when a client contacts us.   This is a hard question for a national audience, so I will answer what we charge for a home inspection in the Chicago metropolitan area.

If you’re hiring a professional home inspection service company, then you might want to ask these questions when hiring  a home inspector to inspect the most expensive item you might buy in your life – your home.

  1. How long have you been inspecting homes, condos and buildings?  If the answer is a year or two you, might want to take a pass on this company.
  2. Are you a licensed home inspector? Do you belong to a home inspection association?  In Illinois, we have to be licensed by the state to be a home inspector and or own a home inspection entity.  There are home inspection associations that some home inspectors join to give their company credibility and gain knowledge from other home inspectors.  Some of these associations are Inter NACHI, ASHI, NAHI and all can be accessed online.
  3. What kind of construction background do you have?  If they tell you they sold shoes or worked in the mall or have no knowledge of  previous construction you might want to take a pass.  Your home inspector might find problems in the property you are buying, but will he or she be able to tell you how to repair them?  We are able to give prices for repairs or replacement items because of our 20+ years in construction.
  4. Do you carry Errors and Omission Insurance and general liability?  Errors and Omission Insurance will protect you if the home inspector misses an item that needs to be repaired. Their insurance will cover themselves and you.  If they don’t have insurance, again take  a pass and call another home inspector.
  5. Do you use thermal imagers?  A thermal imager can save you thousands of dollars in issues that can not be seen by the naked eye.  We use a Fluke thermal imager that can detect water intrusion, insulation issues, utility bill loss and so on.  We include this service with all inspections.  We suggest that your home inspector use this tool with a moisture meter also.  If they don’t offer this service you should take a pass.
  6. How long will your home inspection take and  does the client need to attend?  Our home inspections take anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours depending on the size of the home. We always want the client to attend so we can educate them about THEIR home.  If the home inspector you called says his inspections only take a hour or two and they do not care if you show up. Take a pass.
  7. What kind of reporting system do you use and how long will it take to get my report?  We happen to use a computer reporting system and you get your report the same day.  There are home inspectors that use hand written reporting systems and they are just fine.  Make sure you get your report as soon as possible.  If the home inspector tells you ” in a day or two” you might want to take a pass.

So the questions on pricing will not be answered until those questions above are answered. So if you’re looking for a home inspection service in Chicago or anywhere in the world make sure you use our list of questions when choosing your home inspector.

If you have further questions about home inspection prices please contact me at The Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

Sewer gas is not like carbon monoxide, the fact is it will not kill you.  It can make you feel sick to your stomach though.  Recently, I was hired for a new home inspection in Geneva, Illinois.  Just because a home was just completed ,does not mean there wont be any problems.  Maintenance issues will always be in need of repair.

My client was looking to hire a home inspector that had a background in plumbing.  Lucky for him, I carry a Chicago plumbing license  pl#194988.   When I was hired for the new home inspection in Geneva I was instructed to be very diligent on my inspection on the roof.

When I inspect a roof, I inspect for: Roofing material condition, vents, flashing, skylights, ice shield, chimney condition, chimney crown, gutters, leaders, downspouts and plumbing vent stacks.  As you already know, I found issues with blockages in the plumbing vent stacks of the new home inspection in Geneva.  You can see a roof inspection at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/watchaninspection.html.

A blocked plumbing vent stack  can cause the traps in a home to be siphoned and in turn allow methane gas to be emitted into the home.  Methane gas from a sewer will not kill you, but will make you sick to your stomach.  If you have a blocked plumbing vent stack, I suggest you clear it as soon as possible.  You can hire a plumber to clear it for about $100.00 or you can finish reading my blog and do it yourself.  You can see prices of repair/ replacement items at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.

I suggest purchasing a Rigid flat sewer tape.  Generally, you should not pay more than $50 for this tool but you will be able to use it over and over again.  If you have trees over your house than this will be a good investment.

Depending on the time of the year and your location in the country I would also bring a hose with a sprayer up also.  You first add enough water so that the water does not run over the top of the top of the vent. The vent will probably hold water  because the leaves and debris in the vent.  Take your rigid flat sewer tape and push the end in slowly going back and forth until the blockage clears away.  The debris will fall into the sewer and it will wash away to the street sewer main.  If this does not clear the first time, keep repeating the procedure.  This is the same info I passed on to my client from the new home inspection in Geneva, Illinois.

This is the same procedure I used when called to clear your blocked vent when I was a plumber.  This should save you hundreds of dollars in the future.  If you need further instruction please contact me at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

I’m sure you heard the saying “good, fast and cheap never go together”?  If not, then its a good thing for you to know about, especially when hiring a home inspector to inspect your new home.  I recently received a call from a perspective client for a price for a new home inspection in Chicago, Illinois.  The home boasted 5 bedrooms and 3 baths and was built in 2009.  Our price to inspect this property is $495.00.  The client said she was quoted $275.00 for what she thought was the same home inspection services.  If you are a real estate professional you know that this doesn’t sound right.  In fact, I would be scared!

Here are the questions you should ask your home inspector if your in the Chicago area:

1.   How long have you been in business?

2. Do you have recommendations that we can see either on your web site or community areas on the Internet?

3. What did you do before becoming a home inspector?  Most home inspectors never worked in the construction industry and couldn’t repair a cabinet hinge!

4. Do you have insurance?  Home inspection services do not have to carry insurance by law in Illinois??  So, because the state doesn’t protect you, you  must protect yourself.  Most of the home inspection costs come from Errors and Omission Insurance.  This insurance is to protect the home inspector if he or she misses any item on your property.  Very Important!!

5. Do you offer thermal imaging as part of your home inspection services?  Thermal Imaging?  Check it out ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/thermal-imaging.html. This a very important tool that you need at your new home inspection.  Things that can not be seen by the naked eye are found with this tool.

6. Can you give me prices for items in need of repair?  Majority of home inspectors have not worked in the construction industry and don’t know the prices for repairs.  You can see some of our prices at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.

7. How long does your new home inspection take?  If your home inspector says their home inspection services take an hour or two for a 5 bedroom house you might want to take a pass.  This inspection should take anywhere between 3-5 hours depending on issues found with time to explain how to repair those issues.  Watch our home inspection services we videoed at a Chicago home inspection ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/watchaninspection.html.

As you can see, there are many questions you need to ask to see if you are comparing apples to apples.  Not all home inspectors are the same.  When considering the home inspection cost, think about the expertise and knowledge behind the home inspection services. This includes the comprehensive home inspection report, insurance, proper licencing, quality assurance program, inspection warranties and so much more.  If you have more questions on what to ask your perspective home inspector please contact me at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

Here’s an email I received from one of my clients:


I just wanted to say thank you for doing such a thorough inspection today. I did my research beforehand on you and had high expectations, but was even more impressed in person.

Also, the other day I found your $50 discount on yelp, but didn’t even bother bringing it up today as I felt your services far exceeded the initial quoted fee.

I’ll be leaving a very positive review in the near future and sending anyone who needs an inspection your way.


Thanks again. Gary