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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

July, 2007
Pricing Commercial Inspections
Issue #63

Often I receive calls from inspectors inquiring how to price a commercial inspection. This month I will discuss generalities regarding this topic. There really is no set fee scale; however, you need to be competitive so it would be beneficial to research what the competition is charging.

The first thing you need to decide is your intended hourly rate. I have seen this range between $75 to $200 and more per hour depending upon the geographic location and the inspector’s experience/qualifications.

Next, it is very important during the inspection booking or proposal process to obtain detailed information on the type of building and what the client is looking for from the Property Condition Assessment. Commercial inspections are much different from residential as each one tends to be unique. The client may require a generalist inspection with a list of defects or an in-depth inspection of some or all systems with a list of defects, expected useful life of components and cost to remedy information. It also is important to determine if the client requires a true ASTM E-2018 Standards of Practice inspection or if a modified (more simplified) inspection will suffice. Additionally, inspecting a 20,000 sq. ft. tilt-up warehouse is much different from inspecting a 20,000 sq. ft. office building. Obviously the office building will take about twice the time as the warehouse.

Some inspectors will use a flat rate per square foot for a generalist inspection; say a warehouse, at 12-20 cents per foot. An office building may be 30 cents per sq. ft. Time for cost estimating and any specialist inspections would be extra. I like to figure my time per project and any extras, as each one is typically unique. Let’s say I prefer to make $200 per hour for my inspection services. I am contacted by a client to inspect a 30-unit apartment building, including all units. The client has requested an in-depth inspection of the mechanical systems and cost to cure immediate deficiencies information. I know it will take me a few hours to inspect the sitework, exterior and the roof. The first few units will usually be about 45 minutes each and the remainder 20-30 minutes each. I know for a one-day inspection in the field I need to book the next day in the office to write the report and prepare estimates. I call my mechanical specialist and obtain an estimate of their charges. I will markup the specialist fees about 20% as a service charge. With this information I can now provide an estimate of $5,200 to perform this inspection.

Check out our commercial inspection course for much more detailed information about the business of commercial inspections.

We'll talk next month,

Mike Casey
Kaplan Professional Schools
Now You're Ready For Business!™



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