Home Inspection

Find a home inspector near Chicago, IL

Find a home inspector near Chicago, IL

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual inspection performed by a trained professional to determine the condition of a home’s main elements. The inspection usually takes several hours, during which the professional takes multiple photos and notes, tracking information for a final report. After the inspection, the pro will create a printed report, complete with photos and detailed information, summarizing the condition of the house. A home inspection is often used by potential home buyers prior to purchase to determine if there are larger issues (such as dry rot or a faulty foundation) that are not immediately visible to the untrained eye but that would cost a lot of money to resolve. Home inspections are also used by real estate agents and home sellers to address any concerns before putting a home on the market. Longtime homeowners can also schedule a home inspection to get a snapshot of their current home condition and identify any issues that need to be addressed. A home inspection is not a legal document that can be used for divorce or estate settlements, nor can it be used to secure loans or mortgages.

What should be included in a home inspection?

A complete home inspection involves a visual investigation of all major elements that make up your home. A home inspection is a vital part of buying or selling a home to ensure you’re not accidentally buying a termite-infested home or one with major structural defects. Paying for an inspection before purchasing a home can save you a lot of money in the long run. The national average home inspection cost is $310, with prices ranging higher or lower based on your location and the square footage of your home. After performing a walk-through inspection, the pro should provide you a printed report — complete with photos and recommendations — detailing what’s in good condition, what would benefit from minor repairs, and what needs immediate attention. Home inspection pros know how to spot trouble areas, but they’re not licensed contractors, electricians or plumbers, so they may suggest you hire a licensed pro to address specific problems. Here are the main components that a home inspection covers:

  • Home structure
    • Foundation, grading and drainage, roof covering, roof structure, interior and exterior attic walls, ceilings and floors, interior and exterior doors, windows, stairways, fireplace and chimney, porches, balconies, decks, attached carports, and crawl space.
  • Electrical
    • HVAC system, heating equipment, cooling equipment, ductwork and vents, fixtures and switches, branch circuits, receptacles, service entrance and panels.
  • Plumbing
    • Water heater and equipment, drains, waste systems, vents, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Appliances
    • Garage door openers, garbage disposal, dishwasher, exhaust range, range hood, bathroom exhaust fans, cooktop, oven and microwave.

How much does it cost to get a house appraised and inspected?

Home appraisals and home inspections both assess your home and provide a report summarizing the condition or value of your home based on key measurements. Unlike a home inspection for the sale of a property, a home appraisal is used for loan applications, property value assessment for sales or settlements (divorce, estate, etc.), and taxes and insurance. If you’re having your home appraised for lending purposes, you’ll likely need a state-certified appraiser, so be sure to your research their credentials. Nationally, the average cost for a home appraisal is $340.

If you’re buying or selling a home, having a professional home inspection can be an invaluable tool for price-setting and negotiation, as well as learning what repairs are necessary. The national average home inspection cost is $310, ranging higher or lower depending on the inspection company, your location and the size of your home. Other factors that can affect cost are additional inspection services and pathogen testing. Here are some examples of average home inspection costs in various parts of the country:

  • Home inspection in New York City: $425 or more.
  • Condo inspection in New York City: $200 or more.
  • Home inspection in Central Texas: $250 for homes up to 2,000 square feet.
    • $275 for homes from 3,001-4,000 square feet.
    • $300 for homes from 4,001-5,000 square feet.
    • $325 for homes 5,001 square feet and up, plus 10 cents per additional square foot.
  • Home inspection in Los Angeles: $199-$299 or more.

How long does it take to do a home inspection?

On average, you can expect a standard home inspection to take two to three hours. Your house size can affect inspection length, as can requesting additional services such as sprinkler system inspections, outbuilding inspections, radon testing, crawl space inspections, or pool house inspections. During the home inspection, the professional will be taking photos and looking in and around all parts of your home. The inspector will then compile a report that may be more than 20 pages. You should receive this report back within a few days to a week. The report should detail everything from minor imperfections and maintenance recommendations to major defects that need to be resolved as soon as possible, like structural failures or a leak in the basement. Your report should include photos and clearly outlined information about all major elements inspected, as well as recommendations for next steps.

Reviews for Chicago home inspectors
Sujaina J.
Ioan was very professional during the entire home inspection process. He was very prompt in responding to every questions that I had and showed ontime for the inspection. Home inspection was done in depth /very thoroughly and he pretty much caught everything possible. The report was also shared ontime. I highly recommend Loan for the home inspection.
Ioan Paul Dinea Licensed Home InspectorIoan Paul Dinea Licensed Home Inspector
Gary S.
Paul was excellent, very professional, and extremely detailed with my home inspection. I would highly recommend his services if you are looking for a home inspection.
Ioan Paul Dinea Licensed Home InspectorIoan Paul Dinea Licensed Home Inspector
Dimitric R.
Great working with Chuck for Donahue Home Inspections. Definitely, will work with him again.
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Thao Duy T.
Chuck was very knowledgeable, detail and professional. I highly recommend his home inspection service!
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Autumn S.
Bruce responded within minutes to my request, was early to the inspection, performed the inspection thoroughly, and walked me through what he discovered. I highly recommend Bruce to anyone looking for a home inspector.
Bruce Levin Licensed Home InspectorBruce Levin Licensed Home Inspector
Sunny K.
Chuck was great in accommodating a quick turnaround inspection for a home purchase. Would use his services again in the future.
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
The home inspection went well Leon is a very nice guy and does his work great I'm very satisfied.
GS & TJ Services, Inc.GS & TJ Services, Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
We were extremely pleased with Mr. Wolf's home inspection. He arrived promptly and prepared. He began with the roof and chimney, inspected the exterior of the property, did a detailed inspection of the electrical, furnace, a/c, structure, plumbing, etc. He went above and beyond what we expected and was at our home for nearly two hours. His answers to our questions were detailed. Professional demeanor. I would suggest his services to a friend or colleague.
Primestar Home InspectionsPrimestar Home Inspections
Melanie F.
Chip was amazing all around! I needed a home inspection done in 3 days and he responded ASAP, was flexible with my proposed times, showcased his knowledge and experience throughout the inspection, and provided a comprehensive report within a day of the inspection. During the inspection, he took the time to inform me of various elements of the house that I wouldn’t have known how to use otherwise. I highly recommend him to anyone!! Thanks Chip!
Safety Net InspectionsSafety Net Inspections
Aman S.
I highly highly recommend Donahue Home Inspections. He came through at a very stressful time and was very thorough and knowledgeable. I will definitely use him again!
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
Way ahead of schedule. He was very professional, thorough, and paid attention to detail. He also succeeded my expectations. I would recommend him to anyone that has a need for home inspection.
Primestar Home InspectionsPrimestar Home Inspections
Alicia C.
Chuck was great to work with. He is very communicative, walked me through the process as he reviewed the home, alerted me of minor and major concerns he had. As a first time home owner, this was just what I needed to understand everything and feel comfortable with the process. I will be recommending Donahue Home Inspections to all of my friends and family.
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
Everyone was very efficient and thorough. I was very satisfied with the follow through, follow up and the report at the end. Everyone that was involved in the home inspection was very friendly and answers any questions I had. Would definitely recommend their services!
GS & TJ Services, Inc.GS & TJ Services, Inc.
Peter R.
Excellent experience using Chuck for a client’s home inspection. We’ll be adding him to our team’s roster. He discovered that the HVAC unit was 16 years old (not new, as the seller had said) which helped us tremendously.
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Denise M.
Paul was able to inspect my home with short notice. He was on time and he takes his work seriously. The sellers agent would try to chat with him and he would tell her sorry I didn’t catch what you said because I am in the zone. I love that because that told me that he was not allowing them to distract him from completing a thorough inspection of the home. He was very polite and he would encourage my husband and I to ask questions. When we did ask questions, he did a great job addressing our concerns and he would provide great maintenance tips. He also has an interesting way of inspecting the roof. He uses a drone to inspect the roof. It’s the first time I have seen an inspector use this technique, I thought it was pretty clever. After the inspection, which was about 3 hours, he stood around and allowed me to ask him more question. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the service he provided. Thanks Paul!!!
Ioan Paul Dinea Licensed Home InspectorIoan Paul Dinea Licensed Home Inspector
Shikema T.
During the home inspection I was updated throughout. He was extremely thorough and checked everything that he had access to. The online report with photos and recommendations came in handy with negotiating credits and repairs. I would highly recommend his service. Pricing was reasonable as well. Two thumbs up!
Donahue Home InspectionsDonahue Home Inspections
Amy G.
I loved working with Paul. He is extremely reliable and thorough. As a single woman buying my first single family home - I needed to ensure the inspection looked at all potential pitfalls - Paul understood that and put the extra effort in to ensure I knew what I was getting into. Highly recommend!
Ioan Paul Dinea Licensed Home InspectorIoan Paul Dinea Licensed Home Inspector
Utku P.
I would mark all 5. He is excellent, reliable and detail oriented. As a first time home owner, working with someone that you can trust is crucial and he went above & beyond expectations. Punctual, responsive, superb professional and highest quality you can get from this process. I found him online but I would work with him with no doubt all other future home inspection needs. Thank you so much Paul!
Ioan Paul Dinea Licensed Home InspectorIoan Paul Dinea Licensed Home Inspector
Ammad W.
Beverly was/is awesome. She pointed out so so many things that I would have never seen or considered. She has such a friendly demeanor approaching something that I didn't expect to be so nerve-wracking (that being the home inspection). The report was extremely detailed and the repair builder is definitely a co-MVP here. I couldn't imagine having to recall all the details on my own. Thanks again to Beverly.
Rambo Inspection ServicesRambo Inspection Services
Thumbtack Customer
This was my first time using Thumbtack and because of the fantastic experience I had with Leon, I will be back! He was such a friendly guy to work with and extremely thorough in his work. We initially received a document that outlined the inspection. A few days after received a few follow up emails regarding home warranties and then another with quick links to change our address, updating IRS information and a movers guide...So helpful! Go with Leon!
GS & TJ Services, Inc.GS & TJ Services, Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
I had a terrible experience communicating with Thomas few days ago. Below is the communication chain (I just copied/pasted the thread) we had while I was merely trying to negotiate the price with him. The things he said was very hurtful and to an extent awful. Please take a minute and read through the entire conversation, it gets worse at the end. I would never recommend someone like him to anyone. He is a man of very low character and I truly despise him! Thomas - Hi, Kumar, how are you? Your attendance is suggested. I've included sample pictorial documentation that compiles and highlights the findings for your record for the inspection. Please review the attachment and call me if you have questions, concerns about the property or of the inspection. Thank you: Thomas Wolf===>************ Tue Jan 10 5:37 PM Kumar - Hello Thomas...Thank you for reaching out. If hired, you will be inspecting a 3200 sq ft single family home in the city of Chicago. I will give you the address once we have agreed upon cost and timing. I do want someone to come inspect our home this Sat, Jan 14th if that works for you? Also, will $300 work for you? Please let me know if I can provide you with additional detail at this point. Thomas - Yes , I can do, Tue Jan 10 7:09 PM Thomas - Yes. I can do, please forward the address, your e-mail, and phone number. I'll send the summary report that includes the photos of the major issues. Thank you: Thomas Wolf Tue Jan 10 8:36 PM Kumar - Hi Thomas - Sorry, but I found couple of inspectors who are willing to perform a comprehensive inspection for $250 since our home is a brand new construction. If you are willing to do the job at $250, I would rather go with you since you are available on Sat, Jan 14th. Please let me know. Once you agree on the price I will send you all the information you need. Property location is **************** Thomas - Go right ahead, if they promised it, you have been scamed. Thomas - I m doing a 2 bedroom condo in Rogers park for $250 800 sq.ft. Kumar - One thing I must say about you...you have fantastic reviews and I really admire that! OK then, can you please make yourself available to inspect my home this Sat, Jan 14th for $300 (as we originally agreed on)? If you accept, please let me know a few time slots you are available this Sat and we can take it from there. Thank you. Thomas - No you have ruined my night with your rediculus lies I do not want to do anything for you. You are a terrible client this is a serious matter not a flee market. I could have saved you money back for issues. Get more serious, you are not a real investor, sir. Do not bother me any more I'm fed up with you stupid talk Kumar - Well, that's not how you communicate with a potential client. You should know I am just shopping to lock in a good rate, hence I reached out to you solely based on your reviews. What I quoted earlier for other inspectors is not a lie, but I understand where you are coming from. As far as "issues" are concerned I don't foresee any since it is a new construction. Anyway, you said what you had to say, but the way you said was absolutely unprofessional and uncalled for. Thanks for your time! Wed Jan 11 9:00 AM Thomas - Ok, call me to confirm the appointment for Sat. Kumar - I have already booked someone else for this job. I don't want to deal with your unprofessional attitude. You were harsh, rude and the things you said..."You are a terrible client this is a serious matter not a flee market. I could have saved you money back for issues. Get more serious, you are not a real investor, sir. Do not bother me any more I'm fed up with you stupid talk" was totally uncalled for. Wed Jan 11 10:28 AM Thomas - No you are rude I promised myself that I will not do inspections for Indian people they are all cheep and rude I do deserve it for giving your kind another chance, go jump into the lake Kumar - And your English is terrible. Did you even go to school? You are not making any sense what so ever. It's a shame that English being your first and only language, you still manage to suck at it! Calling on my ethnicity and stereotyping clearly speaks about you. You are an awful individual. I will be reporting you to Thumbtack customer support (along this email chain) and potentially suing you for passing racist comments.
Primestar Home InspectionsPrimestar Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
This was an inspection for a 3-flat with basement. The inspector was extremely slow but at the same time not thorough. It took almost three and a half hours! A lot of our questions received blank stare and silence. We had to remind him numerous times of the problems we saw that he didn't notice. He kept asking us "what do you think"? What does it matter what we think? We want to hear what he thinks! He looked dazed and confused. We had a hilarious exchange on the Thumbtack messages afterwards - he thought I was a Thumbtack tech support and complained in his message why I didn't call him or leave him my phone number, while all this time the messages I sent him clearly had MY name on the top! His report is a joke - a booklet of checklists with generic information, totally lacking details or depth. His fee is very low compared to other bids, but it is still the money I wasted. He didn't forget to remind me at the end of the inspection to give him a good review - talk about self-awareness! I have been misled by so many positive reviews - he may seem competent to inexperienced home buyers, but a total hack to an experienced real estate investor.
Primestar Home InspectionsPrimestar Home Inspections
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