How Long Does a Building Inspection Take?

A building inspection becomes necessary when you buy or sell a house. It’s a crucial element in making an informed decision when a real estate transaction is occurring. A thorough building inspection lets you understand the condition of the building much better.

You’ll have to carry out the building’s basic evaluation, its structure, the roof, the condition of the plumbing connections, the heating, and cooling systems, and many other factors. A well carried out and thorough building inspection gives you a detailed assessment of the state of a property so you can know whether you should invest in it.

After the inspector has completed the inspection, you’ll be given a detailed report—a complete rundown on the property’s condition. It helps you decide whether any immediate repairs are necessary. Building inspections also help settle disputes about the worth of a property. It also helps you know if the building complies with all building codes and regulations.

Having discussed the necessity of a building inspection, let’s now look into how long it takes.

How much time should you take to complete a Building Inspection?

A building inspection usually takes anything between 90 minutes and 2 hours. It depends on what size the building is of and what issues the inspector encounters. If the building throws up multiple issues that need attention, the inspection may take longer.

The size of the building is a major deciding factor. A house with an average size of 3-4 bedrooms should need 90-120 minutes of on-site inspection. The inspector prepares the report off-site, which is usually available three to four hours after the on-site inspection.

If you are looking to have an effective inspection carried out, apart from the knowledge and experience of the inspector, the time you set aside for the inspection becomes an important aspect as well. It’s only after a thorough inspection that the inspector will be able to assess all the defects, safety issues, and other important issues that may exist. The inspection involves the building’s exterior, the subfloor, the interior, the roof void space, and the roof exterior.

Enough time should be devoted so that a thorough and accurate inspection is carried out giving you the most detailed and relevant information.

When can you receive the Inspection Report?

If the inspector has proper reporting technology at his disposal that makes it possible for him to give you a well prepared detailed report, you should get it on the day of the inspection itself.

The defects spotted in the property may not get sorted out before you buy it. Therefore, it’s quite likely that you may have certain doubts about the report even after months have passed since the inspection. Hence, the inspection agency should offer free assistance for an extended period after the on-site inspection.

When should you book a Building and Pest Inspection?

It’s wise to have the entire building inspection completed before you move in. That way, you’ll avoid any unwanted situation after doing so. Ideally, a pre-purchase inspection is carried out by the owner before the property is put on sale. However, that’s not always possible. In such a situation, you would do wise to mention that a thorough building inspection is included as one of the conditions of a successful deal. The understanding you reach with the owner should include:

  • Who should pay for the inspection- the buyer usually
  • The date of completion
  • What elements the inspection should include like pests or structural
  • If any defects are located, how do they result in deviations from the declared standards in the building you are looking to buy

There should be no ambiguity about these elements when you are entering into an agreement so that you can avoid any misunderstandings at a later stage. We suggest that you consult a lawyer before signing the agreement to ensure the fairness of the contract. The contract should also cover all your needs.

How should you prepare for the Building Inspection?

As a property owner, you should grant the inspector access to every part of it. It’s the real estate agent’s responsibility to ensure this when a pre-purchase inspection is being carried out. Being the seller, you shall have to grant access to every part of the house even if you are currently staying there.

After the inspector has visited the property, a thorough and honest evaluation is carried out and the inspector includes all relevant information in the report. Building inspections make or break a deal. Therefore, as a seller, you should prepare the building before the inspection by making necessary repairs. Adequate preparation helps you bag a good deal and get maximum value for your property. It also makes sure that your buyer has no doubts when buying the property.

Should you attend the Building Inspection?

You need not be present yourself if the property you are buying is a new one. However, if you are buying an old property, you may visit it during the inspection provided the selling agent grants you permission to do so.


No matter if you are a buyer or a seller, a thorough inspection is a must before a property inspection. It makes sure that both parties feel they are entering into an honest deal. As the seller, you can assure the buyer that you are offering a property in good condition; that it’s good value for their money. On the other hand, as a buyer, you know that the property has no major defects.

Speaking of how long an inspection should take, for an average house of 3-4 rooms, it shouldn’t take more than 90-120 minutes. However, bigger properties may need more time.

As the property owner, you should grant access to every part of it so that no defect is left unattended. Doing so assures both the real estate agency and the buyer that you are offering a clean deal. A thoroughly carried out inspection with a well-prepared report is an important element in a property transaction.

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