The work that goes into an inspection of a new 1 bedroom condominium is quite different from the inspection of a 100 year old brownstone in the inner city, or the inspection of a 30 year old 2,500 square foot farmhouse on a crawlspace, OR that of a 7,000 square foot mini-mansion at the country club. Because of this, the fees and pricing for a home inspection are typically based on a case-by-case basis depending on the size, age, amenities and location of the property. The better more experienced inspectors DON’T do the one size cap fits all type of pricing that many novice OR inexperienced inspectors do.
You probably weren’t looking for the cheapest house in town. Neither should you be looking for the cheapest inspector. If you are – You’ll probably get exactly what you paid for / Nothing!!
As with electricians, automobiles, doctors and other professional services, etc, “cheapest” isn’t usually the best value. Many times the CHEAPEST ends up being the most EXPENSIVE purchase you ever make.
On a commercial building it is quite common to have a 20-30 day inspection contingency period (time to get it in schedule; do it; the time needed to generate a report afterwards; and if needed to contact contractors or specialists for further evaluation, service or repair quotes, etc).
Depending on a clients needs … Most clients have the inspector inspect the main electrical entry service and panel(s); the main plumbing entry and main hot water source; the main HVAC unit(s); the roofing; the visible foundation; the structure of the building (exterior and interior); the site (parking lot, walks, ramps, etc); AND any visible significant safety issues that they observe with those components.
Although they observe many areas, their main scope is to look for MAJOR defects (things per ASTM standards) that need repair, replacement, service, etc; SIGNIFICANT safety issues, or issues that in the inspectors opinion requires expedient further evaluation and/or service, etc.
In light of this, a thorough inspection performed by a qualified and certified inspector is a wise investment and money well spent.