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  1. #1
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Mission from God

    It's kind of weird. I spent about 2 hours this morning reviewing old posts regarding pricing and just when I thought I had a grip on the general consensus, I got a call to inspect a church. Does anyone have any insights regarding pricing? I reviewed the MLS and the list price is $149,000, the square footage is 7,450, and the structure is close to 100 years old. We've inspected a church before and I undoubtedly earned some points with St. Peter regarding the price I charged.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    It's kind of weird. I spent about 2 hours this morning reviewing old posts regarding pricing and just when I thought I had a grip on the general consensus, I got a call to inspect a church. Does anyone have any insights regarding pricing? I reviewed the MLS and the list price is $149,000, the square footage is 7,450, and the structure is close to 100 years old. We've inspected a church before and I undoubtedly earned some points with St. Peter regarding the price I charged.
    Something like this will take some time. I would charge by the sf. My normal fee is 12 to 14 cents per square foot on a job like this.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Thank you, sir. I love the price per square foot concept. There is some real low-balling going on in my area, which has me questioning everything.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I've inspected a few in the past (and doubt that St. Peter was appreciative of my report findings ).

    Years ago, I charged 15 cents per square foot, then went to an hourly rate.

    I've inspected churches under both pricing concepts, but found that the hourly rate was better for both of us (the client and myself).

    I typically recommend pricing based on sales prices, but at $149,000, that must be one small church and would fall within a minimum inspection based on price.

    If you are doing a church small enough to be converted into a home (some of the old small churches are bought for that purpose, high vaulted ceilings make for lofts and grand views), then you would inspect it differently than if it was going to remain a church.

    If it is going to remain a church, you would want to address accessibility issues as well as the normally inspected systems. Getting into doing accessibility issues can be daunting, so disclaim ADA Accessibility with the reservation that you will will comment on those issues of which you are aware ... then either get familiar with parking spaces, accessible routes from those spaces, accessible ramps, bathrooms, etc.

    The disclaimer is because accessibility is a very complex issue and one ADA certified inspector may deem some things okay and another ADA certified inspector my reject them - I got into accessibility some, but not enough to actually do an accessibility inspection - way too many things to miss.

    A small church like that, though, you might be able to hit most of the accessibility issues, .... unlike with some of the larger churches I did which had daycare schools attached, even 'regular' schools attached.

    Many older and smaller churches have very step roofs, with tall steeples, with roofs on top. Some have bell tower steeples (not just boxed in areas).

    By-the-hour costs allows you to get in there and then more (or less) as your client decides they want more (or less).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Jerry,
    Big and small are relative terms, but it's actually 7,460 square feet. I've attached the photo from the MLS. I've already spoken with the listing agent regarding access to the flat section of the roof from the interior and she bombarded me with her time constraints and "I'm thinking around 2 or 3 hours, right".

    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    When it comes to larger properties or buildings that are sized out of the norm and I am not sure what to expect, I price my service by the hour. I think it is the fairest way to do it for me and the client.


  7. #7
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    How do you arrive at an hourly rate? The church we previously inspected took my helper 3 hours and me 5 hours for the onsite inspection. You guys are probably going to laugh, but it took me around 8 hours to generate the report (many serious problems & 250 photos to scroll through, though).

    Respectfully- thank you, guys.


  8. #8
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I know prices are depressed and also a lot less in some areas...but $149K for a neat old building like that seems very, very cheap. It would make a great pool hall!

    Anyway Bud...I flew over and inspected the roof for you, from every angle, and it looks fine.

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  9. #9
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Richard,
    You're scary, man!! How'd you do that? I still can't figure out how to include pictures within the post! 149 has got to be an indicator of something evil going on within.


  10. #10
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Very fast plane!!!!

    Seriously...I was intrigued by the price. Your photo has GWBAR on it. I googled "GWBAR PA", came up with a real estate site, narrowed the search to commercial for that price and came up with the listing. Used the address in MS streets and trips and from there into MSN Virtual Earth which had "birdseye views". 4 screen captures and a little pasting into a photo editing program...and Voila! Took, maybe, 5 minutes. Computers and the internet are amazing tools.

    Anyway...I thought you might find the photos useful.

    As for putting photos into posts. Look in the "Additional Options" frame below the reply area posting area. Then click on the box labeled "upload photos".


  11. #11
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Science/ Technology meets Religion. Super cool. I think this chalks one up for Darwin, though.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    Does anyone have any insights regarding pricing?
    Your mortal soul.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Bud,

    I use the Free Version of Bome Image Resizer ( snagged it from softpedia ) to keep pictures under the 195k upload limit.

    Also useful for resizing pictures before emailing the Inspection Report to keep file size to a minimum.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Moore View Post
    but $149K for a neat old building like that seems very, very cheap.
    Definitely not what I expected to see for $150k!

    Crimeny, that'd make a fantastic house!

    If I had an extra $150k laying around I'd buy that myself.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    Jerry,
    Big and small are relative terms, but it's actually 7,460 square feet.

    "I'm thinking around 2 or 3 hours, right".
    .
    Bud,

    It would take me longer to Inspect The Little White House next to that Property.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Mission from God

    Good grief, where do you park, or maybe thats why the roof is flat.


  17. #17
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Nettnin View Post
    Good grief, where do you park, or maybe thats why the roof is flat.
    I just checked the listing again. The 25-space parking lot is included in the price! Amazing!

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Is that the Parsonage across the street next to the parking lot? Is that included too? Big yard if it is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    How many 3000 square foot homes could you inspect in what it will take you to inspect that church. Base it on that and add for follow up. You and a helper for the time it will take I am figuring 5 maybe 6 3000 square foot homes. Each of you doing 2 a day for one day and you doing 2 more the next day. What do you get for your average 3000 square foot house. Is there a basement? I keep forgetting you are in PA. Well maybe 4 in your neck of the woods. I don't envy you folks up north with all those old buildings and basements. We deal (for the most part) with slabs.

    Forget the time constraints the realtor laid on you. That is certainly not a new church. It has been around a while with lots of cheap (maybe free labor )doing the up keep. Personally if it were me with a helper I would be doing the inspecting and have the helper pumping out the report or notes for the report. I can't see you being there less that a day with a helper. More time allotted for finish and cleaning up the report. Answering questions. Going over the report. Return trip time etc. Minimum two days one man, one day the other man. Of course all this depends on the past upkeep of the building and who they had doing the upkeep. Jerry probably had it right with the hourly thing.

    Minimum 1200 to 1500


  20. #20
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Now you're getting greedy Jerry!

    Nope, just lists the church, the lot it stands on, and the smaller parking lot. Oh...according to the listing it does include, and I quote... "

    "Included: 1 range; 1 refrigerator"

    So you can cook, although Deviled eggs might not be appropriate.

    I'm not a church-goer, but it's sad that the community is losing a gathering place after all those years (100+). I hope the new owners put it to good use and maintain the grand old lady.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    $149,000? Are you sure you did not miss another 0?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I think that 1 experienced inspector could inspect that property in a full day to day and a half. 2 could do it in a day.

    I'm betting that you will have a couple bathrooms, small kitchen area, a mechanical room and a whole bunch of open space. Looks like it has roof mounted HVAC units.

    Heck, I inspected a 245,000sf warehouse in a day just a few weeks ago. Nothing but a big empty building with six bathrooms, an office area, and 5 roof mounted HVAC gas pak systems. I must admit that it took me 2 hours to walk the flat roof!

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 07-09-2008 at 03:41 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I'd ask for a minimum of 10K and I would not take a check unless it was a certified check.

    In God I trust, all others pay cash or a certified check.

    rick


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Mr Scott

    This is something that sounds like folks are buying it for there future house. I guarantee that total time spent with one man will be 2 days. In a busy time, how many 3000 square foot homes could you do in the time spent on this one building (scheduling, inspecting, report writing, follow up) I am guessing 2 days minimum, real time. What do you think about this, what do you think about that. Question from the listing agent to the buyers agent, from the buyers agent to you, back to the buyers etc, etc. One of my biggest mistakes I make is to add in the real time, total time, before and after.

    OK, big empty building. Still the better part of 2 days, one man, "total time". I can inspect 4 3000 sf slab homes in that time for better than 1200 dollars. That is where I came up with the 1200 minimum. You say 2 guys being tied up for the better part of the day. True. Even if it doesn't take 2 guys the whole day, the day is still gone. That's 4 3000 square foot slab homes for me. Kick it in the but altogether and say 4 250 dollar minimums for me=1000.00 (2 men, one day) Busy or slow you are still eating up the time of what it could be making doing other inspections in the same time. Even if it were seriously slow and the two of them only did 4 inspections total in a week at 250 minimum = 1000.00

    Do you want me to keep going down Mr price shopper

    Just me, no irritation intended


  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I'd ask for a minimum of 10K and I would not take a check unless it was a certified check.

    In God I trust, all others pay cash or a certified check.

    rick

    Love it Rick


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Wow, you guys are a trip! I had to step away. I had a double block @ 5 o'clock (est). I was in where else, but the 2 foot crawlspace when the buyer's agent called for my price. I confidently told her it would be $960.(based on Scott's formula/ thank you Scott!); with no hesitation she asked me when I can do it. I should make it to the roof by around 11:00 this Saturday, so if you're at the computer Richard, I'll send you a high five.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Bud,

    In that sq. ft. figure you came up of 960. did you figure in the attic space, crawlspace, the additional HVAC systems, WH's, the electrical, and the plumbing?

    960.00 Wow

    If you only spent 2 days at 8hrs. per day, you've only earned 60. an hour.

    If 2 inspectors are involved. 30. bucks an hour.

    I'd be out of business.

    Rick


  28. #28
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    C'mon Rick,
    I was looking at my watch and was sure it read a well-deserved Corona and then I read your reply.........

    What is the formula for an hourly rate? And how do you sell a 2 day inspection to your client? I'm always feeling this pressure to be not only more thorough, but faster, which sucks. I'm imagining 2 realtors and an out of town client looking at their watches on Saturday wondering what is taking so long, while we're smoking cameras and running our tails off. It's a church for Christ's sake and the listing agent is thinking 3 hours! I'd love to clear this bs out of my head, but I feel like I'm up against a fast food mindset. I don't know, maybe it's just my area. After this afternoons inspection, I went to look at the church and was wondering if I should pull a third man in to speed things up and the money said no. My numbers are way up in relation to the previous year, but.........well, I'm not even close to having cracked the secret code. You ARE right, and I'm sure nobody on this site will disagree with you, the job is worth more.


  29. #29
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I'm imagining 2 realtors and an out of town client looking at their watches on Saturday wondering what is taking so long, while we're smoking cameras and running our tails off.
    Tell them to park their asses at the local tavern and you will ring the church bells when you're done.

    The listing said "basement" and "lower level finished". Not sure that will speed things up or not but at least you won't be on your knees under the whole thing.

    Good luck with this Bud. Take some photos for us, including the interior. I'm still a bit flabbergasted at the price and would like to see what $149K can buy, other than a few tankfuls of gas.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post

    --the listing agent
    is thinking 3 hours! I'd love to clear this bs out of my head,
    Tell Her,

    Hey No Problem. I can finish up in 3 Hours.

    You just Finish up What I could not get to, Sign The Report & I'll slip you a little something extra at the Closing Table.

    Maybe even a C note.

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  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    You need to be polite but tell the realtor (wait a minute) Realtors, there both going to be there. They are marking your time. That's not the way it works. You already have the job. Tell them politely that you don't need any undue influence. Just because they , or one of them is handing you the check it does not and will never mean they are in charge of anything. You do not work for them and never will. You are your boss and you call the shots. There is a way of telling them, Thanks but no thanks. If one of them has to unlock it for you fine. They unlock it, they go away, you do your job. Just get the check before they leave and tell them you will lock the door behind you and you will email them the report.

    3 hours. Forget it. There lucky to get a half ass inspection as it is, never mind a report in that time. They won't have the results anyway. Sorry Bud 960 is not there money. 960 is way to low but 960 and walk thru the place, take some quick pics, hit the roof, do the basement, check the systems, hmmm, You certainly won't be doing your client any justice.

    I just did a 7400 square foot home a couple of weeks ago. If I did that inspection in three hours my client would have gotten screwed, even with a helper.

    Oh well, shut up Ted.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    This is one of those that the listing price has nothing to do with the amount of work involved.
    I MIGHT get that done in one LOONNGG day with another half day for the report, but I would bet on two full days. You know you are going to run into some strange stuff and if a church building is being sold, you can bet the funds were not there during the last several year to maintain the building. You will be using lots of "ink" on this one.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I'm always feeling this pressure to be not only more thorough, but faster, which sucks.
    Better yes, faster no. The job takes as long as it takes. Don't let ANYONE rush you (including yourself). If you are in a rush, you will miss something.
    Faster, better, cheaper, pick one.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Another Texan that is wound up from just finishing his work for the day.

    Good evening Jim

    Your wife lets you stay up this late


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Bud,

    Dont' let the realtors itimidate you. I always take them to the side and let them know that if I have a audience I always enjoy the act.

    I tell them to give me their cell phone number and I'll call them about 30 min. before I'm done. Tell them they can go wash the leased Lexus, maybe get their nails done, or go get them some Botox.

    If they hang around, I'm dragging this puppy out all day. You can count on it.

    rick


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Heck of a way to celebrate our 32 wedding anniversary, finishing up a report!
    It seems I have been driving and writing reports all day. Started out at Lancaster early this morning, back to Wylie, to Allen for about 30 minutes to work on emails, then on to McKinney for the final Inspection.
    Oh well, got to make hay while the sun is shining.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Jim,

    You got a year on us. We had our 31st. on 07.02

    I worked all day too.

    Well off to bed I go. Tomm. is another day and another dollar.

    Nite Jim boy.

    Nite Billy.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    30 plus years of marriage. Hmmm, you are all older farts like me.

    Wait a minute, you're from Texas. You to probably got married at 12. I guess I am older.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    20 years with my first wife.

    23 years with my second wife.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Drifting but:

    37 yrs today! I worked and she went to Wisconsin. Both of us forgot (must be an age thing)

    She's still the one!

    If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest
    Benjamin Franklin

  41. #41
    James Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Just a little late for this thread but the guys that charge by SF are way too cheap.

    Consider $1 per SF plus incidentals such as crawlspace & report writing time


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Butczynski View Post
    How You guys are probably going to laugh, but it took me around 8 hours to generate the report (many serious problems & 250 photos to scroll through, though).
    I believe it. It takes time to write up a detailed, professional report.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
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  43. #43
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by James Jackson View Post
    Consider $1 per SF plus incidentals such as crawlspace & report writing time
    As strange as this may seem, that is right about what I averaged 'per square foot' when I charged 'by the hour'.

    If I had been asked to average out my costs to a square foot basis, $1 per sq ft would be about right - I just never thought if it that way before.

    Of course, though, before I started charging by the hour, my price was $0.15 per sq ft, based on total under roof area. But that was over 10 years ago.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    So Bud, After all the Marriages and divorces and etc. etc. What happened and where are the pics?


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Back in the mid 80's - early 90's I had a tile company specializing in bath & kitchen renovations as well as floor coverings (hardwood & tile). We got $1 per SF for tile way back then & it's still the going rate for labor only. Problem is, now most everyone is a fly by night in the biz - I guess it's a Miami thang.

    The way I figure - if you're willing to pay someone $1 per SF for something that requires little skill then why not pay an Inspector the same rate to get a complete picture of one of the largest investments in your life.

    I've implemented this pricing and the analogy in my biz - funny thing is - people get it and are willing to pay.

    Since I do charge more I'll throw in a few "extras" like the IR service.

    There's no reason we ALL shouldn't be getting $1 SF accross the country, afterall - aren't we pretty much like a Primary Care Physician?

    We give the structure a physical & check it out & if something appears wrong or not operating the way it should, we refer to a specialist.

    The Primary Care Physician is another great analogy. People just don't get what we do until you put it in a form they truely understand - their health is understood.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    I agree, why not give them a good rectal. Many are trying to give us a high hard one anyway. Are you in an area with many inspectors?
    my new business name: "The Home Proctologist"
    we'll bend your home over backwards


  47. #47
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Sorry James

    $1 a square foot will never be. Let me see $1,000.00 for a thousand square foot house. $2,000.00 for a 2000 sq ft house. It ain't ever going to happen.

    Sorry James

    I would like to see a handful of invoices that you put out with the sq ft of the home on them along with price and the note from the client acknowledging that they are that stupid.

    Let me see, 5 2000 sq ft homes a week, $10,000.00 times 50 weeks equal $500,000.00 a year 5 hours a day equal $400.00 an hour. (gotta have a small vacation to spend all that money)

    Sorry James

    I am never this direct about my beliefs but I am not buying it in the slightest. Not that that matters to you but really. $400.00 an hour. Do you really think your clients are that stupid. Do you think the world is that sad and stupid.

    Gonna shut up now.


  48. #48
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  49. #49
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  50. #50
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Nothing a few miracles couldn't fix.


  51. #51
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Time for just a little engineering on that church. Still, 149,000.00 I'll take it. See if they will move it to the south where it is nice and warm.

    Are those real paintings on the ceiling or murals.


  52. #52
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mission from God

    Me (I'm still in the dark regarding pricing).jpg

    "We polled a representative number of home inspector's across the nation to determine if Bud charged enough for the inspection of the church and....................Survey Says.......................errnt!"

    Sorry for the late reply; I've fortunately been quite busy. Actually did an abandoned turn of the century (last century) goat-cheese factory the other day.

    I've tracked the job and have the following results to share with everyone interested:

    On site inspection

    Day 1

    1 man @ 8 hours (me- exterior, roof, drainage, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, crawls including bell tower, etc.)
    1 man @ 3 hours (support inspector- interior wall, ceiling and floor areas, branch wiring and plumbing, etc.)

    Day 2

    In the eleventh hour of the written report, it rained like hell, so I went back to the site to evaluate roof drainage, and validate suspicions I had regarding blocked surface drains around the perimeter of the church, which is inset in relation to the general grade that is supported by retaining walls around the left, rear, and right sides. Undoubtedly blocked.

    1 man @ 1 hour

    Written report

    I had absolutely no pre-existing paragraphs to cut and paste, and my software sucks, so everything was written "real-time" coupled with the scrolling through of 450 digital images.

    12 hours Sunday
    5 hours Monday
    Perform another inspection
    3 additional hours Monday night

    The equation is simple: $960 divided by 32 man hours equals $30 bucks an hour, which means Rick nailed it.


  53. #53
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
    Bud Butczynski Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Ted,
    I assumed the art was performed Michaelangelo style. They're stripping the stained glass prior to sale. The basement windows were already replaced with thin gauge plexi. Yuk!


  54. #54
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quick post and I have to go.

    Yeah 30 bucks an hour doesn't cut it with all the expenses in the year 2008.

    Well it was money you wouldn't have had if you did not do it

    That 1500 I quoted and the admittedly sarcastic 1000 I posted after that were both still to low.

    A building that old with the size and full basement is a 2000 dollar job plus, plus.


    But like I said it was $ you would not have had and an experience needed. Still, I'll take that church for the money if they move it south.

    With all the follow up with other trades did they go thru with the deal??


  55. #55
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
    Bud Butczynski Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Ted,
    I agree with you; the professional experience was priceless (not found in books, seminars, etc.), and I really did "get-off" on the project. Personal satisfaction doesn't pay the bills, though. The PE is scheduled for the coming Sunday, and oh yeah, charging $100. per hour to look at the rear crack!!!!!


  56. #56
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Ted - I never said that I get that on all my inspections - it's where we start the negotiation process - and yes I do get anywhere fron $ .50 - $1 per SF. It's always easier to start high & negotiate than to bid low & kick yourself in the pants later.

    I did a 30K SF home once (largest house I've ever inspected to date) at $ .50 SF (24 hours to inspect - 2 inspectors @ 12 hrs & 24 hours to write & assemble report). After paying $1200 to my wife (other inspector) and another $1200 for subcontractors (labs, termite, radon) I still averaged well over $300 an hour.

    So, bottom line is what is you're time really worth? Mine is worth at least $250 an hour for a home inspection & you?

    Never said I do a lot of Home Inspections either (about 45 a year which equates to about 1/6 of where our revenue comes from).

    Between HUD, FHA, consulting, teaching, needs assets inspections, forensic, etc. we've continued to do a moderate - mid. 6 fig. income (since our 1st year) even in a tough economy.

    I wish I could do 5 inspections Home inspections a week at $1 per SF, but I focus on high end homes where the people don't balk at the price of the inspection they look at the value given for the money spent.


  57. #57
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Wayne,

    Actually yes there are too many HI in my area - I would guess in S. Florida (WPB, Ft Laud, & Miami) there are abour 3000. Now that number is based on the amount of people getting pumped out of weekend schools, figer painted vehicle signs and so on. There are about 300 legit companies (listed in the phone book).

    That's who I consider to be competition.

    I train the realtors (less than a dozen that concur with my thinking) that refer me to prequalify all the client needs up front (mold, hidden structural damage - IR, radon, etc.).

    Right now in a slow market I focus on investors, attorneys and mortgage companies.

    Ya gotta be liquid & go with the flow & be willing to change with a changing market.


  58. #58
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
    Bud Butczynski Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    James,
    The ass of my pants is undoubtedly well-worn. We charge $280 for a basic whole-house inspection (up to 2000 square feet); radon, WDI, septic, well, etc., are all extra. This is slightly higher than the local competition. There are a few companies in the area that are charging higher, but it is slightly higher. Scott's initial post served to validate my pricing, however in the end the formula obviously doesn't apply to a church. I have to assume that you didn't start out charging $ .50 - $1 per SF. I'm a pretty optimistic guy, but even if I charged .50 per SF, I'd be well above my competition. So well, that, and maybe I'm small-minded, I'd spend most of my time anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. I'm not being facetious; I need to charge more. Got any morsels of wisdom for a guy that wants to be like you?


  59. #59
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Nah,

    13 years ago I was one of the cheapest on the block with $50 roof inspections, $150 HI and so on. Where I made the big bucks was rehabbing homes for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.

    It gave me realistic ideas of repair costs. Over the years I realized that the only raise you'll ever get is if you raise your prices, mark up subcontractors (VERY Controversial), or diversify into something that few are doing.

    My single component inspections now start at $195

    Example is short sale inspections - they take me about 4 -5 hours inspection time & report writing but I charge $1500 & will reduce to $1000 if paid in full up front. Mostly I get 1/3 up front & the balance at closing.

    Working with public adjusters is another way to increase your bottom line. What about rush inspection? Title and mortgage companies need these. Typically I get 3 times what I normally charge for same day service.

    Think outside the box - divorce, bankruptcy, tax, title attny's all need inspections to validate assests & to meet "conditions" on the appraisals.

    Don't be afraid to charge more - but you have to justify the VALUE.

    Increase your prices because of cost of living (gas, insurance, education).

    What value do you have that your competition doesn;t have? Are you on any committees in your local HI organization chapter? Have you written published articles, radio shows, training seminars, continued education (how many hours)?

    Each of these add value to you and the quality of service you provide.

    Nordstrom and Walmart have some of the same items. Naturally some people will shop for price, but the ones that shop at Nordstrom do so because of the customer service.

    People buy from whom they like. Price has nothing to do with it. It's said that when surveyed (which we do prior to each inspection) price is the least important issue.

    One of our survey questions is:

    "7. You Inspector - General Question

    If you were to choose your inspector based on the following choices, which choice BEST suits your needs?"
    A. Price - B. Experience - C. Knowledge - D. Years in Business - E. Reputation

    Only one person EVER chose price. Most people choose Reputation or Experience

    As I mentioned before, I don't do many home inspections but if you don't respond to our needs survey we don't offer you a price.

    Set yourself as an exclusive and that your clients want to be drawn to you - people want what they can't have so put yourself in a position that they must be worthy of you not you of them. Be the "Members Only" club & you'll see a difference.

    A business coach is always a good idea regardless of your industry - they can teach you testing an measuring techniques of effective marketing.

    Make time to attend 2 - 3 business functions a week and get lots of cards - Set goals of meeting 5 - 10 new clients a week. Determine who your ideal client would be (example - who are the top 10 Realtors in your area that sell homes 300K or more). I guarantee you that when you set specific goals and tell the contacts you meet what your goal is, you'll reach it. It may take some time but it will come to pass.

    Sorry about the long windedness - I love marketing as you can see.



  60. #60
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
    Bud Butczynski Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    I love the way you think, Mr. Jackson.


  61. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by James Jackson View Post
    One of our survey questions is:

    "7. You Inspector - General Question


    Does your survey really say "You Inspector" instead of "Your Inspector"?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  62. #62
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Does your survey really say "You Inspector" instead of "Your Inspector"?
    Nah

    I'm more smarter than that!


  63. #63
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    James

    I almost said 2 inspections a day. At a million bucks I would move in next door and be your little helper boy for a few hundred grand.

    No offence intended by the way. I can be a little blunt and direct. I guess that is for being a Yankee for 36 years before living in the south for 18 years.

    We tend to speak what is on our mind and don't hold back much. I was never much for beating around the bush.

    You make what you make and take what you take. Gotta respect that.


  64. #64
    James Jackson's Avatar
    James Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Ted,

    No problem. I guess that's why today in History (1975) Congress restored Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's citizenship.

    They were blount at letting him know he could have it after he was dead .....many years!

    I've got think skin (folks tell me its fat).


  65. #65
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Mission from God

    Quote Originally Posted by James Jackson View Post
    Ted,

    No problem. I guess that's why today in History (1975) Congress restored Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's citizenship.

    They were blount at letting him know he could have it after he was dead .....many years!

    I've got think skin (folks tell me its fat).
    Yes, I have "Think" skin as well and they where "blount" as well


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