Cost Estimate Resource

Most homebuyers we deal with aren’t aware of average costs for repairs. This makes sense given the vast cost differences between regions, individual contractors, unforeseen circumstances that may arise with particular jobs, and countless other factors.

It’s no surprise, then, that our clients often ask us for estimated costs for necessary repairs we uncover during inspections, knowing we will have a good idea in most cases. What most people aren’t aware of, though, is that we are legally prohibited (at least here in PA) from providing detailed cost estimates because of the many uncertainties inherent with each particular job. Home inspectors are permitted to provide a cost range, but not an exact estimate.

Fortunately, there’s a fairly reliable source for estimating repair costs that anyone can access free of charge. HomeAdvisor, a well-known company, offers their “True Cost Guide” that is specific to zip codes and pools data gathered from different reported jobs in areas throughout the country. Referencing the True Cost Guide is a good first step in getting a pretty accurate idea of what your particular job (or jobs) will cost in your specific area.

At HPI, we provide all of our clients with a link to the True Cost Guide, but I’m writing about it here for the benefit of anyone who may access this blog for helpful advice. We at HPI do not deal with HomeAdvisor in a contractual way (we do not pay them for leads, advertising, etc), but we do recognize the value of the True Cost Guide for buyers or sellers who are in need of at least a rough estimate of what repairs will actually cost before making a large and long-term investment that may involve some back-and-forth (and possibly stressful) negotiation.

Even if you aren’t buying or selling a home, you’ll likely want a good idea of what your total repair or renovation costs will be prior to hiring a contractor. By utilizing the True Cost Guide or similar online tools, you can get the answer yourself rather than having to rely on an outside source.

*To visit the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide, go to

*To visit our main website, go to

Author: hillinspections

I am a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the owner and operator of Hill Property Inspections LLC, the top-rated inspection company in the greater Johnstown, PA area, based out of western Pennsylvania. I specialize in property inspections and environmental testing services and have a passion for helping my own clients and other families in learning to properly maintain their homes. I’m also the owner of Hill Pest Control, LLC and a pest management professional committed to helping our clients rid their homes and businesses of unwanted pests. I am an Army veteran, former State Farm Insurance Agent, and real estate investor with experience in all facets of real estate construction, transaction and insurance. I am also the founder and President of the Southwestern PA Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and an affiliate member of the Cambria-Somerset Association of Realtors (CSAR).

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