What Happens During a Commercial Building Inspection?
The primary purpose of a Commercial Building Inspection is to examine the condition of commercial real estate property, determine any current deficiencies and anticipate necessary future maintenance, including projected costs.
Those familiar with buying, selling, renting or leasing commercial real estate know a lot of money can be spent and lost on upkeep and repairs. That’s why if you currently own a commercial property or are looking to invest in the purchase of one, it’s essential to have a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) take place.
Unlike residential buildings, commercial real estate is highly diverse, as this umbrella term covers any property with the intended purpose of making a profit. A commercial building inspection requires an expert familiar with various facilities, including their unique components and requirements. In some cases, building your own commercial space may require inspectors to visit your building site to conduct mandatory inspections multiple times throughout the process.
Plus, with the number of systems that make up the operation of a commercial building, the risk of impacting your business’s ability to operate is high. That is why it’s vital to understand precisely how the inspection process functions before moving forward.
The Commercial Building Inspection Process
No matter what type of commercial business is being evaluated, from restaurants to warehouses, a proper and thorough Commercial Building Inspection will consist of the following steps:
1. Walkthrough Visual Inspection and Survey
An inspector must complete an on-site evaluation of the property’s physical condition at the beginning of any inspection.
As part of this assessment, the review considers multiple factors, such as analyzing all major building components, identifying safety items (structural integrity, fire hazards, water damage, etc.), addressing accessibility concerns and flagging important cosmetic details.
While some additional areas may need to be considered depending on the specific property, here are the main items that are crucial to check in a Commercial Building Inspection checklist:
- Foundation and infrastructure
- Plumbing systems
- Mechanical and electrical systems
- HVAC systems (heating, air conditioning, and ventilation)
- Interior elements (Windows, doors, floors, attics and basements)
- Exterior features (Roof surface, fixtures, paving, and landscaping)
The inspection must evaluate each item on this list for its efficiency level and ability to perform its intended function. Building code requirements are also considered during the assessment to ensure that the space is legal and safe for staff, clients and visitors.
2. Documentation Review
The next step is to gather and look over all the appropriate documents and records available about the building. The paperwork includes items such as the following:
- Floor and building plans
- Construction permits
- Lease agreements
- Certificates of Occupancy
- Repair invoices
- Maintenance records
- Evacuation plans
- Past surveys
Interviewing people with knowledge of the building’s condition and the information gathered from these documents provide a well-rounded insight into the property’s history.
3. Issues Inspection Report
Once the visual inspection and documentation review are complete, the final step is to put together all the details into one concise building assessment report.
This report aims to outline the key findings from the process, including ranking the performance of the building’s structural components, highlighting current or potential deficiencies, and recommending how to fix them. The report also includes the approximate cost of repairs and future maintenance, along with timelines for when any issues requiring attention will be addressed.
Ensure Your Building’s Success Today by Contacting The Experts
Is your investment property needing a Commercial Building Inspection in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area?
Our team of accredited engineers performs Commercial Building Inspections to ensure that all parties involved know the scope of the building’s current condition and warn of potential problems that may prove costly down the road.