Apartment Building Inspection: An All-inclusive Guide (2024)

If you’ve rented an apartment or you’re planning to rent one, an apartment inspection is something you should always be prepared for. 

You see, among other things, assessing the general condition of the rental property is a priority for landlords. After all, they want to make sure you’re meeting your lease obligations and that their property is being maintained as per expected standards. 

And to that end, they might call in for an apartment building inspection after giving you a standard inspection notice. 

Now, as a tenant, it is essential you know what these inspections are all about and what are your rights and responsibilities. This is exactly why I’ve discussed everything about apartment inspections, along with my own insights as a building inspector

So read on and find answers to all the questions you might have about apartment assessments. 

What is an apartment building inspection? 

Before we get into the specifics, let’s first understand what an apartment inspection exactly is. 

For starters, an apartment or condo building inspection is like any other commercial building inspection, which is conducted to assess the property’s existing condition. As such, an apartment inspection checklist will involve the same items that you’ll find on a standard commercial building inspection checklist. 

In fact, you can expect the same inspection procedure involving commercial building inspectors coming in to assess your apartment and preparing an inspection report thereafter. 

However, unlike other commercial property inspections, an apartment inspection is conducted after you’ve rented the apartment and started using it for residential or commercial purposes. Herein, your landlord can get an inspection after notifying you in accordance with your lease terms. 

For instance, let’s say you’ve been living in a rented apartment for the past six months. Now, even though your apartment was inspected before the lease finalization, your landlord can still seek an inspection after due process. 

Book An Apartment Inspection Today!

We conduct apartment building inspections as per ASTM E-2018 standards to detect the smallest of problems. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to schedule an inspection and maintain your apartment in top shape.

What does an apartment building inspection checklist include? 

An apartment inspection involves a walk-through assessment of your rental accommodation as per an inspection checklist. This includes all the building components that are assessed during a typical commercial inspection. 

All in all, here’s a standard apart inspection checklist that building inspectors like myself follow:

Interior inspection checklist

  • Walls 
  • Ceiling 
  • Doors and windows 
  • Flooring 
  • Furniture, blinds, and curtains (if it is included in the rental)
  • Lighting 
  • Electrical components 
  • HVACs
  • Plumbing
  • Fire extinguishing and smoke detection systems 
  • Appliances 
  • Countertops and cabinets 

Exterior inspection checklist 

  • Roofing 
  • Gutter 
  • Garage 
  • Foundation 
  • Outdoor stairs 
  • Patio, deck, and balcony inspection
  • Outdoor doors 
  • Landscaping 

Can the landlord get apartment building inspections during the lease? 

Yes, they can. 

You see, lease agreements often contain clauses such as ‘Right to Entry.’ And these clauses may further mention terms like ‘inspection by the landlord,’ which detail the scope of apartment inspections during the lease period. 

But whatever the wording, the bottom line is that lease agreements allow landlords to get inspections while you’re still residing in your rented property. 

As you might already be aware, lease inspections are part of a specialized inspection scheme called ‘Net Net Net Inspections‘ or ‘NNN inspections.’ So, you can think of an apartment inspection during the lease period as an NNN inspection by the landlord. 

The aim of your landlord here is simple: They want to verify whether or not you’re meeting your lease terms for property maintenance and upkeep. 

How often are apartment buildings inspected by the landlord? 

When it comes to the number of landlord inspections for apartments, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. That’s because how often apartments can be inspected is mentioned in their individual lease agreements, which in turn differ for different apartments. 

However, it is standard for an apartment lease to contain a routine inspection clause for every three or six months. Also, some long-term agreements can mention a yearly inspection by the landlord. 

Nonetheless, it is possible a landlord might insist on getting more frequent inspections, which is not only undue but also unnecessary. Remember, the shortest standard inspection interval is three months. 

So, I suggest you review a lease agreement carefully before finalizing it and also ask your landlord to outline the scope of routine inspection requirements. 

What is the standard notice for an apartment or condo inspection? 

As we discussed earlier, your landlord will notify you before scheduling an inspection of the rental. 

But how long before an apartment inspection do landlords usually send a notice? 

Well, as a standard practice, landlords notify you at least 24-48 hours before the inspection over a call or by dropping in an inspection letter. Herein, they will mention the exact date and time for the upcoming apartment inspection. 

Moreover, your lease agreement might even mention the advance notice period that your landlord is supposed to provide before scheduling an inspection. 

Whatever the case, a landlord can’t come in for an inspection unnotified. Meaning, you can rest assured of prior notice before a routine apartment inspection. 

Read further: Why Regular Balcony Inspections Are Crucial For Older Buildings

How can you prepare for an upcoming apartment inspection? 

So, you’ve just received a routine inspection notice from your landlord, and you’re probably wondering how you can prepare the apartment for the same. In fact, with about 48 hours in your hand, it might feel like a race against time. 

Well, let me tell you that this is sufficient to prepare your apartment for the inspection and ensure everything is up to standards.

To begin with, you can assess the apartment visually and try to spot any problems that might be lurking in rather unnoticed areas. 

You see, no matter how well kept your rental is, this is an important first step that you shouldn’t ignore. That’s because a majority of problems that make your apartment fail an inspection are in the nook and crannies. 

For instance, maybe your shower area is in top shape, but it might still have a dripping tap, indicating a plumbing defect. Similarly, there can be a crack behind the stairs that you could have easily fixed before the inspection. 

Now, not only are problems like these simple to detect, but they can also be easily fixed. Also, fixing them before the routine inspection also signals that you’re meeting your property maintenance due diligence. 

After all, your landlord simply wants to check whether or not you’re following the terms of the lease. 

Have you read: Pre Purchase Building Inspection – What you know before buying

What does an apartment inspection look for? 

A building inspection for apartments, like any commercial property inspection, will look for signs of visual defects. However, while commercial inspections establish a property’s existing condition, the goal here is also to detect potential lease violations. 

For instance, cracks on the walls or roof, moisture intrusion, damaged windows or doors, broken pipes, faulty electrical wiring, etc., are some of the common things inspectors look for. 

Also, you can expect an assessment of appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry machines, water heaters, etc. 

At the end of the inspection, your landlord might compare the final report with the pre-lease building condition report. That’s because this will help them establish the extent of lease violation and your liability as the tenant. 

For instance, let’s say you have a broken ventilation system on your hands and a moisture intrusion is caused by a lack of proper ventilation. Now, in this case, your landlord can ask you to pay for the broken ventilation system as well as for the moisture damage.

You might also want to read – What Do Building Inspectors Look For In Commercial Properties

Who inspects apartment buildings? 

Like all commercial buildings, apartments, condominiums, vacation rentals, AirBNBs, etc., are all inspected by licensed commercial property inspectors. And they can be anyone from general contractors to engineers to architects with the required skills and certifications. 

For instance, if your landlord is calling in to inspect your apartment in Florida, it is necessary for the inspector they hire to carry a State of Florida license. 

Furthermore, even though it’s the landlord who is getting the inspection, I suggest you check the inspector’s credentials. That’s because an uncertified and inexperienced inspector might end up preparing a dodgy inspection report. 

How much does an apartment building inspection cost? 

The average cost of inspecting an apartment ranges between $1300 and $2500. However, the actual inspection cost will depend on various factors such as your apartment’s location, size, age, etc., to name a few. 

For instance, while inspecting a small condominium unit will cost less, that can’t be said for a single-family AirBNB. 

Now, even though it’s your landlord who will bear the cost of apartment inspection during the lease period, it is essential you have a grasp of the inspection cost breakdown. That’s because you might still have to get an inspection, at your expense, at the end of or during the lease to ensure you’re not violating any lease terms. 

Curious about how much you’re going to pay for an apartment inspection? 

You can go through our blog on Commercial Building Inspection Cost

6 tips to pass an apartment building inspection with flying colors 

No matter how well maintained your rental apartment is, there’s always a possibility that you might fail an inspection. And there are numerous reasons for that ranging from hidden damages to appliance failure and more. 

But what if I told you that by fixing some basics, you can pass your apartment inspection rather easily? 

Yes, you’ve heard it right. 

Here are my inspector tips that you can follow no sooner you get an inspection notice from your landlord: 

#1. Review all your lease terms 

You can start by reviewing all the terms and conditions mentioned on your lease documents, especially those that deal with maintenance. 

For instance, your lease may mention certain cleanliness and hygiene requirements. Similarly, it might have some requirements for pets, guests, visitors, etc. 

So, by reviewing these terms, you can ensure that you’re compliant. 

#2. Check for damages 

From a minor scratch in the wall to a broken door handle or window pane, there could be damages within the property. 

As per standard lease terms, it is the tenant’s responsibility to fix such damages that occur during the lease period. Meaning your landlord can ask you to pay for these damages.

And that’s exactly why it makes sense to look for and fix these damages beforehand. 

#3. Look for unauthorized home additions 

From a pet house to a steam shower and more, there are a lot of home additions that people go for in their apartments. 

But before moving ahead with such projects, it is essential that you seek your landlord’s permission. 

You see, apartment inspections will look for unauthorized home additions. And if found, your landlord can fine you for the same. 

#4. Run an appliance check 

Simple as it sounds, checking the functioning of electrical appliances is essential. 

It is always possible for some appliances to malfunction at the time of inspection. So it’s better you check their functioning before the inspection and if needed fix them. 

#5. Fix electrical damages 

We all like to be creative when decorating our personal spaces. And oftentimes, it involves installing mood lights, lamps, playstations, aroma diffusers, etc. 

Now, the problem arises when you resort to installing additional electrical wirings or altering existing electrical systems. Not only does this pose safety risks but also violates lease terms. 

I suggest you check these electrical components before the inspection and ensure they’re in order. 

#6. Get a pest control 

Pest infestations are a common sight in homes. And even though you’re not responsible for causing a pest infestation, you do need to pay for pest control if it has happened during the lease. 

As such, it’s better to get pest control before the inspection and steer clear of unwanted liabilities. 

You might also want to read – What’s The Difference Between PCA & FCA In Commercial Real Estate?

To sum up 

As you can see, it is important to keep prepared for an inspection if you reside in a rented apartment. After all, your landlord can serve you an inspection notice at any time, depending on the inspection terms mentioned in your lease agreement. 

And one good way to prepare your apartment is by following an apartment building inspection checklist and visually assessing the property yourself. 

Not to mention, you can always hire your own commercial building inspector if you sense defects and want to be sure about them. 

In fact, you can always reach out to us!

At Florida Commercial Building Inspectors, we are seasoned property assessment experts with over two decades in the industry and multiple certifications of excellence. And we’ve got all your apartment inspection requirements covered on a budget.

Read further: Warehouse Inspection Checklist: 12 Things To Inspect For Safety

Balcony Inspection Checklist: All That You Need To Know 

Maybe you own a hotel or condo building that’s three stories or taller, or maybe you live in one such property. But whatever the case, you do need a balcony inspection checklist more often than not. 

You see, DBPR HR 7020 balcony inspections are something that you’ll require every three years in a row. Not to mention, you’ll also need them when buying or leasing a building or simply planning to rent your property as an Airbnb. 

But a million-dollar question that you might ask here is: how do you go about these inspections? 

Well, for starters, you should go through a standard balcony inspection checklist and acquaint yourself with the areas covered in the inspection. Thereafter, you can hire a licensed balcony inspector and make sure that they examine each area mentioned in the checklist. 

Now, if you’re curious about what balcony inspection checklists cover and how you can get an inspection using one, you’re at the right place. 

Read on, as I’ve detailed a complete balcony and deck inspection checklist and answered all your questions about balcony inspections. 

What is a balcony inspection? 

Before we get into the details of balcony or deck inspection checklists, it’s important you know what this inspection is all about. 

A balcony inspection is a close-up examination of all such balconies and railings of your building that are higher than 17 feet from ground level. And this is done by certified balcony inspectors who are also licensed in their state of operation. 

Herein, inspectors like myself examine each and every component of the balconies and decks that are covered in the inspection checklist. As a result, we’re able to identify potential faults or defects in the checklist items and list them in our inspection report. 

Wondering when you need this inspection? 

Balcony inspections are necessary for all such Florida buildings that are used for public lodging and are three-storied or higher. That’s because buildings like these need a DBPR HR-7020 certification to keep operational, which in turn calls for a balcony inspection. 

For instance, if you own or operate a hotel, motel, Airbnb, or multi-family condo building, you need to obtain a DBPR HR-7020 certificate every three years. Similarly, if you’ve bought one such building recently, you’ll need a fresh DBPR certificate. 

And to do so, you’ll first have to hire a balcony inspector who will examine the existing condition of the balconies and determine if they’re up to standards for certification. 

Get A Thorough Balcony Inspection Today!

Our balcony inspections follow Division of Hotels and Restaurants guidelines and help you obtain the necessary DBPR HR-7020 certification. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ now to safeguard your balcony and ensure the highest standards of safety.

What is a balcony inspection checklist? 

Now that you know what a balcony inspection is all about, let’s get started with the ins and outs of the balcony or deck inspection checklist. 

Simply speaking, a balcony inspection checklist is a document containing the list of components to be inspected. Also, it outlines the existing condition of each of the components after the inspection, thus helping determine your balcony’s overall safety and maintenance needs. 

You see, a checklist like this is based on the latest safety and quality standards and includes even the smallest of balcony parts. This ensures inspectors examine your balcony thoroughly and as per applicable standards, marking each of the balcony parts as safe or unsafe. 

For instance, a checklist for balcony inspections has a checkbox after every inspection item. So, based on their inspection findings, your inspector will check the boxes for those items that are up to standards. 

As such, you’ll have a clear idea about which of the balcony components are safe and which ones need to be fixed in order to ensure safety. 

Which areas does a checklist for balcony inspection include?  

As we discussed earlier, a balcony inspections checklist will include every nitty gritty of your building’s balconies. 

After all, this checklist is designed to help you ensure complete balcony safety. And to that end, you’ve got to secure the smallest of balcony systems and components. 

All in all, here’s a standard balcony inspection checklist with all the balcony components included in there: 

#1. Balcony surface

The first item in a standard inspection checklist for balconies is the walking surface, given its importance in terms of safety. Here, inspectors like myself will determine whether or not the surface is safe by inspecting the following: 

  • The overall condition of the balcony surface
  • The condition of the walkways attached to the deck
  • The condition of your balcony’s entry 

#2. Balcony framing 

Next up in the checklist, we’ve got the framing of your balcony, which is as important as the surface itself. 

Now, to establish the present condition of the frame, I’ll examine the following components: 

  • Fasteners
  • Posts
  • Joists
  • Beams
  • Ledger

Although these are smaller and often overlooked balcony components, when it comes to safety they play an essential role. And that’s exactly why they’re on the second spot on the checklist. 

safety-tips

#3. Stairs attached to the balcony 

Thirdly, a checklist for balcony and deck inspection covers the stairs that are attached to either the balcony surface or the overall framing. 

Here, I’ll look at stairwell-specific components to establish how safe these stairs are. And this includes a close examination of the following: 

  • Railings
  • Threads
  • Risers
  • Stringers

No matter how safe your balcony systems are, an unsafe stairwell can still expose residents to the worst of dangers. As such, the above stairwell components are crucial for safety, and I suggest you keep them in the best condition. 

#4. Railings attached to the balcony 

Finally, the inception checklist covers all the railings attached to the balcony frame. And here are the railing components that an inspector like myself will examine as per the checklist: 

  • The existing condition of handrails (to verify safety standards and locate potential safety hazards)
  • Railing material and age (to determine its service life and check if it needs replacement) 
  • Spacing between the railing spindles (to see if the spindles or balusters are spaced as per safety norms and aren’t too far apart) 
pro-tips

You might also want to read – Pre Purchase Building Inspection: What To Know Before Buying.

What are the common defects that a balcony inspection checklist uncovers? 

The main objective behind conducting balcony inspections as per a standard checklist is to unearth problems that pose serious risks but aren’t otherwise visible. In fact, this is exactly why you’re required to get these inspections and a subsequent certification every three years. 

Not to mention, it is commonplace for a checklist inspection to locate certain recurring defects or problems. Moreover, inspectors are always on the lookout for these problems, given the risks they pose. 

Now, in case you’re curious, here are some common defects that a balcony or deck inspection checklist can help locate after the inspection: 

#1. Corrosion in the fasteners 

Fasteners are among the most crucial balcony components in terms of safety. However, corroded fasteners are also a common sight during balcony inspections in Florida, something inspectors repeatedly flag in the checklist. 

You see, this region is known for its highly humid weather and usually saline air. And this is especially true for areas closer to the coastline. 

As a result, metal components like fasteners corrode much faster. Also, apart from the usual safety risks, this leads to a general degradation of the wooden surface or frame closer to the fasteners. 

So, while you can generally expect your inspection checklist to flag corroded fasteners, this is more likely if your building is closer to the coastline. 

#2. Dry rot

Like corroded fasteners, dry rot is yet another problem that results from local weather conditions and is usually detected during a balcony inspection. 

For instance, dry rot results from high moisture exposure, which creates perfect conditions for wood-destroying fungi to breed. So, the closer you’re to the coast, the greater the likelihood of dry rot within your balcony’s wooden parts. 

A dry rot is a major safety concern that makes the entire balcony surface unstable and thus unsafe to use. And the worst thing is that you might not notice dry rot if it is beneath the surface. 

As such, if the inspection checklist flags dry rot, I strongly suggest you take it seriously and replace all the wooden components. 

Read further: Why Regular Balcony Inspections Are Crucial For Older Buildings

#3. Loose railings 

Loose railings are also a common occurrence in balconies and are often flagged during an inspection. And this ranges from railings fixed improperly to missing fasteners to loose or missing railing spindles and more. 

Meaning it is likely that your checklist will mention railing defects after the inspection. 

Now, it goes without saying that railings are among the most critical components for safety. So take my advice and fix the railings as soon as the inspection locates any defect. 

Bonus: Inspectors also see if the railings are as per specifications

Apart from locating usual defects, balcony inspectors will also examine if the railings meet the installation requirements. For instance, while conducting balcony inspections, I also assess whether: 

  • The railing has an optimum height 
  • The space between spindles or balusters isn’t too much 
  • The opening between railings and stairs is at a minimum 

#4. Cracks on the deck 

It is common for the deck surface to develop cracks, especially in the humid and often wet Florida weather. That’s because cracks, among other similar wear and tear, often result from water intrusion. 

For instance, I’ve discovered cracks of all sizes while conducting balcony inspections during the past twenty years. And while some of the cracks I flagged were outrightly visible, others were too small to be noticed even in broad daylight. 

So don’t be surprised if your balcony inspector flags such cracks in their inspection report. 

#5. Flashing defects 

Flashing, also called moisture barrier, is the topmost layer on the balcony surface installed to prevent moisture intrusion. And this goes a long way to prevent problems arising out of moisture. 

However, the flashing isn’t without problems either. For instance, from a shorter than required length of flashing to an old and failing flashing, there are a bunch of defects that I usually identify. 

In short, you can expect a balcony or deck inspection checklist to highlight a flashing defect. 

pro-tips

You might also want to read – What Do Building Inspectors Look For In Commercial Properties

Balcony inspection checklist: Frequently asked questions 

Can you follow the checklist and carry out a balcony inspection by yourself? 

No, you can’t. 

While the items on balcony inspection checklists look simple to assess and verify, it isn’t that straightforward. That’s because some defects are too small to detect, and that calls for trained eyes and specialized tools, something only licensed inspectors can offer. 

Moreover, Florida balcony inspection requirements clearly state that you should only hire a licensed inspector for a DBPR HR-7020 certification inspection. And this can be anyone from architects to engineers and more, given that they’ve got the required paperwork. 

So, unless you’re a licensed balcony inspector yourself, you can neither carry out an inspection nor can you check the boxes in an inspection checklist. 

How much does a balcony checklist inspection cost? 

Assessing the existing condition of your building’s balconies as per a standard checklist can cost you upward of $1250. 

However, this is an estimated cost, and the exact amount you pay will depend on the size of the balcony and the number of balconies or decks in your building. 

For instance, condo buildings and apartments have a higher number of balconies compared to hotels and Airbnb. Meaning a balcony inspection for the former will cost you on the upper end. 

Similarly, factors such as the location of your building and the date of the last inspection also determine the cost of the inspection. 

Wondering how much you’re likely to pay for a balcony inspection? 

Get in touch with us and receive an estimated inspection quote for free!

How long does a balcony inspection take? 

A balcony inspection can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, depending on the number of balconies in your building and the size of individual balconies. 

For instance, while an Airbnb can be inspected well within hours, a high-rise condominium can take anywhere from an entire day to a few days. 

Also, once the inspection is over, report preparation will take another 2-3 days. 

You might also want to read – What Is A Condition Report & Why Do Properties Need One?

Get A Thorough Balcony Inspection Today!

Our balcony inspections follow Division of Hotels and Restaurants guidelines and help you obtain the necessary DBPR HR-7020 certification. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ now to safeguard your balcony and ensure the highest standards of safety.

Final words 

As you can see, a balcony inspection checklist is a comprehensive list of all the balcony systems and components covered in an inspection. Also, the checklist serves as an important document highlighting the areas with defects or problems after an inspection. 

In fact, this is very similar to a standard building inspection and is used by balcony inspectors to ensure that their inspection is both thorough and complete. 

Looking for one such inspection for your hotel, Airbnb, or condo building? 

You can reach out to us!

At FCBI, we’re a team of licensed and seasoned balcony inspectors with 20+ years of industry experience and advanced-level certifications. So, whatever be your building type or inspection requirement, we’ve got you covered. 

You can also find our commercial building inspectors in JacksonvilleMelbourneOrlandoSt AugustinePalm CoastDaytona BeachPort OrangeSawgrass, and more.

What Do Building Inspectors Look For In Commercial Properties? 

As someone who’s looking to own a commercial property or who already owns one, you may have come across the idea of building inspections. Moreover, you might already have consulted with commercial property inspectors or even received an inspection. 

After all, from assessing a property’s condition before purchase to ensuring your building is well maintained, these inspections are crucial in more ways than it seems. 

But have you ever wondered what do building inspectors look for in a commercial property? 

You see, as an existing or potential building owner, it is essential you’re up to date with your property’s existing condition and upkeep needs. And to that end, knowing what a commercial building inspector does and doesn’t look for is key. 

Now, I am sure you’re curious about what commercial building inspections cover. So read on as I’ve discussed everything that commercial inspectors like myself will examine in your property. 

What is a commercial building inspection in the first place? 

As the name suggests, a commercial building inspection is a visual inspection of any such establishment that identifies as a commercial property. And this includes everything from retail stores and warehouses to restaurants and cafes to educational facilities to banks and offices, to name a few. 

These inspections are carried out by qualified commercial inspectors like me who are licensed in the state of operation and also carry advanced designations like Certified Master Inspector. 

Herein, the idea is to identify and locate potential problems within the major systems and components of the building. 

For instance, a commercial inspection examines a building’s structural functionality, checks whether or not it meets required standards, looks for the presence of hazardous materials, etc. This, in turn, helps you make the right purchase decision, undertake required maintenance, and ensure that the property is safe for both occupants and visitors. 

Not to mention, one such inspection can also assist you in estimating the expenses that you might incur for necessary repairs and overall building care. 

Schedule Your Commercial Building Inspection Today!

We conduct commercial inspections as per ASTM E-2018 standards and quickly uncover hidden issues lurking in your building. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to protect your investment and keep your building safe

What do building inspectors look for during a commercial inspection? 

Coming back to the main question as to what building inspectors will look at during a commercial inspection, they’ll examine all the areas that a commercial building inspection checklist covers. 

For instance, as per the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association, a commercial building inspection checklist covers the following areas: 

  • Building foundation and structure 
  • Roofing system (including surface and drainage)
  • Doors and windows 
  • Walls 
  • HVAC systems
  • Plumbing 
  • Exterior and interior components 
  • Basement and crawlspace 
  • Balcony and deck (if your building has these) 
  • Parking and walkways  
  • Fire safety systems 
  • All additional areas that might need an inspection 

As such, you can expect your building inspector to examine these areas. 

Now, you might wonder what do building inspectors look for here.

Well, a commercial property assessment has a clear objective where inspectors look at the existing condition of the above areas. Here, they evaluate the present state of these systems and components against the applicable norms and standards. 

For instance, a building’s structural integrity is one of the key things that I examine during a commercial inspection. And while doing so, I assess the condition of the building structure and check if it is up to the required commercial real estate standards for quality and safety.  

Curious about what more do building inspectors look for during inspections? 

Let’s have a detailed look at the inspection workflow that commercial property inspectors like myself follow during a building assessment. 

Here’s what commercial building inspectors look for: 

A commercial property condition assessment covers every corner of your building from the inside out. Furthermore, building inspectors also look at relevant paperwork, which helps determine precisely what the existing condition of the property is. 

And to do so, inspectors usually divide the entire inspection procedure into four parts or phases, with each covering certain aspects of your property.   

So, I’ve explained all four inspection phases to help you understand what do building inspectors look for in each phase. 

#1. Exterior components 

To start with, I’ll examine your building’s exterior components. And while other commercial building inspectors might follow a different approach, I usually start with the exterior since it brings upfront clarity about the vital systems. 

Now, when we talk about exterior assessment, it’s commonplace for people to assume that this is all about exterior walls. However, it’s essential you know that an exterior examination is more than just the walls and covers everything from building structure to roofing to parking and more. 

For instance, apart from structural integrity, I also thoroughly assess the roofing system of a building during an exterior inspection, evaluating if it meets the necessary standards. And this includes the roofing material, its surface, built-in drainage, add-on construction, etc.

Similarly, I examine the parking area within the property to check whether or not it is accessible and safe. 

#2. Interior components 

After completing the exterior inspection, I’ll start examining the interior components of your building. Here, I am going to focus on areas such as interior walls, windows, flooring, bathroom, kitchen, etc., to name a few. 

For starters, I’ll analyze if these interior components meet the expected standards for construction quality, fire safety, and other potential hazards. Thereafter, I will take a look at the individual components one by one, identifying potential problem areas. 

For instance, common problems found with interior walls include poor workmanship, seepage, mold, etc., which pose health and safety risks. 

In the same way, if there are gaps in windows and doors or if they don’t close properly, these could be signals of poor ventilation or even shifting foundations. 

As such, my interior inspection will cover all of these components, and I will look for issues like the ones I mentioned above. 

#3. Essential building systems 

Next up in a commercial real estate inspection, we’ve got the vital systems that keep the building operational at all times. This includes HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems, among others. 

And even though these units come after exterior and interior inspection in my inspection workflow, some inspectors might examine them first. But notwithstanding when they’re inspected or who inspects them, a building inspection will try to find the exact same issues in these systems. 

For instance, while inspecting a building’s electrical systems, I will look for problems such as faulty wiring, loose hanging wires, safety lapses, etc. Not to mention an electrical inspection will also focus on chances of potential hazards such as short circuits, electrical fires, and more. 

Likewise, an inspection of your building’s HVAC systems will be focused on the overall safety and efficiency of each HVAC unit. 

A plumbing inspection, at the same time, will be all about examining plumbing lines, sewage systems, etc. 

#4. Relevant building documents 

Lastly, inspectors like myself will analyze your building’s paperwork, where we’ll look at documents such as building plans, occupancy certificates, fire safety certificates, environmental study reports, etc. Also, inspectors might ask for some additional documents like survey or maintenance records, emergency evacuation plans, etc. 

You see, the reason why inspectors seek these records is because they want to acquaint themselves with the ideal standards for the building. And this helps compare their findings with these applicable standards and norms. 

For instance, a fire safety certificate is issued for your property only after it has met certain fire prevention and safety criteria. So, once I’ve inspected your building’s fire safety systems and identified safety lapses, I’ll compare them with the certificate’s standards to determine the extent of lapses. 

Want to know what building inspectors look for in a commercial facility instead? 

You can read my blog – Facility Condition Assessment Checklist: A Complete Guide

What happens after building inspectors have completed their assessment? 

Now that you’ve got the answer to the question ‘What do building inspectors look for in a commercial property,’ you might be curious about what happens afterward.

So, having inspected your property and its documents, building inspectors will jump to the next big task, which is preparing an inspection report. Also called the property condition report, this will contain all the findings of the inspection and will be delivered to you within a week. 

The report will highlight the existing condition of your property’s components examined during the inspection. For instance, if your building’s outer walls have cracks or mold growth, this report will point them out. 

As such, you can think of the condition report as a guidebook that you can follow and undertake essential repairs and maintenance. 

Wondering what’s more to property condition reports? 

You can read my blog – What Is A Condition Report & Why Do Properties Need One?

Commercial building inspection: Frequently asked questions 

Who are commercial building inspectors? 

Commercial building inspectors or property condition assessment experts are licensed professionals who are usually engineers or architects by profession. These professionals are licensed in their respective states and are trained to examine the various building components. 

For instance, as a licensed Florida commercial building inspector, I am licensed to carry out commercial inspections in the state of Florida. 

Further, building inspectors might also carry advanced certifications that show their level of experience and accomplishments in the industry. 

When do you need to get a building inspection?

If you own a commercial property, you’ll need a building inspection once every year in order to know about its upkeep requirements. 

Apart from that, as a potential buyer or tenant, a commercial inspection will help you make the right purchase or renting decision. 

What are the benefits of a commercial inspection? 

Commercial building inspections can be beneficial in more ways than you’d have previously thought. That’s because not only do these inspections ensure your building meets the required standards, but they also help you keep your building in top shape. 

All in all, here are the main benefits of getting your commercial property inspected: 

  • Continued safety: An inspection helps fire, electrical, and other safety hazards, allowing you to fix them in time and ensure the safety of occupants. 
  • Applicable building standards: The inspection report will help you maintain your building as per the highest quality standards. 
  • Increased service life: The fact that property condition reports highlight the existing condition of every component will enable you to ensure the best upkeep all along. And this will further increase the overall service life of your building. 

Curious about how much a commercial building inspector will charge you? 

You can go through my blog – How Much Does A Commercial Building Inspection Cost

To sum up 

The answer to the question, ‘What do building inspectors look for in commercial properties,’ lies in the intent behind conducting a commercial inspection. 

You see, as I mentioned earlier, a commercial building inspection checklist covers every area of the property and focuses on detecting problems or defects. 

As such, building inspectors look for these potential problems in every building component by inspecting its every nook and corner. 

Do you want to get one such inspection on your commercial property? 

If yes, you can get in touch with us and receive a free inspection quote

We’re FCBI, Florida’s leading commercial inspection team with over two decades of expertise and advanced-level certifications. And we’ve got budget-friendly solutions for all your inspection requirements. 

You can also find our commercial building inspectors in JacksonvilleMelbourneOrlandoSt AugustinePalm CoastDaytona BeachPort OrangeSawgrass, and more.

How Much Does A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Cost?

When buying or leasing a commercial property, a phase 1 ESA is the first order of business. But if there’s one question that’s common among potential buyers and tenants, it is about the phase 1 environmental site assessment cost. 

And this is for obvious reasons, since you’re the one responsible for due diligence as the owner or occupant of the property.

You see, it is commonplace for properties to have chemicals and other environmental contaminants, something you’ll need to eradicate before moving ahead with development or occupancy. As such, it’s better to spend a little on phase 1 environmental site assessment than to burn your pocket on big-ticket decontamination projects later. 

So, what’s the phase 1 environmental site assessment cost? 

Well, a short answer is anywhere between $1,800 and $6,500 on average. 

However, the exact cost of phase 1 ESA will depend on various factors. 

In case you’re wondering how much you’ll pay, I’ve compiled everything about ESA costs along with my own pricing insights.

So read on and find out everything about phase 1 assessment cost.

What is a phase 1 environmental site assessment? 

Before we discuss the details of phase 1 ESA’s cost, it is important that you’re acquainted with the basics of these assessments. 

To begin with, a phase 1 environmental site assessment is a standard due diligence inspection essential during all commercial real estate transactions. Herein, certified environmental assessment professionals conduct multiple tests to determine the property’s past and present environmental use and potential negative impact. 

For instance, one such assessment will follow ASTM E1527 standards and gather complete information about a building or construction site’s environmental history. This, in turn, will help confirm whether or not there’s any chemical contamination, to what extent the place is contaminated, and the risks involved. 

When it comes to making crucial decisions regarding how to proceed with a real estate deal and your upcoming project, these assessments are significant. That’s because, as a buyer or tenant, you’ll have complete clarity regarding the existing environmental contamination as well as the costs involved to decontaminate. 

As such, I strongly suggest you get a phase 1 ESA before you go ahead with any commercial property deal. 

Want to know more about phase 1 ESA?

You can go through my blog – Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist: Here’s What It Covers.

Schedule Your Phase 1 ESA Today!

Our environmental site assessments are meticulously designed to help you qualify CERCLA’s Innocent Land Owner Defense. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to steer clear of unwarranted liabilities.

Phase 1 environmental site assessment cost breakdown

Coming back to the key question about the cost of phase 1 environmental site assessment, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 to $6,500. 

But as I said earlier, this is an average cost of phase 1 ESA, and the exact amount that you’ll pay may differ entirely. 

For instance, suppose you’re looking to purchase a standard 2000-3000 square feet commercial property in downtown Port Orange. Now, a certified environmental assessment professional like myself can charge you between $2500 and $3000 for conducting a phase 1 ESA for such a property. 

Similarly, let’s say you’re buying a 5-acre land to develop a commercial facility in Palm Coast. Here, the cost of ESA for the land can be on the upper end, i.e., $6,500. 

Moreover, depending on the location, size, and age of the property or land, the environmental site assessment cost can even go up to $10,000. 

So, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating the cost of environmental site assessment. Meaning the exact cost will depend on a range of factors, not the least of which are the location and type of property being assessed. 

Not sure how much a phase 1 environmental site assessment will cost you? 

Tell us about your property and receive a free ESA quote

Which factors decide the cost of phase 1 environmental site assessment? 

As we just discussed, there isn’t a single average cost of phase 1 ESA, and the amount that you’ll be charged will be determined by multiple factors. 

For instance, the cost of detecting environmental hazards in a 2000-square-foot property in Orlando can be 5-10 percent more expensive than in Port Orange. 

Also, the size of your property, the level of contamination, the type of inspection professional or agency, etc., will also impact the overall cost. 

Curious about what’s more to these factors are and how they influence the total cost of inspection? 

Well, let’s have a look. 

#1. Property’s size 

The most important factor that determines how much you’ll pay for a phase 1 environmental site assessment is the size of your property. And it’s based on a straightforward logic where the larger the area of inspection is, the more you can expect to pay. 

For instance, the cost of assessing a 2000-square-foot commercial space will never be the same as that of a 5000-square-foot area. That’s because the larger space will need more time and resources for assessment and thus will cost you more. 

This logic also applies to commercial land, where you pay more for a larger square footage. 

Note: Some smaller properties are more expensive to assess than larger ones

Based on my experience as an environmental assessment professional, I can say that it is not always larger properties that cost more to assess. You see, sometimes smaller properties might need more extensive examination than larger ones. 

For instance, let’s say you’re buying a 2-acre developed commercial facility that’s been operational for the last 10 years. Now, assessing this facility will be more rigorous than an undeveloped or newly developed 5-acre facility, given the greater changes of chemical contamination in the former. 

Thus, the smaller facility, in this case, will cost you more than the larger one. 

#2. Location of the property 

Another cost determinant of an environmental site assessment is the location of your property. And just like property size, this is also based on an operational factor where an environmental professional or inspector has to travel to your location to conduct an assessment. 

For instance, as an inspector based out of Teal St. Port Orange, my inspection charges may differ between downtown and outer Port Orange. That’s because while the downtown area is closer to my location, I’ll be spending more time and resources to travel to the outer areas for inspection. 

So, you can expect the cost to be high or low based on how far your property is located from the inspection professional. 

In the same way, if your property is located in a metropolitan area or in the main business district, you can expect a higher cost. After all, these areas are expensive to operate in, and the assessment charges of your nearest inspection company will be based on their overall operational costs. 

#3. History of property’s use

The cost of phase 1 environmental site assessment is also determined by the history of the property in question. Here’s how: 

Let’s suppose you’re in talks to buy a manufacturing facility over three decades old. 

Now, the fact that this property has been used for manufacturing for years means there are more chances of chemical contamination than others. So, as an ESA professional, I’ll conduct a more thorough assessment, looking at every nook and cranny in detail.

Also, I’ll be reviewing various historical reports of the property, which in this case will be reports dating back to thirty years. Further, if the property has been used for multiple purposes, there will be different types of reports to review. 

Not to mention, some reports can also be missing, damaged, or generally hard to review, increasing my overall efforts. 

So, with all these things together, the cost of ESA can be on the higher end. 

Similarly, if the same property was newly constructed and built on previously unoccupied land, there’d be little history of environmental use. And this, in turn, would mean less time and effort and, consequently, a lower cost of assessment. 

Read further: A Complete Commercial Building Inspection Checklist For 2024

#4. Extent of available records 

The total number of available records of the property’s environmental use also affects the total cost of ESA. 

For instance, let’s say that the building you’ve bought is old and has been used for the last many years for various purposes. Herein, chances are that some of the older records are either lost, damaged, or incomplete. 

Now, it isn’t impossible to review the history of such a property. Moreover, assessment teams like ours are equipped with the skills and tools needed to analyze and understand partial records. 

Nevertheless, this increases the time, effort, and resources needed to carry out the environmental site assessment and thus increases the cost. 

#5. Existing condition of the property 

Like the property’s history, its existing condition also determines the type and extent of assessment and, thus, the total cost. 

Wondering how? 

Well, let’s assume that you’ve bought a commercial facility that was previously used to store hazardous chemicals, or it used to be a gas station. 

In this case, I’ll undertake an in-depth assessment of the property, which might also involve an additional workforce. Herein, my team and I will check every area of the property to detect chemical contaminants and other environmental hazards. 

For instance, we will use advanced tools to examine areas and things such as storage units or tanks, basements, potentially hazardous waste materials, etc.

So, the cost of assessing this property will be invariably higher than one that’s new and has never been used to store hazardous substances. 

#6. Skills and expertise of the ESA professional 

Lastly, how skilled or experienced an environmental assessment processional or team is will also determine how much they charge you. 

You see, when conducting a phase 1 or phase 2 environmental site assessment, the skills of the professionals involved are key to the quality of results. 

For instance, professionals with beginner-level skills and experience are also licensed to carry out ESAs. And while they know how to do their job, you can’t expect the same level of quality and consistency that an expert with decades of experience brings. 

In fact, this is one of the reasons why existing commercial property owners agree on the importance of hiring seasoned experts. 

And it goes without saying that ESA quotes are also based on the inspection professionals’ skills. Meaning you can expect a higher cost for getting the services of a highly experienced professional and vice versa. 

You might also want to read – How Much Does A Commercial Building Inspection Cost

Environmental site assessment cost: Frequently asked questions

How much does a phase 1 environmental site assessment cost in Florida? 

The average cost of phase 1 environmental site assessment in Florida is between $1800 and $6500. However, this is simply average, and the exact cost you’ll incur can be different. 

For instance, depending on its age, history, and condition, an ESA for a 1500-2000 square feet property can cost you between $1800 and $3200 in Florida. 

Similarly, you can expect to pay between $3000 and $6500 for a Florida property sized 2000-5000 square feet. 

Also, the cost of Phase 1 ESA will be completely different for undeveloped land or recently developed properties with no past environmental history. 

Who pays for a phase 1 environmental site assessment? 

If you’re a buyer looking to purchase a commercial property, then you’ll have to bear the expense of phase 1 ESA. 

You see, existing owners are not obligated to conduct an ESA from their own expenses.

Nevertheless, it is essential to do your own due diligence and have a complete picture of the extent of environmental contamination. That’s because, as the new owner, it will be your responsibility to ensure occupants, workers, and visitors are all safe from potential hazards. 

Also, if you’re an existing owner looking to seek refinancing from your bank or lender, you might have to get a phase 1 ESA from your expense. 

How much does a phase 2 environmental site assessment cost in Florida? 

The cost of phase 2 environmental site assessment in Florida starts from $5,000 and goes all the way up to $100,000. 

A Phase 2 ESA is an advanced-level inspection conducted in certain areas where environmental contamination has been detected. You can think of it as a follow-up assessment to determine the extent of contamination. 

So, depending on the areas where contamination is found and the extent of follow-up assessments required, the cost can range from a few thousand dollars to a hundred grand. 

Who pays for a phase 2 environmental site assessment? 

Like phase 1 assessments, buyers are the ones who usually bear the cost of phase 2 ESAs.

However, as a matter of fact, it’s the existing owner’s responsibility to detect contamination and ensure decontamination. Meaning you can renegotiate your deal by asking the existing owner to reduce the cost of assessment from the final closing amount. 

You can even have a pre-assessment agreement with the existing owner where you both agree to bear part of the total cost. 

But that said, it’s entirely up to you to negotiate with the property owner as to who bears the cost. 

At the same time, property owners looking to refinance will have to pay for phase 2 environmental site assessments completely from their expenses. 

Who conducts phase 1 and phase 2 environmental site assessments? 

Both phase 1 and phase 2 ESAs should be conducted by licensed inspectors who qualify the criteria set by ASTM for Environmental Professionals. 

Also, they should adhere to the standards set by ASTM, namely ASTM Standards E1527 for phase 1 and ASTM Standards E1903 for phase 2 assessments. 

Is an environmental site assessment mandatory? 

No, an ESA is not legally required. 

Nonetheless, it is a legal requirement for property owners to create safe conditions for everyone who uses the property. And the only way to do so is by knowing the extent of chemical contamination through an ESA. 

Meaning you’ll still need to get an environmental site assessment. 

Furthermore, banks and other financial institutions might also require you to get an ESA as a condition for loan approval or refinancing. 

You might also want to read – Pre Purchase Building Inspection: What To Know Before Buying

Final words 

As you can see, the cost of phase 1 environmental site assessment isn’t fixed. So, the exact cost that you might pay as a property buyer or owner will depend on a wide range of factors. 

For instance, where your property is located, how large it is, what its history of use is, and its existing condition will all decide the total cost of ESA. 

Want to know the exact cost that you’ll incur or need an expert to conduct an ESA?

You can get in touch with us!

At FCBI, we’re seasoned environmental assessment professionals with over two decades of expertise. And we’ve got both phase 1 and phase 2 ESA requirements covered on a budget. 

You can also find our commercial building inspectors in JacksonvilleMelbourneOrlandoSt AugustinePalm CoastDaytona BeachPort OrangeSawgrass, and more.

You can also read: A Complete Property Condition Assessment Cost Breakdown

Pre Purchase Building Inspection: What To Know Before Buying

Whether you’ve finalized a building for purchase or you’re in the middle of purchase negotiations, you’ve already made a significant investment decision. And with millions of dollars on the line a pre purchase building inspection is the best way to safeguard your investment.

You see, in a big-ticket real estate purchase, a faulty or shady component is the last thing you want. 

However, a picture perfect property with zero flaws is something that you can’t be guaranteed of, no matter how shiny or solid the building appears.

Now, a pre purchase commercial property inspection before you close the deal can help you understand the current condition of the property with complete clarity. It can provide in-depth information about potential problem areas that might not be visible during an initial walkthrough. 

Curious as to what these inspections involve and how you can go about them? 

Read on, as I’ve discussed the critical aspects of building inspections before purchase while also drawing insights from my own industry experience. 

What is a pre purchase building inspection? 

For starters, a pre purchase inspection is a building assessment by a certified inspector who reviews the existing condition of the property before you purchase it. 

These assessments aren’t any different from a regular building inspection in terms of scope and coverage. Meaning the areas covered in inspection and the subsequent inspection report or findings will be pretty much the same. 

However, when it comes to determining the quality of vital building components prior to a final purchase agreement, these inspections are indispensable. 

For instance, a pre purchase property condition assessment looks at key areas such as foundation, walls, roofing, plumbing, decks, etc., to name a few. 

Now, no matter how keenly you observe these areas, you won’t be able to detect the hidden defects or problems unless you’re an expert. On the other hand, property inspectors are trained and certified experts who use specialized skills and tools to locate such problems. 

Get A Pre Purchase Building Inspection Today!

Our pre purchase inspections follow ASTM E-2018 standards and detect potential red flags before you make that big-ticket purchase. Click ‘Inspect My Property’ to safeguard your investment and wellbeing.

Which areas does a pre purchase inspection cover? 

Talking about building components covered during a pre purchase inspection, it’ll include everything that your typical building inspection checklist covers. 

Also, the inspection isn’t limited to traditional checklist items, meaning you can even request an assessment of additional areas.

For instance, if you’re purchasing a building with plans to convert it into an AirBNB, you can request your inspector to conduct separate balcony inspections. Similarly, if there’s a separate parking space attached to the building your inspector can examine that too as part of the overall property assessment. 

All in all, you can expect a building inspection before purchase to cover the following areas: 

  • Foundation 
  • Basement 
  • Framing 
  • Roofing 
  • Attic 
  • Decks
  • Balcony 
  • Stairs 
  • Crawlspace 
  • Plumbing
  • Siding
  • Walls (exterior and interior) 
  • Doors and windows 
  • Electrical systems 
  • HVAC systems 
  • Insulation 
  • Fire alarms 

Note: This is a standard pre purchase building assessment checklist and some of these items may or may not be covered during your property’s inspection. For instance, a basement examination will not be a part of your inspection checklist if your building doesn’t have one. 

Why is a building inspection before purchase so important? 

A pre purchase building assessment or inspection doesn’t come free of charge. Moreover, it’s you who’ll bear the inspection expenses despite the fact that you don’t own the building yet. 

So the idea of skipping the inspection and thus the extra cost of it might cross your mind. 

Nevertheless, I strongly suggest you get an inspection as not doing so can risk your millions of dollars down the drain. 

You see, a building might look perfectly fine from the outside, leading you to have confidence in your purchase. But oftentimes, problems lurk within the building’s structure than outside, something you’ll entirely miss out on during a visual walkthrough. 

Also, it is possible that the existing owner will provide you with an inspection report and claim their building is in excellent shape. However, you don’t know about the expertise or the trustworthiness of the inspector involved in the said inspection. 

And this is exactly where the role of a seasoned third party building inspector becomes crucial in terms of assessing critical systems and components. As such, it is important to hire one such inspector before you close a purchase deal. 

After all, it’s better to shell out a few hundred dollars and make a safe investment than to risk failing systems and expensive repairs. 

How can you get a pre purchase building inspection? 

Once you’ve finalized a purchase agreement, you can inform the existing owner that you want to schedule a pre purchase inspection under the due diligence contingency

You see, a due diligence or inspection contingency clause is often included in purchase agreements and allows buyers to get an inspection before purchase. This is an important safeguard to protect your investment and I suggest you make sure it is a part of your agreement.  

Thereafter, you can settle on a mutually convenient timeline for inspection after talks with the owner. 

Now, coming to the most important aspect of inspection, you should hire a certified third party inspector for the job. 

Herein, you should first look for a state-specific inspection certification. For instance, if you’re hiring an inspector or inspection firm in Florida, it’s essential to check whether or not they’re licensed in Florida. 

Furthermore, I suggest you also look for advanced level certifications from institutions like NACBI when hiring a building inspector. That’s because these certifications signal your inspector is both experienced and accomplished, important requirements for a top-notch assessment. 

Bonus: Hire building inspectors who follow ASTM E2018-08 standards 

When it comes to property assessments, ASTM E2018-08 standards are considered the highest benchmark. These standards are set by the American Society for Testing and Materials and provide a standard procedure for walk-through property assessments. 

So, if you’re looking for a pre purchase building inspector, my advice would be to always hire one who follows these standards. 

How much does a pre purchase inspection cost? 

A pre purchase inspection involves a complete assessment of the building from the inside out. So you can expect to pay in the average of $1250 and $2500, which is also the cost of regular building inspections

Nonetheless, the exact cost of inspection will vary and depend on factors such as the size and location of your building, among others. For instance, while a small retail store inspection will cost you on the lower end of the average cost, the same can’t be said for a full-service office building. 

Also, the cost calculation method that your building inspector uses will influence the total cost of inspection. For instance, while the flat fee method offers you a fixed quote, the hourly rate method calculates cost based on the total hours spent on inspection. 

Wondering how much exactly will a pre purchase inspection cost you? 

Tell us the details of your property and get a free cost estimate

What are the common problems found during an inspection before purchase? 

There is a huge range of problems that a pre purchase building assessment can detect, ranging from minor seepages to major structural woes. 

However, the most common of these problems are often non-serious and can be fixed by the existing owner before you close the deal. 

For instance, during the last two decades of conducting due diligence inspections, I’ve mostly spotted issues like leakages, missing sealant, rotting wooden structures, mold, pest, etc. And even though I’ve flagged bigger problems such as wall cracks, shifting foundations, roofing damages, etc., these are a rarity. 

But that said, it is essential to have a trained expert for the task. That’s because, no matter the extent of potential problems, you still need the right expertise to detect them. 

You might also want to read – Facility Condition Assessment Checklist: A Complete Guide

Pre purchase building inspection: Frequently asked questions 

Who should you hire for a pre purchase inspection? 

A pre purchase building assessment should always be carried out by a licensed inspector. 

For instance, let’s say you’re purchasing a commercial property and you want to get a pre purchase inspection. In this case, the inspection can only be carried out by a building inspector with a commercial inspection license. 

Similarly, state specific inspection licenses are also essential, something you should check. For instance, if you’re buying a property in Palm Coast, Florida, the building inspector should have a Florida state license. 

Also, it goes without saying that apart from licensing, additional certifications are also an important criteria for hiring building inspectors. That’s because such certifications showcase the individual inspector’s domain expertise, which matters a lot during inspections. 

How long does a pre purchase property assessment take? 

A pre purchase assessment takes between 4-5 hours, just like any complete building inspection. 

However, the total time to inspect your property can vary depending on its total size. 

What should you do if problems are discovered during an inspection? 

It is commonplace for pre purchase property inspections to detect problems. In fact, this is the one of the reasons why buyers get these inspections in the first place. 

However, that doesn’t mean the property isn’t good enough to purchase. 

Now, there are two things you can demand from the existing owner after the inspection report flags issues: 

  1. You can share the inspection report, list the problem areas, and ask the owner to fix the problems before closing the deal. 
  2. You can also ask the owner for a renegotiation of the purchase deal and a reduction of the asking price. Herein, you can demand a reduction of the total amount that you’re likely to spend on the repairs. 

Bonus: A pre purchase inspection may also discover environmental hazards

Although uncommon, environmental hazards could be present in a property. And it can lead to hefty liabilities if found at a later stage.

As such, it is in your best interest to schedule a phase 1 ESA if the building inspection leads to signs of hazards.

To learn more, read my blog – Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist.

Can you cancel the purchase deal based on the inspection report? 

Yes, you can. 

The inspection contingency clause allows buyers like yourself to get out of the purchase deal if there are reasonable grounds. 

For instance, here are a couple of scenarios when you can cancel the purchase deal:

  1. The inspection report highlights problem areas, but the owner is unwilling to acknowledge them or undertake repairs. 
  2. The report has detected serious problems such as a sinking foundation, roof or walls shifting from their place, subgrade materials used in construction, etc. 

Should you waive inspection contingency for a lower asking price? 

No, you shouldn’t. 

Many sellers offer to lower their asking price if you agree to waive the pre purchase inspection contingency from the purchase agreement. Moreover, a seller might also show you a recent inspection report to reassure you about your decision to waive inspection requirements. 

Nevertheless, I suggest you to not fall for such offers and get a pre purchase building inspection. That’s because there are always chances of serious problems in the building’s components as well as a compromised inspection report. 

So, an inspection will not only give you a clear picture of the building’s present state but also ensure that you’re making the right purchase decision. 

You might also want to read – What Is A Condition Report & Why Do Properties Need One?

Final words 

A pre purchase building inspection is an important part of the property buying process. After all, this is only how you can learn about the problem areas in a building. 

Not to mention, a pre purchase inspection report can also help you determine a property’s actual price based on its current condition. 

So even though one such inspection can cost you a couple of thousand dollars, it is totally worth it for protecting your investment worth hundreds of thousands. 

Now, if you’re looking for one such inspection, you can get in touch with us

At Florida Commercial Building Inspectors, we’re a seasoned property inspection team with over two decades of expertise and numerous prestigious certifications. And we’ve got all your pre purchase property assessment requirements covered.

You can also find our commercial building inspectors in JacksonvilleMelbourneOrlandoSt AugustinePalm CoastDaytona BeachPort OrangeSawgrass, and more.

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