How Much Does A Commercial Building Inspection Cost?

By - Chris Barnard
Last Updated - December 27th, 2023 1:12 PM

Being an owner yourself, you must know that commercial properties are currently among the most profitable business assets globally.

But did you know that the estimated worth of the worldwide commercial real estate industry surpassed $35 trillion in 2022, showing an increase of around one trillion US dollars compared to the 2021 estimate of about $34 trillion?

Based on these numbers, you can clearly see the impact renting and leasing real estate has in the global wealth landscape.

But as you know, managing commercial real estate isn’t easy. You have to take care of a lot of things, like getting it inspected.

In fact, you have to get your building inspected periodically to make sure it is in accordance with applicable standards and is safe to occupy.

Before you get your property inspected, you first need to do some preparations yourself, gather some information to decide who to hire, and get the estimated commercial building inspection cost.

However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds since you might have to go through multiple guides and checklists to get the required information. 

And that’s exactly why I’ve compiled everything from the cost of inspection to commercial property inspection checklist to commercial building inspector qualifications, and more, all in one place. So, let’s dive right in and have a look. 

Commercial Building Inspection Cost Breakdown

The average cost of a commercial building inspection is $1250 – $2500.

But that is an average, and can differ in your case.

Now, to get an estimate, you first have to understand the basic factors that influence the costs.

Being an inspector myself, I decide a commercial building inspection cost based on two main factors:

1. Size of the commercial building.

2. The amount of time it would take me to inspect it successfully.

Both these factors are correlated with one another. 

The bigger the building, the longer it would take us to inspect it.

For instance, getting a small office space inspected would be cheaper in comparison to, let’s say, a warehouse. 

Moving on, let us discuss the 4 major methods inspectors typically use to determine a commercial property inspection cost.

1. Hourly Rate

Like many service providers in our country, commercial building inspectors also choose to charge per hour.

The average hourly rate of these commercial building inspectors is around $300/hr in the United States.


2. Flat Fee

The flat fee method is the simplest of them all. The inspector will simply tell you beforehand how much it will cost to inspect your property.

Here is how it works:

You hire an inspector; they come to the property, assess the amount of work they would need to do, and give an amount (flat fee) you would need to pay them for the work.

The only drawback is that this option is that it isn’t easily available.

Contractors only offer a flat fee option when you have more similar projects for them to work on.

The best example would be residential units.

Condos in residential units are almost always the same (with some differences).

For example, they may differ in size, but the roofing would be similar.

3. Cost Per Square Foot

In this method, the commercial building inspection cost is fully influenced by the size of your property. If the inspector charges per square foot, they have a pre-set per square foot cost.

In most cases, there are sub-set prices, too, depending on the type of your property.

For example, the inspector may charge you differently for a warehouse and office space since warehouses are mostly open spaces, and offices need a bit more attention to detail.

For example, let’s say you want to get your 30,000 sq. ft. commercial building with 18,000 sq. ft. warehouse and 12,000 sq. ft office space inspected.

The inspector charges $0.10 and $0.07 per square foot for office space and warehouse, respectively. So, the total cost of the inspection would be:

Cost of the office space: 12,000 x $0.10 = $1200

Cost of the warehouse: 18,000 x $0.07 = $1260

In this scenario, you would have to pay a total of $2460 in commercial property inspection costs.

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

4. Sale Price Percentage

Inspectors use this method when they are conducting property condition assessments for large projects, like shopping centers.

In this, the inspector thoroughly inspects your property in exchange for a percentage of the amount you sell it for, which is typically 1-2%.

Let’s say that you get your shopping center, which is 50,000 sq. ft. in size, inspected and agree with the inspector that you will share 1% of its sale price with them to compensate them.

So, if you sell it for $10 million, you would need to pay the inspector $100,000 in inspection fees.

It seems a lot but inspections of such large projects need a lot of work and need an inspection team to inspect all elements of the property thoroughly.

The great thing about the sale price percentage method is that you don’t have to worry about assembling the team or about paying them.

The inspector that you hire will see to hiring various contractors for the job and pay them at his own discretion.

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.

Commercial Building Inspection Checklist

You know about the various payment methods, but do they check in commercial building inspection, and how do you know everything is covered?

Well, this is why we have compiled our commercial building inspection checklist.

You can refer to our checklist to make sure everything is covered and done correctly.

1. Location

  • The property’s address is clearly visible from the roadway.
  • The parking lot is properly striped.
  • There is an appropriate number of handicapped spots in the parking lot.
  • There are designated spots for hybrids/compact cars.
  • There is proper lighting in the parking lot.
  • There are cracks in the pavement that need to be repaired.
  • Unloading zones are clearly marked.
  • There are wheelchair-accessible ramps leading up to the main entrance.
  • There are handrails leading up to the main entrance.
  • There are no obstructions in front of fire hydrants.
  • There is a trash dumpster on site.
  • Ashtrays are available near entrances.
  • No-smoking signs are posted.
  • Utility/cable boxes are properly marked.
  • The property is shoveled and/or plowed during the winter.

2. Building Exterior

  • Exit doors are unlocked during business hours.
  • All entrances and exits are properly marked.
  • The company’s name is clearly visible.
  • The building’s roof is in good shape.
  • Windows and doors are in need of washing.
  • The deck, patio, and balcony are inspected as per DBPR HR7020 standards.
  • The exterior siding is in good shape.
  • The building is free of vandalism.
  • “No Smoking” signs are posted.
  • Emergency exits are clearly marked and free of obstructions.
  • There is sufficient lighting on the building’s exterior.
  • The rooftop elevator penthouse is properly ventilated and cleaned regularly.
  • There are no cracks in the building’s exterior walls.
  • Combustible materials are kept away from the building.
  • There are no signs of weather damage.
  • The parking structure is properly maintained. The gutters are free of debris.

3. Landscaping

  • The landscaping does not interfere with any utility boxes.
  • There are no dead trees on the property.
  • There are shade-providing trees on the property.
  • There are no areas with dead grass.
  • An irrigation system is in place.
  • Sprinklers are placed far away from walkways.
  • Planters are properly mulched.
  • The grass is mowed weekly.
  • Mowers/trimmers are kept on-site in a locked storage building.
  • Insecticides are regularly applied to plants.
  • Flower beds are weeded regularly.
  • The grass is fertilized regularly.

4. Electrical Systems

  • All electrical boxes, outlets, and switches are properly covered.
  • Electrical panels are properly covered and latched.
  • Electrical panels are free of obstructions.
  • Extension cords are used for temporary uses only.
  • No extension cords run through walls, ceilings, or doors.
  • All electrical outlets have covers.
  • Equipment that requires higher voltage is plugged into the proper outlets.
  • There are no frayed wires in the building.
  • All outlets located within two meters of sinks and exterior doors include Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
  • A lockout procedure is in place.

5. Fire Protection

  • No combustibles are stored in the boiler room.
  • All smoke alarms are functional.
  • Smoke alarms are tested regularly.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the building.
  • The building has a sprinkler system.
  • The sprinkler system is inspected annually.
  • All storage is at least 45 cm below the sprinklers.
  • Portable fire extinguishers are readily available.
  • Fire extinguishers are inspected regularly.
  • Fire evacuation diagrams are posted throughout the building.
  • “EXIT” signs are posted above exterior doors.
  • Flammable and combustible liquids are properly tagged and stored.
  • If smoking is allowed, smoking areas are properly identified.

You might also want to read: Apartment Building Inspection: An All-inclusive Guide (2024).

6. Heating/Cooling System

  • The boiler room is kept locked.
  • No combustible objects are kept near heaters.
  • The building’s thermostat is kept at a comfortable temperature.
  • Filters are replaced regularly.
  • Heating and cooling ducts are free of obstructions.
  • The heating/cooling system is set back when the building is unoccupied.

7. Storage

  • All combustible and flammable liquids are stored properly.
  • There is no combustible storage in unprotected attics or crawl spaces.
  • Cabinets and containers containing chemicals are properly labeled.
  • Spill-containment materials are readily available in case of a spill.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are available for hazardous substances.

7 Things to Consider While Hiring a Commercial Building Inspector

With the checklist handy, now all you need is a skilled inspector to inspect your property.

But who do you choose?

Well, here are 7 things that you must consider when hiring an inspector.

1. Certification and Licensing

The inspector must be certified and licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. 

It is crucial that you comply with all local regulations, and hiring a properly credentialed professional works in your favor.

2. Professional Affiliations

Seasoned inspectors are always affiliated with professional associations like CCPIA. 

Being affiliated with such associations requires a high degree of professionalism and shows their commitment to upholding professional standards.

3. Knowledge and Training

Verify the inspector’s qualifications, ask about their training and educational background. 

They must have a deep understanding of commercial construction, your local building standards and all building systems (such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing). 

And if they have an ongoing education, it speaks volumes about their commitment to staying current with industry norms.

4. Experience and Expertise

Qualification and training are one thing, but without any experience, they usually don’t count for much.

You should also choose an inspector who has substantial industry experience and a track record of conducting diverse inspections. 

Seasoned professionals are more adept at identifying potential issues in different types of commercial properties than someone who is a newcomer in the industry or has comparatively less experience.


5. Insurance and Liability

Accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared.

You should always prioritize inspectors with adequate insurance coverage, including errors and omissions (E&O) insurance

E&O coverage protects both the inspector and their clients in the event of mistakes or omissions during the inspection. 

Additionally, ask them about their commercial general liability insurance, as they cover accidental damages during the inspection.

6. Reviews and References

Take your time and do thorough research online to assess the inspector’s reputation through the reviews they have received from their previous clients. 

You should also ask for references from previous clients to gain insights into their professional standards and work ethics.

7. Sample Reports

You can also ask the inspector for sample inspection reports to evaluate their thoroughness and clarity in documenting findings. 

A well-documented report includes detailed descriptions of identified issues, accompanied by clear photos and recommendations. 

The report should be easily understandable and offer a comprehensive overview of the building’s condition.

You might also want to read: How Much Does A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Cost?

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.


Being a property owner, you know the importance of inspection, but hiring the right expert is just as important.

After all, there is no point in getting an inspection done if the person conducting it doesn’t know what they are doing.

Although it would take a chunk of your time, you need to do your due diligence and hire the right person for the job.

Or, you can give us a call.

We at Florida Commercial Building Inspectors (FCBI), a division of Intercostal Inspection, have been conducting successful commercial building inspections since 2010, ensuring the safety of thousands of lives.

We have said enough about us, we would like to know more about your needs.

Reach out to us and let us talk about your needs in detail, and based on that, we will give you a quote and let you know how much does a commercial building inspection cost.

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

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

Chris Barnard

Hi there! I am Chris Barnard, a licensed building inspector and the founder of Florida Commercial Building Inspectors. With over two decades in the inspection industry, I’ve delivered thousands of commercial and residential inspections across various states. During all these years, I’ve developed detailed insights on the ins and outs of building inspections, something I look forward to sharing with you through my blogs.

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