What To Look For In A Commercial Building Inspector

Chris Barnard
By - Chris Barnard
Last Updated - May 24th, 2024 3:58 PM
an inspector assessing commercial building

When it comes to buying or renting commercial real estate, having a seasoned building inspector by your side is absolutely critical. And for obvious reasons, since an inspection professional can help uncover hidden problems and the extent of repair needs. 

After all, not detecting these problem areas before deal closure can cost you a fortune down the line. 

But if there’s one question that almost everyone in the realty space has, it is: What to look for in a commercial building inspector?  

You see, there are all kinds of building inspectors out there. And while some are masters of the trade, I’ve also seen inspectors who are novices. 

Thankfully, hiring an inspector is simpler than it seems, all you’ve got to do is look for a few essential qualifications

All in all, here are key commercial property inspector qualifications that your inspector should definitely have: 

1. The inspector is licensed and vetted 

    Licensing is the most important factor in commercial real estate inspections. That’s because only such inspectors are allowed to assess properties that carry a state-wide license.

    For instance, if you own a property in Florida, your building inspector should have an FL state license.  

    Apart from that, it is also essential to look for additional certifications from renowned institutions like NACBI, Master Inspector Certification Board, etc., that the inspector might carry. 

    These institutions certify only such inspectors who are exceptional at their job and quality a series of tests. As such, certifications like these act as an additional vetting besides the license itself. 

    2. They carry considerable experience 

      A newly licensed inspector might be able to point out some of the obvious issues. But more than that, you want to know the hidden and hard-to-detect problems. 

      And to that end, I suggest you go for someone who specializes in inspecting properties like offices, retail spaces, warehouses, etc. 

      Assessing vital systems and components plus the overall construction for applicable standards is more complex than you think. So, the specialist you hire should be someone who has years of hands-on experience or has been trained under a seasoned expert. 

      3. All-round expertise in building systems 

        As I discussed in my previous blog on commercial building inspections checklist, a thorough inspection looks at every nitty-gritty of the building. And this includes everything from structural systems to electrical appliances to plumbing and more. 

        So, your inspector should have an all-round technical know-how based on years of inspection experience. 

        In fact, from electrical to plumbing to HVAC to building structure, they should have detailed knowledge of everything.  

        4. They have an eye for detail 

          When it comes to spotting problems lurking in hideous corners, an eye for detail is key. 

          You’d have visually assessed the building yourself and found it in perfect shape. However, a detailed commercial property inspection might still throw up some problems. 

          Meaning, that attention to detail is non-negotiable for a building inspector since this is what makes their assessments different from layman walkthroughs.

          Talking about attention to detail, it is essential you make sure the inspector is able to meticulously examine every nook and cranny. They should be apt at pinpointing the smallest crack, water stain, or improperly installed component, which are all potential red flags during inspections. 

          5. The inspector should know applicable building standards 

            Adhering to applicable building standards is key to protecting occupants and the overall property. But the only catch is that these standards keep updating from time to time.

            So, it’s important for your inspector to have an up-to-date knowledge of such building standards.  

            6. They prepare simple yet detailed reports 

              An inspection report is your only way to understand the findings of the inspection including any shortcomings and suggestions. 

              To that end, the report should be simple, organized, highly detailed, and clearly document any issues uncovered.

              7. Reasonable inspection charges 

                Expensive inspections aren’t always the best. And while you get what you pay for, it is important that you’re paying a reasonable price for the job. 

                For instance, if an inspector’s quote is exorbitantly high, it’s possible they’re simply inflating their fees. 

                As such, it’s crucial to have knowledge of the average inspection cost in your area and negotiate with the inspector or inspection firm accordingly. 

                Not sure how much you should pay for a building inspection? 

                You can go through my blog on Commercial Building Inspection Cost.  

                8. The person or firm is known for its integrity 

                  You’ll agree when I say that inspecting commercial properties is a serious business. So much so that even one missing detail can make you foot bills worth thousands of dollars. 

                  And that’s exactly why hiring a highly reputed building inspector is important. 

                  From word of mouth to online reviews to your local building department, there are a lot of ways you can find one such inspector or inspection firm. Also, the inspector’s certifications and experience can signal their overall professionalism and integrity. 

                  To sum up 

                  Whether you are buying or renting a commercial property, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars at the line. 

                  So why risk it by hiring a rookie inspector, especially if you can get a highly experienced professional for a little extra charge. 

                  Looking for one such seasoned property inspector? 

                  You can get in touch with us!

                  At FCBI, we are commercial building inspection experts with more than two decades of experience and numerous certifications of excellence under our belt. And we’ve got all your inspection requirements covered on a budget. 

                  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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