A commercial building inspection should include the structure’s systems including the electrical, mechanical, heating, plumbing, air conditioning and ventilation systems. The inspector should determine whether all systems are in good working condition. In the event a system is not in working condition, the inspector may include the cost of replacement or repair in the inspection report. Fire safety systems such as building alarms and sprinkler systems as well as security systems are part of a commercial building inspection.
The exterior of the commercial building is part of an inspection. Exterior areas include parking facilities, landscaping, roof and the building structure. A commercial inspection must determine whether the building is structurally sound and the cost to make repairs when necessary. Inspectors may hire experts such as roofing and construction contractors or building code inspectors to help inspect the exterior of the building.
The walls, floors, offices, bathrooms, kitchen facilities and all interior elements of the commercial building are evaluated during the inspection. The interior inspection provides the investor with information for renovations such as the cost to bring interiors up to date. The interior areas of the building must meet local building codes as well. Inspections should determine if the facility poses any potential safety issues for occupants.
Professional commercial building inspectors must review documents such as certificates of occupancy, appraisals, building plans, surveys, citations, construction permits, maintenance records, evacuation plans, environmental studies and floor plans. The document review must include the building’s emergency and fire safety system records as well such as fire detection maintenance and test documents, inspection reports, fire door inspection and fire extinguisher service documents. The documents for an apartment complex include rent records and inspection reports from local code enforcement. An investor in a commercial building should evaluate previous utility bills when planning a purchase. Utility bills, the cost of the building and renovation or repair costs help the investor determine the value of the property.