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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Residential or Commercial inspection

    A friend called me today asking me if I can do a commercial inspection for her in near future since she is trying to buy a commercial property with over 10, 000 sft. I know there is no license for commercial inspections and probably mostly done by us with residential license.

    Is there any special issue that I should pay more attention?
    How do you charge normal for such a large property?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    rockport texas

    Default Re: Residential or Commercial inspection

    ASTM has a standard covering commercial inspections E-2018. If you use whisper report software that have a template that follows that standard. I charge by the hour $275.00 for the inspection and $150.00 for report writing. If they want me to gather bids for any repairs I charge $275.00 per hour.
    If I bring in subs (electric, HVAC) I have them send me there report which I incorporate into my report. I pay the subs and add 20% to there invoice with my invoice. Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: Residential or Commercial inspection

    I do a lot of commercial work and prefer it over residential. A few things to consider...
    If you are going to do a 'home inspection' style inspection and report on a Comm property you are essentially wasting the clients time and money. The issues are different, the costs are much higher, and there are boat loads of liability concerns for the client. I've seen some HI reports in our area for guys who pretend to do Comm inspections. The reports are good for HI but pathetic for Comm.
    Buy a copy of the ASTM-2018 standard and customize a report based on that per what's relevant to the building. A basic Comm insp is of course about inspecting the building for deficiencies and concerns. Does the heat work, is there a viable heating system; does it have a barrel roof, do you know how to look at those; is the electrical ancient or updated; whats the masonry and steel look like, or is it a newer CMU and how is it handling water saturation?
    Beyond that, how well you serve your client is also based on what you want to do and how much experience you have. I always interview the client about what their needs are and what they plan on doing with the space. This is an extremely important consideration that can dramatically change the deal. If the client is looking at the space for basic mercantile use then they can probably live with the old 200A service. If they are opening up a cafe or small restaurant you'd better be advising the client about that electrical service so they can budget for a new properly sized service. Assuming the public will be coming to the space what are potential liabilities, trip hazards? What is the threshold in your are for rehab work that crosses the line for changing a regular bathroom into an ADA bathroom?
    10K-20K square foot I can do alone or with an assistant. On the bigger ones, 150K square foot or multiple stories, multiple storefronts etc I also bring in subs. I look at the building, my Sparky checks out the electric, my HVAC guy the RTU's, etc. This way you are providing a comprehensive report by professionals.
    A 10K sqft property for a friend is a good space to get your feet wet. You have to think big picture though. Liabilities, costs, equipment sizing and age, local municipal requirements etc.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Residential or Commercial inspection

    Stanley and Markus:

    Thanks very much for your inputs.
    I at least got some senses.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Residential or Commercial inspection

    I would add to what Markus and Stanley said, ADA is a big deal that can come back to bite your client. There is no such thing as "grandfathering" ADA. Also, public safety as commercial properties have a lot of slip, trip and fall claims.

    One point Markus touched on was the electrical requirement depending on occupancy. I try to know the requirements of each occupancy classification as some buildings cannot be converted for instance from a M to an A, or an A to an H without significant alterations to the building and fire protection.

    Fire Egress requirements and NFPA 13 are two things commercial inspectors need to know.

    Quick reference for you.

    ASTM E2018
    NFPA 101
    NFPA 13
    ADA, including all signage
    Fire Walls
    Building Code Occupancy Classifications.

    At 10,000 sq ft I would imagine there could be different occupancy classifications. Most likely a three phase Delta or Y.


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