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Commercial property inspection checklist: Know what to look for

Are you in the process of buying commercial property? Are you overseeing a commercial construction project?

Although you hope that the building will pass an inspection with flying colors, there's no way of knowing for sure until you take a closer look.

In addition to the inspection that you complete on your own, it always makes sense to hire a professional. This ensures that no stone is left unturned, thus allowing you to better understand how to proceed with your purchase or the construction process.

What to inspect

The scope of the inspection is based on a variety of factors, ranging from the age of the property to the type of construction.

Here are some of the many things a commercial property inspection should always include:

  • Structural frame
  • Roof surface
  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Site characteristics, such as the landscaping and utilities
  • Interior elements
  • Fire protection
  • Vertical transportation systems

In addition to the above, some commercial properties call for the following:

  • Elevator inspection
  • Americans with Disabilities Act compatibility
  • Lead-based paint inspection
  • Radon inspection
  • Asbestos inspection
  • Wood destroying insect inspection
  • Environmental site assessment
  • Sewage system inspection

Some commercial buildings require all of these, while others only require one or two. If you have any doubt, it's best to err on the side of caution.

Hire a specialist when necessary

A general commercial building inspector has the expertise necessary to pinpoint almost anything that's wrong with a property.

If you come to find an issue, it almost always makes sense to hire a specialist. These professionals may include:

  • Roofing specialist
  • Fire protection specialist
  • HVAC professional
  • Structural engineer
  • Environmental specialist

These types of people have targeted experience and knowledge, allowing them to share more detailed information and advice on the issue you're facing.

There's a very good chance you'll find something wrong with the building you want to purchase or the one that is under construction. Once you have an inspection report, you can make a decision on what to do next. Does it make sense to move forward with the purchase? Should you search for another property? Will the seller step in and make repairs?

If you find a commercial construction defect after you finalize your purchase, you'll want to learn more about your legal rights and how to hold the seller responsible.

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Phone: 310-966-6060
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