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One of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime is purchasing a commercial building. Before buying, you will need a commercial building inspection to help you make an informed decision on your purchase. The goal of the inspection is to determine the actual state of the property and estimate how much will be needed to fix any building fault discovered. Here is more on what the inspection entails.

What Is A Commercial Building?

Commercial buildings are properties constructed specifically for generating profits either from capital gains or rental income. Common examples include malls, restaurants, offices, and apartments.

Types Of Commercial Building Inspections

Pre-Purchase Inspection

It is necessary to inspect before you purchase a building. One in every three buildings put up for sale has one defect or the other. Engaging a reliable pre-purchase inspection company is essential to help you uncover all the hidden defects that a nonprofessional may not detect easily. During this type of inspection, the following are checked:

  • Roofing space
  • Building interior and exterior
  • Other parts of the property like the garage, fence, retaining wall, shed, etc.

Pest Inspection

Pests can pose a significant threat to buildings if not controlled. Termites, for example, can spread very fast, causing a lot of structural damage within a short time. That is why it is essential to get a reputable inspector to carry out a comprehensive building and pest inspection. During this inspection, the inspector will check every part of the property for pests and, in the end, suggest a comprehensive pest management plan to help you get rid of pest infestation.

Asbestos Inspection

If you are purchasing a building built pre-1990, an asbestos inspection is crucial. It helps uncover the state of asbestos (friable or nonfriable) and its likely impact on your health. Asbestos fibres can become airborne with time. And when inhaled into the lungs, they can lead to health complications like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Therefore, it is vital to get the services of a seasoned asbestos inspection company anytime you are buying a building or before renovation. Asbestos can be found in many old building materials such as insulation and plasterboard.

New Construction Inspection

An inspection is also needed in the construction stage of a building. The essence of hiring a building inspection company during construction is to ensure that your builders do what they are meant to do without cutting corners. When your builders know that an independent inspector monitors the construction, they are more likely to work harder and deliver their best. New construction inspectors oversee the entire lifecycle of the construction, from the slabbing to the handover.

Commercial Building Inspection Checklist

The things a commercial building inspector will check in a building are categorized into four groups.

Building Segments

Inspectors will check the five major sections of buildings: air conditioning, electrical, mechanical, heating, and plumbing, to see if they are functioning correctly. If not, the inspector will estimate the cost of repair or even replacement of the said system and include it in the inspection report. In some inspections, other parts such as sprinkling systems, security alarms, and fire safety systems may also be checked as part of the visual inspections.

Exterior Of The Building

The exterior of a building includes the walls, parking lot, roofing, and landscaping. Your inspector will check if the building is structurally sound. To properly evaluate the building exterior, the inspector will work with other specialists such as building code inspectors, roofing technicians, and structural engineers to identify building defects and estimate the cost of repairs.

Interior Of The Building

The inspector will evaluate the interior parts of your building, including walls and floors. An interior inspection’s purpose is to determine if your building conforms to the local building code besides identifying any health and safety risks. Your inspector will recommend interior renovation if it is below the standard specified locally.

Building Documentation

There are a couple of documents that will be checked during the building inspection process, including:

  • Floor plans
  • Maintenance records
  • Citations
  • Appraisals
  • Building plans
  • Construction permits
  • Evacuation plans
  • Fire safety records
  • Certificates of occupancy
  • Environmental studies

These documents are reviewed to enable the inspector to determine the value of the building.


A commercial building inspection is important when you are buying a property or planning to renovate one. The inspection helps you to identify building flaws that may not be obvious to you. It is essential to seek the services of a reputable and experienced commercial building inspector for the inspection. Hiring an inspector that can deliver quality inspection services will save you time, money, and even legal battles in the long run.

Before you buy. Before you build. Inspect with confidence with Jim's!

Contact the team at Jim's today for a peace of mind of your inspection!

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