What is a commercial inspection?

 A commercial inspection is a part of the due diligence process in acquiring an investment property. The investor is looking for a building to generate benefits through capital gain or rental services in office spaces, industrial buildings, multi-family rentals, and retail. Being such a significant investment, commercial property inspections are critical to helping the investor make crucial decisions on whether to purchase the building and what improvements they may need to make now and in the future. 

What is included in a commercial inspection?

A commercial inspector will inspect the following during a commercial inspection:

  • Building structure and ground: The inspector will check the exterior of the building, including the walls, grounds, stairs, paved surfaces, and handrails to examine their condition, make sure that they are functional, and are operating as designed.           
  • Interior: The process for assessing an interior includes its walls and visible insulation. Walls are checked for cracks, leaks and signs of moisture intrusion, which can result in structural or moisture-related issues.*             
  • Roof: The roof of the building is checked for current performance, type, and any needed repair cracks.           
  • Electrical: Electrical panels, switches, junctions, outlets, fixtures, and wiring systems are checked to ensure they are in working condition.                                                                                                                           
  • Plumbing: Accessible and visible pipes are thoroughly inspected for visible leaks, proper drainage and functional flow. The water faucets and fixtures are also checked for functionality.

  • Fire Systems: All accessible related devices, detectors, etc., are checked. If visible, the inspector will also record previous inspection dates. This includes fire alarms, sprinklers, and other fire safety equipment.           
  • HVAC: This system is visually checked for function, and the inspector will look for visible ducting, needed maintenance and filters.                   

*Tenant Improvements (TI) are not included in the inspection items (i.e., commercial kitchen equipment and cubicle walls are excluded).           


Why are commercial property inspections important?

Commercial properties are used for different purposes and are likely to witness multiple changes over time. This is why it is imperative to have a building inspected. Some of the key reasons include:           

  • Documentation of current property: An inspector will examine and document all critical aspects of the building. This helps identify any current building issues and protects you from surprises down the road.           
  • Helps anticipate expenses: A commercial property inspection unearths potential damage or wear. Identifying an issue can help you make necessary repairs before they turn into more significant issues and keep costs down while helping to prevent a problem from escalating to a more expensive repair.

  • Guidance in making an informed decision: An investment in commercial property is a significant financial commitment. A commercial building inspection will help by gathering information about vital aspects of the property in your due diligence process. This will help you weigh the pros and cons of your decision to allow you to make an informed decision.


What to look for in a commercial property inspector?

Apart from being trained and certified in commercial inspection, a commercial inspector needs to have the following essential traits:           

  • Ability to have a good relationship with others: A commercial inspector should be able to interact and communicate clearly with those involved in the transaction. This would help ensure smooth and thorough implementation of the inspection process.           
  • Reliability: Reliability is one of the vital aspects of a commercial inspector. A good inspector will show up on time and complete the evaluation of the property in a timely and professional manner.           
  • Ability to deliver at a high level: Having a keen eye for details helps an inspector understand the scope of work and its timely completion of the report.           

As your business plans fall into place, always opt for a trained and certified commercial inspector to assist you with your property. This will provide you with a better and more professional commercial inspection.  To find your nearest WIN Commercial Inspector, visit WIN’s Find a Home Inspector tool.