Buying property requires detailed investigation and research before purchasing decision can be made. The Property Condition Assessment (PCA) report indicates the type of repairs that are needed, i.e., short term and the long term. A Building Condition Assessment (BCA) will assess five major components.
Five Main Components, A Commercial Inspector of a Building Inspection Company, focuses on during Inspection:
1) The Site
The building inspector should take note of the topography and stormwater management system of the property to ensure that in the event of heavy rain, there is no flooding in the property.
2) Structural Frame and Building Envelop
The structural frame of the building may be of steel, concrete, concrete block, or wood. Elements such as beams, slabs, foundations, columns are designed and built to cater to both dead (permanent) load and live load (variable load). A structural Integrity Assessment checks the conditions of these elements.
The structural assessment should only be done by a registered professional engineer. An inspector can observe defects, but an engineer should only provide opinion on the remedial solution.
There are many features in building structures that cannot be predicted. For example, soils move in a non-homogenous pattern. Wood is a material that is subject to shrinkage, rot, etc. Loads such as snow are variable in nature.
Structural members on which integrity assessments are checked:
During the walk-through survey, the inspector should note on any visible cracks, movements, non- alignment, distress in members, and exposed rebar.
Report on: The inspector should report on any distress or deterioration. Suggest remedies to repair those defects. He should provide an estimated cost of repairs that are recommended.
Basement/Crawl Space Water
To be inspected: If it is safe to inspect the inspector should check any evidence of ingress of water in the basement or crawl space. The presence of high moisture and check if there is a dehumidifier installed to control the moisture.
To be reported: The cause of water entry, if any, the risk associated with it, and remedial measure that needs to be taken to avoid the situation.
To be inspected: Check the floor framing system, roof framing system if visible. It can be wood or structural steel. Any deterioration in the framing system should be noted, such as deteriorated wood or a steel member.
Report on: The cost of repair or replacement of any structural deficiencies.
To be inspected: The inspector should Identify and observe the roof systems such as membrane, flashing, roof drains. Observe if there is significant pounding of the roof or if there is roof leakage.
Report on: Elements of roof requiring attention, and approximate cost to repair/ replace.
A building’s core comprises more than just its outer walls; it also entails other infrastructure such as parking lots, landscaping, and roofing structure. The structural integrity of the buildings is determined by the inspector and calls to attention any necessary repair costs. In certain instances, the inspector may seek the services of specialized experts to inspect the exterior conditions of the building fully.
The structural condition of other elements such as decks and porches, should be evaluated and reported.
3) Mechanical and Electrical Installation
In general, the commercial structure comprises M&E installations, heating, plumbing, air- conditioning/ventilation.
Building inspectors should ensure all systems are functioning at optimum capacity. Should there be a case of non-functioning systems, inspectors should estimate the cost of remedial work in his report.
4) The Building Interior
This component of inspection serves two purposes: to ensure the internal spaces are in good condition and to investigate risks and hazards. The inspector will check the structural walls, floors, bathrooms, kitchen spaces, and similar areas.
5) The Building’s Documentation
Building inspectors review several documents during the process. They may review assessments, building plans, environmental studies, fire safety systems records, floor plans, maintenance records, and surveys. This information will show the actual cost of owning the building and help the investor choose the value of the property.
An inspector’s results will be put together in a final property condition report (PCR). The final report will contain written evidence or observations as well as photos for ease of understanding. It will also contain recommendations from the inspection on how to carry out corrective action or request subsequent testing by a specialist. It is always recommended to engage an experienced Commercial Building Inspection Services company.
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