Building Condition Assessment (BCA), otherwise known as Property Condition Assessment (PCA), is usually performed on commercial buildings. The process includes a non-intrusive inspection of the state of the property based on its structure and systems. Building Condition Assessments are usually required when purchasing or selling commercial real estate or even residential properties such as multi-unit buildings. Typically, anyone with a vested interest in the property can ask for a BCA. Different banks or lenders have different requirements as to when they need a BCA and what the scope should include. The BCA acts as a reassurance that the money lent will be a sound investment and that everything is being done to mitigate worst-case scenarios. Many buyers also use the results of a BCA to negotiate the purchase cost.
Properties that require BCA’s will most likely require Environmental Site Assessments. To find out more about what ESA is, click here.
Prior to the visual inspection, your assessor will likely interview you and/or send a questionnaire that collects historical data to gauge the state of your property. During the inspection, your assessor will take appropriate pictures and follow all the respective guidelines. Typically, the consulting company would be accredited by a governing body such as APEGA or recommended by banking institutions. The assessor will then use the images to prepare a report that documents details about each deficiency that was discovered. Even the issues that look like they may not be of major concern can actually point to larger structural problems. All in all, they will observe if the building has been adequately maintained over the years by looking for evidence related to overtime deterioration or structural issues.
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Generally, your inspector will look at three main components that include but are not limited to:
- Exterior and Interior conditions of the property, such as fixtures or the overall finishes on sidewalk, pavements, railings, lighting, and many other
- The structural aspect of the property is the main item. The inspector would look for signs that may reduce the building’s longevity, such as cracks, settlements, foundation issues and many more. Usual areas of investigation are roofs, ceilings, doors, windows, and
- Lastly, your inspector would look at your electrical systems, or if the hot water tank is providing hot water, plumbing and Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Suppose you’ve had fire inspections as often as you’re supposed
Also Read: Commercial Building Inspections – Tips for Finding a Reliable and Competent Building Inspector
The final report will include both short-term and long-term fixes. There may be items that need to be refurbished or restored as soon as possible to adhere to industry standards. Then, a detailed cost estimate will be incorporated in a tabular format along with a list of
recommendations. Finally, the remaining lifespan will be evaluated according to the assessors’ findings. If you’re unsure of whether your consulting company’s report is up to standard, you can request a draft report.
While BCAs are usually involved during purchasing transactions, they can also be a part of your due diligence before conducting renovations:
- The report can help prioritize certain areas according to which repairs need immediate attention. This will help save costs prior to renovation as the report acts as a detailed guide, and you can avoid spending money on unnecessary problems right away. It can help you make informed decisions and plan your next steps forward. It is a good idea to use the BCA as a starting point and develop your renovation plan accordingly to avoid future
- Conducting a building condition assessment will allow you to individually gauge an appropriate The report and cost evaluation can help the repair/renovation contractor in better estimating the total renovation price. That does not mean that this budget will be set in stone, and change orders are an often occurrence with renovations.
- Doing a BCA is also a good way to check if your repair contractor is quoting you fairly and that the renovation or repair will adhere to the criteria listed in regulations. Your repair contractor, just like your assessor, will need to have a valid license to practice. Regulations vary for different areas of different Choosing the right contractor makes a huge difference. Inexperienced contractors can drain your energy, time, and money.
Also Read: General Knowledge of Cost to have a Building Inspected
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There are various other instances when BCA may be required. For example, before demolitions, managing maintenance expenses and programs, or taking it a step further and performing it say every five years during your ownership. Let us help you make your life easier. Contact us today at 7807297325!
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