You are about to spend a lot of money on a commercial building. You should spend a little more and hire a commercial building inspector.
In principle, an inspector will tell you what needs repairs, what should be kept, and what your next steps are. In practice, an inspector may not disclose all the information you deserve.
Here are five questions that will give you that information.
1. What Is Your Experience?
Before you even purchase a property, do some research. Spend time comparing building inspectors, contractors, and construction companies in your area, finding the most cost-effective and experienced professionals.
Once you have found a few experienced inspectors, interview them. In any building, there are five systems a good inspector will provide feedback on: electricity, mechanics, heating, plumbing, and air conditioning. Break each of these systems down, asking your inspector how they examine each one.
2. What Are the Hazards Facing My Property?
Once you have found the right inspector, visit the building with them. Walk around the exterior of the property, then go through the building, examining all sources where hazards may arise. Inspect stairwells, emergency exits, fire alarms, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
There are many hazards that face any commercial building, from fires, to lead, to falling trees. Ask your contractor about each hazard that faces your building, and what measures you can take to address them. If there are too many hazards, or if your building lacks protections against any one hazard, consider a different property.
3. What Problems Are Normal Wear-and-Tear, and What Problems Are Not?
Your inspector will find at least one problem with your building. While you should fix any problem your building faces, bear in mind that some problems are the result of wear-and-tear, and some are more significant.
Carpets and flooring will wear down with enough use, and they do not usually pose a threat to your property. A roof, however, should always remain in top condition. A damaged roof will lead to additional damages, and an old roof could result in your building insurance being denied.
If there are problems that result from wear-and-tear, keep your property and make the right renovations. If there are major structural problems, consider a different property.
4. If I Gave You Money to Improve This Property, What Would You Do First?
Asking a positive question can inspire your inspector’s creativity, and it can unveil issues that did not surface at first glance.
If your inspector states they would use money for projects like landscaping, your building is in sound shape. If they state they would use money toward major renovations, you should consider other properties.
Prioritize the five major systems of your building but remember that landscaping and exterior renovations significantly increase the value of your property. Try to save some money toward steps that maximize your value.
5. What Experts Should I Hire Next?
Your inspectors will lay out steps you can take to improve your building. Ask them about professionals in your area that can best fulfill those steps.
Even if your inspector does not find a problem with your five systems, ask for specialists to give a second look at them. A specialist may notice problems that your inspector did not notice. Save their contact information even if you decide not to hire them at that moment, as problems can always arise with your property.
Be as Knowledgeable as a Commercial Building Inspector
A commercial building inspector can provide you with much needed information about your property. However, you need to ask the right questions to get as much information as possible. You need to remain informed about building improvements, even after you purchase a building.
Familiarize yourself with these tips for saving money so you can improve your property.