When purchasing a commercial property in Gainesville, your due diligence should include a building inspection, but how do you know you are choosing the best Commercial Property Inspector? Did you know occupational licensing in Florida and through national certification agencies that home inspectors are allowed to also inspect light commercial properties? Did you also know that nearly all commercial properties will have components and features that are beyond the typical training and scope of practice for home inspectors? That’s right, just because someone meets the requirements to perform a specific service, that does not necessarily mean they are knowledgeable or qualified to do so.
Florida’s Statutes that oversee the scope of the Home Inspector license allow inspectors to go beyond the scope of practice outlined by the State if they are “qualified and/or has special knowledge” in those areas. Since commercial properties have many specialized systems such as advanced HVAC systems, 3-phase electrical systems and components, ADA compliance features, and advanced life safety systems, selecting an individual or company to assist with your due diligence by performing an inspection should include a review of their applicable qualifications, knowledge, and company focus. For example, Greenwood Building Inspection & Consulting was established with a specific focus on commercial properties. Additionally, our inspectors are Certified Commercial Property Inspectors and adhere to the requirements of the Cerified Commercial Property Inspector Association (CCPIA). Education and training for our inspectors focuses on commercial applications and the trade professionals we bring in for assistance are all experienced and versed in commercial and industrial systems. So, as you perform your due diligence on a commercial property, here are some tips to look for when selecting an inspection company to perform a commercial property inspection.
What is Their Core Business Services?
Performing a commercial property inspection in the Gainesville, FL area is quite a bit different from performing a residential inspection as we’ve already mentioned. Ideally, when you look to hire a business to perform a service, you want to hire a company that specializes in that field. For example, would you trust someone to cut your hair if their main job function was to clean the salon? Probably not, you’d want an experienced barber or hair stylist. Selecting a commercial building inspector is no different. When identifying a company, look for ones who’s primary functions are working with commercial properties AND working with commercial property owners as clients.
What Are Their Insurance Coverages?
Commercial buildings are typically much more expensive to build and maintain that residential. Once building we recently inspected had an annual budget of over $900,000 just for upkeep and maintenance. It should be expected that repairs on commercial properties will also be much more expensive. When looking at commercial property inspection companies, ask them what their insurance limits are. A commercial building inspection company should be covered for both general liability (in the event something is damaged during the inspection) and professional liability or Errors & Omissions (in the event something is missed). Coverage limits in Florida for home inspectors is a minimum of $300,000 for general liability and NO requirement to have professional liability. We recommend a minimum of $500,000 for both and our company keeps $1,000,000 in general liability coverage and $500,000 in professional liability coverage.
Do They Use Trade Professionals and When Should They Be Brought In?
When performing a home inspection, most home inspectors fly solo. Even for a light commercial property a solo inspector may be sufficient. Once commercial properties begin getting over a few thousand square feet, have multiple inspectors or bringing in trade professionals may be wise, depending on the building use. For most light commercial applications up to 10,000 square feet, we perform the inspections in-house. Above that, we begin bringing in additional inspectors and trade professionals.
Trade professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in commercial applications can provide insight into complex building systems general inspectors are unable to. For that reason, once we begin seeing large boiler systems, chillers, fresh air intake systems, refrigeration systems, 3-phase electrical systems, etc. we begin looking to being in some industry professionals.
On one of our recent large commercial inspections (60,000 sq. ft) we brought in an HVAC company who spent 4 hours on the roof looking over chiller systems, heat pumps, and a large air house with a boiler. They were able to use gauges to check refrigerant temperatures and levels and provide a clear picture of the condition and remaining useful life on systems that are $100,000 plus to replace.
Now, some inspection companies may not need to bring in additional trade professionals if their experience and knowledge is in advanced building systems. When looking at a commercial property inspector for your Gainesville property, ask if they plan to bring in trade professionals and what advanced backgrounds their in-house inspectors have specific to commercial building systems.
Who Have Their Past Clients Been?
You can generally get a good idea of a companies reputation based on who their cliente are. Companies who have successfully worked with large corporations, government agencies, municipalities, developers, etc. are most likely going to have a high quality reputation since many of these clients due their due diligence on who they choose to hire. Some of our biggest clients have been local government agencies, academic organizations, up-and-coming technology companies, and national/international non-profit organizations. While it is important to also support small businesses and investors, hiring a company that is respected and used by the large commercial property owners can increase your confidence in the commercial property inspection company you choose.
Buying and maintaining a commercial property in the Gainesville, FL area can be a large expense. You do your due diligence when purchasing the property, be sure to also do your due diligence on the companies you hire for services. Choosing a commercial property inspection company should be no different. At Greenwood Building Inspection & Consulting, we work with all commercial property owners and strive for exceptional services. If you’re looking to hire a commercial property inspection service, ask them these questions, review their website, and even ask them for a copy of a recent inspection report they can share so you can have a good idea of the quality of company you are hiring.
All Commercial Building Property Inspections Are Completed To The Standards of Practice Outlines by the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association.
Licensed & Certified
Based In………………Newberry/Gainesville, FL
Phone………………….352 405 5516
North Florida Commercial Property Inspection Service Area:
– Gainesville, Lake City, Jacksonville, Ocala, Brooksville, Tallahassee, The Villages, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, Dayton Beach, Tampa, Orlando