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Why a commercial inspector is right for your Gainesville multi-family investment properties

Did you know multi-family investment properties in the Gainesville area are commonly more representative of a commercial property than a residential property? Many of the systems and components found in multi-family properties are items we would inspect in a commercial building such as commercial grade plumbing components, commercial roofing materials, and commercial grade structural components. When it comes to inspection of a multi-family property, many investors choose a residential home inspector. Many inspectors are quite knowledgeable with the components and systems of a residential dwelling however, when it comes to larger multi-family properties, a commercial inspection company is the right choice to ensure you’re getting the most through and knowledgeable inspection possible. So what types of systems and components do we find in Gainesville’s multi-family investment properties that we would see on a typical commercial inspection? Here’s three key areas we commonly see.

Commercial Grade Plumbing Components

Some multi-family investment properties around Gainesville will have large boilers or shared water heater equipment for multiple tenant units. When these water heating systems become shared, commercial grade equipment is required to keep up with the demand and supply. Residential grade equipment can wear out quickly when shared with multiple units. Further, larger commercial grade equipment may come with a larger electrical demand including higher amperage requirements or 3-phase electrical requirements. These areas are typical for a commercial property and a commercial inspection company will be more familiar with inspection of these components and systems.

Image Courtesy of Crawford Company

Image Courtesy of Pinnacle Roofing Professionals

Commercial Roofing Materials

There are many roofing systems which cross over from residential to commercial including shingles, modified bitumen or rolled roofing, and metal. Some roofing materials commonly found in commercial setting that we’ve seen on multi-family investment properties in Gainesville include TPO, EDPM, PVC, and tapered insulated roof decking. These roofing systems are highly specialized and have specific installation requirements but typically last a long time and are highly water resistant. For these reasons, they are ideal for large commercial properties including multi-family buildings.

Commercial Grade Structural Components and Fire Barrier Systems

Most buildings in the Gainesville areas are constructed with wood framing or concrete block. This is true of multi-family investments properties as well. Large buildings can consist of poured or pre-stressed concrete and/or steel framing as well. Concrete and steel are not found in residential construction and are primarily commercial building systems. When a building of any size is split for multi-family uses (this includes condominiums, single story apartment buildings, townhomes, etc.) specific fire-separation and barrier requirements come into play. The purpose of these requirements are to restrict or slow the spread of fires and smoke between units. Fire-barrier materials are required to be installed between all units to the sides as well as above and below and should run from the foundation all the way through the attic to the roof. If you look at some older townhomes or multi-story apartment complexes, you can see concrete block walls that extend above the roof. These walls are commonly a part of the fire-barrier systems. Other requirements not common for residential properties include restrictions for plumbing a HVAC components in walls between units. A commercial inspection company will be familiar with may of the requirements for fire-barriers and separations typical of multi-family investment properties in Gainesville.

If you are looking to invest in a multi-family property in or around Gainesville, be sure to look for a commercial building inspection company that will be familiar with the components and systems that may be found on the property that are not typical for residential dwellings. Greenwood Building Inspection & Consulting is always happy to help you with inspections and assessment of your future investment properties.

All Commercial Building Property Inspections Are Completed To The Standards of Practice Outlines by the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association.


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