Commercial inspections are conducted based upon the ASTM E-2018 – 01 International Standard adopted by Canada and the United States as well as by the Inter Nachi Standards of Practice (SOP).

The followingis an attempt to summarize these Standards in a lessdetailed manner.Please refer to the SOP for the actual contract and regulations that will be used to provide the property condition report.

You will notice the following terms with-in the standards. I have attempted to clarify the meaning of the terms and howyou theuser can use them to determine the level of service you wish to have. Ultimately the standards allow the inspector to for a feego beyond the baseline requirements if requested by the user. If you the user wish to have one or more of the building systems more closely inspected by a licenced contractor for example the option is there provided both the inspector and the user agree in advance of the inspection. In the end it is up to you the user to decide the level of risk tolerance youare willing to shoulder when buying a commercial property. The more Subject Material Experts you request to be included in the report the clearer understanding you will have of the property.

Commercial building: A commercial property is defined as the building structuresand improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate. These mayinclude structures such as buildings with residential units operated for profit, mixed use buildings, strip malls, motels, factories, storage facilities, restaurants, and office buildings.

Scope of Work: (SOW) Work that deviates from this standard depending on budget, time constraints, purpose of the inspection, age of the subject property, and risk tolerance of the client which the inspector and client have agreed to.

Walk through Survey: That portion of the inspection where the inspector makes non-intrusive,visual observations of readily accessibleareas of the subject property.

Baseline Property Condition Report: (PCR) The basic (minimum) PCR of the agreed to inspection which does not go beyond the standards of the SOP.

Subject Material Expert: (SME) Those experts in the fields such as master electrician, plumber, roofer etc. which can be called upon to offer a professional opinion as to the current condition of the systems with-in the building.

Out of scope considerions: Those considerations which go beyond the baseline standards of the PCR. These considerations are completed at the request of the user such as but not limited to electrical, plumbing, roofing anddoument review amongst others.

Due to the complexity of the commercial inspection it is often not possible to determine the cost of the PCRin a single phone call. The first call usually sets the scope of work (SOW) followed by a quick site visit to gauge thetime required to preform the PCR. Only then can the cost of the inspection be determined depending upon the level of out of scope work required by the user.

Click here for a copy of the aggreement I use in comercial inspections. Remember that the scope of the inspection will need to be determined before the inspection agreement is signed. If the client requires the inspector to go beyond the basic walk through survey, then an appendix “A” section is added to the agreement outlining what the details of this part of the inspection will be. Again this is agreed to be-for-hand and added to the inspection agreement and signed prior to the inspection.