WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL INSPECTION?
A Property Condition Assessment otherwise known as a general risk assessment is an assessment of the basic structure and mechanical systems as they pertain to commercial real estate. The property condition assessment is meant to be a general risk assessment. It is not an Inspection of the actual function and failures of the structure and the mechanicals of the building. The common standard of practice for commercial property condition assessments and property condition reports is the ASTM STANDARD GUIDE FOR PROPERTY CONDITION ASSESSMENT.
The property condition assessment is done by a field observer who does a visual walk through survey and interviews of the maintenance staff of the building. The field observer also reviews the records kept by the city building department and the fire department. The survey is an overview of the buildings condition and gives recommendations regarding the systems and their condition based only on the visual review and interviews done by the field observer. A report is assembled within 3-5 days of the inspection and delivered to the client via email.
Our commercial evaluators have been in the larger industrial inspection fields for over 18 years.
Property condition assessments review a representative sampling and compare the components to average comparable components for that unit type and age as well as note if the equipment is newer (probable remaining life of up to five years or more) middle age (the unit is likely to have less than five years remaining life,) or older (nearing, at or beyond the units normal life and subject to failure at any time.) It does not entail testing all of the equipment however.
Property Condition Assessments allow the client to do a less expensive risk assessment before concentrating specialist knowledge as a follow up to the Property Condition Assessment. This reduces doing full technical inspections to items that appear to be in satisfactory condition. Where there is greater risk found during the property condition assessment a client may follow up with a second phase or inspection of those items found to be a concern.
Where required there may be need for specialists such as an architect, or a structural engineer or civil engineer. There may be a need to have certified electricians, plumbers, or heating & cooling contractors evaluate safe condition of equipment. Where systems or structural items are found failed it would be desirable to have bids done as to likely replacement cost.
The findings are compiled in the Property Condition Report (PCR) typically delivered within 3-5 days. It documents the overall condition and major structural and or mechanical concerns found in the survey. A property condition report specifically excludes incidental repairs and normal general maintenance. A property condition report is normally a written document accompanied by pictures of the general representative condition and major concerns. There will be an estimated cost section to help in budgeting for the noted repairs and upgrades.
The overall structure is inspected including but not limited to the roof, exterior walls, windows and doors, paved surfaces, interior ceilings, walls, floors, ceiling plenum (void above the drop ceilings where so equipped) plumbing and electrical as well as HVAC equipment.
In many cases, depending on the type and size of the building, the client may choose to select a smaller representative sampling of units and systems. This is commonly done for economy sake to reduce the cost of the inspection. By doing this the client obtains a representative sample of the overall units and systems. This would be common for instance in a multi-family apartment building where viewing each apartment would be too time consuming. The data compiled is used as a representative sample as to likely type and condition of the equipment throughout. Commonly this option requires that the sampling is random and it is prudent to select.
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