Your Guide to Property Inspection Reports

By The GoCanvas Team on February 5, 2022

Inspections on commercial buildings are something that happens every day. In fact, there are many cases when a commercial inspection is required by law. It is essential to understand what an inspection is and why it is so important. This is particularly true for those in the construction industry, property management, and building owners. To make it all as straightforward as possible, it is good to start with the most basic elements and move forward from there. Continue reading this article for an overview on property inspections and how you can generate digital reports using GoCanvas forms.

What Is A Property Inspection For A Commercial Building? 

Society has been conditioned to think of a property inspection as a certain thing from popular television shows on the cable channel HGTV. These shows make it abundantly clear that property inspections are performed all the time on residential properties before they are sold. However, those inspections are not exclusive just to residential properties. In reality, these inspections have to take place on commercial buildings as well. 

A few examples of commercial buildings include: 

  • Restaurants
  • Shopping centers
  • Cafes
  • Office buildings
  • Hotels

These buildings and many others all require inspections to be done on them regularly for the safety and protection of the people who come inside them. The government requires that these buildings be inspected during the construction process, but also after a certain number of years have passed since construction. 

Who Performs Inspections On Commercial Buildings? 

There are many options for choosing who to go with when it comes to performing inspections on commercial buildings. Property managers/owners have to decide between these options based on what they can afford and what they feel makes the most sense for their particular needs at that time. Once again, there is not a “right” or “wrong” answer, there is simply the answers that work or don’t work for that particular individual. 

Architect 

The most professional, and potentially most expensive, choice for getting a building inspection is someone who works as an architect or engineer. This individual has specialized knowledge of how a building should be inspected and what to look for. They have extensive training and schooling in the art of building construction, but this also means that they are a major asset to the property owner. Thus, it is not surprising that they are able to charge more for their services than some of the other options that we will discuss. You really get what you pay for when you opt for hiring an architect. They are bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table.

 

Commercial Building Inspector

Those who still need to get a building inspected but don’t necessarily want to spend the kind of money necessary to hire an architect may consider opting for a commercial building inspector instead. These individuals may have experience inspecting both residential and commercial buildings, but you should take caution when hiring someone for this role. 

You need to research how extensive their experience is as it specifically relates to commercial buildings. You want to get someone who clearly knows what they are doing and can put their experience into action for you. If the extent of their experience largely lies in residential buildings, then it may be necessary to continue the search until you find someone who more specifically works in commercial properties. 

Commercial Property Inspection Reports: Why Do They Matter? 

We have talked a lot about commercial property inspection reports, but we haven’t dove into the question about why these reports are so important. We should establish a baseline for why these reports matter. 

Totallendersolutions.com provides an excellent example and set of reasons why these inspection reports matter. Here is what they say: 

For some businesses, like restaurants, practically everything rides on their physical space. It’s therefore critical that borrowers have a clear, detailed picture of the property they’re looking to purchase. Commercial property inspections are the crucial first step in ensuring that the business acquires a property that is a good fit for the business, will hold its value, and above all else will be a safe place for employees and customers alike.

They make it clear that a business is looking for supreme value when it goes through the processes that it needs to in order to get an inspection report. The worst thing that could happen to a company that purchases a commercial building without an inspection is that it ends up with something that does not meet its needs and is challenging to offload. Imagine getting stuck with a building that no one else wants to purchase but that doesn’t suit your needs either. The suffering that you would have to go through as a result of this is almost too much for most people to bear. 

While working on getting your inspection report, you should think about the people who are compiling that report for you in the first place. Does it make sense to hire someone that has a vested interest in the property or in your business? Probably not. They may be too biased to give you the honest assessment of the property that you really need to make your decision. Thus, it is advisable to go with a third-party provider who has no connection to your business or to the property at all. When you find an inspector like that, you are all set. They won’t push you in one direction or another. Instead, they will offer their brutally honest assessment based on the facts presented to them. 

What Types Of Property Inspections Are There? 

There are different property inspections that you should know about. Here are some of the common types of property inspections that exist for different purposes.

Construction Inspections

A myriad of inspections are necessary during the construction phase of a new property. If something is first being constructed, the government will make people perform a number of inspections before it can be built. These include: 

These are just a few of the things that one will have to do as they work on a new building. If you have ever wondered why it can take a great deal of time for a brand-new building to go up, it often has something to do with the number of inspections that it must go through before it can be finalized. 

Real Estate Transaction Inspections

When property is switching hands from one party to another, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that the property is properly inspected as it is supposed to be before it switches hands. We live to think that everyone will be honest in their transactions, but we know that this is not necessarily the case. 

An inspection conducted during a real estate transaction is done to make sure that everything about the property is on the level when it moves from one person to another. This often means that the inspector will focus on specific line items that are often missed. Perhaps the property has not undergone an inspection since it was first constructed, and it may be overdue for a number of needed inspections. If that is the case, then your third-party property inspector can let you know what needs to be done, and they can often do the inspections themselves if you are willing to pay for that service. 

Property Manager Inspections

Property managers need to perform inspections on the properties that they have leased out to tenants when those tenants are ready to leave. The reason for this is because they need to ensure that their tenants have not done any damage to the property that could take away from its value. There is a reason why most property managers require new tenants to make a deposit when they first move into their property. They hold on to any portion of that deposit that is necessary to repair the elements of the apartment that are left in disrepair when the tenant leaves. 

A thorough inspection of the living space by the property manager can turn up any issues that the tenant left behind when they left the property. Any damages and their estimated cost of repair must then be reported to the tenant. 

Insurance Inspections

Those who wish to purchase insurance on their personal home are likely able to do so without much paperwork or frustration. However, those who need to purchase insurance for a commercial property may have to put a little more effort into getting the help that they require. The reason for this is because they will need to get an insurance company out to them as soon as possible to inspect their property and let them know if there is anything special they need to do to fix the property before it becomes insurable. 

When you are the property owner in this situation, you are hoping that no issues crop up, but you cannot guarantee this until you take the time to get an insurance inspection done

Conclusion

There are many types of inspections that are necessary to take care of the general flow of business and life. Now that you know a little more about these inspections and how they work, you can better prepare yourself for the reality of what you will need to go through when you need to have one of these inspections performed.

GoCanvas provides all of the digital tools your business needs to perform inspections. By going digital with inspection forms, your business can streamline the inspection process and instantly share digital reports with key stakeholders. Sign up for a free trial to see our inspection forms in action or contact our team to learn more.