Commercial Building Inspections: What Inspectors Look For

Did you know that building codes are updated every three years to continue improving the structural integrity of properties?

Because building codes are always changing, it’s important to complete commercial building inspections every three to five years for safety purposes. You’ll also need a building inspection when buying or selling commercial property.

What do inspectors look for during this process? Keep reading to find out.

Five Major Systems

Inspectors will look at the five major systems of a commercial building during an inspection. Commercial building systems include:

  1. Electrical
  2. Mechanical
  3. Plumbing
  4. Structural integrity
  5. Heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC)

During commercial building inspections, an inspector will ensure these systems are in good working condition. If the system isn’t up to par, an inspector can estimate repair or replacement costs.


Commercial building inspection services will check out your building’s exterior. This includes more than the outer walls. They will also check landscaping, roofing, and parking lots.

An inspector will determine if the roofing system is structurally sound. Often, inspectors will rely on insight from roofing contractors and other professionals.

Construction contractors and building code experts can help fully inspect the outside health of a commercial building.


Inspecting the building’s interior is two-fold. The first purpose of this step is to check that the interior areas meet local building codes. Secondly, they will check for safety-related risks and hazards.

An inspector will look at floors, offices, building walls, kitchen spaces, and other areas. This portion of the inspection will highlight any need for interior renovations.

Renovations will be a must if your building is not up to code.


Commercial properties require specific documentation. Building inspectors will review many documents during the process. For instance, they may review the following:

  • Review appraisals
  • Citations
  • Building plans
  • Certificates of occupancy
  • Evacuation plans
  • Construction permits
  • Fire safety system records

They can also review maintenance plans and past maintenance checkups. Fire safety systems like sprinklers and building alarms will need to be checked.

Records like this can reveal the true cost of commercial building ownership. An inspector will help any investors determine the property’s value.

Property Condition Report (PCR)

The findings from the commercial building inspection will be compiled in a Property Condition Report (PCR).

The PCR will include photos to clarify the written evidence of observations. If you require maintenance or replacement, the inspector will recommend corrective actions.

In some cases, an inspector will request a follow-up visit so that a specialist can check out your commercial property.

You’ll find any price estimates for repairs in this report as well.

Commercial Building Inspections: What to Expect

Commercial building inspections are important when you need to buy or sell a property and for general safety purposes. Inspectors will check the five major building systems, the exterior, the interior, and your building’s documents.

If any repairs or replacements are required, they will be in the Property Condition Report. All findings will be communicated in writing with photographic evidence in the report as well.

Do you need a commercial inspection? Contact us today to get started with a professional inspector.