The ins and outs of a commercial building inspection

Building inspectors are often called in prior to a purchase to help satisfy any concerns the buyer may have about the building they’re looking to secure. It’s considered a wise decision when taking into account buyers wanting to protect their investment, especially due to the risks involved in such a big purchase. But what exactly takes place during a building inspection?
Property condition
Of course, the most obvious thing that must be taken into account is the condition of the property. This covers structural stability and any evidence of a weak or cracked foundation. Building inspectors look for moisture or the existence of dampness, as this could indicate mould and it’s not uncommon for commercial properties to have leaking box gutters that were either never properly constructed or had failed to be maintained.
Many commercial buildings will have had internal or external modifications made to them over the years and it’s our job to not only identify them, but to ensure any additions were installed legally and with all the required paperwork. This is to protect the buyer from any potential future lawsuits that would arise from injuries involving any illegal modifications.
Weird occupant decisions
Sometimes occupants make some truly strange decisions, from padlocking externally-opening doors for ‘security purposes’ to creating obstructions near fire escapes. There are laws regarding the maintenance of essential services such as fire escapes and extinguishers, emergency lighting and exit lights that occupants often make strange decisions about due to their concerns about safety or aesthetics.
Out of date inspections
Frequently, building inspectors will find that there hasn’t been an inspection for a long time and that often, the building is well over due for one. This is made obvious by out of date fire extinguishers or hose reels and helps cement the need for any maintenance of essential services to be taken care of prior to purchase so that the burden of cost doesn’t fall on the buyer.
If you’re a property owner, you have a duty of care to provide a building that is compliant with all OH&S laws, so before you make your next purchase, get a building inspector to give it an appraisal to save yourself major headaches later down the track.