3 Important Things to Know About Building Inspections

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Umer Malik

Did you know that 77% of homebuyers had unexpected repair costs during their first year of ownership? With home and commercial building prices at all-time highs, costly repairs can cause an unexpected financial burden.

Whether you are buying or selling a property, building inspections are an important tool for maximizing your real estate investment in the long term.

Here are three important things to know about residential and commercial building inspections. Please keep reading for a quick overview of building inspections and how they work.

1. How Building Inspections Work

Building inspections are an impartial evaluation of a property. From residential homes to commercial offices, inspections ensure that a building is safe to occupy.

The overall purpose of a building inspection is to verify compliance with minimum safety standards set by the Department of Building Inspection in your local area. The building inspector will ensure the property is up to code for compliance and create an inspection report.

Even though new buildings all have to pass an initial inspection, over time, factors like building materials and extreme weather can impact the overall structure of a building. Real estate agents and lenders highly recommend them.

2. What Inspectors Check For

Professional inspectors do a visual and non-invasive assessment of the property to detect any minor or major defects. They will also evaluate the condition of the property as a whole.

A residential or commercial building inspection will look at the inside and outside of the property. A building inspection checklist usually includes five major systems including:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Ventilation
  • Heating
  • Mechanical

Depending on the property’s location, geologic factors like sediment shift, sea-level rise, or saltwater may pose a larger concern. It’s best practice to confirm what will be inspected beforehand to ensure you also get the necessary information.

Click here for more information about what building inspections cover.

3. When to Get a Building Inspection

 Building and pest inspections are critical for the well-being of those living in or around structures. It should be noted that depending on the situation, a building inspection may be required, recommended, or even waived.

New construction is always inspected. An inspector will ensure the new structure matches the approved plans and does not disrupt infrastructures like buried gas, water, or electric lines.

While waving home inspections became a popular practice in 2021, homebuyers should always invest in a building inspection. This can give buyers leverage in negotiation and ensure a sound investment.

A building inspection is also a good tool for home sellers to ensure there are no surprises after listing a property and entering into a contract.

Why Building Inspections Are Important

Building inspections are an important tool for ensuring the long-term value of your real estate investment. Whether you are a home buyer, seller, or own property in an area prone to geologic events, a building inspection could save you time and money in the long run.

A Quick Overview

  1. What are building inspections?

Building inspections are thorough assessments of the condition of a building’s structure, systems, and components. Building inspections can be conducted on both residential and commercial properties and typically take place before a property is sold, leased, or renovated. These inspections can reveal potential issues such as structural damage, plumbing and electrical problems, and safety hazards that must be addressed before the property changes hands.

  1. Why are building inspections important?

Building inspections are essential because they provide valuable information about the condition of a property. Buyers can use the inspection report to negotiate a lower price or request that certain repairs be made before purchasing the property. Additionally, building inspections can help to identify potential safety hazards that could pose a risk to occupants or visitors. Regular building inspections can also help property owners identify and address maintenance issues before they become costly and more extensive.

  1. What do building inspections typically cover?

Building inspections typically cover many areas, including the foundation, roof, walls, electrical system, plumbing system, heating and cooling systems, and other structural components. The inspector will also check for any signs of water damage, mold, and pest infestations. Additionally, building inspectors may conduct tests for radon gas, lead-based paint, and other hazardous materials.

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