Barn Inspections

I have been requested by a client to do a barn inspection or find someone who can do it. What are the requirements to inspect a barn in Colorado? Are there classes available? Do you need to be a commercial inspector if the ranch falls into a residential situation. If anyone has answers, please let me know my starting point on this one. I have 10-14 days to solve this problem.
Thank you,
Robert Crawford, Internachi CPI

Watch out for manure. :blush:

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In my area, barns are considered ‘Commercial-Agricultural’.
My first question is: WHAT kind of barn is it?



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As Jeff replied, you first need to find out what type of barn it is; i.e. size, what utilities does it have, is it heated, it’s purpose, etc. I do these often. I may include it with the home inspection or I may include it as a separate commercial inspection. Get as much information as you can, and if you feel comfortable, do it!
They are lucrative.

extensive ag check list


That is a great checklist, Barry. Thanks for providing it! :blush:

Robert, the requirements are whatever you agree to with the client. It’s not a residential home inspection and is not subject to any standards of practice. Find out what your client wants to know, write up the contract accordingly, and go from there.
Disclaim anything you can’t see including wood decay and pathogens (if it’s an old barn it may contain all sorts of microbes).

Great post, Barry!

If it’s a pole barn where support posts are buried in the ground look for wood rot just below the ground surface. Look for loose/rusted/missing metal roofing and siding. Tall barns catch a lot of wind so look for leaning of the entire structure. If it’s a hay barn check the floor structure of the hay loft. Bales stacked 15 to 20 feet high are heavy and cracked sagging floor structure may be a concern.

I have had clients refer to small sheds and outbuildings as “Barns”. If they are under 144 square feet without any utilities, I include them in the home inspection with specific disclaimers. Normally anything larger I inspect under my commercial contract.
I actually enjoy doing them.

thnks all
Randy adds good structural advice
i posted as a starter checklist & didn’t intend as an end-all of items that are encountered
nec violations are some of the most concerning & not extensively covered

True Barry. I find electrical defects in almost all outbuilding/barns I inspect. It seems when it come to adding electrical service to the structure, everyone becomes an electrician or has an Uncle that “knows how”