Commercial Inspection Help

I have been doing residential inspections for a couple of years now and I just got my first Commercial inspection. The inspection is of a restaurant and munti-unit apt. next door, total of about 6700 sq st. I have never done a commercial inspection before and was looking for all the advice I could get. I was thinking about bringing my brother-in-law with me, he is retired commercial HVAC guy. Thanks.

Hi Morgan,

I bring a electrician along also if there is three phase power with numerous panels. I believe an HVAC tech is a must also.

Inspecting restaurants, I disclaim anything regarding equipment in the agreement. If the client wants to know anything about the restaurant equipment, have them contact the manufacturer of the particular piece.

I have found they will send a rep out and look at the equipment for a possible buyer. Equipment reps are happy to go to a restaurant and look items over, they use the opportunity as a possible sale down the road for new equipment.

For a restaurant, you absolutely want an HVAC/refrigeration guy. Good tip about the restaurant equipment, Dale.

Morgan…what are you using for an inspection Agreement???


Good comments by all of the guys above.

I recommend emailing/calling Gerry Beaumont w/Gerry Beaumont Consulting. You’ve seen his posts and he is active with Educ. Comm. and easy to connect with.
I just went through a two (2) day course with Gerry in Atlanta, Ga., with one day exclusively dedicated to Commercial Inspections. It was the best I’ve been through in years, maybe ever. I learned/relearned a lot.

I’ve been doing Commercial Inspections in various Industry catagories (HVAC, Refrigeration, Comm.Kitchen Equipment, Foundations, WDO/PC over the past 30+/-yrs. and I can promise you, you can get into a “costly/career ending” mess if you’re not careful. Restaurants, Banks, Prisons, Convenience Stores, Hotels/Motels, etc. are the worst.

Tread slowly, talk to Gerry or someone of his calibur, before you really get going.

Good Luck

Hi Morgan,

The important part of Commercial inspecting is getting the contract nailed down, you should not be refering to a NACHI type SOP when performing these inspections, rather you should have a seperate commercial agreement including a “scope of work” document which states which systems are going to be evaluated and how, the scope of work is negotiated with your potential client.

As to using subs for specialized inspections, the advice of the others is good, dependent on systems employed on the property you should concider using electrical, roofing and HVAC subs, the commercial kitchen equipment side is interesting as in many areas these appliances tend to be leased rather than owned and may not even be a required part of the inspection, if they are required I would go with Dales suggestion of having them evaluated by a servicing dealer.

feel free to call me if you need further advice.

Greg, thanks for the kind words.



Thanks Gerry

Thank you guys for all the great advice. I really am thankful. Sounds like I could of wound up in a real mess. Since I am only in my second year I think I will skip the commercial inspections for now and keep building my residential business. Hopefully I can find time to take some classes in commercial inspections.

Dont forget to disclaim an enviornmental inspection (phase I or II) and request that one be done by a licensed company. These inspections start at about $4000.00 and do up.

I would recommend reading a copy of the ASTM 2018, these guidelines are for a property condition assessment, which is a good foundation to start from.

I have also heard that most commercial property buyers / investors are more interested in the “costs” associated with repairs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they want some ballpark estimates for repairs, service of equipment, etc. etc.