Commercial properties pricing

I have a inspection for 1300 sq foot commercial property . Do you guys typically charge more for commercial or do you price it just like a home inspection by sq footage

Depends on the type of commercial. There’s retail space, industrial, warehouse, manufacturing, institutional, medical… how deep are you going? What are the client’s needs? will they be buying, leasing, attempting to rezone…?


Bob has some good questions, Erik. Did you and the client come to a meeting of the minds as to what exactly you will be inspecting?

No I look at it onkline it was a dental office

I don’t know what exactly they will doing with the property. All I know is it was previously
used a dental office

every comm
always ask the potential client the intended use & if asked
explain the reason is it could ^ most likely will affect reporting
how can anyone fathom inspecting a property until they know what the client needs
nothing personal…jmo

More often than not the client doesn’t really know what they are wanting out of it & think an inspection is an inspection.

All to often the inspector does not try to find out what the client needs out of it…and thinks an inspection is an inspection.

Gotcha I’m asking the client now. As far as pricing goes is it usually more for commercial properties? The only reason I took it is because it’s a small dental office normally I stay away from big commercial warehouses

Hi see what you mean so just treat it like any other inspection. Do you usually charge more because it is a commercial property? Or do you just stick to square footage?

OK so I found out they’re going to guy it and make it a bar

I meant the opposite, actually.
A person is buying a property & wants things “checked out”. Recently, they are new investors not really familiar with what they are doing or what it is they want to know about before their transaction. Thus they rely on the professional they hire to know what it is they need to know.

Now, I am not the person to ask about what they would need as I don’t perform commercial inspections, however, I do know enough about commercial properties to know that I would not be interested in the same procedures or reporting as is performed on retail residential homes. Commercial should be more specific & deals with different equipment such as; industrial hvac; industrial electrical; ADA compliance, zoning; parking; etc. Much different than residential houses. For example, do they need to know if the building has the appropriate power source for their x-ray machine? What type of power do those require? Beats me, but wouldn’t they be disappointed if they thought you knew to check for that because you were the professional but you didn’t because you didn’t know it was a thing.


Ok, so here is another thought. Will they serve food? Will they want to know if it can perform the food safety tasks that would be required with such. How about fire safety/suppression & appropriate exit requirements for the building.

Now that you know what they want to do with the building, find out what they want to know about in order to do that.
Charge by the hour. For example, I charge residential by the square footage +other factors, however, those fees are really based on how long it will take me to do my full job for that size home & condition.

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Hey Erik,

Yes I price it differently than a house but every market is different. Use some simple math to determine how much you want to earn for your time spent and use that.

As for what the intended use, you may request that info as a courtesy but it should not affect how you inspect the building.

It’s still a limited visual inspection using normal operating controls of major systems and components. We do not comment on ADA compliance, code compliance, fire suppression etc.

Just like in residential do not comment or attempt to comment on things outside the scope of inspection (see above paragraph).

Who cares if it’s a dental office soon to be a restaurant, inspect what you can see and report what you find.

Just my opinion.

Good luck.


Erick, Commercial is a different ‘ball game’. I use the same software to break the task into the same structural systems (Electrical, Plumbing, Exterior, Interior, etc.) In my state (MD) commercial inspections are not Regulated, No minimum standards, it is open hunting season…!! Best guide for the job itself is InterNACHI certification. But about pricing, there is nothing written, it will be related to the intensity of your involvement in their (customer/buyer) project. It maybe just one site-field-trip or many more to follow up in specifics. It may take additional research on your part before your render a professional opinion. You may need to bring in the “Cavalry” of sub-Contractors. Your best friend HVAC Licensed Master Contractor, an ADA specialist, a Masonry Licensed Contractor, it is endless. You are the “Expert Advisor” to the customer. Make sure you have ‘good wording’ in your Contract that does not dig a grave for yourself. You can become their Inspection Associate Pre-Purchase, on-site inspection as the remodeling and adaptation to the new purpose takes place, and you can Crown with a final inspection before inauguration. They know about their business, You know about Inspections…!

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plz explain why
do you also stay away from big residential?
what i charge for all my pro services & what others charge in & out of my market are worlds apart
i work smarter not harder, fewer gigs & better shekels
email or call anytime

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No I do big homes , but I do get what your saying and that’s the route I’m trying to take now.

Pricing commercial work off square footage doesn’t work very well, imho. I’ve done everything from 1,000 sf commercial buildings, to embassies, skyscrapers, and 7 million square foot resorts. I just did a 750,000 sf distro center today. Basing prices off of square footage alone will not cut it. In my opinion, adding up estimates of your hours and costs is really the only way to go. You’re not installing flooring. You’re providing a professional service.