ComSOP discussion

I am currently taking the commercial inspection prerequisite course and it seems as if there isn’t very many things that you’re supposed to inspect according to the standards of practice. It varies very differently from the residential standards of practice, understandably it’s for commercial properties. I have a few questions. When you are inspecting a residential property that is considered a commercial property, like a 10 Plex or 20 Plex, do you inspect it under the commercial standards of practice or treated as a residential standards of practice with just a lot more livable areas then a single family home? Also, do you follow the commercial standards of practice or have you taken some of the standards and uniquely made your own standards of practice and go by that? Thanks!

I treat it as commercial. Commercial SOP, Commercial Inspection Agreement.

Not sure what happened, was trying to post 4 or 5 times, kept freezing! :roll_eyes:

@jfudge Reading the SOP, it doesn’t seem like (the basic version of the SOP) there is much to inspect in the systems and components area. The residential SOP is a lot more intensive when it comes to inspection them i.e. electric, HVAC etc…
Just making conversation about it, that’s all.
Thanks for your reply.

I treat it much the same as residential, reporting on everything I can and include all I can, along with the life safety, fire protection, cooking area (restaurant for example).

I have my HIP template set up to work with residential or commercial, as well as my disclaimer/scope.

Here is the key difference with Commercial inspections… SCOPE.
The SCOPE of every commercial inspection is determined during the interview phase of conversing with the potential client. There is no “one-size-fits-all” SCOPE as there is with Residential inspections. Basically, YOU and the CLIENT determine what is and what is not to be inspected, and to what degree.


Yes, I should have mentioned that, but it was late at night! :slight_smile: We have a section to define the scope when it comes to commercial, because as you say each commercial inspection is different. Thanks Mr. Jonas!


As do I, which also includes instructions as to how to proceed in the event the SCOPE needs to be modified mid-inspection for conditions unknown prior to the inspection. AGAIN, determined with the CLIENT prior to the inspection and included as part of the PCA Agreement.

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I agree…one needs to converse with the client to determine the scope of what is to be inspected. :smile:


IMHO the differences between home and commercial inspections don’t stop at the scope of work, which are completely different beasts. With a commercial inspection, you’re parsing de minimis conditions from conspicuous defects and deferred maintenance in a much larger way. You are also digging way deeper into useful life analysis, maintenance histories, and providing the client with a reserve analysis of the property over some agreed upon term. Example: say you do a commercial inspection on a property that had 4 cooling towers and 6 chillers. You’d be doing your client a disservice if you merely reported on the nameplate data and current condition.

So in a nut shell, don’t think of a commercial inspection as simply an extension of a home inspection to a larger property. They are different.


Darren, to anyone experienced with commercial assessments, what you stated is understood, BUT, to an inexperienced home inspector taking the basic Nachi course, most of that (likely) is way-y-y-y over their heads and incomprehensible. My reply above was attempting to stay on point with the OP’s opening statement/question comparing Commercial to Residential, and hopefully cracking open the door to realization.

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And you did just that. I have no commercial experience. In my opinion the commercial NACHI course is missing an insane amount of guidance and information on what (IMHO with no experience) a commercial inspection is.
This is a different beast to say the least.
Thanks for all the replies guys!


Absolutely agree with your post. In real world, the Home Inspector that includes commercial most likely will do small commercial. I do commercial inspections and use the ASTM E2018 as a guide and have this outline in the report. When the MEP are above my pay-grade I call on commercial sub-contractors commensurate with their experience to handle that specific discipline, I pay them directly and include their total report in mine.

Built commercial for years. As an inspector in my area we do whatever the customer wants BUT most customers in my area ask us to inspect / observe 5-6 things … the main electrical entry service and main panel(s) ; the main plumbing entry; main hot water source; main HVAC unit(s); the roof; visible foundation; main building structure; the site (parking lot, walks, etc); AND any visible significant safety issues we observe with these components.

We do small 6,000sf to 16,000sf office/warehouse buildings; 40,000sf manufacturing facilities; 140,000sf hotels; assisted care facilities, etc and MOST have us do the 5-6 things mentioned above. More building to inspect BUT less picky or little crap get looked than a home inspection


That sounds awesome. I want to be there one day.

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