How to Price Commerial Inspections?

How much or how should I price a Commercial Inspection? The property is a 17,000 sq ft old Progressive Lighting building. If I use square footage, how much to charge per sq ft?

Please help me out y’all. Thanks in advance.


.20 to .25 sq. ft. = $3,400.00 to $4,250.00

Thank you. I’ll go with that on this bid.

Hmmmm … I did a Manhattan commercial property condition assessment (ASTM E2018 standard) complete with costs, travel, estimates. etc. … fee was $3,000.00. The going rate goes something like this: 20 hours for the project - on site, travel, tables, estimates, report, photos … $75 to $100 an hour. Expenses are negotiable. If you do work for IVI, EMG, EBI, etc. … look at a much lower fee. The marketplace is still jambed up due to lending, CMBS, bid-ask pricing, foreclosures and all that good stuff. Foreclosure work is HOT in the commerial arena. Housing is also HOT. Everything else is so…so. The use of templates for report writing, photos and spreadsheets helps a great deal to cut down on the man/woman - hours. Travel can be a killer … a double killer if your fly.


Just curious how it went with your bidding?

I was recently asked to bid on the following rural commercial complex:

A 2-story office (originally a barn) that is 10,800 sf on a slab foundation. It had 41 offices, a pitched metal roof, elevator, cafeteria, 8 bathrooms, 2 walk-in coolers (about 15x25 each).

A 2-story house that is 2,400 sf converted to corporate offices on a basement. 2 bathrooms and kitchenette.

A 1-story building on a slab used for a warehouse with 2 bathrooms.

A 1-story building on slab (850 sf) used as a garage for vehicles and mowers.

There were 2 septic systems, a lagoon, and 2 holding tanks (well and cisterns). I was told it had:

6 heatpumps; a 20 Ton Rooftop HVAC; a 5 Ton Rooftop HVAC; a 50 HP Hearst Steam Boiler; and 4 Propane HVAC units.

Electric Panels: 10 for the 10,800 sf building; 3 for the house; 2 for the warehouse; and 1 for the small garage building.

I was told there were a total of 5 water heaters.

That was my known info. It was reported to be 35-45 years old; vacant with utilities on. Our PRIMARY purpose was doing foundations; roofs; main electrical panels and spot checks on the systems; main plumbing and spot checks on the systems; Exteriors & Framing.

I bid it at $4,200

I was told we were too high and it went to a local ASHI inspector at $3,150

Hi Dan,

Hope all is well with you and yours, my bid on that job would have been in line with your competitor, I have never been able to get a sq/ft price, I have always quoted based on man hours, I too would have bid that job at around 3 man days (+/-) subs, I would have quoted around $3k, 1-1 1/2 days inspecting, same again in writing the report.

Yeah, and I hate “slumming it at $125 p/h” :wink:



Hi “Mate”—:smiley:

How you been Gerry?..Great I certainly hope…!!

I know you and I have been through this a hundred times…BUT…what Ole Dan described sure sounds like it could be a LONG inspection, and possibly a VERY LONG REPORT…As you know, I would have bid it even higher than Dan quoted, which is very reasonable I think…but it always goes back to what the market will bare…and I think Dan has men working for him so they could be doing different portions of the report by the way it was described…but if it was “Originally A Barn”…well that right there kinda makes me think it’s OLD, and if I’m correct, there may not be any or much building code compliance in Dan’s area of the country—:shock:

I (we) inspected a 20,000 sf Tilt-Wall Building this morning, started at 9:30 and we were twiddling our thumbs at 12:30…just one large completely open office building with “Cubes” for the “Robots” (employees) built last year by a developer specifically for the Internal Revenue Service with a 20 year lease agreement, so everything in the building was just shy of being “Gold Plated”…top of the line EVERYTHING…I was stunned…!

The buyer just wanted the major systems and components inspected, the SPF Roof coating had a couple nicks in the foam, and one loose faucet in a Restroom…that was it…we looked high and low for something wrong but could not find anything, not even ONE open J-Box above the Drop-Panel Ceiling, not even one loose receptacle…incredible.

Insulation was placed between the roof framing above the ceiling like Rembrandt installed it…and I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the perspective…Built with integrity, and built to last many moons, this building is surely one I’ll never forget how it was constructed by a company who really cared about the final product.

My fee was $2,000.00… because the buyer just wanted to know what needed repair NOW performing a Visual Inspection only…NOTHING else was to be reported as I clearly wrote in our Inspection Agreement, but normally my Fees are in line with what Dave Valley quoted if the buyer would have wanted more than what we agreed upon…for instance have my A/C Specialist check pressures, etc; at the Condensers (you know the deal–:smiley: )…or have a few Roofing Contractors at the site to give repair estimates if the building was a few years old, because the two systems which fail here prematurely are the A/C units and Roof coverings.

Well I hope everyone is having a good year, I know this year is the most profitable year I ever had, but I wish the commercial real estate market was moving at a better pace, because I’m up to my neck in REO’s…and I can count on my hands and toes how many commercial buildings over 10,000 sf I have inspected this year…poor, very poor year for the commercial real estate market here anyway…and it’s not because I have been loosing jobs, I have not had the calls to lose the jobs—:D—:shock:

Price per square foot would not be appropriate in my opinion, but rather what components needed to be inspected and wether or not a cost to cure estimate would be needed. I always require a site free no obligation site visit prior to estimating a commercial property inspection.

I too go with this.
There are many “options” as Dale pointed out.
It is always easier to estimate time then square footage. It’s too easy to overbid with square foot estimates.

Hey guys, do you use any of the HomeGuage, Palm-Tech, InspectIt or 3D software for your commercial inspections?

I am interested in expediting the on-site and photo management of the report, but still want narrative flexibility … which program is the best?

I am new to the site, so here are my commercial rates:

  • Small Office / Retail Building under 2,000 sq. feet (minimum $750)
  • Office / Retail Building ($0.03 to 0.30 per sq. foot) (.20 to $.25 sq. ft. average cost)
  • Hotel ($0.05 to $0.30 per sq. foot and/or $15 to $20 per room)
  • Industrial up to 100,000 sq. foot ($0.02 to $0.15 per sq. foot)
  • Multi-Family up to 100 units ($25 to $50 per unit)
  • Multi-Family above 100 units ($5.00 to $30 per unit)

I believe you would quote whatever gets you the business, how bad you need it, and how much you need to pay any help. You can have the perfect formula, use it every time and not land a thing

hi everyone, my name is andy. i have been in local 3 for 10 years and decided home inspections was the way to go. i have more than enough commercial construction experience and would like to start doing commercial inspections. I dont know if new york has any other license requirements other than home inspector. i need feed back, thanks