Should I Take on This Project?

Hey everyone, I have been contacted by a buyer who is looking at a 6-unit building in my area. I am wondering if I should undertake this project? It seems pretty straight-forward as it’s not a huge property. It’s shared water, baseboard heat, no HVAC system to worry about - the only big part would be fire codes and electrical correct? Anyways also wondering what you would price it out at? Each unit according to owner is roughly 750-850 sq. ft.


I think the fire dept. will look after what is required in an apt. Building .
I do believe we in Canada are going to use what the USA does shortly.

Without all the pertinent info (total sq/ft, common areas, laundry room, etc)… $450.00 base + $75.00 per unit = $900.00 USD (in my rural area).

Thanks Roy, yes I was going to advise that the fire be done by a fire department official, as well as possibly ESA performing the electrical.

I would feel 100% comfortable with this that’s for sure, since we don’t do codes anyways it doesn’t make sense for me to report on these two particular systems.

Hi Jeff, yeah that’s about what I quoted as well I may be a bit high at the moment but I just gave myself some breathing room so I can suggest the other inspections such as electrical and fire be performed separately and reduce my cost a bit if needed. I quoted $1200 incl. taxes.

Things may be different in Canada, but IMO, and with all due respect…

This is a Commercial Inspection, and being as such, should never be compared to a residential inspection in any way, shape, or form! With that being said, if I passed off the Electrical and Life Safety aspects of the inspection to the FD and POCO, I wouldn’t be doing my job. It is not the responsibility of those organizations to perform these inspections, it is what you are being hired for. If you are not comfortable doing them, hire someone to assist you such as a licensed Electrician and another inspector experienced with Life Safety systems. When dealing with commercial properties, especially those with tenants, employees or open to public use, Life Safety is one of the most critical areas of your inspection. Do not take it lightly.


If more than 4 units, I treat it as a commercial building per our standards… especially and if more than 4 under a single roof/address. If, for example there are 3 buildings with 3 units, it may be a commercial inspection by contract, but would likely be viewed as a residential property by AHJ and different standards for their housing department.

And different standards come into play when several units under a single roof (think townhouse), but different addresses, such as separation etc… What can be crazier is how muni’s look at mult-family where maybe 6 units under same roof and address changes hand, would that trigger a Fire Sprinkler requirement? Hmmm… remember, some areas have zero/zip “grandfathering” of safety items on Comm. properties.

Tyler…You’ll also need W.S.I.B. coverage doing Commercial Inspections.

That seems fair, I just quoted $1300 for a 6 unit, 3 story complex here.

I have WSIB training does that count? Or is it a separate coverage all together?

I also don’t understand the issue of telling the client to get the fire codes and ESA in to provide full compliance on those items? Obviously I would be doing a full inspection with health and safety in mind however I thought fire safety code compliance and ESA were required up here anyways? Just like when a building is renovated?