Written Proposal

I have been asked to submit a written proposal for a inspection on a two story 17000 sq ft office building that is vacant. They want a property condition report as wall as an ADA inspection.

They rated the building as a “D” and they intend to put it back to “A” condition. They want to know what needs to be done to get from “A” to “D”.

Do commercial Inspectors usually submit a written proposal and if so, can I take a look at one?

Upon my complete pre-inspection review of the property.
I’ll at a minimum do a drive by, depending on distance, or get all the info and photos I can from the agent(s), bldg.dept., tax records… to look at before I leap.

I E-mail, NO fax, them my bid with my contract for inspection service(s).
It’s spelled out what I do, don’t, will, and won’t do. “My written proposal”
All parties are on the same page, “with me”, before pen touches paper.

Now comes the kicker, they sometimes want a more exhaustive inspection that’s when subs are brought in and the fees spike accordingly.

If they want anything else from me they’ll have to request it in writing.


Excellent advice. For a full ADA compliance inspection, he needs to bring someone whi is ADA-certified. That portion of the inspection I would carefully word, contracturally, so as to avoid possible litigious backlash.

As to opinions of probable costs, I’d use subs and/or Means Cost Estimating Guide, along with historical data (if available).

The pre-inspection survey, and SOW need to be written carefully, and executed with the inspection agreement.

The client’s risk tolerance level needs to be understood, and expectations of all parties needs to be correctly set.

Barry and Joe, thanks,

I currently have an electrical and roofing contractor that will evaluate those two systems for free and give me a written report that I will attach with the inspection. I am using the Homegauge 4, ASTM E 2018 property condition assessment template. It has the Tier 2 ADA section as part of the template. I did not realize tier 2 required a certification.

On this inspection I will request both contractors give me a bid on bringing the roof and electrical system up to “A” standards (what ever that is). The tier 2 section speaks for itself. Section 9 of E 2018 deals with probable costs. That will be difficult because this building looks like it may be in pretty bad shape. I walked the outside but could not get inside.

I have to have the proposal submitted by Monday, thanks again for your help. I’ll let you know how I make out.

Joe…I wish we could have gotten your course to Arizona in January!

Never, ever, ever write or say these 3 words “ADA.” Just don’t do it. It’s a whole other world. And never use an SOP that mentions it either. And never, ever use ASTM’s SOP which made the world’s most disasterous legal mistake ever made by coming up with an Tier 2 ADA checklist that is NOT an ADA compliant checklist! There is no such thing as a Tier 2 ADA inspection despite what ASTM or HomeGauge says. That has to be the most dangerous document ever written. If anything, do the reverse: do an ADA style inspection and tell your client clearly that it ISN’T an ADA inspection. ASTM’s implies that it is when it isn’t. You want to imply that it isn’t, when in fact it is. Under promise, over deliver. ASTM over implies and far under delivers. Might as well just give your client your house now. Anyway… you probably do have a duty to inspect for accessibility obstacles though and report those to your client. Refer to end of www.nachi.org/comsop.htm (which BTW doesn’t mention ADA) and you’ll be fine. Protect yourself… always reference www.nachi.org/comsop.htm clearly in your Scope of Work agreement.

Nick, I’m glad I didn’t send the proposal yet. I’ll change the language now to remove reference to ADA. Thanks for the advice.

I won’t go so far as to say that written proposal are usually requested but the request is also not uncommon. Large companies often have strict purchasing rules that may require written proposals for any contracted work.

I actually just sent a proposal letter to a company who inquired about inspecting a rather large complex of 6 buildings. It states what is inspected in general terms, the time frame to get it accomplished, the quote in range pricing (from $xxxx.xx to $xxxx.xx), what the written report will have in it and other verbiage thanking them. Length of letter runs about a page and half. We’ll see who wins the bid.

Used the services of a few sub-contractors who gave me prices on the cost of doing the inspection. Incorporated their costs with what I will be inspecting and gave them the proposal. I did not use square foot pricing but hourly for me. Made more sense to me for pricing, as I am the Team Leader for the project. No matter how good the subs are. They know I’m in charge and they will be treated great as I have a great relationship with all of my subs. The secret is having good subs whom you trust.

Many thanks to Mike Nelson for his commercial class in Denver in 2007. That info has come in mighty handy as my commercial aspect is picking up.

Hope this answers a few questions you may have.

It has been almost two months since I bid this inspection. I didn’t get the job but I will share what the proposal looked like.

I started with the contract and the price of the inspection which was $2500.00. Then I added the scope below.


  1.  The purpose of the assessment is to observe and report, to the extent feasible pursuant to the process prescribed herein, on the physical condition of the subject property.
  2.  The Property Condition Assessment shall contain 4 basic components.

a) Documentation review and interviews as made available by the client.
b) Walk thru survey including Tier 2 ADA requirements.
c) Preparation of opinions of probable costs to remedy physical deficiencies (excluding cosmetic corrections or items estimated to be less than $3000.00 per item) as listed in item 3.
d) Completed written report.

  1.  Inspection Services LLC will provide estimates for Roof Repair, HVAC Repair, Exterior Painting, and Window Replacement. 
  2.  Inspections Services will inspect but not provide costs for repairs on the Parking Lot and Elevator.
  3.  If structural deficiencies are noted during the inspection, Inspection Services LLC will recommend further evaluation by a qualified licensed Structural Engineer.
  4.  The annex of the report will include any past documentation provided by the client including but not limited to.

a) Roof evaluation by O’Brien-Largen dated 4/17/2007.
b) Palm Aire HVAC evaluation dated 4/16/2007.
c) Air Dynamics evaluation dated 6/15/07.
d) Kone elevator evaluation dated 6/13/2007.


I will email you what I use when I get to my other computer.

Seems to work just fine.

I sent you an email on the proposal letter I sent yesterday.

Thanks Dale and Dennis.