Getting renovations done can make a huge difference in the feel and impression of your commercial location, but there’s an additional piece you should consider before you start tearing down walls. Namely, it’s getting a property condition assessment beforehand. Getting a property condition assessment (also known as a building condition assessment) might not seem that high on your priority list before starting on renovations, but it can actually help greatly. In fact, it can even reduce costs in some circumstances.
Plus, these assessments can also be used to help you make a decision on whether to buy commercial real estate.
Below, we detail how a property condition assessment works so you can make an informed choice about whether to get one or not for yourself.
How Does a Property Condition Assessment Work?
Like appraisals, you should only get property condition assessments from an accredited provider. There are industry standards that need to be met that only an accredited professional will know. Some providers (like us) can also provide environmental site assessments as well.
When the assessment is done, an accredited professional will come on-site and take photos and prepare written documentation on each part of the property. This also includes any deficiencies they observe. On top of that, they will review repair and maintenance histories, and interview facilities and maintenance staff for more insight before putting together a final assessment.
The final assessment will break down everything on the property that needs to be repaired, replaced, or upgraded immediately to conform to industry standards. Also included will be an estimated lifespan of the building’s components and systems (like HVAC, heating, foundation, etc.). The assessor will also provide a list of recommendations for repair or replacement, with estimated costs.
What Does a Property Condition Assessment Include?
Within the final assessment, you’ll get detailed info about whether you need to do repairs within a short timespan, as well as what will be required in the longer term, complete with estimated costs.
Common factors that are looked at in the report include:
- The site and grounds of a property–Whether these systems have been maintained or if they’ve started to deteriorate (e.g. sidewalks, fencing, exterior lighting, etc.).
- Foundations and structural elements of a property–The quality of the foundation and if there are any structural cracks or leaks existing or forming (e.g. foundations, columns, walls, etc.).
- The building envelope–What’s the condition of the roof and other systems (e.g. stairs and steps, roofing, windows, etc.)?
- The essential systems of the building–What is the current state of systems like HVAC, heating, and so on and how long will they last (e.g. electrical, HVAC, air conditioning, plumbing, etc.)?
- The building interior–Have any parts been updated or are in disrepair (e.g. interior finishes)?
- Safety and regulations compliance–Are all systems up to code (e.g. sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, etc.)?
Overall, a property condition assessment is a valuable report that offers considerable insight into a property before purchase or can even provide data on what renovations would best be prioritized.