Questions to Ask About a Building Inspection
Having a building inspection done is often required if you're getting a mortgage to buy a building or residence, and it's a good idea to have a thorough inspection even if you're paying cash and aren't taking out a loan. There are many possible issues with a commercial building or home that could result in costly needed repairs, but which aren't noticeable during a standard walkthrough of the property. When you're having a building inspection scheduled, note a few questions to ask so you know what happens during this process and also know how to interpret or better utilize the results.
Ask if the report will be written
It's typically a legal obligation for the inspector to provide you with a written building inspection report so that you can share that report with your real estate agent, lawyer and whomever else, and ask their opinion about the findings. This doesn't mean that the inspector won't answer your verbal questions, however, as they may even encourage you to be present during the inspection. This allows you to ask about anything you don't understand on the report or about the condition of certain areas of the building or home so that you better understand the inspection, along with getting your written copy.
Ask about inspecting the subfloor and crawlspace
An inspector will usually inspect the subfloor and crawlspace of a building or home, but only if they have adequate access to such spaces. This doesn't include removing floorboards or areas of the ceiling, as there typically needs to be a hinged door or other such access point for them to reach this area. If there is no safe and easy access point, the inspector may not inspect this part of the building, and you would need to make other arrangements, if you must have them inspected before purchasing.
Ask about inspecting the roof space
The roof of any building should be inspected, but note that this may not include air conditioning ducts, ventilation shafts, elevator machinery and other such items. A roof with a very steep pitch may also be unsafe for an inspector, so it might not be included in the inspection. If you're concerned about the roof of a building or home being safe for the inspector and want an inspection of any vents and other items connected to the roof, it can be good to be present for the inspection, so you know they're included or know if you need to hire a specialist to inspect those areas for you.