Everyone occupies buildings for residence, work, leisure, or business activities. That’s why building inspections are a must to do to ensure that the building is safe for human occupation. This is especially important in cities where lots of tall and big buildings are built. If you are a property manager, it is your job to make sure the building you manage is in tip-top shape and should pass the inspection test from your city or county’s planning and building department inspectors.
You don’t have to wait for inspectors to tell you your building is in a bad shape; you too can also do inspections to look out for any problems or concerns regarding some components in your building. To aid you in your inspection process, you need a checklist. Read the article for tips on what to include in your checklist and choose sample building inspection checklist templates that you can use.
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The Purpose of a Building Inspection
There are a number of purposes why building inspections are conducted. A building inspection will check if there any structural damages, major or minor defects in some elements in the building, expose hidden defects, and check if the building is in compliance with zoning regulations, national building and occupancy codes.
How to Make a Building Inspection Checklist
Here’s a list of the elements in a building that are inspected thoroughly:
- Aisles, hallways, stairwells: These liminal spaces should be free from obstructions such as furniture that keeps people from passing these spaces.
- Exits: Exit areas should always be clear from obstructions to prevent accidents and to let people exit quickly in case of emergencies. Exit light should also be always operational and visible from a distance. Emergency exits, such as fire escapes, usually lead to a staircase. They must be kept close at all times and should only be open in emergencies.
- Housekeeping: All office spaces, or rooms, and other areas in the building should be spic and span. The building should be clean enough to be a comfortable and safe place to stay in.
- Rooms: Office spaces or rooms should be evaluated of the capacity they can hold and contain people and furniture. Furniture must not take a lot of space in a single room. Doors must depend on the maximum number of people that inhabit the room.
- Open flames: There should be a protocol on allowing and using open flame products such as candles, lighters, or gas stoves and the requirements needed (if ever) for it.
- Electrical/mechanical rooms: This room houses the machines that help operate the building such as electrical generators, central heating systems, ventilation systems, and such. There should be no other obstructions that could interrupt the operation of these machines.
- Electrical cords, panels, and sockets: Check the these will not pose any tripping hazards and tears in cords that are exposed. They should be covered with a plate and should be working properly.
- Fire Extinguishers and Sprinklers: Fire extinguishers need to be accessible by everyone so it needs to be put in a conspicuous spot. Sprinklers should be working as well. There should be no object that obstructs the sprinklers.
- Chemicals: They should be labeled properly and stored in a safe area.
Other areas and components to be inspected are: The building must be accessible for persons with disabilities, energy audits, elevators or escalators, mold sampling, cores of roofs and floors, alarms, wood destroying organism inspection, pest control inspection, radon gas testing, plumbing systems, site review, fenestrations, structural frames, and installed interior frames.
Once the inspection is done, inspectors need to also include documents, or permits from the government and even give recommendations as to how the building owners and caretakers improve its state.
What will fail a building inspection?
There are several ways of some buildings just not cutting it to pass. The most common reasons are roof damage, structural movement and deterioration, water damage in walls, ceilings, or floors, and major pest infestations.
How much does a building inspection cost?
The cost of building inspection will depend on a number of factors: the type of inspection done, the type and size of the property, and location.
Sure it takes a lot of effort, cooperation from occupants, time, and money to keep your building complied to a standard quality but the fruits of your labor will be worth it when your building not only pass the inspections, it can also stand without getting damaged for a number of years and even decades. If you need to get started to make your own checklist for the inspection, you can download the sample building inspection checklist provided above.
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