MN Home Inspector, Minnesota Inspections, LLC. - Professional Minneapolis Area Inspection Services 612.328.1522

Hiring an inspector?

Minnesota Inspections offers extremely detailed inspection reports that include dozens of color photographs and technical diagrams, dynamic links to articles that explain the defects in great detail and a summary section that provides a list of deficiencies documented in the report body. The home inspection reports also include an electronic version of Carson Dunlop’s best selling Home Reference Book, which is provided in the reference section of the report. 

When searching for an inspector, we do not recommend comparing the home inspector or commercial building inspector solely on price. This is likely the most significant purchase of your life. Is it really worth saving a relatively small amount of money for a basic report or inexperienced inspector? Our pricing is competitive with other professional commercial building inspection and home inspection companies.

We recommend comparing inspector qualifications, the scope of work provided, client reviews and sample inspection reports.  We have several sample inspection reports available for review on this site and your inspection is performed by a state licensed building contractor (license number BC659325) with over 20 years of trade’s experience.

Minnesota Inspections is one of few inspection companies in the area that specializes in commercial property inspection services. Commercial buildings are not typically constructed in the same manner as a home and generally have a completely different set of building, zoning, fire, occupancy and energy codes that apply. Many commercial buildings have complex electrical distribution systems, multiple central heating and cooling plants and a variety of construction materials and techniques that require an experienced consultant to perform the assessment.

We have performed hundreds of commercial building inspections and property condition assessments and can provide you with a team of specialists to assist you in your due diligence process.  We can provide commercial building inspections and property condition assessments for commercial buildings from 1,000 square feet to over 1,000,000 square feet.

Our clients include; national and international banking and lending institutions, restaurant franchises, retail establishments, hotels and resorts, real estate investment trusts, private equity firms, insurance companies, law firms, consulting firms, public housing authorities, triple net lease tenants, investors and small business owners.

Beware! Property disclosure requirements are limited to residential real estate (single family) transactions in Minnesota. A commercial property inspection or property condition assessment will provide the client with valuable insight into the true condition of the prospective property. Consider this; replacing a low slope built-up roof on a 5,000 square foot building can exceed $50,000. A single packaged 2-3 ton roof top unit (RTU) with an economizer averages $8,000 installed. These “big ticket” items are generally negotiable, but only if you are aware of the age and condition. 

Our commercial inspection experience is a valuable asset when purchasing a large luxury home, farm or rural property. Often times, these homes and/or the associated structures closely resemble light commercial construction.

What is included in a home inspection?

Basement and Structural Components

  • Foundation
  • Visible piers or footings
  • Basement walls. We inspect the walls for cracks, settlement and evidence of dampness or moisture intrusion.
  • Crawl Spaces
  • Beams, columns, joists, trusses and sheathing or decking
  • Sump pumps and baskets
  • Evidence of moisture intrusion or damp basements. We use industry standard moisture meters to confirm suspected moisture intrusion.

Exterior Components

  • Garage
  • Windows
  • Doors, including vehicle door operators.
  • Wall coverings including siding, trim and paint
  • Soffit and fascia
  • Wall and deck flashings
  • Caulking and sealants
  • Decks and balconies, including the structural components
  • Porches
  • Steps and stoops
  • Handrails and guardrails
  • Walkways
  • Driveways and parking surfaces
  • Patios
  • Visible portions of the foundation walls
  • Trees, shrubs and vegetation that are likely to affect the structures or site utilities
  • Vent terminals, intakes and wall penetrations
  • Retaining walls
  • Fencing
  • Drainage and site grading

Roof System

  • Shingles
  • Low slope or flat roof membranes
  • Flashings, including kick out flashing, valley flashing and termination components
  • Roof penetrations, including vents and chimneys
  • Gutters, downspouts, scuppers and internal roof drains
  • Skylights
  • Structural components related to the roof system
  • We typically walk the roof when safe to do so. We carry 24 foot extension pole cameras to photograph the roof when access is limited.

Electrical System 

  • Visible portion of the electrical service entrance
  • Service and distribution transformers if present
  • Mains disconnect
  • Service distribution panels and sub panels. Panel covers are removed to inspect the internal wiring and panel components.
  • Circuit breakers and/or fuses
  • Service grounding
  • Branch circuit components, including outlets, switches, fixtures and visible wiring.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Arc fault circuit interrupters
  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are tested via the test switch.

Plumbing Systems

  • Visible portion of the water service entrance
  • Supply piping
  • Drain, waste and vent piping
  • Floor drains
  • Gas lines
  • Water heaters
  • Water heater venting
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Tubs
  • Showers
  • Faucets
  • Clothes washers and dryers

Heating System

  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Permanently installed space heaters
  • Rooftop Units or packaged units (RTU)
  • Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs), commonly referred to  as air exchangers
  • Filters
  • Vent connectors and vents
  • Duct work
  • Registers and grills
  • We report the age of all heating equipment when the data plates are readily accessible and serial number cross reference data is readily available.

Fireplaces

  • Chimneys, including masonry, flashing, caps and crowns
  • Rain caps and screens
  • Visible portion of the chimney flue. Since a limited portion is visible, we generally recommend professional cleaning or sweeping of wood burning fireplace flues prior to use.
  • Firebox
  • Hearth or extension
  • Gas fired inserts

Cooling System

  • Permanently installed cooling equipment, including condensers (central air), heat pumps and packaged units.
  • Refrigerant lines
  • Condensate drain system
  • Air handlers
  • Filters
  • Duct work
  • Registers and grills
  • We report the age of all cooling equipment when the data plates are readily accessible and serial number cross reference data is readily available.

Interior Components

  • Evidence of water damage or moisture intrusion
  • Visible insulation
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Floors and floor coverings
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Stairs, handrails and guardrails
  • Countertops and cabinets
  • Trim carpentry
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Vent fans

Attic

  • Evidence of water damage or leaking roof
  • Structural components
  • Hatch or attic access
  • Knee walls if present
  • Insulation
  • Air or vapor barrier
  • Ventilation
  • Exhaust fans and ducts
  • Heating or cooling ducts if present

What items are excluded from a home inspection?

The following items are generally excluded, but are generally available at an additional fee or by engaging additional consultants. Please refer to the standards of practice for a complete list.

  • Structural testing or engineering services
  • Concealed items such as insulation concealed behind wall coverings, concealed plumbing, electrical and duct work.
  • Concealed surfaces such and snow and ice covered roofs. We do our best to provide a thorough inspection and carry brooms and shovels to inspect a portion of snow covered surfaces.
  • Concealed foundation walls and structural components. We will look for evidence of settlement or structural cracks in the walls, floors and ceilings above concealed foundations that suggest potential problems.
  • Wells. Water testing is available for an additional fee.
  • Septic systems. The state requires that septic systems are pumped prior to the inspection. A state septic inspector license is required. Most cities require the seller to provide the septic inspection.
  • Accessory buildings such as sheds, barns, shops and pole buildings. This service can be provided for an additional fee.
  • Radon testing. This service can be provided at an additional fee.
  • Environmental concerns including asbestos, mold and Chinese drywall. If we suspect these items we will document it in the report and recommend further assessment by an environmental specialist.
  • Technical analysis of heating and cooling equipment.
  • Heating and cooling components that are not visible or that cannot be observed via normal operating controls. 
  • Humidification equipment
  • Irrigation equipment. This service is available at an additional fee.
  • Pools. Heaters and some electrical components are inspected when requested. We recommend a pool specialist to inspect the drains, pumps and other relevant components.
  • Spas or hot tubs
  • Security systems and alarms
  • Playground, fitness and recreational equipment
  • Areas that are not accessible
  • Water treatment equipment such as filters and water softeners
  • Invasive testing or removing wall, floor or ceiling coverings. If we suspect damage to concealed components we will recommend further evaluation or intrusive testing services.

What is included in a commercial building inspection or property condition assessment (PCA)?

Typically, most of the items listed above with a few notable differences listed below. We follow the internationally recognized ASTM E2018-08 standard for our commercial inspections and property condition assessments.  This standard allows for a variable scope of work that is mutually agreed upon between the consultant and the client and can be limited to a single item or expanded to include a team of specialized consultants.

A set of pre-survey questionnaires are provided to the client. These questionnaires request disclosure, supporting documents, equipment lists, maintenance logs and a history of capital improvements. The questionnaires should be completed by the seller or property manager prior to the delivery of the report.

We generally place commercial property condition assessments into two categories:

  • Commercial Inspections that do notinclude: Opinions of probable cost, document review, building plan review, assessment of flood zone and seismic zone, assessment of vertical transportation equipment, assessment of ADA accessibility features, assessment of egress and ingress to the site and a review of municipal zoning and/or code violations.

  • This service generally documents the defects in greater detail and is similar to our home inspection report with a custom report structure tailored to the ASTM E2018 standard. Greater emphasis is place on the defects with little emphasis placed on information that is publicly available. This service is less expensive and generally performed on buildings under 25,000 square feet, apartment buildings and for our triple net lease clients. The reports are generally delivered within three days to one week depending on the size and scope of the assessment.

  • Why are opinions of probable costs omitted from the commercial inspection? Many of our clients work with contractors and simply obtain bids for the repair or improvement. Providing accurate estimates is time consuming and ultimately adds cost to the inspection, especially when providing a 10-20 year reserve term. Opinions of probable cost are based on approximate quantities. We always recommend obtaining multiple bids from qualified contractors. If you get six bids you get six different prices.

  • Baseline Property Condition Assessments (PCA) that doinclude: Opinions of probable cost, document review, building plan review, assessment of flood zone and seismic zone, assessment of vertical transportation equipment, Tier II survey of ADA accessibility features, assessment of egress and ingress to the site and a review of municipal of zoning and/or code violations.

  • The property condition assessment report (PCR) generally omits items that are considered routine maintenance or items that have an aggregate repair or replacement value of less than $3,000.  These reports are provided as a written narrative with photographs and supporting documents attached to the appendices. This service is more expensive and generally performed on buildings over 25,000 square feet or when requested or required by the client or their lending partners. The reports are generally delivered within two weeks but may vary based on the document request response times from the seller, property manager and municipal entities.

  • Opinions of probable cost are obtained from a variety of sources, including; proprietary cost information, recent contractor estimates and RS Means facilities construction cost data. Opinions of probable cost are based on approximate quantities. We always recommend obtaining multiple bids from qualified contractors.

What items are excluded from a commercial inspection or PCA?

The following items are generally excluded, but are generally available at an additional fee or by engaging additional consultants. Please refer to the standards of practice for a complete list.

  • Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). We strongly recommend performing a Phase One ESA to most clients. We work with some of the best environmental consultants in the Country and would be happy to provide a recommendation.
  • Items that are owned by the tenant or that are the responsibility of the tenant
  • Process related equipment. These items include manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, commercial restaurant and kitchen equipment.
  • Commercial electrical panel covers are generally not removed due to the potential for disruption of business activities and arc flash hazards on high voltage equipment.
  • Fire sprinkler equipment is not inspected. Fire sprinkler and fire extinguisher inspection certificate dates are documented with a recommendation for immediate inspection if the tags or certificates are expired.
  • Technical analysis of elevator or vertical transportation equipment. Operating licensees and inspection certificates are documented. Equipment is operated via normal operating controls. A visual inspection is performed in the car/s and elevator equipment room/s.
  • ADA compliance audit. A Tier II survey is provided for baseline PCA’s.
  • Inaccessible areas
  • Items that are missing controls or lack adequate access to operating controls such as power roof vents and HVAC components.
  • Baseline PCA’s may only assess a portion of very large buildings or complexes. This is defined in the scope and discussed with the client prior to the site visit.
  • Standby generators and power transfer switches are not tested. Documents related to maintenance are requested in the pre-survey questionnaires.
  • Structural testing or engineering services. These services can be provided at an additional charge.
  • Concealed items such as insulation concealed behind wall coverings, concealed plumbing, electrical and duct work.
  • Concealed surfaces such and snow and ice covered roofs. We do our best to provide a thorough inspection and carry brooms and shovels to inspect a portion of snow covered surfaces.
  • Concealed foundation walls and structural components. We will look for evidence of settlement or structural cracks in the walls, floors and ceilings above concealed foundations that suggest potential problems.
  • Wells. Water testing is available for an additional fee.
  • Septic systems. The state requires that septic systems are pumped prior to the inspection. A state septic inspector license is required. Most cities require the seller to provide the septic inspection.
  • Accessory buildings such as sheds, barns, shops and pole buildings. This service can be provided for an additional fee.
  • Radon testing. This service can be provided at an additional fee.
  • Environmental concerns including asbestos, mold and Chinese drywall. If we suspect these items we will document it in the report and recommend further assessment by an environmental specialist.
  • Technical analysis of heating and cooling equipment. We can recommend commercial HVAC contractors if needed.
  • Heating and cooling components that are not visible or that cannot be observed via normal operating controls. 
  • Humidification equipment
  • Irrigation equipment. This service is available at an additional fee.
  • Pools. Heaters and some electrical components are inspected when requested. Werecommend a pool specialist to inspect the drains, pumps and other relevant components.
  • Spas or hot tubs
  • Security systems and alarms
  • Telecommunication equipment
  • Playground, fitness and recreational equipment
  • Water treatment equipment such as filters and water softeners
  • Invasive testing or removing wall, floor or ceiling coverings. If we suspect damage to concealed components we will recommend further evaluation or intrusive testing services.

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