• If this is your first time visiting our new and Improved NACBI Community Forum, Please go to the READ ME FIRST section for information about registering and helpful tips.

    (You can dismiss this notice by clicking the red X in this notice box)

Sources for Commercial Building Inspection Cost Guidelines

Greetings all,

I am Acting COO for Upside One Corporation, a Michigan not-for-profit healthcare provider. We are presently engaged in negotiations for the purchase of a building to be used as a medical clinic.

Are there any resources that I could consult to obtain current cost guidelines for the inspection of commercial buildings in the greater Detroit area? What I am hoping to find is a resource that segregates commercial buildings by type (e.g., office space, warehouse, etc.) along with a cost guideline for each type expressed in cost per square foot (e.g. "Office space: $0.20 - $0.80 per square foot".)

Bill Warner

Staff member
NACBI Member
Unfortunately there isn't any "set in stone" pricing or fee schedule for this. Pricing an inspection is going to vary significantly from building to building based on requested scope of work, ancillary services, location, age, etc. Additionally the same square footage building constructed in the 90's is going to vary significantly in pricing from one constructed in the 1940's, 50's, 70's etc.

In general, the most basic of commercial inspections will likely fall between $0.17 and $0.25 per square foot for a typical one story office building on a slab... BUT this is a VERY subjective price range that should not necessarily be relied upon.

Hope this helps
Thank you, Bill, your information is of some help. I was not looking for a price or fee schedule per se, but rather, some type of independent publication that shows a range of inspection costs. Something similar to what Colliers International publishes for local commercial rental rates.

I should have mentioned that the building we are looking at is a single story medical office building about about 4,400 sq. ft. built circa 1980 on a slab and with a flat roof.

Bill Warner

Staff member
NACBI Member
You're welcome.
Unfortunately (to the best of my knowledge) a publication you seek simply doesn't exist. The plethora of variables simply makes it impossible to produce something of substance or reliability for estimating fees based on square feet alone. Again, it (pricing for a commercial property condition assessment) goes beyond a simple square foot pricing schedule for most experienced commercial inspectors, and can vary greatly depending on numerous considerations such as the building's outward appearing condition, type of mechanical systems, the consultant's (inspector) experience level, defined scope of work, time involved, etc., to name a few.
As well, the fee can vary depending on the client's (purchaser) personal risk tolerance for the amount and type of information they wish to procure as a result of the assessment.
For a commercial property of this size/scale, the fee can often be based more on estimated time involved for the inspection and report composition rather than a square foot pricing schedule.

Cost is simply the price you pay... value is the quality and accuracy of information you obtain in exchange for that cost.
“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

Hope this helps. And thanks for posing your question on our forum!