Property condition assessment checklist

Written by john landers
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Property condition assessment checklist
A property condition assessment checklist give buyers guidelines for evaluating property. (commercial construction image by Lee O'Dell from Fotolia.com)

The Property Condition Assessment checklist outlines the procedures for a professional evaluation of the physical condition of commercial real estate. The checklist uses a standard created by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The procedures for using conducting a PCA consist of a visual inspection of the property and an interview of the property owners and managers. In addition, the assessment includes a review building plans, documents and statutory research.

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Structure

The checklist starts with a description of the building's structure. The inspector performs a visual inspection of the building, noting the general construction, such as the type of material used in framing or whether the building has a basement. The list has information on the foundation, walls and floors. In addition, the report should disclose the type of roof. An example of a description may be "a precast concrete roof deck supported by web steel joists."

Electrical

This part of the property condition assessment checklist details records of the electrical service going into the building. Usually, the evaluator starts with how the service enters the property---overhead or underground. Also, the evaluator may note the total amperage and other features. The electrical section of the checklist should also note the type of wiring and the location of the primary transformer and if the building has a generator.

Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation

The assessment checklist also includes a section for the type of heating system, such as a gas-fired, hot water boiler or separate forced-air systems. It includes data on the unit's location, capacity, condition and if the unit was in operation at the time of the assessment. Usually, the evaluation contains an estimate of the life expectancy for the unit; its adequacy for heat distribution and whether the boiler room has the necessary air flow for proper combustion. The same procedure is necessary for evaluating the air conditioning unit.

The report should detail the methods of ventilation. Washrooms may have individual centrifugal exhaust fans; the offices or store spaces may depend on fresh air from the heating and cooling units.

Other Sections and Sub-sections

Generally, the property checklist also contains sections for plumbing, roofing, interior, and exterior. At the end of each part, the evaluator may include an "Observation and Discussion" component, which discusses the condition of the item. For example, the inspector may rate the heating system as "well-maintained with a remaining life of 10 years."

The checklist also includes for each section a category called "Recommendations, Costs, and Priorities." In this part, the inspector may recommend replacing deteriorated items, provide an estimate of costs and suggest a time frame for the project. A "Limitations" subsection cites the limits of an examination of a specific item.

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