Medical Marijuana Building Inspections

Medical Marijuana Building Inspections

Recently I inspected a Commercial Building which was being purchased for use as a Medical Marijuana growing operation.  The Federal Government’s change in policy of allowing Medical Marijuana to be grown under license which will be grown in warehouses and other commercial buildings.  This will eventually lead to the sale of Commercial Buildings and warehouses which were used to grow marijuana.

This change in policy will also bring an influx of residential homes that were used as “grow ops” onto the market.  The increase of legalization of Marijuana in Canada and change in Government Policy is making the running of residential “grow ops” less profitable than in previous years.  In fact the price of Marijuana in British Columbia has been in steady decline.

Commercial Property and Residential Inspectors, who have the knowledge and training to identify “grow op” buildings will be even more in demand by investors who do not want to risk the considerable expense of remediating a previous “grow op” building.  Not only can a professional home inspector identify issues with a ‘normal’ house but they are also trained to identify signs of marijuana grow-ops, which include: hidden rooms, modified wiring, modified plumbing, modified heating, modified structure and other tell-tale signs.

When these grow-ops are residential, there is a greater health and safety risks since there are people living with the grow locations. These residential grow-ops, in their homes or outbuildings, are closer together, putting neighbors at risk. There are electrical and fire safety risks, along with health risks such as mould and mildew that they are exposed to. This could and has resulted in long term health issues.  Residential Grow Ops also create a fire and safety risk to neighboring properties.

Whenever a residential or commercial building had or does contain a marijuana grow operation, it creates an environment of excessively high levels of humidity. They purposely try and create a greenhouse inside a house or building. It’s this high humidity that causes most grow houses to have excessive amounts of mould growing inside the structure. Mould needs very little to grow: a food source (wood, paper, drywall, or dust), mould spores, an amiable temperature, and moisture.

The local city or municipal building officials may revoke the “Occupancy Permit” for any building determined to have environmental issues.  The owner on title will be responsible to schedule and perform environmental testing and possibly also require a structural assessment.

For Commercial Building Inspections or Residential Home Inspections call Roger Frost at 888-818-8608


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Toronto Commercial Building Inspection

Toronto Commercial Building Inspection

The advantage of hiring a Commercial Building Inspector will allow you to understand the true condition of the building you are contemplating purchasing.  The exterior and cosmetic finishes of a building never tell the complete story and only an experienced Commercial Inspector will fully evaluate and document those hidden issues.

As a member of the National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors, we have inspected projects and purchases that have exceeded 30 million dollars in value.  We have been chosen as the inspection company of choice by a major North American investment company and have inspected their purchases in most of Southern Ontario.  Our knowledge and experience is second to none and we are extremely proud of our expansion into the United States where we conduct Quality Control inspections for International Oil companies and Mining Companies.

As a Certified Building Code Official you get the advantage of having your building inspected by an individual  who has many years of experience in Plan Reviews, Renovation and New Construction inspections.  We also have a 20 year Contract Inspector veteran who has reviewed and inspected every aspect of a Buildings Construction and Renovation.  It is this type of knowledge and experience that will allow you to know the exact condition of the building you are considering purchasing.

Our reports are extremely detailed with pictures of every deficiency or maintenance defect.  We document HVAC, Heating, Plumbing, Structural, Fire Separations, Exit Hardware, Life Safety Equipment, Parking Lots, Exterior Cladding, Windows & Doors, Roof Coverings, Ventilation, Loading Docks and visually inspect your sprinkler systems.

We utilize the ASTM DE2018-08 Standard for Property Condition Assessments as a basis for all our inspections.  This is a guideline which outlines what deficiencies are inspected for and also sets out the performance of the subject building.   The final report is always based on the clients requirements which are decided upon prior to inspection.

Here are some industry guidelines for life expectancy on building items:

Air conditioning compressor – hermetically sealed           12 to 15 years

Air conditioning compressor – water-cooled                      20 years

Air conditioning compressor – reciprocating                      20 years

Rooftop heating and air conditioning unit                          20 years

Copper core boiler – heat exchanger                                   15 to 20 years

Steel core boiler – heat exchanger                                       10 to 15 years

New cast iron core boiler – heat exchanger                         20 to 25 years

Old cast iron core boiler – heat exchanger                          30 to 50 years

Steel tube boiler – heat exchanger                                       20 to 40 years

Heat exchanger – standard rooftop unit                              15 to 20 years

Heat exchanger downstream of a cooling coil                     10 to 20 years

Heat exchanger – standard indoor system                           20 to 25 years

Cooling tower                                                                          20 to 25 years

Central chiller                                                                           20+ years

Air handler                                                                                20 to 30 years

Gas-fired ceiling-mount unit heater                                       15 to 25 years

Gas-fired ceiling-mount radiant heater                                  20 to 25 years

Built-up asphalt and gravel roof system                                 20 to 25 years

Modified bitumen roof system                                                15 to 20 years

Inverted EPDM rubber or PVC roof system                             20 to 25 years

Asphalt paving for car parking                                                 20 years

Asphalt paving for trucks                                                          15 years

Sealed, double glazed windows                                               20 to 30 years

Plywood overhead doors                                                          15 years

Pre-finished steel overhead doors                                           20+ years

Electrical transformer                                                                30 years

Electrical switchgear                                                                  20 to 40 years

Most buyers who are investing in a building for their own use, are unaware that if the building does not have enough power for their needs,  they will usually be responsible for cost of upgrade.  This is the type of expense that may not be included in your inspection unless you hire a company who has experience in knowing what concerns may affect a potential buyer.

Knowing the condition of your building prior to purchase gives you the option of walking away, if you decide it maybe a “Money Pit”, or negotiating a price reductions to reflect repairs required.  Often a seller is not even aware of the condition of his building and can be very receptive to negotiation when faced with evidence of deficiencies.

Most major lenders will require a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment of Property prior to approving funding.  We offer Level 1 and Level 11 assessments at competitive rates.  Our Environmental Assessments are approved by all major lenders.

Qualifications Include:

Certified Master Inspector

Member of NACBI, NACHI, WETT, and OBOA

Over 4,000 inspections performed

Certified Building Code Official

Free Thermal Imaging of Roof and Exterior

Call Roger today a 888-818-8608 for your quote.

Visit Commercial Building Inspector

Thinking of Buying A Commercial Property

Thinking of Buying A Commercial Property.  Owning a commercial property can be rewarding, both financially and personally, but a commercial property also requires constant maintenance. How to buy a commercial property can appear daunting at first but by following some tips from this article can be easily accomplished.

When financing a commercial property, you will need a higher percentage down payment for a commercial real estate loan. Searching for a  lender and a good interest rate can be a time consuming but necessary evil.

Keeping your commercial property occupied is your main goal as a landlord. Vacant properties will cost you money, because you have to pay for maintenance and upkeep without having any income from tenants. If you have multiple unoccupied properties you probably did not research your property enough prior to purchase.

One major part of your commercial real estate purchase is having inspection performed by a Commercial Property Inspector.  When property you are involved in is being inspected, take steps to verify the legitimacy of every inspector. This should be especially important if you are purchasing a large type building as Part 3 of the Ontario Building code would apply and most inspectors have little of no training in this area.

Your inspection should include all of the building systems, such as electrical, roof, HVAC and plumbing etc.  Most professional inspectors will perform a thermal scan of your roof looking for hidden leaks or potential points of failure.

Ensure the building you are buying has an adequate electrical service for potential tenants as upgrading the size of transformer and supply will be at your own expense.  If  you are sharing a transformer with other area buildings this can even be more complicated.  Do not believe the seller is going to disclose any problems he or she is having with building or existing tenants.

Before you can finance your commercial property purchases, you have to make certain that you have the necessary financial statements and documentation for either your business or yourself individually. Not having your own financial statements in order will make a poor impression on the bank, possibly making them turn down your loan application.

If you plan to finance your next commercial real estate purchase, you should first ensure that you can provide detailed financial statements for prospective lenders. If you do not have these, banks will not know how responsible you are with your money, which makes it very likely that they will not lend you the money you need.

This allows you to make sure the lease matches rent rolls, along with the pro forma. If you don’t review the key terms, you may discover terms which were not contemplated for the rent roll. This could quite possibly result in a change to the pro forma.

When advertising your available commercial property, do so locally, but also regionally and even nationally. Many make a mistake in assuming that the only people who want to buy their commercial real estate property are those who are local buyers. Many private investors are willing and able to purchase properties outside their immediate community if the price is right.

When you are choosing real estate brokers, you should find out the brokers’ experience level in commercial real estate. Don’t use a broker who doesn’t specialize in the type of real estate investment you’re interested in. Sign an exclusive agreement once you’ve found a broker you want to work with.

Before you buy commercial real estate, make sure you have a firm vision of your goal for the property. What are your plans? Do you want to lease or start you own business there? It is important to have things like this nailed down before you start the process, so you do not find yourself struggling with these questions, when by this point in the game, you should be focused on other aspects of any potential deal.

If you are viewing more than one property, you may wish to create a checklist for each site. Take this list with you as a reference when visiting other properties, and use it when speaking with the property owners. You may want to offhandedly let the owners know that theirs is only one of a few properties in which you are currently interested. The information may help you to negotiate more favorable terms on your deal.

You must absolutely confirm that your real estate’s asking price is realistic. There are a number of variables that can affect the realistic value of your property.

Calm and patience are both sound practices when you are searching for commercial property. Don’t jump into any investment without doing your research. You might regret it if you are not satisfied with your real estate goals. Realistically, it can take upwards of a year to find the right investment in your local market.

When you decide to invest in commercial property, set your sights a little higher than before. Instead of purchasing a property with five units, purchase one with 50 units, which you’ll find isn’t going to be any more difficult to manage. A property with nine units requires the same amount of time put into the financing as a building with nineteen units requires, but the larger one has lower per unit average prices and more rental income streams for you.

You need to know the details of emergency maintenance procedures. Be sure to find out who takes care of maintenance in the building and also who handles emergency repair situations. Keep a list of phone numbers close to you, and make sure you select companies that answer quickly. Use any advice you can gather from a landlord to protect your customers with properly configured emergency plans.

If you want to learn a lot about real estate, check out several websites that offer a lot of information to both experienced and new real estate investors. Having a great base of knowledge will give you the tools to complete every part of the buying process with confidence, leading to solid decision making.

Prior to searching for a real estate property to invest in, figure out exactly what you would want in an ideal commercial property. Write down the things you like about the property, important features are office numbers, how many conference rooms, restrooms, and how big it is.

We recommend using the Commercial Property Inspector for any large commercial properties located in Southern Ontario.  Call Roger today for your free quote.

For residential inspection qualifications visit the  Professional Barrie Home Inspection company.

Building Inspector Inspection List for Commercial Buildings

Building Inspector Inspection List for Commercial Buildings.  Typically your commercial building is going to get more attention from the building department than your subdivision residential home. Some city departments only visit a token amount of the homes being built in subdivisions. Although they are being paid to inspect every home this does not always happen. I have done Pre-Delivery inspections where there has been no insulation installed in attic and exhaust fans have been incorrectly installed, all part of the cities inspection criteria.

Because your commercial buildings usually involve the public there is a greater liability and this usually incurs a more detailed and complete inspection by city inspectors. This is a basic list of inspections that most cities perform throughout the construction phase of building.

Footings (prior to placement of concrete)

Lateral Sewers & Water (prior to backfill)

Foundation – At this stage, a foundation survey must be completed and submitted to Building Services for review.

Under Slab Drains

Rough-In Plumbing

Structural Framing – A separate inspection is conducted for each storey in a multi storey building.

Rough-In Mechanical

Solid Fuel Burning Appliance

Insulation & Vapour/Air Barrier

Fire Separations – Contact your Building Inspector for the timing of this inspection. A separate inspection is conducted for each storey in a multi storey building.

Fire Protection Systems – Stand pipe, sprinkler, fire alarm and emergency lighting systems are inspected by the Richmond Hill Fire Department.

Final Plumbing

Final Interior – All safety items in accordance with Subsection 2.4.3. Of the Ontario Building Code must be complete and operational for occupancy of the building.

Final exterior

This list is a rough guide line only and may not reflect your local inspection procedures or requirements. Check with your local building department to obtain their list of inspections.

Building Inspector Inspection List for Commercial Buildings.  Many building departments will let you review their building inspection documents for potential purchase of property.  Call ahead to ensure you won’t be wasting a trip.

Toronto Commercial Building Inspector

Toronto Commercial Building Inspector. In Ontario Part 3 of the Ontario Building Code covers buildings over 600 M2 in size.  The Ontario Building Officials Association offers many courses specific to Large Buildings which would be considered necessary if planning to inspect a Part 3 building.

Large Buildings is an intensive course dealing with the Occupancy of Buildings; Building Fire Safety; Safety within Floor Areas; Exits; Barrier Free Design; Structural Design; Change of Use and Renovations to name a few.  As you can see from the subject titles all of these aspects of a building are important and can be very expensive to repair or upgrade.

The Classification and Construction course typically offers and includes the following: building classification; separation of major occupancies; building area and height; streets; building size and construction; occupant load; fire separation/fire-resistance ratings; firewalls; closures; Ontario Building Code requirements; fire stopping; provision for firefighting; and mezzanines and interconnected floor spaces.

Part 3 Fire Protection is an OBOA course dealing with all aspects of your buildings fire protection features.  Your local building department may require you to upgrade your features where the following are lacking or require improvement; Fire Resistant ratings; where the building coded requires Fire Separations because of Building Classification, separation of major occupancies, service spaces and exits including penetrations of fire separations.  An unknowing inspector may lead you to believe your building is code compliant when you could in fact be faced with spending thousands or tens of thousands in required building code upgrades.

The Commercial Building Inspector is a qualified Building Code inspector.  He is a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association and is fully qualified on Large Buildings and Part 3 of the Ontario Building Code.  An unknowing inspector may lead you to believe your building is code compliant when you could in fact be faced with spending thousands or tens of thousands in required building code upgrades.

The most important aspect of having your Commercial Property inspected is knowing the Qualifications of the actual inspector performing the inspection.  There is no value to hiring a well known firm whose founder is extremely well educated, only to find out that you are going to be dealing with an employee, who may or may not have the qualifications you are looking for.  The Commercial Building Inspector attends every inspection and uses only highly trained assistants to aid him.

The Commercial Building Inspector has experience in Project Reviews, Over 4,000 paid inspections, is a Certified Building Code Official and has experience in hundreds of plaza’s, Malls, Strip Malls, Medical Buildings, Apartment Buildings, Mixed Use and Multiple Occupancy building inspections.  Visit Commercial Building Inspector to review Buildings Inspected and Qualifications, you won’t be disappointed.

The Barrie Home Inspector

The Barrie Home Inspector has been inspecting Commercial and Residential properties for over 15 years. As a Certified Building Code Official registered with the Ontario Building Officials Association his qualifications far exceed most Home Inspectors basic requirements.

Although many Home Inspection Companies advertise as the Barrie Home Inspector, only Roger Frost has the licensed name Barrie Home Inspector. The advantage of having experience in the business and the knowledge to make informed decisions.

The Barrie Home Inspector is a former home builder who was registered with HUDAC, which has now been replace with Tarion home building warranty program. Seven years as Project Review of all Renovations and New Construction with DND provided an unequaled opportunity to be involved with Project Design and Inspection on projects ranging from $1,000’s of dollars to millions of dollar accommodation buildings.

Through out his career, Roger Frost has taken many specialized and building related courses that all are applicable to Commercial and Home inspections. Roger has inspected over 3,000 residential buildings and performed Commercial Building inspections from as far south as Simcoe Ontario to Huntville in the North.

Providing his client with the information they need to make an informed decision is the basis of the Barrie Home Inspector’s business. Having the knowledge to observe the deficiencies or possible failures of systems in not enough, being able to convey that to the client is of paramount importance. The Barrie Home Inspector’s report is precise and detailed, being broken down into individual building systems and areas. All deficiencies are photographed and included in a computerized report for the customers review.

We do not provide concrete financial replacement or repair costs because the nature of the contracting business is such that there are so many variables involved that a accurate price structure really does depend on the individual. We do make note and take pictures of every deficiency so that you will be able to discern the condition of the proposed purchase property.

Experience does matter and when you are making your next real estate investment, whether Commercial or Residential, ensure your Inspector has the qualifications and experience to make you an informed buyer.

Always remember Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware