A building, property and other structures, and improvements situated on a piece of commercial real estate with the intention of making a profit are all considered commercial properties. You may better prepare to appropriately price and design a basic strategy for your commercial property inspections by taking a tour of various properties and taking into consideration their intended use.

The various categories and subcategories of commercial properties are listed below:


Customers can purchase items and/or services from this kind of property. This type of property inspection may involve assessing a single unit or the full retail complex. While some retail spaces may include covered parking structures, elevators, and escalators, the majority of them have plenty of parking spaces and sidewalks that border them. Subcategories consist of:

  1. Malls: These enclosed shopping centers feature a variety of retail establishments, such as food courts, movie theaters, and department stores.
  2. Shopping Center: This kind of real estate can vary substantially in size and tenant type. It is also frequently referred to as a strip mall or retail plaza. These are open storefronts that house multiple units inside a complex or under one roof. Big-box retailers like Home Depot and Target can be found in shopping complexes along with a variety of smaller boutiques, eateries, and convenience stores.
  3. Pad Site: A pad site is an independent structure, usually located in front of or inside a retail mall. Restaurants, banks, and fast food franchises are among the businesses that frequently occupy pad sites.


Luxury Home or Estate

Even though they are classified as residential properties, luxury homes and estates may have commercial elements like numerous HVAC systems, large square footage, and commercial kitchen equipment, or they may have been constructed and built with commercial applications in mind.

Given that your customer might be a public person, professional athlete, or celebrity, this kind of property inspection may also need you to exercise extreme caution in how you offer your services. Maintaining secrecy is crucial in this case.

The standards of discretion would be broken, for instance, if you posted pictures of the home online or used any section of your inspection report as an example report.


These structures usually have a large floor area, truck loading docks, several HVAC units, multiple electrical distribution points, a readily accessible flat roof, and other installed features. Large chilled chambers may also be found in some industrial buildings. Subcategories consist of:

  1. Manufacturing Facility: This kind of structure falls into one of two categories: light assembly or heavy manufacturing. Its purpose is to produce materials or items. Large gear and equipment are typical features of a heavy manufacturing facility, which also produces heavy-duty items. Usually, these buildings are remodeled and tailored for certain owners and tenants. A light assembly facility tends to be smaller and simpler than a heavy manufacturing facility. Smaller commodities are also produced at these sites.
  2. Warehouses: These kinds of structures are used for distribution and general storage of products. The design is often open, with ceilings that give access to the inner structure of the roof. This facilitates the installation or freestanding of high rack systems. Certain warehouse areas may be designated as truck terminals, with less square feet set aside for storage, where products are loaded from one truck to another.
  3. Flex: A building that accommodates several uses inside one structure is referred to as a flex commercial property. A combination office and light manufacturing operation is one example. The quantity of office space is what distinguishes this kind of property. Flex buildings typically have more office space than other kinds of industrial facilities.


Hotel & Lodging

This kind of property will consist of multiple separate residential apartments, much like a multi-dwelling unit. The primary distinction is that housing is intended for short-term use and typically has an on-site restaurant or spacious commercial kitchen. Check your E&O insurance policy before examining a commercial kitchen, as home inspectors’ insurance coverage frequently excludes commercial kitchens.

On the other hand, some accommodations might be suites with several rooms, a kitchenette, a wet bar, and perhaps even an in-room Jacuzzi or spa. There most likely will be an elevator.


Although the size and complexity of these properties varies, they often consist of a large kitchen equipped with commercial appliances, a pantry or storage area, a refrigerated area (such a walk-in refrigerator or freezer), an office, a dining area, and public toilets. Restaurants are frequently not covered by a home inspector’s insurance, so be sure to check your E&O policy before evaluating one.


Commercial offices are spaces utilized by IT companies, medical and dental experts, and other professions in the business world. Ordinarily, an office area is separated into rooms and has maybe a residential-style kitchen as well as restrooms. Subcategories consist of:

  1. Office Buildings: These spaces might be single-story or high-rise, and they are intended for a higher occupancy rate. If the building has more than one story, it may also have an elevator and at least one stairway in addition to various HVAC and electrical systems.
  2. Suites and condominiums: Typically constructed with the understanding that the various internal spaces are owned or leased and are subject to independent maintenance by their tenants, while the exterior, roof, and common areas are maintained by the owner or property management. These distinct sections of the building could be a floor, wing, or unit. It might also be a unit inside an industrial complex or mall.
  3. A medical or dental office suite is often a bigger area that has been partitioned into a number of smaller areas, such as exam or treatment rooms and offices. In addition, there are usually many plumbing basins or points of plumbing distribution, an HVAC unit and controls, an electrical system, a waiting area, and restroom(s). These areas can vary widely in terms of size and complexity, and it’s typical for them to have permanently placed, specially designed structures.


Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs)

These are residential buildings that consist of townhomes, apartments, and condominiums. A house inspector may be familiar with the interior of each individual living unit, but a commercial inspection for this kind of property will need you to look at several dwelling units as well as any common amenities, such as a parking structure and potentially a public pool and spa.

The size of the property and the extent of the inspection’s work will determine how complicated this project is. But a home inspector will probably be more comfortable with this kind of commercial inspection.



Certain commercial assets are classified as special-purpose buildings even though they may not fit into any of these categories. Special-purpose buildings include, for example, casinos, churches, schools, airports, and bowling alleys. A multi-use property, which is a form of commercial property that combines both commercial and residential space, may also be assessed by a commercial inspector.

Get CGL insurance or Fire insurance from us to expand your safety net; for more details, go to our website.