During the purchase, acquisition, or refinancing of a property, many steps come into play. When it comes to building maintenance, taking proactive steps proves more effective than reactive steps.[i]
Monitoring the environmental and structural conditions of a property through routine inspections or due diligence prior to a purchase can uncover minor issues before they become substantial and cost intensive.
Roofs and elevators can be two of the most costly aspects of owning a building, particularly if they are not well maintained. In-depth assessments can determine the life cycle of both a roof and elevator, and in turn determine any immediate or future repairs, replacements, or potential upgrades needed. Roof and elevator assessments can uncover a range of issues that can help inform the value of a property during a purchase or acquisition.
A roof goes through extensive wear and tear over its lifetime between precipitation and exposure to the elements. Identifying signs of damage early can mitigate costs before any damage progresses. One of the biggest issues roof damage can lead to is leaking and mold/water damage from the leaks. Hiring a professional to perform a roof assessment will inform a purchaser or property owner of the existing condition, facilitating future repair or replacement decisions. Furthermore, an assessment during a purchase or acquisition can serve as a powerful negotiating tool.
Signs of potential leaking include open seams, caulking at seams, termination bars or other locations, cracked or damaged roof surfaces, interior water stains, mold, and odor.[ii] Identifying roof damage can alter the property value and thus assist in negotiation during a re-trade, but catching these signs in their early stages can minimize roof and building repair expenses.
Left: Roof surface showing age, abandoned materials, damage and older repairs and environmental elements.[iii]
Right: Roof surface wind uplift possibly due to lack of adherence to substrate or missing ballast materials.[iv]
Whether a property has two floors or twenty, elevators require regular maintenance and annual inspections.[v] Many commercial and multi-story buildings are required to have an elevator as part of ADA and other regulatory compliance. This is true for some buildings under three stories or with less than 3,000 square feet per floor. Shopping centers, professional health care offices, public transit stations, or airport terminals also require elevators. These requirements, including those mentioned above, add to overall maintenance costs. However, these costs can be minimized by routine maintenance or with assessments performed prior to purchase of a property.
Getting a full elevator assessment prior to purchasing a property provides knowledge of the prior building elevator maintenance, and shows the necessary safety or maintenance requirements. There may be retroactive code and ADA compliance issues that need to be rectified as well. Once the identified issues are remedied, the elevator systems are provided a clean slate for future maintenance inspections. As the lifetime expectancy for elevators is typically between 20 to 25 years, depending on the care and maintenance it has received,[vi] it is important for prospective purchasers of buildings in that age range or older to understand their condition, and an elevator assessment is highly encouraged.
These assessments have been shown to be well worth the cost. Since commercial elevators can be costly, often ranging from $85,000 – $200,000 for smaller buildings with hydraulic elevators from two to five stories, and $215,000 – $320,000 for larger buildings. An elevator assessment looking into the condition prior to purchase can be an essential negotiating tool.[vii] In addition, modernization costs have risen due to a number of factors, including labor costs, a lack of qualified service personnel, equipment costs, demand due to new construction activity, and other local and regional factors.
Left: Professionals navigating an elevator shaft.[viii]
Right: Having an out of order elevator can be inconvenient and against ADA compliance.[ix]
Customized Plans with EBI Consulting
If you own or are purchasing a property and want a clearer understanding of the roof or elevator condition, contact EBI’s Acquisition Property Condition Assessment team. With knowledgeable experts familiar with property purchasing concerns, they create customized scopes of work that address your property and concerns.