For the most part, property inspectors can specialise in either home or commercial building inspections. This isn’t to say that some don’t do both, they do! Even then, you need to understand that there are some differences between these two sides of property inspection.

Engaging the right inspection company means you can have a prospect property inspected by the appropriate expert. They will know what to check and assess in a specific asset so the inspection gets done faster. This is the reason why you need to be able to tell both apart despite the similarity in their job description.

Why Get a Property Inspected?

Purchasing a property is an exciting endeavour but it can also increase your anxiety throughout the buying process, what with the many boxes to tick—competing against other buyers, applying for a bank loan, planning the upcoming move, dealing with real estate agents, etc. You’d be forgiven if you leave out a couple of things along the way.

One thing you shouldn’t, however, is investing in a building inspection. For such a sizable investment, it makes perfect sense to buy a property that is worth your hard-earned money, one that won’t be giving you more headaches than pride down the track. Getting the asset inspected will ensure that THAT won’t be the case.

In reality, building inspections Melbourne go beyond giving you peace of mind. They will identify major and minor defects the prospect property has, providing you with sufficient knowledge to make an informed buying decision in the end.

Residential vs. Commercial Property Inspection

Both inspections are bound by similar guidelines within different standards and these guide the inspector as he or she renders the service. With varying scopes in their respective inspection routines, there is bound to be different outputs to expect from each as well.

Let’s take a closer look at how these two kinds of inspection differ.


Of course, both commercial and residential building inspections are carried out while following industry-accepted and government-mandated guidelines. But there may be a slight difference in the ones followed specifically by either processes.

While home and commercial building inspectors follow similar exhaustive and stringent guidelines, the final report from each will differ in terms of how expansive the assessments and recommendations will be. Commercial building inspectors have to look into more areas; naturally, the scope of their assessment may be broader and more comprehensive.


Drainage, topography, windows, and walls—these are some of the features of any property that inspectors check for potential damage and defects. They also look at the roof, interior fixtures, visible plumbing, and electrical. The typical coverage of a pre purchase comprehensive building inspection goes beyond those, however.

Residential and commercial property inspectors can cover building code compliance, infrared thermography (for energy loss and air leakage), as well as indoor moisture intrusion. But while both inspections are exhaustive in their approach to property assessment, commercial inspectors often do a far more complex job as the scope of the report covers more areas than those inspections done on residential estates.

Time Frame

The amount of time required to accomplish both procedures vary. Most home inspections take approximately 2 hours to finish. It’s important to note that this largely depends on the size of the house, additions or alterations, age, current weather conditions & different types of foundations etc.

On the other hand, commercial property inspections usually take longer. In some cases, it’ll require 2-5 hours on-site assessment, and also time preparing the report. The said report will typically cover the deficiencies discovered, a brief description of each component checked, as well as estimated costs on required repairs.

The scope and details that commercial inspections assess can be more expansive than their residential counterparts.

Liability and Responsibility

There are consequences that property inspectors have to face if they overlook obvious problems on the property they’ve been assigned to examine. It doesn’t matter whether they performed a residential or commercial building inspection.

For this reason, it’s best to get an inspector that holds professional indemnity insurance. It’s a liability protection that saves you from paying the full amount of financial damage that may be directly caused by the errors on the inspection report. As a real estate buyer, this should guarantee that you’re subsequently protected from any misjudgement in the building inspection.

Between the two types of inspections, however, the scope of responsibility of a commercial property inspector is broader. That means they face bigger risks and greater fiscal challenges should they miss a crucial defect on the asset in question.

This may be why commercial building inspections sometimes are carried out by two inspectors. To minimise the possibility of lapses and errors, such inspections are done in teams. It’d be much easier and more efficient thoroughly inspecting a whole large commercial property with a two inspectors.

Which One Do You Need?

Whichever of these two you currently require for your real estate inclinations, understand that both will immensely help in fetching you a property that is every bit worth its weight in gold! After all, you wouldn’t want to fork out for an asset that doesn’t meet high standards and is a sound investment now, and into the future.
Whether you need a home or commercial property inspection done, you can always turn to our team to do either one!