An inspection report is only as valuable as the contractor that implements it. Experienced, credible contractors conduct thorough, detailed inspections that empower the building’s owner or manager to make informed decisions. A good contractor will avoid a cookie-cutter approach and ask specific questions about your exact portfolio and tailor the report to those requirements.
From Satisfactory to Superb: The Different Grades of Inspection Reports
- A Basic Inspection Report: At its most basic level, a roof inspection report should outline a roof system’s anomalies, the procedures to correct them, and an estimate of how much repairs will cost.
- A Mid-Level Report: A better report itemizes tasks in order of priority and outlines deficiencies that should be fixed immediately, which ones can wait until next year, and which ones won’t become immediate problems for 5+ years. This breakdown should include an analysis of the costs and potential risks associated with deferring repair work.
- An Expert’s Report: The best contractors will provide a range of advice to suit the owner’s needs and budget. These high-level reports empower the building owner by offering many options, price structures, and budgeting scenarios. These meticulous reports are valuable because they consider the owner’s goals in tandem with the building’s immediate and future needs. Complete with detailed photos and descriptions, these reports are the most sophisticated — but they are written in clear, direct, and informative language. These reports can be tailored to fit a range of infrastructure portfolios forecasting capital improvements 10-15 years ahead.
Great Inspections Are Tailored to Individual Buildings
One-size-fits-all inspection reports should raise a red flag right away. Every building is unique, and every inspection report should be too. No two roofs are exactly the same, and boilerplate inspections miss the nuances of the individual building. Likewise, owners’ goals and intentions are distinctly different. Consider the differences between a retail building versus a food processing plant, or the sensitivities and risk-tolerance of a data processing plant versus a distribution facility that houses expensive robotic machinery. Each individual inspection report should be specifically tailored to that facility and it’s unique maintenance needs.
The owner should look for a contractor that’s willing to listen and meet their roofing maintenance needs: both short- and long-term.
The Golden Opportunity: Use the Report to Evaluate the Contractor
Inspection reports make great overall litmus tests because they reflect a contractor’s thoroughness, expertise, organizational skills, communication skills, and attention to detail. Great contractors file great inspection reports – so use the quality of their reports to determine whether or not they’re worth working with.