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WHAT IS A COMMERCIAL MASTER TEMPLATE?

As a commercial master template this is a single, comprehensive template that can be used to create a wide variety of commercial and light industrial templates.

From office buildings, warehouses, loading docks, restaurants, and retail, to numbered units like hotels, motels, and apartments, having this powerful tool will vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to develop your own robust commercial templates. Develop them in the way that works best for you!

HOW IS IT USED?

An inspector duplicates the Master Template and then using the duplicate, deletes or excludes whatever systems and components don't apply to the type of inspection he's creating.

For an inspection with numbered units (hotel, motel, apartments, etc.), there are whole sections in which the narratives are written with a space for room numbers. Many non-numbered sections could be deleted. For example:

"In number(s) _____, the bathroom toilet was loose at the floor."

For an office building with a warehouse, all those numbered sections could be deleted and an appropriate narrative used:

"The restroom toilet was loose at the floor."  (Men's and Women's are specified in the Location tabs).

Deleting an entire section takes a tiny fraction of the many hours it can take to create one.

DOES IT FOLLOW A STANDARDS OF PRACTICE?

Most states* have no Standards of Practice requirements for commercial inspection as they do for home inspection. However, commercial Standards of Practice do exist and are commonly used. The most common are:

ASTM E2018 – 15 

This is the most commonly requested Standard. This template generally follows the ASTM E2018 framework, including the organization and titles. Some titles do not have content but serve as prompts for portions of an ASTM template with content unique to individual properties.

This template can be used to create an ASTM E2018 compliant report. For those ASTM sections that will require an inspector to input information unique to individual properties I have included titles without content, and in the SECTIONS and ITEMS Reminders windows (under the pencil icons), descriptions of the type of information typically included.

COMSOP 

The Certified Commercial Inspectors Association (CCPIA) uses COMSOP in its courses.

*The following states use regulatory language that affects the performance of a commercial inspection: Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, North and South Carolina, and Vermont.

Learn more about Standards here!

THE SEARCH FEATURE (FINDING NARRATIVES QUICKLY)

Spectora has a highly effective search feature. Although this template contains over 8,700 unique narratives, the search feature reduces results to an easily manageable small number of narratives.

IS IT EDITABLE?

The entire organization and all narratives are editable! Some features will require editing according to:

  • Individual inspector preference;
  • The type of inspection being performed; and
  • By agreement with the client.

Report Exclusions

Inspectors can choose which SECTIONS and ITEMS should be “Included in every report” and which should be “Optional- add on a per-report basis”. I have excluded nothing.

Defect Categories

Inspectors can rename Defect Category titles, and specify which categories are selected to appear in the summary.

Recommendations

Inspectors can specify which type of contractor or professional to recommend or what course of action the client should take.

LINKS TO REFERENCE MATERIAL
Reminder Windows

This template is designed with those new to commercial inspection in mind. A great deal of reference information is made available through text and links found under the pen icons to the right of titles in the SECTIONS and especially the ITEMS columns. These links and texts appear in the reminder windows:

 

To follow a link, select the link, and then when the four icons appear, select the box-shaped icon on the far left.

Code Reference

In providing codes references, in the Reminder windows (pencil icons) I have included links to UPCodes, which allows free online access, and from which provisions and definitions can be copied and pasted into a report. These are generally 2015 to 2021 code versions and versions for the different states are available. This collection includes most codes that will be relevant to inspectors in the USA.

Template narratives do not cite code provisions, but links are provided to allow confirming conditions, or to allow users to cite code if they so choose.

Note: Provision numbers may not be exact since in providing them, I was forced to choose a state, and there are some variations due to state-specific code versions. Using the link provided in each reference section you can choose the IBC-based code for your state.

HOW DOES COMMERCIAL NARRATIVE LANGUAGE DIFFER FROM RESIDENTIAL?

Commercial clients are more sophisticated than residential clients and don't need to have the obvious explained to them. For example, they don't need to be told to hire a qualified electrical contractor to deal with electrical issues.

Because the skill levels of- and types of inspections undertaken by- those using this template will vary, I’ve tried to find the sweet spot in using technical terms. Template users can edit as necessary to make narratives better fit their writing voice.