How to Write a Building Report
Building reports are written to help prospective buyers make an informed purchase decision. Some buyers may not be savvy enough to know where structural problems hide, and how these needed repairs affect the potential total expenditure for any property. The building report should present a snapshot of the inspection results. This snapshot must point out any existing buyer risks related to the quality or condition of the building.
Write a summary of the overall condition of the building. Make this summary short, no longer than three or four sentences, and easy to read. Leave out any builder/construction words which the general public may not be familiar with. Use simple, everyday language that does not need to be explained to be understood by the reader. Estimate and write down the costs of the repairs the building needs. Enter these estimates under their appropriate sections as you write your report.
Divide your building report into short sections with headings. Create the sections and headings for the main parts of the building. These are the parts which will cost the most to replace or repair. Start from the bottom of the building and work your way up, or vice versa. Use clear, well-focused pictures at every point of your narrative, especially those problem areas you will detail.
Describe the condition of the building foundation. Point out any cracks or evidence of water damage you have found. Give exact locations so the readers can go directly to the area you reference and see it for themselves. Do the same for any unevenness you may find, as this can be a serious settling issue. Note that settling issues can mean that the building was constructed on poor-quality soil.
Record the condition of the exterior walls next in your building report. Mention any warping and straightness issues you see. Take the condition of the plumbing into account as you write your description of the walls. Inspect and describe the plumbing and write down any wet spot locations.
Write your analysis of the condition of the roof next. Describe and locate for the reader of your report both the nature of the roof problem, if any, and its location. Note any damaged rafters and roof joists you found. Write down the condition of the roof decking you inspected from the attic. Estimate and write down the remaining roof life, if the age of the roof is not available.
Use plenty of pictures to prove your assertions. Be thorough but concise when writing your building reports.
Building reports may be used as legal documents should other major issues arise which were not addressed in your report. Only recommend contractors whom you trust to make any needed repairs. Be selective with your recommendations; they are a direct reflection upon you and your business.