If you are reading this blog, then you have received your safety inspection notice to perform a 40 Year Recertification Inspection, and you would like to know what it is and the 40 year recertification cost. Simply put, a 40 Year Recertification is an inspection that is required by the State of Florida when a building turns 40 years old. Additionally, you must do building inspections every ten years thereafter.
You can find everything you need to know about 40 year recertifications and the Surfside building collapse, to help you understand what a 40-year recertification process is. However, this blog is about the cost of a 40-year inspection.
But in order to find out how much does a 40 year recertification cost, one must realize the reason for the existence of the 40-year inspections (Milestone Inspections) and the required recertification, to begin with.
What is the 40 Year Recertification in Florida?
The 40 Year Recertifications were put into law primarily for the public safety. Building owners and property managers perform upgrades, repair work and renovations to buildings without pulling permits.
Also, building owners and property owners often do not maintain their buildings properly. As a result, many properties and buildings present unsafe conditions for its occupants. Examples of these unsafe conditions are as follows:
Faulty or exposed wiring in the electrical system
- Spalling concrete, even if it appears structurally safe
- Hidden structural problems and unsafe structures
- Failed roofing systems (residential and commercial buildings)
- Possible fire hazards, especially in threshold buildings
The Florida law requires that a licensed architect or engineer take the responsibility of the structural inspection and submit a signed and sealed report as part of the recertification process.
Notice of Required Inspection
When a qualifying property crosses the 40-year age limit, the property owner or the building manager is sent a notice from the county to complete an inspection and go through a recertification. The owner has 90 days to arrange the 40 year recertification inspection and submit the required certificate for the inspection by an accredited structural engineer.
How Often Does a Building Need to Be Inspected in Florida?
In Florida, buildings are required to be regularly inspected by engineers to make sure they’re structurally safe, and adhere to municipal and state building standards and regulations.
According to Florida law, residential buildings may only need inspections when they are being sold or when there is a change in occupancy. Commercial structures, on the other hand, are required to undergo an inspection every three years. And both must complete the 40 year structural recertification inspection per requirements.
Buildings are also required to be thoroughly inspected after catastrophic events (example: Surfside Condominium Collapse) or major renovations to ensure they’re still structurally safe for their occupants.
What Does the 40 Year Recertification cost?
The best way to find out how much a 40 Year Recertification will cost you is by calling around and getting proposals. Of course, a simple search on the internet will yield lots of information on available professionals for building inspections and milestone inspections in your area.
Each structural engineer or architect has their own way of calculating how much they are going to charge you for the required inspection. The following are the factors that most affect the price of a 40 year building inspection (in order of importance):
- Size of the building (i.e. stories high, number of units)
- Complexity of the structure
Size of the Building
As you may have guessed, the size of the building is the factor that most affects the price of a 40 Year Recertification inspection.
Let’s take the example of an inspector that has decided he must visit 50 apartments in the case of a high-rise building structure.
A safety inspection like this could be lengthy, detailed and take most of the day. Depending on the inspector’s findings, the required inspection report could be lengthy.
Complexity of the Building Structure
As an extreme example, let’s say that the inspector is to do a 40 year inspection of an electrical plant for FP&L. On the structural side, there are many unusual structures such as towers and trusses which are difficult to inspect. On the electrical systems side, there are high-power devices and mechanisms that are not typical to a regular electrical inspection.
Naturally, the inspector will have a very difficult time looking into all the details unless he has much experience with these types of building structures to complete the inspection per recertification requirements.
On the other hand, a much simpler inspection would involve a one-story four-plex apartment building. Typically, these buildings are constructed of concrete and block and have a roof structure that has trusses and a shingle roof. This simple building will also likely have 4 electrical meters and an electrical panel for each unit.
Accessibility of the Building
Although this does not tend to be an issue, accessibility can be a big problem. An example of difficult accessibility is the lack of authorization to enter the units of an apartment building.
Another example is where the inspector cannot easily see possible structural problems at the exterior of a 50 story high-rise building. Accessibility issues can be easily overcome by building officials coordinating with the building manager or property owner and planning ahead.
Although the 40 Year Recertification cost can vary widely from professional to professional, there are certain basic factors that can affect the cost. Either way, it is a good idea to understand what these potential issues are so you can discuss these with your engineer prior to the recertification inspection.
Your engineer can provide you with a proposal once he has a good understanding of your building structure. Some engineers provide a price “per door” or per apartment. Prices can range between $10 per door to $300 per door (depending on many factors).
Others provide a price based on square footage. Still others take into consideration the location or the structure, its age, and even if it has a crawl space that the engineer may have to squeeze into.
Be ready to provide detailed answers to your engineer, in order to ensure that all required elements of the inspection are considered. The better information you provide, the better proposal you will get.
Once the building inspections and Milestone Inspections are completed, the building will not require a further ten year Building Safety Inspection.
Always remember: addressing concerns, staying on top of recertification inspection, and prioritizing safety can help you to avert disasters and avoid unnecessary financial losses. Let G. Batista & Associates provide you with a proposal.