May 21, 2021
A rundown of all the major questions surrounding building inspections and software.
What is the best software for building inspections?That depends; what type of building are you inspecting? How are you conducting the inspection? And finally, what deliverables do you need at the end?
In this article, we will break down the common questions connected with building inspections and look at requirements for the software for those inspections.
There are as many inspection softwares as building inspection types, each with their unique features. Luckily, most types of software can be used for several types of inspections, and finding one for your specific needs won’t be hard.
Different inspection types require different functionalities, and the first step in deciding is considering what your requirements are. Below, we have listed some of the most common building inspection types and accounted for the functionalities that are important to look for in the software you use for them.
What’s important to look at in commercial building inspection software? Let’s dive into it.
What inspectors generally look for during commercial building inspections is the building’s major systems (electrical, mechanical, heating, plumbing, and air conditioning/ventilation), the building’s interior, exterior, and documentation. Everything must apply to standards and codes, and the inspector will document with descriptions, visuals, and checklists.
Because inspections are performed on-site, for most applications it can be an advantage to have an inspection app that can be loaded onto a work tablet or phone. Investing in a system that also functions offline is a good idea, as cell reception in certain areas or buildings can otherwise be insufficient.
As for software functionality, the most essential are generally:
If you are managing commercial buildings, it can be a good idea to look at broader software packages with options that cover building management and financials as well. If you are only completing inspections, a simpler solution is often preferable, as it is cheaper and easier to work with, compared to comprehensive software suites.
Moving on to construction site inspections. These are routine inspections that need to be carried out at certain intervals, during a building’s construction. The inspector must document that work within a project goes forward as planned and is meeting requirements, standards, and regulations.
Functionalities most essential in construction inspection software are:
If you work in property development, consider a comprehensive solution which can be used for all steps of the process; from pre-construction, design, and bid-management to post-construction analytics.
If you are simply performing visual construction site inspections, using a drone/UAV and proprietary software for your inspections may prove to be the best, most cost-efficient option.
What are virtual building inspections? This term covers all types of building inspections performed virtually, i.e. without an inspector on-site. Virtual inspections have risen in popularity during the 2020-2021 pandemic, but many speculates predict them to be just as popular once the pandemic resides. For more on this specific topic, have a look at our 2020 guest article here.
The software features needed for virtual inspections can vary, depending on the type of building you’re inspecting. However, there are some things you will want when shopping for virtual building inspection software:
A private property inspection is a visual examination of the condition of a private home. Most buyers prefer to have an inspection report for their new property before considering a purchase, so this building inspection type is very common.
There are also areas of a private property that might need inspection independently of purchase or sale, like a facade or a roof. These inspections should be carried out at timely intervals, to ensure that vital parts of your home does not have structural issues that you are unaware of.
As for private property inspection software, here are some functionalities to look for:
The most common inspection type is roof inspections. Roofing issues can have major repercussions if left unattended, and most home owners are unaware of the state of their roof, as it is not something they can visually assess themselves.
Most professionals today use drones for roofing inspections.
Accessing the roof with a drone is easier, safer and faster, compared to the traditional method of climbing the building. Drones are also able to get a better overview of the roof and spot potential issues that can then be examined at closer proximity.
Roofing inspections can be used as part of assessing home value, to estimate roof repair costs, as part of insurance claims, or as standard home maintenance.
If you’re performing drone roofing inspections, look for these features in your software of choice:
Scoptio’s building inspections software has a range of capabilities that cover most building inspection needs:
– Analysis and annotation
– Free storage and clever organization of images
– Super-accurate geo-location
– Customizable PDF and CSV reports
– For flight-planning, Scopito is part of Measure Ground Control
Underneath the functionalities of Scopito, lies a beautiful user interface that is simple to navigate from day one, and has earned us our current status in the market.
We believe that Scopito is the best building inspection software, for drone roofing inspections in particular. To illustrate how Scopito can support the inspection process, the next section of this article will dive further into drone roof inspections, how they are performed, what you need to look for and which features Scopito has that allows inspectors to get the most out of their inspection data.
Inspecting roofs using drones is faster, safer and more efficient than it’s manual counterpart. And with the right analysis, storage and reporting solution, it can be even faster and yield a way better result than delivering a USB of images or a word-document of faults.
In this section, we’re going to dive into the roofing inspection and consider what you need to look for when performing them, and the results you can accomplish with Scopito as your software companion.
There are three major advantages of using good roofing inspection software for your inspection images
1. Better annotation tools
Compared to marking issues in Paint, Scopito offers a whole suite of specialized tools that lets you add labels, types, comments, and severities to your annotations. Especially useful for roofing inspections is Scopito’s thermal analysis tool. Once created, annotations can be used as filters to easily find what you’re looking for. Simply put, you can do much more accurate work, much faster, in our cloud-based software.
2. Professional reports
Your deliverables are (in most cases) the only part of your work the client will ever see. They should be perfect. We offer automatically created PDF reports, based on the exact criteria you need. Generating one is as simple as a click, and customizing it is as easy as using Word. Click here to find an example of a roof report.
3. Simple storage and sharing
Sometimes a report is not the deliverable you need. Luckily Scopito has another option for sharing roof inspections and results; in-platform sharing. You can grant anyone access to your inspection, free of charge, and allow them to view images in full resolution, add comments to annotations or even generate their own reports. It doesn’t get any easier. Add to this that Scopito has unlimited storage for a full year, no matter the amount of images, and it’s hard not to get a little intrigued, isn’t it?
For those who need it, we also offer professional roofing inspection analysis of your inspection images. It’s performed by professionals, with a short turnaround time, and is surprisingly affordable. It’s yet another great way to up your roofing inspection game and deliver extraordinary value to your clients.
It can be useful to have a checklist to go through, when you’re inspecting a roof. Checklists for roofing inspections ensure you cover all points of interest and subsequent analysis.
When flying a drone over the roof, make sure you capture the whole roof as well as pay special attention to areas where faults are common, and take clear photographs of disreprencies from different angles.
For a more detailed checklist, we refer to this one by Public Works and Services, which covers different roof types and their common defects.
What is a building inspections checklist? It is a list of things you go through during your building inspection, to ensure you’ve covered all bases and can accurately assess the condition of the building.
As with everything else, the content varies greatly depending on the type of building inspection you’re conducting.
Building inspections checklists are very useful in ensuring that nothing is forgotten, but also sets the precedence for legal and uniform assessment of buildings (inter)nationally. In most cases, the specific checklists will be created by the property owner/manager.
If you are building your own inspection checklist, google offers plenty of templates for every building inspection type. Our building inspections checklist is more of a generic list which you can use as a reference no matter what you are inspecting.
Again, not all of the above will be relevant for every building inspection type. For those that are, make sure you conduct a thorough inspection and document your findings. A visual inspection is always the the basis, but adding thermal imaging, strength tests, a hygrometer test or even a simple odor test can uncover issues that are not visible to the naked eye or camera.
The final step of any building inspection should be creating a perfect report of your findings.
Access to good reporting software is alpha and omega when creating building inspection reports. 90% of the time, reports will come out better and more professional, and 100% of the time, creating them will be much faster. If you are considering saving money somewhere, rule out building inspections report software – it really is essential.
Luckily there are many great solutions to choose from. What should guide your choice is the following considerations:
Scopito offers advanced analysis (with options of Subject matter Expert Analysis and AI), storage and great reporting for €50/building.
Click here to see what our reports look like.
Click here to sign up for 14 days of free trial and generate your own report.
Or, how much can you charge for building inspections? We get asked this all the time, daily even: “how much can I charge for a building inspection?”. The answer is always; that depends.
So what does the amount you can charge depend on? Let’s break it down.
There are a large number of factors to consider, when pricing your inspection services. The three most important being:
1. Your level of expertise
2. The market you are selling in
3. Your costs
When you are deciding on a price for a certain inspection, it can be very helpful to work from the ‘Costs + Markup’-model. You calculate your costs, and depending on the market and your level of expertise, you add a percentage markup to that price, which will then be your revenue.
Having an excel-sheet to fill in, is a great way of calculating how much to charge for cell tower inspections (or other types of inspections).
Now let’s look at this step by step:
Depending on the type of building inspection you’re doing, it makes sense to estimate your costs on a per day, per mile, or per building inspected.
The following are costs that would often be involved in a building inspection job:
Services you will typically need to consider for building inspections are:
– Visual/RGB inspection
– Thermal inspection
– RF testing (more common for radio/television towers)
– Analytics & reporting
This is where things like your level of experience, the number of people you need on the job, and the market you are operating in, come into play.
In some markets, for example, charging a 50% markup is absolutely fine, while in others, 10% is more reasonable.
When deciding on a percentage, consider:
Add all of these to your spreadsheet, and you will have a good answer to how much a building inspection costs.
If you want to know more about what Scopito can do for your inspections, contact us now.
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