If you are looking for the perfect building to house your business, then you have your choice between newer, pristine properties and older buildings that may need a little more upkeep and maintenance. Moving into an older building has a lot of advantages. It often comes at a smaller price tag, you can rehab the building to be your own, and you can play up the old-time charm as a part of your decor. But some old buildings are better choices than others. Here are two big things you should check out before you move your business into a particular older building.
Have an electrician look over the wiring.
Cosmetic issues, like peeling paint, can easily be fixed. But faulty wiring takes a lot of effort and time to fix, especially in a bigger commercial building. Until you have it fixed, it may present a serious hazard to you and anyone else who visits the building. And even if it is technically "safe," you may have to put thousands into fixing it if it is not into code.
Hire a commercial electrician to look over the building's electrical system. They should make sure everything is safe and up to code, and also that the wiring is set up to support your business's needs. For instance, if the building used to house a clothing store but you are opening a restaurant, you need to ensure the electrical system can support the coolers and ovens.
If the results of the inspection are good, then you can move your business in with confidence. If the electrician identifies some updates that must be made, then they can give you an estimate and you can determine, with that information, whether it's a good choice for you to make the changes and move in.
Have it checked for asbestos and lead.
You should also hire a building inspector to look over the building specifically for evidence of asbestos and lead. Lead was often used in pipes and plumbing solder in older buildings. If it is still present, the water may not be safe to use. Asbestos was used in tile and insulation. Just sitting there, it does not present a huge hazard, but if you decide to do any work on the building and disturb it in the process, breathing it in can cause serious damage.
If you find out that the building contains asbestos and lead, you may be best off looking elsewhere. These materials are both quite difficult to remove safely.