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Florida Milestone Inspections Cocoa Beach

Florida Milestone Inspections Cocoa Beach

condo milestone inspection cocoa beach

We provide milestone inspections Cocoa Beach engineering services, inspection, analysis, reporting, and Structural Integrity Reserve Studies.  Our staff engineer has over 25 years of structural analysis and installation experience. Milestone Inspection of 3 stories (and more) Condominium and Co-op buildings MUST comply with Florida Statute 553.899. 

Florida Statute 553.899 states milestone Inspections of condominiums (3 stories or more) within 3 miles of a coastline and 25 years old must have a “milestone” structural inspection before the end of December 2024.  If the building is more than 3 miles from a coastline, inspection is required at 30 years of age.

Florida Statute 718.112 requires a Structural Integrity Reserve Study to be completed every ten years.

These items are covered in a milestone inspection.

Call us. We have experience inspecting and designing repairs for many concrete, metal, and wood frame buildings, highway bridges, and towers. 

The Milestone  Inspection criteria call for many of the Structure Engineering skills used for older bridge inspections, including deferred maintenance assessment. Don’t be satisfied with a ‘visual inspection by someone with less experience or someone who offers a low price expecting dollars for repairs. Older buildings have special needs and were built to older building codes. 

Start-up pricing for Milestone Inspections Cocoa Beach

We are an engineering company with many years of structural engineering experience. The Milestone law went into effect in May of 2022.   

Pricing reflects our need to build a customer base. Demand and prices will go up as the December deadline nears. Most 3 stories buildings are charged at $2500 for 8 unit buildings. The best is to get onboard now. 

Questions & Answers

Note: This list can’t cover all questions and the user should be aware that the answers are not considered engineering (or legal) opinions,

  • Should I just go for a phase 2 inspection?

     No. We are primarily an engineering company with licensed engineers with decades of structural design and inspections of various types of buildings throughout Florida. 

    Reporting a phase 2 will have likely insurance ramifications, and could lead to more frequent inspection requirements, and a possible loss in value for your building. We want to do a detailed report and provide a ‘substantial deterioration’ analysis. The majority of buildings we inspect may have some structural damage but it doesn’t rise to the phase 2 level. 

  • What if I don’t do an inspection or choose to do a partial inspection?

The whole building has to be evaluated. Florida statute 553.899 currently states (as of 1/11/2023) that the Homeowner’s Association has a fiduciary duty to provide a “Milestone” inspection and obtain a report from a licensed design professional (Engineer or Architect). This is not a law firm -and you should consult with one- but if your building is 25 years old it may have some urgent structural issues….. 

A Milestone Inspection is mandated by Florida Statute 553.899. It requires a licensed design professional (Architect or Engineer) to provide a visual examination of the building to determine if “significant Structural Deterioration” is present.

The structural integrity reserve study (setting aside funds to maintain structural integrity)  is per Florida Statute 718. It requires a ten-item assessment of the structure’s protective components -those in common use- such as fire protection for beams, plumbing, fire suppression systems, present quality of windows, exterior weatherproofing, electrical power, and life safety signaling systems. The S.I.R.S. is required every ten years. The assessment is a cost-to-repair/replace analysis that uses the expected deterioration of the system and promulgation of a “deferred maintenance” cost. The aim is for the HOA to set aside reasonable funds to maintain structure safety per its ‘as-built’ condition. 

  • What does a milestone inspection cost?

The inspection covers the entire building structure. We hire professionals and use some specific specialty equipment. Our engineers comply with the Florida Statute requiring Professional Liability Insurance. The inspection is not cheap, but it is usually split between many owners. 

We like to operate on a fixed-cost basis if at all possible and that means we include some material depreciation and schedule risk in the fee. 

If original design drawings are not available, the price could increase. We baseline our bid using the condo declarations showing square footage and date of initial construction.

We offer trained, experienced staff, with practices developed inspecting buildings, bridges, towers, ASME pressure vessels, and manned spacecraft (yes it does apply here).

Taller and more square footage increases the price. Prices per building start around $5000.00. Multiple buildings can be done for a large discount. 

  • Is pricing on a per-unit basis?

The ‘milestone’ building safety law and engineering practice requires the whole building to be evaluated by a licensed design professional. The whole building acts as a frame to provide structural support. Contracting is through the Homeowner Association. The H.O.A. is required to acknowledge an accident, damage, theft, and privacy liability waiver on behalf of the individual owners and occupants. 

Part of our cost control requires engineering liability to be limited to the fee paid for the service provided. We have to keep the insurance costs affordable. 

  • What does a ‘Milestone’ inspection consist of?

The statute requires visual inspection of all ‘Habitable” and “Inhabitable” spaces.

Engineering practice requires exterior physical evaluation/examination, Interior physical examination/evaluation, a quick walkthrough of every unit to consider walls, ceiling, and floors, visual structural examination of roof and equipment/ storage/ mechanical/ structure areas, garage structure assessment, balcony visual examination and, at our option, thermal imaging of the building exterior to look for anomalies.

This list is not all-inclusive. We use the drone to examine the building’s exterior and rooftop. 

  • How long does the inspection take to perform?

It depends upon scheduling constraints, the size of the building, and the weather. Inspecting a building with 3 stories including the garage floor and 12 units could take a week or two if owners of units are available to allow interior inspection. 

A review of the original construction drawings and any renovation plans will facilitate a faster inspection and we offer a discount if plans are available. 

We need a cooperative approach. Everyone in the building is a team member when we start the process. Our process does not guarantee a schedule and some events will affect delivery time. 

  • Why do you need a privacy waiver?

Using a drone and a handheld camera may capture an image that should not be published. While we reserve the right to publish, in our report, and for technical publications, we don’t want personal images of home contents or the occupants to be revealed to the public.

Some of the legal documentation, for example, e-mail addresses, or property appraiser information, may contain private information. There may be some incidental exposure during the inspection process. It is also possible that license plates or vehicles may be photographed. We ask that any items you wish to conceal be hidden on the day(s) of the inspection. 

Our operations plan is proprietary and a non-disclosure agreement is included in our contract. A list of potential exposure could be much longer and we can not account for unforeseen circumstances. The H.O.A. may review and offer limited revision of report content after final payment to adjust the report privacy issues for public content. The statute requires a certified report to be posted in a common area with a copy sent to the building official.  To avoid distribution of personal information) two versions of the report (highly detailed and statutory requirement) may be provided for a small fee.  

  • Is this a phase 1 or phase 2 inspection? 

A phase 1 inspection is an overall visual inspection and may include some level of ‘destructive’ testing – chipping away defective concrete to examine reinforcing steel or chase a water leak is an example. The statute calls for a ‘visual’ inspection. Engineering experience and responsibility require some physical level of defect examination. Phase 1 may also include manipulative actions including concrete ‘sounding’ or wood penetration testing.

A  phase 2 inspection is required if the phase 1 inspection reveals  ‘substantial structural damage/deterioration -or to investigate a significant anomaly. Phase 2 requires an intrusive investigation and the development of a remediation plan. 

F.S. 718 requires the structural integrity reserve study every ten years regardless and may use the phase 1 report as a basis if phase 2 is not indicated.  In our opinion, the S.I.R.S. can’t be done without at least a phase 1 inspection. 

  • Are both Phase 1 and Phase 2 inspections included in the price I get?

Phase 2 inspections require more effort and the costs are unknown at the start of this process. Generally, Phase 2 prices will be determined after Phase 1 is completed if required. The client is not required to use us for Phase 2, but we hope they will.

  • What is “Substantial Structural Damage /  Deterioration?”

Existing damage and/or conditions that compromises the structural integrity of the building in a  significant way. Several contributing factors describe this condition. This is a threshold for a Phase 2 inspection requirement. Send an e-mail and we can discuss it.

  • How do you categorize the inspection results?

This is what makes EMA unique. 

We believe in a uniform inspection method that can be reported straightforwardly. Each defect found will be identified as to location and structure condition rating from 1-10. 

Various national codes like ACI-318 – structural concrete, ASCE-7 (design forces), and the AISC Steel Construction Manual are used to develop inspection criteria. This is not an exhaustive list. This information is compiled into a proprietary building structural inspection manual used by our staff. 

While this sounds like a lot of work, we offer this service this way to comply with what the statute calls for.

  • Our building was just painted and the roof was replaced recently-does a history of routine maintenance help our rating?

Our rating system only addresses the severity of defects found. A history of care may reveal some structural damage due to leaks. Paint and caulk will cover some defects. They are probably of low severity. 

We review records of repairs to assess ‘hidden’ issues and historic trends. If defects are covered with a cosmetic repair, a visual inspection may not reveal an issue. Thermal analysis can be helpful. The ideal building to assess needs paint and a roof membrane. The S.I.R.S. addresses exterior weatherproofing. 

  • What if something hazardous is discovered?

If a dangerous condition is found the inspector will notify the owner and the building official. A phase 2 inspection will be recommended. The hazard area will be identified and must be placed in a restricted access state. If something requires additional testing, there may be added charges. This is covered in our proprietary inspection contract.