Inspect These 5 Things Before You Buy a Used Modular Building

Here's what you need to inspect before you buy a used modular building or portable classroom
Matt Banes
Written by Matt Banes

Whether you are buying a used modular building or a portable classroom, be sure to inspect the HVAC, Roof, Floor, Electrical, and Plumbing.

When considering the purchase of a used modular building, it’s essential to approach the decision with a keen eye and an informed mind. Whether you’re a facility manager, an architect, a project manager, or a business owner in sectors like industrial, educational, governmental, medical, or transportation, understanding what to inspect before making a purchase is important. This guide, titled “Top 5 Things to Inspect Before You Buy a Used Modular Building,” is designed to help you make a smart buying decision.

TOP 5 Things To Inspect Before Buying a Used Modular Building

1. Inspect the HVAC System

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is a critical component of any modular building. It’s responsible for maintaining a comfortable environment for occupants, regardless of the weather outside. When inspecting a used modular building, the HVAC system should be your first checkpoint.

What to Look For:

  • Operational Status: Check if the HVAC system is in working condition. Ask the seller to demonstrate its functionality.
  • Maintenance History: Inquire about the maintenance record. A well-maintained system is less likely to cause problems in the future.
  • Warranty Information: If the system is still under warranty, it can save you from potential repair costs.
  • Energy Efficiency: An energy-efficient HVAC system can reduce operational costs significantly.
  • Get the iModular HVAC Maintenance Guide for more helpful tips and things to look for while checking the heating and cooling system.

2. Evaluate the Roof Condition

The roof of a modular building is its primary defense against the elements. A leaky or damaged roof can lead to a host of problems, including water damage and mold.

What to Look For:

  • Signs of Leaks: Check for stains or discoloration on the ceiling tiles, which can indicate past or present leaks.
  • Roof Material Condition: Look at the condition of the roofing material. Cracks, tears, or worn-out spots are red flags.
  • Recent Repairs: Ask about any recent repairs. Frequent repairs might indicate underlying issues.
  • Drainage System: Ensure that the roof has an effective drainage system to prevent water accumulation.

3. Assess the Flooring

The flooring of a modular building can tell you a lot about its overall condition and how well it has been maintained.

What to Look For:

  • Wear and Tear: Look for signs of excessive wear, like torn carpets or cracked tiles.
  • Water Damage: Check for any signs of water damage, especially in areas prone to moisture, like near bathrooms or under windows.
  • Level and Stability: Walk around the building to feel for any soft spots or uneven areas, which could indicate structural issues.
  • Underneath Inspection: If possible, inspect the underside of the building for damage or deterioration.

4. Check the Electrical System

The electrical system in a modular building must be up to code and capable of handling your specific power needs.

What to Look For:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the building’s electrical system is compatible with your site’s power supply.
  • Safety Standards: Check that the electrical installations meet the relevant safety standards.
  • Circuit Breaker: Inspect the circuit breaker for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Outlets and Wiring: Test the outlets and look for any exposed or damaged wiring.
  • For more information about site utilities and modular buildings, link to “Make The Smartest Decisions About Site Utilities Before You Install a Modular Building.”

5. Plumbing System Inspection

If the modular building includes facilities like bathrooms or a kitchen, the plumbing system becomes a critical aspect of your inspection.

What to Look For:

  • Leaks: Check for any signs of leaks around toilets, sinks, and pipes.
  • Water Pressure: Test the water pressure in sinks and showers.
  • Hot Water System: Ensure the hot water system is functioning correctly.
  • Drainage: Test the drains for any blockage or slow drainage issues.

Making a Smart Buying Decision

Purchasing a used modular building is a significant investment, and making a smart buying decision requires thorough inspection and consideration of the factors mentioned above. Here are some additional tips to guide you through the process:

  • Consult with Professionals: Consider hiring experts like a building inspector or an engineer to conduct a thorough inspection.
  • Understand Your Needs: Clearly define what you need from the modular building. This understanding will guide your inspection process.
  • Budget for Repairs and Upgrades: Factor in the cost of any necessary repairs or upgrades in your budget.
  • Negotiate Based on Findings: Use the information gathered during the inspection to negotiate the price.

Used Modular Buildings Can be Well Worth Your Investment

Investing in a used modular building can be cost-effective for your space needs. However, conducting a comprehensive inspection before making a purchase is crucial. By focusing on the HVAC system, roof condition, flooring, electrical system, and plumbing, you can ensure that you are making a well-informed decision. Remember, the goal is to find a modular building that fits your budget and meets your specific safety, functionality, and comfort requirements. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can buy or rent a modular building that serves your needs effectively for years to come.

Is it Time to Sell Your Used Modular Building?

Are you selling your used modular building, office trailer, or portable classroom? Link to this helpful post and figure out what your used modular structure is worth, or contact us directly for help with valuation, pricing, and selling your structure.

About the author

Matt Banes

Matt Banes

Call me directly and I will help you make the smartest decisions before you buy, rent or sell a modular building or portable classroom anywhere in the United States. (800) 806-7485.
Since 1988, I have helped thousands of businesses, public and private schools, and places of worship with decisions concerning planning, permitting, floor plan design and financing of temporary and permanent modular spaces. So, why wait? Call me directly at the Modular Building Help Line today!