Florida Milestone Inspections & Reserve Studies: FAQs
To ensure aging structures are safe, Florida legislators signed Senate Bill 4D into law on May 26, 2022. This new bill requires multi-story residential buildings and condominiums over three (3) stories in height to receive mandatory structural inspections called Milestone Inspections. The Bill also mandates that Structural Integrity Reserve Studies are completed every ten years.
Do we provide Milestone Inspections and Reserve Studies?
Yes, we do! Florida Engineering can provide milestone inspections, reserve studies, or condominium roof inspections. Our Firm has over 20+ Engineers in-house, with 100+ years of combined experience.
For a free quote, please email firstname.lastname@example.org the following information:
- The name and address of your condominium.
- The number of buildings in your condominium.
- The number of stories and units in your condominium.
- Include your phone number and email address.
These items will help us provide a quote within 1 business day. You can also contact us at 941-391-5980.
What is a Milestone Inspection?
Senate Bill 4D calls for a “Milestone Inspection” to be completed for a condominium association or a cooperative association for each building that is three stories or more in height by December 31 of the year in which the building reaches 30 years of age, based on the date of the certificate of occupancy for the building, and every 10 years thereafter.
If the building is located within 3 miles of a coastline, the timeline becomes 25 years and every 10 years thereafter. This does not apply to a single family, two-family or three- dwelling with three or fewer habitable stories above ground. If an inspection is required and the building’s certificate was issued on or before July 1 1992, the initial milestone inspection must be performed before December 31, 2024.
What is a Structural Integrity Reserve Study?
The Bill also mandates that a “Structural Integrity Reserve Study” be completed every 10 years as well. This includes:
- A study of reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacement of common areas based on visual inspection
- The study may be performed by any person qualified to perform such study, but the visual inspection must be performed by a licensed engineer/architect.
- At a minimum the study must:
- Identify common areas being inspected
- State estimated remaining useful life
- Estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of common areas inspected
- Provide a recommended annual reserve amount that achieves the estimated replacement or deferred maintenance expenses of each area inspected by the end of the estimated remaining useful life
What is Phase 1 of the Milestone Inspection?
A licensed Florida engineer authorized to practice in the state shall perform a visual examination of habitable and non-habitable areas of a building, including the major structural components and provide a qualitative assessment of the structural conditions. This includes:
- Load-bearing walls
- Primary structural members
- Primary structural systems as those defined in s. 627.706
The purpose is for attesting to life safety and adequacy of structural components, and to the extent reasonably possible, determine the general structural condition of the building and any necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement of structural components. The inspection is NOT to determine if the existing building is in compliance with building or fire safety codes.
If no signs of substantial structural deterioration during visual inspection, Phase 2 is not required.
- Substantial Structural Deterioration means:
- Substantial structural distress that negatively affects a building’s general structural condition and integrity
- This does NOT include surface imperfections such as cracks, distortion, sagging, deflections, misalignment, signs of leakage, ore peeling of finishes UNLESS the engineer performing the inspection determines that such imperfections are a sign of substantial structural deterioration.
What is Phase 2 of the Milestone Inspection?
Phase 2 is only required if substantial structural deterioration is identified in phase 1.
- This phase may involve destructive or nondestructive testing at the inspector’s direction.
- May be as extensive or as limited as necessary to fully assess areas of structural distress.
- To recommend a program for fully assessing and repairing distressed and damaged portions of buildings.
- When determining testing locations:
- The structural inspector must give preference to locations that are least disruptive and most easily repairable while still representative of the structure.
What type of report will you receive?
After Phase 1 and Phase 2 (if needed) of the Milestone Inspection is completed, Florida Engineering will provide a sealed copy of the report with a separate summary of, at minimum, the material findings and recommendations in the inspection report to the condo association or cooperative association and to the building official of the local government with jurisdiction.
The report must at a minimum meet the following criteria:
- Bear seal and signature or electronic signature of the licensed Florida Engineer who performed the milestone inspection.
- Indicate the manner and type of inspection forming the basis for the report.
- Identify any substantial structural deterioration, within a reasonable professional probability based on the scope of the inspection, describe the extent of such deterioration and identify any recommended repairs.
- State whether unsafe or dangerous conditions, as those terms are defined in the Florida Building Code, were observed.
- Recommend any remedial or preventative repair for any items that are damaged but are not substantial structural deterioration.
- Identify and describe any items requiring further inspection.
- The association must distribute a copy of the inspector-prepared summary of the inspection report to each condo unit owner, post a copy in a conspicuous location and publish the full report and summary on their website.
Ready to schedule your Milestone Inspection?
The demand for milestone inspections and reserve studies is very high. In fact, our Firm has already scheduled inspections for early 2024. We recommend contacting Florida Engineering as soon as possible to get a quote and schedule your inspection. This will ensure there are no delays and your condominium associate is compliant with Senate Bill 4D.