Home Inspections Vs Engineering Inspections
Almost all buyers of homes and apartments will want to have an expert evaluation of a property before they strike a deal. Real estate agents sometimes refer to this process as a “home inspection” or an “engineering inspection“ without differentiating between the two. Though they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the services offered by a licensed engineer and a licensed inspector. These specific differences pertain to the amount of expertise, knowledge, and experience required for licensure as well as what each professional is legally allowed to do.
When do you need a home inspection?
As a seller, before putting your property on the market, it is always recommended that you have your property thoroughly inspected to uncover any hidden defects or building code violations. This inspection gives the seller an opportunity to choose between rectifying the problems found or disclosing the problems to prospective buyers and selling the property at a discounted price.
Secondly, for a home purchaser to make an informed decision, he/she should have a home inspection before signing the sale agreement. In the event an inspection clause is included in the contract of sale, a seller will have to repair any issues found in the house or sell it to the buyer at a discounted rate. The buyer should also have a second home inspection within 48 hours prior to closing to ensure that no damage has occurred to the premises between the time of the first inspection and the closing. Common damages include storm damage, leaking pipes, and broken appliances.
An expert home inspector is trained to check specific areas of concern, based on pre-determined criteria. Once the home inspection is complete, you will get a comprehensive inspection report detailing the findings by the inspector. Unless you have specified for an inspection, home inspections are usually comprehensive and will give you all the information about your building; from the electrical system to the drainage system.
And what about engineering inspections?
A structural inspection by a professional engineer focuses on the structural condition of a building. These include: the floor structure, the foundation, the roof, the walls, as well as the ceilings. The main purpose of an engineering inspection is to accurately define probable load-paths from the foundation to the roofs. They also ensure that the structure of your building has not been compromised with age.
Engineering inspections are usually determined by mapping out the floor framing and foundation, mapping out the interior floor plans at each level, mapping out the ceiling and roof framing, as well as documenting the locations of damage on your building’s structure.
Once the engineer has collected this information from your building, he/she generates scaled drawings and plans that are studied and used to draw conclusions regarding the performance of your building. The results of an engineering inspection are usually presented as a report complete with CAD drawings and photographs. This type of inspection is extremely helpful if you are buying a large house or have just discovered some serious structural issues on your building.
Now that you know the difference between the two, you can now make an informed decision on which type of inspection you really need. At Arnold Investigative Engineering, we have dedicated teams of home inspectors as well as engineers who are always ready to help. Call us today!