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Structural Engineering Answers

What is a structural engineering inspection?

A thorough analysis of a structure's foundation, basement and crawl space, framing, roof, interior and exterior to determine how well it can support or resist weight. The engineer will provide a detailed report on conditions that need attention and estimated costs of recommended repairs.

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How should I choose a structural engineering Inspection?

Structural engineering is a specialty of civil engineering and does not require a special license. Always hire a professional who has had many years of experience. Request and then call recent references. You may also consult the Structural Engineering Certification Board for more information about the practice of structural engineering.

Check to see if the company has any unresolved complaints that have been filed with your city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau.

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What's involved in a structural engineering inspection?

A professional structural engineer will inspect the following to evaluate the integrity of the structure of the home.

 To be inspected:Report on:
Foundation All accessible/visible portions of the foundation (e.g. , slab, floor, walls) will be examined for evidence of distress and deterioration (e.g., cracks, movement, bowing, attachment). Where appropriate, an estimated range of costs for the repairs will be provided.
Basement/Crawl space Surface drainage conditions around the building, evidence of water entry and/or accumulation in the Basement/crawl space, excessive moisture, and the condition of water control systems equipment. Description of water-related conditions, adequacy of water control systems; approximate scope of repairs recommended, approximate cost of repairs.
Framing All accessible/visible portions of the building (e.g., floor, ceiling, roof framing); identify wood deterioration, insect activity and/or rot and other related deterioration; visually evaluate adequacy of framing other structural components. Evidence of structural deficiencies, approximate scope of structural repairs required, approximate cost of structural repairs required.
Roof Roof surfacing, layers, flashing, sheathing (Fire Resistant Plywood), gutters for condition, type, current performance and evidence of leakage. Conditions requiring attention; and approximate cost to repair/replace.
Interior/Exterior Interior and exterior of the house for evidence of distress, deterioration and weather tightness (siding and windows) that might indicate conditions affecting the overall structural stability. Evidence of distressed or deteriorated conditions, as well as suggested repairs including an estimated range of costs for the repairs.

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Are decks included in an inspection?

Yes. Decks, porches and other attached structures, such as garages can also be examined for stability as part of the general inspection.

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How do I know if I need a structural inspection?

It is very important to order a structural inspection of a home before buying or selling it. If you are adding on or doing significant renovation work to a home that could have an impact on the stability of the structure, be sure to call in an engineering professional.

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How much does a structural inspection cost?

An initial inspection and consultation can cost between $200 and $400 depending on location and size of the house.

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Who pays for the structural inspection?

The seller usually pays for the inspection.

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