Let’s talk about structural engineers.
That mention of that profession is scary. Never something a future home buyer wants to hear about their dream home, especially a first time home buyer!
It sounds scary. It sounds expensive. It sounds like the house is about to fall down.
Truth be told, over thousands of inspections, we’ve yet to see a house about to fall over (we’ve also never seen a perfect one, but that’s a different topic).
Point is, structure doesn’t have to be scary. Something to pay attention to and evaluate, yes, but not scary.
Agents and buyers ask us frequently whether an engineer is really needed when we recommend them. For those unfamiliar with home inspectors, we’re kinda known to blow things out of proportion and when in doubt, lean toward CYA (Cover Your A&*).
Not for us.
Basically, there are a couple of reasons engineers should be recommended, and while every inspector or company has their own lines on when they make this recommendation here’s basically what we’re looking for at HomeTeam:
- Suspected ongoing movement of foundation, horizontal cracking in walls, cracking larger than ⅛ inch
- Major support concerns that may need some more thought than putting an additional piece of wood under an area.
- Cracks, repairs, or damage to engineered systems like roof trusses, I-joists, floor trusses, etc.
An engineer, while absolutely an added expense will give you a recommendation of repairs, monitor, or not an issue. Not all repairs recommended by engineers are expensive. And here’s the good news:
Everything can be fixed! Everything!
This is where I believe real estate agents can really show the value they provide to their clients. The best ones nail it during this process! One of my best friends had $35,000 worth of structural issues on a home that we found during their inspection. Agent was able to keep my friends calm, negotiate with the seller, got it fixed, and it’s now their forever home in great condition 6 years later. Don’t let the sound of engineer scare you, it doesn’t have to kill the deal!