Why do you need a home inspection? Well, many reasons are there for it. When you are buying a new/old house, or when selling your house; you have to get it done. Who knows about the condition of the house? Why do you want to spend so much and buy a house that will collapse and fall on your head? It doesn’t matter even if it’s a newly built house.
Who should you get for the house inspection? Well, you have two options here. 1) A home inspector. 2) A Structural Engineer. Here I like to highlight the expertise of the Structural Engineer. You can get an inspector for the purpose, but it’s not something like you are inspecting attic or wall insulation. When you are going to buy a house, you spend so much money on it, so you need a complete evaluation of its condition. How about the foundation? Is the roof is just about to collapse?
The cost of an inspection depends on the size of the house. Anyway, hiring a Structural Engineer for the purpose is cheaper than getting a contractor. Engineers will do a complete evaluation for $200 (well, the prices may vary depending on the size of your house.) But a contractor will charge around $500 for it.
Structural components to inspect
Structural Engineer you hired will inspect the following areas.
* Foundation, structural elements, and framing
These are the key areas in a house. Minor foundation damages can lead to a disaster. We are not experts in detecting foundation damages, but the Structural Engineer will. Also, other structural components such as beams and framing.
* Plumbing system
You can get a house inspector for this inspection. Leaking pipes and damaged tubes give a big headache.
* Roof inspection
Another vital area to inspect. A leaking roof is one of the most common reasons for attic insulation damage. If it’s an old house, get a Structural Engineer for a complete evaluation. Was your attic on fire recently? An attic fire can cause extensive damages to a roof structure. It’s a somewhat common occurrence. You should get it checked by a professional then.
Don’t wait until you sign the house agreement to get a professional for an inspection. It should be done before (especially old houses.) Anyway, you can terminate the agreement if you are not satisfied with the results of the inspection (Structural Engineer’s report.) You will have to produce the inspection report to relevant parties.
Well, you may not find a house that is 100% in super condition. On the other hand, brand new houses are very expensive today. Buy a house that is in good or fair condition. You can repair and improve its condition after buying. The Structural Engineer will give you solutions and recommendations for repairs. If his report has costly repairs, then you can decide whether you can afford it or not.
Some final words
A complete inspection when buying a house is a must. You can’t afford to waste money on a house that will collapse a few years later. You have got two options here (hiring a house inspector, or a Structural Engineer.) Hiring an engineer has more advantages over an inspector such as reliability and price. If the inspection report says “No,” then don’t buy it.