You’re planning on buying, or maybe selling, or maybe you’re just concerned about the structural integrity of your home or building. What should you do? The first thing on your “to do” list is to contact a structural engineer and have your structure thoroughly inspected. A structural engineer will conduct an analysis of the soundness of the entire structure including the foundation, beams, framing, etc. Think of the structural engineer as the doctor who will be checking your structure’s bones!
Structural engineering inspections are important in many ways. First, they can determine the level of severity of settlement that has resulted in cracks in the walls or foundation. The inspections are also very important if you have any plans to remodel, remove walls or add a second story to the structure. An inspection is even suggested before adding solar panels to your roof.
If you are planning on purchasing a home or building, it will be worth your while to have the structure inspected by a structural engineer even though it is not often required by mortgage lenders. This inspection will give you a picture of the entire structure and expose any existing structural red flags. Depending on the severity of the red flags, this inspection could be the decision maker in whether you make the purchase or walk away.
Conversely, if you are planning on selling your home or building, supplying potential purchasers with a structural engineering report can help expedite the sale. For example, there may be some small cracks in the foundation that could alarm a potential buyer. However, if you have had a structural engineering inspection that shows that the small cracks (under ¼”) are not a concern, your potential buyer may finalize the deal.
When remodeling, it’s very important to have the structural engineering inspection done. Any change in load such as a kitchen remodel with granite counters or a kitchen island can increase the weight and affect stability. Even adding a piano can change the load. In this age of DIY, often the effect on load bearing supports is not a priority and too often a load bearing wall is removed with disastrous results. Bottom line is that if you are going to be adding any weight to your home or building, you need to confirm that the structure is capable of supporting it.
Once your structural engineering inspection is complete, you will be given a written report that will let you know if the structure is considered “sound” or if repairs are needed. This information is valuable to you as the owner, seller or buyer! Let us help put your mind at ease by having one of our structural engineers inspect your home or building.