#40 Why would I need to supply a structural report?


After a general home inspection is complete sometimes a structural engineering inspection is also warranted. If this is the case, the home inspector typically includes this recommendation in their final home inspection report. Home inspectors are not qualified to assess and diagnose structural problems. Only a licensed, structural engineer can provide accurate assessments and solutions for a home seller.

A professional engineer can help identify, alleviate, and/or provide recommendations to homeowners in need of structure repairs such as the examples listed below:

  • In the event of a natural disaster which caused damage to your home
  • Foundation wall cracks, settlement or movement
  • Interior cracking and framing movement
  • Sagging or bowing floors or walls
  • Termite, carpenter ant or rot damage
  • Undersized and damaged framing members
  • Sink holes and soil concerns
  • Roof failure
  • Building collapse
  • Flood, fire, water or high wind damage

If you are planning on renovating your home and it involves removing or cutting into load-bearing walls, adding living space by way of 2nd story renovation or addition with great rooms containing wide open spaces (no supports), a structural engineering consultation is a good idea. If you are extending your living area nearly every city and/or county will require design drawings and engineering reports in order to obtain special permits to alter the home. Your local building department will require a licensed, professional engineer stamp any new construction or major renovation.

Complicated structures or projects involving older homes (constructed before 1970) may require early input from a structural engineer. Many times homes constructed before 1960s-70s were built without prescriptive building methods. Today, state and local building codes exist to ensure contractors and home builders follow a set of pre-determined guidelines for building or altering a preexisting home. A licensed structural engineer is the best professional to assess the feasibility of any major home renovation project.

Todd and Curtis discuss the importance of obtaining a structural engineering report when needed before selling a home.



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