Home Inspection?


Howdy, how would I go about hiring someone to inspect possible design/structural problems? I don't want to hire a home inspector as such as I have heard it is better to hire a construction engineer(?)...Advice??? TIA, Dan
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Look in the Yellow Pages under "Home Inspectors". If you find someone with the letters "P.E." (Professional Engineer) after his name, that's the guy you want to hire. Otherwise, try calling a few architects, and ask them to recommend someone.
If you happen to live in the Indianapolis area, I can recommend one for you. No, it's not my brother-in-law or anything like that.
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What are you specfically looking for or concerned about?
Depending on what you are concerned about would dictate what kind of services you would best be contracting for.
Also were are oyu located? As per Doug's comment....if you;re in SoCal Or NorCal I can recommend someone.
cheers Bob
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on 9/28/09 7:59 PM fftt said the following:

SE Wisconsin. Water leak problems primarily.
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Sounds like you need a Home Inspector. They're pretty good at this kind of stuff and they'll tell you if something specific needs further inspection by a specialist.
If you had been concerned about a specific structural issue, then a structural engineer would have made more sense.
FYI, around here, the termite inspectors are also very good at checking for damage resulting from water/leaks; dry rot, wet rot, mold etc.
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On Sep 29, 5:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

Actually, telling you something needs further inspection like a water leak problem is pretty much all many home isnpectors do. They take a look at the water leak and unless it's obvious that it's from something readily identifiable like a missing downspout, they just write "water leaking into basement where foundation wall meets basement floor on north side. Should be further evaluated to detemine cause.
The OP didn't give us much to go on here either. If we knew more, there are many simple things that he could probably check himself.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You're right, that does happen. Of course, it's a big game of CYA, especially in the written report.
But if I'm going to hire an inspector, I will always make a point of talking to him as well, off the record, if necessary ;-)
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Yadda wrote:

Insufficient detail to offer an answer. What type of structure, what problems do you suspect, what will be done with the report, that sort of thing. 'Home inspectors' like used in residential sale deals generally are not experts, but have some basic knowledge of most household systems and construction techniques. Mine spent 3 pages on which part of roof was failing, with pictures, when all that was really needed was a note that 'roof needs a tearoff and replace'. But he totally missed some electrical system problems.
If you suspect foundation or framing failures, hire a structural engineer. If you question the design specs, hire an engineer or an architect. If you don't own the place yet, but don't have a warm fuzzy about it, keep looking. Still a buyers market. If you know nothing about construction (no shame in that, not everyone grew up in the business like I did, or spent a career in it like many of the regulars on here), a GOOD home inspector may be a good place to start. He will know and be honest about the stuff he ISN'T an expert on, and tell you where you need to seek additional expertise.
-- aem sends...
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on 9/28/09 8:52 PM aemeijers said the following:

I suspect a framing issue. There are cracks in the drywall, peeling paint and some mold starting. So water/moisture in invading probably do to framing issue.
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Yadda wrote:

Cracks in drywall plus peeling paint and mold, I'd first look at roof and foundation, and then at siding and windows. Do windows and doors stick (from more than swelling), indicative of house being out of square? Are floors level? Framing is usually rather obvious- the place is crooked. Localized leaks up high is usually roof or a window. Whole house stinks of mold, could be roof or foundation. I'd start cheap, with one of the $300 guys. It should be obvious in the first ten minutes where the problem is.
-- aem sends...
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Agree. A framing issue would only cause leaks due to triggering something else and would have to be pretty substantial for that to occur. An example would be if something shifted enough to cause a gap to open around a window exterior letting in rain, etc. More common causes of leaks are simple things like missing or incorrect flashing.
Some small cracking of drywall is normal due to expansion/contraction cycles over temperature, minor settling, etc. As AEM asked, are the floors level? Windows/doors square? Those things are normally prime indicators of a structural problem.
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on 10/1/09 8:26 AM snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net said the following:

Floors are fine. The problem area has roof over it, single floor.
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Yadda wrote:

Probably a roof leak and/or a window leak, then. Time to go in attic with an icepick and a strong flashlight, to look for water trails and mushy wood. If everything looks good up there, start poking around the window. (May have to pull the inside casing for access.) Improperly flashed or installed window is very common, and cheap siding contractors sometimes screw up the cap flashing over the window, such that water is directed down into the wall. Also look at the gutter board and soffit above the problem area, especially if it is wrapped with metal or vinyl. I have a spot on this house where it actually trailed water back into the wall, and rotted out a window,
-- aem sends...
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There's this book. It's called the Yellow Pages. You probably have one near you.
A good inspector will know what's wrong, and that's what you want to know. A structural engineer will know how wrong it is, and will cost you about 5x more.
Steve
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I am sure you can find an engineer to contract from the Yellow Pages. If I were inspecting a house to buy, and it had possible structural issues, I'd walk away form the house and keep looking. Same thing if I saw water damage.
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on 9/29/09 2:11 PM Phisherman said the following:

It is an empty house but might be good buy. I am willing to pay $700-$1000 to get reliable verdict and estimated repair cost if I still net out in total cost.
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