Structural Engineer

A structural engineer is a licensed professional that gives you an opinion as to the structural condition and integrity of a home or building. The structure of the home is considered to be the “bones” of the home. The structure includes the foundation, floor structure, wall structure ceiling structure and roof structure. A structural inspection will scrutinize these areas and give a written report on their condition.

By law in most states, only a registered structural engineer can render an opinion as to the structural integrity of the building, evaluating both the interior and exterior condition of the structure.

Homes of any age, over time, are subject to soil erosion, weather conditions, ground shifting and warping.  Structural engineers inspect the structural components of a home, which consist of the foundation or slab and structural framing.

Typically, a structural engineer report will include an elevation survey of the home’s foundation and a computer generated drawing of the foundation with measurements.

Here is a list of when a homebuyer or seller would need a structural inspection by an engineer:

When a home inspector detects a structural defect.

  • When there are cracks in the foundation or walls.
  • When carpenter ants, termites or rot damage is detected.
  • When a new home is under construction.
  • When a lending institution needs an engineer’s opinion before underwriting a loan.
  • When there is fire, flood or high wind damage.

Experience is critical when hiring an Engineer or Structural Inspector to perform a structural inspection. Good structural engineers will identify any problems — if they exist — and will most likely to recommend a solution which protects them from liability.