Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Should I use an engineer for a home inspection?

Some people would have you believe that only an engineer is qualified to perform home inspections. In some cases consumers have been led to believe that a home inspection involves engineering analysis and therefore requires the use of a licensed Professional Engineer.

Visual home inspections do not involve engineering analysis, even when performed by PE's. In fact, engineering is an entirely different type of investigation, which entails detailed scientific measurements, tests, calculations, and/or analysis. Such a technically exhaustive analysis involves considerable time and expense, and is only appropriate when visual evidence exists to indicate a problem that warrants further specialized investigation.

In most states a Professional Engineer can simply state that they are a PE, regardless whether the degree was obtained in mechanical, electrical, civil, sanitary, structural or any other discipline of engineering.

Using a home inspector rather than an engineer for a basic home inspection would be like visiting your family doctor or physician rather than a specialist for a general checkup. You don't visit a brain surgeon or heart specialist for a yearly physical. If the general practitioner finds something unusual or something that warrants further analysis, they will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

A good home inspector will recommend either the services of an engineer, disciplined in a particular field, or other specialist when the need for further investigation is warranted.

For more home inspection information, visit http://northcountryhomeinspections.com.