Structural elements include how the walls, roof, doors, floors, and foundation fit together seamlessly.
The exterior evaluation portion of a home inspection could include the paint or stucco of the outer walls, grading, elevation, driveways, fences, drainage, landscaping, windows, fascia, trim and doors.
Roof and attic inspections are also very important and include framing, what type of roof it is, ventilation, flushing and gutters.
When it comes to plumbing a structural engineer will check pipe material, drains, and waste and vent pipes but often will not check sewer pipes.
When considering a home you may want to purchase, it is often advised to have a home inspection done before making an offer. That great deal would not be so great if the place turned out to be like the house on the movie “The Money Pit.” Although the movie may have been hysterical it is not so funny if the lovely new home you just purchased costs you as much as you paid for it in repairs. You also do not want to trust the home inspection that the seller may have had done. Not that the seller is dishonest but because…. well, it really is not a good idea to even trust you best friend when it comes to making a deal. Buyer beware and all that!
When hiring a structural engineer, it helps to understand what exactly is being inspected as well as what the outcome was. Not understanding construction and home builder’s jargon can lead you to believe something simple is not and vice versa. More details in this post.
Because many home inspectors are not actually licensed it is important to make sure the one you choose has good references for the job at hand. Home inspection varies greatly from one state to the next as well as across counties and cities the difference is in the standard of practice from one association to the next. Most home inspectors will look at some standard things, however, including structural elements, exterior evaluation, plumbing, roof and attic and systems, electrical, appliances, and components.
Electrical inspections include an interesting things like that of main power panel, wirings, circuit breakers, grounding, ceiling fans, light fixtures, as well as exhaust fans.
It is best to have someone who understands basic home repair look over the report from the home inspector with you. Some deals have been broken because the buyer did not know that a bad outlet receptacle could be repaired with a new part that cost only $1 or $2.
Most structural engineering reports after inspection will not include what is right with the house, but will include a full description of what may be wrong. The things you need to look the closest at when you receive the report is any items to do with safety first. After that look to some of the things that must be dealt with fast like a roof that needs repair soon, furnace or a/c problems, foundation issues, and moisture or drainage problems.