The Two Cs

Tips to Help Homeowners Understand the Need for Structural Engineering Inspections

A structural engineering inspection is typically performed for the purpose of evaluating the soundness of a structure. During this type of inspection, a qualified structural engineer can examine the structure's foundation, trusses, framing, joists, beams, and other components to determine their condition and offer an opinion on whether the structure is stable and properly supported.

Although some homeowners may never need the services of a structural engineer, those that do can use the following information to help them better understand the function of a structural engineer and when they should consider contacting one. 

Major home renovations 

Home renovation projects that involve major changes should almost always involve the expertise of a structural engineer. Projects that increase square footage, change the roofline, add additional stories or levels, or make changes to basements or foundations all involve making major changes to the home that could weaken it or make it unsafe for occupancy.  

Structural engineers should also be involved in interior renovation projects that involve moving or making significant changes in load-bearing walls. In addition, smaller projects such as changing staircase locations, installing an elevator system, or adding solar panels to the roof should include inspections by a structural engineer. 

Foundation issues 

In addition to having a structural engineering inspection for home renovation and improvement projects, homeowners may also need to call on a structural engineer to assess developing repair issues on their home's existing structure. Foundation issues, including the development of cracks or visible shifting or bowing, are one of the most common reasons for homeowners to hire a structural engineer. 

Left alone, cracks and changes in the foundation of the home can quickly lead to worsening settlement issues, capable of costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Structural engineer inspections benefit homeowners by providing an early diagnosis of developing foundation issues so that the problem can be addressed while it is still small and relatively inexpensive to fix. 

Structural engineering inspections can also be a benefit to homeowners who are planning to sell. These homeowners can choose to share copies of the report with prospective buyers or include information about it in their seller's disclosure statement to help offer proof that the home is in good condition. 

Homeowners who want to make changes to their home, as well as those who have concerns about the integrity of their already existing home, garage, or other structure, can get the answers they need by discussing their situation with reputable structural engineers in their local area. For more information about structural engineering, contact a local business near you.