There are numerous processes that potential homeowners must go through to complete the purchasing process and home inspection is no different. One of the key features of a home inspection is checking the structural integrity of a home. If your home inspector warrants the need to note issues with the foundation, then it is time to structural inspection from a professional. But why is this so critical to your purchasing process?
Why Worry About Structural Integrity?
Home building isn’t rocket science, but local building codes may require the services of an engineer for complicated house designs prior to blueprint approval. The engineer calculates the design’s stress loads so he can make recommendations for load-bearing walls, holding straps, floor and attic joist sizes and foundations. But of all the elements in building a house, the most important part, the foundation, is usually ignored by the majority of new homeowners.
Without the right foundation, a house cannot last. New homeowners often focus on the surface of things when building a home and may not be aware of the importance of the home’s foundation. The structural integrity of a home requires a foundation built to last. The foundation carries the weight of the entire house on its shoulders, offers a level base for wall construction and separates the wood framing of the house from termites on the ground. Without a strong foundation, the walls of the home will be insecure. The foundation must be built to carry the weight and load of all the other building elements used in the home.
What Is A Structural Home Inspection?
A structural – or engineering – inspection is above all, an opinion as to the structural condition and integrity of the building or home. That is, in the opinion of the engineer 1) were the structural elements (foundation, framing, etc.) designed and built to accept the anticipated loads to be placed upon them, and 2) are they continuing to perform their intended function?
The value of a structural inspection then, as in all professions, is largely dependent on the experience and qualifications of the individual who performs it. A registered Professional Engineer has, at a minimum, completed a four year accredited college program, worked for at least four years under the direction of other like professionals, and passed a 16 hour exam. He or she is required by their professional code of ethics to practice only in areas competent to do so and to be accountable for the work they do. Individuals who are in private practice who are not registered (even if they have taken engineering courses) may not call themselves engineers.
These are just some of the reasons an inspection is always warranted whether deal with new construction, historical homes or a custom design. Contact MH Akers and our team can assist you in understanding the process!