Home Inspection Structural Problems: Recommend a Contractor or Engineer?


Pretty good Mr G…Kenton.

Especially 6th para…word ‘qualified’ is very important…unscrupulous contractors DO INVENT problems where none exist due to exactly what ya say…because they want the work and/or dont understand what theyre looking at. Got Milk?

With very rare exceptions, Mr. Bubber being among them, generally it is better to recommend someone who has nothing to sell, and why were architects forgotten in the list of those who might be recommended? My experience with structural engineers is often that they engage in overkill.

One example: a client’s metal building’s roof leaked, because many screws were missing that held the metal roof panels to the roof trusses. He consulted an engineer, who recommended that the roof panels be removed, plywood sheathing be applied, and then the roof panels installed on the plywood.

My suggestion was to install knee braces where the trusses connected to the steel columns, to eliminate movement at that point, which allowed the roof panels to shift and cause the screws to work their way out. This was done at a fraction of the cost of installing roof sheathing, and it eliminated the leak problems completely.

Sometimes good architects see things a different and better way.

It’s true, you need to have faith in the contractor you recommend. It’s your reputation at stake and inspectors live and die by their reputations.

I found the foundation contractor I recommend when I asked him to speak before the Colorado InterNACHI chapter. When a contractor talks for an hour and spends the whole time trying to educate home inspectors so that they’ll be safe (liability) and accurate intead of trying to drum up work… that guy’s got my referrals.

He talked about pressure grouting, mud-jacking and helicles, all of which are good things to know about, so if you have anyone in your area qualified to talk to you about these methods, ask if he’ll talk to your chapter.

As far as engaging in business with someone who has no axe to grind/nothing to sell. I’ve dealt A LOT with engineers. Most very good, but reworking existing structural problem will really scare the you know what out of a lot of people who are now being asked to absorb/take on responsibility for whatever…

Still I realize that doesn’t actually answer the question, I think it really depends on the situation and the experience of the person dealing with the individual problem.

To be selfish and proud/happy of it, I’m glad I’m a general contractor as well as an inspector and have some experience on how to digest some of the problems put in from of me.

How do other people do it??? Wow, I think if it’s perceived as a fairly serious structural problem by the inspector, I would recommend an Engineer. Safer for inspector.