NY Inspectors... BEWARE !!!

A recent notification sent by an engineering firm to all home inspectors warns that their licenses may be at risk.

It goes on to quote the law, with regard to the fact that it does not permit home inspectors to practice professional engineering.

It seems to me that, way back on the old message board, I warned NY HIs that this verbiage was problematic. I was told that I was making something out of nothing. Apparently, they were wrong, and I was right.

I say this because, as published within this same notification, the author goes on to state that a recent decision by the NY Board of Land Surveyors and Engineers has determined that the inspection and examination of a multiple of structures, including single and multi family residential dwellings, regarding their structure, electrical, and mechanical subsystems for proper integrety or capacity, constitutes the practice of engineering as defined by law.

Further, any attempt to determine the structural integrety, capacity including any subsystem, other than detection of problems by visual inspection or normal operation of the user’s controls, constitutes the practice of engineering. This would include the diagnosis and analysis of problems within buildings.

Now, by law, Home Inspectors will e bound by a Standard of Care (SOP) at some point. I imagine that it will be based upon generally adfopted and accepted Standards of Practice. If we took our own, or ASHIs, it would clearly state that we were bound to do wnat we all currently do. The engineering law, as interpreted by the Board of Land Surveyors and Professional Engineers, puts us in violation of law.

The flyer goes on to state that even making the statement “This is a good house” can be cunstrued as a lass E Felony, regardless of the credentials of the inspector.

I believe that, if trye, it is an attempt by some NY State licensed PEs to try and control the HI industry in the state. PE Licensing falls under the NY State Education Department n NY, while HIs fall under the Department of State.

A turf battle is brewing, I believe, with HIs as the prize.

I believe we should mobilize, immediately.

Do you have a copy of the Flyer to Post?

What is the name of the Company that sent you the Flyer?

Thanks Joe and Joe I hope all read this very closely .
This could eventually effect all Home Inspectors every where.
Please all HIs follow this thread continually .
Roy Cooke sr… Royshomenspection.com


The flyer was sent byTaucher, Cronacher, PE, PC.

To all,

I have already contacted colleagues at NYSAHI and ASHI here in NY. For us, bickering between competing orgs needs to cease and we all need to get on the same page.

To fellow inspectors in NJ, Pa, and Connecticut… keep your collective eyes peeled at your local and state level. We may also want to try and get a pulse on what may be happening by engineers at a national level, and with the onset of HI licensing in so many states, see if there is any national concensus or coordinated effort on the part of PEs to modify, limit, or control our industry.

Just when I thought our work was done in NY for a while :roll: .


In Texas we must, of course, watch ourselves as Inspectors to prevent overstepping our boundries. However, the interesting part here is that all inspections being performed for a 1 to 4 family dwelling under contract for sale must be performed by a licensed HI. Even PE’s must obtain an HI license to perform these, albeit their previous training and experience is used to waive any educational or experience requirements (they may just apply and obtain a Professional Inspectors license). The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) controls these inspections and not the Texas Board Of Professional Engineers. Seems to me the corresponding NY government entity needs to take a note of this.

So far I have not heard of nor experienced any issues regarding PE’s attempting to force out HI’s, as they are aware of their advantages anyway (i.e. PE credentials, desire of many to have PE’s inspect). Of course, work here for PE’s is plentiful and pays well. Could it be more a money matter in NY?? Are there a lot of PE’s needing more money as they are not paid well.

Last month, over 1000 NYS inspectors received this letter in the downstate NY area. The Dept. of State has informed me that we are not structural inspectors, and as long as Licensed Home Inspectors follow the letter of the law, your license should not be in jeopardy.

License Home Inspectors in New York State should be careful to follow state licensing guidelines. That is the only way to protect the field and fellow inspectors is to make sure each licensee know their boundaries with certainty and resolve. Knowledge is power, and it will be the only way to make sure that a NYS Home Inspector licensee does not end up in litigation to hurt the HI licensing law. I have a copy of the letter if anyone wants a fax. Just let me know.

To all that read this.

This same thing came up in New York about 15-18 years ago. I don’t remember all the details AND we didn’t have the internet to share info across the country quickly BUT with a little searching you should be able to dig up info on it. If I remember right one of ASHI’s original members (A membership number under 20), was a NY licensed PE and started a movement to get laws passed that said only a PE could do a HI. Raised a lot of $hit - got banned or tossed out or asked to leave ASHI for life. I’m told he was instrumental in starting a national group for engineers that still exists today and trys to convince everyone that will listen that only a PE is competent to do a Home Inspection. I first saw almost duplicate verbiage of this recent email from a NY engineers site about 10 years ago while on ASHI’s BOD.

I think the engineering group might be called Home Inspection America or something similar. Their web site I think is: www.inspectamerica.com

Why the Hell does an Engineer want to work as a HI?

It’s like a doctor working as an EMT!

Yes, I have seen some Engineers around here that tried to market that way. Slamming HI’s for not being an Engineer.

Joe, Thanks for posting this on the bb system:

I am glad that there is conversation regarding it. I spoke to Len Ungar, LI Chapter President who received the same letter. He told me that many of his members received the letter as well. It makes sense, since it was sent out to over 1000 Home Inspectors in downstate NY. I am not sure if they are using the yellowpages, or the state list for their contact numbers.

In either case, I called the Dept. of Ed. who handles PE Licenses in NY State and they confirmed that a Home Inspector is not permitted to expand upon structural conditions related to a home, since structure in NY is permitted only for PE Engineers and RA’s. I asked for a follow-up letter regarding same, and once I receive it, I will post the written letter comments here.

Much luck and success to all Licensed Home Inspectors in NY State.

The first thing to remember, and this is directly from an engineer and HI, is to stay away from performing an “evaluation” of structural elements. Inspectors should be observing and documenting. That is all. We shouldnt be commenting on sizing of mechanical systems, such as stating that heating or AC systems are undersized. Believe it or not, those tasks rely on engineering principals, which are both beyond the scope of the inspection, and within the realm of engineering.

Even though these tasks are performed every day by HVAC folks and electricians alike, they are not the ones being targeted by PEs.

To Dan’s recollection of events past in NY, he is correct. I was told a similar story yesterday by a former ASHI president here in NY.

It gets worse.

read the bottom of the page

Russ S. suggested I post this here as well. Serious business.

Nothing new.

But still a great post as a good reminder. Thanks Joe.

…Upon further VISUAL examination I cannot tell you what the condition of this structure IS since I am NOT a P.E… Recommend you check with some P.E. firm / industry that is looking to profit from the Home Inspection industry . Although I do recommend often to consult with a P.E. in my daily home inspection jobs I am reminded that many “call outs” that I do “think” (opinion) need further evaluation are found by “P.E.'s” to be NON-Issues and that you (the client) will be spending more $$$ to find this out.
Contact your local lobbyist , politician and or special interest group first. :mad:

Remember all homes are potential death traps and you risk your life and your families life should you decide to buy a home that was built by the following:

Foundation contractor,
Framing contractor
Electrical contractor
Roofing contractor
HVAC contractor
Plumbing contractor
Drywall contractor
Masonry contractor
Landscape contractor

All of which should be P.E.'s since they all play an important part of your death traps construction… :sarcasm:


Yeah and if you look closely, the solar lamp needs to be straightened out, it’s leaning over. Yep, eyes a home specter :|.) :|.) :|.)

If this is true it is a very good reason to become ICC Certified. As an ICC Certified Professional you are in fact Certified to use the IRC and any ASTM or referenced standard referred to in the code book. The whole purpose of the IRC was allow professionals to build 1-2 Family homes without any need for engineering whatsoever.

There is a new rumor, in which I asked to receive a copy. Multiple PE Engineers are actually hiring Licensed Home Inspectors to inspect homes, and then they have plans to review the inspection to see it the actual inspection exceeds the guidelines in NY State for Inspectors. If it does, they plan to file both a formal complaint with the Dept. of State, and file a notice with the state that the individual is practicing engineering without a license.

As soon as I see the actual e-mail, which I was told about today, I will be happy to send it to anyone who wants a copy.


If one was to review the SOP of ASHI and NACHI (as an example), the guidelines as to what is done during an inspection, as to any standard of care, is fairly well defined. The DOS here in NY, in conjunction with the HI Advisory Board, will mandate such an SOP in coming months. Once that is done, the State Board of Land Surveying and Professional Engineering will be hard-pressed to prove anythng.

If I use a laser level, and detect that a floor is sloped, and note that in my report, I have not practiced professional engineering (but I have exceeded most SOPs for a home inspection). I have observed and documented a conditon. I cant state definitively what the cause is. The law, as it is written, specifically states that I must apply engineering data and principals to be in violation of the law. Observation and documentation is neither. The Board of Land Surveyors and PE can render any opinon they want. They need to read their own law first, and examine how their own profession operates in the HI field, before accusing us of anything. I also wonder of a PE seal is placed on every HI they perform… doubtful.

I like the old addage that one should be careful what one asks for, as they might get it.

For instance, PEs now must get HI licenses to perform home inspections. That means that there is a clear distinction between the two professions. Secondly, PE firms that send out non-PEs to perform home inspections, and perform inspections that include any of the things they bitch at us about, would also be in violation of the law, based on their self-serving determination. In reality, they must perform the inspection themselves.

Finally, the notion that only a PE is qualified to review the capacity and condition of electrical and mechanical systems is laughable. Many engineers, particularly electrical engineers, are NOT licensed PEs. Electricians regularly draw wiring plans, calculate electrical load capacities of residential dwellings, evaluate, review, and suggest corrective actions. The same goes for plumbers and HVAC contractors. Most of these are licensed professions. Most are not PEs, nor do they hire the services of a PE when deciding the correct size of a system, how ductwork is to be routed, or deciding how many linear feet of baseboard heat is to be installed.

I anticipate a fight. And for good reason. It seems to me that there is a relatively small group of PEs who have a particular bent. I cant believe that many PEs give a tinker’s damn about home inspectors. Most I have spoken to shake their heads and tell me that you couldnt pay tem enough to do a home inspection. We’re not looking for a confrontation. It appears that some may be preparing to wage a turf war. Too bad, really

Bill… when you get that e-mail, please forward it to me. I will send it to my state representative. This sounds like harassment. Pure and simple.

Sounds like New York is not a bit different than any other state. One is required to be an engineer to offer any engineered assessment, combining physics and mathematics. A far cry from any standard of practice a sane home inspector would offer.

I would also like a copy of the e-mail that you are referring to.
Thank’s, Jim…