Why Use a Full Time Professional Inspector Instead of an Engineer?

It is sadly obvious to me why a four-year college graduate with an engineering degree like this poor guy would be unable to to find success and wealth applying his skills with a major engineering firm or, perhaps, even starting one himself - with such poor communication skills.

Unfortunately for him, this same inability to professionally communicate in written form will hold him back as a full time professional inspector as well.

All I got out of that mess was that we can not state a structure is sound unless we are highly educated Engineers.
Does that somehow relate to Home Inspection?

It does to that guy.

I somehow doubt his education in engineering will or would translate any better to our specialized profession any more than being a roofer or plumber trying to do the same.we look at every aspect of a home and structural is just part of the crowd.These specialist types are good at what they do but looking through a pinhole is not a good way to see the big picture.Structure is either OK or not OK so what about the other 1,000s of components we look at. every Inspector comes in with a set of specialized skills but being a Home Inspector is knowing at least some of all.We are the definition (walking) for the term JACK OF ALL TRADES.

Give the guy a break they are slow as well and need to make payments on the iron ring.

When a small animal attacks a Lion the Lion has dinner.

The engineers feel threatened by us. He/she needs to understand that we are generalists, not specialists, as the engineers are. But, here in Kansas, engineers are exempt from home inspection laws, and some are doing home inspections. The engineers that do home inspections may not have the proper education, insurance, etc. Engineers are trained, usually, as civil, industrial, electrical, etc.; one area only. That is why they are specialists.

There are many engineers out there that many not be properly trained in the area of home inspections due to exemptions. Consumers should use caution.

Sorry I do not have the source but I saved this from the board a few years ago.

A Professional Engineer or a Professional Inspector?
Question: I’m confused about whether or not I should hire an engineer or an inspector?

Answer: We hear this quite a bit. Some people would have you thinking that only a professional engineer should perform a home inspection. It’s not uncommon for some consumers to think that a home inspection involves engineering analysis that can only be done by professional engineers.

      Visual home inspections do not involve engineering analysis, even when performed by PE's. In fact, engineering is an entirely different type of investigation, which entails detailed scientific measurements, tests, calculations, and/or analysis. Such a technically exhaustive analysis involves considerable time and expense, and is only approprate when visual evidence exists to indicate a problem that warrants further sepcialized investigation.

What are the qualifications of the PE turned home inspector?

      In most states a Professional Engineer can simply that he/she is a PE, regardless whether the degree was obtained in mechanical, electrical, civil, sanitary, structural or any other discipline of engineerig.

      It's fortunate for all consumers that the state does not practice giving out Professional Real Estate Inspectors licensed to just any engineer anymore. However, there are still many PE's out there that have a Professional Real Estate License that have little or no real life, real time experience in the home industry. Before hiring an engineer, find out which field his degree came from!!

      A good questions to ask anyone, PE's alike, is if they do Phase home inspections. Many consumers will be surprised to find that many PE's do not perform Phase inspections. Why?  Wouldn't you like to know the PE you paid extra for actually knows how a home goes together? You would think a Phase framing inspection would be a cake walk for a PE.  Many lack of practical experience in the building industry, even though they have a PE degree. Also, when you pay extra for the services of a PE, which hat is he wearing for you? A prudent consumer will make sure that a PE will put his engineer's stamp plus his TREC Inspectors license on the final report. 

Many do not like putting their engineers degree on the line for just a ‘home inspection’, but have no problem putting their TREC license on the report while advertising their PE degree. Ask which hat your PE will be wearing! Ask if he does Phase inspections, if not then why? Even if your buying a pre-existing home, you want to make sure he/she knows how the home is suppose to be put together!

What do you want to learn about the home you’re planning to purchase?

      If you're like most home buyers, you want to know the condition of the house and its components, questions like: Is the roof leaking? Is the heating system working properly? Does the plumbing function properly? Are there any electrical hazards? Are there items in the house that will need repair or replacing and when? Does the wood framing have any damage? Do the doors and windows function properly?

      Answering these, and other similar questions is precisely the job of the professional home inspector during a complete visual examination of the property. A qualified Home Inspector, through specific training and experience, understands not only how a ome's systems and components should work, but also how they interact with each other, and how they stand the test of time.

      A good home inspector will, however, recommend either the services of an engineer, disciplined in a particular field, or other specialist when the need for further investigations is warranted.

      Using the services of a Professional Real Estate Inspector rather than an engineer for a basic home inspection would be like visiting your family doctor/physician rather than a specialist for a general checkup. You don't visit a brain surgeon or heart specialist for a yearly physical. If the geneeral practitioner finds something unusual or something that warrants further analysiss, he/she will refer you to the appropriate specialisit.

      I've had some PE's just get all bent out of shape over this page, saying I'm anti PE. Nothing could be further from the truth! I recommend specialist when I find it warranted. Yes, PE's are specialist that have valuable roles in the home industry, but only if they have the practical experience in the building industry that gives them the insight they need to provide outstanding service. 

Would you like to know if the Professional Engineer that inspected your home has been disciplined? Here you find out all this information and more. Click here to see disciplinary actions that have been taken by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers against P.E.'s across the state.

Nice (detqailed) reply Bob…I couldn’t agree with you more.:cool:

I have done several inspections this year for different types of engineers… soils structural etc Half a dozen or so.

I guess they are educated enough to realize their limitations. If they were to be trained in our profession, different story.

I had to ask for an engineer for a legal case because of some obvious structural problems that was found on some condos this summer. There was some cut out floor joists in the crawlspaces. The engineer said that they would probably be okay. I asked him about the floor joist being cut away to allow the toilet drain. He went back into the crawlspace and came back and said , no it looks okay. I then took him back there and he point to a vanity drain. I politely informed him that this drain cannot be for the toilet because it was too small to s h i t down. He then said then, ohhh that is how you tell them apart. So far he is the best engineer I have ever worked with.

We cross many paths with many different people in real estate transactions. What is sad is that most of these people still look down at us. When they decide to at least listen to us, it is then that they realize that we are actually professionals.

Engineer: Someone who knows more & more about less & less until they know everything there is to know about nothing. :stuck_out_tongue:

My brother studied to become an engineer but dropped out to get a life but now works directly for a city engineer basically handling and coordinating all the city projects on the ground…Point man so to speak. He goes to a lot of meeting with engineers or out on huge projects. He tells me that if you get 10 of them together they will stand around arguing for hours about how to drop a metal culvert pipe in a ditch to install a driveway and never come to an agreement.

The Texas Inspector that wrote that is Bob Lovelace and his WEB site where that can be found is http://www.best2inspect.com/.

Thank you for that information Emmanual.http://www.psinspection.com/

I have done many inspections for buyers of homes who are engineers. These former clients at least know their limitations. I did an inspection on a newer larger home on a golf course with a buyer who’s father was an engineer. He met me in my truck at the curb, and started “smack” then and there. He questioned water stains on the walkway at the front step. He wanted me to say that there was an underground spring under the home and entry step. Then, I showed him the gutter above the entry that did not have a kick-out flashing, and the water stain coming down the siding and onto the entry porch. After about two hours, he finally left, realizing that I knew more than he did. Then, I finally got to do the inspection. Just like new agents, sometimes you have to set people straight so you can do your job properly.

KC Chiefs just beat Denver 10 to 6. We are now 8-4. I finally have something good to say.

The following statement was issued by the American Society of Home Inspectors: “It is not uncommon to be confused about who is qualified to perform home inspections. In some cases, consumers have been led to believe that a home inspection involves engineering analysis and therefore requires the use of a licensed Professional Engineer. The confusion is compounded by the inadvertent misuse of the term “engineer” and “engineering inspection.” Visual home inspections do not involve engineering analysis however even when performed by Professional Engineers. In fact, engineering is an entirely different type of investigation, which entails detailed scientific measurements, test, calculations and/or analysis. Normally this is done on one specific component of the house (structural or electrical for example) by, or under the direction of, an engineer trained in that area. Such a technically exhaustive analysis involves considerable time and expense, and is only appropriate on rare occasions when visual evidence exists to indicate design problems which require further, specialized investigation.”

Well as a structural engineer and home inspector I could not let this post go by without adding my two cents worth. Within the group classified as engineers you will find a few good ones a few bad ones and the rest fall somewhere in between. The same is true for doctors, lawyers, contractors, plumbers, electricians and yes even home inspectors. Having grown up in the construction business, my older brother was a building contractor and my father was a HVAC contractor, I would be the first to agree that the home inspection profession does not get the credit it deserves. I use my 26 years of structural engineering experience to supplement my home inspection business and to offer additional services beyond the scope of home inspections. It is not a substitution for the knowledge one needs to be good in the home inspection business. One old professor told me a long time ago that a college degree only proved you were teachable, your employer will teach you what you need to know to be successful. So the next time you meet someone who is a complete idiot I would bet money that person, regardless of their profession or degrees, was an idiot before they got their degree or became whatever profession they are in. So blame their parents not their profession.