Engineering Vs. Home Inspections

The Difference between Home Inspections and Engineering Inspections

I occasionally receive calls from home buyers requesting an engineering inspection for a home they have made an offer on, and when I quote them $5,000 as a minimum charge they are usually quite shocked.

If they are still on the line, I explain to them that an engineering inspection is quite involved as engineering scientific analysis generally involves invasive (destructive) inspection techniques, material  sampling and evaluation, and a considerable amount of time (weeks, months, perhaps years) to complete.

I also explain, that to my knowledge, there are no New York State defined professional standards that govern pre-purchase “engineering inspections”, but fortunately, there are defined state standards that govern pre-purchase “home inspections”, that licensing is required for New York State home inspectors, and that all state licensed home inspectors must follow these standards.

I go on to explain that; the New York State standards of practice are modeled after, and closely follow, the national home inspection standards of practice created by the American Society Of Home Inspectors (ASHI), that ASHI is the recognized preeminent home inspection professional organization, and that the highest credential in the ASHI organization is that of “Certified Inspector”.

There are 100’s of New York State licensed home inspectors working in this area, but only a small percentage of these have completed the rigorous ASHI requirements to earn the status of “ASHI Certified Inspector“.

I recommend that if they are still set on hiring an engineer to complete their inspection, that they ensure that, this engineer is an “ASHI Certified Inspector”. This credential will ensure that they are following the highest standard of practice for home inspectors in the nation – the ASHI Standard of Practice.

Bottom line is that – If a buyer hires an engineer to complete a pre-purchase inspection, they are most likely hiring an engineer to complete a “home inspection” – not an “engineering inspection”, and the fact that they are an engineer, provides no guarantee that they are experienced or qualified home inspectors, or that their engineering degree is for an engineering discipline with anything to do with home construction and habitability. They could be hiring an optical or chemical engineer that was down-sized by one of the area’s large companies with little or no practical residential construction or home inspection experience.

As a home buyer, hiring an ASHI Certified Inspector ensures that you are hiring an industry qualified expert.

As a real estate professional referring a home inspector or another professional,you wouldn’t refer someone to a PHD when they needed an MD would you? A home is one of the largest investments most consumers ever make – referring a buyer to the most qualified home
inspectors available (ASHI Certified Inspectors) will serve to protect everyone with an interest in the transaction.

Contact Dave for your home inspector needs.

Advanced Home Awareness Home Inspections provides home inspection and radon testing services throughout the Greater Rochester New York Region – Including Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Livingston Counties, and the Northern Finger Lakes Area.

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Home Inspection Rochester New York

Telephone: 585-245-1190
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Email: ahahomeinspections@rochester.rr.com