Home Inspection Quick Info
The Heimer® Rating gives you the extra edge!
Heimer® Engineering is a professional home inspection and building inspection company. The company has performed over 80,000 inspections over 40 years. With a staff of experienced Licensed Professional Engineers, your home inspection, building inspection, condo inspection, or co-op inspection needs can be quickly accommodated. Call 800.605.1500 or use the online form 24/7 for more information.
The purchase of a home, building, condominium, or coop is a major investment. A thorough evaluation and narrative engineering reports gives you the advantage in making an intelligent purchase decision. The included expense analysis helps you understand the expenses of owning the home or building, and can be helpful in negotiating the sale price. Whether it is the purchase of a small home or a large building, Heimer Engineering performs an in-depth engineering examination.
The State of New York, in their online brochure "What You Should Know About Professional Engineers and Their Services", available at www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/pebroch.htm, states one of the reasons that you should use a Licensed Professional Engineers is to "evaluate the structural integrity, electrical, and/or mechanical systems of a house prior to purchase or renovation".
Under the laws of the State of New York, only a Licensed Professional Engineer can offer engineering services to the general public. Some home inspection companies will tell you that they have an Engineer on staff, an Engineer reviews the reports, or even that an Engineer helped them set up the inspection system.
Performed by Licensed Professional Engineers
People choose to buy real estate based on factors including location, layout, value, etc. Few people make a purchase decision based only on condition. It is easy to say "I'll fix that", or "All this house needs is a little work".
There was a time when real estate was less expensive, and was often purchased without much concern about whether the building had major problems. If a home purchaser was unlucky enough to buy a building with significant problems, they suffered.
Today, buildings are older and have more defects. There are many concerns that were not even issues a few years ago. Having a pre-purchase inspection performed by an Engineer who provides an expense analysis has become essential.
In today's internet age, it is almost impossible to keep up with all of the changes. However, there is updated information available via the internet. Heimer Engineering's emailed reports contain links to useful web sites that can help you learn more about your prospective purchase. These sites are carefully screened to try to assure that they are providing information, and not selling you anything.
Think Green - Protect The Environment
Energy experts estimate that the impact on the environment from the home is far greater than from automobiles. In your home or building, maintenance decisions can impact the environment. Where applicable, the inspection reports include recommendations on how choices you make impact the environment. This helps you make choices that help preserve the environment. In many cases, making choices that minimize the impact on the environment also help reduce your cost of ownership.
One of the biggest concerns of many homebuyers and building buyers is the structure of the building. Fortunately, structural defects are less common in the New York areas than in some other parts of the country. Building codes have helped limit the number of structural defects.
If you buy a building that has a structural defect, the fact that most buildings do not have structural defects is of little comfort. You want to know if the building is structurally sound.
Some home buyers and building buyers believe structural defects are only a concern in older buildings. Other real estate purchasers feel they can find structural defects just by "looking carefully". Still other building buyers feel that an old building that is still standing must have no structural defects.
The fact is that most structural defects have only subtle symptoms. For example, a building buyer may not recognize a sill plate with termite damage that needs $16,500 worth of repairs.
Water in the Basement
Many home purchasers and building purchasers are concerned that basement water indicates a structural problem such as a cracked foundation. Virtually all foundation walls have some cracks, so basement water does not necessarily indicate a structural defect. The Engineer will advise you as to whether cracks in the foundation walls are structurally significant.
Most houses do not regularly have puddles of water in the basement, but are damp during some months of the year. If the basement is damp, it may affect your ability to build a finished room such as a playroom in the basement. Dampness in the basement is also a concern to people with allergies or other medical conditions because dampness can increase the risk of mold.
Inspections are performed during all kinds of weather, so most houses and buildings are not inspected during a heavy rain. When inspecting a house or building on a dry day, the Engineer looks for clues in the basement to determine what you can expect during a heavy rain or with melting snow.
All houses and buildings in the greater New York area that are used year-round have a heating system. The heating system keeps the building comfortably warm during the cold winter months.
The most common types of heating systems are forced hot air heat, hot water (or hydronic) heat, steam heat, and heat pumps. The source of fuel for the heating system can be oil, gas, or electricity.
You need to know whether the heating system will adequately heat the home or building on cold days. Heimer Engineering can assess the sufficiency of the heating system. Other things the Engineers assess include the age of the heating system, whether it will need replacement soon, whether there are hazardous conditions, if the system is outdated, etc.
Hot Water System
In residences, the hot water is used for bathing and cleaning. Hot water serves a vital role in maintaining good health. To serve this role, hot water must be available at an appropriate temperature. Most homes and buildings have a tankless hot water heater, a hot water heater with a storage tank, a hot water booster tank, or an indirect-fired hot water heater. It would be very frustrating to move into your new home, and find that you do not have enough hot water the first time you try and shower.
Heimer Engineering evaluates the hot water system in your home or building and advises you if it is sufficient. You are also advised of the need to budget for upcoming replacement. The expense analysis in the engineering report helps you plan for the future.
Plumbing describes different systems in a house or building. Plumbing can mean fixtures such as a sink or tub, the pipes that bring water to the fixtures, the pipes that drain the sewage from the fixtures, gas supply lines, underground sprinkler systems, and heating pipes. Heimer Engineering checks the plumbing for function, leaks, sufficiency of water supply, etc.
One of the biggest concerns of many home purchasers and building purchasers is leakage. Water dripping from a pipe is an obvious leak. Other types of leakage can be difficult to detect, since all that is visible is a dry stain on a ceiling or a piece of duct tape wrapped around a drain line. The Engineer looks for both obvious leaks and the difficult to detect leakage.
The roof keeps rain and other weather elements out of the house or building. Heimer Engineering evaluates the general condition of the roof and estimates the remaining life on the roof. Evidence of past or present roof leakage is also assessed.
Most roofs are made of asphalt, slate, or clay tile. If a building has a pitched asphalt roof, the roof can be viewed from the ground. If the Engineer finds that a roof leaks, needs repairs, or will soon need replacement, an expense analysis of the needed repairs and replacement is provided.
If the building has a pitched roof and an accessible attic, Heimer Engineering's Engineers look for evidence of roof leakage or damage to the sheathing. The Engineer also looks for problems in the attic such as insufficient attic ventilation.
A modern house or building requires electricity to run many of its vital systems such as lighting, heating, hot water, appliances, and air-conditioning. Because so many of today’s appliances require electric power, some existing buildings do not have enough circuits to support the demands of modern electrical usage. Buildings with insufficient electric service need not be very old. Even a home built only 10 years ago may not have the electric wiring to support the today's needs.
Electric service insufficiency is often aggravated by homeowners who add appliances without properly upgrading the electric wiring. Even changing an electric oven to a self-cleaning electric oven may increase the electric loads to the point where the electric service needs to be upgraded. If a homeowner adds appliances without upgrading the electric service, a hazardous condition may exist.
Termites can damage a house or building. Years ago, it was considered sufficient to have only a termite inspection performed before purchasing real estate. If there was no evidence of an active termite infestation, it was incorrectly assumed that the building had no structural damage.
A termite control specialist can look for evidence of termite activity, but cannot assess the structural impact of termite damage. You need a licensed Professional Engineer to assess the structural impact of any termite damage. If repairs are needed, the expense analysis in the engineering report can help you understand the expenses and negotiate the purchase price.
Termite control specialists and Engineers look differently at termite evidence. Engineers look for the impact of the termites and termite damage, particularly if the damage is structural. A termite control specialist is looking at the need for treatment. Therefore, it is strongly recommend that you have the house checked for termites by both a Licensed Professional Engineers and a termite control specialist. This maximizes your chances of finding any termite activity and related structural damage. You should also obtain a warranty against future termite activity from the termite control specialist.
It is of little use to know that a problem or defect exists unless you also know what it is going to cost you to correct the problem. An expense analysis is useful for planning and for negotiating adjustments to the sale price. The engineering report prepared by Heimer Engineering includes an expense analysis. Click here to view a sample home inspection report.
Call for an Inspection Today!
For more information on home and building inspections, check out Home Inspection Details. Heimer® Engineering performs pre-purchase inspections in the State of New York, including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rockland County, and Putnam County.
Licensed Professional Engineers are available to perform pre-purchase inspections seven days a week. Call if you have any questions or to set up an appointment.
Click here to contact Heimer Engineering PC.
Heimer Engineering PC performs pre-purchase home, building, condominium, and co-op inspections, and provides other Engineering services. Heimer Engineering does not provide contracting, construction, building, or repair services. We are not associated with any contracting, construction, or repair company. This helps assure you of unbiased professional advice.