Home Inspector Versus Heimer Engineering℠
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Some Home Inspectors have posted untrue statements about Engineers on the internet. Other Home Inspectors advertised as if they were Engineers.
It is a minority of non-Engineer Home Inspectors who engage in deceit. In many parts of the country, there are no Licensed Engineers who perform pre-purchase inspections, so the non-Engineer Home Inspector plays a vital role. Fortunately, the lack of qualified Engineers is not an issue in the Metro New York area.
A Home Inspector describes what is seen in the home or building, while Heimer Engineering℠ describes and analyzes using Engineering principles what is seen in the home or building. Heimer Engineering℠ does everything Home Inspector does and adds a Licensed Engineer's analysis. Heimer Engineering℠ applies Engineering principles to new situations. Because every home and building is different, the ability of a Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers to analyze new situations is critical providing to the pre-purchase inspection.
Posted False Information
About Licensed Engineers
Some Home Inspectors have posted nonsense about Engineers. Listed below are misrepresentations of Engineers that have been posted nationwide. Some people make poor choices because of these posts. All of the following are based on publically accessible webpages for United States based firms claiming to perform home inspections. References to the actual page and private information has been omitted.
Home Inspector's Blog Statement (The following was posted in a publically accessible home inspector blog/comment/question site). When clients ask me if i'm (sic) an engineer, I tell them an engineer will cost them $5,000 for the inspection. If they don't hang up, I tell them I can do whatever an engineer does, only better. I tell them that an engineer will take three week (sic) to get you the report, and that is because they wait to make you think it is worth the $5,000. It's corporate greed. Then I tell them that the engineers (sic) not even doing an engineering inspection. Hes (sic) doing a home inspection and fooling them. I tell them that there is no requirement to become and ENgineer (sic) home inspector, and they aren't even licensed. The clients buy this all the time. Theyll (sic) believe anything I say because they think I saved them money. THey (sic) don't even ask for my license. I think I get em (sic) with the $5,000. Who wants to spend $5,000 for an inspefction (sic).
The Truth The absurdity of this post speaks for itself. I am sure that this is not typical of most home inspectors, and the inspector (who never identifies himself) does not appear to be from New York.
The Truth Becoming a Licensed Engineer requires a minimum of 12 years relevant experience, as determined by the State of New York Office of Professions.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Engineers provide a 3 or 4 page flimsy report compared to a home inspectors (sic) 15-page report.
The Truth Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection reports are typically more than 100 pages, and include detailed information and web references.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Engineers are not allowed by law to perform home inspections.
The Truth There is no law in the State of New York prohibiting Licensed Engineers from performing home inspections. The State of New York law says:
444-j. Practice of architecture and professional engineering. A person regulated by the state of New York to engage in the practice of architecture when acting within the scope of that practice, a person licensed in the state of New York to practice professional engineering when acting within the scope of that practice or a person who is employed as a code enforcement official by the state or a political subdivision thereof when acting within the scope of that government employment may perform home inspections without need of licensure pursuant to this article.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Even though they're engineers, they work under ASHI. ASHI sets the inspection standards and engineers have to follow ASHI legally. Since legally they need to follow ASHI, they cannot do engineering. So you you pay more for someone who can legally only do what ASHI says.
The Truth ASHI does set pre-purchase inspection standards. ASHI standards are not binding on Engineers. Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection will be similar to an inspection following ASHI standards. Heimer Engineering℠ will assess the structure, sufficiency of systems, etc. Non-Engineers cannot assess structure, sufficiency of systems, etc.
Home Inspector's Website Statement It takes weeks for an engineer to get a report out. They don't care about you.
The Truth An initial report is provided at the inspection. The full report is typically emailed within three business days after the inspection.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Because I'm not an engineer, I can do more stuff. I don't even need certification. I can check for radon and mold. I can check for carbon dioxide (sic) in a house. I even had one person who wanted me to check for ghosts, because he thought the house was haunted. I bet no engineer ever checked for ghosts.
The Truth The Inspector's last statement that no Engineer ever checked for ghosts is believable. Engineers perform pre-purchase inspections to find real issues with the home or building. An Engineer will check for real things that you need to be aware of.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Engineers don't understand homes.
The Truth The Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ understand homes and buildings. Because of their background, Engineers have a better understanding of homes and buildings than non-Engineers, especially when unusual situations are encountered.
Home Inspector's Website Statement You don't need an engineer. All you need to do is the old bounce test. I jump up and down on the floor. If it bounces, the house is unsound and shouldn't (sic) buy it. If the floor doesn't bounce, buy the house..
The Truth There is no Engineering validity to this statement. Statements like this are part of the reason one needs to be licensed to offer Engineering services to the public. A Licensed Engineer assesses the structural soundness, and uses his or her Engineering judgment to advise you about the potential real estate purchase.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Engineers walk a fine line. They cannot do engineering while performing home inspections. So you don't get what you pay for.
The Truth This statement makes no sense. Part of an Engineer's assessment is Engineering, including assessing structural soundness, sufficiency of heat, hot water, plumbing, electric service, etc.
The Truth This is not true according to the laws of the State of New York. Only a Licensed Professional Engineer can represent himself or herself as a PE.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Inspectors know more about homes then (sic) engineers
The Truth There is no basis in reality for this statement. An Engineer performing inspections knows more about the home or building than a non-Engineer. This is because a Licensed Engineer applies Engineering judgment to evaluating the home or building, including situations that are unique to the home or building.
Home Inspector's Website Statement A home inspector is licensed to inspect homes. An engineer is (sic) a general license.
The Truth There are restrictions on a Home Inspector's license. The Home Inspector is licensed to inspect homes. An Engineer is licensed to provide Engineering services, including inspecting homes, buildings, condos, and co-ops. See the following excerpt from the State of New York law:
7201. Definition of practice of engineering. The practice of the profession of engineering is defined as performing professional service such as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design or supervision of construction or operation in connection with any utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works, or projects wherein the safeguarding of life, health and property is concerned, when such service or work requires the application of engineering principles and data
Home Inspector's Website Statement A home inspection does not involve engineer (sic) analysis.
The Truth A Home Inspector's inspection does not include Engineering analysis. Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection includes analysis of the structure, sufficiency of heating, sufficiency of hot water, sufficiency of electric service, etc.
The Truth Heimer Engineering℠ is inspecting the house or building just like a Home Inspector. Heimer Engineering℠ will point out roof leakage, leaking pipes, an old heating system, or that the house has fuses. In addition, Heimer Engineering℠ tells you about structural soundness, etc.
The Truth How will the Home Inspector determine you need an Engineer? Determining whether you need an Engineer requires Engineering judgment. Only a Licensed Engineer can make a judgment as to whether an issue involves Engineering.
Home Inspector's Website Statement By definition, an engineer will only tell worst case-scenario (sic).
The Truth An Engineer provides his or her professional opinion. Engineers do not give you the worst-case scenario. Engineers give you the most probable scenario.
Home Inspector's Website Statement Old houses may have structural problems, and you should not depend on any engineer to find them. Home inspectors will find the old home structural problems.
The Truth Under the laws of the State of New York, only a Licensed Engineer or a Registered Architect can render an opinion regarding structural soundness.
The Truth There is no definition in the Engineering law or Home Inspection law as to what the "big picture" is. If one takes the common usage of this phrase, then it raises a question: How can one get the "big picture" without determining if the house or building is structurally sound?
Home Inspector's Website Statement A good home inspector can sniff out carbon monoxide.
The Truth Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It cannot be smelled or tasted. An Engineer has a professional obligation to make every effort to provide accurate information. An Engineer does not make up something just to sell you an inspection.
Home Inspector's Website Statement An engineer will charge you $5,000. And for what?
The Truth A home inspection by Heimer Engineering℠ does not cost $5,000. An inspection by Heimer Engineering℠ is competitively priced with a Home Inspector's inspection.
Home Inspector's Website Statement If you hire an engineer, they scare you and you won't buy the house.
The Truth Heimer Engineering℠ finds and discloses the defects with the house or building, both from an Engineering point of view and a home inspection point of view. The purpose is not to scare you, but to make you an informed real estate purchaser.
Whether you choose Heimer Engineering℠ is up to you. Inspectors provide a service similar to Heimer Engineering℠, with significant limitations. If those limitations are acceptable to you, then consider a non-Engineer.
Before choosing between an inspection performed by a Home Inspector and an inspection performed by Heimer Engineering℠, examine the example images below. The top line highlighted with orange lists only descriptions you would get with a non-Engineer Home Inspector. The bottom line highlighted with blue shows the engineering analysis you receive when you use Heimer Engineering℠.
What Will a Home
Inspector Not Tell You?
Home Inspector's Description The sill plate is sagging. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The sill plate is sagging because the foundation has sunk into the earth.This house is structurally unsound.
Home Inspector's Description The floor joists are small and spaced far apart. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis These floor joistsprovide insufficient capacity to support the floor loads. This house is structurally unsound. Adding sister floor joists to provide sufficient structural support is recommended.
Home Inspector's Description The door frame is sagging. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis Although the doorframe is sagging, the door operates normally and there are no cracks or signs of recent repairs. The structure settled in the past, but has been reinforced. There is no sign of recent settlement. The door should be monitored for further settlement, but there is no need for repairs at this time. This house is structurally sound.
Home Inspector's Description The floor joists are charred. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The floor joists are charred and their structural strength has been compromised. The damage to the floor floor joists makes this house structurally unsound. Adding sister floor joists to properly support the floor is recommended.
Home Inspector's Description An extra beam and Lally column were added to this house's basement. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis An extra beam and Lally column were added to support the floor joists above. This was apparently done to help stabilize the floor above and reduce floor creaking. The house is structurally sound.
Home Inspector's Description The wall and floor are sagging. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis Although the floor and wall are sagging, there are no cracks or other signs of recent settlement. The structure settled in the past, but has been reinforced. The floor and wall should be monitored for further settlement, but there is no need for repairs at this time. This house is structurally sound
Home Inspector's Description The roof rafters, ridge beam, and sheathing are charred. As viewed from the outside, the roofline is sagging. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis This roofline is sagging because the structure has been weakened due to fire damage. This house is structurally unsound, as the roof rafters cannot support the roof properly. Rebuilding the roof is recommended.
Home Inspector's Description A temporary steel column was added to support the wood beam. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The main wood girder is supported by both screw-jacks and Lally columns. Because of the short spans, either column provides sufficient support. This house is structurally sound.
Home Inspector's Description There is a steel column under the main beam supported on a concrete block. Have an Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The concrete block under the steel column is an inappropriate footing, and the span between columns is too wide. This house is structurally unsound. Additional support of the main wood beam is recommended.
Home Inspector's Description This house has 60-Amp, 240 volt service.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The 60-Amp, 240-Volt service is insufficient for the existing electrical needs in this house. The electrical loads in this house require at least 100-Amp, 240-Volt service.
Home Inspector's Description This house has a tankless hot water heater. The water temperature went from 123 degrees to 95 degrees in one minute.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis The hot water temperature dropped from 123 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit in one minute. This hot water system provides insufficient hot water for normal needs. A separate hot water heater should be installed.
In five of the above cases, Heimer Engineering℠ determined what structural defect existed. In four of the above cases, the Home Inspector recommended an Engineer when there was no structural defect. In two of the above cases, the Home Inspector never flagged the defect.
Imagine that these photographs represent conditions in the home, building, condo, or co-op you are planning to purchase. Based on the descriptions by a non-Engineer Home Inspector, could you tell that the described conditions were serious defects? Choose Heimer Engineering℠.
Contact Heimer Engineering℠ 24/7
Choose Heimer Engineering℠. Heimer Engineering℠ is happy to help you. Senior Staff members are available to answer your questions from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. After 5 PM, please leave a message. Messages are checked during the day on Sunday, and Sunday evening through Thursday evening. Inspections are performed seven days a week.
Inspection orders are taken by senior staff members. A real estate purchase is complex, and you should be able to speak with someone who can give you real answers to your inspection questions.
To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony send Heimer Engineering℠ an email, send a text to 888.769.6910, call 646.757.4500, or call 800.605.1500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
Remember to ask about a web discount
Heimer Engineering℠ serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).
Heimer Engineering℠ respects your privacy. Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, shut utilities off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.
Remember to ask about a Heimer Engineering℠ web discount. In addition to the Heimer Engineering℠ web discount, discounts are available for referrals (attorney, real estate broker, mortgage broker, co-worker, friend) first time buyers, senior citizens, military (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard), first responders (police, ambulance, fire), municipal employees, security personnel, and union members. You may qualify for a discount on the pre-purchase inspection, so ask.
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2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 230
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947