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Home Inspector Versus
a Professional Engineer
Professional Engineer Inspectors
Applying Scientific and Engineering
and Common Sense
to Home and Building Inspections
Pre-Purchase Home, Building, Condo, and
Co-op Inspections in Manhattan, Queens,
Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau,
Suffolk, Rockland, Putnam, and Westchester
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Should you choose a Professional Engineer Home Inspector or a non-Engineer Home Inspector for a home inspection? Be careful of what you read on an internet page. Some Home Inspectors post untrue statements about Professional Engineer Home Inspectors. Other Home Inspectors advertised as if they were Professional Engineers.
It is a minority of non-Engineer Home Inspectors who engage in deceit. In many parts of the country, there are no Professional Engineers who perform pre-purchase inspections, so the non-Engineer Home Inspector plays a vital role. The lack of qualified Professional Engineers is not an issue in the Metro New York area.
A Home Inspector describes a home or building, while a Professional Engineer describes and analyzes using Scientific and Engineering principles the home or building. A Professional Engineer does everything Home Inspector does and adds a Professional Engineer's analysis. Because every home and building is different, the ability of a Professional Engineers to analyze new situations is critical providing to the pre-purchase inspection.
Posted False Information
About Licensed Engineers
Some Home Inspectors post nonsense about Professional Engineers. Listed below are misrepresentations of Professional 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 (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. Thisis not typical of most home inspectors, and the inspector (who never identifies himself) does not appear to be from New York.
Home Inspector's Website Engineers have less training than home inspectors.
The Truth Becoming a Professional Engineer requires a minimum of 12 years relevant experience, as determined by the State of New York Office of Professions.
Home Inspector's Website Engineers provide a 3 or 4 page flimsy report compared to a home inspectors (sic) 15-page report.
The Truth Heimer Engineering's℠ reports are typically more than 100 pages, and include detailed information and web references.
Home Inspector's Website Engineers are not allowed by law to perform home inspections.
The Truth There is no law in the State of New York prohibiting Professional 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 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® standards are not binding on Professional Engineers. Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection is similar to an inspection following ASHI® standards. Heimer Engineering℠ adds assessing the structure, sufficiency of the heating system, sufficiency of the electrical system, sufficiency of the hot water system, etc. Non-Engineers cannot assess structure, sufficiency of systems, etc.
Home Inspector's Website 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. Heimer Engineering's℠ full report is typically emailed within three business days after the inspection.
Home Inspector's Website 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 Home Inspector's last statement that no Professional Engineer ever checked for ghosts is believable. Professional Engineers perform pre-purchase inspections to find real issues with the home or building. Heimer Engineering℠ checks for real things that you need to be aware of. Heimer Engineering℠ never checks for ghosts.
Home Inspector's Website Engineers don't understand homes.
The Truth Professional Engineers understand homes and buildings. Because of their background, Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineers have a better understanding of homes and buildings than non-Engineers, especially when unusual situations are encountered.
Home Inspector's Website 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. Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineers assesses the structural soundness, and uses his or her Engineering judgment to advise you about the potential real estate purchase.
Home Inspector's Website 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 a Heimer Engineering's℠ assessment is Engineering, including assessing structural soundness, sufficiency of heat, hot water, plumbing, electric service, etc.
Home Inspector's Website Anybody can say he is a PE.
The Truth This is not true according to the laws of the State of New York. Only a Professional Engineer can represent himself or herself as a PE.
Home Inspector's Website Inspectors know more about homes then (sic) engineers
The Truth Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineers know about homes and buildings. A Professional Engineer applies Scientific and Engineering judgment to evaluating the home or building, including situations that are unique to the home or building.
Home Inspector's Website 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. A Professional 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 A home inspection does not involve engineer (sic) analysis.
The Truth A Home Inspector's inspection does not include Engineering analysis. Heimer Engineering's℠ home inspections includes analysis of the structure, sufficiency of heating, sufficiency of hot water, sufficiency of electric service, etc.
Home Inspector's Website Engineers will not notice roof leakage, leaking pipe (sic), an old heating system, that the house has fuses...
The Truth Heimer Engineering℠ is inspecting the house or building just like a Home Inspector. We will point out roof leakage, leaking pipes, an old heating system, or that the house has fuses. In addition, We tell you about structural soundness, etc.
Home Inspector's Website A home inspector will always tell if (sic) you need engineer (sic).
The Truth How will the Home Inspector determine you need a Professional Engineer? Determining whether you need a Professional Engineer requires Engineering judgment. Only a Professional Engineer can make a judgment as to whether an issue involves Engineering.
Home Inspector's Website By definition, an engineer will only tell worst case-scenario (sic).
The Truth A Professional Engineer provides his or her professional opinion. Professional Engineers do not give you the worst-case scenario. Professional Engineers give you the most probable scenario.
Home Inspector's Website 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 Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect can render an opinion regarding structural soundness.
Home Inspector's Website Only a home inspector can give you the BIG PICTURE (sic).
The Truth There is no definition in the Engineering law or Home Inspection law as to what the "big picture" is. How can one get the "big picture" without having a Professional Engineer if the house or building is structurally sound?
Home Inspector's Website A good home inspector can sniff out carbon monoxide.
The Truth Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It cannot be smelled or tasted. A Professional Engineer has a professional obligation to make every effort to provide accurate information. A Professional Engineer does not make up something just to sell you an inspection.
Home Inspector's Website An engineer will charge you $5,000. And for what?
The Truth A home inspection by Heimer Engineering℠ costs far less than $5,000. An inspection by Heimer Engineering℠ is competitively priced with a Home Inspector's inspection.
Home Inspector's Website 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 a Professional 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 a Professional Engineer check to see if this is a structural defect.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Analysis These floor joists provide 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 DescriptionThe door frame is sagging. Have a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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 a Professional 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℠
Heimer Engineering℠ is happy to help you. Senior Staff members are available 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.
Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection fees are competitive with non-Engineer Home Inspector's fees, especially when you consider that many non-Engineers charge extra for termite inspections, swimming pools, etc.
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 answer your inspection questions.
To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony 📭 email PE@heimer.com, 📲 text 888.769.6910, or 📞 call 631.462.1515. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
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Heimer Engineering℠ serve the Greater 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).
🚑 🚒 🚓 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.
Standards of Practice
and Code of Ethics
Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineer Home Inspectors substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics, to Subpart 197-4 of the State of New York Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, the ASHI® Standards of Practice, and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE®) Code of Ethics. In the event of a conflict, the Professional Engineer Home Inspectors use Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence. All State of New York Licensed Professional Engineers are bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.
💲 Ask about a web discount. Discounts are also 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.
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Heimer Engineering PC℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
The Heimer Engineering PC℠ website was designed and is maintained by Harold Krongelb PE. The contents of this website were written by Harold Krongelb PE. This website is not intended to offer Engineering opinions or advice. Sitemaps and indexing information can be found at Page Sitemap, Image Sitemap, Mobile Sitemap, and Video Sitemap.
To protect an individual's privacy, images of people used on this site are either licensed stock images or used with permission. The images of the clients who emailed compliments to Heimer Engineering℠ are not of the actual client.
©1997-2020 Andrea and Harold Krongelb. All rights reserved. Used under a revocable license by Heimer Engineering PC. All documents and methods used by Heimer Engineering PC are owned by Harold and Andrea Krongelb and are used under a revocable license.
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2171 Jericho Turnpike
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947
Heimer Engineering℠ PC
PO Box 1078
Commack, New York, USA 11725-0942