Home, Building, Condo, and
Co-op Inspection Basic Info
Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op Inspections
in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland,
Putnam, and Westchester
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This webpage contains general information on pre-purchase home, building, condo, new condo punch list, and co-op inspections. You can scroll down, or choose one of the following targeted information webpages.
Why Choose Heimer Engineering℠?
- Heimer Engineering℠ uses only Licensed Professional Engineers to perform pre-purchase inspections.
- Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection fees are competitive with non-Engineer's inspection fees.
- The easiest way to see the difference between Heimer Engineering℠ and other
home inspection companies is to look at a sample report. (This sample report
is of a house that needs a lot of work).
- The Better Business Bureau gives Heimer Engineering℠ an A+ rating.
- Heimer Engineering℠ provides you with a verbal report, an on-site summary report, a termite report, and an emailed report.
- Heimer Engineering℠ includes cost factors where applicable in the written reports.
Home Inspector vs. Engineer
The following are snippets of comments clients have emailed following inspections by Heimer Engineering℠. The comments have been edited to remove identifying information, and spelling errors have been corrected.
"…said he was an Engineer. Turns out he only used a computer program written by an Engineer. Now the sellers won't accept anything the guy said. So I need to pay for an inspection by a real Engineer."
"We hired a Home Inspector. We've lived in apartments since we were married and didn't know better. The inspector said there was a crack in the foundation. The inspector said an Engineer needed to tell me if it was a problem. My broker said to call Heimer Engineering. Heimer sent an Engineer who said it was not structural. Heimer's Engineer also told me that the electrical service was good (the inspector told me to replace it) and that the chimney only needed pointing (the inspector told me to put new bricks on the chimney). And the Engineer cost less, because he didn't test for radon and didn't charge extra for termites. Next time, I'll get an Engineer the first time."
S…, Nassau County
The old house needed work, but it was big and cost less than other houses. The floor was sagging, so I had an inspector come who said he could tell me about the floor sagging. He didn't say a word about the sagging, so I asked him. The inspector told me to get an Engineer to check the floor sag. So I paid an Engineer after I paid the inspector. Good thing, because Heimer Engineering showed me there were serious problems because of the way this 100-year-old house was built. I got an estimate from a contractor for $90 thousand to rebuild the porch and the second floor. No thank you, deal's off. The broker said I was smart to get an Engineer. I'll use Heimer Engineering for the next inspection!
B…, Westchester County
Reviews and Compliments
Organizations like the Better Business Bureau, which requires verification of complaints, give Heimer Engineering℠ an A+ rating. The Better Business Bureau provides a level playing field where both the business and the client get equal input.
The following are snippets of comments clients have emailed following inspections by Heimer Engineering℠. The comments have been edited to remove identifying information, and spelling errors have been corrected.
Thank you for sending …. He explained everything and was very patient with us.
J…, Suffolk County
I was a little annoyed that … didn't talk much during the inspection. After the inspection, … went over everything. It was obvious that … was concentrating on the house.
My first deal didn't go through because the sellers backed out. I need another inspection. We loved … Please send … again.
O…, Westchester County.
Thank you for sending…. Not only did he do a great job, but he called me back on a Friday evening because I needed an answer right away.
Why Pay Twice?
Why risk having a low-cost or inexperienced inspector tell you, "only a Licensed Engineer can tell you if this crack is structural".
Heimer Engineering's℠ is often asked to perform an inspection after a non-Engineer has performed a home inspection. The non-Engineer's report stated, "Assessing the structural integrity of a building is beyond the scope of a standard building inspection." Assessing structural integrity is within the scope of a Licensed Engineer's inspection.
One of the biggest concerns of home and building buyers is the structure. Fortunately, structural defects are less common in the Metro New York area than in some other parts of the country. Building codes help limit the number of structural defects.
If you buy a house or building with a structural defect, the fact that most buildings in the New York area do not have structural defects is of little comfort. You want to know if the home or building is structurally sound. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers provide you with this information.
Some home and building buyers believe structural defects are only a concern in older buildings. Other real estate purchasers feel they can find structural defects by "looking carefully". Still other home and building buyers feel that an old house that is standing must have no structural defects.
There are non-Engineer home inspectors who advocate the "bounce test." They jump on the floor and if they do not feel the floor bounce, the house or building is declared structurally sound. In the State of New York, only a Licensed Engineer can render an opinion as to whether a home or building is structurally sound. Do not be fooled by someone offering the "bounce test".
Water in the Basement
Home and building purchasers are concerned that basement water indicates a structural problem. Most foundation walls have cracks, so basement water does not necessarily indicate a structural defect. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers advise you as to whether foundation walls cracks are structurally significant.
Most houses and buildings do not regularly have water in the basement, but are damp during part of the year. If the basement is damp, it may affect your ability to store personal belongings. Basement dampness is a concern to people with allergies or other medical conditions because dampness can increase the risk of mold.
Most houses and buildings are not inspected during heavy rain. When inspecting a house or building on a dry day, Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer looks for water evidence in the basement to determine what you can expect during a heavy rain or with melting snow.
Houses and buildings in the Metro New York area have a heating system. The heating system keeps the home or building comfortably warm during the winter months. In many newer homes and buildings, the heating system and air conditioning system are combined.
The most common types of heating systems found in homes and buildings are forced hot air, hot water (or hydronic), steam, 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. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers assess the sufficiency of the heating system. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer also assess the age of the heating system, if there are hazardous conditions, if the heating system is outdated, etc.
Hot Water System
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 frustrating to move into your new home or building, and find that you do not have enough hot water the first time you shower.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers evaluate the hot water system and advise you if it is sufficient. You are also advised of the need to budget for upcoming replacement of the hot water system.
Plumbing describes different systems in a house or building. Plumbing means fixtures such as a sink or tub, the pipes that supply water, the pipes that drain the sewage, the gas lines, underground sprinkler systems, and heating pipes. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers check the plumbing for function, leaks, sufficiency of water supply, etc.
One concern of many home and building purchasers is plumbing 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 stain. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer inspects for both obvious leaks and difficult to detect plumbing leakage.
The roof keeps rain and other weather elements out of the house or building. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer evaluates 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 the Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed 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 house or building has an accessible attic, Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer examines for roof leakage and sheathing damage. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer also check for insufficient attic insulation and ventilation.
Some Inspectors advocate walking on pitched asphalt, slate, and terracotta tile roofs. There are Inspectors who lift asphalt roof shingles to determine how they were installed. This damages the roof. The slates, cedar shingles, or terracotta tiles suffer damage that can causes leakage.
Asphalt roof shingles are self-sealing. Lifting an asphalt roof shingle damages the seal. Some roofing manufacturers will void a roof warranty if they determine damage was caused by an inspector on the roof.
Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers determine the condition of the roof by visual examination. If an Inspector needs to walk on the roof or lift the shingles, you should ask; Why can't this inspector determine the condition of the roof visually? Can't this Inspector see that the roof shingles are old? Can't this Inspector see that the roof shingles are irregular?
In some cases, it is not possible to safely observe the roof. The roof may not be visible because of local topology, it is covered with snow, because there is no access hatch, or because the access hatch has been sealed.
If the roof is not visible, Heimer Engineering℠ uses available satellite images of the roof to assess the roof. This includes historical satellite images, which can allow the roof history to be determined.
The myth of needing to climb on a roof or use a ladder to view the roof came from roofers who went into the home inspection business part-time. Today, very few Home Inspectors climb on the roof or use a ladder to check the roof.
A modern house or building requires electricity to run systems such as lighting, heating, hot water, appliances, the air-conditioning, etc. Because many appliances require electric power, some existing homes do not have enough circuits to support modern electrical demands.
Homes and buildings with insufficient electric service may not be old. Even a house or building constructed 25 years ago may not have the electric wiring to support the today's needs.
Electric service insufficiency is aggravated by owners who add appliances without upgrading the wiring. If a home or building owner adds appliances without upgrading the electric service, a hazardous condition may be created. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers check for sufficiency of the electrical system, and look for other wiring issues.
Only a Licensed Electrician should open a circuit breaker. A Licensed Electrician can correct hazards created by opening electrical panels. If a problem develops because of opening the panel, the Inspector is not in a position to resolve the problem. A responsible Home Inspector will not open electrical panels.
Communities require electricians to be licensed, and prohibit anyone other than a Licensed Electrician from performing electrical work. (Exceptions are made for homeowners wiring their own home.)
Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineers determine the condition of the wiring by visual examination. The question is why do some Home Inspectors insist on opening the circuit breaker panel when it creates a hazard.
Termites can structurally damage a building. Years ago, it was considered sufficient to have only a termite inspection performed before purchasing a home or building. If there was no evidence of a termite infestation, it was incorrectly assumed 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. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer assesses the structural impact of termite damage. If repairs are needed, the expense analysis in the inspection report helps you understand the expenses.
Termite control specialists and Engineers look differently at termite evidence. Engineers look for the impact of the termites and termite damage. A termite control specialist is looking at the need for termite treatment. You should have the house checked for termites by both Heimer Engineering℠ and a termite control specialist. This maximizes your chances of finding termite activity and damage. You should also obtain a warranty against future termite activity from the termite control specialist.
Who Can Inspect
You will see statements such as New York licensed termite inspection, New York approved termite inspector, New York certified termite inspector, etc. The State of New York neither trains nor licenses termite inspectors. The State of New York licenses pesticide applicators and pesticide technicians. In the State of New York, you are required to be licensed to purchase or apply pesticides.
Heimer Engineering℠ inspects for evidence of termite activity as part of the pre-purchase inspections. The Engineer knows about termite evidence, what conditions invite termite activity, where termites are likely to be found, etc. In addition, Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer checks for structural damage caused by termites.
Leaks and Thermal Imaging
Some Inspectors claim thermal imaging provides better information than traditional inspection methods. Claims of an ability to detect leaks and hidden structural defects have been used in home inspection advertising.
Contrary to what some Inspectors claim, thermal imaging cannot detect invisible leaks, concealed overheated wiring, structural defects, termite damage, old pipes, asbestos, or mold. Thermal imaging is looking at the infrared emissions (essentially, the temperature) of an object. Thermal imaging provides no special ability to detect latent defects.
Providing four inspection reports helps you understand the condition of the real estate you purchasing. All four reports are included in the inspection fee Heimer Engineering℠ quoted to you.
Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection fees are competitive with non-Engineers.
The On-Site Verbal Inspection Report discussed the inspection findings and provides instant information and the opportunity to ask the Engineer questions.
The On-Site Written Inspection Report is a short-form report that highlights Heimer Engineering's℠ findings.
The Emailed Written Inspection Report includes information relevant to the inspected home or building and to real estate purchases in general. Additional information is included so you can make an informed decision about purchasing the real estate.
The Emailed Written Inspection Report contains a Quick Start Key Point Summary that guides you to sections of the report specific to the real estate you are purchasing. The Quick Start Key Point Summary is based on what clients and Attorneys have told Heimer Engineering℠ is most important to them.
Some inspection companies provide an instant report. A home or building is a major purchase. Don't settle for an instant report that with its instant report errors.
Inspection Photographic Images
A Licensed Engineer's pre-purchase inspection is not performed to show you what the building looks like. Heimer Engineering's℠ reports are not driven by a photograph-based commercial inspection report software.
Photographic images included in a Home Inspector's report may show a gutter draining near a foundation wall, a crack in a path, or siding shingles close to ground level. You never see photographs showing the insufficient electrical service, an undersized boiler, or that a house is structurally unsound.
If you use images to negotiate with a seller, it is the seller's interpretation of the images that you are negotiating with. Photographs in a report work to the seller's advantage.
Mobile-Friendly Inspection Reports
One cannot keep up with the changes that affect home purchasers. Updated information available via the internet. Heimer Engineering's℠ reports contain links that help you learn more about your prospective purchase.
Many people use smartphones to read emails. Heimer Engineering℠ emails a PDF of the inspection report. Heimer Engineering's℠ reports are mobile-friendly and can be viewed on most smartphones, allowing you quick access to the report.
Is the Home Inspector a
Many inspection companies send non-Engineer inspectors when the buyer requested a Licensed Engineer. At the site, the non-Engineer Inspector promises a review by an Engineer in the office.
When you retain a Licensed Engineer to perform a pre-purchase inspection, you expect a Licensed Engineer to visit the site. It is unethical for a home inspection company to send a non-Engineer when you expect the services of a Licensed Engineer. Heimer Engineering℠ uses only Licensed Engineers to perform pre-purchase inspections.
In New York State, a Licensed Engineer can obtain a state-issued identification card. When the Inspector arrives on site, ask to see the New York State Professional Engineer photo ID. A non-Engineer cannot lawfully obtain a State of New York Professional Engineer's photo ID.
Pre-purchase inspection standards exclude environmental inspections. Some companies imply they provide environmental inspections by pointing out environmental concerns. These Inspectors often have limited environmental experience, and may unnecessarily alarm real estate purchasers.
The Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ point out environmental concerns like other Inspectors. Heimer Engineering℠ does not deceive you by claiming the pre-purchase inspection is an environmental inspection.
Code of Ethics
Standards of Practice
A Home Inspector's Code of Ethics deals with non-inspection issues such as the Inspector's relationship with the buyer, seller, and real estate broker. The Standards of Practice deals with what is inspected, what the client can expect, what an Inspector is permitted to do, etc.
The Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ substantially adhere to multiple home inspection codes of ethics and standards of practice. If the Code of Ethics or Standards of Practice conflict with the Heimer Engineering's℠ responsibility to you, the Licensed Engineer uses his professional judgment.
Heimer Engineering℠ only shares the inspection findings with you and you Attorney. Heimer Engineering℠ is required to use information obtained during the inspection only for your benefit. If someone other than you or your Attorney calls for information, Heimer Engineering℠ requires your written authorization before we speak with them.
During the inspection, the Heimer Engineering℠ examines, analyzes, and/or reports on (as appropriate based on the building):
A pre-closing inspection helps you find out what changed after the inspection:
- Furniture and stored material should have been removed, providing access to more areas;
- Leaks may develop after the original inspection;
- A system or appliances that were functioning during the original inspection may break;
- A strong storm, neighborhood construction, very hot, or very cold weather may damage the building;
- And many more changes can occur.
The best way to protect yourself is a pre-closing inspection. Heimer Engineering's℠ Licensed Engineer returns to the site before closing, and determines what has changed. A pre-closing inspection gives you the opportunity to have adjustments made at closing.
Contact Heimer Engineering℠ 24/7
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's inspection fees, especially when you consider that many non-Engineers charge extra for a termite inspection, 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 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 at WebInfoRequest@heimer.com, send Heimer Engineering℠ a text at 888.769.6910, or call Heimer Engineering℠ at 800.605.1500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
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 to Heimer Engineering℠.
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.
Heimer Engineering℠The Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ 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 Licensed Engineer uses Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence. All State of New York Licensed Engineers are bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.
Standards of Practice
and Code of Ethics
Ask about a Heimer Engineering℠ 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℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. We provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining construction. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
The Heimer Engineering℠ website was designed and is maintained by Harold Krongelb P.E. The contents of this website were written by Harold Krongelb P.E. 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. Heimer Engineering's domains include www.heimer.com, www.home-inspection-ny.com, www.professional-engineer.com, and www.home-inspection-engineer.com. Heimer Engineering posts updates on Facebook.
Microsoft Web Expressions publication timestamp: August 18, 2018.
©1997-2018 Andrea and Harold Krongelb. All rights reserved. Used under license by Heimer Engineering PC.
f/k/a Richard L Heimer PE PC
2171 Jericho Turnpike
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947
✅ New York Metro: 800.605.1500
✅ New York Metro: 800.640.8090
✅ New York Metro: 646.757.4500
✅ Bronx, New York: 718.547.2000
✅ Brooklyn, New York: 718.237.7777
✅ Manhattan, New York: 212.563.4777
✅ Long Island, New York: 516.487.2100
✅ Long Island, New York: 631.549.2500
✅ Nassau County, New York: 516.487.2100
✅ Putnam County, New York: 845.638.4900
✅ Queens, New York: 718.544.3000
✅ Staten Island, New York: 718.227.5000
✅ Suffolk County, New York: 631.858.5500
✅ Suffolk County, New York: 631.288.3900
✅ Suffolk County, New York: 631.549.2500
✅ Westchester County, New York: 914.576.6100
✅ Fax: 631.858.5599, 646.795.4571
✅ Text: 888.769.6910
✅ Coordinates: 40.8439215, -73.2871259
✅ URL: www.heimer.com
✅ Email: Info@heimer.com
International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
North American Industry Classification System (SAISC) Classification: 541330, 541350