Many people commonly ask: what’s the difference between a home inspection and a structural home inspection? Aren’t they the same thing? The answer to that is no, they are not the same. That’s not to say that one inspection is more important than the other, but it is important to understand their differences so that you know their purpose.

What Home Inspections Cover

A home inspection is conducted by a home inspector. One key takeaway about these inspections is that in most cases, they are primarily there to assess the property and provide a value on that property. This inspection report does cover issues and damage to the property as well, which is vital information for any prospective home buyer. Here is what home inspectors are usually looking for:

  • Water damage – this is a common issue, yet one of the most severe. This is mostly because the majority of homes are built with a lot of lumber. Water damage can cause foundation issues, uneven floors, and mold and wood rot.
  • Condition of the roof – for any homebuyer, the roof is a hot topic. A home is likely to receive a lower property value with significant roof damage or an old roof.
  • Plumbing and electrical – problems in plumbing or electrical systems can cause a host of issues and can be extremely expensive to repair. A home inspector is going to look to make sure these systems are functioning as they should. They’re also going to make sure that everything is built to code.
  • HVAC – A heating and air conditioning system has a huge impact on a home’s value. Older HVAC units are far less efficient to today’s standards and are costly to replace. A home inspector is going to make sure these systems are working.
  • Basic assessment on structural integrity – A home inspector is still going to look at the structure of the building. However, when they spot issues or red flags, they make a strong recommendation to have a structural engineer come out and complete a more thorough and specialized inspection.

What The Structural Home Inspection Assesses

When a structural engineer is called to complete a structural home inspection, the areas being assessed are more narrow and specific. Structural integrity for a building is extremely important since a structural failure can result in the collapse of the building. This puts the building at risk as well as anyone inside of the building.

Home Inspection vs Structural Home Inspection - What’s The Difference

Structural engineers primarily perform a structural home inspection on the framing of the house. The framing is what contains the elements that actually hold a structure upright. Everything about a house frame is carefully constructed to have proper load-bearing and resistance against other stressors that are put on the house. An assessment will show if the design of the structural frame was properly done in order to fulfill its purpose.

A structural engineer is typically taking a close look at:

  • The foundation – everything about the structural integrity of a building starts with a good foundation. If the foundation wasn’t designed properly or it has significant damage, then the rest of the structure is being set up for failure.
  • Structural damage – if the structural engineer notes things like cracks in the foundation or walls, sloping floors, sticking doors or stuck windows, gaps between the floor and the wall, then it’s likely structural repairs are needed. A structural engineer has the knowledge and experience to develop effective plans of repair.
  • Load-bearing capacity – Structural frames are built with a load-bearing capacity in mind. For example, going from a single-story building to a two-story requires different designs for the framing of the house. The frame needs to be able hold the weight of the rest of the building and everything above the frame.

Schedule Your Structural Home Inspection Today

Need a structural home inspection from a reliable, trustworthy engineering company? Nortex Structural proudly serves the great Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas. Our experienced technicians have the skills needed for everything from structural home inspections to structural frame design and load-bearing wall removal. Give us a call today to schedule your structural home inspection.

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