Why Choose Between a Professional Engineer and a Home Inspector When You Can Have Both?
There is too much at stake when buying or selling a residential property in the Long Island area, so it is imperative for anyone to look for a professional home inspector to conduct an expert examination of the home’s foundation, roof, and everything in between. In fact, most lenders require such an inspection as part of the purchasing process. Lenders want confirmation that their money is going to a worthwhile property.
But as one searches for a Long Island home inspector, it can be confusing to get mixed recommendations between a standard home inspector and a professional engineer. This confusion often leaves the buyer or seller in a hard position of choosing between the two specialists, not knowing that they can tap the expertise of both in one professional.
While both professions may have a different level of education, training, and work description, professional engineers and home inspectors have the same objectives, and that is to ensure that properties are structurally safe for the occupants.
Read on as we compare in detail these two professions and show why it makes more sense just to hire one expert to do both tasks.
- Education, Training and License Requirements
According to the National Society of Professional Engineers, a licensed and certified professional engineer must have completed a four-year college degree, worked under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, passed two intensive competency exams, and earned a license from their state’s licensure board. To retain their license, professional engineers must also continually upgrade their skills throughout their careers through continuing education.
Meanwhile, a home inspector in New York is required to secure, maintain, and file proof of a certificate of liability coverage with the Department of State, which shall be a minimum amount of $150,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate to obtain a license. They must also have completed high school or its equivalent, completed a course of study of not less than 140 hours approved by the Department (40 hours of those hours must be unpaid field-based inspections), and performed not less than 100 home inspections under the direct supervision of a licensed home inspector or professional engineer.
To renew their license, home inspectors must also complete 24 hours of approved continuing education within their two-year license renewal period before the expiration date.
- Structural Inspection and Analysis
In the state of New York, a home inspector is responsible for observing and providing reports on the systems and components of a residential building including but not limited to:
- Heating System
- Cooling System
- Plumbing System
- Electrical System
- Structural Components – foundation, roof masonry structure, exterior, and interior components or any other related residential building component recommended by the Home Inspection Council and implemented by the Department of State through the regulatory process.
On the other hand, licensed professional engineers in NY have to oversee the direction of or the performance of engineering surveys, consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, and professional observation of construction of public and private structures.
With expertise in these areas, professional engineers can provide their clients with a more in-depth inspection and actionable recommendations which are absolutely warranted if the property is already showing noticeable structural damage such as cracks in the foundation, sagging sill plates, and charred roof rafters, ridge beams, and/or sheathing.
- Inspection Stamp for Municipal/City Approval
A stark difference between a professional engineer and standard home inspector is their capability to stamp the home inspection report.
In essence, all home inspection reports must be stamped with a professional engineer’s seal to ensure that all the findings are factual. The P.E.’s seal also serves as the homeowner’s assurance that their property is inspected in compliance with the regulations and give them the power to have the inspector liable in case a defect missed during the inspection escalated into a major and even dangerous problem in the near future.
Given all this information, it is safe to conclude that both jobs have the same goals of minimizing harm from property and infrastructure, Engineers are superior in the sense of the depth and abundance of knowledge they gained from years of studying and training.
On the other hand, home inspectors took their share of time too in mastering their expertise, so they have strong points too in certain areas.
Given these cases, can a home inspector replace professional engineers in evaluating homes? Well, no. Because of the time and effort invested by engineers, their knowledge on the matter is vaster, hence making their expertise on public safety through building infrastructure better and of higher standards. Their risk-mitigating abilities are also greater when it comes to disaster prevention and reaction as well.
Fortunately, there are a few professional engineering companies in New York that offer the services of both specialists to the convenience of their customers. Tauscher Cronacher is one of the only companies that offer such combined expertise to home buyers and sellers in Long Island.
Our professionals are properly trained, well-educated, and have years of experience in the field of standard home inspection and structural inspection, providing our clients all the help they need to have a peace of mind about the property they are aiming to buy or sell. Our professional engineers not only describe the condition of our client’s property but also analyze its structural integrity using scientific and engineering principles to produce a fully-detailed and professional inspection report.
Contact Tauscher Cronacher today to learn more about why our professional Long Island home inspectors are your best partners in your home buying and selling journey!