Is a Structural Engineer Inspection Necessary? Read This First

Have you experienced sloping floors? Cracks above the door frame or sticky windows? With 25% of homes experiencing structural damage, these types of issues can be more common than you think. But at what point should you be concerned? Do you need a structural engineer inspection on your home to feel confident selling your home?

What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

A structural engineer is not the same thing as a home inspector though both play important roles.

If a person didn’t suspect any foundation issues with their home then a home inspector is the right person to call.

Home inspectors assess your homes basic systems, things like the plumbing, electrical, roof and HVAC. A good home inspection report can go a long way in helping potential buyers and lenders have confidence in purchasing your home.

A structural inspection is carried out by a structural engineer and they are only called in if you suspect issues with the structural safety of your home.

While a home inspector looks at the big picture and several systems of your home, a structural engineer just looks at the structural issues by studying the foundation and beams of your home.

A structural engineer has the knowledge to do a visual study of the framing, columns, posts, trusses and foundation of your home to determine if there are any issues with the structural integrity of your house.

When is a Structural Inspection a Good Idea?

When is a Structural Inspection a Good Idea?

If you experience any of these home issues then it would be a good idea to get a home structural engineer inspection:

  • If your home has a distinct slope as you walk across the floor then you should definitely contact a structural engineer.
  • Cracks in the foundation and vertical or horizontal cracks along wall surfaces, at door openings or window openings are all signs you may need a structural inspection. Any crack that is wider than a hairline is cause for concern.
  • Warped or uneven floors could be indicative of foundation issues. If your wood floor feels spongy that’s a big warning sign or if tile floors crack then that’s another sign your foundation could have problems.
  • The wood your home is built with has been treated to protect from moisture but if you get cracks in your foundation then constant exposure to moisture can weaken your timber over time. If you’ve had broken pipes, a leaking roof or bad drainage around your foundation you could have a compromised wood situation.
  • Any gaps between the floor and walls can indicate structural damage.
  • A roof that sags visibly or a chimney that is cracked and leaning can indicate shifting and settling that could be hurting your home.
  • If you have doors and windows that don’t close or open properly that signals that they have been shifted out of alignment and your foundation could be to blame.

How to Prepare for a Structural Engineer Inspection

If you now know that you are in need of a home structural engineer inspection then you need to know how to prepare your home for the inspector. You will help the process go smoothly by clearing away the dirt or debris that is around the foundation of your house.

Any plants growing right up against your home should be trimmed back and make sure all areas of your home, inside and out, are easily accessible. Accessibility includes the roof, attic and crawl space so keep those less-frequented areas in mind when preparing your home for inspection.

Structural Engineer Inspection Costs

A visit from a structural engineer can cost you anywhere from $350-$700. The size of your home, location and age of your home can all impact the amount you can expect to pay for an engineer home inspection.

What Can You Expect from a Structural Engineer Report

What Can You Expect from a Structural Engineer Report

After visually assessing your home and all the potential trouble spots, the structural engineer will create a report of their findings. They can make recommendations for where repairs should take place, the areas that raised concern, an assessment of what cause the problem in the first place and recommendations for how to move forward.

Foundation repairs can run as high as $20,000-$30,000 depending on how severe the damage is on your home. You will need to either spend that money repairing your home or take that amount as a loss to any potential interested buyer who may be willing to buy your home and repair the foundation them self.

Can’t Sell Your Home and Can’t Afford Repairs?

If the results of your home structural engineering report weren’t so good then the good news is that all hope isn’t lost. While it may be hard to attract a traditional buyer, even with a hugely discounted sale price, there are trusted investors who aren’t afraid to take on a home with structural damage. Gary with Gary Buys Houses has been buying homes in Utah as-is for more than a decade. He has a team of specialists who can help repair and update your home while you walk away with your cash payment.

If your house has structural problems that you can’t afford to fix then you can call Gary today and get your own customized free cash offer on your home.


I was a part owner in an electrical contracting firm in the late 1990’s and started to get interested in real estate around 2001. My business partner and I bought our first rental property in 2002. From there we did several real estate transactions until we decided to close the electrical business and part ways. In 2009 I started Gary Buys Houses which is owned by my wife, Eileen, and I. I felt like I could offer one on one personal service to people that wanted to sell their house quickly or not worry about repairs and such. Today, I have built a reputation of being fair and honest with people no matter their situation, so the business continues to help people and be successful. I have been married for 34 years, and have one son, two step sons and 4 grandchildren. I like to travel and spend time in Southern Utah exploring.

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