Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op
Analysis Only an Engineer Offers
Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op Inspections
in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland,
Putnam, and Westchester
An Engineer's inspection, a home and building inspection, and a termite inspection are included. You receive an onsite report, a comprehensive written report, and a termite report. This is all included in the fee you are quoted.
Welcome to home, building, condo, and co-op inspection basics. Detailed information is available on a wide range of inspection topics. This page gives a general overview of the pre-purchase inspection process.
All of Heimer Engineering's Inspectors are State of New York Licensed Engineers. Therefore, everything on these pages is from the point of view of an Engineer.
After reading this webpage, look at the topics listed on the right side of this page. Choose what you want more information about and visit Web pages dedicated to specific inspection topics.
Home, Building, Condo,
and Co-op Inspection Basics
Heimer Engineering is a professional home and building inspection company. The company has performed over 80,000 inspections over 40 years. With a staff of experienced Licensed Engineers, your inspection needs can be quickly accommodated.
The purchase of a home, building, condo, or co-op is a major investment. A thorough evaluation gives you the advantage in making an intelligent purchase decision. The included expense analysis helps you understand the expenses of owning the home, building, condo, or co-op. Whether it is the purchase of a small home or a large building, Heimer Engineering provides an in-depth engineering examination.
The State of New York, in their online brochure What You Should Know About Professional Engineers and Their Services states one of the reasons that you should use an Engineer is to evaluate the structural integrity, electrical, and/or mechanical systems of a house prior to purchase or renovation.
Under the laws of the State of New York, only a Licensed Engineer can offer engineering services to the public. Some home inspection companies will tell you that they have an Engineer on staff, an Engineer reviews the reports, or that an Engineer helped them set up the inspection system. Having an Engineer on staff is not the same as having an inspection performed by a Licensed Engineer.
There was a time when real estate was less expensive and was purchased without concern about whether the home or building had major defects. If a real estate purchaser was unlucky enough to buy a building with significant defects, they suffered.
Today, buildings are older, more expensive, and have more defects. Buyers have many concerns that were not issues even a few years ago. Having a pre-purchase inspection performed by an Engineer has become an essential part of the real estate purchase process.
Five Reasons to Choose
a Licensed Engineer
- Under New York law, only a Licensed Engineer can assess structural integrity, sufficiency of electrical service or heating, etc. An Inspector who is not an Engineer cannot advise you about structural soundness.
- You gain much, and loose nothing, by choosing a Licensed Engineer. A Professional Engineer does everything that a Home Inspector does, and more.
- Becoming a Licensed Engineer requires a minimum of four years of Engineering College and four years of relevant experience with Building Codes, Engineering Standards, passing two Engineering exams, etc. A Licensed Engineer is also required to take continuing education to keep up-to-date. A New York Licensed Home Inspector only needs to take only a 140-hour class, which is the equivalent of one month of training.
- A Licensed Engineer assesses the systems of a building, and how they work together. A building has a structural system, a heating system, an electrical system, a plumbing system, etc. Both the function and the interaction of these systems must be evaluated. A non-Engineer can just describe what is visible. No assessment is made of how the systems work together.
- The Licensed Engineer's training and experience help him detect deficiencies that a non-Engineer would miss. Engineers are, by training and experience, problem solvers. An Engineer can analyze areas of concern and provide you with reliable recommendations.
Section 197-4.2 of the State of New York home inspector law requires home inspectors to have the following wording in the pre-inspection agreement:
Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services.
THINK about the above restriction and why it is required when choosing who should inspect the home, building, condo, or co-op you are considering purchasing.
Remember, with Heimer Engineering, you receive a home/building inspection, Engineering inspection, and termite inspection with no extra fees.
Inspector Versus Engineer
You may need to choose between a State of New York Licensed Home Inspector and a State of New York Licensed Engineer. Some Home Inspectors have posted webpages bashing Engineers, and making wild claims such as anyone can say he is a PE, and only a home inspector can evaluate the structure of an old building. Before you decide to use an Inspector over an Engineer, learn the truth.
It is almost impossible to keep up with the changes that affect home purchasers. However, there is updated information available via the internet. Heimer Engineering's emailed reports contain links to websites that help you to learn more about your prospective purchase.
Many people regularly use their smartphones to read emails. Heimer Engineering emails you a PDF of the inspection report. These reports are designed to be mobile-friendly, and can be viewed on many smartphones, allowing you quick access to the report.
How Will You Know
the Inspector is a
Many inspection companies send out non-Engineer inspectors when the buyer expects a Licensed Engineer. At the site, the non-Engineer Inspector may promise a review by an Engineer in the office. It is unethical to send a non-Engineer when you expect and are paying for Engineering services.
Section §197-4.2 of the State of New York State home inspector law requires non-Engineer home inspectors to have the following wording in the pre-inspection agreement:
Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services
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.
Who Can Inspect for Termites?
There is a lot of misleading information on the web regarding termite inspections. You will see statements such as licensed termite inspector, New York State licensed termite inspection, New York approved termite inspector, trained in termite inspections by New York, New York certified termite inspector, and many more.
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, including pesticides used in the control of termites.
Licensed Engineers inspect for termites in their role as Engineers. An Engineer is knowledgeable about what termite evidence looks like, what conditions make it likely termites will damage a building, where termites are most likely to be found, etc. In addition, a Licensed Engineer checks for structural damage caused by termites.
Termite inspections by pesticide applicators should be performed as part of the real estate purchase process after the stored material has been removed. In addition, termite inspections are performed as part of the normal maintenance of a building. The Licensed Engineer will advise you when termite inspections are needed as part of normal maintenance.
Why Pay Twice?
Heimer Engineering is often asked to perform an inspection after a non-Engineer has performed an inspection. The reason is the non-Engineer's report said, "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 inspection performed by an Engineer.
Heimer Engineering uses Licensed Engineers to perform pre-purchase inspections. The Engineer will not tell you that assessing the structure is beyond the scope of an inspection.
Remember, with Heimer Engineering, you receive a home/building inspection, Engineering inspection, and termite inspection with no extra fees.
Trust a Licensed Engineer to advise you of visible structural defects.
A pre-purchase inspection is not an environmental inspection. Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically exclude environmental inspections. Some companies imply that they are providing environmental inspections by pointing out environmental concerns. These inspectors often have limited environmental experience, and may unnecessarily alarm prospective purchasers.
Our Licensed Engineers point out environmental concerns just like other inspectors. However, Heimer Engineering will not deceive you by claiming that the pre-purchase inspection is an environmental inspection.
Trust a Licensed Engineer to advise you of environmental concerns.
The Licensed Engineer does not share the findings of the inspection with anyone other than our client and their Attorney. The Engineer is required to use any information obtained during the inspection only for the benefit of his client. If someone other than our client or their Attorney calls for information, we require your written authorization before we can speak with them.
Trust a Licensed Engineer to perform the inspection on your behalf.
The initial inspection describes the condition of the site at the time of the inspection. Many things can change after the initial inspection:
- Furniture and stored material is removed, providing access to more areas and possibly exposing defects;
- Leakage may develop;
- A system that was functioning at the time of the original inspection may break;
- During the winter, pipes may freeze;
- A strong storm, neighborhood construction, very hot or very cold weather, etc. may cause changes;
- Equipment or appliances may fail;
- A repair the seller makes may be improper;
- And many, many more changes can occur.
The best way to protect yourself is a pre-closing inspection. The Licensed Engineer returns to the site just before closing, and checks to determine what has changed. A pre-closing inspection gives you the opportunity to have adjustments made at closing.
The Engineers at Heimer Engineering are available to perform pre-purchase home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, or co-op inspections seven days a week. We service the Metro New York area.
Please continue looking through our website for more information on home inspection, building inspection, condo inspection, and co-op inspection services.
Contact Heimer Engineering 24/7
Our staff is happy to assist you and answer your questions. To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about other Engineering services or expert court testimony, click below for a contact form, send us an email, text us at 660 200 9155, or call 800.605.1500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message. Remember to ask about our 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, snow removal, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. Some inspection firms sell email lists of their clients. These practices are unethical. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency (fire, building in danger of collapse, facade with loose bricks, debris falling from a building, gas leak, carbon monoxide detector that is alerting to a hazard, etc.) do not call Heimer Engineering. If there is a life-threatening emergency or other hazardous condition, call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled immediately by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, contact appropriate utility companies to have the utilities shut off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.
Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York. We also 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.
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2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 230
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