understanding structural engineer reports
  • June 27, 2024
  • Effective Building
  • 0
Whether it’s for buying, selling, or using a property, a structural engineer report can be instrumental in protecting property owners from spending thousands on major repairs. Property owners can use structural engineer reports for more than just pre-purchase inspections.

What You’ll Likely See in a Structural Engineer Report

Though the exact items in a structural engineer report will depend on the specific construction of the property as well as the engineer preparing the report, structural engineer reports have these common elements:

Structural Supports

Examples: Roof systems, trusses, rafters, cantilever beams, struts, and columns

Possible Issues: May be described as unstable, having compromised durability, or requiring additional support

Foundation Components

Examples: Floorboards, tiles, plinth beams, grade beams, piers, crawl space, and basement Possible Issues: Cracks, sagging floors, sticking doors, window frame gaps, bowing foundation walls, and drainage problems

Load-Bearing Walls 

Examples: Precast concrete wall panels, reinforced concrete walls, engineering brick walls, solid brick walls, metal stud walls, and load-bearing stone walls

Possible Issues: Concrete and steel reinforcement corrosion, moisture penetration, and connection failure

Using Structural Engineer Reports As A Property Owner 

While a regular inspection may be sufficient in certain cases, having a structural engineer report gives you the added reassurance that you’re fully aware of your property’s actual condition. You can also use these reports to your advantage when dealing with other parties and receive the benefits due to you.

For Pre-Purchase Inspections

If you’re buying a new property, a structural engineer report can help you negotiate for either a lower final price or covered repair costs. Structural engineering assessments for pre-purchase inspections are crucial for home buyers. Plus, if you sell the property, a structural engineer report can ensure that you list an accurate price.

For Maintenance Planning

A structural engineer report can provide you with detailed and precise descriptions of the most pressing issues that need fixing. Typically, the engineer will give their own recommendations for repair at the end of the report. In essence, structural engineer reports can help you seek, select, and pay for the right maintenance services.

For Supporting Insurance Claims 

While your insurance company may send their own structural engineer to prepare the report for insurance investigation purposes, you should hire an independent or third-party engineer to prepare a separate report for your own use.

With your structural engineer report, you can counter false statements or reconcile irregularities in the insurance company’s report. This may help you prevent insurance claims from being denied due to lack of major structural issues (as observed by the structural engineer hired by the insurance company and recorded in their report).

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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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