Home Buyer & Inspection Consumer Protection
Home Inspection Protection

Consumer Protection Notice For Home Buyers


Ask If Your Home Inspection Report Will Be Signed And Stamped With The Professional Engineers P.E. Seal.

Read This Carefully Before You Choose A Home Inspector.

Home Inspections And The Practice of Engineering

A State that has adopted an opinion regarding home inspections and the practice of engineering follows below. This helps to clarify public misinformation regarding what can, and what can not, be legally done during a home inspection by a person not licensed to practice engineering. Only a P.E. is licensed to practice engineering.

Home buyers who want to be informed, and who want to buy informed, will want to read an example of this opinion. The State of New York Board For Engineering and Land Surveying has adopted an opinion of the State Education Law as it applies to the inspection and examination of residential and commercial buildings and that opinion reads as follows:

Board Opinion Of The Law

"It is the opinion of the Board that the inspection and examination of single and multiple family residential, commercial, industrial or institutional buildings, regarding their structural, electrical and mechanical subsystems for proper integrity or capacity, constitutes the practice of engineering as defined in the "law." Any attempt to determine the structural integrity or capacity of a building, or any subsystem thereof, other than detection of problems by visual inspection or normal operation of the user controls, constitutes the practice of engineering. This would include the diagnosis and analysis of problems with buildings and/or the design of remedial actions. Therefore, an individual who advertises or practices in this area shall be registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of New York."

Other States

This opinion regarding the practice of engineering helps to clarify public misinformation regarding what can, and what can not, be legally done during a home inspection by a person not licensed to practice engineering. Here’s a national list of State telephone numbers to find out if a home inspector is a State Licensed Professional Engineer.

What Are The Downsides To Non-Engineer Home Inspectors

Home buyers who retain the services of a company not licensed to practice engineering may not be getting what they think they are paying for because the practice of engineering is limited to Licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.).

Surprisingly, there is little if any difference in the inspection fee charged by licensed engineers and non-engineers; however, the licensed engineer brings to the inspection education and a license to practice engineering that a non-engineer does not possess. The P.E. has earned a State granted license to design a new home or building and stamp the design plans with the P.E. seal; it is our opinion that it makes good sense to retain a home inspector who has a P.E. license to inspect your home years later rather than a home inspector without these credentials.

Consumers who need to retain the services of a Licensed Professional Engineer to address a problem that a non-engineer home inspector has uncovered during the course of an inspection will incur a second unnecessary inspection fee. Even worse, when a consumer purchases a home and the non-engineer inspector failed to even identify a structural problem that is uncovered after the buyers move in, the consumer is not only faced with a second inspection fee, but the costs of remedial repairs as well.

Know The Credentials Of Your Home Inspector

Consumers should understand that some home inspectors are non-engineers, some claim to be professional home inspectors, some claim to belong to a trade society, some claim to be licensed certified. Some certifications are readily available simply by joining a trade society. Some home inspectors have relatively little training beyond a two week training course. This is in comparison to a Licensed Professional Engineer who has a degree in engineering, a minimum of four years of engineering experience, and has successfully passed a State administered 16 hour written examination. A similar comparison can be made between a paralegal and an attorney who is licensed to practice law.

For further information regarding Licensed Professional Engineers and the services provided by P.E.’s click here for an easy to read State definition.

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