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EVAL: Evaluation of exis

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I would avoid including in a report what is "right" with the building, 
information concerning occupancy, and what is "permitted" by the building 
code as recipients of the report tend to focus on the "good" rather than the 
"bad."  ("You *said* that we didn't need to do anything.")

I assume that the report that you are doing would be for a potential buyer of 
the building.  In cases like that, I put in bold lettering inside a box near 
the beginning of the report a statement to the effect that the report is not 
a recommendation to buy or not to buy the property; that the buyer must 
evaluate the information in the report and together with all other 
considerations determine whether or not the property is suitable for their 
needs.  I also state that the information included in the report is to be 
conveyed to other parties only as a complete copy of the report and not 
orally.

While you, as a structural engineer, are not an *expert* about termites, 
*you* are the expert concerning the effect on the structural adequacy 
of structural elements as a result of damage done by termites.  While someone 
else may be able to tell the extent of termite infestation, *they* cannot 
determine the effect of the termite infestation on structural adequacy; that 
is *your* job!  Similarly with regard to wood rot.

I also put in my reports a statement that while a visual inspection can 
determine certain structural inadequacies, it cannot determine if a building 
is structurally adequate or complies with any code or ordinance and that no 
representation is made to that effect.

I also number my pages, "Page # of total pages" and put a footer on each page 
that states that the report is void if it does not include all pages and 
all enclosures/appendices, etc.

Hope this helps.

A. Roger Turk, P.e.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona