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RE: EVAL: Evaluation of existing structure

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I agree with Ernie's comments, and I too, add the following disclaimer to
the end of my report:

This review or inspection is limited in scope. We have made a visual
inspection or reviewed existing framing plans of the building. Because many
structural conditions cannot be verified, certain assumptions have been
made. These assumptions, which include facts relating to the original
design, the structural properties of building materials and actual
construction practices, cannot easily be verified without destructive
testing or exposure of the structural framing. Verification, if possible,
would entail considerable effort and expense and is beyond the scope of this
project. Any conclusions or recommendations included in our report may
therefore be based on professional opinion and experience rather than known
conditions. This report is not intended to cover mechanical, electrical,
architectural, geologic or other features not specifically noted.

I modify this statement depending upon how much information is provided by
the client and how much of the structure is exposed (or whether the client
is willing to expose area's that require some destructive means).
I did not create this, to be fair, but copied it from another report which I
read after the Northridge earthquake. It appeared to adequatly cover those
area's outside my experience or covered me by stating that some of the
conclusions drawn are based upon professional assumptions and experience.
In any case, it is always good to have some sort of disclaimer to limit how
much a client expects based upon physical constraints.

Dennis Wish PE