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RE: House Inspection

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I offer Due Dilligence reports for houses or buildings that are undergoing potential sales. Due diligence can lead to PML reports and they are good projects to get, some engineers specialize in this type of work.


I have never been retained to do one on a house, but have been asked several times to visit a house and write a quick letter saying it’s fine. When I tell them the price for me making a visit and looking at the place I never get a call back which is fine. Once I tell them $500 minimum for even a 1 paragraph letter saying it’s okay to tear down a non-bearing wall, I get a “I’ll think about it” and don’t get a call back (well, once I did). I charge that much for the travel, time, and liability, even though it could be something very simple. Perhaps they went with someone cheaper, I don’t know.


These people doing real estate stuff pay a termite inspector 150 bucks and can get a full “Home Inspection Report” for 300 bucks that’s 20 pages long and has color photos in the back and tells them the faucet in bathroom 3 drips. They won’t pay an engineer 3 to 4 times that for a 2 page letter listing all the cracks and whether it’s a serious problem or not, it’s just not in their budget and perhaps would be obligated to disclose the findings if something potentially serious is opined by the engineer, lowering the sales price.


With the proper disclaimers (i.e., complete engineering calculations were not performed, only what was easily visible was evaluated, in my professional opinion etc…) it probably fine.


Not sure if this helps, probably not.


Good luck,




-----Original Message-----
From: gskwy(--nospam--at) [mailto:gskwy(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 12:08 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: House Inspection


My survey questions have never gone over real well, but I'll try another anyway.


How many people licensed as either PE's or SE's do house inspection?  I.e. for residential sales.


Do you actually represent yourself to the potential buyer as a house inspector or are you a consultant on one specific aspect to the house inspector?  If so, what aspect?


For those who do it,  is it common for engineers in your area to do house inspection (in DC house inspectors tend to be individuals who failed as contractors).


Is there a concern that being licensed as an engineer will make you more susceptible to litigation if problems subsequently surface?


Gail Kelley