Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspection

800.605.1500
Home, Building, Condo, and
Co-op Engineering Inspections

Home Inspections
by Licensed Engineers

Analysis Only an Engineer Offers

Home Inspections in
Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland,
Putnam, and Westchester

An Engineer's inspection, a home inspection, and a termite inspection are included.  You receive an onsite report, a comprehensive written report, and a termite report.  This is all included in the fee you are quoted.


Five Reasons to Choose
a Licensed Engineer

New York Professional Engineer pre-purchase home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, and co-op inspectionsAre you using a non-Engineer to perform the pre-purchase inspection on the real estate that you may purchase?  Consider the following:

  1. Under New York law, only a Licensed Engineer can assess structural integrity, sufficiency of electrical service or heating, etc.  An Inspector who is not an Engineer cannot advise you about structural soundness.
  2. You gain much, and loose nothing, by choosing a Licensed Engineer.  A Professional Engineer does everything that a Home Inspector does, and more.
  3. Becoming a Licensed Engineer requires a minimum of four years of Engineering College and four years of relevant experience with Building Codes, Engineering Standards, passing two Engineering exams, etc.  A Licensed Engineer is also required to take continuing education to keep up-to-date.  A New York Licensed Home Inspector only needs to take only a 140-hour class, which is the equivalent of one month of training.
  4. State of New York Professional Engineer IDA Licensed Engineer assesses the systems of a building, and how they work together.  A building has a structural system, a heating system, an electrical system, a plumbing system, etc.  Both the function and the interaction of these systems must be evaluated.  A non-Engineer can just describe what is visible.  No assessment is made of how the systems work together.
  5. The Licensed Engineer's training and experience help him detect deficiencies that a non-Engineer would miss.  Engineers are, by training and experience, problem solvers.  An Engineer can analyze areas of concern and provide you with reliable recommendations.

Section 197-4.2 of the State of New York home inspector law requires home inspectors to have the following wording in the pre-inspection agreement:

Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services.

THINK about the above restriction and why it is required when choosing who should inspect the home, building, condo, or co-op you are considering purchasing.

Remember, with Heimer Engineering, you receive a home/building inspection, Engineering inspection, and termite inspection with no extra fees.

→ Compare an Engineer and a Home Inspector 

Scroll down to find why you
should choose a Licensed Engineer

A thorough evaluation and narrative engineering report gives you the advantage in making an intelligent purchase decision.Heimer Engineering is a professional home inspection company.  The company has performed over 80,000 inspections over 40 years.  With a staff of experienced Professional Engineers, your home inspection needs can be quickly accommodated.

The purchase of a home is a major investment.  A thorough evaluation and narrative engineering report gives you the advantage in making an intelligent purchase decision.  The included expense analysis helps you understand the expenses of owning the home.  Whether it is the purchase of a starter home or a much larger home, Heimer Engineering provides an in-depth engineering examination.

The State of New York, in their online brochure What You Should Know About Professional Engineers and Their Services, states that one of the reasons you should use a Licensed Professional Engineer is to evaluate the structural integrity, electrical, and/or mechanical systems of a house prior to purchase or renovation.

Under the laws of the State of New York, only a Professional Engineer can offer engineering services to the general public.  Some home inspection companies will tell you that they have an Engineer on staff, an Engineer reviews the reports, or that an Engineer helped them set up the inspection system.  Having  an Engineer on staff is not the same as having an inspection performed by an Engineer.


Pre-Purchase Home Inspections
by Licensed Engineers

Having a pre-purchase inspection performed by an Engineer who provides you with an expense analysis has become an essential part of the real estate purchase process.There was a time when homes were less expensive and was purchased without concern about whether the home had major defects.  If a home purchaser was unlucky enough to buy a building with significant defects, they suffered.

Today, houses are older, more expensive, and have more defects.  Buyers have many concerns that were not issues even a few years ago.  Having a pre-purchase inspection performed by an Engineer who provides you with an expense analysis has become an essential part of the home purchase process.


Inspector Versus Engineer

Home Inspector versus Licensed Professional Engineer.You may need to choose between a State of New York Licensed Home Inspector and a State of New York Licensed Engineer.  Some Home Inspectors have posted webpages bashing Engineers, and making wild claims such as anyone can say he is a PE, and only a home inspector can evaluate the structure of an old building.  Before you decide to use an Inspector over an Engineer, learn the truth.

→ Misleading Info About Engineers 


Web-Linked,
Mobile-Friendly Reports

Heimer Engineering emails you a PDF copy of the inspection report.  These reports are designed to be mobile-friendly, and can be viewed on smartphones.It is almost impossible to keep up with the changes that affect home purchasers.  However, there is updated information available via the internet.  Heimer Engineering's emailed reports contain links to websites that help you to learn more about your prospective purchase.

Many people regularly use their smartphones to read emails.  Heimer Engineering emails you a PDF of the inspection report.  These reports are designed to be mobile-friendly, and can be viewed on many smartphones, allowing you quick access to the report.

→ Mobile-friendly Reports 


How Will You Know
the Inspector is a
Licensed Engineer?

New York State Professional Engineer IDMany inspection companies send out non-Engineer inspectors when the buyer expects a Licensed Engineer.  At the site, the non-Engineer Inspector may promise a review by an Engineer in the office.  It is unethical to send a non-Engineer when you expect and are paying for Engineering services.

Section §197-4.2 of the State of New York State home inspector law requires non-Engineer home inspectors to have the following wording in the pre-inspection agreement:

Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services

In New York State, a Licensed Engineer can obtain a state-issued identification card.  When the inspector arrives on site, ask to see the New York State Professional Engineer photo ID.

→ Professional Engineer Verification 


Why Pay Twice?

Why risk having a low-cost or inexperienced inspector tell you, "you need to hire a Professional Engineer to check this" or, "only a Professional Engineer can tell you if that crack is a structural crack".Why risk having a low-cost or inexperienced inspector tell you, "you need to hire a Licensed Engineer to check this" or, "only a Licensed Engineer can tell you if a crack is structural".

Heimer Engineering is often asked to perform an inspection after a non-Engineer has performed an inspection.  The reason is the non-Engineer's report said, "Assessing the structural integrity of a building is beyond the scope of a standard building inspection."  Assessing structural integrity is within the scope of a inspection performed by an Engineer.

Heimer Engineering uses Licensed Engineers to perform pre-purchase inspections.  The Engineer will not tell you that assessing the structure is beyond the scope of an inspection.

Remember, with Heimer Engineering, you receive a home/building inspection, Engineering inspection, and termite inspection with no extra fees.

Trust a Licensed Engineer to advise you of visible structural defects.

→ Inexpensive Home Inspections 


 Environmental inspections

Heimer Engineering will not deceive you by claiming that the pre-purchase inspection is an environmental inspection.A pre-purchase inspection is not an environmental inspection.  Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically exclude environmental inspections.  Some companies imply that they are providing environmental inspections by pointing out environmental concerns.  These inspectors often have limited environmental experience, and may unnecessarily alarm prospective purchasers.

Our Licensed Engineers point out environmental concerns just like other inspectors.  However, Heimer Engineering will not deceive you by claiming that the pre-purchase inspection is an environmental inspection.

→ Environment Inspections Info 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to advise you of environmental concerns.


Confidential Reports

The Engineer does not share the findings of the inspection with anyone other than our client and their AttorneyThe Licensed Engineer does not share the findings of the inspection with anyone other than our client and their Attorney.  The Engineer is required to use any information obtained during the inspection only for the benefit of his client.  If someone other than our client or their Attorney calls for information, we require your written authorization before we can speak with them.

Trust a Licensed Engineer to perform the inspection on your behalf.


Structural System

One of the biggest concerns of home buyers is the structure of the house.One of the biggest concerns of home buyers is the structure.  Fortunately, structural defects are less common in the New York area than in some other parts of the country.  Building codes have helped limit the number of structural defects.

If you buy a house that has a structural defect, the fact that most buildings in the New York area do not have significant structural defects is of little comfort to you.  You want to know if the home you are purchasing is structurally sound.

Some home buyers believe structural defects are only a concern in older buildings.  Other real estate purchasers feel they can find structural defects just by "looking carefully".  Still other home buyers feel that an old house that is still standing must have no structural defects.

There are non-Engineer home inspectors who advocate what they call the "bounce test."  They jump on the floor and if they do not feel the floor bounce, the house is declared structurally sound.  Remember, in the State of New York, only a Professional Engineer can render an opinion as to whether a home is structurally sound.  Do not be fooled by someone offering the "bounce test".

The fact is that many structural defects have only subtle symptoms.  For example, a home buyer may not recognize a sill plate with termite damage that needs $15,000 worth of repairs.

→ Structural Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the sufficiency of the structural system.


Water in the Basement

Many home purchasers are concerned that basement water indicates a structural problem such as a cracked foundation wall.Many home purchasers are concerned that basement water indicates a structural problem such as a cracked foundation wall.  Virtually all foundation walls have some cracks, so basement water does not necessarily indicate a structural defects.  The Engineer will advise you as to whether cracks in the foundation walls are structurally significant.

Most houses do not regularly have puddles of water in the basement, but are damp during some months of the year.  If the basement is damp, it may affect your ability to store personal belongings in the basement.  Dampness in the basement is also a concern to people with allergies or other medical conditions because dampness can increase the risk of mold.

Inspections are performed during all kinds of weather, so most houses are not inspected during a heavy rain.  When inspecting a house on a dry day, the Engineer looks for water evidence in the basement to determine what you can expect during a heavy rain or with melting snow.

→ Water in the Basement 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the extent of water penetration into the basement.


Heating System

You need to know whether the heating system will adequately heat the home on cold days.Houses in the Metro New York area have a heating system.  The heating system keeps the home comfortably warm during the cold winter months.  In many newer homes, the heating system and air conditioning system are combined together.

The most common types of heating systems found in homes are forced hot air heat, hot water (or hydronic) heat, steam heat, and heat pumps.  The source of fuel for the heating system can be oil, gas, or electricity.

You need to know whether the heating system will adequately heat the home on cold days.  Heimer Engineering's Engineers assess the sufficiency of the heating system.  Other things the Engineer assesses include the age of the heating system, whether the heating system will need replacement soon, whether there are hazardous conditions, if the heating system is outdated, etc.

→ Heating Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the sufficiency of the heating system.


Hot Water System

Heimer Engineering's Engineers evaluate the hot water system in your home and advise you if it is sufficient.In homes, the hot water is used for bathing and cleaning.  Hot water serves a vital role in maintaining good health.  To serve this role, hot water must be available at an appropriate temperature.

Most homes have a tankless hot water heater, a hot water heater with a storage tank, a hot water booster tank, or an indirect-fired hot water heater.  It would be very frustrating to move into your new home, and find that you do not have enough hot water the first time you try to shower.

Heimer Engineering's Engineers evaluate the hot water system in your home and advise you if it is sufficient.  You are also advised of the need to budget for upcoming replacement of the hot water system.  The expense analysis in the engineering report helps you plan for the future.

→ Hot Water Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the sufficiency of the hot water system.


Plumbing System

One of the biggest concerns of many home purchasers is plumbing leakage.  Plumbing describes different systems in a house.  Plumbing can mean fixtures such as a sink or tub, the pipes that bring water to the fixtures, the pipes that drain the sewage from the fixtures, gas supply lines, underground sprinkler systems, and heating pipes.  Heimer Engineering's Engineers check the plumbing for function, leaks, sufficiency of water supply, etc.

One of the biggest concerns of many home purchasers is plumbing leakage.  Water dripping from a pipe is an obvious leak.  Other types of leakage can be difficult to detect, since all that is visible is a dry stain on a ceiling or a piece of duct tape wrapped around a drain line.  The Engineer inspects for both obvious leaks and difficult to detect plumbing leakage.

→ Plumbing Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the sufficiency of the plumbing system.


Roofing System

Heimer Engineering's Professional Engineers evaluate the general condition of the roof and estimates the remaining life on the roof. The roof keeps rain and other weather elements out of the house.  Heimer Engineering's Engineers evaluate the general condition of the roof and estimates the remaining life on the roof.  Evidence of past or present roof leakage is also assessed.

Most roofs are made of asphalt, slate, or clay tile.  If a house has a pitched asphalt roof, the roof can be viewed from the ground.  If the Engineer finds that a roof leaks, needs repairs, or will soon need replacement, an expense analysis of the needed repairs and replacement is provided.

If the house has a pitched roof and an accessible attic, Heimer Engineering's Engineers examine for evidence of roof leakage or damage to the sheathing.  The Heimer Engineering's Engineers also check for problems in the attic such as insufficient attic ventilation.

→ Roofing Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the condition of the roof.

Some inspectors advocate walking on pitched roofs.  There are inspectors who lift asphalt shingles to determine how they were installed.  While this may seem like a good way to check a roof, it can cause serious damage.  The slates, cedar shingles, or terracotta tiles may suffer damage and cause the roof to leak.

Walking on a pitched roof can cause serious damage.Most asphalt shingles are self-sealing.  Lifting an asphalt shingle can damage the seal and make the roof susceptible to wind damage.  There is also no way to examine the membrane under the shingles.  Some roofing manufacturers will void a roof warranty if they determine the damage was caused by an inspector on the roof.

An experienced inspector can determine the condition of the roof by visual examination.  If an inspector needs to walk on the roof or lift the shingles to examine it, you should ask yourself, Why can't this inspector determine the condition of the roof visually?  Can't this inspector see that the shingles are old?  Can't this inspector tell that the shingles are irregular?


Electrical System

A modern house requires electricity to run many of its vital systems such as lighting, heating, hot water, appliances, and the air-conditioning systemA modern house requires electricity to run many of its vital systems such as lighting, heating, hot water, appliances, and the air-conditioning system.  Because so many of today's appliances require electric power, some existing homes do not have enough circuits to support the demands of modern electrical usage.

Homes with insufficient electric service may not be old.  Even a house constructed only 25 years ago may not have the electric wiring to support the today's needs.

Electric service insufficiency is often aggravated by owners who add appliances without properly upgrading the electric wiring.  Even changing an electric oven to a self-cleaning electric oven may increase the electric loads to the point where the electric service needs to be upgraded.  If a homeowner adds appliances without upgrading the electric service, a hazardous condition may exist.

→ Electrical Systems 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the sufficiency of the electrical system.

Only a Licensed Electrician should open a circuit breaker or fuse panel because of the associated risks.  An Inspector or anyone else who is not a Licensed Electrician should never open a circuit breaker or fuse panel.

A Licensed Electrician is in the position to correct hazardous conditions created by opening electrical panels.  Someone who is not a Licensed Electrician lacks the experience to deal with these hazardous conditions.  If a problem develops because of opening the panel (for example, a circuit breaker becomes loose), the Inspector is not in a position to resolve the problem.  Thus, a responsible will not generally open an electrical panel.

Only a Licensed Electrician should open a circuit breaker or fuse panel because of the associated risks. Most communities require electricians to be licensed, and prohibit anyone other than a Licensed Electrician from performing electrical work.  (Exceptions are made for homeowners wiring their own home.)  So a home inspector who is not a Licensed Electrician is not permitted to open an electrical panel.

An experienced Engineer can determine the condition of the wiring by visual examination.  The question you should ask is why do some home inspectors insist on opening the circuit breaker panel when it could create a hazard?  Can't these home inspectors find risks and hazards by examining the way the building is wired?  Are these home Inspectors missing problems because of their limited abilities?  Are these home inspectors missing serious wiring problems because of their narrow focus?


Termites

Termites can structurally damage a houseTermites can structurally damage a house.  Years ago, it was considered sufficient to have only a termite inspection performed before purchasing a home.  If there was no evidence of an active termite infestation, it was incorrectly assumed that the house had no structural damage.

A termite control specialist can look for evidence of termite activity, but cannot assess the structural impact of termite damage.  You need an Engineer to assess the structural impact of termite damage.  If repairs are needed, the expense analysis in the inspection report can help you understand the expenses.

Termite control specialists and Engineers look differently at termite evidence.  Engineers look for the impact of the termites and termite damage, particularly if the damage is structural.  A termite control specialist is looking at the need for termite treatment.  Therefore, it is strongly recommend that you have the house checked for termites by both an Engineer and a termite control specialist.  This maximizes your chances of finding any termite activity and related structural damage.  You should also obtain a warranty against future termite activity from the termite control specialist.

→ Termites 

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess whether any termite damage is structurally significant.


Who Can Inspect for Termites?

New York State Professional Engineer IDThere is a lot of misleading information on the web regarding termite inspections.  You will see statements such as licensed termite inspector, New York State licensed termite inspection, New York approved termite inspector, trained in termite inspections by New York, New York certified termite inspector, and many more.

The State of New York neither trains nor licenses termite inspectors.  The State of New York licenses pesticide applicators and pesticide technicians.  In the State of New York, you are required to be licensed to purchase or apply pesticides, including pesticides used in the control of termites.

Licensed Engineers inspect for termites in their role as Engineers.  An Engineer is knowledgeable about what termite evidence looks like, what conditions make it likely termites will damage a building, where termites are most likely to be found, etc.  In addition, a Licensed Engineer checks for structural damage caused by termites.

Termite inspections by pesticide applicators should be performed as part of the real estate purchase process after the stored material has been removed.  In addition, termite inspections are performed as part of the normal maintenance of a building.  The Licensed Engineer will advise you when termite inspections are needed as part of normal maintenance.

→ New York State Pesticide Applicator/Technician 


Pre-Closing Inspections

Many things can change after the initial inspectionThe initial inspection describes the condition of the site at the time of the inspection.  Many things can change after the initial inspection:

  • Furniture and stored material is removed, providing access to more areas and possibly exposing defects;
  • Leakage may develop;
  • A system that was functioning at the time of the original inspection may break;
  • During the winter, pipes may freeze;
  • A strong storm, neighborhood construction, very hot or very cold weather, etc. may cause changes;
  • Equipment or appliances may fail;
  • A repair the seller makes may be improper;
  • And many, many more changes can occur.

The best way to protect yourself is a pre-closing inspection.  The Licensed Engineer returns to the site just before closing, and checks to determine what has changed.  A pre-closing inspection gives you the opportunity to have adjustments made at closing.



Contact Heimer Engineering 24/7

Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionsOur staff is happy to assist you and answer your questions.  To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about other Engineering services or expert court testimony, click below for a contact form, send us an email, text us at 660 200 9155, or call 800.605.1500.  If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.  Remember to ask about our web discount.

→ 24/7 Contact Information 

Heimer Engineering serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County), and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).

Heimer Engineering respects your privacy.  Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, snow removal, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies.  Some inspection firms sell email lists of their clients.  These practices are unethical.  You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency (fire, building in danger of collapse, facade with loose bricks, debris falling from a building, gas leak, carbon monoxide detector that is alerting to a hazard, etc.) do not call Heimer Engineering.  If there is a life-threatening emergency or other hazardous condition, call 911.  Emergency situations need to be handled immediately by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, contact appropriate utility companies to have the utilities shut off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.


Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionInspections are performed only after the client signs a pre-inspection agreement.  The use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use.  This website is made available for informational purposes, and does not represent a professional opinion of your particular situation.

→ Download a Pre-Inspection Agreement 

Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York.  We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York.  We also provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining constructionExpert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.

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Heimer Engineering PC f/k/a Richard L Heimer PE PC
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 230
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947

International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
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New York Metro Area800.605.1500
Bronx, New York:  718.547.2000
Brooklyn, New York718.237.7777
Manhattan, New York212.563.4777
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