What to expect in a thorough house inspection by engineer?

Having bought a house in the past, all we had done was a cursory enough visual inspection of the house in question.

Next time we are thinking of buying, however, we want to conduct a more thorough inspection in advance of any deal being agreed.

So what are the elements of a thorough inpsection by an engineer?

What’s the difference, if any, between a structural engineer and your regular civil engineer?

Is it worthwhile getting an inspection done by infra red cameras? If so, what sort of tests should be conducted in this manner? Plumbing? Insulation? The seeking of cracks in the walls? The seeking of dampness around chimney/ shower surround etc?

Should I also get in a plumbing engineer to inspect the plumbing. (Is there even such a thing as a plumbing engineer?!)

Is it worth my while getting an electrician in to inspect the electrics?

Any tips in relation to getting a thorough inspection done on a house in Galway? Feel free to PM names of anyone you know who did a good survey for you.

Our engineer had the drains inspected by Cork Drains who put micro cameras down them I have a charming video of the inside of all the drains in the house, that may be a pecularly Cork think due to the prevalence of Subsidence in the city.
The plumbers we used went through the heating system/boiler and some relations who are electricians went through the electrics.There were lots of other bits I cant remember, the engineer spent a long time looking at the roof internally and externally

I had a house snagged by a (costly) Chartered Surveyor.

He produced an extensive list of snags. There was also a lot of disclaimers in his report re electrics, plumbing, heating etc. He did draw attention to some cracks, stating the need to be checked by architect/engineer etc.

Some time later the house - which I didn’t buy - was found to have a pyrite problem.

So how and who do you get to do a property survey?

I’ve read online that one should get a chartered engineer. Is a chartered surveyor different to a chartered engineer?

Another money racket.

We paid E400 for in effect ‘’ this seems to be a well built house, the plumbing seems to be ok and the heating seems to be ok. It seems to be well insulated. There is a little mould on a ceiling above a shower possibly due to lack of ventilation. There are some cracks but nothing to worry about.‘’

I’m not suggesting that a surveyor can have electrical test equipment, so perhaps a separate electrical test by an electrician with the gear, is a peace-of-mind option. The reality is that the electrics in the house are a shambles - god-awful butchered connections, reversed polarity on sockets, a second immersion switch with power to it, but doing nothing. I’ll have to test the whole bloody system now.

There were two photographs in the three-page report. One of the mould. The other was on the front page, a picture of the house. It is recognisably lifted from Google Street View, and is not a contemporaneous image.

The one and only thing I specified to be checked, was not checked. It was a simple visual check, and it was forgotten.

Whatever you wish to see on the report, stipulate it in writing beforehand.

Civils drink pints & wear wellies, Structs drink shorts & wear dockers :mrgreen:

Word of mouth is your only man for getting a decent Inspection; qualifications often mean the square-root of fuck all when it comes to accuracy & completeness of the report, as all too many doing inspections have no experience & just see it as a handy number.

Nicely arrange to go with them so that you can see what they mean. Bring the Ber report with you ask questions etc.
This is stuff you need to know - so you can fix even if it is the smallest detail.

I know from working with engineers in the past that they are absolutely professional and honest in every regard and always strive for perfection - complete paragons of virtue in fact. However you might just get Mr Fuckallusetoya
one who just runs round the house in ten minutes and pumps out the same old useless general document that everyone gets.

STAND OVER EVERYONE YOU EMPLOY in the housing industry. Don’t let them be late getting back to you - without getting on to them and mentioning your disappointment at how this lateness affected other stages of your business etc. - or you are letting them set a precedent - they always will be late then.

Get your solicitor to tell you what you should get from the engineer and keep quoting ‘well the solicitor mentioned a certificate of…’

Look at the maps and plans yourself. Go over them with the engineer. Ask him does he know the county engineer - what does he know. You’re worried about a potential flyover or whatever you heard rumours about - get your engineer ring the county engineer and come back to you with the uptodate info.

There has been a lot of problems showing up since they digitized - such as neighbours unknowingly having a bit of next doors land within their fences - lots of that sort of things, lot of perimeters not matching what’s mapped etc. This causes problems - lots of them.

Get them to show you the cracks, the areas that need more insulation, what kind of insulation, whats wrong with the current type of insulation if there is any etc - otherwise you get the vague means-nothing type of speak.

I compared a ber report with the house I was looking at. It said there was no way of isolating the top floor heating from the bottom - this wasn’t true - there was switch - fully functioning.

The ber report looked so general - a one size fits all houses - just change a few little details like the amount of rooms and whether it is a bungalow or 2 storey etc.

Having identified a dangerous area where carbon monoxide could sneak into the house made one engineer worth his money.

Ask questions - lots and lots of questions. Don’t pretend you understand for pride’s sake - they will use that. The more you understand the better the service you will get.

Hey Doubleglaze. I appreciate you for this wise decision. All home inspectors are different in their process. I am most familiar with home inspections conducted in accordance with the standards of practice established by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Based on my experience I’d suggest you to first inspect home yourself and them prepare a checklist. Accordingly check if the inspector is working accordingly or not.