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About Structural Inspections

Measuring Floors for Movement
An inspector measuring floors to detect structural issues.

The Advanced Structural Assessment is a Different Approach to Understanding the House Structure

A routine home inspection is an inspection of all of the primary house systems. An inspector will look at the roof, house exterior, grading and drainage, the electrical system, the plumbing system, heating/cooling (HVAC), the interiors, and of course, the structure. What does the inspection of the house structure entail during a routine inspection? The inspector will visually look at all the visible/accessible structural components such as the foundation, the house framing (joists, beams, etc.), the roof structure, and a few other components. Naturally, they cannot comment on conditions they cannot see, and most of the house structure is concealed by drywall and finishes. No matter how thorough a home inspector is, there is a lot that cannot be detected with this level of inspection. That’s where the Advanced Structural Assessment comes in. Although no one can see through walls, by taking very specific measurements of the house structure (like using a laser-level shown here), we can frequently uncover house issues that are not readily apparent. And with that data, we can also provide some idea of the scale of this issue. For example, say an inspector is looking at an 80 year old house and notices the floors are a bit out of level. They may include in their report that the floors slope but also say “floor slope is common for old houses” and leave it at that. We agree that some floor slope is expected in an older house, but not all floor slope is created equal. With the Advanced Structural Assessment, an ASA Certified home inspector will measure the floors to determine exactly how “off” they are, and exactly where they are sinking. This allows our engineers to read the data and draw conclusions as to whether the condition is “just an old house thing” or something more. And to be clear, about 30% of the time it is something more. Consider adding the Advanced Structural Assessment to your home inspection.