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Is a structural engineer necessary?

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by JudgeDreadz, 22nd Oct, 2009.

  1. JudgeDreadz

    JudgeDreadz Well-Known Member

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    I just received a building report (contrary to my mortgage broker and conveyancer's recommendations, saying it is a waste of money on a strata property) and am thoroughly disappointed.

    The number of disclaimers, and further references to structural engineers essentially rendered the report worthless. Somehow, I don't think this is an isolated case after talking to some people in the office who recently purchased property.

    So I am wondering, has anyone used structural engineers INSTEAD OF building inspectors? Are they much more expensive? Were they worth it?
     
  2. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    a building report and/or a strata report is all I'm getting.

    If you feel there is need to consult a structural engineer then this is not the right property for you and it's time to move on to the next one.
     
  3. JudgeDreadz

    JudgeDreadz Well-Known Member

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    its not that i feel the need for a structural engineer, it is just that there were so many of these in the reports

    or

    for shelling out $400, i found it a little frustrating. i expect a little more insight.
     
  4. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    I've never seen many such remarks
    I guess it depends on who you get?
    Perhaps you could ask to see 1 of their previous reports?
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    I think it does come down to expectations a little.

    If you expect to get a fully comprehensive report which covers everything and also gives you some form of recourse if it turned out something was missed ... then I think you'd probably need to get an electrician, plumber, master builder, structural engineer, etc etc to give you full reports - that would probably cost thousands.

    I usually get a building inspection done - with the expectation that it should point out anything major that I might have missed. It's about avoiding nasty surprises (not little surprises).

    We nearly bought a house which it turns out had rotten beams in the roof - the whole roof was sagging and would likely have needed replacing with a few years, but we hadn't noticed and the building inspection picked it up and we ended up not proceeding with the purchase - potentially saved us several hundred times more than the fee we paid for the report.

    We could have gone back and tried to renegotiate a lower price based on this new information - but we weren't interested in a house that required major maintenance at that point.

    As for unit blocks ... I've never bought a unit (except when I bought the entire block of four units - but that was a unique situation), so I have no real advice to offer there.
     
  6. Wendy Bergsma

    Wendy Bergsma New Member

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    I am finding that building reports, more recently, include disclaimers to cover themselves, however I still believe that I would not be advisable to purchase a property without one.
    If you are looking at a property to renovate, and want to do major structural changes, then a structural engineer could be useful in advising you on what walls you can remove etc, etc. but if you are purchasing a property and do not intend to do any major structural changes, then a report by a structural engineer probably will be a waste of time.
    Take the builders report for what it is, a look over the property to highlight possible glaringly obvious problems that you may have missed, but understand that they will include disclaimers with everything they say!