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  • Anthony Flores

Understanding the difference Between Structural Inspections and Home Inspections

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

An image of a structural inspection and a home inspection

When navigating the realm of buying or selling a home, it's crucial to understand the disparity between two essential evaluations: structural inspections and home inspections. These distinct assessments are performed by different professionals and serve unique purposes, each carrying its own set of advantages.

Understanding Structural Inspections

A structural inspection is an in-depth examination of a property's core structural components, encompassing elements like the foundation, framework, and support systems. Typically conducted by a licensed structural engineer, this inspection aims to detect any indications of damage or stress and provide recommendations for necessary repairs.

The components commonly inspected during a structural engineer's evaluation include:

  • The foundation

  • The framework

  • The support systems

  • The roof

  • The windows and doors

The primary objective of a structural inspection is to assess the safety and structural integrity of the dwelling. The associated costs for such an inspection can vary significantly, ranging from $300 to $3,000 depending on the property's size and intricacy.

Benefits of a Structural Inspection

A structural inspection holds several advantages, including:

  1. Assessing Structural Integrity: It ensures the property's structural soundness.

  2. Identifying Necessary Repairs: It pinpoints any required maintenance or repairs.

  3. Facilitating Negotiations: It aids in negotiating a fair home purchase price.

  4. Professional Assessment: It offers a professional opinion on the property's condition.

Opting for a structural inspection is particularly prudent when buying an older home, one that has suffered damage, or a residence earmarked for renovation.

Duration of a Structural Inspection

On average, a structural inspection takes approximately one hour for every 1,500 square feet of the property's area.

Deciphering Home Inspections

Conversely, a home inspection constitutes a basic, non-invasive assessment of a property's overall condition. Usually carried out as part of a property sale, a home inspector undergoes specialized training and certification to conduct this evaluation. They frequently furnish a comprehensive written report to the prospective buyer.

The typical cost of a home inspection ranges from $400 to $600.

Benefits of a Home Inspection

  1. Property Condition Insight: It provides insights into the property's condition.

  2. Negotiation Leverage: It equips buyers with information for negotiation.

  3. Hidden Issue Detection: It aids in uncovering concealed property problems.

For sellers, a home inspection report helps identify and address issues before listing the property, potentially leading to a higher selling price.

Duration of a Home Inspection

The duration of a home inspection hinges on the property's size and state, often taking between two to three hours. During this time, the inspector meticulously examines each room, both major and minor issues, and assesses the exterior.

It's advisable for prospective buyers to attend the inspection, providing an opportunity to seek clarifications and ask questions based on the report.

Choosing Between Structural and Home Inspections

The key distinction between these evaluations lies in their respective focuses:

  • Structural Inspection: Primarily concentrates on the safety and integrity of the property's core structure and load-bearing elements.

  • Home Inspection: Offers a comprehensive evaluation of the entire property's condition, encompassing everything from appliances to structural integrity.

For potential homebuyers, the prudent course of action is to opt for both a structural inspection and a home inspection. This ensures that the prospective property is both structurally sound and in good overall condition.

Sellers can also benefit from undergoing both types of inspections, as this provides potential buyers with peace of mind regarding the property's condition.

For your inspection needs, Elite Group is at your service. Our team of expert home inspectors specializes in assessing property conditions and delivering detailed reports. Don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection!


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