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Old 09-14-2019, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Wilmington NC
5,685 posts, read 5,265,293 times
Reputation: 14369

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I recently bought a 24 year old home.

The inspector recommended that I have the foundation inspected. The mortgage company required an Engineer's report.

The engineer seemed unsure of himself. He asked the realtor what she wanted him to say. He only recommended some amendment to the front porch posts and nothing else.

3 months in, I've had $1200 worth of work done to pull out and replace some of the rotted headers between the wall and foundation of the house where a porch was attached. (there were no gutters so the water gathered there). During this process we have discovered the damage continues. In summary, there is a GAP I can put my hand through between the wall and the concrete foundation that continues for several feet.

Am I wrong in thinking this is something the engineer should have noted?

I got $5000 cash back for repairs to the screened porch that was not up to code. It is lacking foundational support as well and the engineer did not note that either. That should have been my yellow flag.

If his report was inadequate, who do I contact? The mortgage company? Engineer himself? Do I hire a foundation/crawlspace expert to confirm what he should have noted?

Or should I just fix it with my $5000 and let it go?
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:52 AM
 
Location: NC
6,722 posts, read 8,269,763 times
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Ultimately you chose or agreed to that specific engineer. There is probably nothing legally that you can do. Sorry.

However you might report him to his licensing agency if you can show he was either incompetent or purposely negligent.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:57 AM
 
45 posts, read 8,042 times
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I sure others will chime in.

You received a bad/incomplete engineer's report. If you paid for the engineer's report, I would think you are entitled to at least a partial refund. I would contact the engineer first, in writing, and outline the deficiencies in his report and conclude by telling him what you want (i.e., a refund).

Is his registered professional engineer's license number on the report? If so, contact your state's Board of Engineering Examiners and file a complaint for malpractice. If you find out he signed the report using the title of engineer and is not registered, you should ask for a full refund and still file a complaint for malpractice.

That's the report.

What were your actually damages? If the engineer's report was complete and detailed, would you have not bought the house? Would you have received more cash back for repairs? If this is the case, you should probably talk to an attorney to sue the engineer for damages.

If it were me, I would have fired the engineer as soon as I heard he had asked the realtor what she wanted him to say. That was a big red flag right there.

https://www.ncbels.org/general-info/...nt-complaints/

Last edited by MtBierstadt; 09-14-2019 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:12 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,152 posts, read 63,363,243 times
Reputation: 33465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
The inspector recommended that I have the foundation inspected.
The mortgage company required an Engineer's report.
The engineer seemed unsure of himself.
How did you come to hire this engineer in particular? Revisit that.


Quote:
He asked the realtor what she wanted him to say.
Is the realtor who hired and paid him?
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,439 posts, read 8,681,521 times
Reputation: 16251
What was the scope of the inspection? What does your contract with the engineer say?

It sounds like the damage you found was concealed, so if you requested a visual inspection, the engineer is obviously not responsible. If the scope of your inspection included bore holes, camera scoping, etc, then you might have a case.

A competent engineer will clearly explain scope, method, and limitations in his/her report. If this is included, you likely have little recourse.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,382 posts, read 8,329,990 times
Reputation: 6446
If you think you can demonstrate that the engineer failed to catch something that should have been caught, I would think that the engineer’s errors and omissions insurance might help cover any costs you incurred as a result of the missed item.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,267 posts, read 3,507,809 times
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Is this a manufactured home?
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
9,981 posts, read 7,517,172 times
Reputation: 8581
you can eliminate the mortgage company, as in theory they had nothing to do with selecting the engineer.

is the area in question something the engineer looked at, or was his inspection limited to different items?
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Wilmington NC
5,685 posts, read 5,265,293 times
Reputation: 14369
Yes, it is a manufactured home.

I was under the impression that it was the mortgage company that recommended the engineer since they required it, but it could have been the realtor who found him.

We live in the country so sometimes choices are limited. I'm not sure what criteria I should have used when selecting an engineer. Very few people are required to have such a thing in our area.

I will review the report itself and see what it says.

If I can stick my hand through the hole in the side of the house, it seems like a visual inspection from underneath would be sufficient to notice the daylight coming through.

We did have to certify that the house was properly tied down but I don't remember if that was the Engineer or some other guy.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,267 posts, read 3,507,809 times
Reputation: 17040
OK! I suspected it was a manufactured home when you said the lender required the engineering report. That’s only common in manufactured homes. What’s important to know about the “foundation” of manufactured homes is the structure is supported by the posts and I-beams that run down the length of the underside of the manufactured home. The perimeter skirting, even if made of concrete or stone, is only decorative and is not structural.

It sounds like you had an incorrectly attached porch… Or some water damage, or both. This can be an issue for manufactured homes as they are not designed for anything to be attached to them that is not self-supporting. If the perimeter has settled away due to the issues you are correcting with the deck and sill it might be a concern if it continues and it may be unattractive, so you may still want to correct it, but it is only a threat to the structure if it affects those inner piers that are supporting the home.

The engineers report on the foundation may have been limited to the installation and tiedowns on the manufactured home itself. I am not sure that the scope of their inspection includes decks and porches, But there probably should have been a separate inspection by someone Performing a HUD inspection. This would’ve been done by a state agency on behalf of the federal HUD program that manages manufactured homes. In our state it’s done by Labor and Industries. This is also a condition that should’ve been covered just in your general home inspection.
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