Q. Why should I hire an independent professional engineer?
A. A licensed real estate inspector can determine if a foundation or structural member is inadequate, but they cannot formally (or legally) inform you as to why it is inadequate or what remedial measures are required. He or she will often recommend that the structure is evaluated by a P.E. (professional engineer). A P.E. will be able to determine the reason why the structural member is noncompliant and, if necessary, what remedial repair options are available. Only a P.E. can legally inform you of the structural condition and integrity of a building. By hiring a P.E., you will not have to pay twice. A further benefit is that the opinion in the report is independent as Nevins Engineering does not have an interest in prescribing an expensive repair.
Q. Should I be worried about hairline cracks in my foundation slab?
A. A concrete foundation performing its intended function satisfactorily can have hairline cracks. If the cracks become large and there is separation, that would be cause for concern.
Q. What type of remedial repairs do you recommend?
A. It depends. It could range from just simple cosmetic repairs (caulk and paint) to drainage and landscaping improvements to foundation underpinning repairs.
Q. When should I call a foundation repair company?
A. You should contact a foundation repair company after it has been determined by an independent professional engineer that remedial repairs are required.
Q. How long does an inspection last?
A. It depends on the size and complexity of the job, but a typical residential inspection will last approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.
Q. What is your fee?
A. Our fee is dependent on the size of the foundation and the issues afflicting it. Generally, our fee schedule begins at $350 for a typical residential foundation with a 1500 sq. ft. footprint.
Q. Do you inspect new construction?
A. Yes. We provide foundation pre-pour observations if engineered drawings are available.
Q. Do you design new foundations?
A. Yes. We can provide design services for residential foundations.
Q. What information is required before design?
A. The design process requires architect drawings, building footprints, and a geotechnical report to inform us of the strength of the soil. This allows us to ensure that the foundation won't crack. Additionally, we need to know how many stories the building will be, what type of material is to be used, what support material will be used between floors, and the type of roofing.