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Scope, Limitations and Exclusions for Real Estate Inspections and Assessment

Please note that the findings presented in our reports are based on our visual observations and probing of the readily accessible areas of the subject property.

Our work scope, unless otherwise noted, does not include destructive testing, sampling, material analysis or detection for the active presence of Wood Destroying Insects. The determination of adequacy of structural elements with regard to their ability to resist applied loading requires detailed mapping of field conditions, assessment of loadings, testing of materials in place to determine their allowable stress capacities and ultimately analysis of the structural system involved to determine their capacities vs applied or actual loads. The purpose of our one time visual inspections are therefore to screen for potential structural deficiencies based on visual distress of structural elements that may warrant further evaluation based on our visual examination only.

Our services, unless otherwise noted, are not intended to evaluate the compliance of any structural system with current or past building codes. In fact most older structures do not comply with current codes. A code search and evaluation can be performed on a time and material basis if so desired.

It is important to understand that an undersized structural element may be performing satisfactorily under past loading by a prior occupant but may become overloaded or may fail or show signs of distress when the structure is loaded differently by a subsequent owner. Such an example would be placing a hot tub filled with water on an existing floor which was performing satisfactorily, but now sags under this new loading. Please note however that the lack of visible distress does not assure that the system being observed is not indeed overloaded or over stressed. Structural systems can often temporarily be overloaded without outward manifestation of distress for long periods of time.  Clients are advised that an absolute determination regarding the adequacy of a particular structural system would require a detailed investigation. We are available to perform detailed evaluations, code checks, analysis and assessment. 

Our scope does not include detection or testing of any hazardous or environmentally sensitive materials such as asbestos, mold, etc. Visual observations of accessible areas may not reveal the cause of structural distress and additional investigation of hidden areas, soil borings, test pits, wall board removal and other destructive and non-destructive testing may need to be performed.

Any of the additional services outlined above may be perfromed on a time and material basis.

Please note that any belongings or secured hatches which preclude access to areas of concern should be removed prior to our arrival on-site. Should a hazardous condition exist (such as a dangling electrical line in a crawl space) we will not enter that space and will return when safe working conditions exist. Any time expended as a result of inaccessibility will be invoiced at a rate of $65/hour. 

Our findings are not intended to provide a basis for detailed cost estimates or to provide for the evaluation of cosmetic damages, damages to mechanical, electrical or other systems resulting from structural deficiencies unless otherwise noted.

Finally, it should be noted that many structural failures are progressive in nature and a one time observation may not reveal whether a structural element is actively moving or failing. If a conclusion cannot be reached regarding the activity of a potential failure, long term monitoring of the item in question may be recommended.

I have read the above Limitations, Exclusions and Terms of Service and request a structural assessment be performed of the following items:


at the following address:___________________________________________________

Client Signature: ____________________________   Date:_______________________