Bringing in a structural engineer, in Williamsville NY

Asked by Krishna Kothamasu, Amherst, NY Wed Oct 31, 2012

I am currently in the processing of negoiating a price for a home I am interested in purchasing in the Williamsville, NY area. One of the items I am concerned about are some cracks I found in the basement and a few smaller ones around the house, one by the door (goes from corner of door to ceiling about a foot in length) another by the bedrooms where the support beam goes across from wall to wall about a foot in length as well.

Given the area, the main concern is sinking foundations and I check the town of Amherst website and a map that shows foundation repair permits filed and the area where the house is located is virtually problem free (in that not many permits were filed), no permits seemed to have been filed a couple hundred feet around the house.

So, a friend (an architect) suggested bringing in a structural engineer to look at the cracks. Wanted to get some advice on how I should find one and how much they might charge and how this plays in to the whole negotiating process.

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Joe Sorrenti…, , Buffalo, NY
Wed Oct 31, 2012
BEST ANSWER
Call the Amherst Building Dept. They generally have a list of Certified Engineers. I would avoid contractors at this point. You can see if the Building Commissioner - Thomas Ketchum will talk with you. He is a Professional Engineer and may give you some guidance.

Also, call your insurance agent and see if they can pull up a CLUE report on the property to see what type of insurance claims may have been submitted over the years.

As for your on-line investigation, even though you are supposed to, not all contractors file for a permit so, that is not an accurate way to judge the integrity of a structure.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Oct 31, 2012
Why not ask your friend for recommendations, and or your agent...
0 votes
I just noticed some cracks in the basement of the home I recently purchased. Since I am new to the neighborhood, I don't know who to ask for a recommendation. If the structural engineer gives me bad news, is there any way that I can hold the seller responsible?

http://jha.com.au/index.php?page=structeng
Flag Mon Aug 18, 2014
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