Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
It depends on the services ordered, size of the property and number of properties. Some inspections on site time can be as little as an hour, some can take 6-8 hours or more. PST can perform limited evaluations and also detailed condition assessments. Please contact our office manager, Robin Comer, or one of our project managers for an idea of how long services will take. Contact Robin Comer here.
Yes, we ask that all buyers or owners be present for the inspection, if possible. Your PST Engineer or Inspector will document the property condition in his report, but the verbal communication is priceless. He will be able to answer your questions and share his concerns regarding the property. He is there to identify the “unknown” for you, if your child needed to see a cancer doctor, would you send him in a taxi and then ask for written report? Of course not, consider the evaluation by PST as a doctor appointment for your property. Write your questions down ahead of time and get your concerns addressed.
The cost of inspections are based on the time needed by the Engineer, Designer or Project Manager: Drive Time, On-site Time, Research Time, Report Time. So the fees are determined by the location, the type of inspection or evaluation, expertise needed, and the complexity of the report. The fees can be determined by the office manager, Robin Comer, or one of our project managers.
Not a problem for PST Engineering, but watch out folks! Many are being taken by so-called foundation experts. We can’t tell you how many times we have saved a family from a so-called foundation expert over-selling their needs. Usually the problem, we find, has little to do with their proposal. Hire a professional engineer or certified expert or you will pay dearly folks, we’ve seen it many times.
Whole House, Buildings & Factories
If you own the property, specific area inspections are prudent. If you are buying the property, get the whole property inspected. **** Every week we talk to someone who is sure there is no problem with this or that so they only want part of the inspection. Folks, this is not wise. You need the roof, structure, foundation, grade and drainage, mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspections done. And if you’re worried about spending $50 or so more for the whole thing compared to just a partial inspection you don’t need to be purchasing (investing in) the home or building – you need to wait a while longer and save some more money! See more about PST Engineering’s Whole House Inspections.
We've got you covered! Roofs
Frank Comer has experience as an insurance adjuster and for many years as home and building inspectors. He has walked thousands of roofs can identify leak problems, maintenance issues and wind damage. His team will let you know if you have problems, will have problems, have had problems or where the current problem comes from. Insurance companies and adjusters acknowledge the expertise of Structural Engineers to determine the cause and origin of damage. See more on PST Roof inspections.
We’re going to check most all of the mechanical systems in the home or building. Our intention is to determine the potential for a mechanical system failure in the near future. It’s your investment so we recommend you getting professional like us with the knowledge to explain the facts.
We’re going to check most all of the mechanical systems in the home or building. Our intention is to determine the potential for a mechanical system failure in the near future. It’s your investment so we recommend you getting professionals like PST with the knowledge to explain the facts. See more on PST Mechanical Inspections.
Electrical and Plumbing
Know the difference between costly and non-necessary repairs. Do you need to consider an add-on to the main service panel? Better find out before you close on the house or you’ll be paying for that one sooner or later. Does the house or building have polybutylene piping in it? Does it have problems? Some do, some don’t. Electrical and Plumbing inspections are most often done with a Whole House or Whole Building inspection during purchases or for Property condition assessments. See more about Whole House Inspections.
Every property should be tested to identify the level of radon gas present. Research Radon and be educated. Radon gas kill more than 20,000 people a year, which is ten times the deaths caused by fires in a home. If you are purchasing the property, hire a 3rd party professional like PST to run the tests. If you own the property and have never tested, at least purchase the kits at the hardware stores and run the tests. If the results are out of the safe range, install a radon mitigation system to protect your family from cancer caused from the radon gas. See more about PST Radon inspections.
Mold & Mildew
Mold is a concern in virtually all homes in this region. Most people simply don’t realize it. Of course though, so is crossing the street. Keep in mind, there is a lot you eat and breath that can or may cause health problems if you are susceptible to it. Don’t get me wrong, we are not belittling the concern for mold or any other type of testing. But have your inspections and sampling performed by an unbiased party – not someone who performs the re-mediation and/or repairs as well. There are three types of mold inspections: Visual, Physical Sampling and Air Quality Sampling. See more about PST Mold inspections.
Wood Destroying Pests
Yes. This region,the Kansas City Metropolitan Area,is a moderate to heavy region for termites and other pests. This inspection is best performed by a licensed pest inspector and/or engineer. Most lenders want the inspection performed by a licensed pest inspector. Follow your pest inspector as he/she reviews the home.Ask questions. And KNOW that, if you are purchasing an older home (over 20 years old or so) there may be damage not visible during the inspection. Look for signs that it has been hidden by a previous owner. Believe us, it happens a lot. Even a good pest inspector can’t see hidden damage though. We recommend you do some probing if you are purchasing a home which is slab on grade. We have seen many of these homes with extensive pest damage inside,which was NOT foreseeable when the home was purchased. If you don’t want to or can’t do the probing, you’d better plan on having to make repairs if you ever modify walls or ceilings. Just realize there may be unforeseeable damage.
Frank can do the inspection but he cannot do treatments for pest control.
The Reality of Maintanence
Realize what you’re getting yourself into folks. You are purchasing a piece of property built by man, built out of materials and products which have a limited life expectancy. A house is not meant to last forever and maintaining your home is on-going. Many of the materials used available on the market today are meant to last for less than 20 years. You actually wouldn’t believe how much is meant to last less than 5-8 years. If you are buying property you MUST plan for building repairs in the future whether you pass inspection or not. A person who does not face the reality of maintenance is a fool,simply stated!
In the state of Missouri, home inspectors are not required to have a license or even a registration like the Kansas inspectors. Any uncle Bob can open an inspection company : with experience-without, with general liability insurance-without, with professional liability insurance-without, with a college education-without. Everyone else you are involved with in the real estate industry has licenses: real estate agent, real estate broker, mortgage loan officer, title company, termite inspector, appraiser, and of course an Engineer. In fact, an Engineer must graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineer college, pass a state board engineer in training test, intern for four years under a licensed Engineer, pass a state board Professional Engineer’s test, apply for Engineer license, and remain in good standing with the state while participating in continuous education.
There are three types of Professional Engineers- Mechanical, Electrical and Civil . Mechanical Engineers design mechanical systems like HVAC. Electrical Engineers design electrical systems. Civil Engineers specialize in four categories: Geotech (soils), Transportation (roads), Environmental (mold-radon), and Structural (buildings). If you are reading this website, you are most likely needing a Structural Engineer to evaluate or advise on a Property Problem. If you have called around, you already know that there are very few Engineers that offer services regarding properties and buildings. And even fewer Engineers who advise on residential properties. Frank Comer is a Professional Civil Engineer who specializes in Structural Engineering and Inspections for commercial or residential properties. Frank Comer Resume