In terms of home inspections whats an "SE"

So one of the houses I’m considering buying has some dodgy looking cracks in the stucco (incidentally if anyone is interested in giving their, unqualified, non-legally-binding opinion, there are some photos here).

I was looking online to try and get a feeling for how serious they are, and I found this forum for home inspectors. And one of the posts says this:

So what is a “SE evaluation” ? I’ve googled the term and not found anything useful.

Structural Engineer.

Cool, thanks.

Is it common to pay for a Structural Engineer inspection over and above the regular property inspection you get before closing a property purchase ? This is in California FWIW. The houses I’m looking at are generally pretty old, on the side of hills, and in a town thats named for a major SF Bay Area tectonic fault, so I figure its probably worth my while forking out for one :slight_smile:

In my capacity as a homeowner in the Bay Area: meh.

They look like ordinary cracks from settling, and the seller could have easily hidden them with a coat of paint and maybe a tiny smear of caulk.

If you’re concerned about structural damage, look for things like “paired” cracks with missing stucco, eg: one at each corner of a window or door frame - as the building moves in a quake, cracks will tend to open and close during the event as the building shakes, and chunks of stucco will sometime get chipped off. Single-corner cracks without missing material tend to be plain settling as the building moves in one direction.

When I bought my house, we just had a regular inspection without any extra engineering evaluation. I think SEs only enter the picture if you’re dealing with obvious damage. If you’re really concerned, I’m sure you can have an SE do an evaluation. What does your Realtor have to say on this? They may have a couple contacts that they’ve worked with in the past, or they may advise it’s not needed.