Why Do You Need an Engineer's House Assessment and Report?

Posted November 29, 2021

Why Do You Need an Engineer's House Assessment and Report?

Why Do You Need an Engineer's House Assessment and Report? Has your house been damaged in an earthquake? Or has your house been repaired, but you believe the repairs were not done properly? Perhaps you just want a second opinion for that peace of mind or insurance purposes.

An engineer's report is different to a builder's report, as it gives more certainty and better clarity.

Why do you need an engineer's report for your house?


After the earthquakes, if your property has been damaged or floor levels are out, you may be eligible to make a claim to EQC. EQC will generally ask for an engineer's report to judge the extent of earthquake related damage against historical damage. Based on desktop study of previous information and site findings, a structural engineer can assess if the damage is likely earthquake related or not.

A structural engineer can also assess whether your previous repairs were done correctly to building standards. A 2015 Home Inspection Survey Report by MBIE found that 32 out of 90 survey homes had repairs that were non-compliant with the Building Code. That's about one in three homes!

If you have a structural assessment report from one engineer already and would like a second opinion, an independent structural assessment report is something you may want.


Timber wedge packers with no connections are non-compliant – we still find these in 2021!



Are you looking to buy or sell your house? An engineer's report by a chartered structural engineer provides more certainty regarding the structural condition of your house than a builder's report. Your prospective insurer will consider this for the policy wording (e.g. issuing insurance without exclusions, higher imposed excess for structural claims, cover for existing damage).


As-is-where-is properties


Did you buy a house on an "as-is-where-is" basis? Are there any outstanding repairs that weren't completed previously? You'll first need a structural assessment for the structural engineer to develop a scope of repairs. This can then lead to a fully consented repair design that will meet today's standards.


Where do you start with this one?


Peace of mind

Maybe your existing house or one you've just purchased is fully repaired and fully insured. Sometimes you just need that peace of mind that your house is safe and sound.


What's involved in an engineer's report?


A structural assessment report generally includes these items:

· Building description – construction materials, building and foundation type

· Building site description – signs of liquefaction and lateral spreading

· Review of any previous information – builder's reports, subfloor rover surveys, EQC documents, property files, previous alterations/extensions

· Observed damage – to the exterior, interior, floor levels, subfloor/foundations

· Recommendations on repair, rebuild or further work as required

· Repair design (PS1)

· Repair construction monitoring and engineering "sign off" (PS4)


Multi-unit dwellings


An apartment or an attached townhouse building has more complexity than single detached houses as they usually have different owners in different situations. They may be underinsured or even uninsured. One unit may have more damage than the other.

There are stricter guidelines for these buildings, and your engineer can guide you through the ins and outs from a structural perspective.

Apartments are a whole different story – talk to your structural engineer.

If you are looking for structural engineers for an engineer's report for your house, we can help. Please get in touch with us so we can provide you with a fee proposal for our services. We look forward to working with you on your next project.