Retaining a foundation engineer
When engaging an engineer, your first choice should be an engineer who specializes in foundation performance evaluations for purposes of a real estate transaction.These engineers will usually have an advertisement in the Greater Houston Area Yellow pages under “real estate inspectors”.There are a very limited number of engineers who specialize in this area of practice.
Select an engineer who uses an engineering approach that you can understand and are comfortable with
Some engineers use a damage evaluation approach based mainly on visible cracks, especially on how many there are and how wide they are. Another approach is what I call a levelness evaluation which focuses on how level the finish floor surface is. Either approach, if done by a skilled and experienced engineer who exercises good engineering judgment, is acceptable. But the approach should make sense to you.
Obtain a sample report
Most engineers will provide you with a sample report if you ask. It can be E-mailed to you in a few hours. Most engineers do not maintain websites but that is likely to change soon. If an engineer has a website visit it and you may find you can download a sample report.
Select an engineer who has no relation to any foundation repair company
Do not assume that an engineer has no relation to a foundation repair company. If you want an unbiased report, make sure the engineer you retain is not related in any way to a foundation repair contractor. Be especially wary of companies like Knight Engineering Services Corporation who advertise themselves as engineers but who in reality is a foundation repair contractor owned and operated by a mechanical engineer who, in my opinion, knows little or nothing about structural engineering.