Book & Other Reviews

Diagnosing and Repairing House Structure Problems by Edgar O Seaquist PE

Seaquist has written an outstanding book that will be very useful to engineers, home inspectors, remodelers and homeowners who need guidance in diagnosing irregularities such as distress, damage and deterioration. While the specifics of the approach Seaquist uses may be of limited value in some cases, the basics of his approach are essentially correct and wise. The approach he uses requires that the engineer

First, the best parts. Seaquist shows how to skillfully apply basic structural mechanics and a knowledge of how a house frame is constructed to diagnose the likely cause of various irregularities in modern homes.

Seaquist defines and explains the terns irregularities, distress, damage and deterioration. Every engineer and home inspector should use these terms to make necessary distinctions when reporting on house structures. His definitions are easy to understand. They should be widely used. The sloppy, promiscuous use of these terms, almost always with no definition or explanation, encourages misunderstandings.

The approach he uses requires that the engineer or home inspector be familiar with the basic techniques used in residential construction, the engineering characteristics of the materials used, how the various structural components or elements transfer loads, how they various load-carrying structural elements interact with the finish materials and how the structural components fail.

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