Home Inspector/Structural Engineer in Madison/Milwaukee area
March 26, 2015 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I am about to purchase a home. The property is located about halfway between Madison and Milwaukee. There is a long horizontal crack in the basement wall, so I know I want a structural engineer specifically, and I also want a more general home inspector. I have no idea how to go about finding and vetting these individuals. Any recommendations for specific individuals, or instructions on how to find them myself? Thanks!
posted by tllaya to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Usually your realtor can recommend such professionals if he/she has more than a couple of years of experience with single-family homes.
posted by matildaben at 12:50 PM on March 26, 2015

Best answer: We used Pillar to Post in Madison to do our home inspection, and were very happy with the service. I am pretty handy, and have done construction/remodling work in the past and the inspector found the issues I noticed and found some I had overlooked.

A friend of mine had work done by Badger Basements. They were pretty happy with the work done.

Caveats - both of these were a 2-5 years ago. It's a start, though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:23 PM on March 26, 2015

I recommend against going with your realtor's recommendations. Home inspectors that are too-friendly with your realtor are not working for you because they have an incentive to overlook anything that could potentially kill the deal or significantly cut back on the realtor's commission.....and thus ultimately potentially kill future referrals from your realtor.

Seek out your own inspector (Angie's list is a good potential source) and interview them for their process. Ask to see examples of their reports. The good ones will have long, detailed, extensive reports with pictures that almost read like a manual to your own house.
posted by Karaage at 1:38 PM on March 26, 2015

I found my home inspector on Yelp, all the 5 star reviews were from buyers and the 1 star reviews were from sellers. Figured that was a good sign.

A licensed structural engineer should be easier to just pluck out of the yellow pages, since they have a more strict professional code and don't do the repair work themselves. Just call and ask if they do residential foundation evaluations, mentioning that you already know there's a problem.

But you're on the right track, horizontal cracks are significantly more concerning than vertical. That wall is likely bowing.
posted by hwyengr at 4:16 PM on March 26, 2015

Years ago, we had Tom Feiza ("Mr. Fix It") do our home inspection. He's well-known in the Milwaukee area and hosts (hosted?) a show on AM 620 about home improvement.

His assessment was as reasonably accurate as it could be. We ran into a few things over the years that he couldn't possibly have identified, but he gave us a thorough list of things that needed addressing or that would become a problem, and it was spot on. He referred a foundation issue to a specialist. Turned out to not be an issue, but the specialist he referred us to was reasonably priced and we were very happy.
posted by jgreco at 8:58 PM on March 26, 2015

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