Structural Engineer needed in Denver

8 Replies

I am under contract on a house in the Denver area. The foundation has a few cracks and brick has quite a few stair step cracks. Has anyone worked with Sandella Design to inspect the foundation?  What does damage caused by shifting look like vs moisture damage?  

Yikes! I don't want to scare you, but foundation issues are a red flag for me. There's enough other homes without those issues out there, that I don't chase those "deals." I haven't worked with Sandella, so can't provide a review. Foundation work is expensive and does not always provide a permanent solution. If the ground is moving, the ground is moving. You're going to want to direct these questions to the experts: licensed structural engineers. Let me know if you need a local recommendation.

I agree with Chris Freeburg. I would add that I would be more concerned or less concerned based on the age of the house. Unless the house is fairly new, it has likely done all the moving it is going to do unless it is seasonal due to expansive soil that is common in Colorado. Note that expansive soil issues should have been taken care of when the house was built. Having a licensed structural engineer won't be really expensive and you will get good information without them trying to sell you something.

Thank you for your comments.  Interesting that foundation issues of any kind are a red flag, with Colorado soil conditions. Many realtors I've talk to about foundation issues aren't concerned about them.  Which i've questioned, sounds like you do too. 

 The house was built in the 1950's.  The realtor is saying it looks like the cracks are caused by moisture and can be remedied with sealing with epoxy.  An engineer will look at it tomorrow.  I appreciate your responses and will take them into consideration when I read the report from the engineer.


I should have asked how big the cracks are in terms of width.  Even if the crack goes from the top of the foundation to the ground, but has a relatively small gap, you probably have nothing to worry about especially given its age.

@Christina Lambert , I would agree that you definitely want to get a professional opinion prior to purchasing.

If you are in need of a local, experienced Structural Engineer, check out GEORGE KNAPP at KNAPP AND ASSOCIATES CONSULTING ENGINEERS.

(Self disclaimer George is my father, but he is the most knowledgeable engineer and builder I have known)

George is the perfect fit for buys and investors and here is why

1) Knowledge - George has been a civil engineer in Denver for over 30 years

2) Building codes - George has not only worked as a civil engineer, but has also been a plans examiner, city inspector and chief building official in Denver.

3) Real Estate Investments - George use to be a Denver Area Realtor (not active now) and understands the Denver market. He has owned multiple rental properties and knows the costs of repairs that could come with foundation work.

4) The whole package - George will give you feedback on the structural condition of the house, the cost of repairs, the building code requirements and more.

I have been having him look at Denver area rental properties when I do a showing and he has helped to point out some costly repairs I would not have found on my own. 

Again, I’m probably a little bias, but I can tell you, you will not be disappointed. 

If you are interested visit his website at


Good luck and I hope this helps.

@Sean Gribbons . Yes, he is a licensed PE, with structural and civil experience, in both the state of Colorado and Arizona, and can provide stamped letters of inspection and drawings. 

Feel free to call him at the number in the picture above and you can go over your specific needs.