chevron-down chevron-with-circle-right cross magnifying-glass plus home4 bed city pencil-ruler pencil-ruler2 compass drop2 cog wrench hammer-wrench shovel factory2 clipboard-text register license2 library2 user-plus users2 cart-full new-tab lamp cord chart-settings balance briefcase ship2 golf2 file-charts magnifier cross2 plus2 chevron-down2 rulers
Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod

Protecting Your Property Investment: Engineering Assessment Checklist

Published July 12, 2017 by Sean M. Riley

Protecting your property investment requires you to understand what you have, what the maintenance and repair needs are, and what the proper timetable for maintenance and repairs should be. Obtaining a professional assessment of your buildings, site improvements, and utility systems is the first step in protecting your investment. An assessment by a registered engineering professional includes gathering the facts and forecasting the future needs and cost projections to assist property owners in making long-term decisions about their buildings, roads, drainage, sewage disposal systems, coastal structures, and other infrastructure. We prepared this Engineering Assessment Checklist to help property owners identify potential threats and opportunities.

Property Maintenance

Property maintenance planning can reduce repair costs and helps avoid emergencies and that are stressful both emotionally and financially. 


Buyers and owners should become well-informed about the location of the property lines, the property's title history, whether or not the building or property is in a Flood Hazard Zone, the status of any permits issued, and whether or not the structure they want to purchase was built according to design.


A building assessment can help determine the condition of a structure, identify building code issues, and provide a priority list and cost analysis for maintenance and improvements. Starting from the foundation up, property owners who maintain the structural integrity of their buildings take a proactive step toward assuring the soundness of their investment.

Structural Inspection

Septic Systems

An inspection of your sewage disposal system can alert you to problems before you experience a septic system failure and may help you avoid costly repairs or replacement. Regular maintenance and checking the condition of your septic tank and other components of the system can prevent sewage back-up and leach field failure. For more information on septic system maintenance best practices, click here. The MA DEP and local Boards of Health require that regularly scheduled maintenance be conducted for all I/A wastewater treatment systems for as long as the systems are in use to maintain efficient system performance.

Stormwater Drainage

If you are experiencing problems with stormwater runoff on your property, site conditions should be evaluated for the cause. In some cases, minor grade changes can be made to redirect stormwater flow and alleviate a flood issue. Pavement and drainage assessments can determine where there is degradation of the pavement or of the actual drainage structure. Recommendations can then be made to properly repair roadways and parking lots.

Flood Hazards

If your property is located within a flood zone on the new flood maps, you may be able to reduce your flood insurance premium by getting an Elevation Certificate and making certain improvements.

Oceanfront Structures

For coastal properties, shorefront protection is a priority. It is critically important to know the soundness of any coastal structure or the shorefront conditions that protect your home or business from flood damage. Additionally, piers, stairs, and boathouses should be inspected annually and repaired promptly. Residential and commercial property owners alike should be knowledgeable about permitting requirements before making renovations or repairs. An evaluation of a home or business located on the water should address the status of environmental and other regulatory permitting requirements.

Shorefront Protection

Environmental and regulatory permitting go hand in hand with oceanfront property.

As a property owner, maintenance, repairs, and improvements to your property should be addressed periodically, whether it be to the land, buildings, support systems or infrastructure. With adequate planning and professional engineering input, you will be well equipped to protect your property investment. Coastal Engineering Co. can identify areas of concern before problems arise and propose synchronized timelines and budgets. We offer professional engineering and land surveying services for businesses as well as private residences, including feasibility studies and site planning, structural inspections and structural design, I/A septic system operation and maintenance,   stormwater drainage design,  Elevation Certificates,   shorefront protection design, and construction contract administration.  We’re very familiar with local regulations and our dedicated project managers will be happy to work with you to help shepherd your project from inception to completion!

Get in touch!

Please contact Coastal Engineering Co., Inc. for a full review or with any specific questions you may have.