Structural engineers are professionals who specialise in designing and structuring structures and buildings. They ensure that the structure can withstand the elements that it is exposed to and improve the integrity of existing buildings. They will need to assess the safety, durability and strength of a building, and this starts even before the building is erected.
Their job is to make calculations about stresses and loads, offer technical advice, acquire planning and building approval, inspect and monitor the work your construction contractor does throughout the project, administer contracts and other tasks. While most people associate these engineers with major projects like bridges and high rises, the truth is that their expertise is also required in residential constructions. Often, a structural engineer acts as a consultant for these services.
So when are the services of a structural engineer needed?
Renovation jobs are complicated, especially if they involve a building's stability, and if they aren't handled well, the integrity of the building could be easily affected. For this reason, it's essential to get a structural engineer on board to supervise the entire task. They will offer structural drawings and calculations that the contractor will use as a guide. Since you might also need a permit, your engineer will get the papers processed and make sure everything is done according to the set building control regulations.
Renovation tasks that must be done with the help of a structural engineer include modification of windows and doors, floor underpinning and the modification of internal walls.
If you have noticed a problem with your building, like cracking walls, signs of subsidence like foundation movement or a sagging roofline or ceiling, consider seeking the services of an engineer. The professional will perform a thorough inspection, assess the damages, identify possible causes of the problem and come up with reliable solutions. This inspection also comes in handy when you are buying or selling a property as it helps determine the state of the building and price.
Most people think that hiring an engineer when selling or procuring a property is another added expense, but the truth is that they can save you money. The funds you spend on the service is determined by the kind of work you have assigned. Make sure you ask your structural engineer for a breakdown of the project costs so that you can prepare adequately.
Additionally, consider working with a local engineer, preferably the one that specialises in projects like yours. This way, you will get high-quality services at a reasonable cost.
Contact a structural engineer near you to learn more.