GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
A structural engineer is often key when renovating a home or buying a property. This article describes what a structural engineer is and when and whether you may need them so that you can decide for yourself whether to hire him before the work begins.
What exactly is a structural engineer?
A structural engineer (as we can infer from his name) is an engineer who specializes in building a structure. They determine the strength and durability of a building and are key professionals in the construction process. A structural engineer often acts as a consultant to an architect or construction contractor, calculating loads, defining project specifications and what materials and structural systems he or she uses during construction, such as steel, concrete, or wood.
They are also important for assessing the safety of a building as well as for proposing a building and determining its structural unit.
Where can I find a structural engineer?
Be sure to hire an engineer with extensive experience and good recommendations.
Your engineer is likely to be a member of either the Institute of Civil Engineers (IStructE) or the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). You can find construction engineers here who cover your local area, get their details and compare their prices.
In what cases can I need a structural engineer?
There are a few cases where you may need a structural engineer. The first and most common case is renovations.
When you make changes to your home that involve disrupting the stability of a building by disrupting its structure, you will probably need a structural engineer. It depends on the change you make, but they are often needed for extensions, solar panels, loft conversions, door, and window modifications, modifying or removing interior walls, lining, and chimney removal. A structural engineer will make drawings with calculations that will be useful to the construction contractor and architect. This information will also be needed by the building control and planning officers (to obtain planning approval).
Also, if you hire an architect when converting your building, it will be helpful to have his opinion and recommendation regarding a structural engineer. Your builder can also benefit.
Still, structural engineers are not only required for renovations. A structural engineer will need to survey if there is a problem with the structure of your property (eg signs of decay such as wall crashes or subsidences).
It also happens that a chartered surveyor refers you to a structural engineer. However, you may also notice cracks or other problems acting as a hazard yourself and decide to consult a civil engineer to evaluate the damage and its potential development.
A professional engineer, as impartial in your project, can also act as an expert. If there is disagreement about structural issues with the other party, such as a border dispute, the engineer can offer an impartial and independent perspective and have his report help solve the problem.