If you’re planning a renovation on one of your investment properties, you likely already have a contractor lined up. But before jumping in, you should assess whether a structural engineer will be necessary to complete the project as well. Structural engineers can be crucial not just for new construction but for any number of renovation projects — including some you may consider small projects. Often, when people find that they need a structural engineer, they are at a loss and may not know where to look, what to look for or what to ask.

So what does a structural engineer really do?

Structural engineering is concerned with the design and physical integrity of buildings and other large structures, like tunnels and bridges. Structural engineers have wide range of responsibilities – not least a duty to ensure the safety and durability of the project on which they are working. Structural Engineers work with Architects to form the skeletal system of houses, buildings, and other structures. They are essential in maintaining the stability and core structure of any construction process.

What should you look for in a Structural Engineer?

Below is a step by step approach we developed on what to look for in a structural engineer;

So when should I hire a structural engineer?

There are many benefits to appointing a Structural Engineer early on in your project. For

example, it allows for maximum collaboration with the architect and the builder, as well as with you, the client. This will ensure your project takes into consideration a range of criteria such as ease and speed of construction, materials, cost, etc.

The services that most often require the professionalism of a structural engineer include: building additions, modifying doors or windows, loft conversions, removing or altering internal walls, retaining walls, underpinning foundations, fitting solar panels, chimneys, decks, or new custom build homes.  

If you are unsure as to whether or not you should hire an engineer for your project, as a general rule assume that anything that requires a change to the structure of your property should be reviewed by a structural engineer. Hire a structural engineer for any new construction, whether building a whole house or an addition or even adding a porch or balcony. Another sure sign a structural engineer is needed is any sort of settlement, cracking, or sloping issues. These are indicators of major issues already occurring. The structural engineer will be able to assess the visible damage, identify the underlying cause, and provide the appropriate steps to correct it.

You’ll also need to call a structural engineer if you’ve had any sort of property damage (fire, natural disasters, a car hitting the house, etc.). A few projects where you’ll need a structural engineer might surprise you, like when you’re adding solar panels to the roof or any weight-bearing feature, like a hot tub, to your deck.

Not sure whether or not you require the services of a structural engineer?

If you’re on the fence about your project, give a structural engineer a call. It’s better to have one come out for a quick inspection and confirm their services aren’t needed than to move forward with a renovation that could cause serious damage to the property. Reach out to us at https://oralabora.co.uk/ for a free consultation.


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