Most people understand what an architect does.Did you know that on 95% of residential building projects you will also need advice from a structural engineer?So what does a structural engineer do?Structural engineers make sure that buildings are structurally sound and won’t fall down!
7 Occasions When You’ll Need A Structural Engineer
1.Knocking Down An Internal Wall You’ll need to know whether your wall is load bearing, or not! If you take out a load bearing wall without adequate support (the correct beam size) you are at risk of your house collapsing!
2. Building An ExtensionMost extensions are knocking out either the back, or the side wall of the house to create an opening into the new space – not to mention the structure of the extension itself!Making sure that you have the correct support to hold up your house is critical!
3. Converting A LoftWhether you are creating a new storey or converting an existing loft, you will be making significant structural changes that will affect the whole house.
4. Installing Bi-Fold DoorsVery popular at the moment – if you are increasing the size of any opening, you will need to check not only support of loads from above, but also the lateral stability of the whole structure.
5. Investigating Defects eg cracking. Need to determine whether it’s something to worry about or not. Either on your property or one you are purchasing.
6. Underpinning Your HouseIf movement is continuing (the cracks are getting larger) you’ll need to monitor and stabilise your house. If movement is shown to have stopped, you’ll need to repair. Both outcomes will require specialist structural advice.
7. In Disagreement With another party over a structural matter related to your home. A Chartered structural engineer can provide an unbiased view, in the form of an independent report and advice on your options.
When Would I Appoint A Structural Engineer?
If you are planning an extension or renovation, the earlier you talk to a structural engineer about your project, the better your design will be.Anything can be built; it’s just how much it’s going to cost you!Sometimes a lavish design is all well and good. However, suppose you have not had the expertise of a structural engineer inputting their knowledge and experience into your project during the initial stages. Some elements of your design may not work when it comes to site (that’s when any changes get expensive!).