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Do I Need A Structural Engineer?

his article outlines what a structural engineer is, when you might require one, and how much they cost so that you can determine whether you need a structural engineer.


What Is A Structural Engineer?

A structural engineer is an engineer that specializes in building structure. They will design, plan, and oversee the construction of structures such as buildings. A structural engineer will often act as a consultant to an architect or building contractor, calculating loads, defining the spec of the project, and which materials and structural systems to use during construction, such as steel, concrete, or wood.

The structural engineer will assess the safety, strength, and durability of the building or structure to determine its structural integrity.

Just like all the structural engineers at Allcott Associates, your structural engineer should be a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) or the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to ensure the highest standards are maintained at all times.


When Do I Need A Structural Engineer?

Wall Removals, Renovations & Structural Alterations

You may need a structural engineer when carrying out a renovation or making changes to your home that could affect the stability of your property.

A structural engineer can work with your building contractor and architect by offering vital information that is indispensable to the renovation process, including structural drawings and load calculations.

This information may also be necessary when gaining planning permission and complying with building control regulations.

Whether you will need a structural engineer for your next renovation project will depend on the project in hand, but they are often required for solar panel installation, and for beam calculations for extensions, loft conversions, door and window modification, internal wall modification, underpinning, and chimney removal.

Essentially, any project that alters the structure of the building or requires building control approval will require the expertise of a structural engineer.


Structural Inspections

A structural engineer can also carry out a structural property survey. They will inspect the construction of your property to determine any issues with its structure such as cracking, flood damage, subsidence or sagging roofs.

A chartered surveyor may also highlight structural issues and recommend a closer inspection be carried out by a structural engineer.

At Allcott Associates our team includes both chartered surveyors and structural engineers. This ensures that whether you are instructing a full building survey or a specific defect survey, you receive a thorough inspection that covers all aspects of your property and protects it against structural issues.


Expert Witness

A structural engineer can also act as an expert witness. If you enter into a disagreement over structural issues with another party, such as a boundary dispute, an engineer can offer an unbiased perspective to help resolve the issue.


How Much Does A Structural Engineer Cost?

The cost to hire a structural engineer will vary depending on the size and scope of the project and what is required of the engineer. Projects that require multiple site visits are usually more costly than those that involve mainly desk-based calculations. It is advised to ask for a breakdown of costs so that you know exactly what you are getting from your structural engineer.


Learn more about survey types here
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