A structural engineer is a licensed professional that can be utilized in your upcoming home renovation project or property purchase. What many homeowners do not realize is when they might be in need of a structural engineer and how to find one. Let’s take a look at why structural engineers play such a key role in the homebuying, design, and construction processes.
As previously mentioned, a structural engineer is a licensed professional who is trained to engineer the design configurations that create the shape and form of man-made structures. They are responsible for engineering design and structural analysis. Their job is to assess factors that exert force upon a building and decide whether or not the structure is built to resist those forces. Structural engineers are able to calculate and understand the stability, strength and rigidity of any given structure. Overall, structural engineers are highly trained in areas regarding structural integrity of buildings.
Homeowners may be asking themselves why they wouldn’t just hire a contractor, architect or inspector, but the answer is simple. Unlike contractors and inspectors who are skilled at finding early warning signs of potential problems, engineers can analyze the severity of a problem, what is causing the issue, and what the best fitting solution is. Architects are useful for property owners looking to design a functional and aesthetically pleasing home or space, but a structural engineer will ensure your building supports and resists the loads to which it is subject too, guaranteeing the overall safety of your home.
Structural engineering specialties can include but are not limited to: foundation, retaining structures and walls, roof, earthquake, fire, and wind. Generally speaking, structural engineers are a key professional in the design and construction process.
There are several key occasions when a property owner or buyer would need to utilize the services of a structural engineer.
For Renovations. When a homeowner decides to make improvements or undertake a remodel that involves the stability of their home, a structural engineer will be essential. Hiring an engineer, will provide the contractor or architect for your design plans with structural drawings and calculations to be used during the renovation process. This will also ensure your home renovations are being done to current building codes and meet all necessary regulations.
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 build custom 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. At Design Everest one of our licensed engineers can help you through the process of determining whether your project is in need of engineering services.
When building additions or altering the layout. If you are considering building out additional space to your property via a bedroom, garage, or studio space, a structural engineer will help to design new structural elements to withstand the new loads from the addition. They will also confirm that the foundation of the new addition is effectively reinforced. Structural engineers will also help homeowners to determine which walls carry the weight of a home’s structure and how the proposed renovations will affect the structural integrity of your property.
For a structural inspection or damage. Whether you are a current homeowner or in the market to purchase a home, it is important to be aware of any structural damage to your property. If you or another professional notice any structural damage, you will need to contact a structural engineer to determine the seriousness, cause of the damage, and how the damage can be properly fixed. Structural engineers are skilled in conducting detailed evaluations that identify structural issues and advise homeowners on how to resolve the issues per local building code. Signs of structural damage include cracking or movement of walls, sagging ceilings or roofline, uneven floors, cracks around windows, etc.
Natural elements like water, wind, fire or earthquakes can also threaten the integrity of home and cause substantial damage to a structure. As with other forms of structural damage, your engineer can evaluate the severity of the issue and recommend an appropriate solution.
Purchasing, selling or building a home. Regardless of whether you are purchasing or selling a home, if an inspector notices any structural problems with the home, it is imperative to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the situation. If you are a homeowner consider that in many cases, the engineer can help to save you money by identifying the problem and most efficient way to fix it before further damage can be done. When building a custom home from the ground up, a structural engineer will best advise you on plans for the home that are structurally secure. An engineer will also assess the proposed building site for suitability and integration. Our structural engineers can provide homeowners with on-site structural observations or evaluations to ensure conformance to approved plans and specifications.
If any of the aforementioned situations applies to your home, seeking out a structural engineer is the best possible solution. A licensed structural engineer will be able to ensure that your structure is safe and strong for years to come. It is important to consider that there are several types of structural engineers with experience in varying fields of structures. For your home renovation or inspection it is essential to hire an engineer that specializes in residential work.
For help finding a structural engineer in your local area, contact Design Everest today at 877-316-6451. One of our professionally licensed structural engineers can consult with you on your upcoming project and provide you with peace of mind about the integrity of your structure.