A Guide to Residential Structural Engineers: When Should You Hire One?

Are you building your first home from the ground up? Do you feel like hiring a residential structural engineer is a waste of money? If so, you’d better think again. When it comes to projects of this scope and size, you need all the professional advice you can get. Especially if this is your first rodeo. 

To add to this, hiring a structural engineer may actually be 100 percent necessary. In most cases, you will need structural inspections, sign-off, and clearance on when to start your build. In other words, you may not be able to begin building your home without their help. 

But what do they do anyway and when should you think about hiring one? This blog outlines the essentials for you. 

What Does a Residential Structural Engineer Do?

These licensed professionals are trained in the design and engineering of many different types of man-made structures. In the case of a residential structural engineer, their main focus is on homes. 

In short, their responsibilities lie in the thorough analysis of the structure of a home. They will look for and examine certain factors that could impact a building. After that, an engineer will then make a decision on whether the design of the home could resist these factors. 

It’s their job to calculate and understand the stability and strength of a man-made structure. Structural integrity is their number one end goal.  

When Should You Hire a Structural Engineer?

If you’re constructing your first home, hiring a structural engineer is usually par-for-the-course. But what type of exact scenario would suit the expertise of this type of engineer? 

Home Construction or Major Home Alterations 

You don’t need to be building a home from scratch to hire a structural engineer. In some cases, you may be thinking about making structural alterations to your home. This is where their expertise would come in handy. 

In the case of large alterations, you’ll need a structural engineer for the following:

  • Additions
  • Loft conversions
  • A basement conversion
  • Altering retaining walls
  • Building a new deck, and more  

If the remodeling project involves altering the stability of your home, the advice of a structural engineer is crucial. An engineer provides your contractor and architect with the right structural drawings and calculations. This ensures that they meet all safety regulations during renovations. 

Inspection of Structural Damage 

Whether you’re building your own home or buying a new one, you want the clearance and expertise of a structural engineer, first. It’s their job to inspect an existing structure for any form of structural damage. They will also ascertain the structural integrity and whether any major alterations are necessary. 

The same goes for building a property. If you survey the land and find any issues, you want to call in a structural engineer. They can take a look at the land slope, soil quality, and more before you lay your foundation. 

A structural engineer is an expert in evaluating all sorts of structural damage and underlying issues that you may have no knowledge of. They will look at wall and foundation cracks, uneven flooring, a crooked roofline, door frame and window cracks, and more. 

Top Up Your General Knowledge With Us 

The advice of a residential structural engineer can make or break the integrity of your project. You want to ensure that you hire an engineer with the right qualifications, skill, and attention-to-detail so that you get your money’s worth. 

If you found this article helpful, there’s more where it came from! Take some time to explore the rest of this site for your fix of general knowledge on an array of topics. From health, business, tech, or travel — take your pick!

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