If you’re planning a self build, you will need a structural engineer to assist you. They will be able to:
- Provide detailed plans and drawings for your project.
- Help in the creation of your schedule and the calculation of your budget.
- Inspect your plans to ensure structural soundness.
- Assist in your adherence to the building regulations.
What is a Structural Engineer?
A structural engineer is a highly trained construction professional specialising in structural integrity and stability of buildings.
You may choose to use a structural engineering firm or hire a freelance engineer; just make sure that whoever you choose is fully qualified, insured and experienced.
How Can a Structural Engineer Help With Your Self Build?
1. Assist with Detailed Plans and Drawings for Your Project
Your architect can help you with space planning, material choices and design details. Your structural engineer will help coordinate this information, providing solutions to ensure the project is structurally sound. They can provide feedback on the design to find the optimum structural solution in terms of cost, aesthetics, and functionality. If you’re buying at auction or other fast sale means, a structural engineer can provide an early assessment of the work required and approximate costs so that there are no surprises later on.
2. Help in the Creation of Your Schedule and the Calculation of Your Budget
Your structural engineer will have spent time on countless building sites and will have experienced all kinds of construction processes.
They will also have been trained in the most practical ways to plan a schedule of works, and should be well-versed in the potential problems that may arise when a plan is not executed in the right order.
What’s more, a structural engineer may even be able to save you money by refining or adapting your schedule, advising you to use multi-purpose equipment or materials, or by avoiding costly mistakes.
3. Advising on All Relevant Aspects of the Process
It’s not just the planning stages of your project that will benefit from the input of an expert structural engineer.
Your chosen professional can be on hand to answer any of your questions and suggest potential next steps from the beginning of your project right through to snagging.
4. Inspecting Your Plans to Ensure Structural Soundness
It is vital that your self build is constructed safely and without any risk of structural problems. Your structural engineer will be able to look through your plans to identify any potential flaws, weak spots or unsuitable materials that could cause problems later down the line.
If you’re renovating or extending an existing building, they will also be able to take a look at the existing structure to make sure everything is in order before you begin.
5. Assisting in Your Adherence to Building Regs
When constructing a new property, there is a legal requirement to adhere to the building regulations.
A structural engineer can check your plans or the existing work you have already completed to ensure it complies.
If there are any issues, they will help you to make adjustments or changes to ensure that they are resolved.
A structural engineer should be a key player in your next self build project. Hiring one of these specialists is the best way to prevent potentially dangerous problems with your structure and to make sure that everything is well planned and fully costed.
Ask your architect
Many architects have good working relationships with particular structural engineers and may be able to recommend one to you. Here at Design for Me, we match you with the best home design expert for your project:
- quickly see who’s interested in your job
- create a shortlist
- invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation
Guest post for Design for Me