Do I Need a Structural Engineer?

Do I Need a Structural Engineer?

If you have recently started planning a project for your home, you might find yourself wondering if you need a structural engineer. If you are in need of some advice or have any queries, you can contact our team of structural engineers in Cornwall.

What is a Structural Engineer?

A structural engineer plays a key role in the construction process of most projects. They are engineers who specialise in the structure of buildings. Due to their expertise, they are able to determine the safety and structural integrity of the building in question.

They will design, plan and oversee any construction of the structure. Architects and building contractors will often consult structural engineers as they will provide specifications and calculations, as well as aid with suggesting appropriate building materials.

What Projects Require a Structural Engineer?

Depending on your building project, you may need a structural engineer. It’s important to be aware of when you are expected to enlist their services. Below we have composed a list of projects that require a structural engineer.


Any home improvement project that will involve the stability of the structure will most likely require a structural engineer, such as:

  •       Building an extension
  •       Door/window modification
  •       Fitting Solar panels
  •       Loft conversions
  •       Beam calculations
  •       Removing/modifying internal walls
  •       Underpinning floors
  •       Chimney removal

The engineer will be able to aid and provide structural drawings and load calculations. These pieces of information are essential and will be used by the contractor and architect during the renovation process.

To comply with building control regulations or even planning officials, these pieces of information, such as specification drawings and calculations, may need to be gathered and provided to Building Control.

Effectively, any changes to the structure will require approval from Building Control. To gain approval you will need to provide them with the specifications and any other information produced by the structural engineer.

Structural engineer draws diagram to explain safe routes in earthquake site

Structural Inspections

Structural engineers can also provide a structural property survey. This will consist of an inspection of the construction of the property to oversee and deduce any issues with the structure. This includes:

  •       Cracking
  •       Flood damage
  •       Subsidence
  •       Sagging roofs

The inspection will consist of an analysis of the structures interior and exterior quality and condition. The inspection will include decking, porches and other attached structures such as garages.

From this, the engineer will be able to provide a detailed report of said conditions and any areas in need of attention, as well as recommended repairs.

Charted surveyors can also highlight structural issues, they may recommend a closer examination from a structural engineer.

Structural engineers can also inspect unowned properties, for example, if you are intending to purchase a house. Prospective purchasers can arrange with an estate agent or other key holders to access the property for the purpose of an inspection.

The report will be limited to only what can be readily seen, an intrusive investigation will not be possible.

Structural engineer leading a team

As An Expert Witness

If you find yourself in a disagreement with another party over a structural issue, a structural engineer can act as an expert witness and offer an unbiased perspective that will resolve the matter.

How Much Does a Structural Engineer Cost?

A Structural Engineer quote will depend on the size of the project, as well as what type of structural engineer service is appropriate according to the project. For example, a structural engineer will cost a lot less if the engineer is only required for desk-based calculations as opposed to the addition of numerous site visits.

>It is highly advised when seeking any constructional service to obtain a breakdown of the costs. Talk through the service carefully with the engineer, ensure what you are paying for bodes well with the project.

If there are to be any future changes to the project by yourself, the architect or structural engineer, there are likely to be additional costs. For a quote for your project, get in touch with our experts at Martin Perry Associates.

Find the Right Structural Engineer

It’s important to find the right structural engineer for your particular projects. When considering a structural engineer, there are an array of structural engineer services available.

It’s important to bear in mind that structural engineers can have experience in various fields. So, when choosing one, make sure that the engineer intended for the home inspection or renovation project is specialised in residential work.

An architect drafting blueprints

Structural Engineers & Architects

The role of a structural engineer and architect differ; they will offer different services. They can often be found working together. A structural engineer will focus their time on how the building is built and what materials are required to ensure the durability of the structure.

Although architects will consider factors such as the construction material they, however, focus more on the aesthetics of the building. Together the professionals will create building plans for the construction team and ensure the plan is of a well-structured building.

We hope this article has been of use to you during the planning of your home renovation project. If you find yourself in need of a structural engineer, you can contact our team of experts here, at Martin Perry Associates.

At Martin Perry Associates, we provide an assortment of services and are happy to share our expert knowledge to help along with your project.

We offer services that include party wall services, insurance claims, structural design and much more. We will be happy to offer you advice, or you can visit our website for more information.

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