When it comes to building or major redesigns of your property, some amount of stress is almost unavoidable. However, hiring a structural engineer to help guide the work you require can make the process a great deal easier.

Structural engineers are designers who are competent to give advice on alterations to the structure of new builds, extensions, and existing properties, both in engineering terms and per existing regulations and law. As the construction of a building is critical to its design, it isn’t surprising that structural engineers are typical on many big projects. In this article, we cover four ways a structural engineer can save you from stress on your next project and make everything go that much more smoothly.

Complete Structural Inspections to Uncover Hidden Problems

Beach home suffering from coastal erosion

A building’s structure is critical to its safety, its form, and its function. We have covered here about what a structural engineer will often look for in a general structural inspection, ranging from looking for evidence of subsidence to whether your property needs roof repair. Uncovering these hidden problems when considering whether to sell or buy a home can be incredibly valuable and gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing the true extent of the health of a property.

A structural engineer not only can discover faults to a particular property through an inspection but can also propose various solutions. Even minor ‘tweaks’ to a proposal can significantly change the overall cost, impact, simplicity, and ultimately the success of a project or the sale of a home. You can save yourself a headache down the line with the help of a qualified structural engineer.

 

Specific Defect Inspections over Existing Properties

New beige home with garage door and windows

If you do not need to have the whole house examined, but you are especially concerned about a single defect on your property, then you can commission a structural engineer for a single defect inspection. This involves examining concerns about a building’s particular structure, as well as any related building matters that arise during the inspection. The review will then state whether there is a problem or not with the building’s structure, and how to rectify the issue if a problem is indeed found.

 

Help with Party Wall Services

Party wall fencing with chairs and plants

A Party Wall is any structure on the boundary between two properties. If you want to carry out any work on these properties, then the neighbours who will be affected have to be informed. These neighbours are known as ‘adjoining owners’ of that wall, and though they can’t prevent you carrying out the work, they can impact how and when the work is carried out, by the Party Wall Act 1996.

If you are doing any substantial work within three or six metres of a neighbouring property, then you might need a structural engineer to inform you of your obligations under the Party Wall Act. For more information, read our guide on Party Walls here.

 

Help with Designing New Builds

New built brown home with a garage in a field

Structural engineers are often hired to help architects make sure their builds are sound. At the pre-design stage, an excellent structural engineer can help you work out whether your project is feasible, and what changes may be necessary to make your dream a reality. We can also produce design documents, calculations, drawings and specifications to meet your needs.

On the north coast of Cornwall, we at Martin Perry Associates helped construct Trelawney house, a big open plan holiday home replacing a mid-twentieth century bungalow. Working alongside local architects at CFD Design, we prepared a full structural design package, designed with minimal internal columns, to limit obstructions to the large glazed sections of wall to the front.

 

At Martin Perry Associates, we can devise solutions that will meet your particular circumstances, balancing your personal objectives and financial requests with legislative requirements, site constraints, and the capability of materials involved. Compared to the cost your overall project, the monetary expense hiring a structural engineer to make sure your project is done right is small. If after reading this you think you might benefit from a structural engineer in Cornwall or Devon, please do get in touch and we will be happy to provide you with our expert knowledge.