In general, any sort of change to the structure of your property requires building control approval. Changes to the structure include modifying or removing internal walls, basement and loft conversions, underpinning floors, or more. If you want to go ahead with any of these things, you will need the calculations and specifications of a structural engineer.
We have covered before why you need a structural engineer for many different kinds of projects. However, it would be a mistake to see this as just another expense to building your dream home. In this article, we cover the different ways that a structural engineer can save you money by being involved early on in your home project.
Help You Select the Right Materials
When you are renovating a house or undergoing a large DIY house project, it is essential to have the right materials for the job. This is important not just to make your dream home a reality but also, so your project is as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. You might also need a structural engineer when it comes to removing particular parts of a build and deciding on replacement materials, especially if someone had made DIY alterations without seeking advice from professionals beforehand. The fee for a structural engineer can often outweigh the costs of an emergency works to rectify poorly completed work.
Inspect Faults and Defects on Your Property
It is almost always more expensive to fix a problem than it is to prevent a problem from happening in the first place. If you suspect there to be a serious fault with your property, the inspection by a structural engineer can save you money by saying what you need to do to prevent any serious damage to your home. Nothing sours a project quicker than discovering half-way through that there is significant additional work that needs to be carried out to make the property safe; having a structural engineer involved early in the process can save you a lot of money.
Check Your Builders Quote
Before you can get an accurate quotation from a building contractor you will need to ensure you have drawings and details from a structural engineer. Without detailed calculations it will not be possible for your builder to know the size and type of beams, joists etc. to use, and therefore their price may be over or under estimated.
It is always best to get the input of an engineer as early as possible in your project, as they can often make suggestions for the scheme that will save you a significant amount of money. Drawings and calculations will be required by your builder, and also in order to satisfy Building Control as part of your Building Regulations Application.
Open Design Planning
A good structural engineer is essential for many home improvement projects, working with architects to ensure newly designed homes are constructed cost effectively and safely. For instance, if you’re looking to construct an open plan home, a structural engineer can tweak the design to minimise material used and make what you do use more efficient: providing peace of mind that your home is entirely safe in the hands of a professional and saving you money at the same time.
You and your architect decide how a project will look, but a structural engineer is essential in working out how it will be built. As such, you can rely on your structural engineer to give you the knowledge you need to make your dream home a reality. Unfortunately, as long as there have been honest builders, there have been cowboy rogue traders. A qualified structural engineer’s opinion can give you peace of mind whether a particular builder’s proposal is realistic and safe.
A cut-price approach to structural design can only have two outcomes: either sacrificing quality and safety, or overengineering, both of which will end up costing you more money long term. Structural engineers work alongside architects, builders, and others to help your project be as successful as possible.
We are expert structural engineers in Cornwall working across the South West and are more than happy to help with any project you have in mind. Get in touch with us either by email or our contact form, and we will be glad to help you get the home of your dreams.