Are you considering building your own home? Building your own home comes with a wide array of benefits compared to buying. You’re able to control most aspects of its construction, and chances are you’ll end up with the result you wanted.
But working alone on such a project poses its own disadvantages, too. It’s very easy to overshoot your budget or leave out critical design details. That’s where a structural engineer can help.
Structural engineers are experts in designing homes and will make sure your home has everything it needs.
This article will look at the average structural engineer cost and how to work it into your budget.
The Basics of Building Your Own Home
So you’ve decided that it’s that point in time of your life that you’re ready to settle down. You’ve sifted through many home options in different areas, but none of them really appeal to you.
What’s your next course of action?
Many people might opt to build their own homes in this situation. However, there are a few drawbacks that come with building your own home. One of those is cost.
The national average cost for building a home in the United States is around $300,000. That number is only increasing as the years go by and technology increases.
One might wonder what factors into all these costs. The truth is, there’s much more that goes into building a home than people might expect. For instance, you might need to purchase the land, hire a general contractor, clearing the area of foliage and debris, installing the foundation, and much more.
Under all those costs, is commonly unseen one. That’s the actual design of the house. An inexperienced person might think that the house’s design is all in the hands of the homeowner or the general contractor.
While this might be the case in some situations, your new home’s design would highly benefit from the expertise of a structural engineer.
What A Structural Engineer Can Do For You
Structural engineers are the go-to experts when you need assistance building your home. Though they aren’t qualified to come work on your home with tooth and nail, they bring something equally valuable: their insights. Structural engineers are the people you hire whenever you need ideas on how to build your home.
But why pay for someone just to give you ideas, especially if you already have one? Well as much as you’d like to use your creative idea as a foundation of your home, it’s quite possible that you don’t have the knowledge of home structures to formulate a building plan.
That’s where structural engineers come in handy.
Structural engineers know the ins and outs of building an efficient, safe, and well-designed home. They come equipped with years of experience and knowledge in the field of construction, so they know exactly what your home needs.
With this in mind, hiring a structural engineer is one of the most important parts of building a home.
Some other things that structural engineers can do:
- Calculate loads. Can the foundation of the home support both the first and second stories?
- Analyze structures
- Determine what materials are best for building
- Site analysis. Is this terrain suitable for the type of house you want?
Structural engineers can even assist with construction management if you so desire. Make sure you speak with the one you hired to see if they’re able to help you with this.
Structural Engineer Cost
Now for the part that you’ve probably been anticipating, what is the average cost of structural engineer services?
Everything starts with a structural engineer inspection. The process is rather short compared to the entire building of your home, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
However, there’s much more that goes into the cost of hiring a structural engineer. At first, you’ll want to get a consultation and have them review everything you need to be done. Be sure to tell them whether you are starting your home building process from scratch or just remodeling a portion of a house.
A simple inspection might cost anywhere from around $100-200, with the average being right in the middle at $150. Some engineers might stop right there since they know they’ll only need around an hour for the inspection.
If you need the structural engineer to perform extra tasks or if the design process takes longer, many of them will begin to charge hourly after the flat rate.
All of this factored in, the average total cost of a structural engineer is $504.
Specific Costs For Building A Home
If you’re building a home, you’ll want more than just an inspection. You’ll also want them to draw up a structural plan for the building of your home. That’ll take more time and end up costing extra.
Some additional things you want to consider are
- The foundation for your home
- Cost of living in your desired area
- Building regulations such as permits and inspection requirements
For completely new projects, structural engineers take around 1-20% of the total construction price. So, you might even end up paying $1,500 to $20,000. But for smaller residential homes, this percentage usually lingers within the 1-5% range.
Another important factor to consider is your location. This will affect not only your actual house’s costs, but engineers in bigger cities tend to charge more. This is because structural home plans in big cities lean towards more complex designs and the areas are more crowded.
Budgeting For Your Home’s Construction
Take into account whether or not you’ll want to hire a structural engineer for your construction project. If you decide to enlist the help of one, you’ll definitely need to include the price within your project budget.
Despite the prices listed earlier seeming a little high, you’ll actually be surprised how much money hiring a structural engineer can actually save you. This is primarily due to how much time, effort, and resources you’ll spend drafting a plan yourself or having a general contractor doing so.
We’d recommend putting a little bit more than the amount that you’d expect to pay for a structural engineer. Confused? No worries, here’s an example.
Say you estimate your construction project to be around $250,000 total. You find a good structural engineer that’ll charge 1% of the construction costs for all their work. That’s a total of $2,500 for a structural engineer.
Put away around $3,000 for the costs and you should be golden. As always, you should consult with a structural engineer before you begin working their services into your budget.
Booking A Structural Engineer Consultation
What better way to find out the price than booking a consultation? A free consultation is just what you need to find out the structural engineer cost for your building project.
When looking for a structural engineer to consult, make sure you’re searching for one that’s qualified, reputable, and customer-oriented. At PE For Hire, we’ve got engineers that fit all those qualities.
Our engineers are leaders in the industry and will provide you with the quality service you deserve. Interested in receiving a free quote? Visit our quotes section today!