When you’re planning to build or renovate, do you want a structure that is going to fall apart or need to be rebuilt within a few years?
Odds are, you answered that question with a big, fat “no.”
If your project involves building or renovating a structural component then you will need structural plans. This is what an experienced structural engineer is responsible for creating for you.
Keep reading to see what projects involve the help of an engineer, as well as the cost and how to find one!
Structural Plans are a “Must” When Making Big Renovations
If your project involves building a whole new building, then a structural engineer is required.
Not only is this important safety-wise, but a structural plan is necessary for satisfying the building codes.
Structural Engineers Are Needed For
- Building residential projects such as houses, apartments, and condos
- Rebuilding a house that has been damaged by large storms
- Re-working the structure of a building due to flaws in the original building process
Even if you’re just making renovations in your home, you may need a residential structural engineer to inspect the space. If your renovation messes with walls, a roof, or floors, this becomes a safety concern and it requires the help of an engineer.
The job of a structural engineer is to check out your space with the renovations you want to do in mind. Structural engineering uses applied physical laws and empirical knowledge to create the safest possible option for you.
After a structural engineer inspection, the next step is to create a structural plan, or drawing.
The structural drawing will give you an idea of the layout, dimensions, and any other notes for the project. Plus, your structural engineer will take your budget into account while choosing materials.
Projects that Require Residential Structural Plans Include
- Making changes to your doors and windows
- Chimney renovations
- Home extensions
- Installing solar panels
- Taking out or modifying an inside wall
Getting your project up to par with building codes isn’t a hard process once you find a structural engineer. All they need to do is inspect the space and draw up structural plans for you to get approved.
As long as you can show that nobody is going to be at risk in your building, you’re pretty much good to go!
Do You Need a Structural Engineer and an Architect?
Many people are confused about the difference between a structural engineer and an architect.
A structural engineer is there to ensure that the project is planned out with safety in mind. The layout is completely planned out by the structural engineer, as well as the materials that will be used.
Your engineer will factor in space, cost, and of course, the stability of the entire structure.
While your structural engineer is making sure the structure is safe, your architect will be in charge of the aesthetic aspects of the project. An architect will design a layout using sketches or computer programs according to how you want your project to look.
Since these professionals take care of different parts of the building process, the help you will need will depend on the project.
If you’re creating a new building, it would be wise to use both a structural engineer and an architect. Legally, you need the evidence that your structure is sound from the engineer, but the architect makes the project much easier on you.
Even if you’re renovating a large portion of your home, the use of both professionals will ensure a space that is safe and visually up to your standards.
For smaller, less detailed renovations in the home, you can probably get by with just using a structural engineer. If safety is the only concern and not much goes into the appearance of your project, an architect may just be costly and unnecessary.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Structural Engineer?
The cost of hiring a structural engineer is going to vary depending on where you live and what you need done.
Factors like the amount of time spent on a project as well as the cost of living for your area will need to be considered. Some structural engineers also have a higher level of education and experience. So, of course, these engineers will charge more than their less-experienced counterparts.
The national average is about $500 to hire a structural engineer. What you will spend has a pretty wide range though, with the low end being around $300, and the high end being over $1000.
Structural engineers typically charge per hour, which works out to around $100-150 per hour.
Structural engineers charge kind of a high rate on average because their training has been intense and elaborate. This is what makes them the perfect people to safely plan your home!
Finding the Help You Need is Easy
When it comes to finding the right structural engineer for your job, there’s no need to spend hours plugging, “structural engineer near me” into Google.
We created a list of reliable engineers all over the country who would be more than happy to create structural plans for you!
All of the engineers you can find through PE for Hire hold no less than a 4-year degree in their field. On top of the written work, these professionals have also completed work under the supervision of an experienced engineer.
They have all passed the necessary competency exams to practice as structural engineers as well.
Browsing around to find an engineer that fits your needs, and getting a quote for their services is completely free!
PE for Hire is a reliable online platform that takes the hassle out of finding an engineer for your project. No more trying to find a needle in a haystack, just to end up with a service you aren’t happy with!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the services we offer. We are available 24/7 to meet your needs.