What do Structural Engineers do?
Structural Engineers specialise in the structure of buildings (foundations, walls and roofs). They provide services whereby they will inspect problems with existing buildings and also help with structural design and calculations for changes. They can also provide services in relation to the design of new buildings and planning permission applications.
Professional Qualifications of Structural Engineers
A Structural Engineer is likely to be a member of the IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) or a member of the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) and will have after his or her name the letters MIStructE, FIStructE, MICE or FICE. Structural Engineers with these letters after their names are known as Chartered Engineers. It is generally recommended that you engage the services of a Chartered Engineer rather than an Engineer who is not chartered but it should be noted that there are some Engineers with considerable experience who are not chartered. The choice is yours. Some Chartered Building Surveyors also offer services in this area. Structural Engineers also often provide expertise relating to Party Wall issues.
When might you need a Structural Engineer?
For more detail on the types of services available from Structural Engineers please read the following:
If your home is showing signs of subsidence or heave in the foundations, movement or cracking of the walls or sagging of the ceiling or the roofline, you may need a Structural Engineer to carry out an inspection. If the problem is confined to one area and you do not require the Structural Engineer to inspect the whole building then you will only need a Specific Structural Inspection. If you would like the Structural Engineer to inspect the structure of the whole building then you will require a General Structural Inspection.
Over time a chimney may lose some of the mortar in the brickwork and eventually the chimneystack will become unstable. You may wish to consider having a Structural Engineer carry out a Specific Structural Inspection before deciding what repairs are necessary.
In the case of fire damage to a house a General Structural Inspection by a Structural Engineer may be required to assess the stability of the building and the possible cost of repair of the structure. For the cost of repairs to reinstall the interior and tidy up the exterior a Building Survey from a Chartered Surveyor may be more appropriate.
If making structural changes to an existing building or if designing a new building, you will need to be in compliance with the current building regulations and you may need to submit information to your local Building Control authority. To help you through this process you may need to take on the services of a Structural Engineer.
If you require more information about the interior of the property then, instead of a Structural Inspection, you may be better to commission a Building Survey from a Building Surveyor. Before appointing a supplier and placing an order you should ensure yourself that your chosen supplier has satisfactory qualifications, accreditation, experience and insurance to provide the level of service that you require.
Are you a Structural Engineer?
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