When buying or selling of a home, In many instances, structural engineers are called to evaluate a potential problem un-covered after a home inspection. In this scenario, the homeowner is usually selling their home. After a general home inspection is complete, sometimes a structural engineering inspection is also warranted. If this is the case, the home inspector will include this recommendation in his or her final home inspection report. Home inspectors are not qualified to assess and diagnose structural problems. Only a licensed, structural engineer can provide accurate assessments and solutions for a home buyer or seller.
If you are planning on renovating your home and it involves removing or cutting into load-bearing walls, adding living space by way of 2nd story renovation or addition with great rooms containing wide open spaces (no supports), a structural engineering consultation is warranted. If you are extending your living quarters, you will require design and engineering for permit documents. Your local building department will require a licensed, professional engineer stamp any new construction or major renovation.
Complicated structures or projects involving older homes (constructed before 1970) may also require early input from a structural engineer. Many times, homes constructed before 1960s-70s were built without prescriptive building methods. Today, state and local building codes exist to ensure contractors and home builders follow a set of pre-determined guidelines for building a home. A licensed, structural engineer is the best professional to assess the feasibility of any major home renovation project. A site visit can be conducted to evaluate potential, structural issues.
Some other situations that could require the assistance of a structural engineer
In the event of a natural disaster which caused damage to your home, foundation wall cracks, settlement or movement, interior cracking and framing movement, sagging or bowing floors or walls, termite, carpenter ant or rot damage, undersized and damaged framing members, sink holes and soil concerns, roof failure, building collapse, flood, fire, water or high wind damage, and more, so if in any doubt be sure and contact a structural engineer to be safe and sure.
Another situation where needed, restoring old buildings
Another service offered by structural engineers is restoring the old residential and commercial buildings. The structural engineering service companies usually include the expert analysis of the condition of the buildings. They are usually used when people want to restore or repair their old homes. These companies usually decide the best solution for repairing the steel, wood, concrete, or any other structural elements. Most of these companies also offer consulting services that are available to help clients, such as property managers, home owners, architects, or contractors to complete the restoration projects. This service usually includes the expert advice or assistance regarding design concept, project management, and complete documentations.
There are no engineering degrees in home inspection. You should be aware that the title of “certified inspector” or “home inspection engineer” is not given out or granted by any state agency. You should also check to determine whether your state requires home inspectors to be licensed. There are home inspection training programs offered by private organizations which upon completion of a one or two-week program allow the inspector to use the term “certified.” The certification means almost nothing if the individual has little or no actual home inspection experience.
Becoming a structural engineer doesn’t just happen overnight; it’s the result of many years of study. The aspiring structural engineer should really start their preparation before entering college. Since so much of structural engineering is the application of math and science, it is important to take as many of these classes as possible in high school, preparing oneself for entering college.
Higher math, such as geometry, trigonometry and calculus all play a part in structural engineering. Likewise, much of engineering is applying the principles of physics to develop solutions to practical problems, with years of college study, no few week course will train you for what a structural engineer has been trained to be and do.