Structural engineers work to effectively design, construct, and maintain all types of building structures. Structural engineers are focused on the constructional and architectural integrity of the structures they working with. As a structural engineer, there main goal will be to ensure that the project is able to withstand all types of stress. They also play a vital role in the safety and efficiency of many different types of urban and suburban environments. Their attention will be divided among issues including initial design, finance, and construction.
A structural engineer plays an active role in the design phase of a construction project by determining its structural integrity. Use both theoretical concepts and practical knowledge to assess how external forces, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and snowstorms, winds and water could compromise the architecture of a building or a piece of infrastructure.
Once the design phase is complete, there will be the need to understand budget constraints, as well as the cost of materials and the labor needed to complete your project.
As the construction of a structure progresses, structural engineers serve as site inspectors and help supervise the execution of blueprints and the implementation of their designs. As an engineer, they are expected to communicate technical data to construction engineers and managers who supervise builders and other laborers.
Many engineering firms do not offer residential services. Understand the residential market and the homeowner is also another aspect of the trade. Most of the work that a residential structural engineer performs for residential homeowners begins with an onsite engineering assessment. Our licensed, structural engineers make a site visit to the property. We survey the areas of concern and assess the severity of the structural problems in question.
After a site investigation is conducted, structural engineers prepare a structural engineering report outlining onsite findings, identifying probable cause of the structural issue and recommendations for remediation of any structural deficiency un-covered.
When buying or selling a home in many instances, the residential structural engineer is called in 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.
Structures constructed before 1970 may also require the input from a structural engineer. Many times these structures constructed before 1960s-70s were built without todays proper building methods. Today, state and local building codes exist to ensure contractors and home builders follow these means for safety and stress from natures elements and more. 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.
Other residential home issues requiring a licensed, structural engineer are:
- 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
- Sink holes and soil concerns, Building collapse
- Flood, fire, water or high wind damage, Roof failure
- Undersized and damaged framing members