Are you concerned about the state of your property? It may be that you have noticed that the roof has started to sag or that worrying cracks are beginning to creep across the walls. Perhaps, there is nothing wrong with your property at the moment but you think that an alteration or extension that you are proposing could have a structural impact on the property. If there are any structural concerns about your property, then it is advisable to call in a structural engineer. A structural engineer will be able to report on the current state of your property and explain what the structural implications could be for any work that you are proposing. If you have a construction project about to start, then bringing a structural engineer onto your team is the best way to ensure that the building progresses without incident and that the final structure will be safe, stable, and legally compliant. If you aren't sure how to hire a structural engineer or what questions you need to ask them, then here are three conversation pointers to guide your discussion and help you make the best choice.
Is there the right professionalism?
With a structural engineer or any other contractor who you are thinking about hiring, you must choose only experienced professionals to work with. It's always good to start by asking them about their qualifications, experience, and what insurance cover they have. You can't risk bringing in a professional to advise your team only to discover that they don't have the right experience. Far worse would be having their work or advice cause an accident and then discovering that they don't have any insurance so you suffer a serious financial loss. Most engineers you encounter, however, will have the necessary qualifications.
Do they understand the legalities?
A good structural engineer will grasp how your project will be affected by the existing regulations. They will understand what safety or building regulations will need to be met and who will need to grant permission before your project can proceed. By knowing from the beginning what approvals you will need to seek, your structural engineer will be able to guide your design and building work so that everything that you do will be fully compliant throughout.
What else do you need to know?
While a structural engineer isn't the only professional you will need on your team, they will often be able to guide you to the right person if any of your questions fall outside their sphere of knowledge. They should know whether you are expected to notify nearby residents of any work on your property. If there are other external factors which could impact that, they will know where you should direct your question.
Reach out to a structural engineer to get started.