Hiring a Structural Engineer: When Do You Need One and What to Expect

Owning a home is a major responsibility. It seems as though there is always something on your to-do list to take care of. Maintaining a well-kept home is no easy task, so you’ll accept any help you can find. 

When it comes to the structural stability of your home, you know it’s no laughing matter. You take your home ownership seriously, so you want to take care of any structural concerns as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, serious issues mean you need to actually hire a professional to inspect your home’s foundation and structure. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of talented structural engineers out there for you to consider.

Perhaps you aren’t sure about hiring a structural engineer, and that’s okay. You’ve come to the right place with this article. Keep reading to learn about when and why to hire one.

What a Structural Engineer Actually Does

You might not have even heard of a structural engineer until recently, which is understandable. The positions of architect or contractor are more well-known throughout the construction industry. 

A structural engineer isn’t concerned, though, with the pretty architecture or the building process. Instead, a structural engineer focuses on the internal, structural integrity of the home.

Structural engineers fall under the category of civil engineers since they are concerned with infrastructure. A structural engineer will check the walls, floors, staircases, roofs, and any other structural components. If there is any concern about the home’s stability, he or she will inform you of your next steps to fix the problem. 

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of professionals in these positions is only going to grow throughout the next few years. It’s expected that from the years 2016-2026, the number of people employed in this position will have grown by 11 percent.

If you need to hire an expert to assess the structure of your home, now’s the time to do so. The importance of this position is to ensure the internal framework is able to safely maintain any expected weight. You and your family deserve to live with that peace of mind. 

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Cost When Hiring a Structural Engineer

Since you’re a good steward of your finances, you are concerned about the cost of hiring a structural engineer. Investing in hiring one is an investment in the long-term security of your home itself. That’s one reason it’s important to only seek qualified, licensed engineers for such projects.

Overall, though, hiring one shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars. The variation in cost, though, will differ by state, project, and expertise. 

In some situations, structural engineers only charge up to $200. Sometimes, though, they’ve been known to charge up to $1,000. It’s going to take a bit of research on your part to find the engineer you can afford and trust to get the job done. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Plenty of Questions

As mentioned above, you need to consider hiring a structural engineer as a long-term investment. That means you deserve to know what’s going on whenever you hire someone to assess it. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential structural engineer plenty of questions. 

For example, ensure that he or she has a solid background in applicable education and experience. Ask if he or she has a license of the state to practice engineering.

The are plenty of available resources to help you find qualified, licensed engineers. One example you can trust is provided here – check it out to find a professional suited to your needs. 

You can even see if you can find any online reviews of previous customers. This can be a great way to determine someone’s reputation when it comes to their services. If you’re committed to hiring a structural engineer, don’t settle for someone you aren’t absolutely comfortable with. 

Remodeling or Other Construction

You definitely need to hire a structural engineer when you are about to undergo serious remodeling projects. In fact, for most major construction projects, project managers will require you to hire one anyway. 

This is a great benefit, though, to the entire process. You don’t want a remodeling job to make your entire home unstable and likely to collapse, after all. 

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Damage From Natural Disasters

Perhaps one of the most crucial times to hire a structural engineer is after a natural disaster. Doing so could not only save the integrity of your home but also your potential insurance claim. 

Damage from fire, hail, flood, or even termites fall under this category. If for any reason, you feel as though the structural stability of your home is threatened, it’s time to make the phone call. You and your family deserve to live in a home that is sound and doing its job to protect you from the elements. 

When You’re Buying or Selling a Home

It’s a good idea to call up a structural engineer when you put your house on the market. It’s also a good idea to do so when you’re really interested in buying another house.

Either way, having the clearance of a structural engineer is a great idea for everyone involved in the buying or selling process. 

Noticeable Structural Damage

At the very least, you’ll know your home’s structure is at risk when there are visible cracks. They might start small at first, creeping along your walls, floors, and ceilings. 

Soon, though, they can become a serious threat. It’s time to call a qualified, available structural engineer. 

Continue Investing in Your Home

You care about your home as the long-term investment that it is. This is clear by the fact that you took seriously the matter of hiring a structural engineer. At this point, you should have a good idea of whether it’s in your best interest to do so. 

Responsible homeowners like you understand that proper care and maintenance of a home is never-ending. This is true even when you’re not looking to buy or sell it. 

We know how important it is to make the most of your invested time and energy in your home. That’s why you should check out this article on valuable home upgrades to continue investing in your home and your future.