What Does a Structural Engineer Do and When Should You Hire Them?
When building a construction project for a residential home, most people tend to focus on the design aspect since it’s typically the most exciting and expensive, but other disciplines deserve as much attention. The structural engineer, for instance, is a critical element that involves planning for the support systems to ensure the building’s integrity — down to the foundations, columns, beams, slabs, and other load-bearing components.
The detail structural engineering covers are fundamental to any building, especially if the residential project involves the following to meet code compliances, though keep in mind that the regulations may vary depending on your state.
- Single-family home with over two stories and a basement;
- Multiple-dwelling complex with over four units, two stories, and a basement;
- A complex with over four dwellings in one lot;
What are the Responsibilities of a Structural Engineer?
Structural engineers are licensed to plan, design, and generally spearhead the construction, renovation, and extension of buildings and similar structures. They play an integral role in several aspects of your residential project by fulfilling duties such as the following:
- Assessing the pressure a building encounters;
- Evaluating the possible risks in an area;
- Creating and testing models for their safety and stability;
- Determining the structural integrity of older buildings;
- Providing sound and accurate advice regarding repairs, alterations, and extensions for existing structures;
- Overseeing the construction of new structures;
- Collaborating with contractors, engineers, and architects to ensure the proper construction of structures;
- Estimating and calculating construction costs;
- Assessing the quality of construction materials;
- Ensuring all construction and structures meet building codes, health, and safety requirements in your state;
You’ll often find structural engineers behind the scenes, working as consultants for contractors, architects, designers, and other engineers involved in your residential project. They can also take on a more contractor role, which means the structural engineer can also have a heavy hand in the construction site.
Why Hiring Structural Engineers is a Must
Seeing as structural engineers primarily focus on the structural integrity of buildings, they’ll be working on several concerns that can make or mar the liveability and safety of your living space. This includes seismic concerns, roof snow load calculations, structural on-site evaluations to detect underlying problems, and a comprehensive assessment of the building’s foundation, framing, shear walls, and envelope.
Structural engineers also play a pivotal part in repairing deteriorated structural elements and ensuring your building functions good as new, especially when holding up against outdoor factors like winds, rain, snow, and more.
The Bottom Line: All About the Basics of Structural Engineering
When it comes to working on residential projects, hiring a structural engineer should be part of your priority to ensure your home’s foundations can stand tall against several forces for years to come.
What Can We Do to Turn Your Blueprints Into Reality?
We’re an engineering firm based in Toronto, Ontario that strives to bridge the gap between our clients and developers. We specialize in five major disciplines of engineering — from structural, civil, mechanical, and electrical — providing tailor-made solutions designed to support your project.
Try out our complimentary consultation by giving us a call at 647-745-3040 and see what we can do to meet your engineering needs.