What should I hire an engineer for?
You will need an engineer when you make changes to the roofing, walls, plumbing, wiring, or foundations of your home. It’s also a good idea to call a structural engineer if you feel your home has issues that make it unsafe. Engineers will explore the house and recommend what needs to be done, keeping in mind city building codes and your needs.
If you are building a home or adding an addition, you may need a structural engineer or a soil engineer. A structural engineer is needed if the load-bearing walls in your home are being modified or removed, changes made to the plumbing or wiring, or if other structural elements are being tampered with. In these types of cases, it is crucial than you employ one in order to ensure your structure is safe.
Soil engineers (also called geotechnical engineers) analyze the soil structure of a proposed building construction site and existing structures for problematic conditions concerning the ground under foundations. They make necessary calculations for designing a structure’s foundation and the structure itself. A chimney continually going down, wall cracks, moving buildings – a soil engineer can help alleviate possible problems like this.
You might consider seeing a local government soil engineer to save some money. Also depending on the project, it might be better to hire a land surveyor.
Your architect will let you know if you need an engineer and may be able to suggest where you can find one. Although engineers cost more than architects, their work is often imperative to the success of the overall project.
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