How to Find and Hire a Residential Structural Engineer
How to Find and Hire a Residential Structural Engineer?
Structural engineers are an important part of purchasing, building, and renovating properties – including residences. However, because people aren’t usually in the market for a residential structural engineer until they need them, it is difficult to know where to begin to look for one and even more, how to hire one. A home is typically the most expensive investment people make so finding and hiring the right residential structural engineer for the job at hand is essential for any homeowner. Read on to discover what these engineers do and how to find and hire them.
What Do Residential Structural Engineers Do?
Before hiring a structural engineer for your residence, it is important to understand a bit about what they do. Structural engineers are professionals that evaluate issues like cracked foundations, water and termite damage, and review building plans to ensure safe, solid structures. They also understand how the geology of an area can affect a residence’s structure and know what the construction codes are in the area. Professional, licensed structural engineers have at least a four-year degree in that field and extensive experience. Residential structural engineers typically act as advisors or consultants to the homeowner or builder.
Perhaps the most frequent contact the general public has with structural engineers is when purchasing a home. During the home buying process, most potential homebuyers will have a home inspection conducted prior to signing closing paperwork on the property and some types of loans even require it. If issues like cracked foundations or termites are found during the inspection, a structural engineer is hired to further investigate the problem. There are several types of engineers, such as civil, architectural, electrical, and mechanical. It isn’t uncommon for structural engineers to work with other types of engineers to ensure the overall safety and impact on the structure as a whole.
How to Find a Residential Structural Engineer
Because of the work that structural engineers do, it is extremely important to find an experienced professional who does their job well. Obviously, the first question many people ask is “how to find a residential structural engineer?” A good place to start is by asking others that have recently purchased a home or had renovations done. They likely used a structural engineer and can pass on their experience and make recommendations. Asking other professionals in the business is also a great tack to take – after all, they will have worked with structural engineers too! Then, search the internet for reviews and visit the websites of the individuals or firms that have been recommended. It is always a good idea to check into the state licensing for potential structural engineers as well. If it isn’t possible to find personal recommendations for a residential structural engineer, then the internet is the place to go. Of course, searching anything on the internet can be overwhelming, so find a listing of local individuals or firms to begin the search.
How to Hire a Residential Structural Engineer
Hiring any professional usually involves asking some questions of them to further inquire and clarify their experience and the customer’s expectations. Simple questions may include asking about the engineer’s experience, both generally and specific to the project in question. It is always okay to ask about state licensing and references. Be sure to ask about the fees upfront and make sure there is a clear understanding. As the role of structural engineers can differ based on the project, ask about the scope of work and how involved the engineer will be.
Residential structural engineers are licensed professionals and take their jobs seriously. Communication is essential for everyone involved to create the best experience possible with any work being done to a residence. Be clear with expectations and ask for clarification when needed.