Like most investors, you’ve probably already lined up a renovation contractor to tackle some projects on your investment properties. Still, you need to determine whether a structural engineer will be necessary for your renovation plans. Structural engineers assess the stability of buildings that have been updated and determine whether a building is structurally sound enough to finish the updates. This guide talks about how to know when you need to hire a structural engineer for your project.
If you plan on doing some renovation work on an investment property, it’s best to consult with a structural engineer during the planning stages of your project. While you may have an idea of what you want to do to the building, you won’t truly know its condition until you’ve actually assessed it.
A structural engineer knows how to figure out the property’s strength and stability, and can give you an accurate answer as to whether the property is structurally sound or not. You can then use this information to make a decision about whether or not to purchase the property.
While residential properties don’t have to have the same strength and stability as commercial properties, you still may need to hire a structural engineer for your project if you’re updating or renovating an older property.
Suppose your project involves restoring a property or upgrading an electrical or plumbing system, for example. In that case, a structural engineer will need to be on the job to assess the building’s support systems and see if the project is possible.
A structural engineer’s main interest and focus is ensuring that a structure is safe, and they are much more qualified to do this than a regular builder. A structural engineer can also do a much more thorough job at this than a general contractor.
High-Rise Building Projects
If your project involves a high-rise building, you may want to hire a structural engineer to assess it. While these buildings may not be as stable as they once were, many can be renovated and updated to work with your needs.
On the other hand, if you plan to purchase a high-rise building, you will definitely need to hire a structural engineer to assess it first. This will allow you to properly plan for any renovation costs and give you an accurate idea of how much renovation work is necessary for the building.
Structural engineers are also necessary if you are planning to add balconies, hanging terraces, or installing other additions onto the building.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Structural Engineer
As with any project, you need to be sure that you have the right person for the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring a structural engineer:
Licensing – A structural engineer should be licensed to practice as an engineer in the state where they work. While a license isn’t usually a problem, it’s still essential to ensure a structural engineer is licensed because it is illegal to practice without a license.
Specialty – Your structural engineer should be properly certified to work on the type of renovation project you have planned. They should be licensed in a specialty, such as seismic, soil, or concrete.
Experience – If you are looking for a structural engineer, look for someone who has at least five years of experience in structural engineering.
Cost – You should be able to find a good structural engineer for a reasonable price. You can easily find engineers who will assess your project for a good deal, given that they have the skill and experience to make an accurate and sound assessment of your project.
If you have found a potential investment property, you will want to hire a structural engineer to assess it before finalizing your purchase. Hiring a structural engineer is also necessary if you are planning on doing renovations to an older home.
AEI Inspections is the only firm you can trust when it comes to structural engineering and home inspections. Our team of licensed structural engineers in Tulsa is here to aid you in residential and commercial property inspections, structural design, and forensic structural engineering investigations. Contact us to learn more about the services we provide!