What is the difference between a surveyor and a structural engineer?

When undertaking a building project, major renovation, conversion or even a property purchase, knowing which professional you need is essential. In our latest blog post, we take a look at the difference between 2 key experts, surveyors and structural engineers, so that you can engage the most knowledgeable professional for your project.

Do I need a surveyor or a structural engineer?

Generally, every building project will need to engage the services of three key professionals, an architect, a structural engineer, and a surveyor. The architect will assist with the overall design; however, it is the surveyor and structural engineer who are involved with the build process.

What does a structural engineer do?

Structural engineers are tasked with ensuring your property is structurally sound, with the strength and stability needed to stand safely forever. They will use the architects plans to create solutions for foundations, walls, floors, and ceilings, and they can also design the temporary works needed during the project.

What does a surveyor do?

There are many different surveyors which can be involved in building projects, including building surveyors, quantity surveyors, land surveyors and party wall surveyors. A building surveyor will be able to direct the building works alongside the architect and engineer, whilst identifying and finding resolutions for defects.

However, depending on the project, you may engage the services of a quantity surveyor to calculate the cost of the works, a land surveyor to produce accurate plans of the site, or a party wall surveyor, who will specialise in the laws relating to party walls.

What are the main differences between a structural engineer and a surveyor?

There is often confusion about the differences between a surveyor and a structural engineer. The main differences are that a structural engineer is tasked with ensuring that a building is supported correctly and safe, by considering the materials used, the site and the design of the build. If you are undertaking any of the following projects, you will need to hire a structural engineer:

• Removing a chimney breast
• Building an extension
• Removing internal load bearing walls
• Converting a loft
• Modifying windows or doors
• Underpinning floors

Whereas, a builder surveyor can identify potential building defects and make recommendations on the severity of the issue and how to resolve them, such as:

• Cracking walls
• Subsidence
• Sagging ceilings
• Sagging roofline

How can Simplify Structural Engineering help?

As you can see from our blog post, there are some key differences between a surveyor and a structural engineer. Here at Simplify Structural Engineering, our experienced team will make the perfect partners for your build, and we will work alongside your architect, surveyors, and construction team to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible. To find out more about our simple approach to structural engineering and the services we offer, contact our team today.