Will I need a structural engineer for my extension?

If you are wondering, ‘do I need a structural engineer for my extension’, I hope that you take the time to read this short article. We will outline some key reasons why a structural engineer is an integral part of your proposed extension. They are just as important as the very bricks, plaster and other materials that will form the very construction.

Won’t an architect do the job? An architect is not a structural engineer, so no, not really. The key difference between an architect and an engineer is that an architect focuses more on the “shell or layout” of the building, amongst other things. And an engineer focuses on the structural side, the “skeleton” of the building. If you have contracted an architect already, you should broach the subject with them. It is important to ask whether a structural engineer is required.

Why do I need a structural engineer for my extension?

Of course, there is always the exception that proves the rule, but for most of us, any alterations to our property are likely to have some impact on the structural integrity of our home. If that is the case, then a structural engineer is an absolute must. If your proposed project entails any of the following, a structural engineer will be necessary for the safe completion of your project.

  • Building an extension
  • Removing a chimney breast
  • Carrying out a loft conversion
  • Modifying or adding doors and windows
  • Removing/modifying internal walls, especially load-bearing walls
  • Adding solar panels
  • Adding a mezzanine floor
  • Underpinning walls

Remember, that this list is not definitive. So, there will be some work that alters the structure of your property which is not on the list. Including some examples, for which a structural engineer would most definitely be required. The very best advice is to get in touch with a structural engineer before your project starts, so that you can see if the work would benefit from structural engineering services, and get a quote for the job.