A structural engineer is a person who has gone to school to learn how to determine the overall condition of a structure to establish if it is safe or not. Many people think that structural engineers are only needed when a building is first built, but that is not the case at all. Structural engineers are needed for many other types of projects as well. The following guide walks you through a few of the most common jobs structural engineers do on a daily basis.
If you start to notice small cracks forming in your home's foundation, it is important to have a structural engineer inspect it right away. The engineer will inspect every aspect of the foundation to determine if shrink swell is causing the cracks or if there is another issue at hand. Shrink swell occurs when the ground under a home cannot support the weight of the home and the home starts to sink into the ground slightly. This can devastate a home overtime because the foundation of the home will not be structurally sound.
If you plan to convert your attic into extra living space in your home, hire a structural engineer to inspect the plans for the conversion and the actual conversion after it is done. He or she will make sure that the walls are installed properly so that you do not have to fear a wall falling over onto someone if an earthquake occurs. The flooring will also be inspected to ensure that it is strong enough to support the weight of individuals or furniture on a daily basis.
Permits and Plans for Additions
If you want to add an addition to your home, a structural engineer can design the plans for you and get any necessary permits you need for the addition. You cannot have an addition built onto your home without having the proper permits because many jurisdictions want to be sure that the additions are built the right way. They need to be structurally sound to ensure that no one gets hurt by a wall falling or floor giving out from under them. The engineer can create plans based on the vision you have in your head for the area and then help you make any changes to ensure the addition is to code and as structurally sound as possible.
If you have questions about the structural stability about any aspect of your home, hire a structural engineer to do an inspection for you. This will let you know what changes need to be made to make the home safer.