Why hire a structural engineer?
While you may have heard the term structural engineer, you may not be familiar with all the essential jobs they are trained for. Not only do structural engineers help with extensions, but they are also integral during renovations and demolitions too.
Structural engineers can also assist with safety issues such as checking how viable or secure a structure will be, suggesting changes to ensure a project is structurally sound and even helping with choosing the correct materials for your building designs.
Thanks to all of the above reasons, structural engineer costs are more than worth the expenditure and can even save you money in the long run.
Structural engineer costs
|Structural engineer costs||Cost + VAT |
(Range low - high)
|Structural engineer (basic residential project)||£350 - £450||£400|
|Structural engineer (complex residential project)||£1,500 - £9,500||£5,000|
|Structural engineer prices per hour||£50 - £90||£70|
|Cost of structural engineer inspection||£175 - £300||£250|
|Structural engineer report cost||£500 - £2,000||£1,175|
|Structural engineer costs for RSJ calculation||£250 - £950||£500|
|Cost of structural engineer for load bearing walls||£200 - £600||£400|
When deciding to utilise the skills of a structural engineer, keep in mind that the overall cost will be strongly impacted by the complexity of the project. The more complex the structure, the more time and in-depth knowledge the structural engineer will need.
For a breakdown of each cost we spoke to the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This guide features the estimated structural engineer costs they provided.
The average cost of a structural engineer is £400 for a basic residential project and £5,000 for a complex residential project.
For these costs we have considered the following:
- Basic and complex residential projects do not include basements. Any basement structural design will be significantly more.
- These prices do not cover commercial work.
- These prices do not include any intrusive surveys.
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What does a structural engineer do?
Structural engineers wear many hats, including:
Residential or commercial: Not only do structural engineers assist with residential buildings but they are vital in commercial and industrial settings too. Examples include offices, shops, bridges and even factories.
Safety: The most important goal for a structural engineer is to ensure the safety of all involved with every project.
Structure and support: Checking plans and suggesting changes & materials is also a big part of a structural engineers’ job.
Planning permission and regulations: With any project the legalities cannot be forgotten. Structural engineers submit planning permission for all jobs they are involved in and ensure that building regulations are complied with.
Structural inspections: Whether you are purchasing a new home or have concerns in your current home, a structural engineer can help by conducting an inspection to ensure the building is structurally sound.
Removals: Another element of home renovations, structural engineers can assist with removing walls, floors and doorways by assessing whether extra support is needed to maintain the safety and security of a building.
The difference between an architect and a structural engineer
It’s not always clear whether you need the services of an architect or a structural engineer. Below are the main areas that each of these professionals can assist with:
- Architect: Primarily dealing with design, an architect can draw up sketches and plans to help illustrate how a new project will appear and fit together. Architects often use the measurements and suggestions of a structural engineer when drawing up their plans. For more details view our guide on architect fees.
- Structural Engineer: Covering issues with safety and structure, a structural engineer looks at the weight and support of the building, as well as the effects of removing walls or doors. They can help you choose the correct materials, ensure foundations are secure and check whether buildings need extra reinforcements.
Factors affecting structural engineer costs
No two projects will need the same input so structural engineer prices vary widely from job to job. The most important factors when determining costs are as follows:
- Complexity of project: The complexity of a project can see the cost range from £400 to £5,000.
- Size of project: Larger projects such as house extensions will cost a lot more than smaller projects such as removing a window.
- Size of current property: Checking a small flat is structurally sound will be much cheaper than a large home. Bigger properties will generally incur higher structural engineer costs.
- Type of job: As structural engineers cover a wide range of jobs, each project will vary in cost. For example, an assessment of a structure will usually be cheaper than the planning and implementation of a large renovation.
Cost of structural engineer inspection
It can be useful to hire a structural engineer to inspect a new property before putting in an offer or to inspect a property that is giving you cause for concern.
The average cost of a structural engineer inspection is £250.
Structural engineer report cost
Following a building inspection, a structural engineer will compile a building report. This in-depth report looks at the different parts of a structure, their condition and any recommendations for repairs.
The average structural engineer report cost is £1,175.
Structural engineer costs for RSJ calculation
RSJs or rolled steel joists are beams designed to support loads in any building, in particular doors or when removing load-bearing walls. For further information and costs regarding RSJs please see our RSJ cost guide.
The average structural engineer costs for RSJ calculation is £500.
Cost of structural engineer for load-bearing walls
Load-bearing walls are integral in any structure as they offer vital support. If you are considering removing a load-bearing wall or if you are unsure as to whether a wall is load-bearing, a structural engineer can assist with this.
The average cost of a structural engineer for load-bearing walls is £400.
Do I need a structural engineer?
If you are considering a large renovation, demolition or making structural changes to your property it is a good idea to hire a structural engineer. Making these important decisions yourself is unwise with the high potential for injury or even death if your home is unsafe.
Structural engineers are highly trained to degree level. They bring a wealth of knowledge and provide helpful suggestions for your project.
To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised structural engineer cost use our free search feature.
How much does a structural engineer cost per hour?
Structural engineers will either ask for payment at a fixed total cost or an hourly rate basis. The average hourly rate for structural engineers is £70.
Useful structural engineer cost checklist
- Structural engineers can help with new builds, renovations, demolitions and safety inspections.
- A structural engineer can help reduce costs and risks by suggesting changes to materials and plans.
- You may be asked to pay a structural engineer by the job or by the hour.
- Structural engineers are highly trained and can potentially save lives.
Use our helpful search function to find qualified structural engineers in your area.
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