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How much does a structural engineer cost?

When planning home renovation projects that involve extension, demolition or conversion, the involvement of a structural engineer may be necessary. This is because such projects require calculations to determine the type of support your house will need. Our guide provides comprehensive information on structural engineers, including their charges, factors that affect their hiring costs, ways to save money when hiring one, and the best approach to finding a qualified structural engineer for your home development project. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about structural engineers before embarking on your project.

How much does the Structural Engineer cost?

The cost of hiring a structural engineer for home renovation projects can vary, depending on the type and scale of the project. Here are some estimated costs for common structural engineer jobs:

  • Hourly fee: £90 to £200
  • Fee to calculate RSJ beams: £60 to £950
  • Structural engineer inspection: £175 to £300
  • Structural engineer report: £500 to £2,000
  • Loft conversion or extension (including site visit, calculations and drawings): £750 to £2,200

For small projects, an hourly fee may be charged, while mid-sized projects may have a set fee agreed upon beforehand. Larger-scale projects may result in a percentage of the total build cost being charged, which typically operates on a sliding scale. The estimated cost will depend on the project, and the structural engineer will assess the job at hand and suggest a suitable fee system.

The most common reason to hire a structural engineer is to calculate the necessary RSJ beams required for a home development project, with a fee of £60 to £950. Structural engineer inspections generally cost around £175 to £300, and a structural engineer report, which includes a site visit, consultation, calculations and a written report, usually costs between £500 to £2,000.

For larger projects such as loft conversions or extensions, the cost is likely to be higher, ranging from £750 to £2,200, which includes a site visit, necessary calculations and structural drawings.

What factors influence the cost of hiring a structural engineer?

There are various factors that can affect the overall cost of hiring a structural engineer for your home renovation project. Here are some of the most significant factors to keep in mind:

Nature and scope of the project:

The size and complexity of your project will play a key role in determining the cost of hiring a structural engineer. For instance, a smaller project would require less work and resources, resulting in a lower fee, while a larger and more complex project could cost significantly more, possibly up to £2,000.

Type of job required:

The prices presented earlier in this guide shows that there are many different types of jobs that a structural engineer can carry out, and the pricing for each job can vary widely. The amount of labor and expertise required to assess RSJ beams is different from that needed to perform calculations for a full loft conversion, so you should expect different fees depending on the job.

Independent contractor or large firm:

The choice of whether to hire an individual contractor or a structural engineer from a larger firm can impact the cost of the project, as well as the quality of work and expertise provided. While an individual contractor may charge less than an employee from a larger firm, the latter may have specific qualifications and training that the contractor does not have. Ultimately, the decision to hire an independent contractor or a firm employee is a matter of personal preference and depends on what you prioritize as a homeowner.

Structural Engineer

How much it costs to obtain planning permission or building regulation approval?

Regarding Building Regulations, many structural engineers include the expense of submitting plans for approval in their final fee. It’s necessary for your project to conform to Building Regulations, and an inspector will check that the structure meets the requirements.

The cost of submitting an application for Building Regulations ranges from £150 to £300, and inspections can cost between £200 and £650, depending on the frequency and quantity of inspections required.

These costs are distinct from the fees associated with applying for planning permission, which is required for larger projects not covered by permitted development rights. In England, a planning application costs £206, and if you are located in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, you should contact your local planning authority to determine their planning application fees.

It’s important to keep in mind that planning permission application expenses may increase depending on the project’s size and complexity. Obtaining building regulations approval is a crucial step in planning and executing a building project. With the help of a qualified structural engineer, you can ensure that your structure meets all local safety requirements.

Structural engineers can provide valuable guidance and expertise in evaluating plans for residential buildings, commercial projects, or large-scale construction sites. They are responsible for assessing structural integrity and safety, as well as ensuring that building regulations approval is obtained before any work begins.

The cost of employing a structural engineer will be determined by the project’s complexity, but they play a critical role in ensuring that your building is safe and in compliance with all legal obligations. To learn more about how much it might cost to hire a structural engineer for your project, please refer to the previous section.

Your Location:

The cost of hiring a structural engineer can be influenced by your location within the UK. If your property is situated in the midlands, northern England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, you might expect to pay less compared to those located in central London and southeast regions, where the prices tend to be higher. It’s important to consider your location when planning and budgeting for a project that requires the services of a structural engineer.

Structural Engineers in Newcastle

How can I reduce costs when hiring a structural engineer?

Requesting quotes from multiple structural engineers in your area is an effective way to reduce the cost of your home renovation project. However, it’s important to remember that the priority when hiring a structural engineer should not be solely to save money. While it may be tempting to cut costs, a structural engineer’s job is to ensure the stability of your property, thereby minimizing the risk of injury to its residents.

It is crucial to hire a highly qualified and experienced structural engineer who can provide you with comprehensive feedback on the necessary support your property requires. Although hiring an independent engineer instead of an employee from a large firm may potentially lower the fee, it’s important to inquire about what is included in the quotes you receive.

It’s essential to view the cost of hiring a structural engineer as an investment in your property that can save you both time and money in the future.

What factors should I consider to determine if I require the services of a structural engineer, an architect, or both for my building project?

Many people are confused about whether they need to hire a structural engineer, an architect, or both. While there is some overlap between these two professions, we recommend that you consider hiring both if your budget allows it, as each brings different and shared areas of expertise to the project.

A structural engineer’s main focus is on the weight of the building and the structural support needed to ensure the building’s stability. They will specify what steel beams and other supporting elements may be needed for the project, and will ensure that the building passes all regulatory requirements.

An architect, on the other hand, works with the homeowner to turn their vision into a reality. They consider both the aesthetic design of the project and the structural side of it, and ensure that the project gains planning permission and Building Regulations approval.

There are times when an architect and structural engineer may work together, with the architect overseeing the project and the structural engineer ensuring that the proposed structure is safe and supported. If you have a larger project, it may be best to consult with an architect first to turn your ideas into something substantial, while if you simply need to remove a load-bearing wall, you can speak directly to a structural engineer.

An architect can advise you if a structural engineer is required to visit your property, as part of their job is ensuring the build or renovation will be as safe as it can be.

What to expect: cost considerations

When it comes to load bearing walls, there are a few cost considerations to keep in mind. In the UK, the average cost of a structural engineer is between £500 and £1,000. However, this can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. For example, a small residential project may only cost a few hundred pounds, while a large commercial project could cost several thousand.

Another factor to consider is the type of materials you will need for your project. Structural engineers will typically charge more for projects that require specialised materials or complex designs. Finally, make sure to factor in any additional costs such as travel expenses if your engineer is based outside of your area.

By keeping these cost considerations in mind, you can make sure that you get the best possible value for your money when hiring a structural engineer.

The services: what they include

A structural engineer is a professional who is trained and qualified to assess, design, and oversee the construction of buildings and other structures. They are typically involved in the construction of new buildings or the renovation of existing ones.

Structural engineers generally work on projects that include both the design and construction phases. In the design phase, they develop plans and specifications for the project. During construction, they provide oversight to ensure that the work is being done according to the plans.

The cost of a structural engineer depends on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the project, the location, and the engineer’s experience. For a small loft conversion or home extension, you can expect to pay around £1-3 thousand pounds.

To find a suitable structural engineer for your project, seeking recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors who have previously hired one is recommended. This way, you can gain peace of mind and even see their work firsthand. Additionally, you can check the websites of professional organizations such as the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) or the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) to verify their qualifications and adherence to industry guidelines.

To summarize, the following tips can help you find the right structural engineer for your needs:

  • Ask for recommendations from people who have undertaken similar projects.
  • Research and read online reviews to narrow down your options.
  • Obtain quotes from multiple engineers to compare costs and services.
  • Ask questions about their qualifications and experience to ensure confidence in your decision.
loft conversion

How to work with a structural engineer: the process

If you’re planning any type of home renovation that involves changing the structure of your house, you’ll need to work with a structural engineer. Here’s a look at the process of working with a structural engineer, from start to finish.

First, you’ll need to find a qualified structural engineer in your area. Once you’ve found someone who is experienced, you’ll need to schedule an initial consultation. During this consultation, the engineer will assess your project and provide you with an estimate for their services.

Once you’ve decided to move forward with working with a particular engineer, they will begin the process of designing the necessary changes to your home. This may involve creating drawings and specifications for the construction crew that will be carrying out the work.

In conclusion, a structural engineer can cost anywhere from £50 to £250 per hour. The cost will depend on the engineer’s experience and the project’s scope. When hiring a structural engineer, be sure to get a written estimate of the total cost of the project.

structural calculations

Structural calculations are an important and necessary part of any construction project. Structural engineers use their knowledge and expertise to assess the structural integrity of a building or other structure, ensuring that it is safe and secure. In addition to providing safety evaluations, structural engineers also provide cost estimates for the entire building project based on those calculations.

When considering how much a structural engineer costs for a particular job, there are several factors to take into account. The complexity and scope of the project will play a large role in determining the overall cost of the engineer’s services. Other factors such as location, experience level and additional services needed can also affect the final price tag for a structural engineer’s services. It is always best practice to contact several different engineers in order to get multiple quotes before making your final selection.

Final Checklist

Before embarking on the search for a structural engineer to assist with your project, use this checklist to ensure you have everything you need:

  1. Assess the scope of the project and identify the necessary structural work.
  2. If working with an architect, consult with them to determine if a structural engineer is required.
  3. Research and select a structural engineer who is best suited to your project.
  4. Obtain quotes from at least three different professionals to compare costs.
  5. Verify that the engineer has insurance coverage before agreeing to any work.
  6. Confirm whether the price includes final reports.


When Do I Need a Structural Engineer?

It’s generally advisable to hire a structural engineer for projects that may impact a building’s stability. Here are some home development projects where you should consider hiring a structural engineer for their advice and recommendations:

  • Removing or modifying load-bearing walls
  • Replacing doors or windows
  • Underpinning floors
  • Removing a chimney breast
  • Converting the loft, cellar or basement
  • Building extensions.

How can I determine if my project requires planning permission or buildings regulation approval?

The necessity for planning permission or Building Regulations approval entirely depends on the specific project you intend to carry out in your property. To determine if you require either permission or approval, you can either contact your local Planning Office or visit the Planning Portal website.

The Planning Portal website can provide guidance on the types of projects that require planning permission or Building Regulations approval. As a general rule, if your project is expected to affect the stability of the building, planning permission will be necessary.

What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

Structural engineers are responsible for supervising any structural modifications to buildings, whether in newly constructed buildings or in existing properties undergoing renovations or conversions.

Is it a legal requirement to hire a structural engineer?

When you’re making any structural changes to a residential or commercial property, it’s necessary to have a structural engineer onboard to provide guidance and ensure the safety of the project.

What Are Some Signs of Structural Problems?

Structural problems can be identified by certain signs such as cracks in plaster, bulging walls, dips in the floor, and gaps around windows and doors. While some cracks may be superficial, staggered breaks in plaster can indicate structural issues.

Are Structural Engineers Well paid?

The starting salary for newly qualified structural engineers is approximately £26,000, making it a well paid profession to pursue. As their experience increases, their wages also increase. Independent contractors typically earn more than those working for large companies.

Do Structural Engineers Provide Free Quotes?

Generally, structural engineers do not provide free quotes. They charge for their services on a per report basis, either through an hourly rate of between £50 to £250 or a flat fee for specific job types.

Hiring a structural engineer is like hiring a contractor to build your house. The cost will vary depending on the size and scope of the project, but you can expect to pay several thousand pounds for their services.

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