When It's Best To Hire A Structural Engineer For A Home Project

Structural engineering is a specialized type of engineering that deals with how buildings and other structures withstand pressure, such as from wind and weather, gravity, and their own weight. A structural engineer is needed for when a high-rise or other such building is going to be constructed, but they may also be the right professional to call when you have certain home projects to tackle. Since many types of projects need to figure in certain forms of pressure against a home, a structural engineer may be needed in addition to a contractor. Note the following times when you as a homeowner may need to hire a structural engineer for a home project.

1. When adding another story or addition to a home

Another story to a home means added weight that must be supported by the home's foundation and load-bearing walls. A structural engineer should be called to inspect these elements of a home and note if they will be able to support the weight of another story. You may need to add more load-bearing walls or support beams to the home's frame, or brace up the foundation with underpinning. If not, the walls and foundation could both crack under this additional weight.

This is also true with a home addition. An addition to a home puts weight on the side of the house where the addition is built, and the frame of the home may not be strong enough to support this weight. You may need to brace up the framing or foundation on just that side of the home to keep the addition from sinking or shifting away from the home itself.

2. When there is structural damage to your home

If your home has cracks in the walls or the foundation, you don't want to simply patch these over but instead, you want to know the cause of these cracks and make necessary repairs. If you fail to do this, you may see more cracks that eventually get worse over time.

Sloping floors can also be a sign of structural damage, and again, you don't want to just cover these over with new floorboards or try to sand down wood floors to make them level. A structural engineer should be called to first inspect your home before making repairs so he or she can note the actual cause of this damage. You can then make the repairs that are needed to the home's actual structure to ensure that this damage doesn't get worse over time. For more information, contact a business such as Jeffrey Hills and Associates.