Tips for Hiring a Structural Engineer

A structural engineer is an engineering professional who specialises in determining how safe a residential or commercial structure is. You will need to hire a structural engineer if you intend to undertake major renovation works on your residential premises.

The engineer will be in a position to determine the kind of effect that the renovation exercise will have on the structural integrity of your home. Because hiring a structural engineer is not the kind of thing you do every day, here are a few tips that will make the hiring process easier.

Structural Engineering Experience

It is often said in engineering circles that experience builds expertise. Therefore, a more experienced engineer is bound to be more of an expert at what he or she does.

As you make the comparison between different structural engineers, remember that experience in the engineering world is not so much about the number of years an engineering professional has been in practice. Rather it is more focused on the number of projects that the engineer has handled in his or her years of practice.

For example, a structural engineer might have been in practice for two years, yet he or she may have only had seven clients in this duration. Such an engineer is considered to be less experienced than one who has been in practice for one year but has handled ten or more projects during this time.

State-Specific Certification

Structural engineers need to have a work permit from the local authorities in their jurisdiction of practice.

This is done because building codes and by-laws differ from one jurisdiction to the next. Certification, therefore, ensures that the engineer understands the codes and by-laws as dictated by the state laws in their area of practice.

You should, therefore, remember to check that your preferred structural engineer is on the list of certified engineering practitioners as presented by your local authorities.


Depending on the nature of the project, a structural engineer might have an hourly rate for their service charge, or they might offer a fixed-fee option of payment.

A fixed-fee payment option is often preferred because you get to know exactly how much you'll pay the engineer at the end of your renovation project. An hourly rate of payment presents the huge possibility of spiralling costs should the project not be completed at the expected time.

Remember, it is more expensive not to hire a structural engineer. To learn more about engineering, contact structural engineering consultants in your area.