When it comes to making structural changes to your home, many homeowners wonder what the difference is between a building architect and a structural engineer. In fact, both architects and structural engineers work together in making any building project a success.
While you may think that it will be enough to get a set of designs for your construction project from an architect that you hire, running those designs by a structural engineer is sensible because they can make the plans safe, effective and efficient.
In most cases, architects have a broad understanding of building structures, so will often need a specialist structural engineer to detail their designs for them. While hiring an architect can be beneficial because they have an amazing ability to see what can be done with the available space and look at your project from an aesthetically pleasing viewpoint, they can often benefit from more technical pointers.
So this is why planning for a major house renovation, building extension, loft conversion etc. isn’t a case of using either an architect or a structural engineer, but using both in partnership to ensure your construction project is perfect and will meet all needed building regulations and restrictions.
Do I need help from both?
In most cases it is normal for architects and structural engineers to work together on building projects, but depending on the size and nature of your construction plans, you may not need the services of both.
If you already know what you want to do, such as remove a chimney breast or internal supporting wall, then you may not need the help of an architect as the work will be very straightforward. However, you will need the help of a structural engineer to check the structural viability of your project and ensure that you have plans in place that accurately detail the materials and measurements you need to make the project a success.
How early should I engage a structural engineer in London?
Getting structural engineering help from GL Design Services can be introduced as early as the initial design and planning stage. We can be brought in to offer our advice and guidance on your concept ideas and draw up sketches based on what you want to achieve.
Once we have established exactly want you want, we can go ahead and enter the technical design phase where we create your structural designs using CAD technology and includes a detailed report on the exact materials and measurements that are essential for the success of your project.
You must bring us in on your plans before any construction work takes place. This will ensure that all works are undertaken safely and effectively. The last thing you want to happen is for a wall to collapse or your ceilings to come down due to lack of proper support.
Understanding the role of a structural engineer
When planning some home improvements, especially for the first time, it can be very confusing to know who to hire to help you.
While hiring an architect is a great idea if you plan some major home renovations because it is their job to create designs that will make your home look good, it is the job of a structural engineer to focus on the structural integrity of your plans and certifying that your plans are sound and in compliance with all current building regulations.
Our team at GL Design Services can design a structure for your building project that specifies the size and type of steel, timber or concrete lintels and joints as well as work out all of your supporting calculations.
You want your home to look beautiful, but you also want it to be safe for you and your family to live in. This is why you need the help of a structural engineer in London.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your needs.