Home Owners FAQs

If you’re a homeowner and you need a structural engineer for your home improvement project then JPS have compiled some frequently asked questions that may help. Please feel free to give us a call or email us if you need further help.

FAQS

Any work to change the structure of a building needs structural calculations to get Building Regulations approval.

Your Structural Engineer will do these calculations for you. It is a legal requirement for building work to meet Building Regulations to help ensure the safety of people in or around those buildings.

The Building Regulations are there to help you protect yourself and your money from unreputable builders and unsafe practices.

Building Regulation certificates are also needed when you come to sell your house if you have altered the structure in any way.

Building an extension

New Build projects & developments

Removing or modifying internal structural walls

Modifying doors and windows

Loft conversions

Garage conversions

Foundation design & underpinning

Removing a chimney breast

A structural engineer can provide several services to residential clients.

  • Structural calculation reports for Building Regulations approval.
  • Structural drawings to give your builder all the information they need to order and install the correct structural materials (steel beams, padstones, timber joists etc).
  • Evaluating the condition and safety of existing structures.
  • Collaborate with architects and construction professionals to integrate structural design within the overall project
  • During the construction phase, provide support and guidance to ensure that the structure is built according to the design specifications.

Normally, a structural engineer is necessary once you have an architect or builder on board.

Generally speaking, you will need an architect if you’re building anything new such as an extension or a new building. Sometimes, an architect is not required if you are simply modifying an existing structure, such as an internal wall removal or widening an external door or window opening.

When choosing a Structural Engineer, we would always recommend you ensure that they are “Chartered”. To quote the Institution of Structural Engineers, “Chartered Members have achieved a high level of personal achievement and professional competence”.

JPS is a chartered practice, affiliated with both the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institute of Civil Engineers. Our clients can be assured that all of our work is signed off by one of our experienced Chartered Engineers.

 

The following table gives a rough guide to JPS’ structural engineering costs:

Average hourly rate £75-100 + VAT
Calculations for a steel to allow for a wall removal £250-500 + VAT depending upon whether a site visit is required to measure up or whether architectural plans are available
Structural calculations report for a typical extension £350 – £750 + VAT
Structural engineer consultation/ visit to property £400 – 800 + VAT depending upon location and whether a report is required?

For simple, domestic projects, we typically aim to complete the structural design within two weeks from the quote being accepted however, timings will vary depending on the complexity of the project and current workload.

Provided that we have sufficient information from the builder or architect, we can usually provide structural calculations without visiting the property, however, we set out our fees for site visits within our quotes so you can see how much it will cost if you do require us to visit the property.

Planning permission, which is separate from building regulations approval, applies to building projects that do not fall within the ‘permitted development’ rules.

We would always suggest that you contact a qualified architect or the local planning officers (at you council’s planning department) to check whether planning is required for your project.

Planning officers at your local authority will consider the following:

  • The location of the project
  • The site
  • The height and size of the proposed building
  • The percentage of the plot that you want to build on.
  • The appearance of the proposed building
  • The materials used in the project.

You need to get all these things signed off by your local council before you build on site.

The Government has produced a guide to the UK planning system.

Visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/plain-english-guide-to-the-planning-system

However, even if a project does not need planning permission, if you are making any changes to existing structures or building new structures, Building Regulations calculations are required and you need to engage the services of a Structural Engineer.

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to submit the building control application.

Yes, depending on the size and complexity of your project, we have a range of builders that we work closely with so feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to recommend the right builder for your project.

Yes, all of our work is covered by our comprehensive insurance policies.

Not all home improvement projects require planning permission however any work to alter the structure of your home (see Q1) needs building regulations approval.

How Can We Help?

Get in touch with us today to see how our team of experienced engineers can assist with your project