If you are planning to make extensive changes to your house, you could be wondering if the only professionals you need to hire are building contractors to carry out the remodel. However, if your renovation involves the addition of a new floor or the extension of your house horizontally, you must hire a structural engineering consultant, too. This licensed professional is experienced in determining the performance of a structure depending on several factors. Therefore, they will be critical in ensuring the structural soundness of your renovations since the additions will add vertical pressure to the foundation while being exposed to external forces. So how do they go about this? Read on for just a few of the various tasks a structural engineering consultant will carry out to ensure the soundness of your home renovations.
Analyse the architectural symmetry
The configuration of a building when it is constructed is required to be proportionate and subsequently symmetrical to guarantee balance. If the architectural design is asymmetrical, the house will be vulnerable to problems with its integrity since it will not be stable. Thus, when adding onto the pre-existing property, it is essential to consult with a structural engineer, as they will investigate if the new configuration will be symmetrical and if it is not, suggest the changes that should be made to integrate balance to the overall design.
Formulate the structural system
The term "structural system" may sound complex but it simply refers to how all the elements that will be employed in the construction of the addition will be assembled to make sure that they can provide the proper support and load-bearing properties that the structure requires. Your budget is what will determine what materials will be utilised in the structural system and subsequently how best to assemble them. For example, steel has a higher load-bearing strength than timber but either can be employed for your renovation. It is up to the structural engineering consultant to calculate the total amount of stresses that your chosen materials can bear so that they can formulate the best structural system.
Establish the framing plan
The next job the structural engineer will be tasked with is establishing a suitable framing plan that takes into consideration both the horizontal and gravity load that the new addition will have to bear. The structural engineer will then specify where the different elements such as windows, columns, door, rafters and so on will be positioned in the structure. There is no room for error in the framing plan or when translating it since the placements should be identical in the new addition.
For further details, reach out to a local structural engineering consultant firm.