Every construction project needs the supervision of a structural engineer. They are responsible for the structural systems and physical integrity of a building. To ensure you hire an experienced structural engineer for your project, you need to ask the following questions:
Field of specialisation
It is essential you know what these engineers do. Structural engineers specialise in commercial, residential and civil engineering. Not all structural engineers can provide the same service. When looking for a structural engineering firm online, you can confirm their specialisation by checking the services they offer. How much experience they have is also a crucial quality that you should find out about. You can ask about their years of service in the industry. Also, ask for references of past projects they have worked on that you can inspect them.
The structural engineer or firm you hire should have adequate knowledge of city council requirements and approval regulations. Construction practices vary across Australia, and your building's design should incorporate local zoning laws. They should also be able to advise you on which permits and approvals you require before construction can proceed. Once you have acquired the relevant licences, your project will continue on a more manageable timeline.
Note that building codes in Australia change every three years, and it is crucial you ask the engineer whether these changes will affect the design of your building.
Before hiring a structural engineer for your project, you should ask about their indemnity insurance. Their liability insurance affords you protection in case the structural integrity of the building fails. As this insurance protects you, you should ask for a copy of the certificate of currency. The certificate of currency is a document that confirms a company's insurance policy, its sum assured and when the policy expires. The certificate should be up to date and cover the type of project you are undertaking.
Many factors influence the cost of hiring a structural engineer. If a structural engineer overseas the project rather than consults, they charge a percentage of the entire construction costs. Consultation fees, on the other hand, are charged on an hourly basis. The cost to draft building designs and building inspections is usually charged at a flat fee. Before you buy or sell property, you need a structural engineer to inspect its integrity and point out any potential structural issues. The cost will be worth it to ensure your investment.