Not exactly sure about what a structural engineer does? Uncertain whether you require the services of a structural engineer? Looking for more information about our Residential Structural Engineering services? The following FAQs may be of help to you:
Do you do domestic/residential engineering?
Yes, we do! Gyoury Self engineers are experienced in all aspects of structural engineering and we have a team dedicated to serving local domestic/residential clients, as well as smaller commercial projects that require a relatively swift turnaround.
We provide structural engineering calculations and drawings for all domestic/residential needs – from straightforward structural renovations, through property extensions and loft conversions, to bespoke self-build projects using traditional or modern methods of construction.
Our residential/domestic engineers also solve structural problems on every scale – from identifying the cause of a cracked lintel, through to addressing significant issues caused by subsidence or collapsing retaining walls.
We pride ourselves on offering ‘cost-effective, buildable solutions’ and you can expect the highest levels of service regardless of the scale or budget of your project.
Are you qualified?
All of our engineers are experienced and qualified Structural Engineers or Civil Engineers – or both!
Our Senior Structural Engineers have acquired Chartered Status and/or gained extensive experience working on a wide variety of projects. Chartered Status is a formal credential awarded to professionals who have demonstrated a specific level of skill or competence which has been recognised by the relevant professional organisations – in our case, the Institution of Structural Engineers (ISE) and/or the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
Our Graduate Engineers have acquired a Batchelor’s and/or Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering or Civil Engineering. They work under the guidance of senior team members until they have acquired the necessary experience to gain qualified status. This takes a minimum of three years, during which time they will have gained experience on a wide range of domestic and commercial engineering projects.
Whatever the level of engineer assigned to your project, all structural engineering designs are checked, signed off and approved by a fully qualified Structural Engineer before they are issued, as part of the Buildings Regulations, plus European and British Standards.
All of our design work is carried out in accordance with relevant Building Regulations and British Standard Codes of Practice.
You can have confidence in our ability to meet the highest standards when it comes to producing structural calculations and designs for your building project – we have a 100% success rate for Building Regulations Applications.
What is a structural engineer?
In simple terms, a Structural Engineer is a professional qualified in the science of ensuring that buildings and structures are able to withstand any forces they may be subjected to. These would include fundamental structural stresses such as gravity and weight loads, as well as external factors, including adverse weather conditions. We like to say that as structural engineers we stop buildings falling over or sinking into the ground!
Their knowledge of maths, physics and materials ensures that structures are safely built and that they meet or exceed approved guidelines and regulations set out by the Government, such as Building Regulations.
A Structural Engineer can provide calculations and detailed designs for your new build project or property extension. They can also identify structural issues that may be affecting your property and provide advice on the best solution to resolve the problem.
Do I need a structural engineer or an architect?
Generally speaking, an Architect can provide designs for the overall appearance and layout of your proposed building or property extension. A Structural Engineer provides the necessary calculations and detailed drawings to ensure your building project is structurally sound and complies with Part A of the building regulations.
In most cases, the Architect and Structural Engineer will work hand-in-hand to ensure property extensions and new build homes are attractive, functional and able to meet Local Authority Building Control standards that ensure the design is safe and buildable.
If you are unsure whether you need the services of a structural engineer, it is safer to check whether you do, rather than falling foul of Building Regulations if you don’t. Although generally an architect should be your first port of call, you can always contact us to double check the best way forward with a member of our engineering team.
Do you do structural surveys?
We do not do ‘Homebuyer’ structural surveys as defined by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), but we do undertake professional surveys of structures and structural elements.
We are called upon to do surveys and inspections of structures for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Investigation of obvious structural defects; such as cracked walls, broken lintels, sagging roofs and floors etc.
- Assessment of structural damage following a fire, flooding or collapse in a property.
- Appraisals to establish if a proposed property alteration or extension is structurally feasible.
- Assessments and reports on structures built without Buildings Regulations Approval.
The type of structural inspection carried out will depend on your needs or what has been recommended by a third party, such as your insurance company or property surveyor.
Surveys can range from a basic visual inspection to a full structural assessment; which can be more intrusive if we need to get to the root of a significant structural problem. In-depth inspections might require us to raise floor boards or open up walls – but be assured that this level of investigation is only undertaken if absolutely necessary.
Our inspections and surveys focus solely on the structure of a building. We do not investigate or provide advice on peripheral elements such as electrical wiring or plumbing. If you need further help in this respect, you will need to speak to specialist contractors or other consultants.
If you need further information, you can always contact us to discuss your structural issue with an engineer. They can then advise you on the level of inspection for your needs and can give you an estimate of the costs involved.
If you are seeking a general condition survey or a pre-purchase survey for the purposes of obtaining a mortgage, we would recommend contacting a Chartered Surveyor as they are specialised in this field. If you need help finding a reputable Surveyor in your local area, we would recommend visiting the RICS website (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
How long does a full structural inspection take?
A structural inspection on a standard residential property takes approximately 2-3 hours. The time required will vary according to the size of the property and how accessible any potential structural issues may be. Once the inspection has taken place, we will aim to issue your structural report within 5 working days. This timescale can be affected during busy periods, but we will inform you if there is likely to be any delay.
What structural problems can you handle?
We address structural problems on any scale and across a range of building types; from new build homes to historic period properties.
With broad experience spanning both the commercial and residential sectors, you can have every confidence in our ability to identify, assess and make the right recommendations to resolve the vast majority of structural issues that occur both above and below ground.
If a structural problem requires specialist input – such as CCTV drainage surveys or restoration of a sensitive listed building – we can recommend trusted professionals in our network to ensure the work is carried out correctly.
If you have a significant structural problem and you are unsure whether we can help, please contact us to talk to a member of our engineering team. To find out more about the services we offer, and view some case studies, you can also visit our Structural Solutions pages.
Do I need a structural engineer for my home improvement project?
The answer would almost certainly be ‘yes’ if you are considering renovations that might affect the structural integrity of your property in any way, such as knocking through an internal or external wall.
General rule of thumb – if the work alters the building structure or requires Building Control approval, you should seek the advice of a structural engineer. If in doubt, contact us and we can advise you further. We have a 100% success rate for Building Regulations Applications.
What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations?
In simple terms, planning rules determine whether you can start a building project and building regulations determine the standard to which the project is designed and constructed. So you should always check whether you require Planning Permission before taking your project forward.
Planning Permission and Building Regulations are two completely separate sets of legislation, carried out by two different departments within your local council.
If you require more information, you may find The Planning Portal helpful.
Do I need Planning Permission?
We are not able to advise on this question, but If you are not sure whether the work you wish to carry out qualifies as permitted development, we would highly recommend that you seek the advice of an architect or contact your local council Planning Department more information.
What happens once I have appointed a structural engineer?
If you have employed an architect to design your new build or property extension project they will send us their drawings via email. We can then determine what intrusive investigations, if any, are required then your builder can ‘open up’ where the further exploration needs to be carried out.
With all necessary information in hand, one of our structural engineers will then visit the site and first prepare a structural scheme for comment and approval before producing the full set of structural calculations and detailed structural drawings necessary for your project.
The information package created by your architect and structural engineer is then submitted to Building Control for approval and your project can then be put out to tender. Your project can get underway once you have Building Regulations approved and any other approvals, such as those required under the Party Wall Act 1996 etc.
How long will it take to get my structural drawings?
The turnaround time will depend on our current workload and the type of project you are undertaking.
Once we have made our initial site visit, we aim to issue drawings and calculations for basic home alterations within 14 days.
Calculations and drawings for property extensions and loft conversions are usually issued within 2-4 weeks, depending on the scale and complexity of your project.
Structural engineering for new build properties will take longer but we can give you an approximate turnaround time when we have received your architect’s drawings.
If your project is time dependent, please contact us and we will be able to give you a turnaround time for your structural calculations and drawings.
Following the lockdown we have experienced a higher volume of requests for all engineering services. We would therefore advise that you contact us to confirm our our current lead times.
How much does a structural engineer cost?
There is no straight forward answer to this question as the cost will vary according to the type of job, its complexity, and how much time is involved.
Our fees are calculated on a time basis and according to the level of structural engineer required.
One way to keep engineering costs down is to keep site visits to a minimum. This is perfectly feasible if you have appointed a competent building company, as they will keep us advised of progress and raise any unexpected issues with us. In most cases, we will only need to make one initial site visit for a domestic renovation or extension project.
We are always happy to provide an estimate for planned projects – just give us a call to discuss the details with one of our engineers. If you already have architects drawings, you can email them over to get a precise project estimate.
Is your work covered by insurance?
Yes, all our design work is covered by professional indemnity insurance.
Are you responsible for how the work is undertaken on site?
It is not our responsibility to ensure that your builder carries out the work in accordance with our drawings and specifications once they have been issued. You should ensure that your project is undertaken by a competent builder and that work is reviewed on site by a qualified construction professional and your designated building control officer.
What if I am not happy with the service you provide?
As a well-established structural engineering practice, we have a formal Quality Management System in place to monitor and manage the ongoing progress and standard of your project.
Any concerns you may have about the service or recommendations we provide are logged and dealt with as swiftly as possible. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us and we treat any concerns or complaints resolved as swiftly as possible.
For full details of our Quality Management Policy, click here.
What areas do you serve?
We provide structural and civil engineering services on larger scale projects across the country but we find that most residential clients usually prefer to appoint a structural engineer closer to home.
Structural engineers at our Brighton & Hove office regularly serve residential clients in and around East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
We have carried out numerous structural design projects and structural inspections in the local areas of Arundel, Billingshurst, Bognor Regis, Brighton, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Hastings, Haywards Heath, Henfield, Horsham, Hove, Lewes, Littlehampton, Midhurst, Newhaven, Pulborough, Shoreham, Steyning, and Worthing.
Our structural engineering office in Fareham serves local domestic clients across Hampshire, as well as the surrounding counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Sussex and Surrey.
The Fareham office regularly undertakes structural reports and building designs/calculations locally in and around Andover, Basingstoke, Bognor Regis, Bournemouth, Chichester, Fareham, Farnborough, Guildford, Lymington, Portsmouth, Reading, Ringwood, Salisbury, Southampton, Winchester.
We are always willing to travel further afield if we have come recommended and you are keen to appoint us as your structural engineer. However, please note that our costs may increase to accommodate the travel expenses incurred. In most cases, we normally only need to carry out an initial site inspection and then all structural drawings and calculations or structural reporting is undertaken at our offices.
Whatever your location, please feel free to contact us to find out if we can be of service. We are always happy to provide a free no-obligation estimate if you need one.
Is there a waiting time for your structural engineering services?
If you have a structural engineering emergency, please contact us straight away and we will endeavour to get to your property as soon as possible.
If you require standard engineering services, such as structural designs/calculations or an inspection for a structural report, the lead time is currently 4-5 weeks from instruction but can be longer during busy periods.
Ideally, we will be able to take on your project sooner than that, but as you will appreciate we are a reputable company so our services are in high demand. A busy business in this industry is a good sign of quality – so please bear with us!
We are keen to ensure all our clients receive the highest levels of service – and lead times can vary. So if you want to check our availability, please get in touch.
We hope these FAQs may go some way towards answering any questions you may have. If not, do please get in touch and a member of our engineering team will be happy to help with your enquiry. Click here to Contact Us.