How much does a Structural Engineer cost?
If you are planning a building project, renovating or extending, or have a possible structural problem in your home that you want investigated, then you may need to consult a structural engineer. Here we set out the costs of a structural engineer in 2022 and what can impact those costs.
How much does a structural engineer cost?
You can expect to pay around £100 an hour for a structural engineer in 2022. Some may charge by the hour, while others will quote you a set cost for a particular job. Structural engineer costs will depend on the complexity of the project you need their help with and whereabouts in the country you are. The more they have to visit the site and the more time they spend working on your project will all affect the final bill.
The following table gives a rough guide to structural engineer costs in 2022 for some common jobs.
|Cost of a structural engineer in 2022|
|Average hourly rate||£90 – £200|
|Basic project||£350 – £450|
|Complex project||Up to £10,000|
|Calculations for an RSJ||£60 – £950|
|Structural engineer inspection||£175 – £300|
|Structural engineer report||£500 – £2,000|
|Structural engineer consultation for a loft conversion or extension||£750 – £2,200|
What is a structural engineer?
A structural engineer is a key professional in the construction process. They specialise in understanding the structure of buildings and how to ensure a building is safe, whether a new build, extension or renovation.
In a building project, a structural engineer will provide the technical specifications and calculations to help you design and build a safe structure that will comply with Building Regulations and – most importantly – stay up.
Structural engineers don’t just help homeowners undergoing improvement projects. They can also advise if there is a problem with the structure of your property such as movement or cracking walls, subsidence, sagging ceilings or roofline. A structural engineer can carry out an inspection to assess the damage, identify possible causes and options for treatment.
Find out more about how they can help in our guide to structural engineers.
Do I need a structural engineer?
There are any number of projects that will require you to employ a structural engineer. As a general rule of thumb, anything that could affect the stability of a building will need their expertise. For example, a structural engineer will provide drawings and calculations if you are building an extension or converting your loft. And taking down a load bearing wall, for example to create an open plan kitchen, will require a structural engineer to work out calculations for the replacement support that will be used in place of the wall being removed.
Your builder, or architect if you are using one, should be able to advise you on whether or not you need the services of a structural engineer.
If you are working with an architect, you may think you don’t need a structural engineer, but they do very different things. An architect helps you turn your dreams into a functional design that builders can work from. You can find out more in our guide to whether you need an architect. A structural engineer concentrates on the weight of your property and what is needed to support it and make it safe. So, you may well find you need the services of both an architect and a structural engineer. But you don’t need to hire an architect. If you know what sort of design you want, you could just hire a structural engineer instead.
Will a structural engineer charge additional fees?
Possibly. There may be some jobs that a structural engineer will charge extra for, or you may find something important isn’t included in your initial quote. Make sure when you get a quote that it is clear what the cost covers and ask in what circumstances you may incur additional fees.
For example, you may have to pay extra if the structural engineer’s drawings need to be submitted for planning permission or building regulation approval.
Make sure your quote includes the production of the final report in the price.
What affects structural engineer costs?
All jobs are not the same and there will be several factors that affect how much a structural engineer costs. These include:
- The complexity of your project. Unsurprisingly, a small, straightforward project such as a single RSJ calculation will cost a lot less than a complex loft conversion involving removing a chimney breast.
- Your location. As with everything, where you live will affect the cost of a job. If you live in London or the southeast, you can expect to pay more than if you live elsewhere in the country.
- The size of your property. Inspecting a one-bedroom flat and assessing whether it is structurally sound is a lot simpler, and therefore cheaper, than assessing a sprawling detached home.
- Planning permission. If plans need to be submitted for planning permission or building regulations approval this will add to the overall bill from your structural engineer.
- The size of the company. You may find a difference in price between an individual, independent contractor and a large company. Which you choose to go with is down to you, just ensure any structural engineer you use has professional indemnity insurance.
How can I cut my structural engineer costs?
When you are budgeting for a building project you often end up looking for places where you can cut your costs, so your money goes a little further.
Look at whether your project can be simplified. Using clean square lines for your designs over curves and triangular spaces for example, will make for a cheaper project overall.
At first glance, a quote for a structural engineer can seem expensive but they are the ones that will make sure your home is still standing at the end, so they are worth the investment.
Just make sure you shop around, get several quotes and clarify what is included in your quote. That way you can ensure you don’t pay over the odds.