ALTERATIONS

INTRODUCTION

The structural engineering design of alterations to houses is one of our main areas of work.  This is often necessary in projects such as alterations to room layouts and loft conversions.

We design in all common structural materials i.e. timber, steel, masonry and concrete.  Examples of the type of structural elements that we design are:

  • Timber – roofs, floors, ceilings, frames and connections
  • Steelwork – beams, columns, frames and connections
  • Masonry – walls, piers and retaining walls
  • Concrete – beams, columns, floors and retaining walls
  • Foundations – strip and trench fill, rafts and ground beams supported on piles

All structural engineering design is carried out by our highly qualified and experienced engineers, Matt Dorling BSc(Hons), BEng(Hons) and Eur Ing Graham Harris, BSc(Hons), CEng, MICE.

We produce comprehensive structural engineering calculations for checking by Building Control and clear design details for use by your contractor.  We pride ourselves on producing thorough and well considered designs which minimise problems and delays during construction and therefore represent excellent value for money.

If appointed we will we work closely with your Architect or other designer to provide a structural engineering solution that is sympathetic to your budget and requirements as well as the existing building.  If you do not currently have an Architect or other designer we can refer you to several that we work with on a regular basis for your consideration.

If the alterations are purely structural we may be able to carry out the necessary design work for you without the need for an Architect or other designer.  This will normally only be possible if the works are internal only, do not involve an application for Planning Permission, do not require agreement under the Party Wall Act and do not involve any significant amount of architectural detailing.  If you are unsure whether an Architect or other designer are needed we would be pleased to discuss this with you.

SERVICES

Our services are flexible to suit your budget and requirements and we can discuss these with you before submitting our fee proposal.  However, we find that most of the structural engineering services that we provide fall into one of the following categories which are described below:

  1. Preliminary feasibility advice
  2. Design only
  3. Combined survey and design
  4. Two stage survey and design
  1. Preliminary Feasibility Advice

You may just need some advice on the engineering feasibility of your proposal and are not yet ready to commission detailed design work.  If so we can visit you to look at the building, discuss your proposals, assess their engineering feasibility and give verbal advice.  Our fee for this service is £150 plus VAT and includes up to 3 hours of our time, including time spent travelling from our offices in Ashford or Deal 

  1. Design Only

If you have already commissioned an Architect or other designer please send us a copy of their drawings to matt@epsdesign.co.uk .  We will then provide you with a detailed fixed price quotation for the structural engineering design, provided that the drawings contain sufficient information for us to be able to quantify the work needed.

  1. Combined Survey and Design

If the alterations are internal and you do not require Planning Permission, agreement under the Party Wall Act or any architectural or other non-structural design, we may be able to carry out the necessary structural survey and engineering design work for you without the need for an Architect or other designer.

For small alterations, such as the creation of a new opening in a wall or the widening of an existing opening, we offer a combined survey and design service.  This service only applies where the arrangement of the existing structure is straightforward and can be established by visual and dimensional survey, without the need for ‘opening up’ to establish hidden details such as joist spans.  Our standard fee is £390 plus VAT for sites in Kent and East Sussex and includes the survey and structural engineering design of a single beam and its supports.  However, if on arrival we can see that the proposed structural alteration is more complicated than described to us, we would discuss this with you and perhaps change to the two stage survey and design service described below. 

  1. Two Stage Survey and Design

If the alterations are as described above for our Combined Survey and Design service, but are more extensive or complex, we may still be able to carry out the necessary survey and design work for you without the need for an Architect or other designer.  This service is normally carried out in two stages:

First Stage Survey

A structural survey is carried out to establish the existing structural arrangement of your property (roof, floor and ceiling spans, wall details etc.) and discuss the proposed works with you, including any specific requirements you may have.  We then produce a set of drawings showing the existing structural arrangement and the proposed schematic structural arrangement which contain sufficient information for the structural design work to follow.  Our  fees for this first stage survey depend on many factors including the size and location of the property, the extent of work proposed and whether you already have any drawings, but are typically between £390 and £500 plus VAT.  Please contact us for a quotation.

 Second Stage Design

We cannot assess the amount of engineering design work necessary until we have completed the first stage survey.  We therefore provide fixed price quotations for the second stage design after the first stage has been completed.  You can seek alternative competitive quotations from other engineers before deciding who to commission the design work from.  The drawings we produce in the first stage survey will contain sufficient information for other engineers to be able to quote for the design work.

We appreciate that you will want to have an idea of the likely cost so below is an indication of typical fees for the second stage design:

  • Straightforward alterations requiring two or three beams: typically £150 to £250 plus VAT
  • Straightforward alterations requiring more beams and other structural elements: typically £250 to £500 plus VAT
  • Larger more complex works with many structural elements: typically from £500 plus VAT

If instructed to carry out the second stage design, we will produce a package of information comprising structural calculations, a design statement and drawings sufficient for checking by Building Control and construction purposes.  The package can also be used to obtain competitive tenders from contractors.

WHAT WE DON’T DO

We specialise in engineering design and a range of surveying services.  We have knowledge of many other areas of construction but are not experts in them.  If you need advice in any of the following areas you will need to seek advice from an appropriate professional.  Please refer to us if you need assistance as we may have contacts we can refer you to.

  • architecture and all non-structural aspects of the Building Regulations
  • geotechnical engineering and ground investigations
  • the Party Wall Act
  • general building surveys for house sale/purchase
  • asbestos
  • cost estimating

 CONTACT

Please phone Matt on 07447 533208 or email him at matt@epsdesign.co.uk if you wish to discuss engaging us for any of the above services.