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Structural engineer refuses to share calcs

(8 Posts)
Petanque Mon 20-Feb-17 22:39:36

Hi all,
We are refurbishing the house and needs structural calcs. We found a structural engineer, who seemed reasonable; he performed calcs quickly and it was approved by building control company. Now we are considering the loft conversion and the same engineer is not available to help; we turned to another engineer who wants to see previous calcs as they will potentially impact his optimal solution. The old engineer refuses to share his calcs - is this normal?

We are really puzzled and looking for some advice. What is the standard practice? Can the engineer refuse to share the calcs even though we have paid for it? Could anyone please share your thoughts, experience? Are there any standards and codes of practice in this profession we could relate to?

Thank you!

HiDBandSIL Tue 21-Feb-17 07:16:12

Can you get them from the building control company?

TobyZiegler Tue 21-Feb-17 07:19:17

I have no idea at all but just wondering why 2nd structural engineer doesn't do the calculations based on the house as is, surely he can repeat the 1st engineers calculations?

ladypie21 Tue 21-Feb-17 08:39:46

You paid the structural engineer and he should provide you with calcs. It's quite unusual to withhold them and I can't really think of a valid reason for doing so other than cost of making copies! Unless he agreed to only provide calcs to BC which would be a little odd. You can request them from BC or as others have said, there is no reason the other engineer can't crack on without them although it may confirm some assumptions for him if he had sight of the calcs.

Petanque Tue 21-Feb-17 08:44:14

Thank you all for your comments, 2nd structural engineer could crack on without, but said he would need to re do some of the calcs to understamd the margins /conservatism of the initial solution proposed. This cost extra, which we are trying to avoid of course. I can not understand why the first structural engineer refuses to share the calculations... Does it say anywhere that he has to share them? Thank you so much for your help!

FlangePlacket Tue 21-Feb-17 09:52:09

ahhhh, structural engineers.

we went through this sort of bolleaux.

First one we hired, reputable well known regional firm, recommended by architects etc, charged us up front fee £1000. After months of inactivity we asked for a refund, they tried to charge a £70 admin fee. Dickhead. We got the full amount back.

Second one, huge national firm. Did an OK job for extension, pissed us about for a price for doing attic calculations. Charged us for a meeting with our architect including their travel, which amounted to bumping into one another while having lunch (I shit you not). Charging us for extended telephone calls while the engineer unburdened about his wife's medical issues as the reason for delays. Never even visited the site, not once. We refused to pay a huge invoice they couldn't justify the billable hours. The local office boss made threatening calls to me and I had to block his number. I bollocked their head office. They cancelled the erroneous invoice.

Third one - lovely firm I think our nearest office was Huddersfieldish (so furthest away) quoted us half the price of the second one for the same work including his travel. Turned up on the day, did the work, chatted to our contractor about it, gave us an invoice and joked that it was needed for building regs but money for old rope for him this kind of work. Love him.

What I'm getting at, in my usual roundabout way, is just demand the calculations. Ignore the engineer and go to their head office if they have one, or the most senior boss of his office and insist. They are yours, you've paid for them. Keep insisting. Calculations or refund NOW. His choice.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Tue 21-Feb-17 13:45:56

I would be saying that it was his duty to provide the calculations under the CDM regulations, an intrinsic part of which is ensuring that future alterations can be done safely. I don't really know why he didn't provide them in the first place. It isn't that clear cut that he legally has to though - he has given you what you asked for, i.e. beam sizes etc and being signed off by building control.

Did you have an architect or builder involved who he may have given the calculations to?

Building control should also have a copy of the calculations. Would be worth asking them.

Petanque Tue 21-Feb-17 20:48:44

Hi all, thank you for your help and support on this! After a few more discussions the structural engineer sent us his calculations today! Not sure what the issue was, but hopefully its resolved!

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