Structural Engineer quote(13 Posts)
Hi all - have just had a quote from an engineer for the works needed by our extension. The figure is essentially £1,800 including VAT. For this we would get:
1. An initial site inspection to assess the existing layout and structural implications of extension and renovation work, as well as inspecting the well.
2. Provide structural calculations for extension and alterations and provide structural drawings suitable for building regs
3. Provide foundation advice, particularly for near the well
4. Provide advice for filling in the well
Any site visits during construction would be extra.
Does this seem reasonable? I expected it to be quite expensive due to the complications of having a well nearby. We also need two steels. This is also the engineer that our builder recommends and has worked with before which is in their favour.
We are in Cambridgeshire.
I've got a lovely piece of string. Can you tell me how long it is?
It depends on the complexity of the design, of course, but as it seems from your description that there are specialist foundations designs to be included as well as other structural works, there's every possibility that it's a reasonable quote.
Sir visits will be expensive, they will charge 70 an hour including travelling, get him to throw in, say, three included, as you will guarantee to need some extra work and it will be necessary to inspect things that don't turn out to be what was assumed in the original calculations.
Other than that sounds reasonable. Filing in the well could be expensive in materials so his design is crucial.
Thanks both! It seems to me that I might be able to get it done cheaper, but as it might be rather complex probably best picking a good engineer. Just wanted to check it wan't wildly out of proportion!
Just had a quote through from the engineer the architect suggested, was for £2875 + vat!!! Puts the initial quote into perspective...
Engineers who are actually doing structural design rather than just calculations often charge more based on a percentage of the build costs of the parts they are involved in. I think ours was not far off 2% plus vat.
If the engineer is just doing calculations for something already designed they are likely to charge per beam ie piece work.
However with an SE doing design on something complicated, they can instantly save you several times their fee by coming to site and suggesting a design that's more economical to build. Also they have health and safety duties under CDM which means they are more likely to specify things that are easier to build. Eg ours designed the roof to include a few massive timbers because it's safer and cheaper than hauling steel beams up to the roof.
Also the se can work with the architect to balance the final result, based on our budget we ended up with the high impact beams flushr with the ceiling but a more low impact one standing down. This worked due to cheaper connections at the main pillar and less modifications to the existing joists as they ran the other way.
I think your initial quote sounds quite cheap if anything for the work included. Things to watch out for:
- By 'foundation advice' does that include any trial pits or other ground investigations? Or is the engineer expecting that you will get a ground investigation done separately so they have the information to be able to design the foundations?
- I wouldn't want just 'advice' for the foundations and filling in the well, I would want proper details/specifications. How is the quotation worded?
- How are the drawings being co-ordinated? Do you need separate detailed engineering drawings or can they provide sketches/markups for inclusion on the architect's drawings?
Thanks everyone for the advice! I am inclined to go with the first quote (as the builder has worked with this SE before), but will ask lots of questions first...
If the Structural Engineer is local, it is highly likely they will know ground conditions in the locality. A site visit would provide additional information. The extension isn’t The Shard or some huge building so as long as the foundations are deep enough, and take account of the well, that’s fine. We are London Clay and DH designed 2m foundations for our orangery as it’s very near an oak tree. No well though!
Sorry to hijack OP, our structural engineer is just finishing up our designs. In the contract he agreed to 3 site visits however he has only done 1. Shall I be asking for some money off the final bill?
If he's only just finishing the design how about the construction? Also finished? You're lucky he's included the site visits, that's quite good!
Bubbles, that might be the case, but I was advising the OP to check in case they suddenly get a bill of an extra grand for doing trial pits etc.
And Humpty, you could try asking, but it certainly wouldn't endear you to the engineer. I presume you've got a fixed price for the work so whilst there may have been less time on site, there could have been more design time in the office.
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