When to Call an Engineer for a Home-Renovation or Remodelling Project

Not all home renovation and remodelling projects need an actual engineer to assist or to inspect the home before work begins; however, there are times when you may be obligated to have an engineer examine your home before you can even get your building permits. Whether doing so is legally required or not, you may want to have an engineer inspect your home and assist with your plans for a variety of reasons. Note when it's good to use the services of such a professional and how they can be advantageous for you.

1. The area has flooded

If your residential area has suffered a number of floods, this may have had an impact on the soil under and around your home; in turn, a remodelling project may cause the home to start to sink or shift because the soil is softer now than when the home was constructed. An engineer can note whether your home shows signs of water damage around the foundation and can also check the soil conditions of the property and then consider how your remodelling project may be affected. You may be advised to underpin the foundation, add strength to it before work begins or otherwise modify your plans so your home isn't damaged over time.

2. Your home already has interior or exterior damage

If your home has any type of cracks, either inside or outside, this may mean that it's already started to settle and shift because of soft soil. Damage to the home may also include termite infestation, mould growth, mildew growth or recent earthquakes, hurricanes and other such natural disasters. These all tend to weaken the structure and may even change the shape of the framing of the home.

These types of damages should be repaired as needed, but you should also have an engineering inspection done before renovating to note how a new project may affect your home's overall shape and structure. For example, adding new windows or a doorway to a settled or weakened area of the home can mean cutting out some framing that is helping to hold that area secure. The weight of new stone flooring in a weakened area of the home can also make that damage worse. An engineer can note how to repair the home from damage it's already suffered and also note whether your home is strong enough, considering the damage and changes to its overall structure, to support your new plans for it.