The cost of having SWJ Consulting come for an initial site visit to your home is £250 (plus VAT) as of June 2024. We will come to your home provided you are in a 25-minute radius of Oxford.

Arranging a visit from us, to check an issue, might seem like an additional expense but it it is one that could save you thousands of pounds, frustration, and disappointment in the long run. Whether you’re planning a new extension, conversion or modification to your home, you’re concerned about cracks in your walls, or looking to buy or selling a home, a structural engineer will provide the critical insights needed to ascertain the structural integrity of your property or your planned project.

If you instruct (and pay for) an architect to create initial concepts you might find they are not structurally possible.

You can read our blog on why homeowners might need a structural engineers but here are some examples of why a site visit (and possibly further investigations) may be needed.

  1. Foundation Issues – Your foundations are arguably the most important element for te stability of your home. The signs of foundation problems, such as cracks in the walls, uneven floors, or doors that don’t close properly, can indicate a serious underlying issues. A structural engineer can assess the severity of these problems and recommend appropriate repairs. Our expertise will ensures that any corrective solutions will address the root cause of the problem and provide a long term solution. Read our blog What to do if you have a crack in your wall before you call us to see if you have real cause for concern.
  2. Renovations, extensions and Additions – If you are planning to add an extension, add a second story above the garage or in the loft for example then a structural engineer might need to come and assess what is possible and if the existing building and foundations can support an additional load. You will also need them to help you satisfy building control throughout the process. Get in touch with us first, as it maybe you have ‘as built’ drawings and information so a site visit might not initially be needed, but we won’t know this until we’ve seen this information. If you are planning internal changes and want to check if a wall is load bearing or not read our blog on ‘How can you tell if a wall is load bearing this will give you some guidance but ultimately it’s best to have a structural engineer come out and double check you are ok to proceed. Not doing so could literally cost you thousands if you weaken your home (and possibly your neighbours) by removing a load bearing wall.
  1. Listed and historic buildings – Owning a listed building comes with the responsibility of preserving its structural integrity while maintaining its historical significance. We have considerable experience working with listed buildings and can help you with any necessary updates or repairs, working with Historic England, so the home’s original character isn’t compromised, and you get the right permissions. With most listed buildings there are rarely plans and drawings and so a site visit to give you an idea of what’s feasible is recommended.
  1. Damage from Natural Disasters – In the UK storms and flooding, more than earthquakes and hurricanes, are the likely disasters that might affect your home. Having a structural engineer come to assess the extent of the damage and recommend necessary repairs is a vital step to long-term recovery. Our evaluation will determine superficial damage from any serious structural issues that need addressing.
  2. Buying or Selling a Home – When purchasing a home, especially an older one that might not have records or drawings. A structural engineer can provide a thorough inspection to uncover any hidden structural problems that might not be evident during a standard home inspection, or even in a surveyors report. A surveyor might identify a crack, but a structural engineer will be able to establish what has caused it and if it’s a significant issue. This assessment can save you from unexpected costs in the future. Similarly, if you are selling your home, having a structural engineer’s report can reassure potential buyers about the home’s condition, potentially speeding up the sale process and securing a better price.

In some cases, insurance companies or local building authorities may require a structural engineer’s report before they provide coverage or approve permits for major renovations. Having an engineer’s assessment ensures that your home complies with all relevant regulations and standards, which can protect you legally and financially.

These types of reports will incur an additional cost from an initial site visit but give us a call to discuss and we will ensure you have a fixed quote for whichever report you require before we proceed.

  1. Visible Structural Changes – Visible changes in your home such as bowing walls, sagging roofs, or large cracks are red flags that indicate potential structural problems. In initial site visit will determine whether these are superficial or if further investigation and solutions are needed to prevent further damage. Ignoring these signs can lead to more significant issues and costly repairs down the line. Read our blog on what to do if you have a crack in your wall before you call us to see if you have real cause for concern.

In comparison to the costs of your project, or the potential cost of getting it wrong, paying for an initial site visit from a structural engineer is nominal.

If you live within a 25 mile radius of Oxford, the best thing to do is get in touch (01993 225085 or and we can talk through your plans or predicament and decide if a site visit is necessary. At this stage, we might also advise if we think other investigations might be required, either before we visit such as a site investigation or topographical survey.