Structural engineer site visits, investigations and reports

Structural engineers are an important part of the process for any type of construction as we ensure buildings are safe, stable, and compliant with all building regulations. Our expertise is required not only for the planning of new builds, extensions and conversions but also to assess and report on the state of existing buildings whether that’s for more building work or to help with the sale of a property.

Initial site visits, ground investigations, and structural reports have different functions and we will look at them here for you to get a better idea of what you might need and what is included in the cost.

Structural engineer site visits

Initial site visits

Even if you have plans and drawings for your existing home and any planned changes we will likely need to come and assess what is existing to find out the ground conditions for foundations and to get a better understanding of how existing structures are built and if they will be able to withstand any additional loads.

We will also look at external factors like neighbouring buildings and trees to assess if your plans could affect them and vice versa.  Access to dig foundations and access for transport to and from the site may all have a bearing on the most suitable solution for your home.

From this initial visit, costing £250 (plus VAT) we can then make any further recommendations for investigations or provide you with an initial quote for structural designs and calculations.

You can read more about site visits in our blog Why do I need a strcutural engineer

Ground Investigations

A ground investigation, or a site investigation is sometimes needed to determine elements such as the geology, ground water levels, the state of existing foundations.

If there are existing foundations then trial pits are sometimes recommended so we can assess whether they are strong enough to take an additional load, or whether new foundations are required. Read more in ‘What’s a trial pit and why do I need one’

If you’re planning new foundations then bedrock will have different implications for digging and designs than sandy soil, limestone or clay. The geology will impact on budgets and so it’s important to understand what you’re working with the earliest point.

Water levels are also important to understand the likely hood for trench foundations to flood for example and the hydrostatic pressure that your new structures will have to withhold. Sometimes long-term monitoring of the groundwater is needed to ensure we know what happens year-round, rather than assume a worst-case scenario.

After an initial site visit we will be in a better position to advise on what investigations are needed and give you a comprehensive quote. We do all we can to provide a comprehensive quote that includes all you’ll need rather than giving you a deceivingly low initial price and charging for extras.

Topographical surveys

Topographical surveys are different to site investigations in that they map out the features of a piece of land, like other permanent structures and boundaries you’ll need to respect. Understanding the amount of access needed to dig for foundations or a basement is important because this information will affect our designs as well a timings and costs. You can read more about the differences between topographical surveys and site investigations here.

Structural reports

If a building has been affected by fire, a severe weather event or impact a structural engineer might be required to assess any structural damage.

Likewise, if a homeowner is looking to sell their home, they may ask a structural engineer to complete a report to reassure potential buyers that it has no structural issues, this can help add value to the sale price. Having a permanent record of this structural assessment is also useful for future decision-making about any conversions or extensions.

Issues such as cracks, subsistence, or material disintegration might affect the price of the property and the likelihood of a sale. Creating a permanent record of the structural assessment is also useful for future reference and decision-making.

Once we have completed a report, including detailed analysis and any supporting documents, we can liaise with builders, architects and regulatory authorities where needed to communicate our findings and make recommendations for further testing or repairs.

If you live in a 25-mile radius of Oxford we will be happy to complete a report. The cost of an initial visit will be £250 (plus VAT) and then we can give you a quote for the report you need from £650-£1000 (plus VAT).


Contact us

You can call us on 01993 225085, email or complete the enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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