Get An Engineer For These 3 Renovation Activities

Renovating your home is often an exciting experience. This excitement stems from the benefits that you stand to enjoy from the renovation exercise.

You don't need to hire a structural engineer for seemingly minor renovation activities such as the installation of a radiant floor heating system. However, if you're undertaking any of the three renovation activities discussed below, you can't afford not to hire a structural engineer.

Basement Settlement Repairs

Your basement might shift from its original position (settle) for various reasons. Sometimes the settling occurs due to mild seismic activity under the basement or due to a change in the physical properties of soil beneath the basement.

Regardless of the cause of the problem, basement settlement repairs need the intervention of a qualified structural engineer. This is because the remedies for this problem (underpinning) require a high level of technical expertise. Your average basement renovation contractor isn't likely to have this level of expertise.

Also, your safety and that of your family is largely dependent on how stable the foundation of your house is. The slightest of unprofessional mistakes during the repair exercise could have fatal implications in the near future.

Chimney Decommissioning

Decommissioning an old chimney that's rarely used is a great way to free up space within your living room. In addition to this, the rarely-used chimney provides a conducive environment for the growth of mold.

Getting rid of the old chimney is a delicate process that often involves knocking off its masonry blocks one by one. Your renovation contractor will be responsible for the actual decommissioning. However, he or she should do this under the supervision of a competent structural engineer. Examine your chimney from top to bottom and count the number of walls to which it is attached. The structural integrity of these walls (and that of the house at large) will be adversely affected by the decommissioning. A structural engineer will provide guidance on the best way to remedy this adverse effect, thereby ensuring that your house remains structurally sound.

Home Extensions

If you're extending any portion of your home during the renovation exercise, you can't afford not to hire an engineer. This is regardless of whether you're adding additional storeys or you're adding an additional room below your basement.

Both types of extensions will interfere with the structural make-up of you're the house. You need an engineer to ensure that this interference does not compromise your safety.