Residential Structural Design: What to Look for In Your Engineering Firm

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Whether you’re a homeowner or residential investor, you may find yourself in the beginning phases of a remodel or renovation that requires structural changes or flood mitigation.  A structural engineering firm will be beneficial to you to ensure the structurally designed aspects of your project are precise, appropriate and will weather the test of time safely for the South Florida area.  Here are the things you’ll want to look for when hiring a structural engineer:

Experience

Because every project is unique requiring by municipality, different materials, permits, codes, building constraints, inspection needs, etc., it’s important to hire a structural engineering firm that has experience with a vast portfolio of commercial and residential structural engineering projects. Look for a firm that boasts experience using a range of materials, including concrete, aluminum, wood, and glass. The more varied their past projects, the more likely they’ll be to have the knowledge and skill to complete your project with ease. 

Efficiency

If you aren’t careful in choosing the correct vendors, when it comes to construction, it can seem like everything move slower and cost more than planned. Delays and added costs can build frustration and take the joy out of the process. As you’re choosing a structural engineer, ask them how they handle problems that arise on projects. Efficient firms have plans and processes in place to address time and budget issues. This conversation will give you an idea of what it will be like to work with them. Ask the important but hard questions and ask for references to verify the responses.

Dependability

A good structural engineering firm will be licensed, will hold accredited certifications, will have a strong network of with whom they have working relationships, and will emphasize the importance of continuing education for the engineers in their company. Also look for a firm that has experience in local building codes, construction, redevelopment, 40/50 year recertification, inspection, and collaborating with other professionals.  Firms that offer a wide variety of services can often be trusted to do a job well. Before you hire an engineering firm, find out what is included in your project and who your assigned point of contact will be for each job, and investigate their reviews from previous clients to know if a firm is dependable and trustworthy.

Reputation

Does the structural engineering firm you’re considering have a solid reputation? Asking others in the industry who may have worked with them or searching for online reviews can help you decide which firm to hire. Many firms will also provide references so you can ask former clients directly for feedback.

Communication

Open lines of mutual communication is vital on a construction, redesign, recertification, or engineering inspection project that has several steps and multiple professionals involved.  You’ll want to choose a structural engineering firm that is committed to communication by providing updates and working with you every step of the way. Even during your search for a firm, consider if you are getting all your questions answered in a timely fashion. If not, you’ll likely have trouble with effective communication from that firm in the future.

When you need a structural engineering firm, reach out to us. We are a people-first firm, dedicated to providing responsive, economical, meticulous, insightful, and prompt work on your next project.