When people think of home building, they automatically think of an architect. That person who sits in front of the blueprints, talking about the dream design for the homeowner is an extremely important member of the house to be built. However, another vital member of the team is a civil engineer.
There are so many different members of a home design and build team, but it is important to always include the engineer. Their knowledge and expertise is an invaluable asset when designing and building a home. Even before the first blueprint is drawn up, it is important to find an engineer to be a part of the team. Read on to see why.
What is an engineer?
An architect is a person who’s education is centered around the design of a home. These people are licensed by the state. However an engineer is also licensed but instead of a focus on the physical design of the home, they are focused on the safety and structure of the home. Consider them to be the safety leader of the home building team.
Before the Process Begins
Prior to even purchasing land, a person should include an engineer to help during this time. They are able to evaluate the land to determine if it can be used, local laws and regulations, and they can also evaluate the property if there are any existing buildings or structures to be deemed safe. The engineer can go beyond the visual evaluation and get deeper into things below the surface.
Have an architect? Don’t forget the engineer!
After hiring the architect it is important to again bring in the engineer. Yes, the design is important to the homeowner, but to bring in the engineer means the safety and integrity of the design are also considered. The engineer works closely with all parties involved to make sure things are done safely and without cutting corners while also bringing the dream home design to life.
An engineer is a problem solving, mathematical-minded, engineering design method-following professional. The engineering design method is similar to the scientific method scientists use. The engineering design method allows the engineer to be creative while also keeping structural safety at the forefront of the home design. They can have some amazing and creative ideas to help design someone’s dream home while also being safe and long-lasting.
Time to Build
When it comes time to actually build the home, the engineer will be an active participant through the building process. As new challenges arise, if questions come up, or new ideas are developed, the engineer is there to help make informed and safe decisions.
The engineer can also help choose the right materials for the home to be built that best suit the location of the home. From the foundation to the ceiling and anything in between, the engineer can factor in the weather and even the landscape to make choices that can be aesthetically pleasing and safe.
Integrity means being honest and being morally sound; a home should also have structural integrity. The foundation and structure are like the skeletal system for the home. A person sees a doctor for preventative care for their own bodies and structures. However, an engineer is like that for a home.
Involving an engineer as an active participant in the team means the home’s internal structure and support are taken care of and healthy. No home can be guaranteed to be without any cracks. That is normal for any home with it settling. However, when using an engineer those big and costly oversights or mistakes can be avoided. Having an engineer allows someone to think of potential issues before the material is laid.
Engineering for Around the Home and Property
It is also important that the area around the home is checked and evaluated by an engineer. For things like retaining walls, proper drainage, and sewage these can all be overseen and evaluated by the engineer.
At times, a home may be built on land that is not ideal. However, by utilizing an engineer, they can use their expertise to make the most of it. An engineer is a problem solver by nature; so even if something is seen as a potential roadblock, an engineer may find a way to safely resolve the problem so you can move forward with building.
Do the Research
Find an engineer that can be trusted and has an excellent reputation. It is a requirement for engineers in all fifty states to be licensed. Ask potential engineers to see their license. In addition, when trying to find an engineer that fits as a member of the home design team, ask the architect.
Many times architects and engineers have an established partnership. The architect can provide recommendations for an engineer that they believe can be a valuable member of the team. There are several other factors to consider. Asking an engineer to also see samples of his prior work is a great idea.
This allows the future homeowner to see the type of engineering projects they specialize in, and it can also give them ideas for their own build. Sometimes people feel awkward asking professionals questions in the area they are considered to be experts. However, by asking questions you as the home builder are able to make an informed and well-researched decision when choosing an engineer.
Think of the End Result
Think of the end result that can happen when using an engineer as a member of the home building team. Take a moment and think about the finished product. Think about what it will look like in 5 years…in 10 years….in 20 years. What is seen?
If an engineer was used, not much should change structurally. However, without an engineer, problems can arise, and those problems can be major. Err on the side of safety and hire an engineer when building your home for peace of mind long into the future.