Structural Engineers

1 April 2022 – 5 Minute Read

How much does a structural engineer cost?

When planning a renovation or building project, the hiring of tradesmen, such as builders and electricians, is often at the forefront of a homeowner’s mind. What you may not consider is the role that other specialists who can and should be involved in the work. A structural engineer can play a vital role in many aspects of property management, from purchasing a new home to renovating your current property. While they may not be the first person you think to call, they could be key to the success of your project.

A structural engineer is an engineer who has been trained to understand and advise on the structure of buildings. They are often able to provide expert guidance on many aspects of building, from determining durability and assessing safety to calculating specifications and suggesting materials for a renovation project. Projects that involve changes to the structure or stability of a building will particularly benefit from a structural engineer, who can provide all the calculations your contractors and architects need to ensure your project goes smoothly.

The cost of a structural engineer can vary based on the work required and the type of project you are undertaking, with larger jobs often resulting in higher costs. With the help of our guide, we hope you will gain a better idea of how much you should budget for when hiring a structural expert for your renovation.

A cost guide to structural engineers

The costs of hiring a structural engineer for your project can vary significantly depending on the type of work you have in mind. Renovations can range from a small extension or minor structural modifications to loft conversions and altering internal walls. Thankfully, engineers often work on hourly and day rates, which can give you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay for your job.

How much does a structural engineer cost per hour?

There are a number of factors that will affect the hourly cost to hire a structural engineer. The average cost of a structural engineer per hour is £70. However, the type of company you choose will have an impact on this price. Typically, bigger firms that often handle large projects will have a higher hourly rate than an independent structural engineer. This means the average cost can be as high as £200. However, if you are hiring an independent advisor in a cheaper area, the average cost reduces to £50 per hour.

Do structural engineer costs vary by location?

As with most tradesmen, the location of the work will have an impact on the amount charged for each project. While the average hourly rate for an independent structural engineer is £70, this can drop to £50 in cheaper areas, while London rates average at £90 per hour. For a structural engineer working within a large firm, the average price in more expensive locations is £200 per hour.

Do structural engineers offer fixed rate quotes?

The nature of the work of a structural engineer means they often visit projects for short periods across multiple days. As a result, they rarely charge a full day rate. Instead, engineers commonly work using either an hourly rate or a fixed rate. Fixed rates for projects can vary significantly based on the complexity of the work so it’s important to discuss a personalised quote for your project. To give you an idea of what to expect, the average fixed rate price for a basic residential project, such as a single-storey extension, is £400. For a more complicated residential project, costs average at £2,000.

Typical rates for common structural engineer jobs

While some structural engineer jobs will be charged based on an hourly or daily rate, others are charged at a fixed rate price. Hopefully the average costs below will give you a clearer idea of what you can expect to pay.

How much does a structural engineer inspection cost?

A structural engineer inspection is useful for identifying problems with the structure of a property. Issues that are commonly assessed include subsidence or cracking walls. An inspection can be done as part of planning for a project on your property, or you may wish to pay for an inspection as part of a survey on a property you wish to buy. The average cost for an inspection is £250 and prices are similar regardless of the type of firm you choose.

How much do structural engineer plans cost?

In order to get building regulations approval for a residential project, you will need to submit full plans. A structural engineer can complete these plans for you, making sure they are based on a careful inspection and accurate calculations. The average price of the inspection required is £250 but you will need to pay for the cost of the planning permission application on top of this price.

How much does a structural engineer survey cost?

A survey conducted by a structural engineer is a vital part of preparing for a renovation or project. When conducting a full survey, your engineer will provide a written report that details any observations made about the structure of the property based on the work you would like to complete. Survey prices vary significantly based on the size of your property. On average, a survey on a smaller property costs £700, whereas a survey on a large property averages at £1,500.

Structural engineer cost summary table

Structural engineer jobs Average cost
Inspection £250
Plans £250
Survey (small property) £700
Survey (large property) £1,500

3 tips for finding right engineer

When choosing a structural engineer, there are a few things you should consider in helping you find the right person for your project. We hope our 3 top tips below will point you in the right direction as you search for a structural specialist to transform your home.

Choose the right specialist

The variety of work undertaken by structural engineers’ means that not all engineers will have the experience or specialist knowledge you need for your project. For a home renovation, you will want to hire an engineer with experience of working on residential projects. Contact prospective engineers in advance to check they have expertise in the right area.

Read local reviews

Reviews from local people who have already worked with your chosen structural engineer are an invaluable way to make sure you are looking in the right place. Try to find recent reviews to give yourself the most accurate idea of whether the engineer in question is right for you, and make sure you pay close attention to reviews of their work on similar projects so you know what to expect.

Communicate effectively

The best way to reduce the chance of additional costs is to communicate effectively from the start. Make sure your prospective engineer has as much information as possible about your project so they can provide you with an accurate quote and if something changes, let them know as soon as you can so they can update the details of estimated costs and keep you both on the same page.

Take a look at our directory to find a reputable structural engineer near you today.