The Importance of a Structural Engineer in the Foundation Repair Process
At Carolina Foundation Solutions, our goal is to help educate, offer guidance, and provide assistance for homeowners and property owners when foundation problems are present, using a 10-step process. One important component of this 10-step process can often include the services and assistance of a Licensed Professional Engineer, specifically a structural engineer.
Once an initial call has been made to our office to schedule a free consultation, we will provide a profile of our technical sales consultant prior to the representative’s arrival. The free consultation will consist of the technical sales consultant assessing the areas of concern. During the visit, the representative will attempt to learn about the history of the structure, identify any existing issues and understand what concerns and/or questions the customer may have. Our technical sales consultant shall provide a generalist point of view as to whether the signs or symptoms found present are believed to be a result of foundation damage and/or structural issues. Following the assessment, the consultant may then offer information as to what products or applications may be best suited to repair the existing issues, along with an estimate for the repair cost. If and when structural issues are found present, the consultant may then recommend the services of a structural engineer.
A structural engineer is a type of civil engineer, who is licensed and trained to analyze and evaluate the integrity of a structure. When foundation settlement or any other structural issues exist, it is often ideal that the services of a structural engineer be obtained. In North Carolina, when foundation settlement or any other structural issues exist, it is required that the services of a licensed professional engineer must be obtained. The national average cost to hire a structural engineer is approximately $500, but can range in price from $300 – $1,500 depending on the scope of work and the extent of services provided. Although the services of the engineer are an added cost, there is much value. The engineer will provide their professional opinion of the existing conditions, as well as their recommendations as to what repairs are truly needed.
When foundation settlement or structural issues are suspected or found present, a structural engineer can assess the overall integrity of the structure, identify or verify any existing structural issues and specify or design the repairs that are needed. The engineer can provide a comprehensive report which includes their observations, conclusions and recommendations. When structural repairs are deemed necessary, it is ideal for the engineer to provide a formal design of repair. For example, when foundation settlement is found present and helical piles are deemed the necessary method of repair, the engineer’s design should include the type of products and materials that should be used, the locations in which the helical piers should be installed and the loads in which each helical pier should be installed to support.
When the services of a structural engineer are needed, each technical consultant at Carolina Foundation Solutions is prepared and willing to assist in whichever manner is best suited for our customers. We are more than willing to coordinate the services of the engineer, provide a list of recommended engineers for the customer to contact or work with an engineer that a customer may have already contracted. Once a report and design from the engineer has been prepared, the homeowner or property owner can then choose a foundation repair contractor to complete the work per the instructions and recommendations of the engineer. If Carolina Foundation Solutions is the foundation repair contractor of choice, once a signed copy of the proposal has been received, the repairs will be scheduled.