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How much for a structural engineer to tell me whether an internal wall is load-bearing or not?

I want to extend my kitchen into the dining room by knocking down the wall between both rooms. I find it quite difficult to believe £475 + Vat quoted is I being silly ?...I would appreciate the informed views of you experts out there...all my thanks

7 Answers from MyBuilder Architectural Designers

Best Answer

Hi there,

Depending on the age of your property you should be able to tell which walls are load-bearing by determining the span of the first-floor joists. You can easily do this by uncovering the floorboards at first-floor level. The joists will run the apposing way to the floorboards and therefore you can identify which wall the joists are bearing on to. If the wall is only present on the ground floor and doesn't provide bearing to floor joists there's a high probability its non-loadbearing.

You should always instruct a certified engineer to confirm the removal of any walls to be on the safe side

Hope this helps


Answered 7th Nov 2019

Internal and external walls provide are an integral part of the dwellings fabric. Modern buildings will generally have a clear method of construction. Older properties may have been previously modified and checking the load bearing capacity of the structure is not always quite straight forward.
A Structural Engineer is multi-disciplined but must have the information to enable them to make an assessment of the structure. To reduce your costs, provide as much information as possible. Check the structure above the wall in question, lifting floor boards / making holes in ceiling voids as required. The wall may not have any loadings but could provide lateral support to ensue the dwelling is rigid.
Some Architectural Companies like ours do provide free consultations. Experienced builders can also help with some free advice.
Some Structural Engineers could make a initial assessment from the investigation findings information provided coupled with local knowledge.


Answered 7th Nov 2019

In my earlier reply, I assumed the cost included necessary calculations. Otherwise cost seems high just to look.


Answered 7th Nov 2019

Nobody seems to want to give you a straight answer. Probably starting around £200. If someone comes out to see you, allow £75 an hour and bear in mind that travel time often takes as long as the visit.
Designing a beam can start at around £100 but it could go much higher depending on the complexity of the building.
Some walls just take vertical loads, but others act as stiffeners to the whole house, so it is not straight forward.
In 70 percent of cases, it is a simple answer to your question. The problem for the engineer is that he has no idea what he is going to find.
For the simpler structures, an architect, if registered, would be able to advise but then their insurance would not allow them to sign off structural work so an engineer is still likely to be involved.


Answered 11th Dec 2019

You are perfectly correct. This is a fair and reasonable fee.


Answered 6th Nov 2019

The cost will most likely include a site visit and allowance for a design if found to be load bearing. This would be a typical cost and pretty standard.


Answered 6th Nov 2019

I think it is a reasonable cost given the knowledge of the engineer, the cost only for the site visit can be excessive but if it includes an advice, it can be pretty reasonable.

You should always instruct a certified engineer to confirm the removal of any walls to be sure and on the safe side, it is important to have the right knowledge when it comes to safety and it is important to rely on professionals.


Answered 7th Nov 2019

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