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FindanEngineer Homeowner's Guide

Appointing a Structural Engineer for your Domestic Project

A homeowners’ guide to renovations, extensions and new builds

About this guide

Whether you are planning to build a new home or perhaps modify, extend or refurbish an existing property you will have great hopes and aspirations for a successful project. The construction industry is complex and you may be feeling at least a little daunted by all that will be involved in achieving your dream.

This guide has been produced by The Institution of Structural Engineers, which is a professional organisation incorporated by Royal Charter, recognised globally for its rigorous entrance examinations for those who wish to become members. Throughout their career Institution members must continue to study and demonstrate professional development so that their knowledge and skills remain up to date.

The Institution has endeavoured to ensure the accuracy of this guide, however the comments made must be taken as general guidance and readers should take specialist advice on the specific projects being considered or undertaken.


Building work needs to comply with a lot of regulations and legal obligations. Whilst information on roles and responsibilities of the structural engineer are common across the UK it is important to remember that the rules you must follow might not necessarily be the same in Scotland and Northern Ireland as in England or Wales.

This guide can therefore only deal in general terms. It cannot and should not in any way be considered a substitute for building-specific advice. It does however, give broad guidance on when, where and how to go about seeking further guidance and services from structural engineers and other construction industry professionals.

In Chapter 1 we introduce you to structural engineers and some of the other construction industry professionals you may come across. It gives an overview of when a structural engineer may be needed, and of the value they can bring to your project.

  • Chapter 2 introduces relevant regulations.
  • Chapter 3 gives project advice tailored to a number of scenarios.
  • Chapter 4 gives advice on engaging a structural engineer.

We hope you find this guide helpful and wish you every success with your home improvements. 

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