Rivergate Consultants LtdConsulting Structural EngineersIncorporating SEG Structural Engineers
Q: I'm having a single storey extension built and I'd like
to knock down a wall, can you tell me how much you
would charge for the beam calculations?
A: Without drawings and / or a site visit, we cannot say. Beam calculations, beam calcs and beam design depend entirely on what is being supported; wall type, materials, height, floor spans, ceiling joists spans, roof spans and the presence of any other loading. The beam design may also be influenced by the bearings at the beam ends and perhaps even overall stability of the building structure. While usually easy to deal with when all the information is available it is probably ill advised to suggest a beam size without all the facts in clarity.
Q: I'm taking down the wall between the lounge and
dining room, what beam should I use?
A: That would depend on if the wall is load bearing or not and if it is, what it is supporting; if and how much floor, wall, ceiling, roof, etc. While not difficult to deal with when all the information is available it is probably ill advised to suggest a beam size without all the facts in clarity.
Q: I have some Architects drawings and he says that I
need to appoint an Engineer to design some beams;
can you help and how much do you charge.
A: Of course we can help, we would be delighted; it's what we do! If you send us the drawings by email or post we can look over them and talk to you about the structure that we think you need. Our fees would depend on what we need to do which we can talk and agree before we start. If you would prefer, just let us know who your Architect is and we can arrange for a set of drawings to be sent to us.
Q: If I want to make some alterations to my building, do
you need to come and see me?
A: That depends. If you have some good and clear drawings, and the alterations and structure required are quite straightforward, then probably not. If you've not got any drawings and / or the alterations are not very straightforward, then it may be an idea that a site visit is made to determine and / or clarify any structural matters that we feel are relevant. We'd need to be completely certain of matters for no site visit to be required. As competent professionals we would not be acting in your best interests to guess or assume structure without exceedingly good reason!!
Q: We've had some quotes from other Engineers and
they seem very high, can you give me a quote for the
A: Yes of course we can, but before we do we'd like to talk to you about what their costs are, what you require and why you think their quote is high. We'd also like the same access to drawings and information as the other Engineer. If we feel that their quote is reasonable, we will be tell you; we won't try to beat it or undercut them - we're always busy and don't need to 'buy-in' work!!
Q: I have appointed another Engineer and he has
provided me with some beam sizes but both myself
and my builder think that everything is totally over
designed. Please can you look at this for me.
A: Firstly, who is the Engineer and are they Chartered. What information and drawings etc are they working from and have they visited site [alterations to existing buildings only of course]. Subject to the answers to these questions we will have a better idea of what we're dealing with and we can advise you accordingly.
Q: My Engineer has taken forever to provide me with
the beam sizes and currently he's only given me some
of them. I'd like to sack the Engineer and ask you to
finish off the job for me.
A: I'd be pleased to help you. Before we can help here you must determine your relationship with the current Engineer and ensure that you have finalised all fee matters between yourselves. As a Chartered Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers our director will need to advise your current Engineer of our involvement if you appoint us.