Structural Engineers Fees Seem High
Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:13 PM
We are working with an architect on a new build 4 story town house with partially underground parking (600mm below ground), the footprint of the building is 85sq metres and will require a piled foundation design (the whole internal area including garage is 295sq metres). We have discussed the project at length with a structural engineer and he has come back with a quote for £9,000k + VAT. This does include all aspects that would need an engineers eye including, foundation design (although not the design of individual piles?), roof design, checking balustrades, balcony design (x3) and some external works.
This seems expensive to me and is ringing alarm bells. I have asked for a re-quote...removing all of the balcony and roof design given that those companies supplying should offer that as part of their service.
What are your thoughts?
Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:38 PM
Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:56 PM
We needed a big (2.5m high, around 33m long) retaining wall at the back of our sloping plot, so we could dig out to level the ground for the house and garden. I sent a site plan, wall elevations and topographical survey to the first structural engineer, together with a geologists report on the underlying ground/rock.
- The first structural engineer quoted me £1250 plus VAT, plus £90 per hour if any site visits were required.
- The second structural engineer quoted me £300 plus VAT, said he'd pop in and take a look at the site if needed as part of that price, and gave us a detailed set of drawings and specifications, steel schedules etc for the wall (all hand drawn!).
My experience would suggest that you need to shop around, as if I found a variation of over 400% from just two SEs I rather suspect this may be commonplace.
Edited by jsharris, 14 January 2014 - 04:57 PM.
Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:59 PM
I'm amazed at Jeremy's experience with fees but don't share the view that the fee quoted to you are ridiculous.
You say your building is a town house. This presumably means that it is part of a terrace of similar houses with which you share gables? If so this would mean that the Engineer will have to take responsibility for designing structural interventions beside existing buildings.
You need an Engineer with appropriate PII cover. If any structural damage is caused to adjoining properties you will be responsible as the commissioning agent. You need to be able to seek recovery from the designer and contractors.
You should obtain alternative quotations but you need to be very careful that you select a company of substance.
As it happens I am also in the process of obtaining a quotation for design of a retaining wall very like Jeremy's so maybe I will be in touch with him for the contact details of his Engineer for a competitive quote.
Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:43 AM
Very local, and new the exact plot well, together with the soil in the area. He was old-school, did hand drawings and calculations and does have full indemnity cover. I think his advantage was that he was very used to exactly the sort of job we needed, whereas the other, larger, firm were general consulting civil engineers, more used to working on major projects.
All of the ground works companies I used during our tendering process knew this structural engineer and had worked with him before, so I think he's well known in the area for doing smaller jobs like this. The company was Harvey and Snowdon, in Kingsbury Square, Wilton, Wiltshire.
Posted 24 July 2014 - 05:57 PM
Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:11 AM
Costing me £1200 for structural design of founds, retaining wall and kit frame calcs. In Scotland this all has to be supplied with the Building Warrant application which must be approved before you can start any work. I will also obtain an SER certificate for an extra fee which will reduce my BW application fee by 10%. BTW the application fee is £2,160 based on estimated construction costs. Self build costs are ignored and a minimum of £1,000/m2 is used to calculate the construction cost.
The selected kit frame supplier will also be responsible for the structural calculations but our SE has to check his calculations too.
I think the fee is acceptable although site visits are charged extra.
Posted 08 April 2015 - 11:38 AM
We have had 2 quotes from SE's each in excess of 10k ex VAT for work on a new build 200m2 dwelling.
Not wishing to bore with too much detail, but at first glance ours is a simple open site, though slightly sloped, a 2 part detached dwelling, possibly piled or raft foundations, we have designed it to avoid any TPZ tree roots, but apart from that a pretty standard build, apart from a bit of structural glulam maybe...
Needless to say I will have to seek other quotes.
Posted 08 April 2015 - 11:53 AM
Posted 08 April 2015 - 01:27 PM
Thanks for the offer, I was really looking for someone more local to me (Cambridge). The quotes I have had are from London Centric practises, I expect they are "London" prices.
Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:30 PM
Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:11 AM
I have just engaged an SE near Ipswich. In four weeks time, I should know whether I can recommend them - but not before! (Mine is a 200 sq m piled house and I have quote of £4,300 + extras. Lets see ...)