If you are converting or extending your property in a way that alters its external appearance you must apply to your local council for Planning Permission. You will need to submit architectural plans showing what the property looks like now (existing plans) and what it will look like after the work has been done (proposed plans).
Once planning permission has been granted, your architect will submit more detailed drawings to the council for Building Regulations Approval. Building Regulations cover many aspects such as thermal insulation, roof coverings, structural stability etc. If structural alterations are part of your proposed scheme then structural calculations and drawings must be submitted for approval together with the architectural drawings. Rhodes & Partners can provide these drawings and calculations. Besides making sure the alterations are safe, evidence of Building Regulations approval will be needed when you sell your property.
It's easier to get Building Regulations approval before you start work. Getting retrospective approval can be expensive and may even mean pulling down what you have built. Once your builder begins work, the council's building inspector will come out to check that the construction is consistent with our drawings - and, we hope, NOT like this house!
Some structural alterations are internal (eg removing an internal load bearing wall) and do not require planning permission but these still require Building Regulations approval.
We can help at all stages – initial discussion with your architect, providing design calculations and drawings for submission and site visits to discuss with your builder as work continues.
When moving house you may need a structural engineering report on either your own property or the one you wish to purchase - please read further in our services section about what our SERs cover.
Are you building near your neighbour? Or is your neighbour building near you? You may have legal rights or legal responsibilities under The Party Wall Act. We can advise further on Party Wall advice.
Provided we have accurate architectural drawings which identify structural elements (eg load bearing walls or span of floors) we can produce our structural drawings and calculations without visiting your property.
Knocking two rooms into one or converting your attic or basement into usable living space can make all the difference to family accommodation. All schemes require structural engineering drawings for both submission for Building Regulation approval and / or for builder to work from.
Adding a swimming pool or gym to your home requires structural analysis of your existing property before design. Some of these projects are for conversions or extensions to an existing building for a client with accessibility needs. This could mean incorporating lifts and/or hydrotherapy pools into an existing family home.
Our Structural Engineering Report (SER) sometimes recommend further investigation to eliminate subsidence problems which can be caused by a drainage problem and/or inadequate foundations, frequently exacerbated by extremes of weather conditions or removal of nearby trees. We organise trial holes and drainage surveys to identify the exact problem and then prepare a schedule of conditions from which contractors can provide cost effective underpinning solutions and/or drainage repairs. If instructed we can inspect the work and provide a final certificate of Structural Adequacy for your insurance or mortgage provider.
If your house or garden is built on a slope and you want to extend or re-develop you will need cost effective and simple retaining wall designs – we can design these to incorporate special landscaping features should you wish. As well as advising on replacement drains, we have undertaken the design of drainage schemes for several new build housing and industrial projects. These have included the assessment of flow volumes, pipe size & gradient specification and the design of storm flow attenuation facilities.
The alterations to this house combined a rear extension with opening up the existing living area. The design of the supporting steelwork over the large span bifold doors is critical in order to limit the deflection.
Another bespoke rear single storey extension together with internal kitchen alterations required our structural design.
We were delighted to be the structural engineers working on this award winning new build house incorporating a new conservatory and terrace.
This extension required both Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval. Because the existing and new roof had raised ceilings there engineering design was more complicated in order to minimise roof spread.
These alterations only required Building Regulations approval. In order to open up 4 small rooms into one large kitchen/family room we designed 3 beams and a column to support the first floor structure above.
The work we did for this new build private leisure complex included a pool, gymnasium and games room as well as substantial modifications to the listed manor house itself to which underground access was required.