Why do I need a structural engineer?

Often when you apply for a building permit, the building official will tell you that you need a structural engineer. She may say something like, you need to submit a Schedule B or we need letters of assurance or we need an engineer’s report or your plans need to be sealed by a structural engineer. Her request for engineering may be based upon whether or not your structure makes use of Part 4 components. Things like girder trusses, LVLs, I-Joists or high foundation walls are Part 4 components. Part 4 components are structural members that can’t be found within Part 9 of the Building Code. (Part 9 is a simplified code within the Building Code of British Columbia meant for small buildings and homes.) You may need a structural engineer for other reasons such as exterior walls dominated by windows or open concept floor plans with few interior walls. Most of our registered home professional builders use our services on every project they build regardless of whether or not the municipality asks for it. They say that it is a small price for peace of mind.

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