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Structural Engineering

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Structural Engineering for Home Renovations

By Smyth Stolarz Construction Ltd.

Have you ever watched any of the television shows where they go into an existing home and renovate it, tearing down walls, and potentially changing where doorways and sliders are located? There’s always an expert involved as they walk through the original structure, looking at beams, crawling up into attic spaces, and scanning the kitchen and basement. These types of experts are structural engineers.    

Although you may already understand a bit of what residential structural engineering is, what you may not understand is just how vital a job it is to any construction project, new or old. Structural engineering for home renovations can be complex. Structural engineers have many responsibilities as it is their job to ensure that a building is safe and supported. Don’t know when to hire structural engineers? Not sure where to look or how to find a top structural engineering firm? You’ve come to the right place!


  • What is a Residential Structural Engineer?
  • What are the Responsibilities of Structural Engineers? 
  • What services can a structural engineer do?
  • How is a Structural Engineer Different from an Architect
  • When to hire a structural engineer
  • How to hire a structural engineer
  • Top structural engineering firms

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What is a Residential Structural Engineer?

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A residential structural engineer has been thoroughly trained on what to look for when evaluating existing structures. If it’s a new build construction, this professional will review and give input on blueprints, making sure the structural design is safe for a new home needing to be built. In any home being built or being renovated, the building supports must withstand the weight of the house itself.  

These engineers consider the environmental conditions of where the home is located as well as load-bearing walls and axial load allowances. The design and construction of the structure must be planned so that the structural engineering design integrity remains sound throughout the lifetime of the building. 

If you live in Edmonton, AB, call Smyth Stolarz Construction Ltd and speak to our team regarding your residential structural engineering needs. (780) 263-7865

What are the Responsibilities of Structural Engineers?

A structural engineer has a variety of responsibilities. In a new construction home, all of the following must be planned with the assistance of one or many structural engineers.

  • Concrete structures
  • Foundation
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Load-bearing walls
  • Roof construction
  • Load-bearing beams 
  • Exterior wall
  • Insulation
  • Retaining Walls

If the home is being renovated, in addition to all items listed above, the following must be monitored and inspected to make sure they are not being compromised in any way.

  • Moving or removing internal walls
  • Adding solar panels
  • Conversions of adding a second floor, additional level, loft space, garage, or chimney
  • Reroofing

Structural engineering is focused on the safety and design of all existing or new homes. A structural engineer ensures the structural integrity and safety of aspects of a project.

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residential engineering design drawing
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What services can a structural engineer do?

Structural engineers are typically called upon for inspections or to work closely with construction companies while building or renovating a home. They evaluate structural materials and monitor renovations, making sure homes remain safe and stay within city codes to pass inspections. 

With an in-depth understanding of building loads and materials, structural engineers are often called upon to work closely with civil engineers.  Essentially, these professionals are around to advise architects and contractors while continually providing structural health monitoring. They are experienced engineers with knowledge of many different types of structures. 

Make sure to check with your area’s permit requirements before beginning any project.

How is a Structural Engineer Different from an Architect

While designing a building, structural engineers and architects typically work together. The engineer will plan for materials needing to be used, the locations of support structures, applied loads, and the strain new structures may put on existing foundations and load-bearing walls. These engineers will consider material properties and how to design a home so the infrastructure is sound. The main focus is safety and durability. 

Architects are primarily focused on the aesthetics of a building. They want to make the design functional and appealing to a potential or existing owner.

When to hire a structural engineer

Anytime you may need a structural analysis, it is time to hire this type of engineer. If you are noticing cracks in the walls or foundation of an existing home, planning a major home renovation, or adding an addition, you will need to get in touch with a trusted firm such as Smyth Stolarz. 

We will help you plan the engineering materials needed to match the structural elements you are looking to add.

How to hire a structural engineer

Regardless of whether you are searching for a basement structural engineer, getting in touch with a swimming pool structural engineer, or having a different reason for requiring this type of professional service, you need to hire a trustworthy, reliable structural engineer firm. We research for you and will provide you with an analysis of services you need to have completed. All you have to do is call Smyth Stolarz.

Top structural engineering firm

At Smyth Stolarz, we have seen the competition. In fact, we worked with them. After seeing what they offered, we decided we wanted better for our customers. Call our team to inquire about the structure upgrades and engineering services needed in your home. From the various environmental conditions of your specific property to the many aspects that keep your structure sound, we consider everything.

To get in touch with our team and get your project started, call (780) 263-7865.