Engineer for a Granny Flat – Plus a List of Recommended Ones
When you first start building your granny flat, there are times when you will need the help of a professional. So, do you need an engineer for a granny flat?
Yes – you will need an approved, stamped report by a qualified engineer. This report confirms an engineer has come to your site, performed soil tests, and confirmed what need to be done for the foundation of your granny flat.
Today I will talk about the type of engineer you will need.
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I will discuss whether you can be approved without an engineers report and will provide a list of engineers throughout Australia for your project.
Will explain every shape, size, and form of every part of the dwelling, so they are drawings that will be accepted by your Council.
What Does an Engineer Do When They Are on Site?
You will need the engineer to come to your property to create the report for you.
When they are on site, they will:
Review your requirements – They should start by understanding what your goal is, what the result is that you want to achieve.
Check your land and plans – The affect that putting a granny flat on your land will have is huge, and easily underestimated. So, the engineer should take time to assess every aspect your site and its’ condition.
They will check over any planned design elements for your secondary dwelling, seeing if it suits the condition of your land.
They will also measure your soil and confirm the foundation of your granny flat.
For example, when the engineer came to my site, they measured the soil to see if our foundation was sitting on rock.
Structural Designs – As part of their role as an engineer, they should now start to give you advice. This will include the best structural designs and materials specifically for your site and build.
For example: they will advise you if cladding is a suitable facade for your granny flat, or you need a stronger material. They will also advise you on the materials you should use for your flooring and roofing.
That’s it – your reports are now almost ready to be issued. First, they should check their work to ensure its’ accuracy.
Then, they will provide you with a copy of designs, reports and certifications.
Does Your Architect or Drafter Need the Engineer Report?
Yes – a good engineer should know how to liaise with other professionals in the industry, such as architects or drafters.
Do They Work Well in a Team – Often, an engineer will be part of a team, so must be able to work well therein. Qualities to look for that show signs of great teamwork are courtesy and tact when communicating. These traits will build trust within the team. If they can communicate well with you, keeping you informed, presenting facts openly and honestly, they are probably a good team member.
Do They Have Good Communication Skills – For an engineer, communication is more than speaking, reading, writing, or listening. It means being able to not only understand technical complexities, but also able to:
Concisely, effectively translate this technical language into layman’s terms without talking down to others. Engineers communicate with people at many different levels, from unskilled workers to managers. The ability to communicate in a respectful, concise manner is vital as it ensures your main message will be passed on clearly. So, they should be able to work with you and communicate well with you, helping you understand all the options available to you.
Are They Creative – Great engineers are born with an ability to ‘think outside of the box’. Their entire industry relies on the ability to creatively solve problems. Engineers that are able to bring creative solutions and new ideas to the job are improving the existing system. Listen to see if they can come up with new ways to improve existing problems. Simply, pay attention to how effective the solutions they suggest are, and how well received they are.
Are They Natural Problem Solvers – As with creativity, an engineer must also be great at problem solving. Any job, no matter its’ size, will have its’ problems. An engineer must be able to address these as they appear. This means studying the problem, understanding the impact it is having on the project, and analysing it. Applying their skills in a logical, well-organised manner, and identifying the main cause of the problem. To solve problems successfully, an engineer must also be able to listen to the ‘owner’ of the problem.
If they answer by saying things such as they:
Perform multiple quality assurance checks, and
Have their work supervised by registered engineers,
Then, you have found a team that pays ultra-careful attention to every aspect.
All of these qualities are particularly important if you have a challenging block of land.
An engineer needs to know how to put their problem-solving and creativity skills to use and communicate these effectively with you.
For example, getting a soil test from an engineer will help you to figure out the stability of the ground you are building upon.
As this report includes drawings that show all shapes, sizes, and forms of every part of your proposed granny flat, they will be accepted by your Council. The engineer will also provide you with technical advice on safe designs and construction.
It is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable engineer, particularly if you have a challenging block, such as one on sloping land, as;
They will be able to use their problem-solving skills so you can proceed with your building your granny flat within your budget.
It is also important to know that the role an engineer plays is highly important, as;
Granny Flat Designers will require the Engineers report from you.
Your architect or drafter will need the reports from you so they can start designing plans. It is also important to note that an engineer is not to blame if anything goes wrong during construction – perhaps it means plans have not been followed correctly.
This is why I suggest you do your research first and find out your Councils’ regulations for approval.
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