It is the structural engineers job to determine if the structure you are building is able to bear the load that you will put upon it. Usually, in residential construction, it is the architect and the general contractor who takes care of this problem since the load bearing for house is not that great that it will need the expertise of a structural engineer.
We need to know what the structural loads that require a structural engineer are. The structural loads being referred to are forces that can either deform or displace a structure and compromise its structural integrity. Large structures like dams, bridges, and space stations have loads that can bring stress to the structure.
When we consider residential homes, we have very small structures unlike the ones given above that structural engineers work on. Usually, the loads that exist in a home do not actually cause damage; meaning that the structure is able to bear the load easily. General contractors and architects are usually able to deal with the stresses that are present or that can form over time on a residential structure.
Structural engineering is a complex process where there is no room for error. And this is the reason why it is important that only skilled structural engineers should be hired especially if the structure is large and will be used by a great number of people.
Word of mouth is one of the ways of finding a good structural engineer for your needs. Your general contractor or architect might also be a good resource for finding a good one. You should hire a licensed structural engineer who is a member of a national association.
Today, you can also find structural engineers online. If you need a structural engineer, then another good resource is some internet sites where you can find a pool of engineers offering their services to customers. In this site, you only need to upload your project so that you can be matched with the right structural engineer that you need and you will be contacted once the match is done. A proposal from the structural engineer will be sent to you if he is interested in the project that you have posted. This sites helps save you time and effort in looking for a structural engineer for your project. Their website will provide you a convenient dashboard where you can view all your projects, proposals, and engineer profiles. They have an online messaging system which allows you to communicate with the engineer.
Project size, project type, structure complexity, and structural loads are the factors that will determine if you need a structural engineer or not.
Though it may be expensive to hire a structural engineer, it will be worth the money you are paying with the increased safety of your structure.