62 Questions to Ask a Structural Engineer

Deciding to work with a structural engineer is a big decision. After all, they will be responsible for the safety and stability of your building or project. Before you choose a structural engineer, it is important that you ask them some questions. This will give you a better idea of who they are, their qualifications, and what they can do for you.

25 Questions to ask a structural engineer:

  1. What is the name of your company?
  2. How did you become interested in engineering?
  3. What is your education and training in engineering?
  4. What is your field of expertise?
  5. How long have you been working as a structural engineer?
  6. Are you licensed or registered in my state?
  7. Do you have professional liability insurance?
  8. How much will your services cost?
  9. What is your fee structure?
  10. What are your qualifications?
  11. What is your process for designing a structure?
  12. How do you consider safety in your designs?
  13. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different structural systems?
  14. Do any local regulations apply to my project?
  15. How do you consider the climate in your designs?
  16. Have you ever encountered any problems while working on a project? If so, how were they resolved?
  17. Do you provide as-built drawings?
  18. What methods do you use to analyze stress in a structure?
  19. What methods do you use to analyze fatigue in a structure?
  20. What methods do you use to analyze fracture in a structure?
  21. How do you design an earthquake-resistant structure?
  22. How do you design a wind-resistant building?
  23. How do you design a fire resistant?
  24. What are your thoughts on using alternative materials in structural design?
  25. What are your thoughts on using innovative technologies in structural design?

37 Questions to ask before hiring a structural engineer:

  1. Do you have experience with projects similar to mine?
  2. What is the scope of your involvement in this project?
  3. What are the risks associated with this project?
  4. What seismic activity, if any, should I be aware of in this area?
  5. Are there any geographic features I should be aware of?
  6. What is the estimated lifespan of the structure you are proposing?
  7. How easily can my structure be renovated or expanded in the future, if necessary?
  8. How tall is the structure?
  9. What legal requirements will the structure need to meet?
  10. What are the loads that the structure will need to support?
  11. What type of foundation will be required?
  12. What are the dimensions of the structure?
  13. How many floors will the structure have?
  14. What kind of materials will be used for the construction of the structure?
  15. What type of roofing system will be used?
  16. What type of exterior cladding will be used?
  17. What type of stair and elevator system will be required?
  18. What type of fire protection system will be required?
  19. What is the wind load for the structure?
  20. What is the snow load for the structure?
  21. Are there any soil conditions that need to be considered?
  22. What lateral force systems need to be designed?
  23. When can you start working on this project?
  24. What is the estimated time frame for this project?
  25. How much do you anticipate the project will cost?
  26. How will I receive the invoices for your services?
  27. How often will we need to meet during the project?
  28. What type of communication do you prefer?
  29. Who else will be involved in this project (architects, contractors, etc.)?
  30. Have you encountered any problems while working on a similar project? If so, how were they resolved?
  31. Can I see some examples of your previous work?
  32. Do you have any recommendations on how to improve this project?
  33. Can you provide references from some of your previous clients?
  34. Is there anything we should be aware of before starting construction?
  35. What are the possible consequences if we do not follow your recommendations?
  36. Are there other professionals you recommend we consult?
  37. What would you do if you were confronted with a problem during construction?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some typical duties of a structural engineer?

A structural engineer is responsible for designing structures that can withstand the forces of nature. They work with architects to create a safe and efficient design for a building or bridge. Some of the typical duties of a structural engineer include calculating loads, analyzing materials, and designing foundations. They also need to keep up with the latest developments in the industry to ensure their designs are up to date.

Do structural engineers also draw plans?

Structural engineers use plans to design and analyze the structural integrity of buildings and other large structures. The plans show the engineer where the supports and load-bearing members should be placed and how much weight each part of the structure can safely support. By using plans, engineers can ensure that a structure is safe and efficient.

What is the main objective of a structural engineer?

The main objective of a structural engineer is to design and oversee the construction of safe, efficient, and stable structures. They must understand the principles of engineering mechanics, materials science, and structural analysis to identify and solve potential problems before they become an issue. Structural engineers also play an important role in the conservation of historic buildings.


Asking these questions will give you a better idea of who the structural engineer is, what their qualifications are, and what they can do for your specific project. Once you have all the information you need, you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to work with a particular engineer.

Remember, however, that even the most qualified engineer can not foresee every potential problem – so it’s always important to have a contingency plan in case something does go wrong!

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