Typical price for an opinion from a structural engineer?

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Topic: Typical price for an opinion from a structural engineer?

Announcements February 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

Typical price for an opinion from a structural engineer?

You know the story…I’ve got an older rowhouse, and I’m interesting in making some changes. Before I go too far down the road of daydreaming about my ideal plans for the house, though, I want to get an idea of what’s possible and what would be too hard/expensive, so I’m interested in hiring a structural engineer to come in and tell me which walls are load-bearing and give me a general idea of what it would take to change them.
I’m willing to pay a fair price for the work, but I’m also not looking to get soaked, since I’m not asking for plans to be drawn-up or any kind of sign-off on specific projects at this point. Anyone have any experience with things like this? What’s a good ballpark for what I should expect to pay?

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Best bet is to talk to an architect first. Get them to draw up your ideas which you can then take to a structural engineer/experienced General Contractor for review. Having the architectural plans are essential in securing permits anyway with DCRA so it makes sense to get professional ones done early. The architect may charge around $1,400 for a 2,000 square ft house design. The General Contractor usually won’t charge for the initial consultation (looking at your plans and tellign you what can work). I had a very good architect draft my last project, her name is Theresa Pangelinian and I think her web site is at: www.icaddesign.com. If you’re planing a major job, 203k is the way to finance it in my experience. Cheers.


Mine cost $250. Well worth the cost to find out what you should and should not be overly concerned about. 


I guess then you could talk with a Genral Contractor early, the only problem is that those guys never give you accurate figures unless you get a full writeup. They also won’t give you a full writeup unless you have your financing lined up for a project, then all their quotes will be based on the ammount you’ve financed. It’s really hard to get any details you can trust at this point until money is involved but maybe this site may help: http://www.123flip.com/blog it’s got a few budget plans. As far as structural changes, getting a pro is essential, you won’t get accurate and relevant advice on structural stuff until you commit to the project (just as advice) so take the input you get with a grain of salt… I’ve done a few projects myself, but passing inspections requires a bit more qualification than I have, so I usually check with my General contractor who is the structural engineer.


In my experience, site visits were around $350/hr for structural engineer and $100-150/hr for architect.

I am in the middle of a project exactly as you describe.  I got Kamran Ohi (structural engineer) in for an initial consult where we looked at the walls, decided what was/was not load bearing, and went over some options.  This first consult cost $250.  He is now drawing up structural plans for a general contractor and in order to get permits (costing more).  So far so good.  I would recommend google searching for Kamran Ohi in DC (I think he is actually out of Annandale). 

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