All buildings are designed to support themselves, distribute their weight, and bear up to added weight loads. The people that analyze, research, plan and design the structural components of a building, including the weight bearing materials and their respective strengths, are called structural engineers. They design safe and comfortable buildings that are made to last the 'test of time', with structural strength and integrity. Additionally, they are also trained to consider safety features, technical aspects, as well as economic and environmental concerns, while taking into account the buildings and surrounding area's aesthetics and social factors.
"Professional engineers in Canada (licensed engineers possessing the P.Eng. and/or ing. designation) are members of the engineering licensing body in the jurisdiction where they work. For more information concerning Engineers in Canada and their membership, click here."
As well as, "A professional engineer is licensed to practice engineering and to take responsibility for his/her work, while an engineer is not. An engineer works under the supervision of a professional engineer. To become a professional engineer one must earn their P.Eng. designation ("ing." or "Eng." in Quebec) by graduating from an accredited engineering program, completing an internship program, and successfully completing a professional practice examination. Click here for more information".
The need for these professionals is ever present as there are currently hundreds of high rise jobs on the go; including, tens of thousands of new home starts every month. These jobs must all be approved according to the local municipal building codes; and signed off by an accredited engineer, that the structure and weight bearing materials used to construct the home or building is sound and safe.
Home inspections of a home, before a sale or purchase have become common place, with many 'home inspection' companies advertising to inspect your home. Not all are affiliated with a designated resident engineer; nor, can they legally inspect for or recommend structural changes. For structural problems and questions concerning any home building project it is best to have a certified structural engineer discuss your options and costs; especially, when adding on a second or third floor to an existing home.
Do it yourself renovators and even some homeowners have decided to take on the gutting and upgrading of their properties themselves, without prudent consideration as to which walls to keep, that may be load bearing, or may need additional support; and, which walls can be demolished, without fear of collapse or injury.
Ultimately, each home is built a bit different, even if you live in a subdivision. How your home was constructed, and the quality of the material and workmanship that went into your particular home, plays the biggest role in the longevity and structural integrity of your home or building project. For peace of mind and to avoid any uncertainties with your most valuable investment and possession, make sure you hire a professional structural engineer to protect your home from any 'unforeseen' by you or your contractor, Â structural stresses that may exist within your property; and especially, prior to any building project.