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How much does a structural engineer cost?

$75 to $250 per hour

    How much does a structural engineer cost in Australia?

    Most structural engineers charge by the hour, and their rates typically range from $75 to $250 per hour. Expect to pay between $300 and $15,000 to hire a structural engineer. Expect to spend on the low end of that price range for basic inspections, but for complex projects, you can expect to pay on the higher end of that price range.

    Below is the average cost per hour of a structural engineer in different states around Australia.

    State Average Cost per hour
    NSW $100 – $130
    VIC $160 – $190
    QLD $90 – $110

    Benefits of hiring a structural engineer

    Ensures your renovation/construction will be safe and secure

    A licensed engineer makes sure that a weight-bearing structure is sturdy enough to hold its load. For instance, engineers can advise on retaining wall design, second storey add-ons, building defect reports and inspections, wall removal during renovations and plans for carports and decks. 

    Inspect properties before you buy them

    Potential home buyers want to know about any structural defects of a property before putting in an offer to buy. In general, the engineer will inspect the home’s foundation, crawl space, basement, roof, framing, interior walls, exterior walls, masonry and brickwork. A structural engineer assessment cost will generally run you around $1,000. However, you may pay double or triple that amount if you need an official report in addition to the inspection. 

    Inspect any damage you have on your property

    Some common problems found by structural engineers are a saggy roof and foundation damage. Engineers can also detect termite infestations and issues of masonry and brickwork. In general, a basic structural engineer house inspection cost would be less than what you’d pay for an engineer to design a new renovation.

    Four homes being constructed on the same block of land

    All new home constructions should be assessed by a structural engineer / Source: AI Homes

    Factors impacting the cost of a structural engineer

    How large the home/project is

    If you have a large-scale renovation project, then you should expect to pay more for a structural engineer. For instance, if you’re adding a large room that requires wall additions or demolitions, then you can expect to pay a structural engineer to help with the design and inspections. An engineer would have to make recommendations for building the new structures and ensuring that they meet safety guidelines. For large projects, such as complex add-ons, you can expect to pay at least $15,000. 

    How complex the issue is

    Small-scale projects that don’t require a lot of time or labour will generally cost less. For instance, some drawings and a report for the approval of your local council may cost $3,000 to $5,000. A small-scale building project, such as adding railings or beams to your home could cost only a few hundred dollars.

    How many years experience the engineer has

    Most engineers are paid by the hour. However, some engineers who have years of experience and lots of good reviews from customers will charge more. When creating your budget for the residential structural engineer cost, consider the engineer’s experience level and pay attention to any positive or negative reviews you find online.

    Price estimates for different types of structural engineer jobs

    Small home inspection

    Expect to pay several hundred dollars for a small home inspection. This is one of the most basic types of tasks completed by a structural engineer. 

    Medium home inspection

    For a medium-size home inspection, you will pay around $500 to $700. 

    Large home inspection

    Expect to pay up to $1,000 dollars for a large home inspection. Keep in mind that the structural engineer cost per house will vary depending on home size and complexity of the project.

    Home renovation plans

    The size and complexity of your project will determine how much you pay for renovation plans. A small project could cost as little as a few hundred dollars. However, a complex project that requires an addition or a demolition can cost up to $5,000 to draw up plans for the project, which includes the structural engineer drawing cost.

    Soil test

    Some structural engineers will charge a flat fee for a soil test. Expect to pay about $350 for the test. 

    Contour survey

    A contour and survey test is a bit more complex and will generally cost more than a soil test. A contour and survey test will cost at least $1,000.

    A man building a new deck

    Some seemingly easy projects like a new deck require a structural engineer to ensure they are safe / Source: Bk Building Group

    How to hire a structural engineer

    How to create an accurate estimate

    • Ask about flat fees as well as any fees charged per hour.
    • Ask for detailed quotes from multiple structural engineers.
    • Shop around and compare prices.

    Licencing and qualifications

    Requirements vary by state and territory. Some states require the following:

    • A college degree that qualifies for membership in a professional engineers association or governing body
    • Work experience

     In addition to the above, many states require:

    • A written application
    • Payment of an application fee

    In Queensland, you can qualify to register as an engineer with the Board of Professional Engineers once you’ve satisfied the following criteria:

    • You meet the minimum education requirements
    • You show evidence of identity
    • You provide proof of financial fitness
    • You pay the appropriate fees
    • You submit a written application

    In Tasmania, an engineer must be licensed in one of three classifications: fire safety, building services and civil engineering. To obtain a license in Tasmania, the applicant must:

    • Hold a degree relevant to their classification
    • Or, if no degree held, the applicant must be registered with the National Engineers Register
    • Or, if neither of the above, the worker must be recognised by Engineers Australia

    Some states may have extra requirements not mentioned here. Check with your state or territory regarding licensing and training information.

    How to save money hiring a structural engineer

    • Hire a licensed engineer (the quality of work could save money in the long term).
    • Plan a project that can be completed without adding new walls or demolishing walls. 
    • Don’t include pricier items in your renovation. For instance, items like vaulted ceilings generally cost more.


    * The cost data is based on Oneflare and third-party sources


    How do structural engineers charge?

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    When budgeting how much to hire a structural engineer, consider the size of your project. Most residential structural engineers charge by the hour; therefore, a more extensive project will cost you more. The structural engineer report cost will vary on the report’s complexity and the property size. For instance, a structural engineer inspection cost will generally be less expensive than an extensive report needed to satisfy government code regulations.

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