Build Your Own House

Structural Engineers - Home Building

Carl, we are planning on adding a 20 sq. ft. X 20 sq. ft. two story addition to our current home.

Our local building inspector says we need an engineered approved building plan.

Is there anywhere I can get an existing home addition plan that can be altered slightly to fit what we want? We live in NY. Thanks, Pat

Hi Pat,

Besides your local building inspection department, you, your general contractor (if you use one), your subcontractors, building suppliers, lender (if you use one), will need plans.

On my “Cost of Home Additions” there is a 22 sq. ft. x 22 sq. ft. addition house plan from CADSmith Studio, LLC of New Hampshire. It has been a very popular plan.

You could also check around locally for a home designer or draftsman to draw up your plans. (Read my "Home Designer" article)

After you get plans take them first to your building inspection department to see if they will need any additional modifications to pass local codes and as far as they are concerned, all that is missing is a Structural Engineer (SE) stamp of approval.

Then take those plans to a Structural Engineering (SE) firm (or a licensed individual SE) and have them either stamp "approved" as is, or have them modify them to meet the requirements of your building inspection department.

You can find Structural Engineer's on the internet under Engineers-Professional-Structural.

Just FYI, the requirement for a structural engineer approval is for your protection.

I have seen "builder designed" houses joke.

I had every single house plan I used for building reviewed by a Structural Engineer, and followed their recommendations to the letter.

Carl Heldmann