Structural Engineers - a question

I visit this board periodically and offer advice where I think I might have something to add. Over and over I seem to see people reluctant to take the advice 'get an engineer out to take a look'? 

So, why the reluctance? Just the cost? I'll admit some bias, but to me, if you've just spent £250k on a house, isn't it worth £300 to make sure the house isn't damaged/ deteriorating? Is there some perception that it's not worth it? Believe me when I tell you that SEs are not getting rich looking at people's houses. (The only real money is in bridges and statement public buildings)

I'm genuinely curious if I'm missing something.

Comments

  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,922 Forumite
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    I think that it is the cost, but not because they don't think it isn't worth it. Rather it's because they've just spent £250k on a house, £1,000 in solicitors fees, £600 on a Level 3 survey, plus mortgage fees, removals fees, and they are having to spend money to undo the last owners hideous taste in wallpaper/paint. The issue is that the expense is arriving at just the wrong time.

    The best solution for customers might be a payment plan that allows that cost to be spread out. Unfortuntaly, to offer credit, you need to have a licence from the FCA, and comply with the terms of the license, but at least in doing so, you will be allow to charge interest and can use this to offset the cost of compliance and of the cost of interest that you have to pay to borrow the money if you need it. 

    You might also look at invoice factoring to see if this might help you. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,570 Forumite
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    "But my builder said I don't need a structural engineer"
    Hear that all too often.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,218 Forumite
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    My suspicion is it’s partly the number of tv shows that gloss over that side of it before the glamorous presenter wields a sledgehammer…..
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,796 Forumite
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    edited 15 March at 7:50PM
    FreeBear said:
    "But my builder said I don't need a structural engineer"
    Hear that all too often.
    That's because they don't want to pay for a decent builder either!  

    My son was on a job recently and the neighbour asked him to pop in and take a look at removing a supporting wall.  

    He went in and was categorically told that they didn't want to use a structural engineer or building control.  

    My son told them that he values his life more highly than the cost of those two things, thanked them and left.  

    No doubt VAT wouldn't figure in their budget either.  

    People enable cowboy builders to exist because they don't want to pay for a good job.  They leave themselves wide open to charlatans who are more than happy to take advantage. 

    How the building industry isn't regulated, I cannot fathom.  It would make your life easier too, weeg.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,796 Forumite
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    edited 15 March at 8:09PM
    My suspicion is it’s partly the number of tv shows that gloss over that side of it before the glamorous presenter wields a sledgehammer…..
    Have you seen the new B&Q advert!! 😳

    https://youtu.be/lgvCdcirG0M?si=LcVbqrw5fN-6MX7R

    that's just inspired me to write a post/rant on LinkedIn ☺️
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • jonnydeppiwish!
    jonnydeppiwish! Posts: 1,188 Forumite
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    weeg said:
    I visit this board periodically and offer advice where I think I might have something to add. Over and over I seem to see people reluctant to take the advice 'get an engineer out to take a look'? 

    So, why the reluctance? Just the cost? I'll admit some bias, but to me, if you've just spent £250k on a house, isn't it worth £300 to make sure the house isn't damaged/ deteriorating? Is there some perception that it's not worth it? Believe me when I tell you that SEs are not getting rich looking at people's houses. (The only real money is in bridges and statement public buildings)

    I'm genuinely curious if I'm missing something.
    It does depend on how confident you are in identity normal house movement, thermal cracks, those funny cracks to the plaster where the end of a lintel is. I didn’t when we bought last time but did have a full check over prior to structural works. £600 but worth it 
    2006 LBM £28,000+ in debt.
    2021 mortgage and debt free, working part time and living the dream
  • YoungBlueEyes
    YoungBlueEyes Posts: 3,983 Forumite
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    I think some of it is people thinking they know better nowadays, thanks to fora like this and ootoob vids (and that bladdy B+Q advert, I agree Doozergirl!) 

    People don't baulk at solicitor fees when buying a house because they can't do it themselves but anyone can go to a diy shed and buy a sledgehammer. So why should they shell out for an SE when they 'know' what they're doing?

    We're a good example of this actually. I was thinking the upstairs rooms would have a better layout if we squiggled the walls about a bit. Himself rapped his knuckles on one of them and confidently announced it could come down cos "it's only a stud wall". Meanwhile I pm'd someone on here to ask about how to find an SE, because I might be as dumb as a box of hair but at least I know it. 
    The sun's core is so hot that a piece of the size of a pinhead would give off enough heat to kill a person 160 kilometres away.
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,732 Forumite
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    ....because I might be as dumb as a box of hair but at least I know it. 
    That's not right.  The smartest people are those who have a good idea what they don't know (/can't do), and the willingness to ask someone else.

  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,732 Forumite
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    weeg said:

    So, why the reluctance? Just the cost?
    I blame Lego.  Most people got to play with Lego (other construction toys are available) at least once in their childhood and built a house or a tower or something similar.

    So simple a child can do it.

    I think that carries over into adulthood and a belief that structures are simple (just piling bricks on top of each other), coupled with seeing the people who do the work covered in mud and muck and assuming they don't need to be clever to do what they do.  And the builder must be right because he's been doing it since Noah was a lad.

    There's also an element of cheating the system and/or 'getting away with it' - people feeling good about themselves because they have got one over the authorities when it comes to planning and building control.  The professionals whose job it is to keep people safe and try to ensure some kind of quality control in the built environment are dismissed as jobsworths and pedants.  Then you get something like Grenfell and the industry is criticised for not being jobsworth enough.

    Fortunately the children who played 'Operation' don't seem to grow up thinking it is OK doing DIY open heart surgery, or performing their own thoracotomy. There is still some reluctance to consult a doctor for 'troubling symptoms' though, so I don't think structural engineers are unique in wondering about the lengths some people go to to avoid getting professional advice.  Maybe ultimately people don't like hearing bad news so is it better not to ask someone qualified to give it - just in case the answer isn't as positive as hoped?
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,909 Forumite
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    Section62 said:
    weeg said:

    So, why the reluctance? Just the cost?
    I blame Lego.  Most people got to play with Lego (other construction toys are available) at least once in their childhood and built a house or a tower or something similar.

    So simple a child can do it.

    I think that carries over into adulthood and a belief that structures are simple (just piling bricks on top of each other), coupled with seeing the people who do the work covered in mud and muck and assuming they don't need to be clever to do what they do.  And the builder must be right because he's been doing it since Noah was a lad.

    There's also an element of cheating the system and/or 'getting away with it' - people feeling good about themselves because they have got one over the authorities when it comes to planning and building control.  The professionals whose job it is to keep people safe and try to ensure some kind of quality control in the built environment are dismissed as jobsworths and pedants.  Then you get something like Grenfell and the industry is criticised for not being jobsworth enough.

    Fortunately the children who played 'Operation' don't seem to grow up thinking it is OK doing DIY open heart surgery, or performing their own thoracotomy. There is still some reluctance to consult a doctor for 'troubling symptoms' though, so I don't think structural engineers are unique in wondering about the lengths some people go to to avoid getting professional advice.  Maybe ultimately people don't like hearing bad news so is it better not to ask someone qualified to give it - just in case the answer isn't as positive as hoped?
    Same applies to getting financial advice. You see it on the Investments and Pensions board all the time.
    People very reluctant to pay for advice, when they clearly have no idea what they are doing. An added problem being that there is a lot of distrust of financial advisors, with many seeing them in the same bracket as estate agents and politicians. Despite the fact they are so tightly regulated.
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