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Question DetailsAsked on 1/28/2017

What is the going rate for a structual engineer in bellflower california just to let me know if a wall is load bear

The house was brought here in 77 I would like to open wall between kitchen and living room it is a very small house approx600 sf if the wall was opened I could put a bar wrap around counter top and it would look bigger and create a inviting warm feel add cabinets to the ba to replace cabinets on wall there is alot of wasted space I need to get the most out of it

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Depends on what level structural engineer you get - rates can run from about $75-125/hr for some one-man outfits or new out of school ones, to more like $100-200 normal billing rate for staff structural engineers or independents with moderate experience, on up to $400-1000/hr for top-end expert consultants.

Most likely, considering you are in a moderately pricey area for engineers, and the fact most firms use minimum billing amounts for small jobs of at least $250-500, if you go with a local small architect/engineer or civil engineering firm I would expect about $250-300 for site visit - and if it turns out to be load-bearing, another $250-500 probably for design of a load transfer system to carry the load if you remove the wall, which could be a beam, smaller beam with a column or two (which could ahve a decorative wrap put on it), or maybe an arched support beam or "crown-wall" if that suits your needs. This amount is a bit more than one would normally expect for this because of your seismic zone, which adds a bit of work to the design and to the evaluation of whether the wall can safely be removed.

Note that this does NOT include any repair costs for inspection holes needed to see inside subfloor or walls. Be sure to indicate if you can provide a ladder to get into the attic (and if you have an attic or not), because assuming this is typical California single story ranch for that size, roof load is the most likely load he needs to look at for that wall - meaning he has to be able to get into the attic to see if the roof trusses or rafter system span across that wall or at least partially bear on it.

Will also need access to any underlying crawlspace or basement if your house has one, if it is load bearing (and assuming you might still want to go ahead with it in that case), so he can determine where the loads can reasonably come down to foundations.

Because of your locale, a fair number of listed firms may deal mostly in larger jobs, so when you describe what you need if they say that is too small for them be sure to ask if they know of a small outfit doing that sort of remodel engineering which they can recommend. Might shorten your calling list quite a bit. Or googling your town name combined with a search phrase like - remodel structural engineer - might pop up some prospects which you can then cross-check on Angies List for ratings/reviews.

Contractor for this sort of work, which engineer might be able to give a recommendation or two on, would probably be a Handyman to remove a non-load bearing wall, or a Remodeling - General Contractor is load-bearing. Or Carpenter - Framing if you only want it framed out and you will do drywall and flooring fill-in and painting and such yourself.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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