New home and extension design

For most of us our home is our largest and most valuable asset.

The structural design of your new home or extension including the foundations is the most important part of your built investment. With over 20 years’ experience in building and designing foundations we will ensure your home is well suited to the site conditions. Brisbane has one of the most diverse range of reactive clay soils of any Australian capital city, so attention to ensure the foundation system proposed and the building structural arrangement are compatible is very important.

Whether your home site is on rock or slightly reactive clays or fill or extremely reactive clays we can develop a unique foundation design solution that will be cost effective and manage this risk variable or difficult site ground conditions can present.

We provide:

– Complete new home foundation design and structural framing including suspended timber or concrete slab floors.

– Foundation design to comply with AS 2870 for S M H1 H2 site classification.

– Foundation design for “P” problem class sites and “E” class extremely reactive. We can also assist our clients with abnormal site conditions beyond the scope of current Australian standard guidance.

What is the process?

If you have a house design that needs a structural engineer design for the foundation, suspended floors, walls and roof framing please forward your drawings to our office email for a fee proposal request.

Site soil testing is required to ensure the structural design for the foundation will match site conditions at your site. We can brief an experienced and qualified soil testing company to provide testing to match the needs of the proposed dwelling and retaining walls as required.

Once the structural design is complete you can obtain quotes from licensed builders to complete the works.

How can we help you? Do you have some questions about the home design and construction process? Please contact our office with any questions you may have and we will try and clarify what the next step may be for you.

Traditional timber framed homes

Timber is an amazing and beautiful natural product. We design homes and unique building structures with timber structural elements.

If you’re considering a unique timber framed home please contact our office. We support beautiful timber designed structures and homes.

Extension renovation and home modification design

Home design has moved forward since what was commonly built in the last century. Your house with a few key improvements could be extended or modified to make your living and working spaces a whole lot more functional and liveable.

It takes a bit of experience living in your own home to know what ideally needs to be improved on. Once you have identified these areas for improvement we can assist you making sure any proposed structural extensions or modification can be safely completed. This may involve removing a wall adding a doorway or adding and new second story.

A new covered patio deck provides and excellent addition for entertaining in our temperate climate

Load bearing wall removal or modification

This common structural service request is often used as part of a kitchen renovation to open this space into the adjacent dinning or living room areas.

In order to assess the suitability for a lintel design the following activities are typically provided.

Confirmation of roof framing

This will involve an inspection by the engineer within the roof cavity to assess the roof framing and load or wind tie-down requirements needed. We can provide structural lintel beam details, bracing and footings if required to ensure any proposed structural modifications can be achieved safely and are practical without excessive construction costs.

Retaining walls

Retaining walls allow yard space to be effectively used. Walls can even be art and make an impressive statement by themselves.

Walls over 1m will require a structural design certified by a registered professional engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) to ensure your hard work and construction investment remains safe, stable and durable.

We have been designing durable retaining walls in Brisbane since 1996. Here are our best tips for designing and building successful walls that last:

– Failure to plan is planning to fail. Obtaining some suitable structural design wall plans and details before starting the build process is doing it right and putting your best foot forward. Regretting a wall failure in your own backyard is sad and expensive.

– Planning should include allowances for future site access and maintenance.

– Consider a level survey across the site (a basic survey is better than none) if you are looking to link areas between set floor or grade levels – especially if stairs are proposed.

– Determine the site soil conditions and strength stiffness parameters. Soil testing is not that expensive and goes a long way towards reducing the risks that soft soils or fill present.

– Divert overland stormwater flows away from any proposed wall into other suitable drainage pits and pipes or table drains away from the house etc.

– Prepare for the use of durable materials and construction details that keep the structural element dry as possible and well drained.

– Large trees or plants with invasive roots can damage walls – keep these features separated.

– Engage an experienced RPEQ design engineer and licensed builder to builder to make sure your wall is durable and correctly built. Owner builders can also build themselves with checking and certification assistance of their design engineer.

Foundation movement and wall cracks

The development of wall cracking in your home can be time to closely consider what potential changing conditions may be present that would affect the foundations.

Under normal conditions foundation movement is driven by seasonal moisture variation within the top foundation soil profile. The growth or removal of trees within the mature height of a dwelling also can drive observed foundation movement and cracking defects. Foundation movement can cause cracking to brittle elements like brickwork, floor tiles and internal plasterboard linings.

Foundation movement can also be affected and worsened by leaking water services like the sewer waste water connections and stormwater drainage.

If your home is relatively new, wall cracking can also be indicative of a poor foundation design. If you are concerned about the wall, floor, slab or ceiling cracks you have noticed McLean Consulting can assist with answering any questions you may have.

Structural inspection report

Defects that could be indicative of foundation movement or a poor structural performance are likely to be referred by a building inspector as part of a house pre-purchase inspection for further advice from a structural engineer.

We are able to review a building inspector’s concerns and report in detail and offer our unbiased professional assessment as to the structural severity and possible remedial actions that could be taken to address any concerns.

If you would like the assurance a professional RPEQ structural engineer can provide for your home buying decision or need to address some emerging structural concerns at your existing home please contact one of our Principals. Our advice and experience assists clients making informed and important asset decisions every day.

For further advice on your next residential project and how we can assist you call 07 3040 1300