Engineering design for new houses, house extensions and alterations, inside or out.

Our involvement in civil and structural engineering for the residential market covers advice and design in the areas of:

Design of new houses and additions to existing houses, including footings design, structure design for portals and unusual framing, roof design and upper floor design in concrete or timber. Footings design, to AS2870, includes soil testing and assessment. In the case of additions, it’s often more challenging to get the new parts to reflect the existing old house architecture than to design a completely new structure.

Building inspections of houses for:

  • cracking and movement issues
  • stabilisation
  • upper storey additions
  • specific issues such as roof damage repairs
  • insurance claims
  • pre-purchase inspections, limited to structural comments only


Retaining wall designs, engineered for each particular site and taking into account the presence of underlying shallow rock, groundwater or other challenges, surcharge requirements, including:

  • steel posts and concrete sleepers
  • stacked concrete blocks, with or without geo-grid tiebacks
  • masonry walls, reinforced or standard
  • reinforced concrete walls
  • moss rock walls
  • with or without fences over
  • with or without surcharges over, particularly in the cases of buildings and car-park areas

Cracked houses and underpinning, where we undertake reports on cracked and damaged houses and generally address:

  • the extent of damage on site
  • relevant site information
  • the probable cause of the damage
  • appropriate remedial works

While underpinning of cracked houses is an option, we see it as a last resort solution and believe, in many cases, that the cause of cracking can be identified and other remedial measures applied. This approach solves the problem, whereas underpinning can mask it.

Stormwater design for houses may include:

  • stormwater pipe systems to the street or soakage area
  • retention tanks, for reuse of water on site
  • detention tanks, for slow release of water from site
  • collection and pump out systems for low level sites
  • pavement contouring to control ground water surface flow
  • liaison with councils and others to determine what is required for development approval

Driveway design at steeply sloped sites, to deliver workable driveway access and conform to the off-street car-parking standard.

Balustrade and fence design

  • Balustrade design, conforming to the relevant Australian standards and Building Code Australia, incorporates the design of handrails and balustrades around balconies and similar areas and is available in:
  • glass panels, with or without posts
  • stainless steel or extruded aluminium systems
  • tensioned wire systems
  • timber slat systems

Fence Design is generally simpler and may be any or a combination of:

  • masonry fences
  • steel or aluminium fences
  • a combination fence/retaining wall

Tensile Shade Structures for the domestic market tend to be of the smaller hypar variety and feature either shade-cloth or PVC membranes stretched between steel columns. Unless specifically designed for the attachment of shades, we do not recommend that the shade is attached to the house as these structures exert high lateral loads.

General Advice, which we’ll happily provide while discussing general structural and civil engineering problems you may have as a home owner.  We’ll then work with you to find a lasting solution.