Frequently Asked Questions

I am planning a renovation or new build. What order to I engage consultants in?

Normally, your first stop will be a building designer or architect. They will work through concepts and options with you, and develop a working set of drawings. We can provide some recommendations if you dont know of any. 

If your works involve any new footings, you will need a soil report. It is generally a good idea to have this done whilst you are working through the design with your architect or building designer. The difference between a good and bad soil report can make a significant difference in cost to your project and time to complete, so we encourage you to get in touch with us so we can recommend some reputable companies. 

Once you have the working drawings finalised and the soil report, it is time for the structural engineer to start work. We will produce a set of structural drawings, calculations and a certificate of compliance (design), all of which will be required as part of your building permit application. We can advise you of what the turnaround time will be for your project. 

You may also require items from other consultants such as an energy rating report, your building designer or architect will be able to advise what you will need. 

People engage builders at different points in the process, and this will depend on your timeframe to complete the works and the type of project. Some wait until they have all documentation complete including the structural drawings before they request quotes, which will provide the most accurate quote. Others will select a builder to provide an indicative price early in the project, and work with the consultants and client to ammend the scope and ensure the final quote comes in on budget.  

I have an existing property, and dont have any original building drawings. Is that a problem?

In most cases, original building drawings are not critical. But it is likely to be in your interest to find some.

If you have the original building drawings, or drawings showing renovations of your property since it was originally built, it will reduce uncertainty in the design and documentation phase, it will reduce the risk of variations of cost from the builder when they find unknown conditions when they start opening up works, and in some cases will reduce the design fees involved. 

Councils hold archives for existing planning and building permit documentation and drawings. Most councils have an archive for past planning permits, and for building permits. 

We suggest that you search both. It may take a few weeks to get any results. We are based in Glen Eira, and our clients in this municipality often get drawings of modifications, and in some cases original building drawings from the 1930's and 1940's and past soil reports. If all you get is a to scale plan of your residence, that is money well spent. 

If your house is pre 1970's and largely in original condition, this may not be required. However if you live in an apartment, a newer house or your house has been modified or renovated since it was originally constructed, searching these archives can prove invaluable. 

How many people do you employ?

PD Structures was founded by Peter Evans, a structural engineer with extensive experience across Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Projects. Peter personally handles every project, and will see the project through from the initial site visit through to the final delivery of documents. Peter is assisted by an experienced draftsman.

Are you registered and insured?

Peter is a Registered Building Practitioner with the Victorian Building Authority, and a member of Engineers Australia. We carry professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

What areas do you serve?

We are based in Carnegie, however work across Victoria. Most of our work is in the East and South East suburbs of Melbourne, and the Mornington Peninsula.

Can you provide feedback from previous clients?

Yes, please see our Reviews page

Are you recruiting?

We do receive a number of applications, unfortunately we are a small company and not looking to employ new staff.