How Much do Structural Engineers Charge in NZ?

Engineering fees for small projects are usually charged on the number of hours the structural engineer works on your project. The costs will be individual to your project. 

civil engineer costing the building

Not many engineers will give you a free quote for a small residential job, and it’s also hard for anyone to predict what the costs will be, given the amount of uncertainty.

For example, if talking about a renovation, no-one knows what they are dealing with until a building is opened up to reveal the “bones”.

There are surprises around every corner, including:

  • plans you supply not being true to the site or the building
  • the “changed-my-mind” factor
  • geotechnical reports showing something unexpected
  • council questions
  • boundary surprises
  • neighbour interferences

Structural engineering costs vary depending on the size of the project and the scope, and any or all of the above factors being present.

One of the ways to save re-working (and associated additional costs) is to include the architect and engineer from the beginning of the design process.

Proconsult can provide all these processes in-house, and having engineering input from the start can mean everyone is on the same page, designs are buildable and there is not the same need for redesigning an idea that’s too “blue sky”.

Civil Engineer cost

How Much Does it Cost for a Structural Engineer?

This is the cost schedule we apply for different situations. Please note these costs are excluding GST.

Hourly rates:

It is important to note that different engineering companies have different levels of efficiency depending on the type of job.

Structural Engineering Project Types and Costs

All projects differ in terms of individual needs. We provide services on an individualised basis depending on a number of factors.

Client knowledge, nature of the project, location or use of unique materials can impact on the job.

Proconsult has repeat clients, and for these situations there are some economies to be found.

civil engineer NZ

To give you an idea for budgeting, here’s a rough estimate of the different engineering costs that may be required for your project. These prices are estimates only.

The estimated timescale for completion of these works is also given (this being dependent on the time of year), and at present, we cannot start a new job for around 3 weeks.

We can also provide specialist services such as brief seismic assessment Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP)/Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) or a more detailed seismic report. We can give your insurance company a report, and we often provide specialist/forensic engineering advice for various clients.

Each short form agreement (SFA) is developed specifically to suit your project scope and will include a detailed breakdown of our cost estimates based on our considerable in-house experience. 

All those who work on your job will record their hours to the ¼ hour, so our process is transparent, and you are always able to request the details. You will be required to sign the SFA before we commence work on your project. Billing is monthly in arrears, apart from payments required by Council (e.g. lodgement fees) which are passed on to you at cost and need to be paid in advance.

If you have any issues with invoices, then feel free to discuss them. Feedback from our clients allows us to improve our service, keep channels of communication open and avoid unnecessary delays.


Picture of Author: Stewart Hobbs - Principal Engineer at ProConsult

Author: Stewart Hobbs - Principal Engineer at ProConsult

Stewart is the journal editor for SESOC (Structural Engineering Society New Zealand (Inc.)

See all articles written by Stewart Hobbs

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