New Homes

Structural Engineering for Your New Home That Won’t Send You Broke

Are you ready to build a new home?

You’re looking for a structural engineer to provide structural engineering for your new home.

But who can you trust?

You want a structural engineer who will do a quality job. You want someone that will communicate openly and clearly and you want a set of plans that makes it easy for your builder to give you an accurate quotation.

I think Cornell Engineers can help you and we want to be the structural engineer for your new home project.

We’ve been providing structural engineering for new houses in Queensland and New South Wales since 2003 – so read on and let’s see how we can help you!

When Does Structural Engineer get Involved when Designing a New Home?

3 Ways to See if Cornell Engineers Provides Quality Structural Engineering for New Homes

It’s hard to determine the quality of a structural engineer without seeing their work. But how can you do this when you have to engage a structural engineer before they’ll even start working on your project?

Here are three ways to see for yourself whether Cornell Engineers provides quality structural engineering:

  1. Google Reviews
  2. Facebook Reviews
  3. Previous Projects

Now. Apart from great experienced engineers that are easy to talk to, how can we also save you money?

How Cornell Engineers Saves You Money

When you engage Cornell Engineers to be your structural engineer you get all the information you need to help you build well. That makes it easy for your builder to read, price and build from our drawings.


We provide:

  • Footing and slab plans and details. We calculate how wide and deep your footings need to be and then provide enough details so that your builder knows how to build them.
  • Wall framing details. We tell you how to make the walls (whether they be timber, brickwork, concrete masonry or any combination) and how everything is connected.
  • Wall bracing plans. We’ll specify panels of plywood bracing walls to resist and transfer wind forces from the walls to the footing and slab.
  • Roof framing plans. We specify the size and position of lintels, roof beams and rafters. We leave truss design to the experts that supply your trusses. The plans show the sizes and any special connection details.
  • Specifications specific to your project. Our drawings start with a set of notes that are specific to your project.
  • Form 15 design certificate. This is the standard form specified by the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works that we prepare and issue when we send our finalised drawings. Get more information on DHPW forms here.

We work hard to show this information as clearly as possible so that there are very few surprises during construction. We work hard to make sure your house is as easy to build as possible because this is how we save you money.

I think you should look at some of our samples.

Sample Structural Engineering Drawings

Looking for a sample set of our drawings? Our engineering drawings are easy to read and that’s a great way to save money.

A sample set of our structural drawings can be found here.

What We Need From You to Get Started

You’ll rarely start the new home design process with your engineer. There are a few things you’ll need to do before you come to see us.

I’ll list them out first and then explain how and why you need to get these things sorted before you engage us:

  1. Architectural plans or building designer’s plans.
  2. A soil test.

Architectural Plans

The drawings prepared by an architect or a building designer include

  • floor plans (which show how big each room is and where it is in your new home;
  • site plans (which show where your building will be on your allotment);
  • elevations (which are the side views); and
  • cross-sections (imaginary views through your house if your house was cut in half).
Sample floor plan for a new home by a building designer
This is a sample of a building designer’s floor plan for a new home.

These drawings tell us what you want your home to look like. They tell us whether you have a slab on the ground or a timber floor on stumps, how tall your home is, what the walls and roof are clad with and where your internal and external walls are.

We use this information to work out:

  • the wind loads on your building so that we can design the bracing walls;
  • what your floor will be made of so that we can design and specify the slab and/or timber framing; and
  • what the major structural elements are and how they will be connected.
  • whether any issues on your site need to be accounted for such as council sewer mains, retaining walls, steep slopes and large trees.
Sample of a side view of a new home drawn by a building designer
Side elevation of a new home

We like to receive the architectural /building design drawings in pdf format as well as an electronic drawing format such as dwg, dxf or pln format so that we can extract the drawn-to-scale lines that make up the floor plans and elevations.

If your designer prepared 3-d views of your finished house we’d like those too so we can see how you want your finished home to look.

A Soil Test

We need a copy of your soil test results before we can finalise your footing and slab design.

Our article on soil tests – what it means explains what your soil test tells us and how we use this information.

Choose Cornell Engineers as Your Structural Engineer

So if you like what you’ve read and you’d like us to be your structural engineer, send us a set of your architectural plans so that we can send you a quotation.

Get a Quote

Don’t worry if you don’t have a soil test or building certifier yet, we can help you find someone suitable or you can see who we regularly work with here.

Once we send you a quote, you just need to tell us that our quote has been accepted to get us started.

We’ll work directly with your architect or building designer, help you get a soil test if and when you need one, prepare and issue the structural engineering drawings to you by email, and help you find a good, local certifier and builder.

Questions About Engineering for Your New Home?

If you have any more questions about how we can provide structural engineering for your new home, contact us here.

We’re looking forward to getting started on the structural engineering for your new home!