There's development going on next door, & I'm concerned that the work will damage my house; what should I do?
My neighbour has undertaken construction on their property and now my house is damaged; What should I do?
We had a landslip / ground movement in my backyard during the rain last night, what should I do?
1. What is Investigative & Remedial Engineering?
Investigative & remedial engineering is a specialist area of civil engineering in which detailed investigations are undertaken into the cause(s) of damage that has occurred to a structure or structures. After the cause of damage has been determined, remedial engineering involves the design, specification and construction review of the necessary repair works to the structure, or structures.
Of necessity to cost-effective repair works, the investigations that precede the design & specification of the repair works must be undertaken carefully, with considerable factual documentation by especially trained engineers. [Back to top]
2. What is Remedial Engineering?
Remedial Engineering is the rectification of a structure, or land that has failed / been damaged, or has caused damage, or poses a risk to people and property.
Remedial engineering, as applied to investigative & ground engineering usually deals with the following:
a) Slope instability & landslides.
b) Rock falls & cliff stabilisation.
c) Retaining walls, basements and excavations.
d) Cracking of buildings & other structures due to settlement, and / or shrink swell movements of the foundation soils.
e) Dampness of buildings.
f) Surface & subsoil drainage. [Back to top]
3. There is a development going on next door, and I am concerned that the work will damage my house; what should I do?
You should immediately contact SCE and request a site inspection by one of SCE’s Senior Engineers; the engineer can then advise you as to the potential for your property to be damaged. You should also immediately take as many photographs as you can of the work being undertaken, as well as photographs of your own property.
It is likely that during the site inspection the SCE engineer will recommend that you have a professional 'dilapidation survey' prepared of your property; this survey is to document the existing condition so that should any damage occur, you will have a record of the property's condition prior to the damage. [Back to top]
4. My neighbour has undertaken some construction on their property and now my house is damaged; What should I do?
First, call us on 02 9449 5577 and engage SCE to undertake an inspection ASAP. It is very important an SCE engineer undertake a site inspection as soon as possible.
Arrange for SCE to have access to the site, and provide SCE with any plans, photographs and other documents that you might have available.
Second, grab a camera yourself and take photographs of:
- Your neighbours construction works from your property and the street. If your neighbour will give you permission to do so, take photographs from your neighbours property of the works being undertaken.
- Your property and house. Take LOTS of photos, including walls etc. that show no sign of damage at this point in time. If you can, include a tape measure in the photographs, particularly when photographing any cracks.
Third, contact your local Council and advise them that:
"The neighbours construction works have caused damage to my property."
Council should then send an officer to inspect the neighbours works and the damage, and assess any immediate safety concerns.
Fourth, if you have Home Insurance, contact your insurer and advise that damage has occurred due to neighbouring construction works. [Back to top]
5. We had a landslip / ground movement in my backyard during the rain last night, what should I do?
You should immediately contact SCE and request a site inspection by one of SCE’S senior engineers; the engineer can then advise you as to the what should be done.
You should also immediately take as many photographs as you can of the condition of your property and backyard. [Back to top]
6. How can SCE help me with my problem?
When we inspect your site, we are there for several important purposes. These are:
Give advice as to any urgent stabilisation works that are required to prevent further damage and, in some instances, collapse of part of your property.
Collect information on your property to enable us to design the remedial works required to rectify the damage that has occurred to your property.
Document the site conditions and works in progress on your neighbour’s site that caused the damage to your property. This is very important in any recovery of costs from your neighbour.
Whilst this is unlikely to be of much concern right now, it is very important to lessen the longer-term impact of this event on your life.
7. How can SCE help me with my project / problem?
The usual first step in SCE’s assistance to a client is either a consultation in the Pymble office, or a site inspection to assess the various conditions and an on-site consultation in regard to the site issues.
Following the office, or on-site consultation, SCE normally issues a factual précis of the matters observed / discussed as a record for the client. This factual précis often includes an action plan, or necessary next steps for an individual client. [Back to top]
8. How Do I Engage SCE on my project?
The usual process by which a client engages SCE is as follows:
a) A preliminary discussion takes place between an SCE professional and the client during which the scope and extent of the work to be undertaken is discussed and agreed.
b) SCE then provides an offer to undertake the work which normally consists of a letter / email with attached schedule of the work to be carried out. The schedule usually also includes:
- A preliminary estimate of the likely costs to be involved;
- A progress payment schedule and job authorisation form;
- SCE’s Terms of Engagement for the work.
c) On receipt of a formal instruction from an Account client, or the security deposit from a Non-Account client, SCE then undertakes the work. [Back to top]