Engineering Services

Preparation of design calculations and drawings for Building Regulations submission is the major part of our work but we also advise on party wall matters, check local authority calculations, prepare Structural engineering inspections and reports and do geo-environmental and site investigations.

Services Offered

Design Calculations & Drawings

Based on our site visit or our receipt of your or your Architects drawings we will produce design calculations and drawings which you can submit for Local Authority Building Regulations approval. Our drawings and/or sketches will be suitable for construction use on site. We design to British Standards and Eurocodes and use a variety of 2d and 3d analysis software.

Drainage Design

From single dwellings to large multi storey developments, we provide flood risk assessments, drainage design and detailed drawings for a wide range of projects using MasterDrain design software. Liaising with United Utilities helps us to determine allowable discharge rates and subsequently provide detailed calculations for storage/attenuation based on the site conditions.

Party Wall Services

Are you building near your neighbour? Or is Your neighbour building near you?
You may have legal rights or legal responsibilities under The Party Wall Act. We can advise on Party Wall work and where necessary act as Party Wall Surveyor for the Building Owner or Adjoining Owner. Read our Party Wall summary. The collapse of this building was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who found there had been a failure to comply with the requirements of the Party Wall Act. 

Structural Engineering Reports (SERs)

We carry these out on residential, leisure, commercial and industrial properties either because a problem (subsidence, cracking etc ) has been identified or to assess present structural condition or for potential alterations. The process is outlined in more detail in the section below.

Site Visits and investigations

We can carry out site visits at the beginning of a project to investigate the ground conditions and/or the existing foundations through a trial pit investigation where a hole adjacent to the foundations is dug at predetermined positions. The foundations are visually inspected and sometime further excavation with a hand augur is required.  During the construction phase of a project we can make planned visits to suit your architect or contractor and, if requested, we also make site visits to inspect the builders work in order to give a Certificate of Structural Adequacy.

Local Authority Checking

All Building Regulations submissions received by local councils need to be checked to see that they comply with Building Regulations. Some councils commission other engineers to do the checking on their behalf and over the years Rhodes & Partners have been asked to do this on behalf of Halton Borough Council, East Cheshire Council, High Peak & Warrington Borough Council.

Geo-environmental Studies

We provide cost-effective geo-environmental appraisals to investigate both geotechnical and contaminated land aspects of proposed development sites. These include the provision of Phase I (desktop study) and Phase II (site investigation) reports.

Safety Inspections

To comply with Safety at Sports legislation, we attend safety Committee meetings every 3 months and carry out an annual structural inspection at Select Security Stadium at Halton.


Domestic Properties

If you’re buying a property your mortgage lender will generally require a survey of the property to be undertaken by a chartered surveyor. If there are signs of structural faults (cracks, sloping floors, bulging brickwork etc) the surveyor will advise a further investigation to provide a Structural Engineering Report (SER).  Even if there are no signs of structural faults it can pay in the long term to get an SER.

- ‘Andrea and Stephen only got a standard building survey when purchasing this house – perhaps a full structural report would have seen more (and revealed these problems)’  Sarah Beeny  - Help my house is falling down! Series 2 episode 2.

Organising an SER
Contact us with the following information
the address of the property including postcode, 
brief description eg detached, semi or end or mid terraced, 
no of floors and bedrooms
attic conversion or cellar
If you have a surveyors report forward the relevant parts of that 
We then send you a fee proposal for the inspection and report and once agreed and paid for one of our engineers will come out to inspect your property.
The Inspection - will be a visual inspection and will cover the load bearing elements of your property. No tests or investigations will be carried out but an informed opinion will be given in the SER as to whether faults may exist and whether tests should subsequently be carried out to obtain further information.
The Report is a written document describing the results of the inspection of the property.  The Report will be set out in sections: Introduction, Internal Ground Floor, Internal First Floor, Other Floors, Roof Space, External Elevations, Outbuildings (only where particularly requested), Conclusions, Recommendations. See a typical SER report.
Exclusions; It is not always possible to discover defects which are concealed, our Engineer will use intuition and experience regarding inaccessible areas but does not possess X-ray vision! Woodwork and roof coverings will not be inspected and neither will any parts of the Property which are inaccessible or in the ground. Services (such as drains, gas, water and electricity etc.) are not included in the inspection.
Cost will be dependent on the size and location of the property. Quotes can start from as low as £300 + VAT for a 2 bed mid terraced within 5 mile radius – a small percentage of the total cost of your property!
Timescale is important when house buying. After our inspection is completed we hope to finalise our report within a few days.
Follow up – in some case we may recommend further site investigation (see above).


Structural inspections and reports on barns concentrate on the structural feasibility of converting them into residential accommodation. We investigate roof coverings, structural timbers & walls and may investigate foundations. Where necessary we bring in other specialists in this field. 

The reports will include conclusions and recommendations identifying in outline the remedial structural work likely to be needed on the existing structure. Detailed design of such remedial work and of other structural elements needed for a Building Regulations application would follow on from this if requested.

Commercial properties

We are regularly commissioned to report on the condition of a variety of non domestic properties including Care Homes (with a view to adding or removing walls), Town Halls and Churches with particular respect to the condition of the roof, disused and functioning Mills and Student accommodation. Our most recent mill inspection has been that of the condition of a derelict mill in Reddish.

Other Structures

Some of the other structures on which our expert opinion and recommendations have been sought are outside the scope of the above properties. We have advised on the condition and subsequent propping of an old tunnel to Mellor Mill, the condition of the Marple Churches Together Cross,  the condition and loading capacity of rock salt hoppers and the condition of Buxton Pavilion roof and Buxton Town Hall roof to name a few.

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