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I want to knock down an interior wall in my house and make a dropped ceiling flush with the remainder of the room. It should be a fairly straightforward home improvement project that I am quite sure I can handle, however I would like to be totally certain and get a structural engineer to sign off. I would of course pay for his or her time.

Is it common for people to do? Who do I actually call? I don't think I should call a contractor because I want to do the work myself, but I want to make sure that what I plan to do is above board.

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You should be able to hire a structural engineer for consultation on your project. Find someone who does residential jobs. I did something similar for a remodeling project. The cost probably varies but the guy I work with is $180/hour. If you have to file a building permit you will have to do some kind of structural drawing showing the alteration and have the engineer put his seal on it indicating that he approves the plan.

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    Or hire a competent contractor for $35/hour for a simple job. For what one pays for an engineer, they could hire out the whole job. – shirlock homes Jun 20 '14 at 11:23
  • That would work too. I wasn't sure if Matt was looking to have some help in making sure the plan is structurally sound. – Shane Wealti Jun 20 '14 at 12:11
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One question was left unanswered here when "Community" bumped it back to the top because it hadn't been "accepted" yet:

Yes. It's common for people to do that sort of thing. It's not something everybody's grandmother does, but it's certainly what I'd call common; nearly everybody I personally know (as in face-to-face "know") does things similar to what you're proposing to do. Of those who don't, half WOULD if they could just get past the illusion of "magic".

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