Residential Design

Avoid a DIY Debacle, Part 3


Ever thought to yourself: “Structural engineers – who needs ’em? My house is still standing and I haven’t had one of those in my home the entire time I’ve lived here. Besides, the wall I want to remove isn’t even on the perimeter…should be fine.”

After that sort of DIY pep-talk, some interesting (read: tragic) things may happen. Your house may come down, causing untold destruction. Think to yourself, is it worth you or a friend seriously injuring yourself during construction. We can’t stress enough that you should never, make structural changes without the consultation of a professional.

A structural engineer must go through years of intense study to understand how structures (surprise!) work and can be modified. They are required to perform continuing education and re-certification to make sure they are “up to snuff”.

Moving Walls, Not Mountains

Often, your personal design vision includes removing some of the structural elements already present in your home or space. Don’t let that stop your vision from being realized. Instead, call in a professional to see it through: your DIY hat is not a good fit for that project. You will be safer, save money in the end, and maintain the integrity of your home.

At Ida York Design Group, we aren’t afraid of projects that involve structural changes. Sometimes a wall needs to move or just disappear. Perhaps you need a new window or door cut in. Each of those changes can be a significant benefit to the final design. While we are not engineers, we have built the needed relationships with professionals in related fields to make sure that we can see your project through to the end.

When a project needs that extra level of expertise, we have people we can call upon to help get it done. You might ask, why an engineer? Can’t a general contractor [GC] approve the modifications? Some GCs do employ engineers or have a background in the engineering field. You should be suspicious, if your GC is willing to make structural changes to your home without consulting an engineer first. With any project, the primary goal should be the safety of those occupying the space. Engineers ensure best practices are being maintained and that your structural changes are up to code.

To recap: do not attempt any structural change to your home without consulting a professional first.


Let us know how we can help you create a space, from beginning to end, that exceeds your expectations! Call us at 503.688.9499 or send an email to

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