Engineer's


ChiefUserBigRob
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For you guys who need an engineer to stamp your work in your state or town. What have your experiences been like? Do they mostly ask for the dwg files if they need to make changes or do they go back and forth with you on what they want you to change or add before they stamp it? Mine has mostly been them asking for the cad files automatically and thats the last i hear from them. This current project has been looked over by an engineer and i am having to do all his work. He has calculated lvls and other members but has had me do all the work. Anyone else dealt with this?

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Varies quite a bit from one locality to the next, but generally speaking, my experience for residential drawings is this:

 

We draw plans as thoroughly as we reasonably can including any elements derived from our own rough calcs.  We send those drawings to engineer.  They send back required calcs and notes regarding what should be changed/added/deleted, we make changes, resubmit, and when all is right, engineer approves.  
 

This isn’t always the case and some engineers draw their own pages, but the above has been my experience in the overwhelming majority of cases. 
 

If you’re not hearing back, I suspect it’s because the files you provided were so far outside what they need or expect to see that they figured it wasn’t worth the hassle.  

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1 minute ago, Alaskan_Son said:

If you’re not hearing back, I suspect it’s because the files you provided were so far outside what they need or expect to see that they figured it wasn’t worth the hassle.  

No, what i mean is all my clients up front know what i provide, up to the point of it being at an engineering level. The client shops around for their engineer at their cost and once they find one most of them ask for the cad files on the basic plan views and i never hear back for anything else and the client gets them stamped.

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7 minutes ago, ChiefUserBigRob said:

No, what i mean is all my clients up front know what i provide, up to the point of it being at an engineering level. The client shops around for their engineer at their cost and once they find one most of them ask for the cad files on the basic plan views and i never hear back for anything else and the client gets them stamped.


Oh, I see.  Totally misunderstood.  You’re not actually responsible for getting the plans stamped.  Sounds like a different workflow than what we typically deal with.  Sounds like you must be doing a pretty good job on your drawings too if you never hear back.  
 

As a builder myself I rarely draw for other builders.  I did just do one project for another builder here this spring though that did something similar to what you’re talking about.  Their engineer literally just took a red pen and marked up the paper drawings all over the place.  They’re just using that set of marked up plans, but that’s also in an area that doesn’t have any permitting requirements.  

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10 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:


Oh, I see.  Totally misunderstood.  You’re not actually responsible for getting the plans stamped.  Sounds like a different workflow than what we typically deal with.  Sounds like you must be doing a pretty good job on your drawings too if you never hear back.  
 

As a builder myself I rarely draw for other builders.  I did just do one project for another builder here this spring though that did something similar to what you’re talking about.  Their engineer literally just took a red pen and marked up the paper drawings all over the place.  They’re just using that set of marked up plans, but that’s also in an area that doesn’t have any permitting requirements.  

Yeah, it has gotten real strict where i live. Most clients and builders are happy with my work, but then you have the one every now and then that picks the drawing apart and gives me their live story on what they normally see on plans. Cant win all the time right? In no way am i being sarcastic to those mentioned, every one is different. I just like the easy going ones lol.

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If your contract with Owners does not include you taking care of the permitting process then sounds about right.
I use engineers to do both the calcs and the engineering drawings.  
Owner pays the engineer directly, but we communicate a lot to make sure everything is copacetic between us.
I send 2D cad baseplans for them to work from, along with PDF of all elevations, 3D views etc.
Engineer gives me their drawings when done and I take care of submittal, plan check comments, etc..

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I've dealt with it all different ways. Rarely need engineering in my region but when it is required I rarely hear back from them. Sometimes I look after providing it, sometimes the client does. Sometimes the eng. collaborates, other times, not so much. Sometimes the eng. does their own thing apart from me, sometimes they consult, review, then stamp. 

Definitely no discernible pattern or method.

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If the engineer is having you do drawings then the engineer's fee should be lower. That's the way I work.

You should charge more if the customer gets to pick the engineer. You never know what you will get.

 

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98% of my construction plans are stamped by an engineer who does markups and we go back and forth until it's done. I draw the construction plans. This always saves the client money. I have the owner or builder pay the engineer directly. Some of the engineers will only do the engineering if they supply their own plan which is 10 times the cost to homeowner or builder which means I basically provide a conceptual plan only with no structural of any kind such as notes and details. I do not deliver construction plans done by me without having an engineering stamp. If the engineer supplies their own plan, then I'll provide a pdf of the conceptual plan and create dwgs of the plan to send to the engineers. My dwgs are usually stripped down of things like cabinets and other things since the engineer is really only concerned about structure. My engineer that does markups is extremely reasonable in his prices. The other engineers are outrageous in their pricing. 

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I would say I end up doing the drafting for the engineer off of redlines about 70% of the time.  Normally they will literally just send me scans with red ink (lots of times hard to read where I have to ask for clarification.)  I provide the construction documents at one price with the allowance of an hourly rate for any engineer based drafting.  They pay the engineer directly and my layout template has a section for them to stamp and put in their info or I will put in their info if I am drafting and they can just a fix their stamp after printing.

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i hear ya guys. the homeowner just doesn't understand the process on his project and is getting very impatient of only two weeks in engineering. this project has been quite the changeup for me to say the least. i hope what i turned into the engineer on friday gets stamped on monday because i fulfilled every request he wanted to see. if he asks more of me the homeowner is going to flip out. 

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Here in California, especially in the Sierra's where we have significant snow loads, almost everything requires engineering.  I have two engineering firms that I have worked with for years and we have developed a great working relationship.  In my workflow, I create all the structural pages and details before I send them off to the engineer.  They red-line my plans and sometimes ask for additional details.  I draft their red-lines onto my drawings and send them back to the engineer.  Sometimes we have disagreements followed by spirited discussions (a good relationship makes this possible).  Sometimes, I actually prevail.  When all is said and done, the engineer stamps/signs my plans and provides me with a small book of his calculations.  Once, a client hired an engineer that I hadn't worked with before.  It was a total nightmare and I will never allow it to happen again.

 

Good luck!!

 

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