About Ken Risley
You can use the contact form on this website to make your acquaintance. That also sends me an instant TEXT. You can Email me at Ken@EngineerDesigner.Com. I can be reached at 352-821-9975 or 800-957-3740 – both at Extension 101. Once we connect up I’ll move you over to my special access list so you can call me without the extension number. Skype is KenRisley. I’m on Linked-in, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.
I spent 30 years in the engineering and construction world, designing what I built. But I discovered I am actually an artist. I finally got to a point in life when I could do what I want – Design.
Around 9/11 I began focusing more on design and engineering services only, in preparation to escape the big city and do what I love. In 2004 I shifted 100% into design. I moved away from a crowded city, moved to the country surrounded by hills, designed and built my dream home, complete with hangar for my airplane, connected up to the internet so I could meet and work with people throughout the U.S.A, and wham – my ideal life. Now I get to do what I love – design.
It’s my passion. I design homes, buildings, you name it. But what I love are beautiful homes. I don’t care if they’re hangar homes, beach homes, or what. I like to take ideas (mine or my clients) and turn them into something special.
And I have found that my time spent engineering and construction has made me a better designer. I know how to “stay real”. I’m not an engineer full of technical knowledge and no imagination. I’m an artist with enough engineering and building horse sense to “keep it real”. Many consider it a perfect combination.
That is why other builders and individuals have enjoyed working with me in this capacity. You can see their testomials on this site.
I’m not the cheapest – but I bring the most value. If you’re looking to just “have a house drawn up”, I’m not your man. If you’re looking to create something special, something realistic and want to save money in the long run by doing it correctly at the on-set, then I’m your guy.
Kenneth S. Risley, PE, NCEES, CGC. – Engineer, Professional Designer with emphasis in Architectural and Structural Engineering. Certification as a General Contractor licensed to design and build anything. Has done projects in in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, New York, Alaska as well as Ghana, Africa. He has over 30 years as professional designer and engineer responsible for the entire design process from concept, through renderings to final construction plans, and even construction for projects ranging from upscale residential homes, hangar homes for fly-in communities, beach homes, medical offices, retail offices and church buildings and other projects. He is also an expert in forensic evaluations for structural and architectural issues and consults for national forensic companies. Ken holds a professional seal which, when placed on a set of plans, certifies plans as having been created and engineered correctly according to applicable Codes. An Architect’s and a Licensed Professional Engineer’s seal hold the same legal weight. The experience and abilities of any professional is independent of his or her licence. Mr. Risley’s 30+ years of experience in every phase of design, engineering and construction his is most valued credential. His products and past clients speak for themselves. See Feedback and his Gallery on this website.
Ken was born in Tampa, Florida as was his father (Guy 1928) and his grandfather (Captain Pete 1897 – a sea captain and Port Tampa Pilot). Though born in Tampa Ken grew up in many areas of the United States, including Alaska, California, Washington DC, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Dayton, Ohio (where he spent most of his high school years). He spent a year living on, rebuilding and sailing a 50 foot wooden yawl rigged sailboat. There he learned many skills as a ship’s carpenter, sailor, survivor and appreciator of other styles of living.
As a young man he won a full scholarship to obtain his engineering degree at University of Florida. During those days he backpacked through Europe, was a spelunker, an avid Scuba Diver (certified in 1969), earned his pilot’s license, and was an officer and manager of a 90 person co-op in Gainesville, Florida where he lived. He moved to the Tampa Bay area an raised a family there as he pursued his design and construction career.
As a Design/Builder for numerous years, he has gained significant experience combining his skills as a designer with the realities of construction. He has personally designed and built commercial structures of numerous and varied types and styles and residential projects of a wide variety.
He is NOT an “ivory tower” designer devoid of real-world experience. His days were spend on a drafting board (in the old days), in front of a computer and out in the field among the clients, the workers and the inspectors.
“I design not only with an eye for aesthetics, but also with a keen awareness of how it will be built – of what the subcontractors might ask and what will they expect to see in the plans.“, Ken says.
Today he focuses his professional skills as the Engineer Designer on residential and commercial engineering and design.
“The permitting agencies, since the Code change of March 1, 2002, and again in October 2005 and December 2006 (and most recently in March 2014), are requiring a great deal in their plans. Builders and owners are faced today with a more complicated permitting process. In the mid 70’s and early 80’s I could literally take my house plans to the County, and walk out with a complete building permit in about 2 hours. This was in Hillsborough County, one of the larger counties in Florida. I would stand there while the plans examiner reviewed the plans, asked a few questions, and signed-off. Today that sounds like science fiction. In many states, builders and owners face an incredibly complex process and must provide extensive information on the plans. As a result I focus my professional attention onto helping builders and owners deal with this facet of the process.”
This is done by providing excellent and thorough design and construction drawings ready for permitting and ready to build. He also has become an experienced “forensic” engineer being called in, around the country, to inspect and report on construction damage, catastrophic damage and other types of issues. He is a routine consultant for two national companies that specialize in forensic investigations.
Professionally, he has served as State-Chairman of Florida Engineers in Construction, State -Chairman of the Florida Engineering Professional Development Committee, Member of the Tampa Board of Realtors. As a Member of Florida Engineering Society, National Society of Professional Engineers, the Florida Energy Commission, he was selected as outstanding young engineer for Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties in 1986 and 1987. He served as Chairman of the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Board for six years.
Personally, Ken is a jazz musician, an avid pilot, and Extra Class Ham operator (W8VD) along with numerous other interests. As a pilot, he has flown patients with special needs to medical facilities for treatment throughout Florida and Southeast U.S. as part of the Angel Flights program. To promote aviation, he has introduced children to aviation by giving them their first flights as Young Eagles; part of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
Ken and his wife, Kimberly, live in an aviation community in Central Florida (in an airport home he designed and built); He has two sons, David and Bryan. David owns PC Media, PC Mechanic, and is a professional blogger and teaches people how to harness the internet for fun and profit. He and his wife Malika, and grandkids, Elyanna and Nathan, live in Tampa. Bryan is an former airline pilot and now a CPA and Instructor Pilot; he lives in Lakeland with his wife Jena.
Ken’s personal, non-business website is: KenRisley.Com