A Few Policies
I accept checks, payments through Paypal and all major credit cards.
Once I understand your project I will issue a written proposal to you by Email (a PDF attachment). It will show what I will do, what you get and the fee. When you are ready, sign it and fax it back to us with a note that the retainer check is sent. If payment is by card, I can send you an Email invoice or an authorization form to charge your credit card.
The Engineer Designer carries Professional Liability Insurance.
Professional Engineering Registration (PE32668)
Florida Certified General Contractor (GCG010458)
What I guarantee will be covered in our specific proposal. Generally, I will guarantee that the building portion of my plans will be correctly engineered. This is usually sufficient for you to obtain building permits. There are many factors involved in the getting of a permit. Some of these are zoning, setbacks, moratoriums, site drainage, HVAC design and accompanying forms, truss engineering, and other factors. Some municipalities, like Miami, require details that are ominous. This is, unfortunately, a sign of our times as government is becoming a barrier to production and common sense. If there is doubt about your particular municipality, we should obtain a checklist of the requirements and we will judge the fee and required details of work accordingly. It is my experience that most Building Departments are reasonable and will issue permits for well-designed and engineered project – which I provide. I can’t, of course, guarantee anything outside our own control; which means anything outside our own plans and details. If there are reasonable comments, to which I, as the licensed Professional agrees, these will be handled promptly no additional charge to the fees to which we agree . I do ask that specific comments be collected and sent to me in writing and I also request that all comments be handled at one time, if possible.
Other requirements for Permitting
There are other items required for a permit that you should be familiar with and check out with your local permit provider. If you are building for another, you will need to be licensed as a builder. If you are a homeowner building for yourself, in the state of Florida, you may obtain your own permit. Sometimes air conditioning duct layouts and Manual “D” and Manual “J” calculations are required at time of permit application. I do not provide those services but recommend that you contact a reputable HVAC subcontractor in your area to provide these. I can provide those at an extra fee if you desire. I will provide “background drawings” for you to sent to the HVAC provider so he or she can overlay the duct layouts. I can provide that in PDF form or dwg (AutoCad) files if desired. Additionally, some permit jurisdictions require drainage plans. If so, I can provide that service for an additional fee. Energy Code Calculations on the proper form are generally required. I can include those at an additional fee but also recommend that you check with your HVAC provider who can provide these forms along with their duct design. Some municipalities will require truss engineering at permit application. I disagree with this requirement believing that those can more conveniently be obtained later in the process. If required, however, these will need to be obtined from your truss provider. The permit process has become complicated – I can offer advice. I suggest that you find out who your permit provider will be and contact them for a list of their requirements. If you are a builder, you are likely already familiar with these issues.
It’s Your Client (for contractors)
For builders who contact us to work with their clients, I will always keep in mind that the client is yours. I will treat them professionally, with courtesy and treat them in a way that will reflect well upon you. I’ll will keep you informed of all communications between myself and your client. I invite you to be involved with any portion of the planning that you may wish.
Many projects do not require a site visit. This allows me to operate through the State of Florida. On projects where I am able to proceed without a site visit I suggest that you be prepared to supply the following:
- Site Survey (all projects)
- Photos of the existing home or structure (if an addition or renovation or other engineering modification or repair). Photos should show where the addition is going, or the area where work is to be done.
- Description of existing structure. (if an addition or renovation or other engineering modification or repair). Along with the photos, send me a description of the existing structure including ceiling heights, wall types, foundation types, roof type, etc. I’ll ask the same questions you do when evaluating a project. With my experience, I have seen most everything and will quickly deduce the exact structural situation.
- Sketch (of any quality) showing intention of the design or what is wanted. This does not have to be pretty, but should be communicative.
- Complete Questionnaire – I will provide you or your client with a questionnaire that, when filled out and sent, will help both the client and myself understand what is exactly needed and wanted in their design.
I have trimmed unneeded activities and made operations as efficient as possible. I operate in many areas of Florida, and through out the U.S. and beyond. This allows me to “cast a wider net” and thus keep my prices down on each project. Most of our communications are done by phone, internet, Emails, Youtube, etc. I also utilize various collaboration screen to screen technologies which can be superior even to face to face meetings. When we must travel judge that a site visit is warranted, I have a small airplane and can meet at any airport near you for a face to face meeting. Costs to travel most anywhere in Florida are relatively inexpensive for with an airplane – about the cost of an efficient SUV (but with much less of a time commitment due to speed). Jobs that require my presence will usually be larger, more complicated jobs and the travel costs will be minimal compared to the job. In general, and this should be considered, a good and efficient design can be a major controller of the ultimate cost to build. Additionally, the proportion of design and planning costs to the cost of construction is very small. It is advised that one not skimp on cost of design. One will get that investment back quickly.