As Engineers, we get requests from people, from time to time, to stamp a set of plans that they produced. “I’ve had architectural training” is a common mantra; “anyone can draw a set of plans;” they’re just plans; a few lines.”
While a can-do attitude is most admirable, (this IS America), and saving money is certainly desirable, it is advisable that one be aware of the risk they are taking by doing so; especially if producing plans in an area that requires an engineer’s or architect’s seal.
If you have been looking for an Engineer to seal your work and have gotten lots of no’s or “Well, okay, but we will have to draw the plans ourselves” and the like, be aware of why. In F lorida, and most other states, disciplinary action can be taken for (the Engineer):
Affixing or permitting to be affixed his or her seal, name, or digital signature to any final drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or documents that were not prepared by him or her or under his or her responsible supervision, direction, or control.
Therefore, if you do the plans and get an Engineer to seal them he or she is potentially violating the Laws and Rules which govern the profession. Even though you might reason that it is the Engineer’s problem (and in many ways it is) remember that you are the party to an likely illegal activity. Most might argue that that is not a good way to begin a construction project.
Building and Constructing is tough enough, these days. There are plenty challenges even when one does everything right. It is advisable not to add to the difficulties, to save a few bucks, at the beginning, which could give you many problems down the line.
If you are looking to have a set of plans done, get them done professionally. Don’t skimp on this vital step. A good set of plans will save you time, money and headaches. It will smooth out the building process. You would not hire a butcher to take out your tonsils even with a doctor’ s endorsement. You want the doctor to do it. Engineers, as are doctors, are professionals. We are good to have on your team.
Give me a call if you need help. I’ll guide you through the maze.