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RE: Strange stuff that I don't understand.

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: JohnOttCE(--nospam--at) [mailto:JohnOttCE(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 2:12 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Re: Strange stuff that I don't understand.
> My reluctance to turn anything into the building official, is
> that in some
> locations I am not so sure that they will even act.

That may be, but you will have discharged your ethical responsibility.

> They wanted to
> simply dig 6"
> below the grade and install the footings on a slope to
> parallel the ground.


I guess I had gotten the impression that in California the structural
engineer has great influence in design of even residential structures.

I guess that impression was mistaken.

> Now, I have run across many contractors that claim over
> engineering when in
> fact they are not engineers. I am sure we all have. I simply
> ignore them
> other than attempting to put into laymans terms why the
> structure is "over
> engineered" they way I have designed it.

Waste of time.

Contractors don't make these complaints out of concern for the job; they
make them out of concern that they'll have to do more work than they might
reasonably put in their bids. Anything other than what they're used to doing
makes a "black box" the precise dimensions of which they won't know ahead of

In other words: They don't give a damn if it's engineered correctly or not.
Once they've built it and gotten paid, the responsibility and liability is
with others. Not their concern.

I'm generalizing, of course, but I'd warrant this applies to 98% of

> All of the contractors that the owner talked to referred them
> to a particular
> licensed civil engineer to re-engineer my plans and reduce
> the amount of
> materials to take lateral loads.

Contractors have certain engineers "in their pockets." Trouble is, these
engineers work for the contractors, not the owners.

> He told me that the wind doesn't blow
> very often and
> never at more than 20 miles per hour. The result of the
> conversation is that
> he puts in nominal let-in-braces and the strandboard is not
> required at all.

This is another of those "contractor's engineers."

How about dropping a dime on the board on this guy?