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RE: "Stick-Built" Metal Building?

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I would definitely NOT stamp his drawings unless he can produce calculations
to you showing that the indicated/ordered members are adequate.  If the
document can be produced, review the calcs for adequacy.  If this document
can not be produced (which is most likely the case) then maybe you should
offer the services to design check the members ordered... and then if they
check out you would be able to seal the drawings (as long as that meets the
Texas registration rules).  My guess is that if he wasn't willing to pay for
the manufacturer to design the building then he probably doesn't intend to
pay you much to "rubber stamp" the drawings (since consultants typically
would require a higher fee because they don't profit from material sales).

I am sure you are well aware that the use of your seal indicates that you
approve and/or the plans were completed under your direct supervision
(wording varies per state).  Sounds like a liability nightmare... especially
if his design is based upon not seeing one fall down yet...

Kindly indicate that you don't stamp drawings that you don't know are
adequate and that the registration laws do not allow such an act to be
legally done.  I think this along with the offer to "redesign" the building
at an appropriate fee may or may not convince him that he is doing wrong but
will definitely cause him to think about for at least a few seconds (and
hopefully next time).

My $0.02
Greg Effland, P.E.
Butler Manufacturing
KC MO USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 9:19 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Q: "Stick-Built" Metal Building?


I got a request from a prospective client that I had never heard before.

It seems he is in the practice of buying metal building components from a
"parts list" submitted to a manufacturer, and then erecting the building
himself. He is not a contractor, more of a "developer," and he just
contracts the labor out as needed.

He came to me asking me to "stamp" a layout drawing. The drawing showed an
end-view of such a building-very typical, gable-end etc.-with piece-marks
and member sizes already noted. I sort of blinked at it and then asked
"well, how did you come up with these member sizes?"

"Those are the members I always use" was his response.

"Um, well who came up with the sizes?"

"I don't know, they're from a set of plans I've been using for awhile."

"What are the wind load requirement?"

He pointed to a note in one corner of the drawing, and I read "BOCA 1991
Wind Speed 90 MPH Exposure C."

I asked "Well, who has sealed your drawings in the past?"

"Well, I used to have an architect do it, but he charges too much money now,
and I just need it stamped real quick, so I can have it approved by the city
of ______________ so I can get a permit. How much do you charge to stamp the
drawing?"

I sidestepped that question, and asked who was doing the foundation ("Some
other guy's doing that"), why the other drawings in the set didn't need a
seal ("Well, I'm just going to do what the City requires") and above all how
he knew that this "design" was adequate ("We haven't had any problems with
the other buildings I've built").

As it stands, I'm trying to educate this guy as to where he needs to go.
I've got a call in to the building official in the city of ______________, a
small town northwest of Houston, to ask what their code requirements might
be. Hopefully, they require full adherence to the building code (probably
the SBC, regardless of what the drawing shows that he gave me).

Anyway, this is a very typical example of what we face here in Texas, where
the state has adopted no building code, the counties are prohibited by
statute from adopting a building code, and contractors are not required to
be licensed and simply do whatever they feel they can get away with.

Comments?



William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, TX, USA
Phone (281) 492-2251
FAX (281) 492-8203
email bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc



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