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RE: limiting scope, responsibility, etc.

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Your list of things that are not included can be infinitely long (are you
responsible for keeping the porch clean after he builds it, will you load
test it to confirm assumptions, will it support snow from Alaska, etc.?).  I
have found it is much easier, to state what is included.  All other services
are excluded.  This is also a much more "positive" read.  They get to see
what they are buying, not what is being left out.  You can make the list as
detailed as you deem appropriate.  Just be warned that general terms can
come back to haunt you.  Don't use statements like "We will provide
engineering services."  You could be asked to provide site grading plans or
design the new carburetor for his car.

Best of luck,
Jake Watson, P.E.

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew D. Kester [mailto:andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:44 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: limiting scope, responsibility, etc.


Groupies:

I want to do a small job for a local resident who has a porch that has a
framed beam ceiling, with a plywood roof, which used to have 2x decking on
top of it, and was used as a deck. It appears at first glance to be designed
and constructed properly for gravity loads at least. One end of the beams
bears on the house exterior bearing wall, the other on 2-2x10 beams which
bear on columns. Very simple, no questions there. He is a DIY and is
replacing the deck and several rotten beams and even columns himself. He
wants us to check the existing beams and columns to make sure they are
alright sized as they are.

Now my boss would pass on this type of job for several reasons, but I like
doing them because they are interesting and it puts us out there in the
community. For my boss to approve it I need to know exactly how to work our
scope to CYA properly, and he can help me but I would like to have it all
there first (so he will like it :) ), and get any of your professional
opinions.

Things not in my scope:

1. Wood rot damage- we are not pest control/ organism experts. Owner picks
what to replace, what stays.
2. Existing house wall- subtracting deck, adding cement board and tile.
Small DL increase. We are not checking the exstg wall, nor does he want us
to.
3. Pool screen enclosure attached to portions of the deck.
4. Foundations- can't see them, no plans
5. Construction means and methods- of course, but this guy is not a
professional.
6. Drainage issues, flashing, waterproofing, tile, etc- not our design. We
will make sure the structure can support the material. Can I include
performance suggestions on the plan , and clearly state these only as
suggestions? Such as: add 3/8" pressure treated or exterior grade plywood,
screwed and glued to existing plywood for additional stiffness. Layer of
30lb roofing paper over plywood. Cement board over paper. Then tile...

Any thoughts or suggestions besides stating all of these clearly in our
standard scope letter?


Thanks in advance,

Andrew D. Kester, EI
Structural Engineer
Bentley Architects & Engineers
665 W. Warren Ave.
Longwood, FL 32750
1-407-331-6116
andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com
www.baeonline.com




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