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Re: Plan Check Corrections - Engineers responsibility

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        Sorry, Dennis, I seem to have reached the understanding that you were contemplating becoming involved in a formal complaint against the other engineer.  My ambiguous writing was intended to suggest that you not get involved in a formal complaint because of the mess these formal complaints always produce.  By all means do the work if you're satisfied that you won't be caught in the middle of a formal complaint.



Dennis Wish wrote:

 Daryl,Inasmuch as I am leaving on a 3-week vacation on Monday (driving back to Chicago for a wedding and family reunion) I most likely will not get involved. I think the Architect can and should resolve his contractual agreements with the engineer on his own. The problem is getting him to read between the lines as I have known him for 13-years and he has chosen to use the other engineer (without any complaint from me due to my location from most of his construction sites). I like him but don't want to read him the riot act which will ultimately leave him out in the cold. If he needs some help, I told him I will help him as long as he takes responsibility for the calculations I provide and any details under his stamp. This relinquishes me of liability and allows him to bypass the engineer by taking responsibility on his own.Thanks again,Dennis
-----Original Message-----
From: Daryl Richardson [mailto:h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 8:41 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Plan Check Corrections - Engineers responsibility

        Having attended a few formal hearings following complaints against other engineers, I would suggest that you AVOID  any involvement in this process if it's reasonable to do so unless you think the fellow is dishonest, incompetent, or negligent regarding public safety.  I have three reasons for this position:

1.)  It will take a lot of time.  Several times more than it will take for you to do the actual work!!

2.)  If the complaint goes as far as a formal hearing you will come under a lot of stress from lawyers during cross examination.  The procedures are somewhat different than you see on TV but the attacks and the pressure aren't much different.

3.)  You won't get any reimbursement for your time and effort.

        I would suggest that you call the other engineer up, tell him (or her) you have been asked to do this, and ask him if there is any reason why you should not do the work.  At this point I would decide whether to do the work or not and I would follow the discussion with a written confirmation and informing him (or her) of your decision to do or not to do the work.

        Good luck with whatever you decide.


H. Daryl Richardson

Dennis Wish wrote:

An architect I have known for over ten years contacted me a few days ago to help him solve a problem on a custom home that he designed. The engineer that he used has worked with him for over 15 years. The home uses Trus-Joist TJI floor joists that cantilever out to form the balcony at the second floor. He has attached a rim joist and showed the detail for the sheathing and finish on his plan. The plan check agency wants a detail to show how the manufactured glass railing is attached to the end of the balcony. The Architect showed a conventional lumber balcony framing and at the end a 4x rim joist. The mullion for the railing was shown to be bolted down through the center of the beam at some uniform spacing. The connection is a threaded rod with a plate washer and nut that is recessed into the rim beam. The balcony framing (whether TJI or 2x) is cantilevered out from the floor framing. The framing is covered with plywood nailed to the top of the rim beam and joists. The sheathing is topped with lightweight concrete. The plan checker asked to show that the beam won't fail when a 200 pound lateral load is applied at the railing 42" above the deck.I reviewed his problem and gave him my opinions;1. There needs to be a step down (1 or 1-1/2 inch) from the 2nd floor level to the balcony to prevent water from flowing back into the house if there is no slope to the balcony joists (the TJI's are not sloped). This does not seem to be an issue in the TJI catalogs as it was a few years ago when they had step down joists or cantilevers designed by extending Microlam's; sawn lumber or Timberstrand joists extended in the web of the TJI's.2. I believe that the sheathing nailed to the top of the beam will prevent rotation in the rim beam, but I see that if you pull on the railing there would be a possibility that the connection of the beam to the end of the joists might fail in pull-out strength of the connection.3. I suggested he recommend to his engineer that a Simpson LTT strap be used where the failure is likely to occur. For safety reasons, I would use on one each joist alternating between top and bottom so that the rim-beam is tied back to the joists at top and bottom (where the couple is likely to occur).His engineer is refusing to deal with this issue and the architect asked if I would intervene. If this were conventional construction, I believe I could take care of the non-compliant portions of the home, but in this case there is an Engineer in Responsible Charge who is, in my opinion, required to complete the plan check requirements. Can the architect contact BORPELS to file a complaint against the EOR if a permit can not be pulled until the corrections are complete? Can the architect hire another engineer to supply the calculations needed and have the architect wet-stamp the details and calculations provided to him?I don't think this is such a difficult problem and don't understand why the engineer of record will not complete the design. I've reviewed his drawings and details and other than the coordination between the architect, who shows conventional sawn lumber, and the EOR who specifies TJI's, the drawings are light on details, but adequate compared to what I have seen out here. Your opinions would be appreciated.TIADennis S. Wish, PECaught in the Middle