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RE: Residential Plan Drawings

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All of our rare new-build custom single-family residential projects are
fully engineered (full plans and details), and our fee is part of the
architect's expense.  But they are usually HIGHLY customized and way outside
the IRC's scope.

I'd have to think a bit before taking a project where the entirety of my
involvement consisted of writing a letter and sketching a few details in
response to code-review comments.  This assumes that the reviewer catches
ALL the items requiring engineering.  If he/she missed something, and you
don't check the entire structure yourself, then your stamp on the drawings
is a huge liability.  Also, I HATE working with a client who sees me as an
unnecessary expense that is only needed to get a permit. 

However, "engineering" a portion of the structure is different.  Look at the
Pre-Engineered Metal Building industry.  The PEMB drawings clearly state
that they take no responsibility for the foundation, and the engineer hired
to design foundation doesn't have to take liability for the PEMB.

Ultimately, the gist of this rambling post is that I see nothing wrong with
a partially engineered residence, as long as you are on-board from the start
and review the ENTIRE structure for compliance with IRC provisions.  You
would design all non-complying items (tall walls, long beams, etc.) and show
this on your plans and details.  Clearly note that the rest of the structure
is to comply with the IRC.  Also, clearly indicate (using thinner or shaded
lines, for example) the areas you did not design.

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

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