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RE: More on level of Detailing

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It has a lot to do with the project itself (size and complexity) and your
client, and how much you like dealing with lawyers.

I used to work in an area doing a lot of very large custom homes.  My best
clients liked the level of detailing that I did.  Maybe an 8 or so from the
previous posts.  He did not like questions, problems and hold ups in the
field.  Personally, I don't either.  I figure the questions during
construction could have been answered easier during the detailing process
than during construction when contractors and the subs are held up.  The
engineer is always the bad guy at this point.  Nobody cares what your fee is
at that point, they only care that they don't have the information.  If it
costs somebody money and you haven't detailed it, it just may cost you a lot
more money to fix it than it would have cost you to detail it in the first
place.

As far as the IRC goes, I have done very few if any custom homes that in my
opinion should be designed by the IRC.  Lateral loading, discontinuous
diaphragms, difficult load paths, shear wall issues, connections etc. etc.
are issues that the IRC don't address and more often than not come up with
custom homes.  With custom homes contractors don't generally calculate loads
to connections.

I don't agree that the contractor can pull information out of the IRC or the
WFCM with custom homes.  What I have found is that the custom home
contractor is always the smartest guy on the project until there is a
problem.  Then it's "I'm not an engineer, I'm just an old time, down to
earth all around good guy contractor, I dunno nothin bout no engineerin".

Joseph R. Grill, P.E. (Structural)



-----Original Message-----
From: Jordan Truesdell, PE [mailto:seaint1(--nospam--at)truesdellengineering.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:15 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: More on level of Detailing

These can be the worst if you don't know who the the builder will be.  
Due to price sensitivity, most of the residential goes out with notes 
and two  (12 details/sht) sheets of details or less (that's two in 
addition to a sheet of notes, schedules, and typical found stuff). It 
all depends on how many crazy connections are critical to the structure. 
The first sheet is mostly basement stuff - you have to be careful with 
concrete in residential because out of 100 residential contractors, you 
might find one that has even heard of ACI318, much less read it.  I do 
as little wood detailing as I can, except to call out special connectors 
and such, since most of the common connections are in the IRC. Framers 
and inspectors know the IRC, and if what's there works, just let it 
lie.  Get a copy of the WFCM and browse through it and the IRC framing 
stuff. Get a feel for the normal capacities so you know when they're 
grossly inadequate for your task. Oh, and never underestimate the speed 
of using a plan note instead of drawing a detail for a simple callout.

Jordan



erik gibbs wrote:

> I am curious as to the number of detail sheets that other engineers 
> send out for a job. I work for a small engineering company and our 
> work consists of large custom homes and smaller commercial bldgs. For 
> example say that you had a 2 story single family home with a total 
> floor area of around 6-8000 sf. In general how many detail sheets 
> would you use?
>  
> We have 2 general details and the PE realy does not like it when I 
> draw specific details. I am just trying to get a sense of what I 
> should be doing because this is the first job I have had out of school.


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