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While I would not do it, I have known engineers willing to do the calc’s for a 5K s.f. home for the $1,250.00 but they will do no drafting or detailing. Forget E&O (I don’t carry it since I can’t afford it nor can I get a job if I have to factor it is). E&O is a luxury that most of us can only afford if we are willing to do Condo’s, tracts and Apartments. I won’t work where a pot of gold is waiting for an out of court settlement to come along. I’ve been without E&O for 21 years of private practice, but I’ve not been sued either. If I make a mistake – I’ll own up to it and correct it within reason and I spell out the limits of liability in my contract and make sure my clients know this. If they don’t want to hire me because of it, then I generally question if the client might be the liability and I walk away from the job.

I am not willing to work for such a low fee simply because I won’t produce a calc only job. I have to have total control or I won’t take the job. I had a builder hire me to do a simple atrium remodel. His designer’s as-built drawings were inaccurate and I redrew the structural details and the framing and foundation plan for an 9’ x 12’ atrium enclosure. The city wanted me to sign his drawings and at first I refused. I gave him my package and told him to have his designer reference my package. He was persistent so I took his designers plans, crossed out anything that did not match my work and clouded the area where I placed the note: Analysis and details on attached structural engineering design takes precedence over any discrepancies noted on these plans.” In other words, I stamped his plans, but placed the contingency on them that only the structural work indicated in the attached ( stapled ) wet sealed structural drawings with my title block shall govern.  I’ve done enough of these to know that I’ve never been asked to stamp off a designer’s set that I did not draw or detail unless there was a discrepancy in what I designed verses what the untrained designer drew. He got the seal, but it still reference my work as governing. I won’t work for this guy again because I don’t like sneaky people who think they can get away with this. Job numbers, sheet titles and calculations are all verified and sealed only if I did them and only if I reviewed and approved them PERIOD!




From: ECVAl3(--nospam--at) [mailto:ECVAl3(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:01 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: ARCHIT FEES


In a message dated 6/28/2007 7:54:49 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, bruckmandesign(--nospam--at) writes:

Heck, sometimes I can’t even find engineers that’ll work for $0.25 or even $0.30/sf, particularly if they notice the steel moment frames before they agree to the subcontract... 

Are you saying you can find a Structural Engineer who will engineer a 5000 ft² residence for $1250 to $1500 ?

How does he pay his insurance, rent, etc?

S.Macie, P.E.

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