Monday, August 6, 2007

Out With The Old, In With The New

Engineer that is...

So this weekend has brought some interesting developments...our original engineer walked off the job on Sunday with a pissy-huffy voice mail to me... Least now I didn't have to fire him....

To Recap,

Back on the week of 5/4/07 this guy came to the house, 'listened' to what I wanted took measurements and was off. Two weeks later, plans materialized but they were completely wrong...he didn't check with me to make sure we were on the same page about what I wanted done...this is something that would re-appear over and over again for us...He took two months to do what he originally promised would take 2 weeks...and, guess what, the plans still were not right!!

The city plan-check engineer reviewed his plans and I had two other engineers peer-review them. They all said the same thing: unneeded, unnecessary structural steel bracing when standard engineered lumber would work just fine. When our engineer got the comments back from the city's plan checker he just gave up, threw in the towel - said he couldn't do it. This is after I offered to do all the actual cad drawing for him and all he would have to do is redraw some of the details... he just couldn't/wouldn't do it. So to re-recap: two months behind schedule and he backs out. That's just so super...

Not to self (and all of you) don't use an engineer who draws by hand-they don't like to do rewrites; don't use an engineer who does not have a history with the building dept. you are submitting to; and most importantly of all, don't use an engineer who lives 3hrs away!!! Get one whose office is in the community you are building in. At least you have a close by brick and mortar type place to go and drop off plans and speak to someone.

Looks like the new plan is going to be to drop the floor level on the bottom floor another foot for a 9' rough. That way we don't have to inset any of the beams and we will still have plenty of headroom-and it will feel less like a basement appt. with their lowish ceilings.

This brings a new complication in that we are going to have to have a sloped driveway with drainage constructed because the top-of-slab (tos) is going to be ~2' below sidewalk level. That means the driveway is going to have to slope 2' in 12' which isn't bad at all. The city is going to require more plans for this....yay more work for me...This also means a new garage door. I am hoping to convince the planning dept to add this to my current design review. I want to use one of those roll-back garage doors that look like carriage doors from the outside. It will keep the look of the original door but give us more functionality.

Annnnd the zoning-planning desk won't approve my new foundation till I get the back deck (which was built without permits) retroactively approved by the building dept...thats so super....

1 comment:

Kitt said...

*Sigh* Unprofessional undersocialized loser indeed. I hope things go more smoothly now.

I'm having my own battle with zoning right now that I hope will end well. I've been referred to a "zoning consultant" who used to work for the city and who can tell me how to navigate those treacherous waters. I'll post about it if and when it all works out. Guh.