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Old 04-02-2005, 10:37 PM   #1
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Home building process


I am in the process of obtaining a building permit for residential house in California. Before the Architect submits the plan, I need to get soil report (soils and foundation investigation as said on the report). From the soil report I realized that the soil engineer requires himself to perform the inspections how is done on the ground, like grading, remove all the debri after demolish , all the excavations for the foundation prior to the pouring of the concrete.... every step of the way, and requires 2 days advance notice. That translates lot of time waste. I don't know he is going to charge me extra or not. My question is how the process is done normally, what is the soil engineer reponsibilities? What is the structual Engineer responsibilities?
The Architect tries to discourage me to review the plan before submit it to city, and she told me she is going for a trip on next Friday, and it is depended on how soon the structural engineer can finish the plan next week, I don't have much time to discuss the plan and get quotes from the construction contractors. Does it normally work that way.
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Old 04-03-2005, 01:10 AM   #2
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Home building process


Hello and welcome to the forums wilddngy.

Really couldn't say much as to Ca rules, other than from what I've heard (read here & on similair sites) I don't think it's a place I'd ever want to work. You guys got some strict rules out there to go with all the other excitement, earthquakes, fires, mudslides, etc. not to mention some of your population, are all lawyers out there TV stars?? Hopefully someone with some expertise in Ca codes and practices will chime in in the morning.
In my neck of the woods the GC would be ultimately responsible for this phase, probably he would delegate it to the excavation sub. Good luck with the house!!
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:15 PM   #3
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I talked to soil Engineer, he want to do things his way, and want the construction to follow his instructions. I will be charged each field trip to inspect the work. I will be expected 3 to 4 field trips based on how well the job done. Until which stage does the constructual Engineer inspect the site? At which stage the city comes to give the first inspection?

Mi:confused:
Too many chief, and nothing get done.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:39 PM   #4
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Home building process


Quote:
Originally Posted by wilddngy
I talked to soil Engineer, he want to do things his way, and want the construction to follow his instructions. I will be charged each field trip to inspect the work. I will be expected 3 to 4 field trips based on how well the job done. Until which stage does the constructual Engineer inspect the site? At which stage the city comes to give the first inspection?

Mi:confused:
Too many chief, and nothing get done.
Find yourself a new soil engineer, that will solve some of your headaches..
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:10 PM   #5
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I already paid for the soil report, in which stated that only him to do the inspection. I have not paid him for the field trip and there is no contact. He was referred by my Architect.
How can I get out of this, and he is still responsible of his report.
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:11 PM   #6
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Home building process


Call the city. Find out exactly what paper is needed to pull the permits. Call the Architect. Find out if the plans can be changed after geting approved. Did you hire the soil engineer or the Architect? If the Architect hired him the road trips should be included. If not what does he charge. Did you hire the architect on a fee for the job or by the hour?

Make sure the architect leaves enough room for the HVAC ducts or you will be in trouble trying it fit the system to the building.
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:50 PM   #7
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I hired the soil engineer. He charges $200/hr. I hire my architect for the job. Her fee doesn't include soil engineer. If I don't want him to do the site inspection, how can I do that?
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:51 PM   #8
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$200 an hour!!!!!!!!

Wow, I had no clue it was that much.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilddngy
I realized that the soil engineer requires himself to perform the inspections how is done on the ground, like grading, remove all the debri after demolish , all the excavations for the foundation prior to the pouring of the concrete....every step of the way, and requires 2 days advance notice. That translates lot of time waste.The Architect tries to discourage me to review the plan before submit it to city, and she told me she is going for a trip on next Friday, and it is depended on how soon the structural engineer can finish the plan next week, I don't have much time to discuss the plan and get quotes from the construction contractors. Does it normally work that way.,
1. Why do you think the 2 day advance notice requirement translates to time waste?
2. What does the plan approval process have to do with the time you have to get quotes?

Having a geo-tech do inspections prior to pouring a foundation shouldn't be a big deal. You should be able to coordinate the inspections to minimize the cost.
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:54 PM   #10
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Does the state require an soil engineer? Exactly what is the procedure? Is there a reason for one because of the site you chose to build on? Now I am lost on this one.

I do not think 2 day notice is out of hand. You should know long before that when he will be needed. The guys digging the hole should be able to tell you how long it will take. All you need to know is when they are scheduled to start and make sure they call you if a problem developes so you can reschedule the soil guy. Tell the concrete guys not to set forms until you get the ok. He should be able to tell you how long it will take to approve the uncovered bottom layer. I think its all in the communication so if you don't have a fax machine buy one and if possible go to the site every day. Just don't hit any dead dinos. Good Luck
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:26 PM   #11
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Cole, some of us engineers make some pretty good money. I have that soill dude beat by X6 handily.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipeguy
1. Why do you think the 2 day advance notice requirement translates to time waste?
2. What does the plan approval process have to do with the time you have to get quotes?

Having a geo-tech do inspections prior to pouring a foundation shouldn't be a big deal. You should be able to coordinate the inspections to minimize the cost.
To answer your questions:
1/ Because my guy have to wait for 2 days or more before they can continue to next step.
2/ The contractor will give me suggestions on the plan. They would like to see the plan before we submit to the city.
3/ The problem is he specified in his report he will be the only one to do the inspection. I am going to the City to dig in further what really needs to be done. I think the City will be the one to say who is going to do the inspection.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabadger
Does the state require an soil engineer? Exactly what is the procedure? Is there a reason for one because of the site you chose to build on? Now I am lost on this one.

I do not think 2 day notice is out of hand. You should know long before that when he will be needed. The guys digging the hole should be able to tell you how long it will take. All you need to know is when they are scheduled to start and make sure they call you if a problem developes so you can reschedule the soil guy. Tell the concrete guys not to set forms until you get the ok. He should be able to tell you how long it will take to approve the uncovered bottom layer. I think its all in the communication so if you don't have a fax machine buy one and if possible go to the site every day. Just don't hit any dead dinos. Good Luck
The City requires to get the soil report if I want to rebuild the house.:confused:
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:49 AM   #14
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Home building process


wild, I take it that this is your first project. You expect it to run like a swiss watch, it won't. Before you have a heart attack, relax. I always thought that CA people were supposed to be laid back and you are going into panic mode before the job is even started. Get over it! There will be a hundred more setbacks before you are done. If you aren't happy with the pros that you have hired, replace them. From your statements, the new guys will be required to do the same thing as the old guys. If you are having problems with your GC, replace him.
I suggest that you schedule as much of your time as possible to attend all of the meetings and revues in regards to your project, maybe then you will understand the construction process.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:37 AM   #15
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Home building process


Quote:
Originally Posted by wilddngy
To answer your questions:
1/ Because my guy have to wait for 2 days or more before they can continue to next step.
2/ The contractor will give me suggestions on the plan. They would like to see the plan before we submit to the city.
3/ The problem is he specified in his report he will be the only one to do the inspection. I am going to the City to dig in further what really needs to be done. I think the City will be the one to say who is going to do the inspection.
1. You don't wait until you need the geo-tech to give notice - you call him 2 days before you need him so he can be there when you need him.
2. Then you need to insist that the Architect provide you the plan prior to submission for approval.
3. Why is having the firm that authored the report do the actual testing a problem? If you think the rate is high, try and negotiate it down.

Your posts tell me that what YOU REALLY NEED is to hire a construction manageer to help you through this process. Using faceless advice from the internet isn't a good way to get through the house building process. Good luck.
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