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Architect or Engineer?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our new home has a long way to go.

• Change foundation from spot footings to crawl space.
• Build a 12 X 12 foot addition.
• Add second story over the front half of house (and the addition).
• Add front and back porches.

If you knew what you wanted (as far as the "look" goes), but wanted to make sure it was built correctly, which would you hire: an Architect or an Engineer?
 

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I'd say the same. We had an architect draw up my design, then we had the engineered drawings for joists, trusses, and SIP's done(done by supplier for free with order), now we have an engineer to tie it all together and stamp it. We aren't required to have the engineer but in an investment this big $1500 is good insurance.

Sean
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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Ayuh,... In my limited experince,... Engineers work for Architects...

Architects draw a Picture,+ their Engineers draw more pictures of the building materials needed to create the Architect's Picture in real life..
 

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Framing Contractor
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Our new home has a long way to go.

• Change foundation from spot footings to crawl space.
• Build a 12 X 12 foot addition.
• Add second story over the front half of house (and the addition).
• Add front and back porches.

If you knew what you wanted (as far as the "look" goes), but wanted to make sure it was built correctly, which would you hire: an Architect or an Engineer?
An Architect can do your whole project.
 

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Licensed P.E./Home Insp
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Leave it to NJ to have a law for pretty much everything.

Depends on what state you're in, but I think architect is the way to go. Do a Google search for terms like "Building Design Law", "concurrent practice", "architect", "engineer", "closely allied professional" for your state. In NJ, it's clearly delineated what architects can and can't do, and what engineers can and can't do, for every building classification (NJ's law uses the BOCA terminology). As a licensed engineer, I can't seal plans for a new structure in the R classification (residential), period, so new construction R class is considered a prohibited classification for me (but not for architects). But I can seal plans for "engineering systems" (beams, HVAC, etc) within the R classification, and for designs "of an incidental use" within the R classification. But there are area thresholds I have to abide by. Such as, I can't seal plans for a tear down, but I can for an addition if it's under the area threshold. Decks, gazebos, foundation repairs, roof mods, beams, openings, these are also considered "incidental use" projects, subject to certain conditions.

Talk to the town and your insurance company. They'll probably know which professional is needed before you finish your sentence. The insurer will also want to make sure the designer carries professional liability insurance. But with all that said, from the scope you listed, I'll bet you a sandwich it'll be an archy that has to seal the plans (and an engineer will probably be part of the process in some fashion - site plan, foundation, etc).
 

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An Architect is ideal when you want a design on an empty lot. But "Where the Rubber Meets the Road" a C.E. (Civil Engineer) has the advantage! This is not to knock Architects as a group. But when there is a problem with the practical application of the design (such as "conflict") the Engineer is called upon to solve the problem!!! (Can't import any icons [yet] to "Quick Reply" due to lack of great expertise in Computer proficiency. So the thought will do. I guess)!!!
 

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I would say you are going to need both however I don't know how extensive the design you have done is. The important part is the whole project needs to work with all components and therefore you are going to need to consult with a professional and see what they can or can not do with your design. I would first start with an architect and consult with them. They are going to tell you what you need and I think if you consult with a scrupled architect (it may cost you an hour or 2 consult charge) they will say whether or not an engineer can handle the scope of your project. If they feel that you will need both they may go ahead and take care of the project for you and they may even see over the project if you need those kinds of services.

Sounds like you are going to be spending a significant amount of money on this project so a few more hundred dollars is not going to break the bank and the use of an architect can even sometimes save you money in the long run as they can see what you need and what you don't need.

Good luck and be safe. Let us know what you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everybody. It sounds like either one could handle this project. I will submit bids to both and see who is more reasonable on pricing. And, I am sure, I will find out who has an interest and who doesn't.
 
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