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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,
I am currently building a new home (first one) and am in the process of having the architectural drawings finalized. As background, I picked stock drawings from an Internet shop (houseplans.com) and had an online draftsman modify them per my changed floor-plans. I know it was risky but several people on line had good experience with these stock plans and the total cost was about 3k as opposed to architects in the Boston area who wanted 20-30k.

Unfortunately after buying the plans I found out that the original plans do not have separate structural/foundation plans or framing plans but combined the structural info (foundation, beams, joists etc,) on each floor plans. Moreover I also discovered that the plans have a date of Oct 2000 on the front page, a copyright from 1988 and a signed date from the designer of 1986; which is an issue as I’m sure codes have changed over the last 25 years. So I guess you do get what you pay for but I think I'm still better off than going with a local architect.
My question is, who would be the best professional to hire to get these plans in buildable order.


I’m thinking the following would be required as a minimum.



1) review plans to make sure that everything is up to code and the structural integrity is still intact.
2. 2) Modify the foundation to fit on a sloping site and incorporate a walkout basement.
3. 3) Develop more detailed and separate structural plans
4. 4) Develop more detailed and separate framing plans
5. 5) Develop material takeoffs


Also how much should I expect to pay for this type of work? Assuming I'm using a PE or architect, should I have them be responsible for acquiring permits as part of the work?



Also what you’re your thoughts on using a lumber yard’s engineering staff. I noticed the National Lumber offers engineering services/engineering plans as well as material takeoffs. Is it safe to go with a lumber yard or am I better off spending the extra money for an independent engineer.


Thanks so much in advance for any help/advice you can provide


Jim
 

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a copyright from 1988 and a signed date from the designer of 1986;
Welcome to the Forum!

Codes certainly have changed since back in 1986 or even in 2000, especially in Massachusetts. We now must design for higher wind loads, i.e., the Southcoast area where I'm located must be designed for 110 mph wind speeds. This requires the design of shear walls to resist the wind, which can have an affect on the number and location of openings in exterior walls. It can all be accomplished depending on what one wants and how much they want to spend on construction.

Where are you located? I can provide you with some links that may be helpful if I know your location.

Our local National Lumber has a truss manufacturing division and that is the only time I have used their services (truss design). I prefer to use a professional engineer for design services that I know and trust.

I would recommend if you have a sloping lot and want detailed structural plans that you hire a professional engineer to prepare such for you. Make sure the engineer performs residential structural design as not all PE's have the knowledge or experience.

They would be able to prepare your foundation plans, framing plans and any shear walls or other details that you may or may not need.

Material takeoffs are typically prepared by either a builder or local lumber yard such as National.

As far as pricing for engineering services I have no idea, you'll have to meet with a few engineers and get formal proposals from them for their services. It can vary depending on the complexity of your project.

As far as whether to use the PE to pull your permit again that depends on the complexity of the project. Nice thing about having a PE pull the permit is they typically peform on-site inspections (of course this costs money) to ensure construction is being performed according to the design drawings.

and as my signature says, "You get what you pay for and sometimes free costs more!"

post back with any questions.

Good luck!
 

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Interesting, I have never had nor even heard of a PE pulling permits on a residential job before. Not on a commercial job either but that is maybe a bit more understandable.

When I pull permits it is either for the home owner as his agent or the contractor as his agent.

Does that happen much where you are Gary?

Andy.
 

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Andy,

in Massachusetts if a building is over 35,000 cf it is classified as Controlled Construction and requires that an architect or professional engineer oversees the projects. a contractor can pull a permit up to 35,000 cf. don't ask me how they came up with those numbers. Maybe Daniel has a clue and will chime in.

I've seen a few residential projects have a PE pull the permit due to the complexity but it is not that common in residential construction.

I've pulled a couple for clients but its not something I routinely do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gary, Thanks for the info. You mentioned that you may have some useful links if younew where I am. I am building in Newton Ma
 

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The basis of the Massachusetts Building Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings is the 2009 International Residential Code (see below)

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/irc/2009/index.htm

Massachusetts has modified various sections of this code and these changes can be found in the Massachusetts Amendments (see below)

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/consumer-prot-and-bus-lic/license-type/csl/building-codebbrs.html

check out the portion under "8th edition Residential Volume"

What you have to do is first look up a code section under the 2009 IRC, write down that section I.D. and then check the Mass Amendments to see if there have been changes made to what is shown in the 2009 IRC. Lot of jumping back and forth.

Portions of Massachusetts uses the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, however Newton has adopted the Mass Stretch Energy Code ....

http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/doer/g...-towns-adoption-by-community-map-and-list.pdf

Here is a summary of the Stretch Energy Code.

http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/doer/g...t-program/stretch-code-summary-jun20-2011.pdf

You should get to know the people at the building department and run questions by them, after all they have the final say (most of the time)

http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/inspsvcs/default.asp

Hope this helps, if you have a question please post back.

Good luck!
 

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